Interesting stuff in this Commentary piece on the Yellow Vests, including arguments that make my pal Kirblar seem like a right winger due to his support for labor reform and privatization in France, because here, a French conservative writers opposes them.
This cultural history also explains a lot of the hostility to “labor-market reform.” In France, if you think your boss will use any legal loophole to screw you over, well, you’re probably right. A tight labor market punishes bad bosses as a class, as employees simply vote with their feet. France rewards exploitive bosses. With mass unemployment, employees will tolerate a lot more abuse for fear of walking, and with no growth, squeezing employees is a much more rational path to profit than investment or innovation. Is it any wonder that most French people will hold on to their labor protections for dear life? That they have such a negative view of private business and anything labeled “market reform”?
When EPOP has been going down year over year every year since 2008, and Unemployment is the 4th-highest in the EU, you might think that something is very, very wrong in the labor market!
The dumbass EU Austerity shit is obviously part of the problem, but the lack of job-loss shock in the wake of the 2008 recession is a big sign that they've got problems with the "creative destruction" part of the economy being prevented from actually happening in the labor sector.