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French government considers state of emergency over ‘gilets jaunes’ protests Options
Bedells
Posted: Sunday, December 2, 2018 9:00:47 PM

Rank: Advanced Member

Joined: 10/14/2015
Posts: 3,107
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I found this very interesting and wanted to share it with you:

"France is deeply fractured. "Gilets jaunes" (Yellow Jacket/Vest movement) are just a symptom.

POURQUOI ? The paradox is this is not a result of the failure of the globalised economic model but of its success. In recent decades, the French economy, like the European and US economies, has continued to create wealth. They are thus, on average, richer. The problem is at the same time unemployment, insecurity and poverty have also increased. The central question, therefore, is not whether a globalised economy is efficient, but what to do with this model when it fails to create and nurture a coherent society?

In France, as in all western countries, we have gone in a few decades from a system that economically, politically and culturally integrates the majority into an unequal society that, by creating ever more wealth, benefits only the already wealthy.

The change is not down to a conspiracy, a wish to cast aside the poor, but to a model where employment is increasingly polarised. This comes with a new social geography: employment and wealth have become more and more concentrated in the big cities. The deindustrialised regions, rural areas, small and medium-size towns are less and less dynamic. But it is in these places – in “peripheral France” (one could also talk of peripheral America or peripheral Britain) – that many working-class people live. Thus, for the first time, “workers” no longer live in areas where employment is created, giving rise to a social and cultural shock.
'Workers' no longer live in areas where employment is created, giving rise to a social and cultural shock

It is in this France "périphérique" that the gilets jaunes movement was born. It is also in these peripheral regions that the western populist wave has its source. Peripheral America brought Trump to the White House. This protest is carried out by the classes who, in days gone by, were once the key reference point for a political and intellectual world that has forgotten them."

Gilet Jaunes
Romany
Posted: Monday, December 3, 2018 6:10:28 AM
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You're right: it is interesting. Disturbing - in the current global context - but interesting.
Drag0nspeaker
Posted: Monday, December 3, 2018 12:06:41 PM

Rank: Advanced Member

Joined: 9/12/2011
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Location: Livingston, Scotland, United Kingdom
I agree basically.

Globalisation and the attempt to produce one world government (or maybe three or four Super-nations) doesn't work - except to make the already-rich richer.

Britain (and I think France - though I wasn't really looking at the time) were doing WELL in the early 1970s. There was a 'free-trade-area' of the main sixteen countries of Europe (EEC - European Economic Community) and a further, connected free-trade area (Scandinavia and some other neighbouring countries, EFTA, the European Free-Trade Association).
Travel back and forth was very easy (not totally unlimited as if we were all one country, but very easy).
The balance of trade was increasing, gross national product increasing, unemployment at about 750,000 and steady. There were ups & downs but the trends were OK.
Then the UK population were tricked into joining the United States of Europe with a Federal government in Brussels (the referendum question was worded so that it seemed we voted to stay in the free-trade association, not voted to be taken over politically).

Since then, things have trended down, prices up, inflation up, unemployment soared, companies moved to other countries.
The rich 1% to 10% get richer, not in ratio to any production, but in ratio to the amount of money they inherit.
The number of people technically living "in poverty" in the UK is ridiculous for a country producing £42,000 per person (from babies to pensioners) per year.


Wyrd bið ful aræd - bull!
FounDit
Posted: Monday, December 3, 2018 3:51:15 PM

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Joined: 9/19/2011
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Neurons: 51,912
There hasn’t been much reporting here in the U.S. on what is happening in France, which seems odd. Generally, whenever anyone takes to the streets to demonstrate and destroy property, or fight with the police, the media are all over it.

So I was curious as to why that is the situation. I read the remarks that have been posted but no one has mentioned what caused all this to begin with. So I went to the link provided in the OP: Gilets Jaunes.

It failed also to provide any explanation until the very end where I read that President Macron “…promised three months of national talks on how to transform France into a low-carbon economy without penalising people on low incomes who had to drive to work.”

Apparently, he decided not to wait the three months, but installed exorbitant (in the minds of citizens) taxes on fossil fuels. Was this done to meet some target level of the Paris Climate Accord?

The rioting seems an odd reaction to increased fuel costs, especially since the political Left tells us incessantly that everyone wants to save the planet and we should all be willing to pay more for fuel to do so. But saving the planet is a feel-good-aren't-I-noble sermon when preached from the warmth of a mansion or private jet, but is a slap in the face to someone shivering in the cold of winter, or unable to go to work and make any money. I hope for the people's sake that France doesn’t have a very cold winter, or that Macron develops some common sense before then.

Trump displayed his common sense when he withdrew from it.





We should look to the past to learn from it, not destroy our future because of it — FounDit
Hope123
Posted: Monday, December 3, 2018 7:59:29 PM

Rank: Advanced Member

Joined: 3/23/2015
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Location: Burlington, Ontario, Canada
Perhaps Macron should have (or has?) done more than hike fossil fuel prices.

Cap and trade has been described as the policy that works the best. It was working in Ontario that was cooperating with Quebec and California. Investors came, there were several projects on the go, 12 major ones I think, emissions were down, coal fired plants were closed, the air is clean again.

Then because electricity cost more (like the gas issue in France) the people went against the Liberals and the Conservative govt got in under Doug Ford. At least they used their vote - no protests or violence. Ford in six months has done everything in his power to undo all that the Liberals achieved in 12 years (remind you of anyone?). He cancelled cap and trade, is losing the acquisition of an electricity plant in the States, cancelled 12 half-finished green energy projects and passed a law that those with the signed contracts cannot sue. It is costing billions because he lost $1.9B revenue from the cap and trade by doing so, plus any costs with pulling out. Also, investors are leaving, including GM that is going green, with a loss of 2500 Oshawa jobs. Who is going to do business where a signed contract is not honoured? Especially if you are a company that sees the future and is moving to green initiatives in a non green government location.

Now he is suing the federal government at a cost of $30M to get out of the second best method which is a pollution tax on companies that pollute for profit and don't clean up their own messes - as we learned to do in kindergarten. If a province does not have a climate policy in place, it must follow the federal rules.

Of course these companies will raise their prices. To cover the public, the money collected from the polluters will go directly in cheques to the people because Trudeau has promised to give it directly to the people rather than trust it will make it into their hands if he gives it to a provincial govt.

Ford has instead adopted a failed Australia reverse cap and trade policy where taxpayer money will be paid to encourage the polluters to stop polluting. Welfare for his corporate buddies but don't get me started on that. And it is so weak that it will achieve nothing.

However, as the article from 2015 on the following link discusses, there ARE ways that effective mitigation policies can be adopted without hurting those living from paycheque to paycheque. I know what that is like, but violence on the streets is never condoned.


https://www.cbpp.org/research/policy-basics-climate-change-legislation-and-low-income-consumers

The Center on Budget and Policy Priorities is a nonprofit, nonpartisan research organization and policy institute that conducts research and analysis on a range of government policies and programs. It is supported primarily by foundation grants. Located in Washington, D.C.




The past is to be respected/acknowledged, not worshipped. It is in our future we will find our greatness. Pierre Trudeau
Hope123
Posted: Tuesday, December 4, 2018 11:26:42 AM

Rank: Advanced Member

Joined: 3/23/2015
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Location: Burlington, Ontario, Canada
From BBC News this morning, it appears it was not just the fuel tax and other climate change measures. It says Macron is going to look into some ways to help the struggling with the inflation costs. An example could be as I mentioned Canada is doing in January with cheque rebates.

It was also that the French are angry that the new tax plans are not helping the poor as much as the wealthy and middle class. I'm actually surprised we didn't hear about riots in the US when their tax plans were revealed.

https://www.bbc.com/news/world-europe-46437904

The past is to be respected/acknowledged, not worshipped. It is in our future we will find our greatness. Pierre Trudeau
C185445
Posted: Tuesday, December 11, 2018 4:58:18 AM

Rank: Newbie

Joined: 9/22/2017
Posts: 19
Neurons: 171,729
Location: Camarma de Esteruelas, Madrid, Spain
Drag0nspeaker wrote:
I agree basically.

Globalisation and the attempt to produce one world government (or maybe three or four Super-nations) doesn't work - except to make the already-rich richer.

Britain (and I think France - though I wasn't really looking at the time) were doing WELL in the early 1970s. There was a 'free-trade-area' of the main sixteen countries of Europe (EEC - European Economic Community) and a further, connected free-trade area (Scandinavia and some other neighbouring countries, EFTA, the European Free-Trade Association).
Travel back and forth was very easy (not totally unlimited as if we were all one country, but very easy).
The balance of trade was increasing, gross national product increasing, unemployment at about 750,000 and steady. There were ups & downs but the trends were OK.
Then the UK population were tricked into joining the United States of Europe with a Federal government in Brussels (the referendum question was worded so that it seemed we voted to stay in the free-trade association, not voted to be taken over politically).

Since then, things have trended down, prices up, inflation up, unemployment soared, companies moved to other countries.
The rich 1% to 10% get richer, not in ratio to any production, but in ratio to the amount of money they inherit.
The number of people technically living "in poverty" in the UK is ridiculous for a country producing £42,000 per person (from babies to pensioners) per year.


I agree partially that in some ways we're worse now than in the past. Globalization and capitalism have clearly incoveniences. My parents bought a flat with the salary of three years and a bit of savings. Now this is very unusual.

But I think this argument is usually used in a distorted way. I partially blame politicians about this for polarizing the population to influence the electorate.

For instance, the level of employment in the UK is at record high NOW with 75.6% of the population employed:
https://www.gov.uk/government/news/employment-rate-remains-at-record-high

You said the balance of trade in the UK was increasing in the 1970's. Ok, but in the last 10 years it has been improving actually too:
https://tradingeconomics.com/united-kingdom/balance-of-trade

If it got "worse" at some point is because the UK decided to go for the financial sector and focused more on exporting services (usually not reflected on balances of trade) while its population with higher purchasing power is buying more and thus having an effect on the balance of trade. But again, it's true also that the UK has never seen as many British working as now, and the degree of employment I mentioned early is a solid proof of that.

Also, I wouldn't blame too much globalization or the "United States of Europe" for the things individual nations did to theirselves.

The UK went on Quantitative Easing a lot earlier than the European Central Bank. The UK mishandled its industrial belt on its own. The property bubble in London responds mostly to decisions carried out by the British. French are demanding changes about things that were wrongly decided by French politicians. Italy has been stagnant long before it joined the Euro. Spain used to solve everything by devaulating its own currency which didn't solve anything long term. There are simply a lot of examples about this.

However I understand politicians of certain spheres cannot use complicated arguments and instead opt for grandsanding arguments to influence their electorate, such as blaming the EU, China or videogames for everything.
FounDit
Posted: Tuesday, December 11, 2018 12:03:58 PM

Rank: Advanced Member

Joined: 9/19/2011
Posts: 9,886
Neurons: 51,912
The idea of a "United States of Europe" seems very questionable to me. For too many millennia Europe has had distinctive cultures and it doesn't seem reasonable to think that that many disparate cultures could be joined together into a common culture, which is what the goal seems to be.

That, I think, is the main difference between the United States of America and the idea of a United States of Europe. This country was created around the idea of a central culture, but Europe has never been that. So unless everyone in each country is willing to give up a great deal of what makes them the nation they are, their "Nationalist tendencies", it seems doomed to failure. What do you who live there think about it?


We should look to the past to learn from it, not destroy our future because of it — FounDit
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