Auf den ersten Blick denkt man beim Anblick der Proteste in Frankreich: “Typisch, so sind sie die Franzosen. Immer Revolution, bloß keine Reformen”. Umso beeindruckender fand ich diese Gedanken von Gavekal Research, einem Assetmanager mit französischen Wurzeln. Er kommt mit einer klaren Logik für die Ereignisse, die man so auch auf die Wahl von Donald Trump, den Brexit, die Wahlen in Italien und demnächst – wenn das Märchen platzt – auch bei uns wird anwenden können:
- “(…) in important ways, these demonstrations differ from those which in recent decades have blighted France. At the vanguard of nationwide protests were not the usual-suspect, big-city agitators, but lower middle class folk from unfashionable areas of the provinces who had a non- ideological beef with their rulers. Women, in particular, came out in droves.” – bto: Das ist ein ganz wichtiger Aspekt, der bei genauerem Hinsehen auch in anderen Ländern Gültigkeit besitzen dürfte.
- “(…) French protest movements have been driven by ‘leftist’ forces such as the communist or socialist parties, trade unions (especially those representing civil servants and nationalized companies), or the people of Paris. This time is different, as for maybe the first time in French history, a national street movement has formed which has nothing to do with the political left.” – bto: Nein, es ist die “arbeitende Mitte”, die hier protestiert. Sollte sie bei uns auch mal machen! “This is the first time those who get up early to go to work are protesting.”
- “There has been a violent dimension to the protests, but that has tended to come from immigrant groups living on the fringes of big cities.” – bto: In Deutschland dürfte eher das passieren als der Aufstand der Mitte.
- “(…) I have previously cited the work of an out-of-the-box thinker, Christophe Guilluy (…) his thesis is that France is splitting into three ‘circular’ zones that contain most of the population in and around the main metropolitan areas:” – bto: Genau dieses Bild passt so gut auch auf andere Länder.
- “At the center are the winners of globalization who work in finance, media, knowledge-based companies, universities and the government. In order to cleanse the area from fellows working in other sectors, policies are adopted that help make real estate unaffordable. This scheme has been especially aided by the central bank maintaining very low interest rates as property prices have tended to go through the roof.” – bto: Das bezeichnet man bei uns als “Gentrifizierung”.
- “Next sits a ‘collar’ on the outer region of the city where immigrants live in subsidized dwellings and act as effective indentured labor pool for those of the inner circle, working as babysitters, cooks, domestic helpers, waiters and Uber drivers. State subsidies for housing, education, public transport and schools are heavily deployed in this second circle.” – bto: So ist es!
- “Further out is the third circle which contains the rump of the French population, who, having missed the knowledge-based revolution, reside in hollowed-out smaller towns where shops are boarded up, hospitals and schools are closing and property values are falling. This is home to about half of the French population, and it is this group that has dominated protests in recent weeks.” – bto: Bei uns ist das noch nicht ganz so, aber es gibt auch in Deutschland immer mehr Sub-Regionen, auf die dieses Bild zutrifft.
- “So why has the movement emerged at this moment? An obvious point is that the French state is running out of money. (…) it now faces hard European constraints. France’s national debt is nearing 100% of GDP (versus 60% allowed) and the deficit is running at about 2.8% of GDP, compared to a maximum permitted 3%. Should France suffer a new recession in the next two years, its economic outlook will quickly look worse than that of Italy.” – bto: So ist es und nur deshalb will Macron die europäische Solidarität von uns!
- “So far, the only solution has been to raise taxes that especially hit the outer circle group, while lowering taxes paid by the core group who can easily move to Belgium, Switzerland, Hong Kong or even London. The second circle cannot be taxed more as they tend to be subsidy recipients who pay little tax in the first place.” – bto: Wie ich immer wieder auf bto schrieb, die Mittelschicht ist auch hier die Dumme, die alle Lasten schultern muss. Nach dem Motto: “Wir schaffen das.”
- “Hitting the third circle with a fuel tax was the easiest option, as this group has nowhere else to go; they must use their cars to travel to work as public transport is usually not an option. Most have individual homes that must be heated in the winter. Since his election, Macron has raised more than eleven new taxes that have mostly fallen on this vulnerable population cohort.” – bto: Bei uns sind es Sozialabgaben etc.
- “Let’s assume that the average fellow in the third circle earns a net €1,400 a month and that 90% of this income goes on obligatory outgoings like food, mortgage interest, school fees, gasoline for the car and home heating. Let’s further assume that of this non-discretionary spending, 20% goes on various types of energy. Hence, the average fellow is left with about €140 a month to have fun with, yet if the government increases the prices of energy by 50% over a few years the effect is to snub out that discretionary spending.” – bto: eine Rechnung, die man auch bei uns aufmachen kann. Ich würde noch weiter gehen, beginnt doch der Spitzensteuersatz beim 1,3-Fachen des Durchschnittseinkommens.
- “This erosion of discretionary spending power is bad news for the male part of the population—which may be denied a drink after work or a visit to the local rugby game—but it is arguably a bigger drama for the female cohort, which tends to have greater responsibilities for child care, helping out elderly relatives or organizing community activities. A woman earning €1,400 a month who sees her discretionary spending power wiped out unsurprisingly goes ballistic as she has no options for undertaking critical services to her family and community. Simply put, she can no longer take care of the people who rely upon her.” – bto: Das ist uns Männern gegenüber ein wenig pauschalisierend.
- ” France is splitting into three parts:
1) Bourgeois bohemians who look like their counterparts in London, Berlin and New York. They share an economic dependency with the second circle group even if they have nothing in common. They have even less in common with those in the third circle and little reason to interact.
2) The new immigrants, who share no history whatsoever with either the first or the third group.
3) The ‘old’ French, who got left on the wayside while the rest of the world was moving onward.” – bto: Ja, das ist nur eine Wiederholung, aber eine lohnende.
- “Alas, there is not enough money in the system to deal with the problems of the second or third group at the same time. It goes without saying that the same analysis can be conducted for countries like the US, UK, Germany, Spain and Italy.” – bto: was sich in den Wahlen zeigt. Wenn es zwei gegen drei geht, wer gewinnt? Und kann das wirklich ohne Bürgerkrieg funktionieren?
- “The fellows at the center believe that nations must disappear. They are doing all they can to achieve that result but some cheer can be found that in recent weeks opposition has been stated by the gilets jaunes.” – bto: Bei uns sitzen diese dominant in der Politik. Die Grünen wohl als Prototyp.
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