France - 
Article published the Wednesday 20 October 2010 - Latest update : Friday 22 October 2010

Are the French a bunch of lazy slackers?

Youths clash with police during protests in Lyon, 19 October
Reuters/Robert Pratta

By Tony Cross

The French - if they’re not on strike, they’re taking long holidays or having extra days off thanks to the 35-hour week. That’s a widespread view, as can be seen from comments on RFI’s reports of the strikes against President Nicolas Sarkozy’s pension reforms. But do the statistics bear it out?

No-one could deny that France has a combative labour movement, especially when right-wing parties are in power and, as the unions see it, trying to take back gains won by years of struggle.


Dossier: Eurozone in crisis

And international media headlines often give the impression of a country wracked by industrial conflict, which must surely be bringing the economy to its knees.
So is France heading for ruin – a world champion in strikes and lazing around and a world loser in wealth production?
Here’s what the figures show:
Strikes: The world leader in days lost in strikes in 2009 was … Canada. Its score was 2.2 million, according to the UK journal The Economist. Next came South Africa with 1.5 million. France came third with 1.4 million. France comes top of the European league table for the period 2005-2009, according to the European Foundation for the improvement of Living and Working Conditions. But in 2008 its efforts were dwarfed by Denmark, thanks to a strike wave, one of whose demands was a 35-hour working week. The damage to the economy is not as high as might be expected, judging by statistics from 2005 when a three-week strike cut 0.05 of a point from the growth rate, according to the Finance Ministry.
Hours worked: French workers work an average of 1,453 hours a year, well below the OECD group of developed nations' average of just over 1,700 hours a year but above Germany and Norway (1,337), Sweden (1316) and the Netherlands (1309). South Koreans work the longest hours in the OECD at 2,390 per year.
Retirement: At present French women can retire at the same age as women in Italy, South Korea, Hungary, the UK, Greece and Poland but earlier than Turks and Czechs. Men have the lowest minimum retirement age in the OECD. The government's proposals will bring them in line with Czechs and Hungarians and raise the age that retirees can claim the full pension to 67, provided they have paid over 40 years of contributions.
GDP: France’s Gross Domestic Product has doubled in the last 20 years. It was over 2000 billion euros in 2009, according to the IMF and the World Bank. That puts it fifth in the world league table, behind the US, Japan, China and Germany and just ahead of the UK. Over the same period, there has been a 10 per cent shift of the share of GDP from salaries to profits.
Productivity: French workers’ productivity has risen five times since 1960. Although it has fallen slightly over the last two years thanks to the recession, it is expected to double again over the next 20 years. GDP per hour worked is lower than in the US and Ireland but higher than in many countries, including the UK, Germany and Japan.

Debt: France has the sixth highest public deficit in Europe in percentage terms, at 8.2 per cent. The US’s deficit reached 12.5 per cent in 2009. The debt of French households was 89.1 per cent of income in 2006, according to the OECD. In Britain and the United States that ratio stood at 168.5 percent and 139.7 percent respectively.

Unemployment: French unemployment stands at 10 per cent, the average for the eurozone. As in other industrialised countries, the figure has been pushed up by the recession but was already relatively high at 8.2 per cent in 2001. US unemployment stood at 9.6 per cent in June 2010.


Click here for RFI's "Hidden Paris" series. Part I - How a leafy Paris boulevard came to be named after a left-wing extremist


tags: GDP - Germany - Labour - Nicolas Sarkozy - South Korea - Strike - Trade unions - Unemployment - United Kingdom - United States
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Comments (195)

When an American calls you

When an American calls you lazy, is just like an alchool addicted calls you "drunk"

Americans know how to eat work consume and nothing more. Just like a bunch of uneducated sheepy crowd living into Plato's cage...

Oooops! Did I hurt feelings??? Boo-hooo

American, ass kissing wage

American, ass kissing wage slaves criticizing the French for standing up to a ruling class that wants to squeeze them for everything they've got? Typical. Dear readers I'd like to introduce the Tea Party Patriots, or teabaggers, as they called themselves until they found out what the term really meant.

You're an idiot

Ruling class? You mean the class that WORKS, pays taxes, and supports idiots like you? You're a moron. And the tea party never called themselves teabaggers, idiot. It was the liberal media who decided to use that term. Again, you are a moron.

The French as Slackers?

I'm not much impressed by statistics. They can be used to place anyone or anything in either a good or bad light...i.e. Hitler made the trains run on time.

The reason for raising the retirement age is that at the current age, the government can't afford it. Joie de vivre, high taxes, social contract, & French culture notwithstanding, it all boils down to that.

Are the French lazy?

I agree that the pension regime in France is not sustainable in its present form but that is not the question being asked. The question is whether the French are inherently lazy and it is patently obvious that such an accusation is nonsense. To understand French attitudes and actions it is necessary to understand what they value in life. What may be suited to you or me may not be appreciated by a Frenchman. I think that they have a perfect right to defend their way of life even if, in this case, they are fighting a losing battle. In any event it is their own business and not ours.

French retirement

I am English and have a great love of France and its people. It seems to me that most contributors to this article do not understand the French way of life and what they value. The French pay high levels of tax and social security contributions and in return they expect (and get) good retirement and health care benefits. It is a form of social contract with the government. They are a cultural nation, not particularly materialistic and enjoy the finer things of life.
Whatever you may think of their actions they see themselves as defending a way of life they regard as hard-won and paid for. Who are we to deny them that? Accusations that the French are inherently lazy are just silly.
Americans have a totally different outlook and some would say it is over-materialistic and wasteful - if that is the case then that is their prerogative.
Incidentally, I do wonder why so many comments from a lot of American contributors to this discussion are so insulting, aggressive and ill-informed.

The article should have

The article should have explicitly said, the normal retirement age in france is 60 years while in most of the developed world it is at least 65 years.

Tthe french are not lazy slackers

France has been a country of culture and thinkers . It is a bastion of the western civilazation. Also the recent riots can be seen as a response of social and economic imbalances in the french society.The ever growing Muslim populaton in France represents a force that will compound with that society.Is France culture and society becoming more Muslim ? Is Muslim culture part of french culture? As an outsider that admires France these are some of the questions that come to mind when visiting areas of that beautiful country.

The French have a high

The French have a high respect for quality of life. They seem to understand that you are not given a job, but that you trade hours of your day to help society and should be fairly compensated. Kudos for them. I only wish that Americans would wake up to the double speak that is going on, but they are too busy watching reality TV shows. Thank these workers for not allowing the Unions to fade. I am so proud of the French.

Most of the above anti French Comments

The largest bank by capitalization is Societe Generalle. That is for starts. Airbus is primarily a French company and it proved that in the most recent defining showdown with the Germans, when the French computer programs and engineering approaches were adopted. I often travel from Paris to Brussels, first class in 1 hour fifteen minutes for about fifty dollars.. I was last seen at the Neurological Institute of Marseilles (dual citizenship), a gleaming vast complex near the center of the city, for five euro TOTAL. The three and a half hour appointment included three x-rays, an MRI and a consultation by no less than the department head. Wrap your minds around that. The largest engineering firm in the world (think channel tunnel) is French (Vinci SA). It by the way owns half the parking lots in the US. About 20% of the wind turbines in the US are being leased from Energies de France, and the same company runs the largest Nuclear Power Grid in the world that has NEVER had a single accident. On my last trip to Paris my sister bet me that we would see more than ten homeless people during our four day stay while driving all over Paris. She lost. The people are uniformly well clothed, calm, and formal. The women do not look like call girls and the young people have very little to do with the deplorable state that youth in this country present. You people should go to France, you should stay there for a month and then come back and see what it feels like when you land at JFK. THIRD WORLD. People shabbily dressed, confusion, noise, stench. Charles De Gaule Airport on the other hand has to be experienced to be believed, and such an elevating experience it is. You people just don't know what you are talking about. The French are the sort of people who save money under their mattresses, pass on the family home from generation to generation and were paying bills on a French internet in 1974 when we did not even have computers through a very simple system of dial coding on the telephones coupled with their television sets. You people are just plain ignorant. Why don't you go to your local bank, draw out whatever you have left and buy some derivatives and pretend that you are "doing" something while the "slaggard" French "Frogs" are just lying around living off the fat of a very well balanced, very efficient society powered by.....EDUCATION. And yes, if you tell them that you do not believe in evolution they will most certain reply, "you must be American". And as to the French being fops, they won the first world war. Wake up, six million of them died. And when it came time for the Brits to pony up in Normandy, they played the "Brit" card and ran and swam the channel to "Fortress Britain" leaving the totally betrayed French to fight the full might of the Panzer divisions pouring in through neutral Belgium and the Netherlands. Really, I may sound upset, but you people really have no sense of the world you are living in and as a consequence of your greed and ignorance you are delivering us to the hands of your bankers, the Chinese.

I am french, and what you

I am french, and what you write is weird to me.

"I often travel from Paris to Brussels, first class in 1 hour fifteen minutes for about fifty dollars"
The lowest price for 1st class is 100 euros for a two ways ticket, ie about 140 dollars.

" I was last seen at the Neurological Institute of Marseilles (dual citizenship), a gleaming vast complex near the center of the city, for five euro TOTAL. The three and a half hour appointment included three x-rays, an MRI and a consultation by no less than the department head."

Yes, it works like that, if you are a VIP. I, like other normal people, have always received standard treatment, snail paced. In France you do not need money to get good care, you need good relations and it does not make things very different. The only difference is that you have no control at all how your taxpayer money is spent in the healthcare system, and year after year it is losing billions and billions in spite of being one of the most expensive in the world.

"On my last trip to Paris my sister bet me that we would see more than ten homeless people during our four day stay while driving all over Paris"
If you make Paris-Bruxelles, then you take the TGV at Gare du Nord. You already have more than 10 homeless people just in this single station.

And sorry I do not buy the old patriotic song about french biggest banks and companies. Yes they are big because they live from big government contracts given by politics to get more votes. As a result, they carelessly spend big amounts of money, and they are never accounted for. For example banks in France have an agreement with government and do not give interest rates on deposit accounts! No wonder they are big they get billions doing nothing, and normal people have to pay for inflation.

Yes France is perfect for retirement or if you work for a big government sponsored corporate group, because it keeps alive a system which was made in 1945 when life expectancy was 65-70 and was never adjusted since. But it has a price, and younger generation pay for it. The economic collapse of France is more and more visible every day and tends to accelerate.

"were paying bills on a French internet in 1974 when we did not even have computers through a very simple system of dial coding on the telephones coupled with their television sets"
Never heard anything like that. In the 90's there was a monopolistic system called "minitel" which allowed to see text pages, but was very expensive and slow (pay per minute). This system was made by France Telecom a state monopoly and brought them a fortune, but they managed to make billions of debt in the late 90's, and get a bailout from state as usual.

If you have already enough money to get retired in France, or are rich or work for a national champion corporation like Vinci, then France is perfect for you. If you struggle to start your own business, good luck!

How brilliantly written and

How brilliantly written and accurate.

I am an American, unhappily, and my "dream" is to high-tail it out of the U.S.A. and live a peaceful existance in France. I don't know if I will be able to manage on the monthly Social Security check (meagerly) but who cares. Just to be surrounded my incredible historic monuments, the best food in the world - somehow or other I will make do.

Long Live FRANCE! Yes, I am a above the retirement age now voted in your country. But I certainly look oh so much younger each time I return from visiting France back to the United States. I detox my body with each visit - the food in U.S.A. is poisoning, the FDA couldn't care less what Americans are choking on! I say feed the politicians in Washington the garbage we are buying each and every day in supermarkets everywhere.

Merci beaucoup and joie de vivre to everyone in France.

re: Most of the Above anti-French comments

There is no reason for anyone to insult the French, Americans or anyone else on this forum. We are here to discuss a topic and should all be mature adults. Throwing insults is immature and clearly shows ignorance and lack of any good argument to utilize. As far as the homeless are concerned, every country has them. I travel a lot on business and pleasure. I go to Europe and Asia several times per year. I was in Paris 9/2-9/12 to visit a dear French friend from college. Yes, I am a stupid American with an MBA from University of Virginia and also studied at Sorbonne during my college years. You will be shocked, but I speak almost fluent French considering it's been 18 years since I last studied French. I was surprised at seeing people sleeping in the subway stations during the evening and also asking for spare change. And the young people hopping the subway turnstiles. No wonder horse stall doors are needed to enclose the turnstiles. We don't have them in the United States. Most were Arabic/African. Clearly you have only travelled to NYC which is not indicative of the entire United States. We have 50 states and each is different. That's the reason half of our population does not have a passport. We have plenty of places to visit in our own country, and can drive for 7 days and still never leave our borders. I live in Chicago where the streets are washed weekly. We are the cleanest big city in the USA (cleaner than Paris), but that's because our mayor values order and cleanliness. Our late mayor Richard Daley gave the "shoot to kill" order to the Chicago Police during the Democratic National Convention in 1968 when riots broke out. Our women do not look like call girls. In regards to dress, Americans are more casual when they are on vacation or not at work. We also prefer to be comfortable in jeans and sneakers. I was shocked at how many people seem to prefer jeans and sneakers in Paris! Supposedly the best dressed people next to the Italians on earth. My hardworking French friend hates the lazy, selfish minority whom went on strike causing trouble for the public. She had to go to work each day and navigate the streets for miles when she normally depends on the subway system. The majority of French are hardworking, decent people trying to make a living to feed their families and enjoy their personal lives. J'aime beaucoup la France. I also like the French people whom are kind and helpful. Even Parisians when approached with respect. Like any big city residents, they are in a hurry. As far as WWI, the French fought bravely and courageously, and suffered horrendous casualties of 1.6 million killed soldiers, but American assistance helped to defeat the Germans. The French could not have continued the war and won without the Yanks. Check your facts mon ami. Even your own President acknowledged this fact during his 2007 speech at U.S. Congress. History was my minor in college so we can discuss all day long. This is the reason that the French army capitulated so quickly during WWII. France was exhausted. The French never recovered from such devastating losses suffered in the first world war. 1 out of 4 French households lost a brother, son, husband, etc. Plus there were 80 million Germans vs. 40 million Frenchmen in terms of industrial capacity during WWII. A David vs. Goliath fight. The Germans should have picked on someone their own size instead of bullying the outnumbered French. For those uninformed Americans, the French resistance courageously fought against the occupying Germans by obtaining vital intelligence for the Allies regarding missile/weapons locations, conducted acts of sabotage against the German military, rescued and smuggled thousands of downed U.S. and British pilots safely out of the country, etc. For each pilot, it meant possibly risking the lives of at least 7 French persons. The resistance did all this and more without weapons of their own. The only weapons that the resistance could utilize were arms captured from killed Germans. As far as your beef with the British, it goes back more than one thousand years. I won't get involved in that argument. I think the problem for France in the future will be it's Muslim population and it's unrestricted immigration. I hope that I am wrong. Vive La France!

I almost forgot...

For my uninformed fellow American countrymen whom choose to ignorantly bash the French, here's a reminder for you. The French are our oldest ally and we have never been to war against each other. We cannot say the same about our other allies - Great Britain, Spain, Mexico, Germany, etc. Have you forgotten that the French gifted the beautiful Statue of Liberty whom stands in the New York harbor to us? We would NEVER have won our independence against Great Britain in 1776 without the generous assistance of our French friends. The French King Louis XVI gave 6 million dollars and 50,000 French troops along with his French Navy to aid our cause due to a request by our hero General Lafayette whom was French on behalf of a desperate George Washington and U.S. Congress. The Americans had no money or naval force. I am tired of hearing how supposedly ungrateful the French are for our assistance during WWII. Clearly these words are spoken by Americans whom have never set foot on French soil. We simply repaid our debt to the French by coming to their aid and we are both even. As a college student studying at Sorbonne for one year in 1993, I had plenty of time to explore France. In a small town in the Normandy region, I was dumbstruck when I stumbled upon two French homes flying the US flag. Unlike Americans, the French rarely display even their own flag. Many small towns in the Normandy area also fly the Stars and Stripes in the center of town. The French land on which the beautiful American cemetery in Normandy sits was gifted in perpetuity to the US government and is immaculately maintained. Did you know many Frenchmen wearing AMERICAN uniforms fought alongside Allied infantry forces liberating France in 1944? General Eisenhower estimated these French forces amounted to at least ten American divisions. These French comrades wore our uniforms because they were our allies and friends. Vive La France and L'Amerique!!!

This was beautifully stated,

This was beautifully stated, I could not have said it better myself. I lived and worked for 3 years in Paris where I gained a strong appreciation for the French, their culture and customs. I can't wait to go back someday.

Beautifully stated, thank

Beautifully stated, thank you! Vive La France and God bless America.


American people have their brain washed with capitalism! That is so sad!


this punishment for voting sanction against IRAN. France needs a new Revolution


There's nothing less pleasurable than a life devoted to pleasure especially the pleasure of rioting so as to avoid working. Thank goodness for the real working class minority who are creative, intelligent, enterprising and resourceful enough to keep France going and thanks to Mr Sarkozy for daring to do what should be done. The French people can't go on constantly depending on the Germans and occasionally rescued by the English not to mention liberated by the Americans. French students today, just as students before them have no shame.


Just goes to show how dichotomous the French (and Spaniards) are to the work ethical British, Dutch, German, Irish and Northern Europeans who would prefer to work as long as they possibly can and have to be forced to retire unlike the lazy sods looking to retire and get their pension and then sit around doing nothing before they are 70.

Who Are These Negative People?

Wow! For a French newspaper, there sure are a lot of anti-French comments here! Most of the comments are so negative, they sound like -- Americans? I thought we just hated ourselves. I guess we get around!

Reading is Overrated

Here's a sure-fire way to tell if the Drudge Report linked to an article...have a look at the comments, and see if there's a lot of fringe-right comments that bear no relation to the content of the article. They're saying that they're more productive than the U.S., morons. I'm just shocked these people kept the spelling error count low enough that I could read the comments.

Insults are often used when

Insults are often used when one is out of arguments... and not so smart ...

Spoiled children!!

Dang Cheeze-eating surrender monkeys!! You need to "MAN UP" and work!! It's no wonder your country has become a 3rd rate world power. Get off your lazy butts & work!

Oh my - if this statement

Oh my - if this statement isn't ironic then it's profoundly ignorant. Are childlike slogans the best you can contribute to this discussion? Thanks for reinforcing the world's already low opinion of American intelligence.

Les Enfant du Europe y Vraiment La France

Come ON! Everybody with a brain who reads knows that Europeans in general and the Froggy-frogs in particular are childish imbeciles.
The French (with the single exception of DeGaulle) haven't produced a great man since Napoleon. (I do have some respect for le monsieur Sarkozy, but he's not actually French!)
Other than at least some of the now-free Eastern Europeans who have practical knowledge of the reality of statist, socialist regimes, the entire continent is full of (probably the majority) people who don't want to work or oppose agressor states in the world but DO want their governments to take care of them like the spoiled little boys and girls they are. They also since WWII have let the US give the money, sweat, and blood to keep their European bodies safe from the Soviets while they apent like 1% of their GNP on defense.
How can ANYBODY with a brain have respect for the way most Europeans ignore economic and international reality and throw temper tantrums when that reality come home to roost?
BTW I don't oppose his Highness, the Mahdi/Messiah President Obobo because he is black. It's because he THINKS AND ACTS like a Frenchman!
Oh, and froggie/woggies eat SNAILS, too! (OK, OK, generally, la cuisine Francaise est le meilleure dans le monde, but that's the ONLY thing they're good at!)

wow, somebody has never

wow, somebody has never travelled, at least I now know that some americans view Europe in the same way as some of us view you! As for the arms race - didnt that prove to be money well spent! Maybe if Uncle Sam had saved some pennies instead of wanting to be the toughest in the playground, he might have a proper transport system, education for all and some kind of national health system that didnt resemble a third world country's! Good work! ps. enjoy your next McDonald, no snails in there!

Are the French a bunch of lazy slackers?

Are the French a bunch of lazy slackers?

Why yes, they are.

not slackers!

The French gov't, like the others in the west and us, shelled out billions to make the banksters whole again. Then the banksters turned around and demanded austerity measures- aka a squeeze on the middle class- as a price for continuing to buy gov't bonds. The retirement age issue, for example, is really about unemployment and jobs. French companies cannot lay off workers just to goose the profit figures and stock prices; French workers generally stay a very long time with an employer, so if the top age level sees it's retirement postponed by two years, that means middle level employees do not get promoted up to fill the slots, and recent hires are not moved up to middle positions, and recruitment of recent graduates stalls. That is why the students are out there striking with the workers. Having a lower retirement age than other western capitalist states, along with a shorter work week (35 hrs) and longer vacation times, was a way of boosting employment levels while at the same time giving people more time to spend with their families. Cutting these back to satisfy bond-buyers will reduce the quality of life and boost unemployment, particularly among the young just starting out in their careers and families.

The non-productive riding the backs of the productive

The non-productive can ride on the backs of the productive for only so long. The producer, as soon as it becomes evident that he can no longer benifit from his working harder than others, Ceases to over produce---and overall production falls. This results in less support for the freeloaders. Simple psychology and basic economics. Either the freeloaders must eventually work themselves OR the producers are forced to work at gunpoint as slaves.---A common end result of Socialisim.

free money



These union folks in France are the example of what our government union folks are destined to become, elitism is a wasted way to think, especially when mixed with years of socialism. The U.S. is verging on experiencing the very same attitude of unwillingness to put the country ahead of selfishness and inepetitude, the uncompromising childish delusional thinking that bad policy has had no effect and that government is the answer to all these plague like issues, that personal responsibility has no place. La La land is great until you run out of other peoples money.....Maggie Thatcher was years ahead of you.

French mentality out of synch

Modern times require ever occuring adaptations to society needs. French mentality seems obstinate to recognize that evolution in civilazation requires changing the way they think. . They are the casualties of their own mindset. Their response to change is massive and disruptive striking. A country of glory has become a society of spoiled laggards. Only collective effort can help advance a country in crisis.

The Hammock at Versailles

Yes, they are lazy these days. I highly doubt that in the days the French were building the Arc de Triomphe, Concierge, Eiffel Tower, Louvre, Notre Dame de Paris, and so forth, they were lazy. Those were the days the adults acted like adults and got the jobs done no matter how long it took. Oh how the mighty Gauls have fallen. (It is more like little Saudi Arabia these days.)



Are governments a bunch of crooked parasites?

Yes, governments are a bunch of crooked parasites.

In the US 80% of all assets by value are now owned by just 10% of the population. Even more is held in off shore accounts.

Government taxes are used to make the rich richer and murder the poor all around the world to steal their resources.

The French workers are the only ones standing up to the parasite class, which is to say government.

Bank assets should simply be seized, the bankers and politicians that work for them thrown into forced labor camps.

you ort not talk that way, you just a boy

I assume like most people in the free world you have a bank account or maybe even a house that you are probably paying a mortgage for. So if Uncle Sam seizes bank assets that means your money and your house, fool.

Where do I start? First, the

Where do I start? First, the only thing I agree with you on is that govt. is indeed filled with crooked parasites. Second, Where is your proof that 80% of all assets are owned by 10% of the population? In the U.S. home ownership is king and most homes are owned by individual owners. So I doubt your statistic. Third, taxes are used for the opposite. They are used to redistribute wealth from the rich to the poor. The top 50% of wage earners pay 96% of all income taxes. The bottom 44% pay no income taxes. You can check this at the U.S. bureau of labor and statistics. Check that along this statistic: almost the exact same # of people that pay no income tax get some sort of govt. hand out. Fourth, the French workers arent the only stupid ones, Denmark and other countries routinely strike more than the frogs. Lastly, is taking money from the banks going to do?!?!? Last time I checked, no one forces a banker to use a bank. Who we need to string up are the politicians who bail the banks out. If a bank becomes insolvent, then you seize it and auction off what's left. We're finally figuring out that politicians spend too much of our money in the U.S. and are starting to vote the bums out. We'll see if they learn their lesson.


Yes, but then what's wrong with enjoying life at the expense of others?

They Have A Life

To be honest, how many of us have so few real interests in life other than working for someone else? I don't know about you but I don't live to work, I only work because I have to to earn money to do the things in life I actually like to do. The French can enjoy life more than, say Americans, because they have formed a government and institution that values people enjoying their lives more than concentrating extreme wealth into the hands of the very few who in turn enjoy life far more than the worker bees. You only have a finite amount of time on the Earth to enjoy life and do things you really care about so I take my hats off to the French and say pull the whole carpet out from your country if you have to become even more of a slave to your jobs. Set an example to the rest of the world. There is plenty of money out there concentrated in the hands of the very privileged to keep economies running and strong so don't buy into this BS you need to give up more of your lives and happiness to serve others you probably could care less about. That is not important to you though those that make money off your labor would sure like you to think different. Keep with your values and you will keep what you've earned!!

Policy caused bank insolvency

It was Western government policies that created the bank insolvency in the U.S. and worldwide. Don't blame it on the banks. Blame it on the corrupt politicians who are bought and paid for by public and private interests and use the public treasury as a spoils system to award the highest bidder. This is the reason large, centralized governments, e.g. Socialist governments don't work. They have to much power concentrated in one place, and absolute power corrupts absolutely.

surrender monkeys

I'm not anti french. I own a 30 y/o Renault and it's a great car, however there is a reason that the Tanks manufactured in France had one forward gear and 5 in reverse. Cheese eating surrender monkey's best describes them. Their problem is simple, they have simply run out of other peoples money to spend

Question From America:

Who are rioting? What is effect on the Muslim population? What role do the Muslims have in the street violence?

who cares?

Why should anyone care about the effect on the Muslim population. How about caring about the effect on the ENTIRE Population.

Yes Yes Yes

Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes

South Korea

"South Koreans work the longest hours in the OECD at 2,390 per year."

This explains their ability to break into the highly competitive automobile and electronics market. Its paying off for them now.

Why the aversion to work? Work is to be enjoyed. What is wrong with a healthy balance of work, sleep, and pleasure?

France has constructed a comfortable lifestyle for itself, but they dont want to look at the books. Are they content to borrow for today, and not worry about tomorrow? Would they smash windows and burn cars if more taxes were purposed? Why not institute a 85% tax? Wouldn't that solve their economic problems?

French lazy slackers?

No, the French are lazy, slacking, cheese-eating surrender monkeys. Freedom fries forever.

Lazy: No. Burdened by history and skeptical: yes.

The French have had some of the greatest thinkers and the worst leaders in the history of civilization. Any wonder it is so easy for the Unions to whip up these massive strikes, even though they are wrong this time.

Who gets the money

The peoples money has been taken by bankers and the financial services industry.
The people of France want their money back.
The government should not sacrifice the pensions to the average person, who pay high taxes to get those pensions, to fund the bank bailout.

Given that many of the

Given that many of the "protesters" are students - even high school students - how long exactly have they been paying high taxes? Is France so screwed up that soak even kids for money?

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