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A Tale of Two Demonstrations

April 3, 2006

Mark Trumbull of the Christian Science Monitor has revealed insights from comparing the concurrent First Job Contract riots in France with the demonstrations in the US over new legislation concerning immigration in the March 31 edition.

The comparison between labor policies and markets in the European Union vis a vis the United States is made up largely of familiar observations, but the contemporaneous street events in both places throw a bright light on the details.

The article hints at a strength the European Union might have over the US, in the end: much labor policy in the EU appears to remain within the purview of countries as disparate as France and Ireland, while in the US, labor law is more centralized. For the moment, Europe remains free to conduct experiments with the matter in a way the monolithic US is not. But if centralization continues to increase in the EU, its economy bids fair to fall short even of the US.

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