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France's Problem With Capitalism - BBC Article  
User currently offlineConcorde001 From United Kingdom, joined Jan 2005, 1230 posts, RR: 3
Posted (8 years 5 months 2 weeks 15 hours ago) and read 2091 times:

I just read this interesting article on BBC Online, written by the BBC's French correspondent Caroline Wyatt. Please this thread is not aimed at bashing the French, I just wanted to know whether our fellow French a.netters, or those who have lived in France or studied the French economy share the same view as expressed in the article:

France's Problem with Capitalism

Some quotes from the article:

Quote:
A new French law aimed at helping young people find work sparked riots across the country. Many French citizens see it as a sign that the centre-right government is trying to impose a British or American-style capitalist system on a thoroughly disgruntled nation. Caroline Wyatt has the feeling that the gulf between Britain and France has never been greater.

When I first arrived in Paris after three years in Moscow, a Russian friend joked that France was the only truly successful communist country in the world.

At the time, I put that down to Russian humour.

How could a nation that gave the world joys such as champagne, or more than 200 different types of cheese, possibly be communist?

These days, though, I'm not so sure my Russian friend was joking.

Perhaps he had had a sneak preview of a recent survey, in which various countries were asked how they rated capitalism. Three quarters of the Chinese said it was the best economic system for the future. But in France only a third of people agreed.



Quote:
French companies buy up foreign firms with gusto but woe betide the foreigner who tries a takeover in France

So what do we think? Is Caroline Wyatt correct when she she says "for all its talk of equality, fraternity and liberty, France in this troubled springtime feels like a society at war with itself, suffering a deep and growing divide between its citizens."?

[Edited 2006-04-09 14:09:06]

55 replies: All unread, showing first 25:
 
User currently offlineKlaus From Germany, joined Jul 2001, 21462 posts, RR: 53
Reply 1, posted (8 years 5 months 2 weeks 14 hours ago) and read 2081 times:

It looked to me as if the french population was more offended by the way in which Villepain attempted to push through the new (de)regulation than by the actual content of the law (with Sarkozy carefully fanning the flames). It's probably not a good idea to draw wide-ranging conclusions from the events...

User currently offlineAither From South Korea, joined Oct 2004, 858 posts, RR: 0
Reply 2, posted (8 years 5 months 2 weeks 14 hours ago) and read 2078 times:

The first thing is not to be misleaded by the reports : though there are a lot of communists-like in France they are not the majority (and by far), they just make a lot of noise.

The majority of the French are actually more right wing oriented and quite liberal, believing in free entrepreneurship etc. (if we were not we would be already much different country).

The problem with "capitalism" in France is that it is assiociated with many bad words. But it you ask a french about what way of life he's looking at, then you realise he's capitalist, even if he would deny.

[Edited 2006-04-09 14:29:18]


Never trust the obvious
User currently offlineTheSonntag From Germany, joined Jun 2005, 3593 posts, RR: 29
Reply 3, posted (8 years 5 months 2 weeks 14 hours ago) and read 2067 times:

While this discussion is about France, the protests are about an issue which is of growing concern also in Germany, the UK and other countries, the exploiting of young academics in internships.

In Germany, it is getting more and more common that highly qualified students have to do all possible secretary jobs in an internship, getting little to no money, with the possibility of a secure job. If you protest against this exploiting, you lose your chances to get a job.

The new french law would make this even easier. People would be left in uncertainty for two years, always getting promised a safe job, and after 23 months they are sacked, and the same thing is tried again.

Of course, one could argue that no employer would fire people that are really useful, so this law could also help employing young students.

The truth might be somewhere inbetween, but I understand the protests. Due to problems with demographic development of many European societies, we are getting older, so the social problems are increasingly transferred on the young generation: We must pay more, must work longer, get less money and have much more uncertain jobs than the older generations. This is a problem which will cause a lot of problems in the next decades everywhere in Europe.


User currently offlineLTBEWR From United States of America, joined Jan 2004, 13115 posts, RR: 12
Reply 4, posted (8 years 5 months 2 weeks 13 hours ago) and read 2053 times:

Maybe France is Communist: consider their anti-religious policies of the country for over 150 years and even today (i.e. the ban on Muslim girls wearing headcovering in public schools). It is also a country that is very centralized in it's governance of people, perhaps too much so. The government still has huge ownership stakes in much of industry and business, losing many billions a year to make sure of employment rather than join the rest of the world in true capitalism. They have few ways out of this dilemma due to political pressures.

User currently offlineTheSonntag From Germany, joined Jun 2005, 3593 posts, RR: 29
Reply 5, posted (8 years 5 months 2 weeks 12 hours ago) and read 2034 times:

So a country which is known worldwide for its Code civil, its International Chamber of Commerce, its leading rule in their view towards arbitration in commercial contracts is communist?

Sorry, thats just rediculous.


User currently offlineMrniji From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 6, posted (8 years 5 months 2 weeks 12 hours ago) and read 2029 times:

Quoting LTBEWR (Reply 4):
rather than join the rest of the world in true capitalism

?????  Confused

The rest of the world is true capitalist? The borders of the US might be the borders of YOUR world.. but the world is a little more complex as you claim here..  Wink


User currently offlineToulouse From Switzerland, joined Apr 2005, 2758 posts, RR: 57
Reply 7, posted (8 years 5 months 2 weeks 12 hours ago) and read 2029 times:

Quoting LTBEWR (Reply 4):
consider their anti-religious policies of the country for over 150 years and even today (i.e. the ban on Muslim girls wearing headcovering in public schools).

Ahhh how many times does this need to be clarified!!! The ban was on wearing any ostentations religious symbols in public schools... this inlcuded the christian cross and any other religious symbol!

Quoting LTBEWR (Reply 4):
The government still has huge ownership stakes in much of industry and business, losing many billions a year to make sure of employment rather than join the rest of the world in true capitalism.

That I agree with you on.

Quoting LTBEWR (Reply 4):
They have few ways out of this dilemma due to political pressures.

Political pressure is one thing, but what's clear is that the vast majority of French people are just as aware of these problems as you and me, and they are getting fed up. I really feel major, and hopefully positive, changes will iccur here in France in the coming years.

Quoting TheSonntag (Reply 5):
So a country which is known worldwide for its Code civil, its International Chamber of Commerce, its leading rule in their view towards arbitration in commercial contracts is communist?

Sorry, thats just rediculous.

I agree, it is ridiculous TheSonntag.



Long live Aer Lingus!
User currently offlineMaverickM11 From United States of America, joined Apr 2000, 17504 posts, RR: 45
Reply 8, posted (8 years 5 months 2 weeks 10 hours ago) and read 1988 times:

Quoting TheSonntag (Reply 5):
So a country which is known worldwide for its Code civil, its International Chamber of Commerce, its leading rule in their view towards arbitration in commercial contracts

...its weekly work stoppages...its populace that demands that their government provide them with a living...its penchant for over regulation...



E pur si muove -Galileo
User currently offlineTheSonntag From Germany, joined Jun 2005, 3593 posts, RR: 29
Reply 9, posted (8 years 5 months 2 weeks 8 hours ago) and read 1948 times:

Quoting MaverickM11 (Reply 8):
...its weekly work stoppages...its populace that demands that their government provide them with a living...its penchant for over regulation...

Well, there are no strikes in communist countries, because people go to jail, are shot or forced to work in communist countries when they go on strike. So I fail to see a connection between French and communist.

I must admit, though, that the French are famous for militant protesting... The protest culture and demonstration culture in France is really cool  Wink


User currently offlineBanco From United Kingdom, joined Oct 2001, 14752 posts, RR: 53
Reply 10, posted (8 years 5 months 2 weeks 7 hours ago) and read 1930 times:

Quoting TheSonntag (Reply 3):
While this discussion is about France, the protests are about an issue which is of growing concern also in Germany, the UK and other countries

Er. Not really. Not in the UK. Not least because we have extremely low unemployment, so the prospect of the young getting a job isn't really much of an issue in the great scheme of things.



She's as nervous as a very small nun at a penguin shoot.
User currently offlineFlyLondon From United Kingdom, joined Feb 2004, 377 posts, RR: 0
Reply 11, posted (8 years 5 months 2 weeks 7 hours ago) and read 1916 times:

Quoting Banco (Reply 10):
Er. Not really. Not in the UK. Not least because we have extremely low unemployment, so the prospect of the young getting a job isn't really much of an issue in the great scheme of things.

Exactly. Every other week there is a news story about companies not being able to recruit enough new people because the EMployment rate is so high. Speaking from my own experience, I got 13 job offers after graduating from University.

As far as "exploiting" young people in internships, that simply doesn't happen here, mainly because we don't construct artificial barriers to sacking workers. If you can't do your job, you're out. That way companies aren't afraid job creation.


User currently offlineToulouse From Switzerland, joined Apr 2005, 2758 posts, RR: 57
Reply 12, posted (8 years 5 months 2 weeks 5 hours ago) and read 1891 times:

Quoting FlyLondon (Reply 11):
If you can't do your job, you're out. That way companies aren't afraid job creation.

That is exactly what needs to be adopted over here in France (and other countries, such as Spain which is similar). And I think the CPE the current government is trying to introduce is a step in the right direction.



Long live Aer Lingus!
User currently offlineAither From South Korea, joined Oct 2004, 858 posts, RR: 0
Reply 13, posted (8 years 5 months 2 weeks 2 hours ago) and read 1860 times:

Quoting LTBEWR (Reply 4):
Maybe France is Communist: consider their anti-religious policies of the country for over 150 years and even today (i.e. the ban on Muslim girls wearing headcovering in public schools). It is also a country that is very centralized in it's governance of people, perhaps too much so. The government still has huge ownership stakes in much of industry and business, losing many billions a year to make sure of employment rather than join the rest of the world in true capitalism. They have few ways out of this dilemma due to political pressures.

Wow, maybe you should consider to turn Fox News off sometimes.



Never trust the obvious
User currently offlineMolykote From United States of America, joined Aug 2005, 1340 posts, RR: 29
Reply 14, posted (8 years 5 months 1 week 6 days 21 hours ago) and read 1834 times:
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Quoting TheSonntag (Reply 3):
In Germany, it is getting more and more common that highly qualified students have to do all possible secretary jobs in an internship, getting little to no money, with the possibility of a secure job. If you protest against this exploiting, you lose your chances to get a job.

Is this truly perceived as a negative or surprising revelation? Does internship have a slightly different meaning in EU? (I am serious and not being sarcastic).

I worked for during the summers of my college years as an engineering intern in the nuclear power industry. After graduating I am now employed as an engineer at one of the US major airlines. The money during my internship was nice (enough to let me have some fun while in school and buy books without taking out loans). However, the number one benefit of an internship is the real world work experience. Even if one doesn't accept employment at the place he interned, the experience gained is relevant to a number of professional jobs in his field and leaves a positive impression on a resume.

An internship should be viewed as an investment in one's future - an additional dimension of one's education. This is generally the attitude held in the US.



Speedtape - The asprin of aviation!
User currently offlineUTA_flyinghigh From Tunisia, joined Oct 2001, 6495 posts, RR: 50
Reply 15, posted (8 years 5 months 1 week 6 days 19 hours ago) and read 1821 times:

See what I wrote in this thread :
http://www.airliners.net/discussions/non_aviation/read.main/1165423
Maybe she reads the a.net forums  Silly

UTA  checkeredflag 



Fly to live, live to fly - Air France/KLM Flying Blue Platinum, BMI Diamond Club Gold, Emirates Skywards
User currently offlineTheSonntag From Germany, joined Jun 2005, 3593 posts, RR: 29
Reply 16, posted (8 years 5 months 1 week 6 days 18 hours ago) and read 1810 times:

Quoting Molykote (Reply 14):
Is this truly perceived as a negative or surprising revelation? Does internship have a slightly different meaning in EU? (I am serious and not being sarcastic).

Well, I don't know the meaning in the USA, but in Germany it usually goes like this:

You are young, want to gather experience and thus look for an internship. There is an increasing number of internship offered by big companies, limited to 3 to 6 months... You think, great, lets do it. So you go there, cook coffee, copy, or are actually even responsible for full scale planning or doing really interesting jobs, just for 0EUR, or max. 400EUR a month, for 160 hours a month working time. You see, this isn't really a good wage.

Nothing wrong with that if it is a short term internship. But this tendency is getting more and more common that young academics are not offered real jobs anymore. Instead, they treat you in a way that they tell you, do an internship here for one year, maybe we can find a job for you after that... All this is done to 25 year old people who have just finished their university degree, so they should in theory get at least 1500-2000EUR starting wage.

The problem is, this is really getting out of hand. I did internships myself, and enjoyed this a lot. But when internships are introduced to cut real secretary jobs, something is wrong.


User currently offlineMrniji From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 17, posted (8 years 5 months 1 week 6 days 18 hours ago) and read 1808 times:

Quoting TheSonntag (Reply 16):
Nothing wrong with that if it is a short term internship. But this tendency is getting more and more common that young academics are not offered real jobs anymore. Instead, they treat you in a way that they tell you, do an internship here for one year, maybe we can find a job for you after that...



Quoting TheSonntag (Reply 16):
The problem is, this is really getting out of hand. I did internships myself, and enjoyed this a lot. But when internships are introduced to cut real secretary jobs, something is wrong.

I second this opinions. Many employers nowadays use interns as cheap temporary labor for a period of time, throw them out, get other interns ("Generation Praktikum"). Nowadays, you have to work for free to augment your CV.. sad state.. luckily, I am out of this now but have the same experience Michael has


User currently offlineBanco From United Kingdom, joined Oct 2001, 14752 posts, RR: 53
Reply 18, posted (8 years 5 months 1 week 6 days 18 hours ago) and read 1806 times:

Quoting TheSonntag (Reply 16):
but in Germany it usually goes like this:

Now you've explained it in detail I'm even more sure of my original response vis a vis the UK. This kind of thing is virtually unheard of here.



She's as nervous as a very small nun at a penguin shoot.
User currently offlineTheSonntag From Germany, joined Jun 2005, 3593 posts, RR: 29
Reply 19, posted (8 years 5 months 1 week 6 days 18 hours ago) and read 1801 times:

Quoting Banco (Reply 18):
Now you've explained it in detail I'm even more sure of my original response vis a vis the UK. This kind of thing is virtually unheard of here.

Thanks for the correction then, although I once had read an article where one guy from the UK was complaining about the same... I'll try to check the source  Wink

Anyway, you are certainly correct that students in the UK start much earlier to work... This is an issue for itself, but I do not really believe that's so great. I prefer the traditional way in Germany that we have more university years, because we start working early enough  Wink


User currently offlineBanco From United Kingdom, joined Oct 2001, 14752 posts, RR: 53
Reply 20, posted (8 years 5 months 1 week 6 days 18 hours ago) and read 1794 times:

Quoting TheSonntag (Reply 19):
although I once had read an article where one guy from the UK was complaining about the same.

It's possible. Though I would imagine most people's response would be why don't you go and get a job then. There are plenty to go around, and that's why I don't think an unpaid longish-term work-experience system would work. Most of the young would just say "sod off" and go and get something paid.



She's as nervous as a very small nun at a penguin shoot.
User currently offlineFumanchewd From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 21, posted (8 years 5 months 1 week 6 days 18 hours ago) and read 1793 times:

How ridiculous. If you aren't good at your job, you should be fired. The French need to get off their communist ways for once. But this system which educated Ho Chi Minh and Pol Pot will not change their ways. Instead of defaulting civil policies to the radical, they should try pragmatism for once.

User currently offlineToulouse From Switzerland, joined Apr 2005, 2758 posts, RR: 57
Reply 22, posted (8 years 5 months 1 week 6 days 13 hours ago) and read 1766 times:

Quoting Fumanchewd (Reply 21):
The French need to get off their communist ways for once.

Jesus, while I totally agree, when will you US a.netters ever stop saying France is communist, as it just demonstrates your absoloute ignoranc regarding France. You do realise we have a righ-wing (conservative) president and government. I do admit it's a sort of socialist conservatism, and things need to change.

Regarding Banco's comments, I do agree that the work ethics seen in the UK (and Ireland to a great extent) are exactly what needs to be drummed into people's heads over here.



Long live Aer Lingus!
User currently offlineMaverickM11 From United States of America, joined Apr 2000, 17504 posts, RR: 45
Reply 23, posted (8 years 5 months 1 week 6 days 12 hours ago) and read 1757 times:

Quoting TheSonntag (Reply 9):
So I fail to see a connection between French and communist.

I'm not saying it is communist at all, just so socialist that it paralyzes itself.



E pur si muove -Galileo
User currently offlineLH477 From Canada, joined Jan 2004, 584 posts, RR: 5
Reply 24, posted (8 years 5 months 1 week 6 days 7 hours ago) and read 1733 times:

Quoting MaverickM11 (Reply 23):
I'm not saying it is communist at all, just so socialist that it paralyzes itself.

France is no more socialist then Canada, UK, Germany. The problem as I see it is one of bloated buroceracy and rigidty and inflexibity of the government and a good chunk of the population. Many in Western Europe spend far too much time rejoicing about the past and their glory, and not looking at a future that looks bleak. I don't have a problem with a social safety net, a minimum level is necessary, and so is Health Care, but Western Europeans seem to have become complecant with the state providing so much.



Come on you gunners......!!!!!
25 Post contains images Klaus : You've not actually been to Europe so far, have you?
26 LH477 : I was actually in England last week, have been to Europe quiet a few times.
27 Klaus : Doesn't look like it.
28 Post contains images Mrniji : klaus: don't you think that you act a little pompous to people who do not share your opinion? Since I, as a "son-of-the-soil" of Continental Europe,
29 LH477 : And you sound like an ignorant, arrogant Eurpoean who doesn't realize that the world is passing them by at the speed of light. But since I don't know
30 Klaus : In an ironical response to a claim that's clearly 180 degrees away from what's actually going on? I don't think so. I don't see any "rejoicing about
31 Post contains images Klaus : More surreal prejudice... getting "better" every time...! I beg your pardon? Ah, I see. I was clearly referring to your remarks: "it does not look li
32 DL021 : France is not communist, but it does want something that is impossible. All the benefits of capitalism without the risks. They want some utopian ideal
33 Post contains images Klaus : Things are rarely that simple; Sure unemployed people would love to have a secure job - but marching in the streets requires a different incentive. T
34 Toulouse : Oh come on LH477 why did you have to enter the "European" bit there? Could you not just replace that with "person" as it makes you sound as though yo
35 DL021 : Merci...it's from experience and it's not denying that it happens elsewhere. France seems to be a little more hypocritical about it, IMHO. Well, of c
36 JGPH1A : Seems to me the problem is one of the French government / ruling elite's own making. For half a century the French political class has been creating t
37 Banco : Is that not in itself a matter for some concern? Interesting post, by the way.
38 Post contains images Klaus : It's a very widespread combination of concerns, and I guess it's more a consequence of certain global developments (post-war reconstruction being com
39 JGPH1A : Yes it is, quite frankly. Fortunately so far the inherent French dislike of radical single-notion protest politics (e.g. LePen) has prevented for the
40 Banco : Hmm. I've not heard you sound so, I don't know, almost "depressed" about the matter before. Usually you're quite critical about macro-economics and p
41 Post contains images Mrniji : I am still waiting till the Bastille is stormed again
42 DL021 : So why bring up things happening elsewhere without some causal/consequential relationship? Triggers are only effective with a user that is intent on
43 Banco : Mmm. Well, yes and no. Necessary it may be, but it'll be absolutely awful to live through.
44 DL021 : I guess it depends on what perspective you hold. I'll say that the French people will be better off for it, but at the same time there's a huge cultu
45 MaverickM11 : The longer you wait, the worse it'll get. Just ask any of the US airline employees, the US government re: immigration/welfare reform/really anything,
46 JGPH1A : I'm not depressed about it, but it does seem an intractable problem. I love the French idea of egalitarianism, that is a real and tangible aspect of
47 Mrniji : But a person who make blanket statements towards migrants being "vermins" should not have a single cheer...
48 Banco : Or perhaps even the people who actually lived through the Thatcher years - i.e. us - who might actually know what it was like. Necessary, undoubtedly
49 JGPH1A : No three cheers from me, I'm afraid - Thatcher screwed up social cohesion in the UK what with the miners etc, and did permanent damage to the NHS etc
50 Banco : Yes, that's my fear too. I wonder if any government, of whatever hue, could ever survive such a thing. Don't forget that in Britain the Heath governm
51 DL021 : When did Sarkozy call all migrants vermin?
52 Mrniji : Do you remember the Paris Riots (in the social conflict areas with a over-proportionate migrant population)? His comments were parts of the reasons t
53 TheSonntag : I know people who contributed a lot the fleet planning for LCCs like Germanwings without getting more than 400EUR a month. Internships for students a
54 Mrniji : And it is never guaranteed you get a job in the end...
55 DL021 : ok...first I will make fun of this statement "(in the social conflict areas with a over-proportionate migrant population)".....instead of saying the
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