Macron- Confronting Yellow Vest Protests in France- Promises Relief – The New York Times

By Alissa J. Rubin
Dec. 10, 2018

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PARIS — Faced with violent protests and calls for his resignation, President Emmanuel Macron of France said Monday that he had heard the anger of the many whose economic suffering has burst into the open in recent weeks and that he would take immediate steps to relieve their hardship.

Mr. Macron’s mea culpa on national television signaled a remarkable step back from his ambitions to reshape France’s economy and become the European Union’s foremost leader. For now, his chief goal is shoring up his own political support in France.

He announced tax cuts and income increases for the struggling middle class and working poor, vowing to raise the pay of workers earning the minimum wage. He promised to listen to the voices of the country, to its small-town mayors and its working people.

“There is anger, anger and indignation that many French share,” he said in 13-minute prerecorded speech from the Elysée, the presidential palace.

via Macron, Confronting Yellow Vest Protests in France, Promises Relief – The New York Times

David Lindsay:  Yes, good article. Here is the top commnent I endorse:

HeyNorris
Paris, France
Times Pick

While I thoroughly admire the French passion for protest – as opposed to American lethargy – I have a growing desire to ship the entire lot of the “gilets jaunes” crowd to America so they can experience firsthand what it’s like to live without guaranteed health care, job protection, and to fully enjoy their two-week annual paid vacation, while their tax dollars go to fund a bloated military as they dodge potholes driving over teetering bridges. It’s true that in France we are over-taxed, but there’s a serious lack of appreciation of what those taxes buy: see above. As a 12 year resident of France transplanted from NYC, I’m constantly telling my French friends “you don’t know how good you have it”. Macron made a series of concrete pledges that will give tangible relief to France’s most vulnerable and will strain an already overburdened treasury. Yet the verdict is already in: too little, too late. That’s because what the anger is *really* about is the repeal of the ISF, a truly regressive *annual* tax on net worth (not income!) over €1.3 million which has sent French capital fleeing to Belgium, Switzerland, Luxembourg and Monaco. Every wealthy French person I know “lives” in these jurisdictions. Macron’s courageous repeal of this ridiculous tax (Piketty is wrong on this, it will repatriate billions), could be his undoing. If it is, we will know that even a thoughtful, socially conscious nation like France can be infected by the small-mindedness that put Trump in power.

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