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Paris Riots

Discussion in 'IMO: In My Opinion' started by denice, Dec 2, 2018.

  1. denice

    denice Thread Starter Advisor Staff Member Advisor

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    https://www.washingtonpost.com/life...9718a256cbd_story.html?utm_term=.048dc26eb7bc

    This started as protests about a new gas tax but it is expanding. They are protesting the high cost of living, Macron only caring about the wealthy, the government not addressing the needs of ordinary people and/or people who live outside of Paris. Some of them are talking about the 'elites' running everything and being unconcerned about 'ordinary people'. Doesn't this all sound very familiar.
     
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  2. micknsnicks2mom

    micknsnicks2mom TCS Member Top Cat

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    ...with the cats...
    yes, as i was reading your post that's what i thought -- that this all sounds very familiar! :agree:
     
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  3. orange&white

    orange&white TCS Member Top Cat

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    Just on the gas tax protest...

    I'm not the "protesting" type as destroying things doesn't solve anything, but gasoline is around $6.00 USD per gallon in France and 60% of that is tax. They are paying more in tax than some of us here are paying per gallon including our gas tax. I'd be pretty mad too if I were in France.

    I just filled up last Friday for $1.95 per gallon. That includes federal tax of .184 and I'm not sure what our state gas tax is here, but the national average for state taxes on gas across the country is .286.

    Hopefully it will be a long time before we accept hefty carbon taxes here on gas and electricity. Such taxes will completely demolish what's remaining of the middle-class "pad" between the wealthy and the very poor.
     
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  4. doomsdave

    doomsdave TCS Member Top Cat

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    High taxes on gas have long, long been the norm all through Europe.

    Which is one of the reasons why foreign cars were, for a long time, much better on gas than American ones.

    One of the huge problems in the U.S. is that it's hard to truly do without a car and still be a normal functioning adult. Compared with Europe and the rest of the world, public transit is something of an orphan.

    Given that, I'd be annoyed at high gas taxes here, too. I remember back in the early 2000s when gas prices spiked, in many places up to $5 a gallon.
     

  5. denice

    denice Thread Starter Advisor Staff Member Advisor

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    Not everyone in France has access to public transportation. People in rural areas and small towns don't have access to the public transportation that people in urban areas like Paris have. Energy taxes always hit the middle and working class the hardest. The wealthy don't struggle to afford it and the poor get assistance with essential energy bills, it is the middle and working class that struggles to pay the additional cost.

    This article ‘Yellow Vests’ Riot in Paris, but Their Anger Is Rooted Deep in France was written after talking to people from the 'other France', the part of France that isn't in Paris. It is very very familiar to many areas of the U.S. If you take out the geographic references and the obvious European terms it could be mistaken for an article about areas of the U.S.
     
    Last edited: Dec 3, 2018
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  6. JamesCalifornia

    JamesCalifornia TCS Member Top Cat

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    ~ This is what happenes when you move closer to big government socialist society. Taxes are so high it wipes out the middle-class. One example is solar/wind energy being too expensive and very inefficient for large populations , necessitating government subsidies and big taxes. Another is socialized medicine without the option of private party/ insurance. This will happen in the USA if the people allow it - as they seem to be .
    Trump is on spot in his attempt to move away from this trend in western America - hence his push on fossil fuel such as natural gas. Another is upholding the US Constitution by the appointment of conservative leaning SC Justices whom will be more likely to protect individual freedom and rights, private business privileges and capitalism.
    Any wonder why Congress is resisting the Trump agenda ? Don't be surprised at the growing ignorance and corruption in world governments - including our own .
     
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  7. denice

    denice Thread Starter Advisor Staff Member Advisor

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    The technology is no where near being usable on a large scale for solar/wind. A big stumbling block is battery technology, we have no way to store large amounts of electricity, electricity is basically generated as it is used. Solyndra was a debacle that taxpayers paid for.

    Cap and Trade gets trotted out every so often. President Obama was the last one to try it and even he admitted that electric rates will skyrocket. There was a big push for electric cars but electricity needs to be generated to recharge them. They also have a very limited range and many people living in urban areas have no way to recharge them.

    The idea of heavily taxing energy to drive down usage will make people who aren't wealthy conserve but there is still that essential usage which people are paying more for. They are paying more in an era of years of stagnating wages and job loss due to automation and globalization. Eventually people begin pushing back and people who feel they have very little to loose will push back hard.
     

  8. denice

    denice Thread Starter Advisor Staff Member Advisor

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    The government suspended the additional gas tax. That will pacify things for now. They still have some deep problems to find solutions to as do many other countries including the U.S. The additional taxes weren't really that much which I think means it was just a trigger not the real issue.
     
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  9. orange&white

    orange&white TCS Member Top Cat

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    The additional tax was an increment...adding insult to an injury which was already there, creeping up bit by bit until they hit the point of pain.
     
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  10. doomsdave

    doomsdave TCS Member Top Cat

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    Sounds like the yellow vests' real problem is lack of decent pay. I didn't see any numbers on tax, but given the low pay, sounds like a total tax waiver or elimination wouldn't help them much. (I'd be curious to know how much they pay for things like utilities, and taxes in actual numbers.)

    Like much of the U.S., too, like rural areas in West Virginia, Ohio and Kentucky.
     

  11. denice

    denice Thread Starter Advisor Staff Member Advisor

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    The French have a lot of different taxes in addition to income tax. French Tax Soars Over 100% This article is from 2011 8000 households paid over 100% in tax and 12000 households paid 75% in taxes. Of course that is the wealthy. They have a 20% VAT sales tax. Their income tax rates are similar to ours Income Tax France: French Income Tax Rates Less than 50% of inhabitants in France pay any income tax. Their tax rates to cap out a little higher than ours, 45%. They have more in the way of other taxes though like the VAT and a much higher tax on gasoline and diesel.

    Their minimum wage is 1480 Euros a month and their average salary is 23 Euros an hour. Their minimum wage is higher than the U.S. and their average wage is substantially lower.
     
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  12. doomsdave

    doomsdave TCS Member Top Cat

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    Sounds like they have very short workweeks. Given the low earnings, the lack of income tax isn't surprising. Still sad, and sounds a lot like here in the U.S. in many places, including much of Ohio. A 40 hour week works out to 3,680 Euros, which is about $50K US per year. Getting by on half that sucks.

    I think I had France mixed up with Switzerland, which has a much more comprehensive public transport system, away from the big cities. Alas, for all the talk about the rights of humans, France has had a notable tendency to marginalize. Germany isn't as much like that (recently).

    Mr. Wood is a good author on all that tax stuff. He also publishes in the lawyers' rag I read every morning. Nice find!

    Wonder how much utilities work out to? Tariffs for electricity in France This website is geared to tourists, but maybe someone on Cat Site who speaks French and English can explain?
     
    Last edited: Dec 5, 2018

  13. denice

    denice Thread Starter Advisor Staff Member Advisor

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    I think they have definitely went as far as they can with taxing the wealthy. A 35 hour work week has been the norm for a long time. Macron actually tried going to a 40 hour work week but he didn't get it. A large percentage of French workers also get the whole month of August off. I remember a number of years ago they had an unusual heat wave in Paris in August. Air conditioning is unusual in Paris because it isn't usually needed. Many of the elderly were in trouble medically and all of the health services were at minimal staffing because it was August and people were on vacation.
     

  14. JamesCalifornia

    JamesCalifornia TCS Member Top Cat

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    ~ I do believe there are reasons most of the wealthiest people are in the USA ...
     
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  15. gareth

    gareth TCS Member Top Cat

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    Gas in the UK is about $8 a gallon. I kid you not.
     

  16. jcat

    jcat Mo(w)gli's can opener Staff Member Moderator

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    That's worse than Germany - $6.61 a gallon today.
     

  17. orange&white

    orange&white TCS Member Top Cat

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    I just read that in both Germany and the UK, the 50-60% tax on gas is used to raise general government tax revenue, not earmarked to invest in cleaner energies. Actually not earmarked for any particular expense.

    That was another hot-point in France. Tax money being touted as being intended for environmental purposes is largely being spent to reduce the national debt.

    Of course, when the government taxes people out of the ability to afford gas or electricity, then we have less usage and a cleaner environment. What we don't have is a cleaner, less expensive replacement for gas and coal.

    I guess we could go back to living in caves, huddled around a fire....but then the government would tax wood and fire emissions.
     
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  18. denice

    denice Thread Starter Advisor Staff Member Advisor

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    Suspending the fuel tax didn't stop anything. They have closed the Eiffel Tower and the Louvre. They have mobilized 90,000 cops and shops are closing complete with boarded up windows. The protests now are about the real issues driving this anger. High taxes, low wages, and Macron only caters to the wealthy. That is the issue with these all encompassing safety nets, they have to be paid for. An influx of migrants puts more stress on the system. The wealthy are already paying a lot in taxes, they even have a wealth tax in addition to normal taxes.
     

  19. orange&white

    orange&white TCS Member Top Cat

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    The French are living the reality of socialist ideals. Hopefully they can turn things around before they hit bottom like Venezuela.
     

  20. JamesCalifornia

    JamesCalifornia TCS Member Top Cat

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    ~ It's interesting how much the EU depends on Russia for gas - and Russia needs the sales for their own economy. I wonder what would happen if the US cut into that ?
     
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