If anyone out there is looking for an abundance of idiots and hypocrites, France won't let you down. I am totally against prejudices and generalizations. However, when it comes to France and the people that still live there... they're worthless... for the most part.
France's Prime Minister, Dominique de Villepin, devised a plan to encourage employers to hire young people. The plan makes it easier for employers to fire people under 26 in the first two years of their employment. After the two year probationary period, the employment contract is permanent. France's overall unemployment is 9.6%, 23% of which is among the young.
As a result, all these French kids are going nuts. Millions have been participating in student marches, sit-ins and various other demonstrations. French police have been arresting people, using tear gas as well as water cannons in an attempt to maintain control. Now, the movement is spreading. Teachers, train drivers and civil servants are threatening to join in on the protests when they aren't even affected.
In the March 25th-31st issue of the Economist there is a pretty good article entitled, "The Phony Revolution," which discusses the issue.
There is a large irony in the brewing revolt which distinguishes it sharply from May 1968, for all the students' self-conscience attempts to re-enact those events, with graffiti copied from history books and the Sorbonne as a rallying point. Then, the rebellion was similarly against a complacent elite. But it was also an idealistic call for change: for a more liberal, permissive society. This time, the revolt is not only against change, since the protesters are fighting to cling to a world of secure jobs. It is in fact against changing an imaginary world, since such jobs are no longer available to most young French people because the rigid labour laws deter employers from creating them.
The confusion, however, also helps to lend the protests their potency. For it unites both those on the inside, such as public-sector workers who fear for their privileges, with students on the outside, who fear losing their natural-born right to a permanent job upon graduating with a diploma in sociology. With a keen eye on next years presidential election, the Socialists and others on the left have done everything to foster belief in this myth.
The only thing the French have to be proud of is helping the United States in our revolution against the British. Since then they have been worthless, always finding a way to screw themselves. These French kids are almost as bad as American kids who protest a war they are too lazy to educate themselves about. Just a thought.