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Sat Dec 8, 2018, 07:24 PM

France's Battle With Herself

From the Oxford Astrologer:

Essentially, the tax system penalises you for being self-employed or running a small business. This latter forces people to keep their businesses as one-person enterprises, even when that means working an 80 or 90 hour week, or to flip-flop in and out of unemployment in order to maintain benefits, or to go on to the vast black market, and hope no one shops them. These are some of the reasons behind the high unemployment rate outside the big cities. Nor have wages for ordinary people kept up with inflation. Just as in Britain, France has a huge number of “working poor”.

On top of that, towns outside Paris are dying. In a familiar story across the West, globalisation has dealt a body blow to many industries — especially important French staples such as textiles and fashion.

Then there’s more, in our local town, Carcassonne — a major tourist magnet — about a third of the shops have closed in the past five years. So the town centre, which used to be a busy shopping destination for the local region is semi-boarded up. Americans will be familiar with this “donut” effect, when out-of-town shopping malls hollow out a city. It’s terribly depressing.

Certain regions may be thriving, but this has not reached into the whole country at all. These problems have been rumbling on for years, and in fact were one of the reasons Macron got elected in the first place.


Very interesting piece.

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uberblonde Dec 2018 OP
CurtEastPoint Dec 2018 #1
BigmanPigman Dec 2018 #2

Response to uberblonde (Original post)

Sat Dec 8, 2018, 07:27 PM

1. All gloom and doom. Granted, I do not live there but have traveled ...

extensively there. I am feeling this is one person's opinion.

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Response to uberblonde (Original post)

Sat Dec 8, 2018, 07:31 PM

2. Aren't they blaming it on the Euro?

It seems that the unification of Europe was the reason for a lot of local financial losses recently. I have always been a fan of Anthony Bourdain and he has interviewed people all over the world since 2001 and those in Europe seemed to be hit hard by the new import/export restrictions, especially fishermen.

I have visited Carcassonne before 2000 and would HATE to see it disappear. The small towns throughout Europe are so cool. The people have always been the most friendly I have ever met.

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