An officer fires tear gas as police face demonstrators during a protest against government austerity measures in Turin, Italy, on Wednesday. Protesters clashed with police in various demonstrations in Rome, Milan, Turin, Padua and Brescia.
Photo Credit: Associated Press
Imagine for a moment if farmers started rioting and demanded that their government make more rain. Absurd, right? Well, hundreds of thousands of European workers today demanded something just as absurd: they demanded that their governments create more jobs:
Washington Times, Europe workers clash with cops in anti-austerity protests
Hundreds of thousands of Europe’s beleaguered citizens went on strike or snarled the streets of several capitals Wednesday, at times clashing with riot police, as they demanded that governments stop cutting benefits and create more jobs.
The protests were met with tear gas in Italy and Spain, but were largely limited to the countries hardest hit by the austerity measures designed to bring government spending into line with revenues.
Wealthier nations such as Germany, the Netherlands and Denmark saw only small, sedate demonstrations.
Governments backing the line of stringent austerity were not impressed by the show of force.
“We must nevertheless do what is necessary: break open encrusted labor markets, give more people a chance to work, become more flexible in many areas,” German Chancellor Angela Merkel said. “We will of course make this clear, again and again, in talks with the unions.”
Here is what Merkel means. The problem is not that governments are not creating jobs, instead the problem is that unions have encrusted the labor markets such that job growth and creation by private individuals is nearly impossible.
Some of my readers may recall the riots in France in 2006 when the French government wanted to change the law to allow employers to more easily fire employees under the age of 26. This would have had the immediate effect of tens of thousands of young people getting jobs, see my article For Once - I agree with the French Government. Obviously employers are loath to hire new people if they can never fire them, but Europeans are idiots
Some of my European readers may complain that Americans are idiots as well - you won't get any argument from me, after all, Obama did get re-elected by a majority of voters and I have no doubt that most of them also believe that the government can create jobs.
Our country spends almost $11 thousand per student annually (1) and yet more than 62 million people voted for Obama. Here's my suggestion for cutting the deficit while increasing the IQ of the average American: stop all public education. Whatever we are doing now is not working and has produced at least 62 million idiots roaming our streets.
The Condition of Education, Education Expenditures by Country
In 2008, expenditures per student for the United States were $10,995 at the combined elementary and secondary level, which was 35 percent higher than the average of $8,169 for the OECD member countries reporting data.