Danger of Massive Protests in France

The looming fight over pensions is one of the biggest tests Macron has faced since he was re-elected last year. During the presidential campaign, the French president vowed to reform France’s state pensions system and bring it in line with European neighbors such as Spain and Germany where retirement age is 65 to 67 years old. Official predictions show that the finances of France’s state pensions system are balanced in the short term but will go into deficit in the long term.

“The danger for [Macron] is that the country becomes a mess and people feel it’s the fault of the government. There’s inflation, difficulties for small businesses, and now we’ll be adding strikes, demonstrations, train cancellations,” said Jeanbart.

Among the potentially more troubling fallouts for the government would be the emergence of an unpredictable movement similar to the fiery Yellow Vest movement in 2018 and 2019, which turned violent and forced Macron to backtrack on a green tax fuel bill.

stiff opposition from trade unions and swathes of the French public.


The French may retire at 62, while in many European countries people have to work at least until 65. I don´t like Macron at all, but he´s right.


Demographics at work here. Not enough young workers to fill the coffers. I can definitely understand the allure of the pension from a personal standpoint. But I much, much prefer the IRA system, where all the money is legally mine. Its a lot more work for me. But less OVERALL risk in the long term.

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French youth unemployment rate is around 20%.

Overall unemployment is lower, but still high at 7%.

France Unemployment Rate.

Seems to be plenty of young workers.

Well, that really puts a damper on plans we have in March for a trip.
Any idea when these actions are expected to rile people up? Article didn’t seem to mention a timeline.

“It was a return expected by some, feared by others. According to figures from the Ministry of the Interior, 4,700 people demonstrated throughout France on Saturday 7 January during the Yellow Vests demonstration. According to these government figures, there were 2,000 participants in Paris, and 2,700 in the regions. In total, 58 actions were recorded throughout France.”

It was a very weak protest, but this might be only the begining.
If I were you, I´d choose Spain instead: better weather, cheaper prices, friendlier people.

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And it has been stubbornly so for over 40 years. This IMF paper from 1994 has some suggestions:

Some of the actions the authors suggest are reducing the duration and generosity of unemployment benefits, reducing the very high employers social security taxes and reducing increases in the minimum wage.

This 2015 paper notes many of the same structural problems and finds the Phillips curve (the inverse relationship between unemployment and wage increases) to be “feeble”.



This is politics which is not allowed on this board according to Wendy.

This one is not pure politics. It’s the intersection of politics and macro changes required regarding retirement age policies and how those policies affect employment.

The Brazil post is mostly pure politics.


EWQ is up quite a bit in the last 3 months - about twice what the rise in the euro could explain.

France like Germany needs a decade of recapitalizing the economies.

This does mean taking from the workers.

What it becomes by 2030 is out and out lying the people of France that the rich need the money or else.

We saw this in the US by 1990. The lies for money then become unending.

Until now in the US.

The shell game continues. Don’t envy the fall of France and the rise of the United States today.

I tend to agree. I think an expanded EITC can go a long way to helping compensate people for work that is not worth $15 an hour. Tax personal income to pay for it instead of putting the cost on business.

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If work is not worth $15/hr, is it worth doing? Why are the “JCs” deserving of having their payroll subsidized? If a subsidy for a $10 payrate is justified, how about a subsidy for a $2 payrate? How about having the government pay the entire $15, and march the recipients off to the workhouse to work for the “JC” for free?



I really do not care if a small businessman fails because he cant afford labor.

Using people as a national past time has to end.

More efficient businesses and managers can pay more to workers.

The businesspeople who fail because they can not use people should “get a job”. Having a business they can not run successfully is a waste of resources.

BTW I do not care at all if white males have to work like everyone else. There is nothing special there.

You are not subsidizing the JCs. You are subsidizing the workers - and taxing the JCs (through income tax) to pay for it.

The non-partisan CBO has studied a min wage of $15 a hour and it will cause more harm than good. Remove your partisan hate for the JCs from the equation.


1 million jobs lost.
8 billion reduction in family income.

I would much rather have a US citizen employed in a job that requires some state/federal help than that same person being out of work (due to the job being sent overseas or otherwise) and requiring EVEN MORE state/federal help.

WE (taxpayers/consumers) have to pay for them either way. With an expanded EITC, the JCs probably pay more than they would otherwise.

The amount the “JCs” would pay, in income tax, would be minor, compared to the amount taxed from everyone else, to subsidize the “JC’s” payroll, while the “JC” realizes all the benefit of his payroll being subsidized.

The non-partisan CBO has studied a min wage of $15 a hour and it will cause more harm than good.

That assumes a surplus of labor. I have commented, several times, on the irregular hours and services offered in food service around here, due to the lack of available labor. I have also commented on the wages that are actually being offered. I have seen as much as $16.50 being offered, and places still can’t get enough workers.



This. I understand where Hawkin is coming from. But… this. And frankly, based on the problems that some industries are having attracting workers, it seems that people themselves are agreeing to this. People are fed up with poor wages, no benefits etc. And I don’t blame them.


The issue in a nutshell is that they know all that, and if they pay $20-25/hr they can get workers. But then instead of ~$10 for lunch, it’ll be $13. And then you won’t go there anymore, or not as often. And then it isn’t worth their while (fixed costs) to keep the place open.

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No, not really. It assume that there are jobs that simply are not worth $15 a hour, regardless of the labor shortage. The fact that there IS NOT a surplus of labor coupled with the fact that there are still jobs that are paying less than $15 an hour - while millions of job openings, illustrates that fact.

There are fast food restaurants in my area that have reduced hours for the same reason. Doesn’t mean that they can necessarily make money by instead being open at higher wages and higher product prices. It is fair to assume that those business have done the math and have determined it is more profitable to simply close.

If there are jobs in your area paying $16.50 an hour for entry level work, then those jobs clearly do not need a $15 min wage and by increasing it to such, it might result in other businesses in the state eliminating workers.

My opinion on this issue is non-partisan. I’ve long argued for a min wage that is tied to inflation and that scales in much the same way that the poverty level for household income scales but I also accept the data that a $15 min wage actually causes more harm than good and a better way to support those individuals (and to reduce the collateral damage of even more unemployed) would be to subsidize those workers through the EITC.

Better link this time:



We are going to subsidize them either way; through welfare, SNAP, housing allowances, etc. Better to support them (less) by having them be a contributing member of the economy via a job.

Might even help bring back more manufacturing jobs from other countries.

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Then we are back to the narrative of socializing the costs, and privatizing the profits. Take that to the logical end point: people maintained entirely at government expense, which is funded by taxing workers, because must not “burden” the “JCs”, and putting them in forced labor camps so the “JC” can extract his profit from their work.