Because payroll taxes and firing costs are still so high, businesses across Southern Europe are loath to hire new workers on a full-time basis, so young people increasingly are offered unpaid or low-paying internships, traineeships or temporary contracts that do not offer the same benefits or protections.
"This is the best-educated generation in Spanish history, and they are entering a job market in which they are underutilized," said Ignacio Fernández Toxo, the leader of the Comisiones Obreras, one of Spain's two largest labor unions. "It is a tragedy for the country."
Read the whole thing. I think that the United States is far from immune to these problems. As a parent of a college student, I have to ask: if college is such a panacea, why do college students have to grovel for unpaid internships, even after they graduate?
I suspect that the health-care-cost component of hiring is a major drag on the U.S. economy. Instead of encouraging employer-provided health insurance, I would say that we should outlaw it. Instead of outlawing bare-bones catastrophic health insurance for individuals and households, I say we should encourage it.