Welcome to European Tribune. It's gone a bit quiet around here these days, but it's still going.
Perhaps I'm being naive but it seems to me that the way to tackle unemployment is for people to start offering services and making goods that other people want to use and buy.  While big public works programs are great to get people working in a depressed economy, they are only temporary measures until the projects are built.  And reliance on government contracts for private sector manufacturers creates a cyclical business.  I would think that the way to tackle unemployment is not to rely on public sector spending but to have the public sector create incentives for growth in private sector demand. Without intent, I realize that I am sounding very "supply-side" here, but it does appear that the Europeans have a very structural problem.  It really doesn't make sense that a large increase in working age population would create a big unemployment problem in a modern, industrial, and highly educated society.  Young working age people are the biggest consumers of goods.  They spend, accumulate debt and don't save much.  While that pattern is not good for long term financial planning, it should create conditions for economic growth.  And the Europeans have a big social safety net, so they don't have to worry about growing old and not being able to make it on a pension or paying for their medical care.

So my question is how easy is it start a business in France or Germany ?  Is it easy to get capital from banks or other financial sources ? Is there a lot of bureaucracy that you have to go through ?  Is the tax structure such that it's advantageous to start a business ?  Are the societies entrepreneurial or are young people in Europe more risk adverse ?

by Grand Poobah on Thu Jun 30th, 2005 at 11:00:40 AM EST

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