The people of France are on strike against the erosion of pension benefits mandated by Sarkozy’s neo-liberal policies. Since October 12, over a million people have been in the streets protesting. Fuel depots are closed and transportation, public and private, is slowing to a standstill. In the US, the French struggle has barely been acknowledged.
Today’s New York Times plays catch-up, but the American “news cycle” is dominated by a phone call from Clarence Thomas’ wife to Anita Hill.
Here’s a comment lifted from the thread that follows the Times article:
I find it really entertaining for Americans who have never been to France, don’t understand our mentality, and know next to nothing about our politics are commenting so vehemently. Let’s talk about laziness, shall we? Who’s lazier, the Frenchman who goes out into the street to march against the reforms which aren’t the only solution to the problem or an American who sits in front of their TV watching Glenn Beck and whining about their taxes?
Whether or not the reform is right, we have the right to protest it, and at least we use that right. Unlike most of what the media has been saying, the strikes in most of France have been peaceful and minimally disruptive.
Also, quit saying we get free education, free health care, free pensions, etc. We don’t. We pay for them our entire lives through TAXES, which are far higher than taxes in the US. Yes we have our problems, but quite frankly, I’d rather be here than there.