Re: An Unusual Level Of Intelligence

James Rogers (
Sun, 12 Oct 1997 18:16:22 -0700

At 09:31 PM 10/11/97 -0700, John K Clark wrote:
>Showing a level of intelligence that is rare even for a politician, France's
>new socialist Prime Minister Lionel Jospin figures that the only way to cure
>his country's economic ills is to crank out even more regulations. He wants
>to decrease the work week to 35 hours and force companies to pay the same
>wages for the reduced labor, he wants to do this by Jan 1 2000. Jospin
>thinks it's obvious that working less will create more wealth for France,
>it's so obvious that there is no need to spell out exactly how.
>To help compensate companies for the staggering financial loss they will
>suffer the government plans to give them $1500 a year for each employee.
>Where the government would get the money to make these payoffs to
>Lionel Jospin does not say and does not seem to think very important.
>Actually he's probably correct to believe that to be a minor point,
>government may have its faults but it has always been able to convince
>to give it money when it needs it, perhaps because politicians have learned
>that you can be more persuasive with a smile and a gun than you can with a
>smile alone.

To give you an idea of just how bad it is, the CEO of France Telecom ( a
US$30 billion company ) makes something like US$70,000 a year. Any one
with any intelligence hates working in France. I recently recruited one of
the top officers of France Telecom from his US$40,000 per year job in
France to come work for my fledgling company. A very bright guy (educated
at UC Berkeley), he wanted to move to Silicon Valley so he could make some
real money and get involved in the entrepreneurial scene. By law, it is
extremely difficult to do business as a startup in France. Taxation and
regulation make it extremely expensive to get involved in businesses that
involve just about anything relating to the Internet and computers.

Another regulation I heard from the French at France Telecom: A company
*must* give 60 days notice prior to firing any employee. Would you really
want to keep a disgruntled and presumably useless employee around 60 days
after telling him he's going to be canned? No wonder they have gun control

-James Rogers