Socialist utopia still burning.

Dec 2006
New Haven, CT
They may not be burning Paris to the ground - but they're destroying important parts of it. Last night the Arc d' Triomphe was damaged and the Liberte statue was smashed.
Dec 2016
If you want to talk about and do analysis of foreign issues, do a little background research first! The fuel tax increases...which have since been suspended for six France..due to the riots, was not the only issue putting people into the streets and demonstrating against the Government in Paris! The fuel tax (which should be considered a poll tax/or flat tax that hits poor people with less discretionary income harder than wealthier Frenchies, was combined with a punitive surtax on older cars which the Government declared can no longer function cleanly and reliably and so must be replaced with new cars...great if you can afford to buy a new car every year or two!

And then there was the repeal of the 'Wealth Tax' by Macron...before he looked at a budget and declared:'we have to tighten our belts' so to speak, and lower income workers and pensioners have been the ones getting the squeeze, since the rich get less of their money taxed!

Michael Olenick: A Quick Look at the Gilets Jaunes Protests. Update: They Won!
Posted on December 4, 2018 by Yves Smith
Yves here. Normally I put updates to posts at the end, but this is such big news that it goes up front.
From the Guardian (hat tip resilc) French government ‘to suspend fuel tax increase’:
The French government will announce it is suspending plans to introduce an eco-fuel tax after three weeks of increasingly violent protests, according to reports in French media….
The tax on petrol and diesel, due to increase next month in a move towards cleaner fuels, sparked national demonstrations that quickly grew to encompass wider anger and frustration at the country’s leaders.
President Emmanuel Macron had repeatedly vowed not to give in to street rule, but has been forced to reconsider after the worst violence in Paris in half a century.​
Note that, per the original post, the eco-tax wasn’t the only burden on rural citizens and workers who had long commutes they could only do by car. There were also rules targeting older cars. But the new tax was the big flashpoint, and the government went fully into reverse.
Back to the original post:
Some additional overview material on France’s gilets jaune protests:
1. They have overwhelming public support.
2. Even though the flashpoint was taxes and inspections designed to cut greenhouse gasses, the grievances are about austerity and cut in services. Recall that Macron ended the wealth tax when he took office. From the Guardian:
So if the hike in the price of fuel triggered the yellow vest movement, it was not the root cause. The anger runs deeper, the result of an economic and cultural relegation that began in the 80s. At the same time, economic and land logics have locked up the elite world. This confinement is not only geographical but also intellectual. The globalised metropolises are the new citadels of the 21st century – rich and unequal, where even the former lower-middle class no longer has a place. Instead, large global cities work on a dual dynamic: gentrification and immigration. This is the paradox: the open society results in a world increasingly closed to the majority of working people.
The economic divide between peripheral France and the metropolises illustrates the separation of an elite and its popular hinterland. Western elites have gradually forgotten a people they no longer see. The impact of the gilets jaunes, and their support in public opinion (eight out of 10 French people approve of their actions), has amazed politicians, trade unions and academics, as if they have discovered a new tribe in the Amazon.​
Note that some, perhaps many, protestors don’t buy the government’s justification for the new taxes. I’ve included this quote from a piece in LaDepeche in Links:
Ce n’est pas non plus vraiment pour le prix de l’essence mais on est trop taxés et dire que c’est pour l’écologie, c’est une vaste fumisterie. On nous prend vraiment pour des idiots.​
3. There are different groups among the gilets jaunes, such as self-identified moderates. There are now several independent sign-ups for “Act 4” protests in Paris on December 8, and some calls for a general strike on December 10.
Lambert also noted:
The yellow jackets – a universal mandate – make the cost of entry to the protest very low. Everyone already has one, in their cars, ready for repurposing. The only object that springs to my mind in America that’s readily accessible in people’s cars is…. well, guns.​
Michael Olenick replied:
It’s also symbolic: everybody is required to put on the yellow jacket anytime we get out of the car, on the road, when the car has broken down. Wearing it means “Be alert – something is broken” and there’s an implicit “Give me a hand, please.”
There is nothing quite like it in the US.​
The tradeoffs the French are working through – questioning how the costs of climate change will be apportioned between the haves and have-less – will play out city-by-city in country after country over the coming decades. If those costs are apportioned disproportionately the world will find many more bees willing to do a lot more than temporarily block traffic.​
So, this is about more...much more than the cost of gas! And it doesn't mean that the French don't believe in global warming! It's about who has to pay, and a populace that has grown overwhelmingly sickened by out-of-touch neoliberal centrists like Macaroni shifting the burdens from the rich onto the poor.
Jun 2018
South Dakota
So, this is about more...much more than the cost of gas! And it doesn't mean that the French don't believe in global warming! It's about who has to pay, and a populace that has grown overwhelmingly sickened by out-of-touch neoliberal centrists like Macaroni shifting the burdens from the rich onto the poor.
More likely it's the result of Trump telling the world that we aren't paying their bills any more. It's way past time that the EU pay their fair share of the bill for their pie in the sky global warming issues. The message is pay up the free ride's over.

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