Monday, December 10, 2018

Pt.3: Gilet Jaunes/Yellow Vests: Erasing the Middle Class from Existence

To get up to speed it's recommended you read Pt's 1 and 2:

I'm going to open here with a comment from Gallier the Elder...
I'm not as fluent in english as my little brother Gallier2 but I will try, and I hope it will be understandable.

To understand what is happening in France, we must take into account the influence that neoliberal policy (a policy advocated by the European Commission which, in fact, legislates without popular support) has developed in the Member States of the European Union and the impoverishment of the masses which is exploding in some countries of this "Union". It should not be forgotten that in 2005 the French had refused in a referendum (see the draft constitution of the European Union. But President Sarkozy signed the Lisbon Treaty at the end of 2007 (which fully incorporates what was in the draft European Constitution and which the French people had refused. see: The average Frenchman is patient, perhaps even indolent, but you should avoid pushing him to the limit and looking down on him. This is what the last three presidents of the "Republic" have done. The people are on the street, and it is not by bludgeoning them that they will be sent home.

Gallier the Elder
The European Commission is unelected and unaccountable. This is well known. I'm not sure if there is even one reader here that is unaware of this fact? At least I can't imagine it?

But let's talk for a moment about 'liberal' or liberalism:

Yes, we are digressing, but it's necessary.

Eytmoligically speaking that is:
at it's essence liberal means 'free man'
Taking that  a step further a free man is NOT a slave.
As demonstrated by this  14th century definition mid-14c., "generous," also "nobly born, noble, free;"
Purely in reference to political opinion, "tending in favor of freedom and democracy," it dates from c. 1801, from French libéral.
 The concept of liberal and liberalism is so complex and open to interpretation that we could spend a life time debating it. But, what is clear from the word itself is it means freeman or NOT a slave.

The idea of "liberalism" or "liberalisation" of the global economy is a freeing of the economy. It is unrestrained plunder. In all it's bloodlust and murderous glory. Liberalism has 'freed' the global market from the restraints of the masses. But has it freed the masses. Has a 'liberal' global economy made us freemen/women or has it in fact further served to enslave us? 

 Neo liberalism or liberalization is presented as progressive and reformative. In both the political and economic sphere.  BUT, has it really been progressive and reformative in a way the masses might associate the idea of being liberal? Which is NOT enslaved. Which is to be a free person.

 Obviously it has not or we would not be having this discussion. And these protests would not be going on.
Yes, but how does the Orwellian dictionary define "liberal"
Not too long ago I said to my husband that the only thing those who identify as political liberals have anymore is identity politics, political correctness and AGW.  This is the essence of Trudeau's 'liberal' government. And the those that identify as political conservatives, at this time, provide a limited hangout sort of challenge to the present day Liberal policies.  Which will switch should the political leadership change Example? Doug Ford's recent made in Ontario "climate change" program.  Still promoting the AGW/anti carbon/anti life agenda. Still propping up business at the expense of everyone else.

It appears to me, from all I've read, that the "leadership" in France, same as here in Canada, are using taxes and increased energy costs to intentionally impoverish and disappear the middle class
And have been in an ongoing, for decades now, process.  That fact is so apparent here in Canada, in my opinion, that only those that are willfully blind cannot see the reality.

I'm listening to the Crosstalk link that wallflower left- I'm going to embed that at the bottom of the post. It is reported electricity rates have increased 500 percent.
This is exactly the case here in Ontario, Canada.
Soon we will have our "carbon tax" which will increase the cost of everything, in order to control life itself ,aka carbon. Need to get to work? Pay more!
Got to warm your home in our ever colder winters? Pay more!

Macron was chosen to, or should I say "cast" in his role to push forward a harsh neo liberal agenda. He was chosen by the elites. Yes!
Ah, Bromance

We have our equivalent here in Trudeau. He is the Mary Poppins of neo liberalism. He's giving us the spoon full of sugar so we swallow the bitter medi-SIN of the elites.
This is not a coincidence.
Trudeau was cast as Mr Kumbaya. When he is actually and truly terrible for this nation as a whole.
This is why it's so easy to empathize with the French people.

Here's an earlier post regarding France French Thought Police and the Creeping Dictatorship of Virtue This may as well be a posting about Canada!

Gallier2: Are you speaking for Penny now? Everybody knew what Macron was when he ran for King.
Not everyone knew, surely some hoped, but many did not vote for him. In fact one could say he won based on the fact that, like here in Canada, there was simply no one to vote for.
"But Macron's mandate may not be as overwhelming as it seems. A record number of French voters were so dismayed by their options that they either skipped the election or cast their ballots for no one at all. 
 The so-called "ballot blanc," or white ballot, has a long history as a protest vote in France, going all the way back to the French Revolution. This time around, nearly 9% of voters cast blank or spoiled ballots -- the highest ever since the Fifth Republic was founded in 1958"
This is a sentiment understood well by yours truly. 9 percent ballot blanc! We have an equivalent type of balloting here in Ontario. I've employed it the past two elections. Because I won't for evil or the lesser of it. Period.

An interesting article sent to me by Gallier the Elder:

 Yellow vests and impoverishment

When will the government understand that the movement of the yellow
vests represents an insurrection, not against the taxation of fuel, but
against the rise of poverty,
which primarily affects what is called
"peripheral France" ?

The French, who live in small towns (less than 40,000 inhabitants) or in
the villages which form the extreme periphery of the big cities,
constitute the bulk of the activists of this movement. There are
employees, professionals and small entrepreneurs. There are also a lot
of women, they are very present on the road blocks.
Faced with this
reality, the government would have wanted to stage a "conflict" between
consumption and ecological emergency. Anyway, he played us the big scene
of "the end of the world" while the yellow vests talk about the end of
the month. This discourse has ended up discrediting it, especially since it is
clear to everyone that the policy of this same government has nothing to
do with ecological concerns.
The movement of the yellow vests is about
purchasing power. This explains its huge popularity, as between 75% and
84% of French people support it.

Income trends 

Purchasing power, then. Let us look at what INSEE says, a source which
everyone will agree with if it is not perfect (no statistical system is)
at least largely reliable. A recent report (1) states that" the poverty
of the economically active (excluding the self-employed) has increased
by one-third,
partly as a result of rising unemployment ". Of course,
the mass unemployment we are experiencing, which is very likely
underestimated in the statistics disseminated by the government, is a major cause of poverty. The result of the observations made in this document is damning : "the most striking development of the last twenty years is the development of poverty among single-parent families, whose
members live below the poverty line in almost one-third of cases. The differences between socio-professional groups have persisted, even though the situation of farmers, the most affected by poverty, has improved and that of artisans, traders and entrepreneurs, has deteriorated ". What is described here is the impoverishment of these families, driven out of the city centres by rising rents and property speculation, forced to move to rural areas, areas that are very often
abandoned by the public services, which are forced to make trips of 40 km to 60 km to go to work, even to have access to these public services. This impoverishment, as has been said, affects first and foremost single-parent families, whose number is increasing sharply, but also
young couples.

On the other hand, the wealthiest households have seen their situation
improve steadily, and households that can be considered "ultra-rich"
have seen their incomes and assets literally explode. One indicator of
this situation is the discordant evolution of the average and median
living standards. While the average standard of living (calculated as
total income divided by the population) has increased since the 2008
crisis, the median standard of living (calculated as income divided by
the population in two equal parts) has stagnated since 2008. This is
evidence of a major distortion in the structure of income.

The evolution of heritage
To this should be added the growing inequality of household wealth. INSEE calculates the monetary assets, which thus ranges from the sums deposited in the current account of households in banks, to dwellings, to professional assets, not to financial assets. While this wealth, at constant prices, has risen sharply, from 1995 to 2015 on average it has
fallen for the 20% of the poorest households
. This situation of impoverishment of the poorest households is combined with the deterioration of public services and social transfers (of which the various pension reforms are an example). Indeed, public services, such as pensions, represent a form of the collective heritage of the French. We all benefit. Whenever public services are reduced, this represents a net loss in wealth, a loss that the less wealthy, because they are the largest users of this "collective heritage" of the Nation, feel the most. 

This impoverishment, whether in income or wealth, of the most vulnerable Frenchmen forms the substrate for the movement of yellow vests. Other factors are added, such as the rise in consumption constraints, which is still "pre-committed" (which leaves less and less money to the poorest households) (2), and the deterioration of the pension system, whether through the non-indexation of amounts to inflation or in the questioning of reversionary pensions, a particularly unfair measure given that, on average, women receive a lower pension than men. We are in a situation where the poorest households are no longer able to cope with health expenditure or food expenditure (3)All this makes it possible to understand why trigger of immense social anger, but also why the government would go back on this tax that it would not calm this same anger.

The retraction of the fuel tax was, to my understanding, for 6 months only?
But correct me if I am in error, please.

 The demands made, here or there, by the yellow vests are in reality of a
social nature: increase of the SMIC to 1300 euros, minimum old age to
1200 euros. These demands are perfectly legitimate. But they cannot be
accepted by the government for one simple reason: France is put in
competition with other countries with a currency that it no longer
. A similar situation existed in the 1960s. When May 1968 came,
the government gave in massively to the SMIC. Then, to restore the
competitiveness of the French economy, it devalued the Franc. Today,
because of the Euro system, we can no longer do it. That is why, in
reality, the movement of the yellow vests, even if its participants do
not have a clear conscience, is an anti-Euro movement.

Jacques Sapir

 Notebook (1) Julian Blasco, Marie-Cécile Cazenave-Lacrouts, Julie Labarthe
(edits.), The Income and the Estates of Households, INSEE, Paris, 2018.

(2) DREES, " Expenses pre-engaged: what weight in the household budget ?
", N°25, March, 2018. See also Isanto A. and Rémila N., 2016, " The
spending constraints of the beneficiaries of social minima ", Folder of
the DREES, n°11

(3) Accardo J., Kranklader E. and Square D., 2013, " consumer behaviour
— For some low-income households, to cover food costs becomes more
difficult ", Insee Première n°1458, July.

Clearly there is an anti Euro sentiment- I'd seen that for myself in some reports- A "Frexit" was the label employed.

Finally wallflower, thank you, left the link to an excellent Crosstalk:

Also here is some confirmation of Gallier explainations:
Too be continued..............


  1. going a bit further off topic but recall the post about a liberal education- this was an education for the elites the freemen- the nobles

    Really we have all been socialized (see the definition in the post) by those that enjoy a true liberal status- the free and wealthy elites propped up by their political tools and apparatus.

    1. Fascinating. So from a certain point of view the Ancient Spartans were liberals ;)

    2. don't know enough about Spartan culture to say yah they were liberals- however, based on that basic definition of free, nobility/elite and knowing that the liberal arts education was historically for the free elite classes then it very clear what liberal really means.
      which also ties into the neo liberalism or freeing of the global marketplace

    3. Yes, I see what you mean. It is all very devious. You have to look at it sideways to see you're being bamboozled. They are free to do what they want; the rest must suffer what they must.

    4. " It is all very devious."
      Yes, because words create our reality.
      So when words are twisted or skewed they twist or skew our reality, by design. With intent.

    5. Some profound insights. Thankyou.

  2. Thank you for informative article.
    Canadians have same problem if not worse but we are less active to correct it. Tipping point will come eventually!
    The carbon tax is a real choker for example:
    2620lb of coal = $24.24 (Oct 2018)
    Carbon levy on that = $53.09
    Goods and services tax on sum of above* = $3.87
    Total = $81.20
    That's 235% tax!!!
    *tax on tax

    1. We have the same problem and the carbon tax is going to make it soooo much worse- thanks for the example that you've shared :)
      I'm getting ready to post more information on Fuel Poverty, because it's a problem and it's getting worse- people are dying in droves because of it..

      PS: sorry about the lay out- i've tried to fix it but no dice- It's about the information, anyway..

  3. France looking into Russia’s involvement in the organization of ‘Yellow vest’ protests

    Yesterday hubby and I were joking about this very headline- and bam it appears
    blame Russia for the protests..

    "Interfax-Ukraine quoting an issue of “Eco” reports that the French government is researching multiple messages by the media about Russia’s possible involvement in organizing protests by the “Yellow vest,” however, no conclusions have been made yet.

    Eco notes that this issue is being dealt with by the Secretariat-General for National Defense and Security, which is reporting to the Prime Minister, Edouard Phillipe.

    The investigation began due to reports of numerous fake accounts in social networks that were used to express support for demonstrators"


    1. Problem is that general population will digest such perverted news even without condiments and no questions asked.
      Highly irresponsible realizing what's at stake.

    2. Yes, they will digest that perverted news. Same as they digest so much perverted news..
      And yes it is highly irresponsible

      shakes head.sighs...

  4. Argh. Just lost a half an hour comment that I was writing about todays gilet jaune gathering. So I will make it short then as I don't have the mood to start anew.
    So today was act 6 of the gilet jaune. Contrary to Castaners statement that there were only 800 gj in Paris, there was again a big gathering. The GJ were smarter this time as they made the police think they would go to Versailles (very posh town south west of Paris). The authorities had amassed there with all their riot equipments to discover that noone wanted to play with them there :-)
    The GJ gatherd in Montmartre (around the Sacré-Cœur) instead and started their march towards the posher part of the capital. At the end of the day they massively arrived at Champs-Elysées were the police was overwhelmed.
    Some videos of today:

    The Champs-Elysées 2 hours ago

    Here the "official" instagram where you can watch a lot of videos of todays gatherings.

    In the rest of France also strong presence everywhere (also here were I live, there are several roundabouts with gilet jaunes, with improvised sheds and fire places.

    Here a video from Montpellier were reporter from the regional state channel France 3 are pushed to leave

    The movement also gathers sympathise around Europe:
    Here a gathering of yellow vests in Berlin in front of the Embassy

    I've heard on the radio that there were also yellow vest gatherings in Canada (Ottawa, Calgary and Vancouver specifically)? Is that true?

    1. "I've heard on the radio that there were also yellow vest gatherings in Canada (Ottawa, Calgary and Vancouver specifically)? Is that true?"

      yes, that is correct!

  5. And only for the fun of it.
    I heard that Kim Kardashian was also behind the yellow vests :-)