Dear Bernie Supporter: Keep an eye on foreign news

Widespread strikes in France, many turning violent. There are big-time shortages of gasoline so that many people can’t go to work if they want to. The strikes are not directed against “the corporations.” They are directed squarely at the government. What government? The government of the French Socialist Party. That’s an instance of “democratic socialism” if there was ever one.

What did the Hollande government do to attract such working class anger? It has tried to modify slightly the labor laws, to make it easier for example, for employers to offer more than 35 hours a week to their employees if the latter want them (IF they want them).

France is a country with around 10% unemployment for about twenty years. For the young it’s been around 25% . Also, there has not been real economic growth for about ten years (+1% GDP annual is a cause for celebration). Meanwhile, Germany and Switzerland next door are thriving. A great deal of French public opinion is simply in bad faith and refuses to see the obvious: If it’s too difficult to fire people, employers don’t hire and even suppress growth to avoid hiring.

The Minister of Labor in charge of making the French kiss and even swallow that frog is a woman with an Arab name, a Muslim name. Do I think the French Socialist Party is twisted? I am not sure.

Please, thing of sharing, especially with Sanderites.

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4 thoughts on “Dear Bernie Supporter: Keep an eye on foreign news

  1. Not sure what the point is supposed to be here; French leftists (specifically, a union that largely aligns with the French communist party) are striking against a government and socialist/social-democratic party that they think is too conservative/neoliberal. Does dissent within the “democratic socialist” camp somehow undermine the idea of democratic socialism? Why?

    Also, if we’re going to compare the economic situation between France and Germany, it is definitely key to unpack the role that unions play in the two countries, considering that German industries seem to be dominated by powerful unions that the law ensures have the ability to influence planning and coordination of company policies.

  2. […] economic policies for the past twenty years have been stinky. The causes of the French stagnation would sound familiar to any Bernie Sanders supporter. The current government of the Socialist Party differs from the Obama administration in matters of […]

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