Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Lone Ranger without Silver Bullets

Sarko has rediscovered the joys of constant media exposure and an announcement a day, but while the Lone Ranger role suits his personality, he seems to be without silver bullets when it comes to unemployment. Today's speech on employment could have been delivered before the crisis struck. There will be more of the same (the fusion of ANPE and Unedic will have been twice-blessed and again wished godspeed, though it is now nearly a year old) and more of the previously denounced (the "social treatment of unemployment," that supposedly failed remedy favored by the "Socialo-Communists" and emulated by Chirac before being dismissed by Sarkozy, who has now proposed a bolus of 300,000 subsidized jobs to revive the ailing market). Of course, unlike loan and deposit guarantees and capital infusions to banks, hiring the unemployed and transforming the bureaucracy require actual outlays of cash, which is in ever shorter supply. So we look forward to the details. And lest I forget, there will be a push to liberalize the rules governing work on Sundays. That should fully absorb the reserve army of the unemployed, who can be put to work selling appliances to those who haven't earned anything during the other six days of the week.

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