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Thursday, June 01, 2006


David Wiczer

Though qualitatively Germany's labor market reforms seem much more successful than France's, I wonder how much of the quantitative success of Germany can be chalked up to their greater reliance on exports. They are clearly in a cyclical upswing, much of which is driven by surging global demand for German industrial output. The [old] Economist pointed out in Germany's export champions: The problem with solid engineering just how much more export oriented is German industry than any one else. I can't help wondering how much of the quantitative performance reflects this economic bias, that makes their up cycle stronger than more inward-looking France.

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The U.S. is not supposed to be a “warmonger.” We are supposed to be a self-sufficient, self-governing country properly attending to our own affairs.


NE: "In Britain, Eurostat lists the January unemployment rate at 5 percent. In the United States, Eurostat lists the figure for March at 4.7 percent."

Big deal. This is noise-level variability.

The BLS statistics stateside, for international figures, are "standardized" in order to compare with American numbers.

Besides, as I have said in the past, if economists insist on reporting national statistics in Europe, then they should compare them with state statistics stateside - which is silly.

It's time we compared EU and US statistics, since the two are demographically more similar than any one EU-nation and the US.


NE: "Analysts attributed the slide to unease over recent street violence, labor protests and a political scandal."

France is in a pre-electoral blue funk.

What is coming up is a monumental battle of the left and right for control of the center. La Belle Segolene merits being the left's candidate ... the others are intellectual dwarfs comparably. More so, she is a woman and it is about time that the marble ceiling that prevents ascension into the nirvana of French Presidential politics be opened to women. The side-effects can be tremendous in this male chauvinist country.

But, she shouldn't win. She is a political lightweight and her husband, head of the Socialist Party, will end up running France with her as surrogate President. Segolene has little or no credibility in the Socialist Party, which - after all - is the opposition party in the French parliament.

Sarkozy is an ambitious lawyer who suffers fools badly. And, of course, by definition, everyone who disagrees with him is a fool. He was somehow very hurt by Chirac, some like to think it’s personal ... he was dating Chirac's daughter. It is a complicated story with too much innuendo to be written about here.

The point is that Sarkozy is one of those French politicians who seemingly want to assemble a coalition of the right in order to reign. The problem with this is that it is a nice idea, but in words only. French politicians are control freaks, and such animals rarely negotiate a political position. They take a position then live or die with it. Unfortunately, it takes forever for a French politician to simply dry up and blow away. They have half-lives longer than a uranium isotope.

Still, Chirac's immobility has largely made him an irrelevant factor. Should he declare to run (and he hasn't a chance in hell of winning), he will simply assist in Segolene's ascension to the throne by splitting the vote (in France's bizarre two round political marathon) and thereby win the collective approbation of the right. No fine speech fees for him from his friends on the right to cushion his retirement. Not that he needs them ... Madame Chirac is rich enough for them both.

It would be best if Sarkozy won. Nicky could pal with Angela, and both could get the French-German tandem behind some real changes to the EU, that have been needed for decades.

Wishful thinking? Probably. But, the CAP is going to meet its much heralded and much put-off demise soon, and what must be done to reform the EU budget is going to be a fun game amongst all parties concerned.


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I suspect that's thereason general public want to read blog....Internet visitors generally create blogs to declare themselves or their secret views. Blog grant them same matter on the monitor screen what they specifically needed,so as the above stuffs declared it.

IHT: Much of the improvement in the jobless picture in France was attributed to publicly funded job creation programs.

"Publicly funded job creation programs"? In May? In France? You gotta be kiddin' me!

No such thing happened in May, except that the Socialist candidate for President promised exactly such a program. The last time it happened, when a Socialist PM was in power, such jobs in City Halls evaporated with the morning dew (or rather two years later).

This sort of "make work" is seen for what is in France. A palliative and not a solution. Besides, as a member of government AND presidential candidate, both in May, I cannot imagine Sarkozy condoning this sort of manipulation.


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