It's too long to repost, and too interconnected to do justice to with an excerpt, but here's a tease:
In the European labor markets, mobility is almost impossible. The union system is built to protect current high-skilled workers from competition from new workers, whether in the same country of from abroad. Large corporations that form part of the cozy governance of the country are protected from new competition, and are bailed out by the government when they hit the rocks.
As a result, unemployment is structurally high in countries like France and Germany, hovering for decades between 8 and 12% -- levels we would freak out at here. Young and/or unskilled workers have a nearly impossible time breaking into the labor market, with entry to better jobs gated through apprenticeships and certifications that are kept intentionally scarce. Joe the plumber is an impossibility in Europe. Some Americans seem to secretly love the prospect of not easily being fired from their job, but they always ignore the flip side -- it is equally hard to ever be promoted, because that incompetent guy above you can't be fired either.
Entrepreneurship in Europe is almost impossible -- the barriers just to organizing your own corporation legally are enormous. And, once organized, you will quickly find that you need a myriad of certifications and permissions to operate in your chosen field -- permissions like as not that are gated and controlled by the very people you wish to compete with. The entire political economy is arrayed in a patronage system to protect current businesses with their current workers.
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