Home
In this issue
December 2, 2014

Jonathan Tobin: Defending the Right to a Jewish State

Heather Hale: Compliment your kids without giving them big heads

Megan Shauri: 10 ways you are ruining your own happiness

Carolyn Bigda: 8 Best Dividend Stocks for 2015

Kiplinger's Personal Finance editors: 7 Things You Didn't Know About Paying Off Student Loans

Samantha Olson: The Crucial Mistake 55% Of Parents Are Making At Their Baby's Bedtime

Densie Well, Ph.D., R.D. Open your eyes to yellow vegetables

The Kosher Gourmet by Megan Gordon With its colorful cache of purples and oranges and reds, COLLARD GREEN SLAW is a marvelous mood booster --- not to mention just downright delish
April 18, 2014

Rabbi Yonason Goldson: Clarifying one of the greatest philosophical conundrums in theology

Caroline B. Glick: The disappearance of US will

Megan Wallgren: 10 things I've learned from my teenagers

Lizette Borreli: Green Tea Boosts Brain Power, May Help Treat Dementia

John Ericson: Trying hard to be 'positive' but never succeeding? Blame Your Brain

The Kosher Gourmet by Julie Rothman Almondy, flourless torta del re (Italian king's cake), has royal roots, is simple to make, . . . but devour it because it's simply delicious

April 14, 2014

Rabbi Dr Naftali Brawer: Passover frees us from the tyranny of time

Greg Crosby: Passing Over Religion

Eric Schulzke: First degree: How America really recovered from a murder epidemic

Georgia Lee: When love is not enough: Teaching your kids about the realities of adult relationships

Cameron Huddleston: Freebies for Your Lawn and Garden

Gordon Pape: How you can tell if your financial adviser is setting you up for potential ruin

Dana Dovey: Up to 500,000 people die each year from hepatitis C-related liver disease. New Treatment Has Over 90% Success Rate

Justin Caba: Eating Watermelon Can Help Control High Blood Pressure

The Kosher Gourmet by Joshua E. London and Lou Marmon Don't dare pass over these Pesach picks for Manischewitz!

April 11, 2014

Rabbi Hillel Goldberg: Silence is much more than golden

Caroline B. Glick: Forgetting freedom at Passover

Susan Swann: How to value a child for who he is, not just what he does

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Financial Tasks You Should Tackle Right Now

Sandra Block and Lisa Gerstner: How to Profit From Your Passion

Susan Scutti: A Simple Blood Test Might Soon Diagnose Cancer

Chris Weller: Have A Slow Metabolism? Let Science Speed It Up For You

The Kosher Gourmet by Diane Rossen Worthington Whitefish Terrine: A French take on gefilte fish

April 9, 2014

Jonathan Tobin: Why Did Kerry Lie About Israeli Blame?

Samuel G. Freedman: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Jessica Ivins: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Kim Giles: Asking for help is not weakness

Kathy Kristof and Barbara Hoch Marcus: 7 Great Growth Israeli Stocks

Matthew Mientka: How Beans, Peas, And Chickpeas Cleanse Bad Cholesterol and Lowers Risk of Heart Disease

Sabrina Bachai: 5 At-Home Treatments For Headaches

The Kosher Gourmet by Daniel Neman Have yourself a matzo ball: The secrets bubby never told you and recipes she could have never imagined

April 8, 2014

Lori Nawyn: At Your Wit's End and Back: Finding Peace

Susan B. Garland and Rachel L. Sheedy: Strategies Married Couples Can Use to Boost Benefits

David Muhlbaum: Smart Tax Deductions Non-Itemizers Can Claim

Jill Weisenberger, M.S., R.D.N., C.D.E : Before You Lose Your Mental Edge

Dana Dovey: Coffee Drinkers Rejoice! Your Cup Of Joe Can Prevent Death From Liver Disease

Chris Weller: Electric 'Thinking Cap' Puts Your Brain Power Into High Gear

The Kosher Gourmet by Marlene Parrish A gift of hazelnuts keeps giving --- for a variety of nutty recipes: Entree, side, soup, dessert

April 4, 2014

Rabbi David Gutterman: The Word for Nothing Means Everything

Charles Krauthammer: Kerry's folly, Chapter 3

Amy Peterson: A life of love: How to build lasting relationships with your children

John Ericson: Older Women: Save Your Heart, Prevent Stroke Don't Drink Diet

John Ericson: Why 50 million Americans will still have spring allergies after taking meds

Cameron Huddleston: Best and Worst Buys of April 2014

Stacy Rapacon: Great Mutual Funds for Young Investors

Sarah Boesveld: Teacher keeps promise to mail thousands of former students letters written by their past selves

The Kosher Gourmet by Sharon Thompson Anyone can make a salad, you say. But can they make a great salad? (SECRETS, TESTED TECHNIQUES + 4 RECIPES, INCLUDING DRESSINGS)

April 2, 2014

Paul Greenberg: Death and joy in the spring

Dan Barry: Should South Carolina Jews be forced to maintain this chimney built by Germans serving the Nazis?

Mayra Bitsko: Save me! An alien took over my child's personality

Frank Clayton: Get happy: 20 scientifically proven happiness activities

Susan Scutti: It's Genetic! Obesity and the 'Carb Breakdown' Gene

Lecia Bushak: Why Hand Sanitizer May Actually Harm Your Health

Stacy Rapacon: Great Funds You Can Own for $500 or Less

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Ways to Save on Home Decor

The Kosher Gourmet by Steve Petusevsky Exploring ingredients as edible-stuffed containers (TWO RECIPES + TIPS & TECHINQUES)

Jewish World Review Feb. 12, 2008 / 6 Adar I 5768

The screw-up's paradise?

By Tom Purcell


Printer Friendly Version
Email this article

http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | Now I really wish I were French.


Surely you've heard about the French bank trader, Jerome Kerviel, who outwitted his company's safeguards and managed to lose billions of his employer's money.


What you may not have heard is this: As of last week, the fellow hadn't been fired yet.


According to The Wall Street Journal, French law forbids Kerviel from being officially fired until a lengthy dismissal process is carried out. His employer needs to initiate the process by calling Kerviel to a formal sit-down meeting to explain why he is being canned.


Better yet, Kerviel has the right to be supported by a trade-union official, a lawyer and any other representative he wishes to bring along.


It's not easy to get canned in France.


This is because the French believe in cradle-to-grave care by a benevolent government. They believe in government-mandated vacations — no fewer than five weeks — and 22 paid holidays and 35-hour workweeks. (French president Nicolas Sarkozy had to pass a new law to allow workers to log more than 35 hours if they want to.)


They believe in powerful unions and government regulations, too — regulations that make it virtually impossible to fire people — despite what such regulations are doing to their anemic economy.


A few years ago, the French prime minister tried to make it easier for employers to can people. He did so because the unemployment rate is high in France — it hovers around 8 percent. It's even higher for young adults. One in four is unemployed.


They are unemployed because French companies are afraid to hire new employees — for the simple reason that they will be stuck with them for life, regardless of how incompetent they may turn out to be.


So the French prime minister passed a law that allowed employers to part with an employee without providing a reason for dismissal. The new law pertained only to people under 26 and applied during their first two years of employment.


The French weren't very happy about it. They took to the streets in massive numbers, marching, protesting and rioting. The unions called for strikes to shut down the country, which wasn't hard to do. If the French worked as hard at working as they do protesting, their economy would be the envy of the world.


In any event, the protesters won. The freedom-to-can-employees law was rescinded. Which brings us back to Kerviel.


According to The Journal, Kerviel's employer sent him a formal letter asking him to appear at a "dismissal rendezvous." But since Kerviel didn't show up, the bank can't begin dismissal proceedings. Technically, he's still an employee.


As of last week, nobody else was canned, either — not one boss or senior executive or anyone else who was responsible for the safeguards that were supposed to keep rogue employees from losing billions of euros.


That's why I wish I were French.


Sure, I know that the absurd number of French labor laws are holding back businesses and choking the French economy.


I know that the French economy is growing much slower than other European Union countries', that its debt is rising rapidly and that its generous government benefits have put finances on the verge of collapse.


But sometimes I tire of the American way.


I'm self-employed, you see. Talk of a recession on the horizon has caused me to take on lots of work. I'm working long hours and socking money away just in case the economy crashes.


I know how great it is to live in a country where a person can earn more just by working harder. I know it's because we have fewer government regulations than France that our economy is robust.


I know that if some politicians have their way, our economy could become as sclerotic as France's. Every election cycle, politicians promise us more goodies — more government mandates and programs that will allegedly protect us from the unpleasantries of life.


Such ideas always do more harm than good. Still, you've got to love a country in which it's difficult for an employer to can an employee who lost billions of their dough.


Ah, to be French.

Every weekday JewishWorldReview.com publishes what many in the media and Washington consider "must-reading". Sign up for the daily JWR update. It's free. Just click here.

Comment on JWR Contributor Tom Purcell's column, by clicking here. To visit his web site, click here.


ARCHIVES

© 2007, Tom Purcell

Columnists

Toons

Lifestyles