Concorde001
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France's Problem With Capitalism - BBC Article

Sun Apr 09, 2006 9:05 pm

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]
 
Klaus
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RE: France's Problem With Capitalism - BBC Article

Sun Apr 09, 2006 9:24 pm

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...
 
Aither
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RE: France's Problem With Capitalism - BBC Article

Sun Apr 09, 2006 9:28 pm

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
 
TheSonntag
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RE: France's Problem With Capitalism - BBC Article

Sun Apr 09, 2006 9:36 pm

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.
 
ltbewr
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RE: France's Problem With Capitalism - BBC Article

Sun Apr 09, 2006 10:08 pm

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.
 
TheSonntag
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RE: France's Problem With Capitalism - BBC Article

Sun Apr 09, 2006 11:10 pm

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.
 
mrniji
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RE: France's Problem With Capitalism - BBC Article

Sun Apr 09, 2006 11:15 pm

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
"The earth provides enough resources for everyone's need, but not for some people's greed." (Gandhi)
 
Toulouse
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RE: France's Problem With Capitalism - BBC Article

Sun Apr 09, 2006 11:15 pm

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.
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MaverickM11
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RE: France's Problem With Capitalism - BBC Article

Mon Apr 10, 2006 1:40 am

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
 
TheSonntag
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RE: France's Problem With Capitalism - BBC Article

Mon Apr 10, 2006 4:04 am

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
 
Banco
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RE: France's Problem With Capitalism - BBC Article

Mon Apr 10, 2006 4:41 am

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.
 
flylondon
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RE: France's Problem With Capitalism - BBC Article

Mon Apr 10, 2006 4:57 am

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.
 
Toulouse
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RE: France's Problem With Capitalism - BBC Article

Mon Apr 10, 2006 6:55 am

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.
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Aither
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RE: France's Problem With Capitalism - BBC Article

Mon Apr 10, 2006 9:41 am

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
 
Molykote
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RE: France's Problem With Capitalism - BBC Article

Mon Apr 10, 2006 2:42 pm

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.
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UTA_flyinghigh
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RE: France's Problem With Capitalism - BBC Article

Mon Apr 10, 2006 4:22 pm

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 
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TheSonntag
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RE: France's Problem With Capitalism - BBC Article

Mon Apr 10, 2006 5:40 pm

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.
 
mrniji
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RE: France's Problem With Capitalism - BBC Article

Mon Apr 10, 2006 5:44 pm

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
"The earth provides enough resources for everyone's need, but not for some people's greed." (Gandhi)
 
Banco
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RE: France's Problem With Capitalism - BBC Article

Mon Apr 10, 2006 5:47 pm

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.
 
TheSonntag
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RE: France's Problem With Capitalism - BBC Article

Mon Apr 10, 2006 5:55 pm

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
 
Banco
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RE: France's Problem With Capitalism - BBC Article

Mon Apr 10, 2006 6:00 pm

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.
 
fumanchewd
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RE: France's Problem With Capitalism - BBC Article

Mon Apr 10, 2006 6:05 pm

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.
In the time of chimpanzees, I was a monkey...
 
Toulouse
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RE: France's Problem With Capitalism - BBC Article

Mon Apr 10, 2006 10:30 pm

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.
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MaverickM11
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RE: France's Problem With Capitalism - BBC Article

Mon Apr 10, 2006 11:15 pm

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
 
lh477
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RE: France's Problem With Capitalism - BBC Article

Tue Apr 11, 2006 4:42 am

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.
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Klaus
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RE: France's Problem With Capitalism - BBC Article

Tue Apr 11, 2006 4:49 am

Quoting LH477 (Reply 24):
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.

You've not actually been to Europe so far, have you? Big grin
 
lh477
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RE: France's Problem With Capitalism - BBC Article

Tue Apr 11, 2006 9:38 pm

Quoting Klaus (Reply 25):
You've not actually been to Europe so far, have you?

I was actually in England last week, have been to Europe quiet a few times.
Come on you gunners......!!!!!
 
Klaus
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RE: France's Problem With Capitalism - BBC Article

Tue Apr 11, 2006 9:46 pm

Doesn't look like it.
 
mrniji
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RE: France's Problem With Capitalism - BBC Article

Tue Apr 11, 2006 9:47 pm

Quoting Klaus (Reply 25):
Quoting LH477 (Reply 24):
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.

You've not actually been to Europe so far, have you?

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, share many opinions of LH477 here, I believe that your attempt was rahter unfriendly and not well-reasoned.

Just a friendly question  Wink
"The earth provides enough resources for everyone's need, but not for some people's greed." (Gandhi)
 
lh477
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RE: France's Problem With Capitalism - BBC Article

Tue Apr 11, 2006 10:00 pm

Quoting Klaus (Reply 27):
Doesn't look like it.

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 you, I am not gong to generalize.

Anyways, how do you what I look like?
Come on you gunners......!!!!!
 
Klaus
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RE: France's Problem With Capitalism - BBC Article

Tue Apr 11, 2006 10:02 pm

Quoting Mrniji (Reply 28):
don't you think that you act a little pompous to people who do not share your opinion?

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 the past and their glory" around here, quite the opposite. The current and foreseeable future difficulties are front and center in the public discussion, although the typical near-panic reporting is certainly overblown.
 
Klaus
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RE: France's Problem With Capitalism - BBC Article

Tue Apr 11, 2006 10:12 pm

Quoting LH477 (Reply 29):
And you sound like an ignorant, arrogant Eurpoean who doesn't realize that the world is passing them by at the speed of light.

More surreal prejudice... getting "better" every time...!  crazy 

Quoting LH477 (Reply 29):
Anyways, how do you what I look like?

I beg your pardon?

Ah, I see. I was clearly referring to your remarks: "it does not look like it", to be more explicit.
 
dl021
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RE: France's Problem With Capitalism - BBC Article

Tue Apr 11, 2006 10:31 pm

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 whereby they all live nicely without having to worry about anything.

It's not possible, and the piper is demanding payment.

Quoting Klaus (Reply 1):
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...

No...the protesters and the people supporting them want no-fire jobs for life. It's pretty simple. The concept of working somewhere that you can be fired because they don't like you or feel that you fit well on the team is abhorrent to many in France and they'll sacrifice the opportunity for work to protest the laws that will open up employment. But, hey....what do they care...they're on the dole and that does ok.

Quoting Aither (Reply 2):
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.

Yeah...that mean old nasty capitalism. They want to have their brioche and eat it, too. But they don't want to be seen doing it, or have others discuss them doing it.

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.

So....what you're saying is that internships where students and young adults learn about the fields they wish to enter are "exploitation"? I'd say that apprenticeships are an old idea and one that benefits the young person more than the company.

Quoting TheSonntag (Reply 3):
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.

The problem is not one of demographics but of unrealistic expectations from the welfare state on a society that is not willing to support it's own demands. Unless the society is growing at a rapid rate it cannot support the social security/welfare benefits for a growing older segment of the population and it runs into serious difficulty honoring promises made my politicians who offered the moon to people who wanted to believe that was possible forever.


France has not problem with capitalism....it has a problem with being honest with itself about it's problems and a real issue with facing the future honestly.
Is my Pan Am ticket to the moon still good?
 
Klaus
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RE: France's Problem With Capitalism - BBC Article

Tue Apr 11, 2006 10:39 pm

Quoting DL021 (Reply 32):
No...the protesters and the people supporting them want no-fire jobs for life. It's pretty simple.

Things are rarely that simple; Sure unemployed people would love to have a secure job - but marching in the streets requires a different incentive.

Quoting DL021 (Reply 32):
France has not problem with capitalism....it has a problem with being honest with itself about it's problems and a real issue with facing the future honestly.

That could be said about quite a few countries in different respects...!  mischievous 
 
Toulouse
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RE: France's Problem With Capitalism - BBC Article

Tue Apr 11, 2006 11:07 pm

Quoting LH477 (Reply 29):
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 you, I am not gong to generalize.

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 you have a problem with Europeans, and heck, there are a lot of us here!

[quote=DL021,reply=32]

That's not a bad post DL021, and quite a bit of truth in it I believe
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dl021
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RE: France's Problem With Capitalism - BBC Article

Tue Apr 11, 2006 11:17 pm

Quoting Toulouse (Reply 34):
quote=DL021,reply=32]

That's not a bad post DL021, and quite a bit of truth in it I believe

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.

Quoting Klaus (Reply 33):
That could be said about quite a few countries in different respects...!

Well, of course you are correct. Germany has serious issues with immigration and their social welfare system as well. But, does that justify it happening in France?

Quoting Klaus (Reply 33):
Things are rarely that simple; Sure unemployed people would love to have a secure job - but marching in the streets requires a different incentive.

Not in France it doesn't. They seem to have a culture that encourages riots in the springtime. The same people that think nothing of having ATCs striking three times a year, or bargemen blocking the Seine at the height of tourist season are the ones who minimize the rioting in the streets of Paris while screeching about things they don't like in other countries. By accepting this as part of their culture they make it very difficult for outside investors to want to invest in France, and their laws take care making it difficult for the few that do want to invest.
Is my Pan Am ticket to the moon still good?
 
JGPH1A
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RE: France's Problem With Capitalism - BBC Article

Tue Apr 11, 2006 11:33 pm

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 this Frankenstein's monster, a paternalistic system of government that provides a cradle-to-grave social provision, instilling in the minds of its citizens that The Government Knows Best, The Government Will Sort It Out, allowing the French to carry on with their carefree, egocentric lives with little or no concern for the future, while the political classes operate in a complete vacuum, detached from reality and with virtually no accountability, propped up by Europe and the Franco-German axis that has ensured peace and prosperity up until now. France may be a democracy, but there's very little point in voting because no matter who you vote for, you always end up with same Grand Ecole mandarins whose vested interest in the status quo makes the Q'ing dynasty look like radical progressives.

Now globalisation has kicked in with a vengeance, Europe has expanded to the point where France's stagnant view of Never Change Anything is in the distinct minority, an ageing and unrepentently hypochondriac population means that social costs are completely off the chart, the notion of jobs for life is a tragic nostalgic joke, and somebody has to deal with it. But it won't be any of the current smug little political clique, be they UMP, UDF or PS, that's for sure. The enormous chasm of cynicism and mistrust dividing the ordinary populace from their elected representatives means that people may just give up on voting completely, because of the absence of real, viable alternatives.

People are radicalising, but there is no focus for their radicalism. It's an odd radicalism too, it's not a conservative or a liberal/social radicalism, it has nostalgia to it but not for traditional values or a former golden age, it's very undirected - things must change, but we don't know what they must change to - not yet, anyway. So far no politician has tapped into this radicalism, but if they do and can manage to understand and direct it, they'll be onto a winner.
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Banco
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RE: France's Problem With Capitalism - BBC Article

Tue Apr 11, 2006 11:43 pm

Quoting JGPH1A (Reply 36):
So far no politician has tapped into this radicalism, but if they do and can manage to understand and direct it, they'll be onto a winner.

Is that not in itself a matter for some concern?

Interesting post, by the way.
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Klaus
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RE: France's Problem With Capitalism - BBC Article

Tue Apr 11, 2006 11:56 pm

Quoting DL021 (Reply 35):
Well, of course you are correct. Germany has serious issues with immigration and their social welfare system as well.

It's a very widespread combination of concerns, and I guess it's more a consequence of certain global developments (post-war reconstruction being complete and the global economy moving "sideways" rather than upwards) and the respective regional and local reactions.

Quoting DL021 (Reply 35):
But, does that justify it happening in France?

"Justification" is such a big word...
People act the way they think (or feel) they should; Moral judgments are not always applicable to such developments, I'd say.

Quoting DL021 (Reply 35):
Not in France it doesn't. They seem to have a culture that encourages riots in the springtime.

Could be; Big grin
But the trigger is still a different matter.

Quoting JGPH1A (Reply 36):
Seems to me the problem is one of the French government / ruling elite's own making.

Interesting analysis, indeed.
 
JGPH1A
Posts: 15080
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RE: France's Problem With Capitalism - BBC Article

Wed Apr 12, 2006 12:04 am

Quoting Banco (Reply 37):
Is that not in itself a matter for some concern?

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 most part any massive swing to the far-right (or far left, although it is difficult to imagine anyone on the far-left getting organised enough to pose a significant political threat to the mainstream). But who knows in 2007. It seems to me that the average French voter is fed up to the back teeth with anyone or anything remotely reminiscent of the status quo, or the current political elite.

De Villepin was the last straw, a man who has never stood for elected office being parachuted in from on high, who pontificates to the illiterate rabble like some ancien régime aristo but who has no inkling of the realities of life in France these days, who has allowed himself through this tragically misguided Law on Equal Opportunity to be manipulated by French big business (famed for their social altruism, after all !), and who has now thrown the doors open for Nicolas Sarkozy to stand in 2007 as France's own Margaret Thatcher, ready to crush the unions and the civil service and hand France over lock, stock and privatised barrel to the highest bidder.

I don't know what the solution is, I really don't - it's tragic to watch though.
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Banco
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RE: France's Problem With Capitalism - BBC Article

Wed Apr 12, 2006 12:17 am

Quoting JGPH1A (Reply 39):

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 politics in France, but I've never known you to seem at a loss about it before, particularly bearing in mind that you're obviously very fond of living there.

What's changed? What's made you so negative about the current circumstance?
She's as nervous as a very small nun at a penguin shoot.
 
mrniji
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RE: France's Problem With Capitalism - BBC Article

Wed Apr 12, 2006 12:23 am

Quoting DL021 (Reply 35):
Not in France it doesn't. They seem to have a culture that encourages riots in the springtime.

I am still waiting till the Bastille is stormed again  bigthumbsup 
"The earth provides enough resources for everyone's need, but not for some people's greed." (Gandhi)
 
dl021
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RE: France's Problem With Capitalism - BBC Article

Wed Apr 12, 2006 12:24 am

Quoting Klaus (Reply 38):
Quoting DL021 (Reply 35):
But, does that justify it happening in France?

"Justification" is such a big word...
People act the way they think (or feel) they should; Moral judgments are not always applicable to such developments, I'd say.

So why bring up things happening elsewhere without some causal/consequential relationship?

Quoting Klaus (Reply 38):
Quoting DL021 (Reply 35):
Not in France it doesn't. They seem to have a culture that encourages riots in the springtime.

Could be;
But the trigger is still a different matter.

Triggers are only effective with a user that is intent on action/destruction. It's convenient to blame "triggers" for the results, but it's always people that are the alpha and omega of these situations. The French people have always tolerated, therefore encouraged social unrest for reasons that most other societies consider less than reasonable.

Quoting Klaus (Reply 38):
Quoting JGPH1A (Reply 36):
Seems to me the problem is one of the French government / ruling elite's own making.

Interesting analysis, indeed.

Absolutely correct, it is. The ruling elite have maintained power by continuing the traditions of the past whereby the masses are placated by bread and circuses. The centuries old system in France is to give the populace just enough to keep them from rioting and you know that you're not giving them enough if they man the barricades and start lighting cars on fire or lopping off the heads of state.

Quoting JGPH1A (Reply 39):
who has now thrown the doors open for Nicolas Sarkozy to stand in 2007 as France's own Margaret Thatcher, ready to crush the unions and the civil service

Three cheers for that...
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Banco
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RE: France's Problem With Capitalism - BBC Article

Wed Apr 12, 2006 12:29 am

Quoting DL021 (Reply 42):
Three cheers for that...

Mmm. Well, yes and no. Necessary it may be, but it'll be absolutely awful to live through.
She's as nervous as a very small nun at a penguin shoot.
 
dl021
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RE: France's Problem With Capitalism - BBC Article

Wed Apr 12, 2006 12:35 am

Quoting Banco (Reply 43):
Quoting DL021 (Reply 42):
Three cheers for that...

Mmm. Well, yes and no. Necessary it may be, but it'll be absolutely awful to live through.

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 cultural difference between the British and the French. I don't know that what worked in the UK will work in France, which is one of the reasons I see little further progress in a Pan-European government expansion beyond it's current state for a long time.
Is my Pan Am ticket to the moon still good?
 
MaverickM11
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RE: France's Problem With Capitalism - BBC Article

Wed Apr 12, 2006 12:35 am

Quoting Banco (Reply 43):
Necessary it may be, but it'll be absolutely awful to live through.

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, Argentina, etc etc...
E pur si muove -Galileo
 
JGPH1A
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RE: France's Problem With Capitalism - BBC Article

Wed Apr 12, 2006 12:48 am

Quoting Banco (Reply 40):
What's changed? What's made you so negative about the current circumstance?

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 French society, but when a system of social ranking has been replaced by an elitist system based on education, is this any better than the UK old-school-tie system ? Not really.

It's all so contradictory - you have a genuine wish for equality and social justice, but it's mixed with this selfish and short-sighted mentality of "I'm all right, Jack, don't-mess-with-the-system" reactionary outlook that prevents people from recognising real problems with the current system, and has done so for so long now that these problems have become impossible to redress without a radical re-think of the French social framework. Most people I talk to recognise the need for things to change, but nobody, and I mean nobody, has any clue as to what they must change to.

Nobody wants a capitalism-red-in-tooth-and-claw system (or the methode anglo-saxonne as it is referred to), because this goes against basic values of social justice, so how do you find a happy medium ? The UK likes to think it's found the balance, but has it really ? Does full employment have come at the price of service industry / call-centre McJobs with little or no security and working conditions that would make your average French worker blench and cry for his Mummy ?

But the socialist model is dead, never to return - EU directives are forcing France to privatise and deregulate her state apparatus, EDF/GDF, SNCF etc, this will happen, and these industries will not be able to sustain the cradle-to-grave, job-for-life, 35 hour week, prime de charbon model of inefficiency that they have supported for the last 50 years. French people look at the UK's privatised railways and shudder (even though a lot of the UK's rail system is (or was) run very profitibly by French companies, ironically enough).

It's going to be a very tough bullet to bite on, that's for sure. How do we keep the things that make living in France so comfortable and pleasurable (long vacations, 100% socialised medicine, good work/life balance, job security), but move on from the archaic byzantine civil service bureaucracy, the stagnant elitist political hierarchy, the 19th century educational system that produces 30-year-old double Masters graduates with no useful work skills and zero job prospects ?

Search me...
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mrniji
Posts: 5382
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RE: France's Problem With Capitalism - BBC Article

Wed Apr 12, 2006 12:48 am

Quoting DL021 (Reply 44):
Quoting Banco (Reply 43):
Quoting DL021 (Reply 42):
Three cheers for that...

Mmm. Well, yes and no. Necessary it may be, but it'll be absolutely awful to live through.

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 cultural difference between the British and the French. I don't know that what worked in the UK will work in France, which is one of the reasons I see little further progress in a Pan-European government expansion beyond it's current state for a long time.

But a person who make blanket statements towards migrants being "vermins" should not have a single cheer...
"The earth provides enough resources for everyone's need, but not for some people's greed." (Gandhi)
 
Banco
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RE: France's Problem With Capitalism - BBC Article

Wed Apr 12, 2006 1:01 am

Quoting MaverickM11 (Reply 45):
Just ask any of the US airline employees, the US government re: immigration/welfare reform/really anything, Argentina, etc etc...

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. But God, it was grim.

Quoting JGPH1A (Reply 46):

Not really much I can add to that, except to say that I thought it worth while to acknowledge the post. No, I wouldn't say we have it anything like perfect, but I do at least think we're in better shape to face an uncertain future than any other major European economy.
She's as nervous as a very small nun at a penguin shoot.
 
JGPH1A
Posts: 15080
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RE: France's Problem With Capitalism - BBC Article

Wed Apr 12, 2006 1:04 am

Quoting DL021 (Reply 42):
SELECTED TEXT



Quoting Banco (Reply 43):
Mmm. Well, yes and no. Necessary it may be, but it'll be absolutely awful to live through

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, which will never recover. Imagine how much worse it's going to be in France - it's going to be an absolute bloodbath, and most of us poor schmucks who just want to do our jobs and live our lives are going to have to survive through it. Look at all the crap that happened in the last two weeks - highways, railways, airports blocked, shut down, disrupted - imagine when it gets really bad, and it will, believe me. Look at that SNCM strike, they ran out of food and medicines on Corsica. They don't muck about, here. It's going to make the Winter of Discontent look like a mild disagreement.
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