Permanently tethered to the welfare state, Europeans are unwilling to make the connections between the regulatory state and steep prices, high unemployment, and a declining standard of living. It would seem obvious that the greater the cost of doing business, the less business will be done. But not to the individual who is motivated to keep the gravy train chugging along.
He wants to get that free lunch, even if it is his Last Supper.
Via John Stossel:
In Europe …workers … get “vacation do-overs”- if they are sick on vacation, they get additional paid time off to make up for it. In Spain, employers must give 24 months of severance pay after they fire someone. No wonder companies don’t hire. [Unemployment among youth there is 50 percent.]
America doesn’t have mandatory vacation time, but we still have 170,000 pages of rules.
Want to expand your business? The costs to a proprietor of adding new workers will be prohibitive, often in excess of the workers’ productivity.
In Italy, it is near impossible to fire an employee once he has been hired. If he steals and worse; the onus is on the business owner to prove his case before he can fire the offender. Bad work habits and low productivity don’t constitute cause for dismissal.
In all, a European business is better off staying small. Don’t reach for the sky. Limp along below the regulator’s radar.