Why France Sucks And We Rule

Back when I was a young man I once made the mistake of going to Europe during the month of August.  Ready for two weeks of drinking, partying, and hot sex with (female) Euro-models, all my hopes were dashed when I arrived in Madrid on the first day and it turned out to be a ghost town.

In effect the whole city had gone on vacation, as is the custom in European countries during the summer.

Six to eight weeks of vacation, 35-hour work weeks, and retirement at fifty-five is how they roll in most of the Euro zone, and most notably in France.  Sure, this may seem like a nirvana to the working class, but in practice it lends itself to making a country less competitive, though that is not the politically correct thing to say.

Well one CEO isn’t mincing words as to why he is keeping his company out of France. Titan International Chairman Maurice Taylor recently declined to reconsider buying a former Goodyear tire plant in that country and elucidated his reasons in a letter to French Interior Minister Arnaud Montebourg;

“I have visited the factory several times,” Taylor wrote. “The French workforce gets paid high wages but works only three hours. They get one hour for breaks and lunch, talk for three and work for three. I told the French union workers this to their faces. They told me that’s the French way!”

Keying in on the French Unions he continued;

“Goodyear tried for over four years to save part of the Amiens jobs that are some of the highest paid but the French unions and the French government did nothing but talk.”

“Sir, your letter says you want Titan to start a discussion,” he wrote. “How stupid do you think we are? Titan is the one with the money and the talent to produce tires. What does the crazy union have? It has the French government. The French farmer wants cheap tires. He does not care if the tires come from India or China and these governments are subsidizing them. Your government doesn’t care either. ‘We’re French!”’

No word yet as to if Jerry Lewis will be sent over to mediate this conflict.

French Workers Who Talk for 3 Hours Don’t Cut It, Titan Says (Bloomberg)

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  • http://www.facebook.com/nils.meyer3 Nils Meyer

    It’s quite funny actually, that a capitalist would call working more for less pay a virtue. Those union workers just engage in profit maximization.

    • Urbane_Gorilla

      LMAO! Brilliant! ;=)

  • http://twitter.com/credit_spreads Eric

    well written….bravo!

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  • http://twitter.com/credit_spreads Eric

    Retirement at 55???? do your homework brian!!! even France who is one of
    the weak link as far as retirement age is concerned is at 62(in reality at 65 for full benefit).
    You are making good points as does that Titan idiot but the extremist way of saying thinks(+the mistakes) makes you look like a pure joke(i am using your tone on purpose).
    By the way did you ever try to understand what happened with the subprime virus that the US inoculated to the entire world before bashing Europe the way you do?

    • http://www.facebook.com/nils.meyer3 Nils Meyer

      I must side with Team USA on that subprime thing. No one forced those stupid European and Eurozone Banks to participate or emulate that kind of bullshit.

      And look how countries like Iceland dealt with the aftermath.

      • http://twitter.com/credit_spreads Eric

        ok then.nobody is forcing drug addicts to buy..!!! is it a reason to forget about sellers?

        subprime loans were a pure joke that have crushed many US cities real estate markets,subprime bonds were ok but their usage in CDO has been a nightmare for GLOBAL markets including US.You think that “stupid” buyers were European only? ask AIG and monolines lenders!!!

        come on!! Be real,dont repeat what you are supposed to say without a
        a bit of honesty.

      • http://www.facebook.com/nils.meyer3 Nils Meyer

        Your drug analogy might be a cheap shot, but it’s somewhat apt. You know what happens when you round up all the drug dealers in a neighborhood? Come a week later you’ll have new ones hanging out there. I can find an excuse for a 16 year old kid getting into drugs, but a lot less for a 40 year old medical doctor (pension fund manager) prescribing crack cocaine to his patients (pensioners).

        Having someone to blame later on doesn’t excuse the buyers lack of due diligence.

        When I buy a car online without looking at in person, and it turns out to be a shit car of course the guy who sold is was a crook and an asshole. But I was an idiot too for buying something sight unseen.

        I’m not saying the Europeans were the only stupid ones, although the German banks were notorious for their buying of this shady paper. But we here in Europe always act holier than thou when it comes to culpability in this recent crisis and that’s idiotic.

      • http://twitter.com/credit_spreads Eric

        European buyers may have no excuse indeed but it doesnt mean that the subprime network built in the US should be immune to criticism…dont you think? so we in fact agree.what was your point again? mine was that i start to be tired by the Europe bashing habit especially from an idiot who went to Europe once with only project to bang local hookers(and seems to be proud of it) ….

      • http://www.facebook.com/nils.meyer3 Nils Meyer

        I didn’t say they did a fine job with their hare brained lending practices. I explicitly called it bullshit.

        In the German press the German taxpayer owned banks somehow portrayed themselves as victims of the evil US banks (funnily enough Deutsche Bank was one of them), somehow it was all the fault of US banks that they didn’t bother doing risk assessments or research (which is, after all, their job). That’s not really comforting to hear, because nobody really learned a lesson.

        And the US banks are all but immune from criticism, they are probably the most hated companies now. Nobody gives a second thought to those people who bought shit they couldn’t afford or the politicians who tried to create prosperity and good neighborhoods on bad credit.

        My point is, Europe has nothing to be proud of, and instead of blaming everything on the USA we should own up to our own shit.

        As for the “local hookers” thing, why is that when a young, single guy goes on a holiday abroad everyone automatically assumes it’s to bang hookers? From what I saw living in the so called “Red light district” of my town it’s mostly middle aged guys ;) And it’s easy enough to get laid as a foreign man with the regular women folk.

  • http://www.facebook.com/nils.meyer3 Nils Meyer

    In fact we leave in droves so we don’t have to deal with all the dumb, loud and fat Americans on vacation ;)

    In any case, one should wonder why there aren’t more and stronger unions.

  • http://twitter.com/JFinDallas JFinDallas

    There is a point to be made about how stupid french unions are but it’s also really interesting to observe that it’s unfathomable to a lot of people here that the majority of the French think quality of life is more important than competitivity… #balance