What's the matter with the French?

You go on strike just to protest raising the retirement age from 60 to 62? Is that such a burden? Life expectancy in most of the West, I believe, is around 80. Eighteen years of retirement isn't good enough? That isn't enough time to do all the things you couldn't do when you were working?

I understand a lot of people don't like their jobs, and want to do something else with their life. The real solution to the problem ought to be to find more meaningful work. But if you can't, make the effort to save enough money so that you don't depend on a government pension to retire early. And if you really can't do that, well...over here, standard retirement age is 66. I really don't think it's such an awful burden.

Before I get flamed...I supported the strike of 1968. This one looks a lot different to me.
 
Aug 16, 2009
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Merckx index said:
You go on strike just to protest raising the retirement age from 60 to 62? Is that such a burden? Life expectancy in most of the West, I believe, is around 80. Eighteen years of retirement isn't good enough? That isn't enough time to do all the things you couldn't do when you were working?

I understand a lot of people don't like their jobs, and want to do something else with their life. The real solution to the problem ought to be to find more meaningful work. But if you can't, make the effort to save enough money so that you don't depend on a government pension to retire early. And if you really can't do that, well...over here, standard retirement age is 66. I really don't think it's such an awful burden.

Before I get flamed...I supported the strike of 1968. This one looks a lot different to me.
Do you want to stop work at 60? I do.
 
WonderLance said:
Do you want to stop work at 60? I do.
In the first place, no, actually. In the second place, even if I did, I would balance that against the possibility of economic collapse brought about a society of people who increasingly want more and more while contributing less and less.

I suppose a lot of people would like to stop working at 50, 40 or 30--or maybe never have to work at all. Countering that, there is something called reality.
 
May 9, 2009
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I know...

Howz about we all just work for the government!

Then we could all get paid 40% more than private sector jobs, work 34 hours a week, get 6 weeks of paid vacations, full benefits, and retire at 55 with a fat pension!

Or we would all just be Communist....one or the other. :D
 
The problem with the French is that they lost all those battles over the years, surrendered ad nauseum, and yet in school their children are taught how great France is.

How can you expect such a people not to end up arrogant :)
 
Steel4Ever said:
I know...

Howz about we all just work for the government!

Then we could all get paid 40% more than private sector jobs, work 34 hours a week, get 6 weeks of paid vacations, full benefits, and retire at 55 with a fat pension!

Or we would all just be Communist....one or the other. :D
http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/c/a/2010/10/19/MNUJ1FUAOH.DTL

Public workers in California earn 7 percent less on average than private sector employees, but make about the same amount after benefits and other compensation are factored in, according to a study released Monday.
The study by economists at UC Berkeley and Rutgers University found that the similar wages and benefits exist despite the fact that 55 percent of public employees in the state have a college degree, compared with just 35 percent of California's private sector workers. Education levels are usually the most important factor in determining wages, but public employees do not get the same return for their education level as private sector employees, said co-author Sylvia Allegretto.
 
May 22, 2010
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i work in public sector in Australia. news to me that i'm better paid than private sector colleagues - they all seem to take home a lot more. maybe they're lying about their salaries and i should believe this study. studies are always right, they never mash statistics to twist the outcome..

there is no mandatory retirement age in france either. there's just an age at which you are eligible for the pension.
 
Jul 25, 2010
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Sadly times change. We are living longer & spending more then we save. Retirement age needs to go up a few years everywhere i'm afraid. I don't understand why women need to retire earlier when they live longer thou:confused:
 
amazing

The Hitch said:
The problem with the French is that they lost all those battles over the years, surrendered ad nauseum, and yet in school their children are taught how great France is.

How can you expect such a people not to end up arrogant :)
Wow, your knowledge and insight are truly such eye openers...
 
What's the matter with ... the rest of Europe

Merckx index said:
You go on strike just to protest raising the retirement age from 60 to 62? Is that such a burden? Life expectancy in most of the West, I believe, is around 80. Eighteen years of retirement isn't good enough? That isn't enough time to do all the things you couldn't do when you were working?

I understand a lot of people don't like their jobs, and want to do something else with their life. The real solution to the problem ought to be to find more meaningful work. But if you can't, make the effort to save enough money so that you don't depend on a government pension to retire early. And if you really can't do that, well...over here, standard retirement age is 66. I really don't think it's such an awful burden.

Before I get flamed...I supported the strike of 1968. This one looks a lot different to me.
If you think that the current demonstrations are just about retirement you are seriously misinformed!
 
The Hitch said:
The problem with the French is that they lost all those battles over the years, surrendered ad nauseum, and yet in school their children are taught how great France is.

How can you expect such a people not to end up arrogant :)
No people are just egosits. Everywhere. Though we have been made to believe hard work and individual responsibility are the panacea for all of society's problems. Right down to the bitter end. When it is only one of the many solutions. Though we don't take into account the corruption that happens at the top, in our's, as much as does in any system.

Cynics like you know this is a false myth, though find it much more convenient to promote because it works out best for you.
 
rhubroma said:
No people are just egosits. Everywhere. Though we have been made to believe hard work and individual responsibility are the panacea for all of society's problems. Right down to the bitter end. When it is only one of the many solutions. Though we don't take into account the corruption that happens at the top, in our's, as much as does in any system.

Cynics like you know this is a false myth, though find it much more convenient to promote because it works out best for you.
FFS it was a joke. Hence the ;)

People like you know it is a joke, though find it much more convenient to jump at it and lecture the op, because it works out best for you. :rolleyes:
 

SpartacusRox

BANNED
May 6, 2010
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I thought the French retired at 37?!

Seriously its a concern when most of the protesters shown on TV are students, most of whom are 40 years away from retirement. You wonder how much of the protest is just a handy vehicle under which to vent wider social frustrations.

Most western democracies are moving towards later retirement ages. In New Zealand it's 65. Hard to imagine such social unrest in places like NZ, Aussie or even the UK over raising retirement age by 2 years.

I think it is more the French public feeling that they are being made to pay for years of incompetent fiscal regulation and profiteering by banks and other financial institutions. This is just a convenient catalyst for a backlash.
 
Oct 20, 2010
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It really is disturbing that some people are so off-line in their thinking that they actually believe what they write.

As a resident in France, and not being French, I think I am well placed to give you a better insight about why the French do what they do. In some ways(and certainly not all), all of us could take a lesson from this action. I don’t necessarily agree with the means, but at least it’s a statement to the people running this country, that what the government are trying to impose is not right. This is not about retirement people, it’s a statement of dissatisfaction and discontent with our law-makers, our politicians(who BTW are all well paid, will retire earlier than most, ferried around in nice cars, and work in a palace).

Yes, when compared to other countries, France has generous working and living conditions for its people(again not all), it has some of the longest holidays in the world 5-6 weeks annually paid leave, up there with the most public holidays per annum(depending on the year), one of the shortest working weeks 35 hrs (although this also was a failure implemented by a government who didn’t really think about the solution to a problem very well) etc. However it also has one of the highest taxed populations on the planet to help pay for these benefits. You must also consider that in terms of pure wealth France is still among the topic 5 in the world – so somehow this all seems to function. For those willing to look past the perceived arrogance, I encourage you to read a book called 60 Million Frenchmen Can’t be Wrong. This book attempts to give an insight into why a Frenchman is the way that he is, and IMO is excellent.

Now to the route of the problem, it’s not that the French consider work to be a burden any more than any other country – it’s just that they don’t agree with giving up the rights of the people – just because a government believes that it should be the case. As a whole we pay more and more every year in terms of taxes, in terms of utilities etc. But we receive less and less, e.g. Medical benefits, child support etc. We are more and more policed, with more and more revenue going to the state from things like speed cameras, fuel taxes etc. Why should it always be the same people who have to give up more and more? Most French people get just as peeved as anyone else when there are strikes after strike, however in this particular case 75% of the country’s population support the action. At the very lowest level, I kind of think to myself – “well at least they are willing to do something about it, rather than just sit on their hands and watch more and more be taken away from the regular punter”!

Indeed, some see that with an aging population it is necessary to cover the burden of our youth in terms of more and more retirees, by raising the work period age(current 40yrs -> 42yrs). However, if you look at the real crux of the problem in France and in Europe in general it is unemployment. By raising retirement age you also add to this problem by keeping people in work longer and not making openings for the youth. That coupled with extremely high company taxes etc. These things are not conducive to a strong labour market. Companies need to have incentives in order to open positions and offices, and it is this lack of foresight that has impact on the unemployment rate. In France every employee costs a company roughly 1.7 – 1.8 times their salary.

To the point of “the Hitch”, what planet do you live on? On the whole I would say that French kids are educated very well(at least mine seem to be) and for free(again another benefit in which our high taxes pay), of course they will learn the history of their country, both the good and the bad, like pretty much everyone else does. As to “losing all those battles” what are you on about? They are likely to have won just as many as they have lost in their history – I guess you are referred to the both times that they were invaded, but please don’t forget it took a similar sized ally force to defeat the enemy. With comments like yours, you are the one really showing the arrogance.

Finally, not sure actually why such a post is on a cycling forum. It’d be good to get back to the topics that are relative to the world of cycling, and let each country deal with their own politics and politicians – personally not a favourable or enjoyable topic.

For all of your slinging of “sh.t” against France, it still brings us one of the most popular sporting events annually, for us to behold and enjoy during those weeks in July – I say stand up people, don’t let them role us over that easily, why be like the rest of the sheep on this planet. Stand up for yourself and your beliefs.

Vive la France!
 
TheDuke said:
....
Finally, not sure actually why such a post is on a cycling forum. It’d be good to get back to the topics that are relative to the world of cycling, and let each country deal with their own politics and politicians – personally not a favourable or enjoyable topic.
...
It's in the Café - you can talk about mostly anything within that subforum and it's interesting to hear what everyone has to say however daft it sometimes sounds.

I enjoyed reading your post. I'm an Englishman and what I would call a "cautious francophile", I work with a few French colleagues and I speak FR a lot of the time at work. I admire the French a lot, but I can also understand how they can seem puzzling from outside the goldfish bowl.

As far as I'm concerned, it's their business and they should do what they feel is right. I'm all for that. France is doing this for France, not anyone else. People can't snicker and point from over the border because fundamentally they don't really 'get' it unless they live there like you do.

I'm glad people say their piece here and I'm also glad your reply was much more than it might have been. :)
 
what's live without a little Revolution every now and then...


@ delbified: swings n roundabouts - what you may not make now, you'll more than make up for with government super. My old man held out from being poached to the private sector and the plus side for him was to be able to retire several years before some of his friends. They've needed to keep working close to 8 years longer to be able to come close to his super payout...
 
Jan 18, 2010
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craig1985 said:
It wouldn't be France if there wasn't a strike!
They get so many days off on strike and retire at 62 with loads of public holidays and better working conditions and less hours etc etc than the the UK and they are still complaining..:rolleyes:.

Bringing down governments should be encouraged but really.. The French are in a fantasy world.
 
sublimit said:
They get so many days off on strike and retire at 62 with loads of public holidays and better working conditions and less hours etc etc than the the UK and they are still complaining..:rolleyes:.

Bringing down governments should be encouraged but really.. The French are in a fantasy world.
What I was trying to say in my response earlier was that the French are doing this for themselves and their situation. Drawing comparisons with the UK doesn't bring you any closer to understanding where they're coming from. :)

The UK works a certain way and France works another. Personally, I reserve my harshest criticisms for Britain - I chose to leave my own country because I felt it had become totally at odds with how I wanted to live - but the conditions on which I base those criticisms couldn't be applied elsewhere.
 
A

Anonymous

Guest
TheDuke said:
It really is disturbing that some people are so off-line in their thinking that they actually believe what they write.

As a resident in France, and not being French, I think I am well placed to give you a better insight about why the French do what they do. In some ways(and certainly not all), all of us could take a lesson from this action. I don’t necessarily agree with the means, but at least it’s a statement to the people running this country, that what the government are trying to impose is not right. This is not about retirement people, it’s a statement of dissatisfaction and discontent with our law-makers, our politicians(who BTW are all well paid, will retire earlier than most, ferried around in nice cars, and work in a palace).

Yes, when compared to other countries, France has generous working and living conditions for its people(again not all), it has some of the longest holidays in the world 5-6 weeks annually paid leave, up there with the most public holidays per annum(depending on the year), one of the shortest working weeks 35 hrs (although this also was a failure implemented by a government who didn’t really think about the solution to a problem very well) etc. However it also has one of the highest taxed populations on the planet to help pay for these benefits. You must also consider that in terms of pure wealth France is still among the topic 5 in the world – so somehow this all seems to function. For those willing to look past the perceived arrogance, I encourage you to read a book called 60 Million Frenchmen Can’t be Wrong. This book attempts to give an insight into why a Frenchman is the way that he is, and IMO is excellent.

Now to the route of the problem, it’s not that the French consider work to be a burden any more than any other country – it’s just that they don’t agree with giving up the rights of the people – just because a government believes that it should be the case. As a whole we pay more and more every year in terms of taxes, in terms of utilities etc. But we receive less and less, e.g. Medical benefits, child support etc. We are more and more policed, with more and more revenue going to the state from things like speed cameras, fuel taxes etc. Why should it always be the same people who have to give up more and more? Most French people get just as peeved as anyone else when there are strikes after strike, however in this particular case 75% of the country’s population support the action. At the very lowest level, I kind of think to myself – “well at least they are willing to do something about it, rather than just sit on their hands and watch more and more be taken away from the regular punter”!

Indeed, some see that with an aging population it is necessary to cover the burden of our youth in terms of more and more retirees, by raising the work period age(current 40yrs -> 42yrs). However, if you look at the real crux of the problem in France and in Europe in general it is unemployment. By raising retirement age you also add to this problem by keeping people in work longer and not making openings for the youth. That coupled with extremely high company taxes etc. These things are not conducive to a strong labour market. Companies need to have incentives in order to open positions and offices, and it is this lack of foresight that has impact on the unemployment rate. In France every employee costs a company roughly 1.7 – 1.8 times their salary.

To the point of “the Hitch”, what planet do you live on? On the whole I would say that French kids are educated very well(at least mine seem to be) and for free(again another benefit in which our high taxes pay), of course they will learn the history of their country, both the good and the bad, like pretty much everyone else does. As to “losing all those battles” what are you on about? They are likely to have won just as many as they have lost in their history – I guess you are referred to the both times that they were invaded, but please don’t forget it took a similar sized ally force to defeat the enemy. With comments like yours, you are the one really showing the arrogance.

Finally, not sure actually why such a post is on a cycling forum. It’d be good to get back to the topics that are relative to the world of cycling, and let each country deal with their own politics and politicians – personally not a favourable or enjoyable topic.

For all of your slinging of “sh.t” against France, it still brings us one of the most popular sporting events annually, for us to behold and enjoy during those weeks in July – I say stand up people, don’t let them role us over that easily, why be like the rest of the sheep on this planet. Stand up for yourself and your beliefs.

Vive la France!
OMG. You mean the French are paying for Socialism but not getting it??

What a shocker.

The fallacy of Big Government marches on.
 
rhubroma said:
Touchè! :
Sarcasm is difficult to detect on internet forums, since the reader will often read a sentence in a different way then the writer intends them too.


Hence Smilies exist. Like this

;):):p etc.

I included a smilie in my post. The wink served no other purpose other than to indicate that it is a joke. The wink would not have been included if it was a serious post.

If you dont include a smilie in your post how are people meant to tell that your joking :rolleyes:
 
Jan 18, 2010
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L'arriviste said:
What I was trying to say in my response earlier was that the French are doing this for themselves and their situation. Drawing comparisons with the UK doesn't bring you any closer to understanding where they're coming from. :)

The UK works a certain way and France works another. Personally, I reserve my harshest criticisms for Britain - I chose to leave my own country because I felt it had become totally at odds with how I wanted to live - but the conditions on which I base those criticisms couldn't be applied elsewhere.
I've given up on any British government as its just too depressing to think about it.. I try and think about cycling or women or anything else and blank out the the tw*ts that supposedly run the country.

When we had a fuel tanker strike a few years back here I thought it the best thing ever, it was completely brilliant because the country almost ground to a halt within 7 days, and the morons running the UK panicking bigstyle.. all good stuff. :)
 

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