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What Is Wrong with the Grand Nation?


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#1    questionmark

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Posted 23 July 2014 - 04:32 PM

Spiegel said:


The TV images of the Tour de France show an idyllic country, but behind the gloss is a nation where fears of decline are prompting people to vote for the far right. A trip along the route of the world's most famous cycling race reveals the deep uncertainty ailing the French.

There is a new word in the French language: La mannschaft. It's the term used to define everything that is enviable on the opposite bank of the Rhine River -- in other words, Germany's success. It's a success that is the product of the collective and is free of any of the egocentrics, self-deluded, bling-bling divas and "general director presidents," as the heads of French companies are called, that can make France so stuffy.

A week ago Monday, on Bastille Day, newspapers across France sighed that it wouldn't hurt if the country were a bit more like la mannschaft. Instead, unemployment is twice as high as it is in Germany, growth and investments have fallen far and former President Nicolas Sarkozy was recently detained for questioning by police at dawn. La mannschaft is the polar opposite of the other word currently in fashion in France: le malaise. A deep gloom appears to have taken hold in France. A recent survey showed that two-thirds of the French are "pessimistic" about their country's future.

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#2    RabidMongoose

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Posted 23 July 2014 - 04:55 PM

View Postquestionmark, on 23 July 2014 - 04:32 PM, said:


The French have been dismantling for decades like the British.

The leaders in both countries (not the general population) are naive enough to believe that once we make everybody our equals we will all live in a peaceful utopia for ever more. What will happen is that when one of them is powerful enough to make a break for it we'll be at war with them and unable to win.


#3    questionmark

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Posted 23 July 2014 - 06:15 PM

View PostRabidMongoose, on 23 July 2014 - 04:55 PM, said:

The French have been dismantling for decades like the British.

The leaders in both countries (not the general population) are naive enough to believe that once we make everybody our equals we will all live in a peaceful utopia for ever more. What will happen is that when one of them is powerful enough to make a break for it we'll be at war with them and unable to win.

Lets see,

Germany 9% not ethnic Europeans (majority Turks)
UK 7% not ethnic Europeans (majority from former colonies)
France 8% not ethnic Europeans (majority Maghrebi)

I guess you have to find a different explanation.

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#4    Gromdor

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Posted 23 July 2014 - 06:30 PM

I think it is cultural.  The Germans come across as a more "efficient" people, whereas the French come across as "idealistic".


#5    questionmark

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Posted 23 July 2014 - 06:45 PM

View PostGromdor, on 23 July 2014 - 06:30 PM, said:

I think it is cultural.  The Germans come across as a more "efficient" people, whereas the French come across as "idealistic".

The main difference between the French and the Germans is that the French government caves in every time some goons start rioting. That is why the industry and agriculture has absolutely no chance for needed reforms.

In the last 15 years the Germans have been streamlining production (if there were more unemployed so be it) upped the retirement age and cut down on the worst Welfare abuses (and yes, there were abuses other than the fabled Welfare Queen in the US). The French still are lagging behind on all this (BTW, the Italians too).

Besides there is the collective bargaining and government aid culture. Take the 2008 crisis, you will notice that Germany was one of the countries with the lowest increase of unemployment... mostly because hardly anybody got fired. The unions, the employer and the government sat around a table and decided that if there was 30% less demand that they would work 30% less and the employers would pay 30% less. About half the money employees lost was made up by the government.

In France they decided to riot.

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#6    stevewinn

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Posted 23 July 2014 - 06:51 PM

the reason for the decline in France is the simple fact they've played second fiddle to Germany the EU and Euro. the French seen the EU project as a way to keep French influence in Europe. in a bid to limit British influence in europe they blocked, vetoed are membership, and at the same time stupidly thinking by having the EU parliament in Strasbourg located in French territory they would somehow control the power of the EU, The Germans aren't stupid they'd concede this - knowing full well they'd hold the real balance of power through economic might. The French are a proud nation, now waking up to the fact they are no longer a global power, and are fast approaching being a lesser player in the region(europe) and they simply don't like it. couple this with the irrational mistake of voting for a socialist government in a moment of madness lashing out thinking all their economic troubles lay at the feet of the wealthy, the banks and financial services, they've soon found out that taxing the rich as done nothing and Hollande's policies of envy have resulted in the equal sharing of misery. You could see it coming, but the French have made their bed now let them lay in it.


the mistake they made was joining the euro currency in reality handing over their currency to Germany. with interest rates set for

Edited by stevewinn, 23 July 2014 - 06:53 PM.

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#7    and then

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Posted 23 July 2014 - 08:19 PM

I seem to recall that France recently placed a 75% tax on millionaires.  I'd imagine this type of outlook might be helping to drag the economy down, no?  Maybe not.  But France certainly has a real issue with their guests of the Muslim faith.

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#8    questionmark

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Posted 23 July 2014 - 08:25 PM

View Postand then, on 23 July 2014 - 08:19 PM, said:

I seem to recall that France recently placed a 75% tax on millionaires.  I'd imagine this type of outlook might be helping to drag the economy down, no?  Maybe not.  But France certainly has a real issue with their guests of the Muslim faith.

Mostly because the French tax system has so many loopholes that nobody pays 75% of taxes (and certainly not those who can afford a good accountant)... and the government does not reform that either because they are scared of riots.

And those people are not guests, they were mostly French citizens that could not stay in the former colonies because they "collaborated" with the colonialists... they are just the scapegoats (unless they are called Zidane and win them soccer matches).

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#9    spud the mackem

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Posted 23 July 2014 - 08:57 PM

The problem with the French , is that they are French.

(1) try your best, ............if that dont work.
(2) try your second best, ........if that dont work
(3) give up you aint gonna win

#10    questionmark

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Posted 23 July 2014 - 09:01 PM

View Poststevewinn, on 23 July 2014 - 06:51 PM, said:

the mistake they made was joining the euro currency in reality handing over their currency to Germany. with interest rates set for

What do you mean they "joined"? They were the driving force behind the "if Germany gets reunification we want a common currency" deal (supported by Lady Thatcher). And the ECU (predecessor of the Euro) was cooked up by Giscard (and the idea was found acceptable by Schmidt).

Edited by questionmark, 23 July 2014 - 09:03 PM.

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#11    Mikko-kun

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Posted 23 July 2014 - 09:01 PM

I dont see how taxing rich people more would create a problem like this, the rich can always play crooky and hooky with taxes because they got lawyers and accountants and deals under the table and more resources to make connections to the underworld. Average Joe who wants to start a business has none of that. So I guess taxing rich would be a problem because it creates work we all know is in vain, but isn't creating work kinda the point there? I mean, where does money and work come from? How do you create work?

You need someone to buy, and you can buy when you work and earn. Or sell your products and earn. So it's a circle... but how do you insert more there as an average Joe? Create a company, seek work, then buy stuff.

So if there's unemployment it could mean there's people who are satisfied with what they already got and dont see a reason to work.

Apart from all the money fuss, if you think of what work actually produces, the handfelt value, lot of it is entertairnment and paperwork and such. Big part of money comes there. Try watch the movie Brazil (old flick), makes a good point about paperwork.

I dont see anything wrong with unemployment in a world like this where people get paid to harass and cheat others and suck their money out, like banks and loan companies and politicians and some filler welfare jobs where you can sit all day long four out of five days a week, lazy jobs, there's plenty of them around. Real work is the kinda work where you have to worry about getting your body effed up, broken, and where you produce something people NEED, USE.

I'll go back to factory after my vacation whether it's Finland or Russia or EU or USA or China where I live. No matter which company, I still make the same stuff I always do. No matter what money, no matter what law, no matter who buys, everyone buys.

An irrelevant circus.

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#12    Br Cornelius

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Posted 24 July 2014 - 07:02 AM

View Poststevewinn, on 23 July 2014 - 06:51 PM, said:

the reason for the decline in France is the simple fact they've played second fiddle to Germany the EU and Euro. the French seen the EU project as a way to keep French influence in Europe. in a bid to limit British influence in europe they blocked, vetoed are membership, and at the same time stupidly thinking by having the EU parliament in Strasbourg located in French territory they would somehow control the power of the EU, The Germans aren't stupid they'd concede this - knowing full well they'd hold the real balance of power through economic might. The French are a proud nation, now waking up to the fact they are no longer a global power, and are fast approaching being a lesser player in the region(europe) and they simply don't like it. couple this with the irrational mistake of voting for a socialist government in a moment of madness lashing out thinking all their economic troubles lay at the feet of the wealthy, the banks and financial services, they've soon found out that taxing the rich as done nothing and Hollande's policies of envy have resulted in the equal sharing of misery. You could see it coming, but the French have made their bed now let them lay in it.


the mistake they made was joining the euro currency in reality handing over their currency to Germany. with interest rates set for
Just rubbish steve, utter rubbish. its just your anti-European ravings again.

France has systemic cultural problems. It has a wealthy middle class which is heavily supported by the state and who effectively define government policy to support those privileges. They are the Turkeys who wont vote for Xmas. This has meant that no effective reform of the economy has taken place since the 1960's and the world has moved on.
How do I know this - because i have discussed it with expatriate French who have moved to Ireland and the UK because their are more opportunities for enterprise.

All of the issues with France are particular to France and have little to do with the EU.

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#13    keithisco

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Posted 24 July 2014 - 07:35 PM

View PostBr Cornelius, on 24 July 2014 - 07:02 AM, said:

Just rubbish steve, utter rubbish. its just your anti-European ravings again.

France has systemic cultural problems. It has a wealthy middle class which is heavily supported by the state and who effectively define government policy to support those privileges. They are the Turkeys who wont vote for Xmas. This has meant that no effective reform of the economy has taken place since the 1960's and the world has moved on.
How do I know this - because i have discussed it with expatriate French who have moved to Ireland and the UK because their are more opportunities for enterprise.

All of the issues with France are particular to France and have little to do with the EU.

Br Cornelius

Perhaps you need to do a little more research:

Quote

The eurozone debt crisis and its economic fallout have sharply reduced French support for the EU, with 77 per cent believing European economic integration has been bad for France’s economy, according to a survey.
The study by the Pew Research Centre found that only 41 per cent of French respondents had a favourable opinion of the EU, down from 60 per cent in 2012. Even in eurosceptic Britain, more people (43 per cent) have a favourable view.

Source (FT): http://www.ft.com/in...l#axzz38PnHuy42

You know, you can be anti - Europe and have a reasoned debate without resorting to the use of such words as

Quote

its just your anti-European ravings again.

It is after all, a legitimate debate to have considering how the EU has morphed itself in the last 10+ years. It is also being debated whether any of the Top Jobs in the EU should even go to non-Eurozone members!! That leaves 10 nations that will be sidelined completely because they have not joined the German Euro (that is the reality - Germany decides economic policy for the Eurozone, interest rates etc)

Since when did membership of the DeutscheEuro become the defining Political Imperitive within the EU?


#14    stevewinn

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Posted 24 July 2014 - 07:36 PM

View PostBr Cornelius, on 24 July 2014 - 07:02 AM, said:

Just rubbish steve, utter rubbish. its just your anti-European ravings again.

France has systemic cultural problems. It has a wealthy middle class which is heavily supported by the state and who effectively define government policy to support those privileges. They are the Turkeys who wont vote for Xmas. This has meant that no effective reform of the economy has taken place since the 1960's and the world has moved on.
How do I know this - because i have discussed it with expatriate French who have moved to Ireland and the UK because their are more opportunities for enterprise.

All of the issues with France are particular to France and have little to do with the EU.

Br Cornelius

you say utter rubbish, Yet France as lost one of the most important, - vital powers to any 21st century global economy and that's the ability to set your own interest rates. Nothing highlights this more than the United Kingdom. who opted to remain outside the Eurozone straitjacket - having full control of the economy - resulting in having the levers to adjust the economy for the global economic reality. The UK is now the fastest growing economy in the G7. this is thanks to being able to decide interest rates, taxation and spending.

The Cold hard true is France doesn't control her interest rates she's handed over these powers. so how can France expect to compete in a global market? France has only the option to set taxation and spending. - She (France) as hamstrung herself. unable to set her interest rate, she is at the mercy of others, the markets show the French economy is diverging with Germany. France is trying to pull herself out of economic trouble using the limited avenues open to her, namely domestic policy, public spending cuts and higher taxation and this is a direct result of not having control of ones own interest rate.

Ultimately France is facing a battle - fighting using a interest rate not set for France but a interest rate set for a totally different economic reality.  trying to get out the mire using a interest rate set for Germany. right the way through this economic situation the Euro interest rate was set to protect the eurozone powerhouse - Germany at the expense of others not just France, so the French are not alone. example is all the PIIGS - Portugal,Ireland,Italy,Greece,Spain. they all needed interest rates adjusting individually to suit their economic circumstances to help ease their economic plight - but all have one thing in common they are unable to set their own interest rate - thanks to being in the eurozone straitjacket which as resulted in bailout after bailout by Germany with all the Club Med now indebted to Germany to the tune of billions.

And all you can do is blame the French people themselves for their economic woes. Look right across med and you'll see economic misery right across the region and that is thanks in no small part to the Euro. the Currency of supposedly 18 countries yet the reality is the Euro is the Deutsche Mark with the interest set for one country and one country alone - Germany.

the IMF Forecasts the eurozone’s full-year growth at 1.2%, compared with 2.8% for the US and 2.9% for the UK.
http://www.imf.org/e...df/tblparta.pdf

http://theconversati...rest-rate-27735
https://uk.finance.y...-123954376.html
http://www.theguardi...any-growth-live
http://www.eubusines...one-economy.x6b

France is stagnating while Germany marches on. And you say im talking rubbish, we'll soon see. This Euro mess isnt over yet. But lets continue to blame the French people instead of addressing the real problem.

Edited by stevewinn, 24 July 2014 - 07:38 PM.

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#15    keithisco

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Posted 25 July 2014 - 06:09 PM

I spend 2 weeks every month in France, visiting clients, and talk to the CEO's Senior Managers, and technicians and they are all of one accord - they respect the UK for not having joined the Euro. There is serious discontent with the EU over the open borders directive, and many, I really mean many, of the top engineering CEO's are even talking of a new Union in Europe beginning with France and the UK, with 2 independent but linked currencies (the French Franc and the UK pound), so exchange rate charges would not apply. They see this as the only way to restore prosperity and control of their own Finances, and borders. They are also pragmatic - they do not think that the UK would agree to link currencies, but would agree to a Free Trade pact.

It's fascinating to watch events unfold here - with 77% of the French unhappy with the euro I suspect it will not be too long before popular opinion demands that the next President and Prime Minister work together to restore the French Franc. Whilst there is no mechanism within the Eurozone to leave behind the euro, I don't think that would stop the French from doing so. They are, after all is said and done, a Sovereign nation, just like the UK - and one that has had enough of being dictated to. I can see them leaving the Schengen agreement first - but in my discussions here they would very much like to have a freedom of movement (properly instigated) policy with the UK and Norway.

The World is turning and if any of this becomes reality, then the future is bright for the French and a newly Independent (from the EU) UK. I just hope that I am alive to see this day.





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