A commentary by me at TomPaine.com on the parallels between the situation of French and American youth. What do you think would happen if 5 million young people (the equivalent of 1 million in France) took to the streets to demand higher pay, health benefits and job security?
They'd probably be laughed at. Those safeguards are not part of the way American society imagines itself, not right now.
But there must be a happy medium. After all, we do have such a thing as a minimum wage, even if it's routinely violated. We could stand to raise the floor a tiny bit without creating a nation of plaideurs (plaintive plaintiffs, pleading whiners), as my dad would say. And everybody agrees on education as a means of providing people with bootstraps--the central point of my piece.
A great commentary that ran last week on the same website, on a related note: "Wanted: a High-Road Economy."