Flat White

The media won’t tell you, but it’s the middle-class rioting in France

9 January 2019

6:51 PM

9 January 2019

6:51 PM

One less-reported fact about the Paris ‘yellow vest’ riots is that they have sparked by small business traders, petit bourgeois, not the usual public sector workers, disaffected students or the left.

Macron’s government was distilled socialism, blanketing France with yet another layer of taxes aimed at those who were already paying taxes. If you’ve ever wondered (though you probably haven’t) why France doesn’t have the kind of innovative, entrepreneurial start-ups that we’ve become accustomed to from the Americans, college kids using the family garage or spare room to create ‘Le Google, La Facebook, Un Tesla – it’s because the dead hand of bureaucracy would take some 60 per cent of any earnings made, vanishing it into the yawning pit of consolidated revenue.

Owning an investment like a unit is a trap; the French government is staunchly on the side of your tenants, renters may default, take a six month vacation while forgetting to pay any rent and you can’t evict your tenant in France without seeing your lawyer, not just your real estate agent, and not in winter, because your flat is preferable to sleeping under a Seine bridge.

If France didn’t rely on nuclear power, the French would shiver through each winter, a fact that French environmentalists have had to swallow hard and accept, because the alternative is too awful to contemplate. The French political classes envy the Germans while admitting that Germany, through the power of the Landes, the German States, can give small businesses and manufacturers concessions, denied them in France.


Unemployment is so high in France, hitting young people hardest, for the simple reason that the State goes hand in hand with the trade unions. Just because they speak French doesn’t mean they’re nicer, though. Live in France for any length of time and you find out what ‘greve’ means pretty fast – ‘strike’ which can take place in any industry including education.

If you have a job, you’re OK, though you will be hit for those merciless taxes, but if you haven’t life gets pretty grim (although you can take advantage of those State-run medical, housing and other provided services). The thing is, you can’t get ahead while la socialisme is in place, and the idea is to not to let you get ahead.

Actually, you don’t need to go to France to see the effects of a socialist government.

Just head to the ACT and view the construction of stage one of Canberra’s light rail network, which, even the union has admitted, could “could become a $939 million white elephant,” as the Canberra Times mournfully reported earlier this week.

This is what happens when Labor, bolstered by the Greens, controls government and, by extension, your life. It doesn’t work in France and it shouldn’t even be tried in Australia.

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