The French are rioting (again). This time over a fuel tax.
The Fishwrapper Of Record, the New York Times, has actually got some pretty accurate reporting on the situation that amazingly isn’t in awe of “European Socialism.” https://www.nytimes.com/2018/12/01/world/europe/france-yellow-vests-protests-macron.html
Some of the better quotes:
Multiple surveys of public opinion released in the past week suggest that 70 percent to 80 percent of French people sympathize with the Yellow Vests’ contention that President Emmanuel Macron and his government “talks about the end of the world while we are talking about the end of the month.”
The median disposable income for a person in a French household was 1,700 euros a month, about $1,923, in 2016, the most recent year for which statistics are available, according to Insee, the French government’s statistics agency.
Remember, the “median” is not the “average” the “median” describes where half of the population in the study fall above and below. For the record, 1923 Euros generally works out to 2,173 US Dollars as of today. Or 70 dollars a day per month of money that is not dedicated to food, housing, utilities, clothing, etc.
That doesn’t sound too bad, right? Well let me tell you a story about an American GI who was stationed in Italy, who decided to drive through France in his Ford Mustang over a 4 day weekend to experience some of the French Countryside. He forgot his ESSO card, and figured, “what the heck, how expensive can it be?” and found out the hard way. It cost him nearly 1,200 US Dollars to make the journey he had planned paying French prices. Had he remembered his ESSO card and been able to purchase fuel that way he would have saved over 900 dollars on his 4 day weekend. Driving around France, for one long weekend, ate up over half of the entire median disposable income for a single member of a household in France. Now some of that expense was the horribly unreasonable toll costs in France, as much as 103.80 Euro for one stretch. Now, at the time the Euro was very strong against the dollar, so he had an additional conversion factor working against him, but in the US 900 dollars of fuel in a Ford Mustang would get you from New York to L.A (2,790 miles). 2790 miles, divided by 19 miles per gallon = 147 gallons or 9.5 fill ups. 900 dollars divided by 147 gallons is 6.12 dollars per gallon. The average gas price in the US is 2.88 per gallon, so 423.66 US Dollar to get you from NY to LA (give or take, I used the national average rather than calculating state averages and where you would actually have to stop in a 2015 Mustange GT with 5.0 V8 engine and 6 speed manual).
Currently the price of petrol (aka gasoline) in France is between 1.40 and 1.60 Euro per liter. There are about 4 liters per gallon. Right now in Paris it would be 1.76 US Dollars per liter, or 7.04 US Dollars per gallon. That makes the 1.96 USD per gallon my wife filled my truck up with today a veritable bargain.
So I hope that explains the cost problem facing French citizens and residents. It’s really damn expensive to live like a middle class American in France, to save for retirement you need a middle class income and a poverty level lifestyle, and that really pisses people off because they see the fruits of their labor going to support needless parasitic social programs.
“You can’t govern against the people,” said François Bayrou, the leader of the Moderate Democrats, who are partners with Mr. Macron’s La Republique En Marche party in an interview on Europe 1.
Mr. Bayrou said he was not sure of the answer, but the government can’t keep “adding taxes on top of taxes.”
Remember back in 2006 when the Democrats took back Congress by running on a platform of fiscal responsibility? So do I, but as we’ve seen every party is a big spender, and the consequences of parasitic social programs ends up like France, where people are fed up with being sucked down into a poverty level existence. After all, government doesn’t spread the wealth, government always spreads the poverty. Look at a Native American Reservation to see American wealth redistribution in action. Look at Detroit, with decades of Democrat rule, all by the campaign promise of “tax the rich” and then the rich left for areas where they wouldn’t get fleeced.