French 35-hour week 'a disaster.'
Well, yes. Create a massive welfare state, discourage people from working so as to prevent any competition in the market, and what do you expect will happen to the economy? I am well acquainted with a very socialist French economist (don't ask, don't ask) who fondly remembers making it through France's equivalents of university and graduate school for 300 FFR a year, and laments how wildly expensive my tuition is at $2000 (after scholarship funding) per annum.
I had lunch with him and two American students in town for some sort of polisci exchange program yesterday; both seemed pleasant enough, but agreed with him wholeheartedly on the notion that post-secondary education should be as close to free as possible. I was not particularly surprised to find out that the more leftist of the two (a political science major at the University of Michigan, mind you) had never even heard
of Adam Smith, let alone read "The Wealth of Nations" or in any way understood the concept of free market economies. But, then, it seems that most of France's political elites haven't either, so I suppose he's in good company.