French Fuel Protests

400 injured, one dead as the French protest higher prices at the pump. The idea of Macron's government is to wean them off fossil fuels. Noble but is this the way? 

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4 hours ago, Marina Schwarz said:

400 injured, one dead as the French protest higher prices at the pump. The idea of Macron's government is to wean them off fossil fuels. Noble but is this the way? 

Defiantly not noble attacking a car with a mother trying to take her daughter to receive medical care. It was also cruelty to animals, I have run out of large dog treats and now my dog is very sad. The problem isn't so much a perceived high cost of fuel but runs far deeper than that in France, with a large part of the population scared of change and an economy full of protection and stagnation.   

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40 minutes ago, DA? said:

Defiantly not noble attacking a car with a mother trying to take her daughter to receive medical care. It was also cruelty to animals, I have run out of large dog treats and now my dog is very sad. The problem isn't so much a perceived high cost of fuel but runs far deeper than that in France, with a large part of the population scared of change and an economy full of protection and stagnation.   

Hey DA, you ok?  A bit non sequitur.

Anyway, adding fuel taxes is unlikely to help the problem.  Adding taxes onto already high petrol and diesel prices is just adding insult to financial injury to the ordinary French people.

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6 hours ago, Marina Schwarz said:

400 injured, one dead as the French protest higher prices at the pump. The idea of Macron's government is to wean them off fossil fuels. Noble but is this the way? 

The French do noble quite well when it suits them.

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2 hours ago, DA? said:

Defiantly not noble attacking a car with a mother trying to take her daughter to receive medical care. It was also cruelty to animals, I have run out of large dog treats and now my dog is very sad. The problem isn't so much a perceived high cost of fuel but runs far deeper than that in France, with a large part of the population scared of change and an economy full of protection and stagnation.   

Are you a tad bit on the same page as @Jan van Eck in this case?  I have seen you write reasonably in the past and it is refreshing.  I mean, we're all going to get where we're going in the end, I just don't think we have to say it's only one way and it must happen right now, or else(!).

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40 minutes ago, Dan Warnick said:

I have seen you write reasonably in the past and it is refreshin

I'll try to sink down to my usual poor standard.

2 hours ago, Tom Kirkman said:

A bit non sequitur

No, I just don't sit in one camp, I like to look at the fact available and try to come to my own conclusion (obviously with biasness, as I'm not totally perfect), it does tend to confuse people.

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5 hours ago, Dan Warnick said:

The French do noble quite well when it suits them.

What's your poison? It's on me. (But I was kinda ironic, just don't tell anyone.)

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Yeah, more proof no one cares about climate change.. 

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1 hour ago, Bobby P said:

Yeah, more proof no one cares about climate change.. 

I don't think it's that no one cares. I think that there are many who care--just don't ask them to pay for it or to sacrifice for it.

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Hi all ! Nice to read you ! We care about climat change ! A lot ! It is just difficult for a "population scared of change and an economy full of protection and stagnation" to make these changes when on the other side of the planet the "most advanced" population of the world is polluting twince as much as we do, and burning methane in the air to pump more oil from the ground... But get your point. You will just build a wall right ?

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On 11/19/2018 at 2:43 PM, Rodent said:

I don't think it's that no one cares. I think that there are many who care--just don't ask them to pay for it or to sacrifice for it.

Personally, I judge how much a person cares by actions - not words.  According to actions, very few people care about much of anything beyond short-term self interest.  Ironically, socialists are particularly bad about this.

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4 hours ago, mthebold said:

Personally, I judge how much a person cares by actions - not words.  According to actions, very few people care about much of anything beyond short-term self interest.  Ironically, socialists are particularly bad about this

You judge on the basis of your own values which might be different than mine. I personaly avoid judging people from different cultures, I better try to understand them. But anyway... We are here to discuss. Right ?

Action is one thing and if you judge action, I would argue that using car imply consuming Oil and as burning oil imply what economists call "negative externalities". People in France have now to pay more for these externalities. it is not because it has been different until now that it has to remain this way forever. 

If you judge Reaction, it is another problem. Every change in France and all over the world brings protest. It is a physical thing. Action brings reaction. Whether it is about, CO2 emissions, gun control, civil rights or abortion, i see the same thing in France in the US and everywhere : people protesting. But in the end we just have to hope that Wisdom should prevail. And it will prevail in France regarding petroleum taxes.

Let me ask you something, if you judge actions and not words, could you please tell what specific action make you think that french Gouvernement is socialist ?

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6 hours ago, AlexF said:

You judge on the basis of your own values which might be different than mine. I personaly avoid judging people from different cultures, I better try to understand them. But anyway... We are here to discuss. Right ?

Action is one thing and if you judge action, I would argue that using car imply consuming Oil and as burning oil imply what economists call "negative externalities". People in France have now to pay more for these externalities. it is not because it has been different until now that it has to remain this way forever. 

If you judge Reaction, it is another problem. Every change in France and all over the world brings protest. It is a physical thing. Action brings reaction. Whether it is about, CO2 emissions, gun control, civil rights or abortion, i see the same thing in France in the US and everywhere : people protesting. But in the end we just have to hope that Wisdom should prevail. And it will prevail in France regarding petroleum taxes.

Let me ask you something, if you judge actions and not words, could you please tell what specific action make you think that french Gouvernement is socialist ?

There's a spectrum of socialism, with every new government program making a country slightly more "socialist".  It would be more accurate to say France is more socialist than I would like.  The US is too, for that matter. 

My point about actions vs words is that the exact same people who complained about the US exiting the Paris will protest fuel taxes.  They want the negative externalities to be paid for - provided that happens with Someone Else's Money(TM).  You'll find that to be true of most people on most topics.  Tell them about some alleged evil in the world, and they'll be beside themselves with grief, wailing and gnashing their teeth about how someone should do something about it.  Oh, the humanity!  Tell them what needs to be done, how much it will cost, and that they can contribute... suddenly it's not so calamitous, and they're telling you that of course we should weigh costs & benefits to arrive at a reasonable solution. "Reasonable", of course, means it will cost them nothing.

And with this, we can see socialism through a more objective lens: socialism is an attempt by more emotionally sensitive personalities to avoid unpleasantness without incurring personal cost.  Instead of taking responsibility for their community & doing the work to uplift their fellow human beings, they outsource compassion to the government.  Confident that Someone Is Doing Something(TM), Limosine Liberals can surround themselves with poverty without feeling personal responsibility to investigate or fix it.

I'd argue that lack of personal responsibility is why socialism destroys countries.  With the "haves" comfortably detached from the "have nots", no one notices the sociopaths seizing power & running roughshod over the poor.  Explicitly socialist systems are glaring examples of this, but you also see it in California, where "compassionate", "responsible", and "sustainable" public policy is crushing the poor.  @Jan van Eck also pointed out that Limosine Liberals (who I call socialists) want to levy carbon taxes, placing further financial strain on people who are already freezing to death (literally). 

Jan, I have a lot of respect for your comments on coal, carbon taxes, and the rural poor.  I also suspect you know far more than I do about these subjects; if there's anything you would correct or expand upon in the above, please let me know. 

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1 hour ago, mthebold said:

Jan, I have a lot of respect for your comments on coal, carbon taxes, and the rural poor.  I also suspect you know far more than I do about these subjects; if there's anything you would correct or expand upon in the above, please let me know. 

Paul, I would not change a single word!

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1 hour ago, mthebold said:

There's a spectrum of socialism, with every new government program making a country slightly more "socialist".  It would be more accurate to say France is more socialist than I would like.  The US is too, for that matter. 

...

Hello mtheboldyou might be right about human nature. But as I already mentioned in another discussion on the subject, I am always dubidious about "excessive" point of views.

Nowaday, people do not care about facts. They do no want to spend time to learn. They do not read books, they do not try to get to know a subject. They just want to have an opinion. If you want to have an opinion it is easy, just look at your favorite news channel and you will find 95% of opinion and 5% of facts. But if you want to know a subject,, it is another story, it is another commitment. Do not get me wrong it is nothing personal. But when you look at your favorite news channel and you see protesters in the streets of France, your understanding of the situation is that people of France are protesting. But you should only see French protesters. Nothing else. 250 000 people protesting against petroleum taxes, does not mean that 30 millions of French people are against it. France is an well balanced democracy and if a majority of people are against it the bill will not pass congress. But you will see it will pass. I hope that when it will be the case you will recognise that sometimes people are " taking responsibility for their community & doing the work to uplift their fellow human beings"

Regarding Socialism, I am sorry but I Do not know what to say... I usually refuse to discuss politic as it involves personnal feelings... And by nature personal feelings are personal, so what is the point ? France is way too socialist, the Us are too socialist which mean that 99% of democracies around the world are too socialist... maybe you just do not like democracies, who knows...

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1 hour ago, AlexF said:

 ...

Hello mtheboldyou might be right about human nature. But as I already mentioned in another discussion on the subject, I am always dubidious about "excessive" point of views.

Nowaday, people do not care about facts. They do no want to spend time to learn. They do not read books, they do not try to get to know a subject. They just want to have an opinion. If you want to have an opinion it is easy, just look at your favorite news channel and you will find 95% of opinion and 5% of facts. But if you want to know a subject,, it is another story, it is another commitment. Do not get me wrong it is nothing personal. But when you look at your favorite news channel and you see protesters in the streets of France, your understanding of the situation is that people of France are protesting. But you should only see French protesters. Nothing else. 250 000 people protesting against petroleum taxes, does not mean that 30 millions of French people are against it. France is an well balanced democracy and if a majority of people are against it the bill will not pass congress. But you will see it will pass. I hope that when it will be the case you will recognise that sometimes people are " taking responsibility for their community & doing the work to uplift their fellow human beings"

Regarding Socialism, I am sorry but I Do not know what to say... I usually refuse to discuss politic as it involves personnal feelings... And by nature personal feelings are personal, so what is the point ? France is way too socialist, the Us are too socialist which mean that 99% of democracies around the world are too socialist... maybe you just do not like democracies, who knows...

Your implication is that I read the news and invented my point of view based on it.  I did not.  In fact, I do not watch mainstream news at all.  Instead, I talk to people, one-on-one, to find out what they believe & why.  It's time consuming, but this is the only way to determine for oneself what is happening and influence the community.  After years of conversations, my conclusion is exactly what I said above.  I've yet to meet a socialist - what we Americans call "liberal" - who had thought through the consequences of a policy for all involved.  Instead, I consistently see emotionally driven, short-term self interest.  A flight from responsibility.  They want the government to handle all that unpleasantness so they may focus on their comfortable, middle-class lives.  

I assume your comment about me disliking democracies is a dig.  In fact, because I understand democracy, I despise it.  It's a horrendous form of government in which 51% of the population oppresses the other 49% - a fact sociopathic politicians ruthlessly exploit to gain power.  This ends either in totalitarianism or anarchy.  Because democracy is fundamentally unstable, anything - even fascism - is better.  That said, what I like is a constitutional, representative republic built upon individual rights - a fundamentally different beast than democracy.  

As for your 250k out of 30mn, I imagine the protesters are among those harmed, whereas the majority who vote for it will be those who benefit.  As long as 51% gain, they're content to let the other 49% suffer; that's democracy in action.  And with that, you have illustrated my point about lacking personal responsibility.  You don't want to find out why the 250k are protesting or how this tax will affect their lives.  You're content to sweep aside their potential suffering, saying, "Democracy has favored the policy I like, and because it was voted upon, I may wash my hands of the consequences".  You have, in fact, abdicated your responsibility to your fellow man.  You're a petty tyrant; why should anyone want to live in a society with you?  

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Now ask yourself this.  Who benefits from higher gasoline and diesel prices, and who loses?

The last time I bought diesel in France, it was close to $10.00 USD per gallon.  It was a few years ago.
Taxes where roughly half of that.

Which French citizen tax payers benefit from this?

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6 hours ago, mthebold said:

I've yet to meet a socialist - what we Americans call "liberal" - who had thought through the consequences of a policy for all involved

"A fanatic is one who can't change his mind and won't change the subject". Winston Churchill

6 hours ago, mthebold said:

I assume your comment about me disliking democracies is a dig.  In fact, because I understand democracy, I despise it.  It's a horrendous form of government in which 51% of the population oppresses the other 49% - a fact sociopathic politicians ruthlessly exploit to gain power.  This ends either in totalitarianism or anarchy.  Because democracy is fundamentally unstable, anything - even fascism - is better.  That said, what I like is a constitutional, representative republic built upon individual rights - a fundamentally different beast than democracy.

"Democracy is the worst form of government, except for all the others." Winston Churchill

I am sorry I usually try not to use opinions but facts, so instead of using my own useless, worthless opinions, I decided to call one of the most inspiring man of our times to help me out...

I know what you are about to say I better think by myself.... I do not, I just learn from others.

6 hours ago, mthebold said:

You're a petty tyrant; why should anyone want to live in a society with you?  

"All that is excessive is insignificant" Charles Maurice de Talleyrand (imperfect translation)

A little bit dated but still so true !

 

 

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3 hours ago, Sophomore said:

The last time I bought diesel in France, it was close to $10.00 USD per gallon.  It was a few years ago.
Taxes where roughly half of that.

That is pure fact ! Let's have a look.

Back in 2008 a liter of diesel was at 1.3 euros ( https://france-inflation.com/prix-carburants.php)

EURUSD exchange rate was around 1.4 (https://www.reuters.com/finance/currencies/quote?srcCurr=EUR&destCurr=USD)

And a gallon is around 3.785 liters

So back in 2008 a gallon of diesel was at 6.88 USD, a bit lower that 10USD. 45% lower... That is not what I call "close'. But anyway I will attribute this error margin to you enthousiasm about my country.

3 hours ago, Sophomore said:

Which French citizen tax payers benefit from this?

I understand you point. Tax is a flow. When somethink flows there is what physicists call friction. And when there is friction they are losses (waste, corruption...). You can do what ever you want there is always friction as superconducors do not exist in politics. There are two ways to reduce friction. You guys in the US decided to reduce the flow as much as you can. We, in France, decided that we will try to improve conductivity. So my hope is that it will benefit to everyone.

But there is another point that is worth being mentioned. In the end it means less gasoline and diesel consumption and that is a very good thing for breathing spacies.

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5 hours ago, AlexF said:

"A fanatic is one who can't change his mind and won't change the subject". Winston Churchill

"Democracy is the worst form of government, except for all the others." Winston Churchill

I am sorry I usually try not to use opinions but facts, so instead of using my own useless, worthless opinions, I decided to call one of the most inspiring man of our times to help me out...

I know what you are about to say I better think by myself.... I do not, I just learn from others.

"All that is excessive is insignificant" Charles Maurice de Talleyrand (imperfect translation)

A little bit dated but still so true !

Famous quotes, while pithy and emotionally compelling, do not replace critical thinking.  Winston Churchill was patently wrong on this point, and I've already explained why.  The mechanisms by which Democracy self-destructs are not opinion; they are facts we must deal with - as are the mechanisms at play in every political system.  Hiding behind famous quotes won't change that.  

Then again, French culture isn't about facing facts in a sensible manner, so I may be talking to a wall here.

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56 minutes ago, mthebold said:

Winston Churchill was patently wrong on this point

"Patently" ?! "Apparently" would have been acceptable, but "patently" ? Sorry I am not a natural english speaker and my understanding of the very meaning of this word might not be correct.

If it is, there are two possibilities :

1- I so lonely declare that I appology for everything that I have said about your comments. Your thoughts might just be out of reach for a poor human being like me !

2- You accidentaly disqualified yourself and your are right there is no need to go on.

Pick the one you want and feel free to drop me an email the next time you come to france, I will show you how nice this country is !

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13 minutes ago, AlexF said:

"Patently" ?! "Apparently" would have been acceptable, but "patently" ? Sorry I am not a natural english speaker and my understanding of the very meaning of this word might not be correct.

If it is, there are two possibilities :

1- I so lonely declare that I appology for everything that I have said about your comments. Your thoughts might just be out of reach for a poor human being like me !

2- You accidentaly disqualified yourself and your are right there is no need to go on.

Pick the one you want and feel free to drop me an email the next time you come to france, I will show you how nice this country is !

http://lmgtfy.com/?q=definition+of+patently

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7 minutes ago, mthebold said:

I am completely off topic, but that is so cool. I have never seen this lmgtfy thingy but I like it!. 

Sorry to butt in. Carry on. 

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7 hours ago, AlexF said:

I know what you are about to say I better think by myself.... I do not, I just learn from others.

Ding ding!  I think we have a winner here!

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7 hours ago, AlexF said:

That is pure fact ! Let's have a look.

Back in 2008 a liter of diesel was at 1.3 euros ( https://france-inflation.com/prix-carburants.php)

EURUSD exchange rate was around 1.4 (https://www.reuters.com/finance/currencies/quote?srcCurr=EUR&destCurr=USD)

And a gallon is around 3.785 liters

So back in 2008 a gallon of diesel was at 6.88 USD, a bit lower that 10USD. 45% lower... That is not what I call "close'. But anyway I will attribute this error margin to you enthousiasm about my country.

I understand you point. Tax is a flow. When somethink flows there is what physicists call friction. And when there is friction they are losses (waste, corruption...). You can do what ever you want there is always friction as superconducors do not exist in politics. There are two ways to reduce friction. You guys in the US decided to reduce the flow as much as you can. We, in France, decided that we will try to improve conductivity. So my hope is that it will benefit to everyone.

But there is another point that is worth being mentioned. In the end it means less gasoline and diesel consumption and that is a very good thing for breathing spacies.

Going for bonus points!

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