Thursday, May 12, 2005

The Edsel economies of old Europe - Don't Let Me Stop You

Why does anyone think that a system of generous welfare benefits, high taxes and harsh restrictions on hiring and firing would ever produce anything like a dynamic, growing economy? Why does anyone assume that there is such a thing as a 'European model,' rather than just a collection of ill-conceived policies having a predictably depressing effect on the economy and job creation?"
-- Brian M. Carney, WSJ
Indeed. Meanwhile, they're still at it.
Strasbourg votes to axe Britain's right to opt out

The European Parliament yesterday inflicted a significant blow on Tony Blair's election pledge to back wealth-creators and flexible labour markets when it voted decisively to end Britain's right to opt out of limits on working hours.

The prime minister now faces a difficult fight at European ministerial level to block the MEPs' vote. Business groups warned it would be a "hammer blow" to the UK economy if Britain was without the right to opt out of rules restricting the average working week to 48 hours. Losing the opt-out would affect more than 40 per cent of employers, according to a survey by the Institute of Directors, ensuring about 4m employees worked fewer hours.

Britain's negotiating position was weakened by the larger-than-expected vote - of 378 to 262 - to scrap the opt-out. The MEPs also backed measures to make time spent on stand-by count towards working hours even if employees are not active - a measure that would, for example, affect on-call doctors who are asleep.
Emphasis added.

As McTeer said:

The economically challenged must be perplexed about how economies work better, the fewer people they have in charge. Who does the planning?
By the way, Bob McTeer recently joined the ranks of economists leading major US universities.


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