Tondar's Daily Rant

Prepare yourself for the writings of Tondar the Destroyer, Baron of Atlanta, Rightful Heir to the Throne of Spain, from whom all babies come. As his will be blogged, so let it be done.

Tuesday, October 30, 2007


From Callista and her broken shift key...

I was in France during the month or so (well, more than that, but it was only really crazy for about a month) that there was huge controversy over the CPE (contrat de premiere embauche) labor law during 2005-2006. at the time, i saw Sarko as quite the bad guy. My students and fellow teachers were pretty much all against this CPE that sarkozy was standing behind. to us americans, it seems ridiculous that they'd be so against the idea of being able to be fired for no reason with no notice as young workers, but the CPE certainly would have made job security rocky. the only part of it I really hated was the "for no reason" part. after you've worked for 2 years, if you're doing well, you get raises etc. this law would have permitted companies to keep a young worker for 1 year, 364 days, fire them, and hire a new one at the entry level salary. companies could have really taken advantage of/abused this law. anyway, the greves (strikes) finally succeeded, and the law was thrown out. he also had a lot of bad immigration related things to say during the riots of september 2005, calling ghetto foreigners scum and the like. (depsite being the son of hungarians)

I'm also leery of his wanting to americanize the french attitude towards work. by getting rid of the mandantory 35 hour work week, i'm afraid the french attitude of working to live rather than living to work could be in danger. certainly forcing/allowing people to work more won't encourage companies to hire more workers, thus decreasing the highish unemployment rate, as they can just have their current employees work more.

But, the french economy can't sustain itself forever in it's current state. while i appreciate all of the social public services they have, something needs to give. they need ways to encourage people to not just stay on welfare forever, and the retirement age of 50ish (it seems to differ) for transportation workers just doesn't seem quite fair.

In Sarkozy's interview on 60 minutes last week, i'm glad he had the balls to walk out of the interview when she started asking him questions about his wife (2 weeks before the divorce was announced). I thought she was being culturally/humanly insensitive to insist upon the subject so much, and who really gives a fuck about the personal lives of politicians?! (i know, the dumb-ass public...) what I wanted to hear him speak about was his ideas and policies, not his wife.

In short, sarkozy is the kind of dynamic, motivated leader that france needs. he's certainly not afriad of much, and i'm growing to admire quite a bit about him. i am still leery...but i suppose i shouldn't worry. the french have never exactly let the government push them around, and they're certainly not afriad to publiclly show their displeasure about the latest policy. They should be fine.

After reading a bit more on Nicolas Sarkozy, he reminds me of Charles DeGaulle. I do not know all that much about French history, so I might be wrong.

The way Sarkozy talks directly to the people through the media is very much like the way DeGaulle used the people to create the 5th Republic. Of course DeGaulle was a hero and used that platform and authority to convince the people of the need for a better government. Today Sarkozy is following the Bill Clinton/Tony Blair model and using his charm and abilities with the media to speak directly to the people and advocate his agenda of change.

However, if I were offering advice to Sarkozy i would tell him to embrace America, Liberty, and Freedom, and ignore Bush. Bush is very unpopular and will be gone in January 2009. The last thing anybody wants to do politically is be associated with that son of a bitch. Embrace the country but don't make it personal in a friendly manner or unfriendly in a Chirac manner.


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