Thursday, January 6, 2011

Girard on the Loi Aubry

Bernard Girard wonders why the Socialists never developed a convincing economic argument in support of the Loi Aubry:

Mais le plus désolant est sans doute que les socialistes n’aient pas su développer un argumentaire économique convaincant. C’était pourtant possible. Il leur aurait suffi de regarder ce qui s’est effectivement produit dans les premiers mois. La loi demandait aux entreprises de réduire de 10% le temps de travail (passer de 39 à 35 heures) mais leur imposait, pour obtenir les baisses de cotisation sociale, d’augmenter de 6% leurs effectifs. Qu’ont fait celles qui ont joué le jeu? Elles ont recruté, investi dans la modernisation de leurs installations et fait évoluer leur organisation. Cette loi, dans ses premiers mois, contribué à la croissance en mettant en branle simultanément ses deux moteurs : la consommation des ménages (par la création d’emplois) et l’investissement.

Si les socialistes n'ont pas su mieux défendre cette loi c'est qu'ils n'ont, dans leurs profondeurs, probablement jamais vraiment cru aux 35 heures. Les déclarations de Valls ne font que le confirmer.

3 comments:

Anonymous said...

Indeed when you "force" (or strongly urge) companies to hire, they increase their workforce. However, an interesting side-effect is that in most cases, in the following their was little to no salary increase for the whole workforce.
Flat salaries & increasing process, so much for the consumption boost...


Socialists have never found a convincing economic rationale, not because they didn't search. You can argue that from a quality of life perspective the law had some benefits, but economically it was a (foreseen) failure.

James Conran said...

I think more generally the Socialists fail to trumpet the overall job creation record of the Jospin government - which was spectacular compared any French government of the last 30 years.

As to the 35 hours, if it's so unpopular why has the Right never had the bottle to simply repeal it instead of chipping away at it at the edges? To be sure the Socialists have failed to fight back against the Right's scapegoating of the lois Aubry as responsible for all the ills of the French economy. But how far beyond the elite does the unpopularity of the 35 hour week really extend?

James Conran said...

Also the conditionality of the social insurance exemptions was done away with by the second loi Aubry in 2001.