The (French) peasants are revolting


No. I was too young when it happened.


Sure everyone wants lower taxes but lets see their reaction when they slightly lower social benefits or stop free uni. Fixing an economy requires hard decisions that people tend to go apeshit about.


I dunno. It depends which people you’re talking about, and the general demographics.

Free university - to take a random example - shouldn’t be particularly expensive. It only becomes expensive when people with double-digit IQs think they’re entitled to a degree. Back in the day, university places were available only to those who (a) earned them and (b) were academically inclined. If only 10% of the adult population are degree-qualified, it represents a modest tax burden, a big incentive to work hard at school, and a genuine achievement.

When every semi-literate idiot has a degree, the whole charade becomes a pointless waste of money.

However I agree with @ma3xiu1 that they’ve backed themselves into a corner. I suspect Macron will make some token concessions and backtracking, and life will go back to its sullen routine. Until the next time.


The problem is that people are used to it. Since the government accounts for more than half of GDP, lowering the spending by 10% could crash the economy.
The problems have been lingering for a while but because of the super low interest rates they could issue bonds like there is no tomorrow. Free money for the government doesn’t encourage tough reforms.
Let’s see what happens once the interest rates go up and issuing bonds becomes more expensive.


But their complaints are not just taxes, it’s that they’re not even receiving that much services for them.


No degree, no job. Requirements in Europe are OTT. You could become a plumber …


How is raising already high fuel taxes going to help “fix the economy”?


Being a plumber can make more than at least half the idiots with equally idiotic degrees


And what’s wrong with being a plumber? Plumbers earn a shitload of money because entitled kids with degrees don’t want to get their soft little hands dirty.


The (French) peasants are revolting

Oh, I don’t think all of them are. Probably some nice ,non-revolting, people mixed in there.


When I was younger I had a French gf and we lived in an uninspiring suburb of Évreux (it looks nicer on Google than it was in the late 80s). I got sick of the place because, mostly, the French were a curmudgeonly lot.


Nothing, people just don’t want to be a plumber even if it can make them rich (wealthy). Companies or so fixated at people with degrees, there are many job openings they can’t fill in because they request a paper. It’s not enough when you have a lifetime experience and no paper.




There is a subtle factor here that’s common to the UK, Germany, and France (that I know of) … possibly other European countries too.

The government hates independents. They do everything in their power to make it hard to work for yourself, and will punish you hard (with high taxes and complicated rules) if you do it regardless. You risk prison if you fail to keep up-to-date with the latest nonsensical pronouncement. I’m not kidding: failing to comply with tax laws, even if you’re trying to do the right thing, can get you a longer jail sentence in some jurisdictions than ABH.

They want everyone to be an employee. Ostensibly, this is so that people can be “protected” by employment law, but the reality is that it keeps everyone in perpetual serfdom. It keeps them compliant and dependent on the largesse of employers and/or government.

If you want to be a plumber, dealing with that sort of shit is more onerous than dealing with the regular sort.


There is an education/degree bubble for sure. There are plenty of jokes about Baristas with a Phd. Once there are enough of them you will need two Phds to work at Starbucks.
I read somewhere about how specialized craftsmen and women can make good money in the US now, like people who can weld all kinds of metal underwater make loads because there are so few people who do that and everybody is at University.


In Taiwan they can make 3,000 NT$ up a day. Who with a degree working for a company makes that?


This is Berkeley in a nutshell.


The problem is these degrees are mostly useless. Unless you’re specialized in something that needs Special knowledge. People make fun of social sciences and such. But you know what’s also useless that no one talks about business degrees. I didn’t learn anything I couldn’t learn working in business or asking my dad. You spend a class on management lingo on basic common sense. An basic accounting class when 50$ softwares and a YouTube video does it all for you. Marketing? If you want to get paid don’t major in marketing, major in math and stats where you can get paid as a marketing researcher.

Also the costs are ridiculous for degrees in some cases. I’m apply to art school and I’m seeing 100k a year tuition in art degrees.


It’s inevitable. Europe has many heavily socialized countries that offer “free” this and 'free" that, with “free” being actually payed with taxpayers money. It’s a system that is bound to collapse, and many countries are trying to postpone it by importing as many slav…I mean, as much cheap labor as possible in order to generate taxes and keeping the housing market afloat. It’s not sustainable though, but no politician wants to be the one who goes in front of the camera saying:“We need to reform this garbage, so we’ll have to privatize (insert public service here)” because who got used to have that service “for free” would chimp out.

I believe people can understand and accept this, but when instead of welfare reforms you get a leader who just increases taxes because “mah climate change” then I think french people have the right to feel like they’re being screwed.


Interestingly, there is a backlash against this sort of thing in industry (in my sector at least). Once you have a certain amount of experience, nobody gives a crap about your degree. I’ve met a couple of people via my agricultural projects who are very smart, highly skilled people who can do a job right and charge accordingly. I don’t care what their degree is and it appears their other clients don’t either.

It is actually becoming possible to get high-paying jobs without the degree … as long as you are competent in your field. It’s mostly the suckers at the bottom end of the food chain who think they “have to” pay through the nose for that worthless piece of paper.

There’s a JP rant somewhere on youtube about the futility of modern degrees and the scams that keep money rolling into the university coffers.