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'We Are In a State of Insurrection': Deep Inequality and Macron's Dedication to Elites Fuel Yellow Vest Uprising in France

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'We Are In a State of Insurrection': Deep Inequality and Macron's Dedication to Elites Fuel Yellow Vest Uprising in France

Julia Conley, staff writer

After more than two weeks of protests over high fuel prices and intensifying inequality across France under centrist President Emmanuel Macron, the French government announced Tuesday that it would suspend planned price hikes for gas and electricity—but the demands of the so-called "Yellow Vest" protesters have become more broad, and more broadly embraced, as the de

#3

Well well well! This is huge- too bad the sleepy and apathetic and Walmarters of the USA will not get to this point.

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#4

To bad the sleepy people will never even know it happened, or, if so, in an attenuated and biased form. The corporate MSM sells suppression of evidence.

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#5

Yes, one can only hope. At some point it will get bad enough that there will be revolution. It’s just so sad that it has to get so really bad in this country before the people will rise up. The French go on strike at the drop of a hat. An admirable quality in my view. “Those who make peaceful revolution impossible, will make violent revolution inevitable” - JFK

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#6

Be careful, France. French people. dlet the fascists use this as an excuse to take over. That will be a disaster. Lean left…way left.

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#7

So, …this…“carbon tax by Macron…is just thoical of what I was afraid of…the…burden of climate mitigation(a fallacy btw)…will e put upon those toward the bottom of the economic sxe…those who oush fir a tax " at the source”… well…okay you would think that would be better …but … the FF companies will just pass it on …to the bottom…so …my whole point is…you will still have plenty if rich who…will go right on do in ng what they do. Flying here and there. Driving their sports cars, limos. Oh sure …they may buy a hybrid ir electric car here and there…but. …won’t matter…considering everything else they do…one jet trip to Paris. Will make up for that.

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#8

I can’t believe you are making heroes of people who violently protest their right to cheaper gas so they can drive and burn petroleum in disregard of the climate crisis. The problem is not the “elites” but the “people” who don’t want incentives to conserve. And I don’t see how vandalizing beautiful buildings helps anyone. Quelle horreur!

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#9

Beautiful what’s going on in France.
Hard, very hard, to see it happening here though. Part because the police there and here are very different, part because the social conscience of the populace there is very different from here, and part…well there are a few more reasons.
But one can dreams of national strikes and national school walk outs etc etc

#10

Echoes of the sixties, may it catch on across our world as we collectively face inequality but two existential threats: Nuclear winter and ecological collapse.

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#11

And here is the problem: Time the rich pay for the world they created. We need to move away from fossil fuel but those who can and should pay for it are the wealthy. Let’s move toward Ecosocialism!

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#12

As being implemented, it is a tax on the poor. Hanson’s “tax and dividend” would be fairer, as all monies collected would go back to the populace. Let’s hear a discussion of that or a proposal for how exactly to fairly put pressure to reduce fossil fuel use.
Why aren’t French calling for ending wars as first step in reducing fossil fuel use?

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#13

First, I highly skeptical of a reliance on carbon “taxes” as main solutions for effectively mitigating ghg emissions. Having said that there are some thar are worse than others.

Macron’s gas tax is placed directly on the people’s consumption so it is regressive and does put a greater burden on those at the bottom. Plus, from what I understand, the tax takes a big bite out many people’s monthly income. So I’d be mad too. And the rich remain relatively unaffected.

Taxing FF at the source hits corporations which is better. But they can pass the costs on down the chain ultimately to consumers. So people at the low end are affected, but the whole idea is to cut use.

Adding a dividend to the tax - the fee and dividend idea is better in that it is the same amount for both rich and poor, so that disproportionaly helps the lower classes and helps them cope with paying the fee in the first place. This is better.

But none of these alone can be relied upon to address climate change

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#14

How anti-Semitic!

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The problem with “tax and dividend” - at least in US society - is that what is that, unless this dividend is spent by governments creating alternative infrastructure to the automobile, the recipients will simply use the dividend to off set the cost of their gasoline and not reduce fuel usage at all.

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#16

These protests are essentially reactionary in nature - few of the protestors are poor - most poor in France (and even in some US cities) do not own cars. The protestors are the comfortable middle class - at least half of which voted for the neofacist LePen, who dont want to give up even a token amount of their middle class privilege or see any of their taxes go to the poor brown migrants.

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#17

I’m not sure what you mean that it is the same amount for rich and poor - while the dividend could be used as a form of beneficial downward income redistribution, that is unlikely. The dividend would presumably be on a per-unit of fuel purchased - which unless it is redeemed right at the gasoline pump, natural gas or electric bill - negating any benefit - it would be an enormous record keeping burden.

The biggest source of fossil fuel emissions is energy consumption by individuals - simple economics dictates that you can reduce consumption by either taxing the energy, rationing the energy, or mandatory restrictions on using the things that use energy. Note that per Jevon’s paradox/principle, efficiency improvements by themselves do NOT reduce consumption - the more energy-efficient thing simply gets used more. Before I heard of the early 19th century Jevon, I called it the “Prius effect”. Right now this effect can be seen with a vengeance with LED Christmas lighting - people are using the greater efficiency to simply use ten times the lumens that used to.

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#18

Hi Barry, but I think they are protesting the unfairness of it as the rich will not be paying as much as the poor----this seems to happen a lot—everywhere. They can be very worried about climate change----but when the price of gas goes up so high that hey cannot eat----then that is the problem-----------the unfairness of it all-----just like 1789.

Besides didn’t Macron seem too good to be true? I think that his dog , Nemo , knew, When that dog got into the palace, he went right up to the fireplace and pissed. Maybe the dog knew that Macron spoke to the people but worked for the rich. Remember France had this rich problem once before-----you know, the rich were eating and the poor were not! : )

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#19

At least Macron is trying to fight climate change which is now basically an emergency situation. There is a lack of experience with carbon taxes and I don’t know any really good examples that have been successful. The ultimate answer to reducing emissions from vehicles would seem to be electric cars, trucks and buses with electricity from energy that does result in CO2 emissions. It appears some adjustments need to made with this carbon tax or maybe it will have to be dropped since it doesn’t work politically. But emissions must be reduced rapidly in France and all developed nations.

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#20

In the fee and dividend plans I have seen, the one proposed by Citizen Climate Lobby and the one in the bill just introduced to Congress, the fee is assessed at the source, not at the consumption end, and everyone gets the same dividend, which is based on the total fee collected divided by the number of people (with some restrictions based on max of two children in a household). So that is how poor people and rich people get same dividend.

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#21

This is a good point. But with everyone getting the same dividend, there are incentives to reduce ones carbon usage to balance out the fees paid, and for poor people even come out ahead.

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