France Strikes
January 20, 2023 8:26 AM   Subscribe

 
A better world is possible and it is incumbent upon all of us to fight for it. There are many ways to do this! I've seen this tweet with a picture of the protest which shows a grill with food cooking which is amazing! Feeding and providing water to people who need it, including but not limited to protestors, is beautiful and valuable work! Good for the French for fighting for a better life, whatever that looks like to the people participating.
posted by an octopus IRL at 8:46 AM on January 20 [33 favorites]


Rail mounted strikers BBQ should join Scabby the Rat and Gritty in the rolls of iconic labor dispute figures.
posted by Artw at 9:01 AM on January 20 [16 favorites]


Okay but the follow up tweet of them in motion is sublime.

Nothing but respect for French protestors o7
posted by gc at 9:03 AM on January 20 [13 favorites]


As France Moves to Delay Retirement, Older Workers Are in a Quandary (i.e., French employers are even more ageist than American ones)
posted by praemunire at 9:31 AM on January 20 [8 favorites]


Vive les grévistes!

We do face an ‘end of abundance’ like Macron says. Yet, Macron has mirrored previous administrations by systematically reducing efficient resource usages like public transit, public healthcare, and education, thereby driving inefficient usages like cars and private healthcare.

I know Macron faced trouble with gasoline taxes too, but really gasoline taxes should be the preferred mechanism of paying up.
posted by jeffburdges at 9:46 AM on January 20 [3 favorites]


Why gasoline taxes, jeffburdges?
posted by Selena777 at 12:38 PM on January 20


Ageism is bigger problem in Europe than in the US, but having 62 as the retirement age is not really sustainable.
posted by zeikka at 12:39 PM on January 20 [3 favorites]


Does France have any hyper-wealthy people they should tax more instead, like we do in the US?
posted by aniola at 12:45 PM on January 20 [7 favorites]


having 62 as the retirement age is not really sustainable

Neither is public policy that allows the wealthiest of the wealthy to keep operating as a financial black hole that will eventually suck in all of the productive assets while the rest of us keep on scratching to find ways to pay the ever-rising oligopoly rents being demanded for access to basic necessities, but that's never been an impediment to implementing it.
posted by flabdablet at 12:47 PM on January 20 [45 favorites]


Aniola: according to the hyper wealthy French people, no.

Plus their money isn't *French* money, it's Irish, or American, or Bahamian, or whatever when necessary.
posted by jellywerker at 12:50 PM on January 20 [3 favorites]


Slap national resource rent taxes on all the high-value in-country assets - e.g. commercial real estate - and it doesn't matter exactly who owns them. You want to own more French assets than 99.9% of French people do? This is what that costs. And of course you're welcome to pay those taxes in non-French money if that's what floats your boat.
posted by flabdablet at 12:54 PM on January 20 [9 favorites]


Arnault hides his money in lip gloss.
posted by clavdivs at 1:06 PM on January 20 [2 favorites]


Does France have any hyper-wealthy people they should tax more instead, like we do in the US?

They can start with Bernard Arnault.

I'm not well enough versed in France economics & fiscal policy to really comment on this authoritatively but they seem to have tax brackets more in line with Canada than with the US, but I'm sure enterprises & well off people use all the same tricks to avoid paying their fair share of taxes.

Gotta start reading more French papers to get some real info on this, all the local coverage is coverage of the strike with a generic "it's a about the raising of the retirement age", but it's very light on actual explanation of how it got so they had to rise it.
posted by WaterAndPixels at 2:24 PM on January 20 [4 favorites]


People think I'm crazy when I say that I legitimately do not think retirement will be an option any more when I'm 65. HMMMMMMMMMMMM.
posted by jenfullmoon at 2:31 PM on January 20 [6 favorites]


More power to their arms.
posted by Coaticass at 2:50 PM on January 20 [2 favorites]


The problem with raising the retirement age ANYWHERE is no one hires older people. Older women especially do not get hired. Disabled people also have a harder time getting hired.
Maybe people would be less fussed about retirement age if they knew they’d be able to get and keep a job.
posted by Katjusa Roquette at 9:08 PM on January 20 [13 favorites]


having 62 as the retirement age is not really sustainable

Endemic covid will go a long way towards fixing this. Knocking 5-10 years off peoples lifespans by encouraging the spread of a disease that is increasingly lethal during immune senescence is what the market demands! Get sick for your boss, kill your grands for the economy!
posted by srboisvert at 10:56 PM on January 20 [3 favorites]


"it's a about the raising of the retirement age", but it's very light on actual explanation of how it got so they had to rise it.

That's why there are some many people against it, no one is able to really explain why they have to raise it. Basically if the government was willing to raise taxes on businesses a tiny bit it would not be necessary, but they won't. They won't do anything against businesses because they're "trickle-down economics" fanatics. Macron is France's Thatcher, he's been attacking working people non-stop for the last 5 years, to the benefits of business owners. This is the second time he's trying to reform the retirement system. The first time got cut down by strong union protests, strikes, and ultimately covid. Now he's trying again but 80% of the population is against it. There's inflation, energy prices going through the roof, and he wants to add that on top of it, it's a very bad timing for Macron, but his ideology prevents him from seeing it.
posted by SageLeVoid at 4:08 AM on January 21 [2 favorites]


Why'd he get reelected?
posted by Selena777 at 8:34 AM on January 21


He got reelected because the other candidate was a French nationalist and antisemite.
posted by rednikki at 8:51 AM on January 21 [5 favorites]


Why wasn't Melenchon sufficiently competitive?
posted by Selena777 at 8:58 AM on January 21


Life expectancy in France is ~ 82. Entry to work force happens typically in early twenties, later for highly educated. I don’t think it’s unreasonable to work about half of your life.
posted by zeikka at 9:48 AM on January 21


That would put the retirement age at about 52, right?
posted by Not A Thing at 10:05 AM on January 21 [2 favorites]


Math seems to say different –
Childhood, youth, education: 0 – 22 ("early twenties") = 22 years
Work: 22 – 62 = 40 years
Retirement: 62 – 82 = 20 years
posted by zeikka at 12:17 PM on January 21 [1 favorite]


OK, I guess I misunderstood you, thought you were saying previously that 62 was too young. But indeed if we count the fact of having been born against people, then 62 or 63 is what we would come up with as an even balance.

(I'm not sure I entirely like this way of calculating things -- to me as an American living in the perpetual shadow of the carceral state, it makes a certain intuitive sense that every year in the prison of wage labor would be compensated by a year of "good-time credit"; but I'm not sure that actually makes sense as a way of calculating what is possible or desirable, in France or elsewhere.)
posted by Not A Thing at 2:26 PM on January 21 [1 favorite]


Why wasn't Melenchon sufficiently competitive?

Melenchon needed to unite the left to be able to win. He tried a little but not really, and my theory is that he thought he could make it work on his own.
posted by SageLeVoid at 3:16 PM on January 21 [1 favorite]


That's why there are some many people against it, no one is able to really explain why they have to raise it.

Isn't retirement age when you start receiing your government pension?

In Canada, retirement age is self-selected from within a range. The earlier you start your pension, the less you get per month. The later you hold it off, the more your monthly is.
posted by porpoise at 9:21 PM on January 21


Isn't retirement age when you start receiving your government pension?

Yes, that's the age when you receive full pension. You can opt to retire early but you won't get your full pension. The problem is that the retirement system in France is in a deficit. The french retirement system works by redistribution, meaning the working people get a tax on their salary that's used to finance the pensions of the retirees. That tax is paid by companies or by the workers, depending on how you look at it. Since there's not enough money coming in at the moment, the government is looking for a way to bringing it back into balance. Their solution is to raise the age at which point you'll get a full pension, it was 62 they want to push it to 64.
But that's not the only way to do it, you could raise the tax a little, because the deficit is not that large, to bring it back to balance. But that would mean more money of the private sector going into the redistribution system, and that's what the current french government absolutely hates.

So they'd prefer to have people work longer, create more riches (that's the theory because after the age of 60; 40% of french people are unemployed and unable to get a job, ageism and all that), rather than to bet on basic solidarity between the working people and retirees. It's a very simplified explanation of the problem, but that's gist of it, from my leftist point of view.
posted by SageLeVoid at 5:19 AM on January 23


I'm not sure I entirely like this way of calculating things

I am not claiming that this is the best way, or even a good way of calculating things. However, in general we (as a society) do need to try to calculate things. One of those things that we need to calculate is how to live our longer lives (if we are to live as long as we do). Math is not the only thing needed, but longer lives mean more calories to be earned, more shelter to be had, more entertainment, healthcare, etc. to be consumed. Economy, finance, currencies, etc. are [mathematical] ways of counting, tracking and balancing these needs.
posted by zeikka at 8:26 AM on January 23


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