French Protests Expose Destructive Labor Unions

Labor unions and other hard-left groups have dominated Europe for many decades. This is one of the main reasons that Europe has always had high unemployment rates – up to twice as high as the US and more – and low-growth economies, since unions create an artificial economic environment that favors the unions and penalizes all other citizens and workers, and the economy in general.

The French unions even tried in 2010 to block a proposal to raise the retirement age from 60 to 62. This is typical of how these unions work. Today, the average French work week is only 35 hours and they take the whole month of August for vacation. This all sounds great, but it really causes the whole nation to become poorer.

Despite the fact that France is a largely white homogeneous well-educated nation it has an average living standard 20% lower than the US when it should be 20% higher. This lower number is largely a result of the French working much less than Americans do.

To illustrate the point, imagine that you only worked 10 hours per week. You wouldn’t get much done, right? And you would be poorer, right? And your family would suffer, right?

Right. So how is a nation going to prosper when so many of its people work less and produce less and spend more time in retirement, taking wealth rather than producing it? We all know that a nation or a family or a person can only raise their standard of living when they work more and earn more and produce more. This is how Asia has become wealthy – through hard work.

Hundreds of millions of Americans have risen to prosperity by working hard in our unique nation. This is how the US became the most prosperous nation ever – because we have had an open economy and Americans have generally had a work ethic. Meanwhile Europe has been ridiculing Americans for decades for working so hard, that we all need to enjoy life more.

Yet the American economy first of all has been “the economic engine of the world” for the last two centuries. Second, America saved Europe in World War II. We saved France after the French surrendered to Hitler in only 6 weeks without hardly even fighting like the pacifist weaklings that they are. Lucky for France that the US military did not go on strike or take the month of August for vacation.

The history of the America economy in the post-World War II period illustrates the harm of labor unions. After World War II unions in the US represented 40% of all private-sector workers while today that number is 7%. Unions today are very unpopular in the US. Why?

Well, when unions kill the companies that they work for, they lose the jobs. And we all lose the jobs and the economy has less overall wealth for the people. The mighty American steel industry was destroyed by its greedy unions. Obama had to bail out Chrysler and General Motors because of their astronomical union labor costs. US railroads were bankrupted significantly by their unions with outrageous wage demands and farcical work rules.

In my hometown in Massachusetts strident, confrontational union activism drove out General Electric and 11,000 jobs. The unions were constantly on strike throughout the 1960s and 1970s, when the city was super-prosperous and everyone had everything including great wages, benefits and pensions. The unions were warned over and over that ongoing strikes would lead GE to close the plant. And GE finally did so in 1988.

As recently as Autumn 2012 Hostess bakeries (Wonder Bread, Twinkies) was having financial difficulties. Instead of helping out the company with wage concessions, the bakers union went on strike and the company closed immediately, throwing 18,000 out of work nationwide.

Labor unions claim that “unions created the American middle class” in the 1950s. This is false. National prosperity created the middle class. Labor unions then came along and destroyed that prosperity, along with the middle class.

In America today tens of millions of people are desperate for any type of job but that has not stopped unionized Verizon workers from going on strike even when they have secure jobs with great pay and benefits.

eanwhile liberal states with powerful state-employee unions like New York and California have stagnant economies since the public employees are sucking up so much of the states’ wealth through high taxes. The sales tax in New York state is a whopping 8.2%. This hammers every business and every citizen, including low-income and poor New Yorkers.

Here are excerpts from a article about the current situation in France, with a comment after each: reports: (French strikes and protests are being staged) over a reform that aims to boost hiring by making France’s 35-hour workweek more flexible, making it easier to fire workers and weakening unions’ powers. Some labor groups say the measures will erode workers’ hard-won protections and mainly benefit big businesses. comment: Euro unions, and unions everywhere, always vilify “big business”. Yet “big labor” has been controlling Europe for many decades, with disastrous consequences. If “big business” had more power, Europe would have much stronger economies and much lower unemployment rates. Most Europeans don’t know this because they have been propagandized for so many years by their leftist media.

Euro laws that bar businesses from firing workers simply make companies hesitant to even hire workers in the first place. This obviously contributes to higher unemployment. reports: Seven unions and student organizations have called for a nationwide day of protests and strikes on Thursday, in addition to blockades of fuel depots and refineries since last week. Strikers could be joined by employees of nuclear plants, which provide most French electricity. In addition, new calls for strikes in the rail sector should disrupt national and regional traffic. comment: This is like a spoiled child throwing his food on the floor and turning over the furniture, i.e., disrupt the whole nation. This is the one of the ways that unions have stayed in power – through intimidation. But more and more people globally are increasingly aware of the truth about unions and so the unions need to resort to extreme measures, as they have over the last 100 years. reports: In 2006, the conservative government passed a law … to create a new job contract specific for young people, but was forced to with withdraw it few weeks later by major youth protests. comment: These stupid French students even protested a law intended to help them. Amazing… Under socialism, you are supposed to stay unemployed and broke rather than work under non-union rules. This is what has led to high unemployment all over Europe, up to 25% in Spain and Italy today, and slack economies. This is why millions of American college graduates have no jobs; it is a result of Obama pro-union policies and other socialist policies. reports: The government is focusing on unblocking roads — through police intervention — to allow trucks to get access to fuel depots and be able to supply gas stations. comment: Blocking energy supplies is a strong-arm, communist tactic. If these unions are so great they would not need to use such tactics.

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