Tuesday, September 7, 2010

J'en ai assez avec les jérémiades!

This was enough to make me scream «Suffit!»  The French are "up in arms" because they raised the age for retirement benefits from 60 to 62.  I kid you not!  They are putting the estimate of the number of Frenchmen that protested at 2.5 million.  This is the part where I don't know whether I should laugh or cry.  Now don't get me wrong.  I'm a Francophone who loves the French language, I read French literature, and I even enjoy French culture.  However, when you whine like this, it's no wonder that many Americans think of Frenchmen as connards who can't help but be feeble and sniveling. What was once a powerful colonizer with mass amounts of cultural influence has reduced itself to a bunch of socialist weaklings.  The perpetuation of this negative stereotype is so nauseating that I felt obligated to comment on such ludicrousness.

You know what? Americans cannot collect their Social Security until 62, albeit at a reduced rate, but you don't see us protesting en masse.  If the French went from a thirty-five hour work week to a forty hour work week or had their eight weeks of mandated vacation reduced in any way, shape, or form, they might riot like they did back in 2005

It's not the first time that the French have protested in such an unreasonable manner.  Back in 2006, there was an extremely controversial bill that caused a lot of protesting.  Guess what it was for?  It was a bill that stated that an employer could fire an employee that was under 26 and was within the first two years of their employee contract.  And would you believe it, the proposition got turned down due to mass protest.  Imagine giving a proprietor control over his business.  What audacity!

As strange as it is for the typical American, this mentalité française is the norm.  Let's think about why they have to raise the age in the first place.  Might it be because the welfare state is not as solvent as those on the Left would believe?  Maybe it's because the economic disparities between the countries within the European nation are causing economic upheaval and stagnation.  I'm going to go with both on that one.  If you think that this is bad now, wait until your precious entitlement programs go deep in the red because at that point, you'll most certainly be in for a rude awakening.

As the French would say, La vie est dure, pas de veine!                      

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