What's going on in France?

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What's going on in France?

Post by Zagadka on Thu Dec 06, 2018 10:03 pm

Only 18 months ago Macron was deemed as the saviour of "international global order" and the sort of leader EU countries need to combat rise of populists like Salvini, Kaczinsku, Orban etc ... whatever that "international global order" means and he was revered by everyone in the media in North America and also Atlanticists think-tanks.

Now, 1.5 years into his presidency ... his approval ratings are in their low 20s, and the Yellow Vest protests are ongoing with more planned for Saturday. Looks to be serious that he caved on his fuel tax increases.

We have lots of French people here, I'd love to get more input of how the general French mood is re: Macron. It seems that he's in a hard spot of being hated by both Leftists and Rightists and his neo-liberal economic policies aren't popular by the public.

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Re: What's going on in France?

Post by sportsczy on Thu Dec 06, 2018 10:40 pm

I hate to say it...  but this is normal behavior in France.  I'm in Cannes right now.

The issue is that you've had decades of policy that subsidized people's lives and lowered productivity.

Now the country is quasi-broke and tapped out in terms of its ability to borrow money.  So the government either needs to raise more taxes to pay for these programs or lessen the subsidies.

That's what the strike is about.  People are protesting the fact that Macron wants to raise taxes and decrease subsidies in order to balance the books and make the country more competitive (high unemployment; low growth).

French are known for this nonsense.

The country is going down the toilet.

Doesn't help that the French hate rich and successful people so there's resentment towards Macron for his banking days.

Macron is a disappointment to me regardless of the other nonsense. Hasn't handled the situation well at all. His approval rating is 20% or something like that.

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Re: What's going on in France?

Post by Unique on Fri Dec 07, 2018 12:34 am

Got to take my hat off to the French people. They don’t take any shit from the government wish we were like that in this country our government fucks people over all the time and we bend over and take it. Maybe if parts of Westminster was on fire things would get done.

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Re: What's going on in France?

Post by McLewis on Fri Dec 07, 2018 3:38 am

It's their revolutionary heritage, I like to think. Perhaps that's a romantic notion, but I think it's mired in a lot of reality. Sports' rundown of the situation is probably the most I've read about this situation, but this surely means Macron is done in the next election. Hard for anyone to comeback from approval ratings that low, no matter what country they lead.

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Re: What's going on in France?

Post by Doc on Fri Dec 07, 2018 4:39 am

Not only is Macron's administration taxing those that don't have, they are giving those that have basically tax breaks (or something along those lines). Unless you're a dictatorship, this rarely works and people are just gonna revolt in some way. Since it's France, well, they are gonna protest and fight. Good on them.

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Re: What's going on in France?

Post by sportsczy on Fri Dec 07, 2018 4:54 pm

@Doc wrote:Not only is Macron's administration taxing those that don't have, they are giving those that have basically tax breaks (or something along those lines). Unless you're a dictatorship, this rarely works and people are just gonna revolt in some way. Since it's France, well, they are gonna protest and fight. Good on them.

Doc... the issue is that the tax base in France has shrunk enormously because the "tax the rich and corporations" policy of the past 5 years literally caused enterprises and successful people to flee the country. Tax revenue hasn't increased, the economic growth rate is 1% and the unemployment rate of 9.5% may seem ok... but 1 out of every 4 young person (under the age of 24) is unemployed. That's 2x the rate of the UK and Germany, as an example. This generation isn't being counted on to produce yet.. but they will be and they won't. It's a timebomb.

Macron or whoever HAS TO make the country competitive fiscally or the economy will never recover and it's doomed.  You have to give incentive for companies to hire new and young employees.

The current fiscal structure is too extreme and will not work.

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Re: What's going on in France?

Post by Doc on Sat Dec 08, 2018 12:48 am

So, not to simplify things, France is literally in a damned if you do, damned if you don't situation?!

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Re: What's going on in France?

Post by sportsczy on Sat Dec 08, 2018 10:12 am

@Doc wrote:So, not to simplify things, France is literally in a damned if you do, damned if you don't situation?!

Damned if you do for politicians because people here are mostly lazy, entitled and unwilling to compete in a global economy.  Long term, the country is screwed if policies and attitudes don't change.

Here's another stupidity...  retirement age here is 60 years old (lol).  They're trying to make it 62 and everyone is up in arms.  The rest of the world is between 65 and 70. So the government has to play people's pensions sooner and for much longer. Add to that the 35 hour work week and 6 weeks of annual vacations. It's crazy.

A politician can't win an election by making necessary changes.  But if the necessary changes aren't made, the country is headed towards becoming another Greece.

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Re: What's going on in France?

Post by sportsczy Yesterday at 8:31 am

To be specific, what triggered this strike was the increase in taxes on fossil fuels.  Macron signed the Paris accords and is committed to curbing France's  dependence on oil.  His logic was that an increase in price would force people and enterprises to explore alternative energy.  Problem is that, during that transition, the tax would hurt people's wallets. Tax was going to go in effect on Jan 1 , 2019.

In this case, I thought he was a bit naive and heavy handed.  Good intentions but bad policy.

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Re: What's going on in France?

Post by VivaStPauli Yesterday at 1:48 pm

I understand half of the anger, because I don't believe in the neo-liberal twin-focus on lowering taxes on corporations and the rich while lowering spending and subsidies, hoping that this will somehow stimulate the economy enough to have wealth "trickle down", which is not a thing that happens.

But on the other hand you've got the same problem in France now as you had in late '90s California, where people will vote for every handout they can get, yet vote against any tax increase that might pay for it. Only that in California they had referendums on it, and in France they just burn your neighbors car.

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Re: What's going on in France?

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