Why France's economy is in decline


Blackleaf
#1
Why France's economy is in decline

by Steve Sjuggerud
Daily Reckoning
Great Britain

...Unfortunately, France as a country is worse off than I thought (and I already thought it was bad). Its destined to decline, faster than anyone can imagine...If France were a patient, a doctor would say, "you will die, unless you drastically change your ways." At this point, the patient is not quite sick enough to listen to the doctor yet...

Greetings from Paris...undoubtedly the world’s most beautiful city. The city itself is practically a monument to the extraordinary feats of man. I can’t imagine a better place to soak up the history, the arts, and architectural achievements. I’ve walked long distances in Paris in every direction over the last few days, and the extraordinary buildings never end. The English language doesn’t have words strong enough to express the impressiveness of it all.

Unfortunately, France as a country is worse off than I thought (and I already thought it was bad). It’s destined to decline, faster than anyone can imagine.

France's economy in decline: The future

First unemployment will rise, then economic growth will disappear. Riots and civil unrest are sure to follow. While Paris seems positively peaceful right now, it won’t stay this way. It can’t. I have no timetable for this "prediction." But the track appears inevitable right now...

"We can’t fire anyone in France," my US attorney told me here this week. He was talking to a French attorney about it recently:

US attorney: "Well, what if we just declare bankruptcy in France?

French attorney: "Then you’re still responsible for paying your employees."

US attorney: "Really? Well what if we simply leave the country?"

French attorney: "Then it becomes a criminal matter."

As I don’t have an Internet connection, I don’t have the facts in front of me. But the anecdotal evidence is clear; nobody in their right mind would start a business in France right now.

The entire city of Paris was booked up. It was Fashion Week here or something like that, and your editor was severely out of place. We found a Westin hotel for the night – which ran over $600. For that, you get a room that is 10 feet wide, with no view. I had to go to the lobby for a wireless Internet connection, which cost me $15 PER HOUR. So I was writing without the benefit of the Internet. Apparently, the $600 only covers the room.

France's economy in decline: Employment

The 35-hour workweek is still in place in France. This was intended to alleviate the country's soaring unemployment. The idea was if fewer people worked 50-hour weeks, there’d be more work to do, so more people would get hired. It didn’t work. It scared foreign companies away. France’s best university graduates headed to London.

French workers get six weeks of vacation a year, three years maternity leave (which, I am told, is paid; employers have to keep the position open until the employee returns to work). And among other things, employers reimburse the costs of getting to work. To enforce the 35-hour workweek, the "employment police" in France come around after 6pm and make sure nobody is working. If they are, their boss can get in serious trouble with the law.

But the biggest problem is that it is nearly impossible, people tell me, to fire someone. This is a major problem. It causes serious distortions in the labor market. It causes companies to NOT want to hire people. And it de-motivates employees, as they feel no threat of job loss. Service at restaurants, for example, has been abysmal. Twice, we’ve sat in restaurants for an hour, and – with the exception of some French bread being thrown on our tables – we received no service whatsoever in that hour. With service like that, it’s easy to see how lunches can run 2-3 hours, and dinners 3-4 hours in France.

France's economy in decline: The truth

My goal in today’s letter, believe it or not, is not to put down France. My job is simply to report the truth to you, as I see it. The truth is Paris is exceptional. It is a monument to the extraordinary feats of humankind. And it is a place you absolutely must visit in your lifetime. There is nowhere like it.

The truth also is, France is in decline. If France were a patient, a doctor would say, "you will die, unless you drastically change your ways." At this point, the patient is not quite sick enough to listen to the doctor yet. But after spending nearly a week here, I believe France will continue to deteriorate, and will likely face some serious social unrest in the not-too-distant future, before there’s any hope for change.


dailyreckoning.co.uk
 
Logic 7
#2
Quote: Originally Posted by Blackleaf. View Post

Why France's economy is in decline

by Steve Sjuggerud
Daily Reckoning
Great Britain

...Unfortunately, France as a country is worse off than I thought (and I already thought it was bad). Its destined to decline, faster than anyone can imagine...If France were a patient, a doctor would say, "you will die, unless you drastically change your ways." At this point, the patient is not quite sick enough to listen to the doctor yet...



dailyreckoning.co.uk



Anglo-saxon are trying really hard to bring down france with them, with just no success, usa and the whole coaltion of the willing, has no credibility of criticizing france, not even close, it is even pathetic from you guys trying so hard.
 
Andem
Free Thinker
#3
Quote: Originally Posted by Logic 7 View Post

Anglo-saxon are trying really hard to bring down france with them, with just no success, usa and the whole coaltion of the willing, has no credibility of criticizing france, not even close, it is even pathetic from you guys trying so hard.

But the sad thing is that article hits the spot. The situation in France is certainly not a good one and I'm not expecting to see France make any sort of upturn anytime soon.
 
Gonzo
#4
Why do the Brits hate France so much? Is it because french girls are so hot and British women are nasty, especially when they smile?
 
DurkaDurka
No Party Affiliation
#5
Quote: Originally Posted by Gonzo View Post

Why do the Brits hate France so much? Is it because french girls are so hot and British women are nasty, especially when they smile?

What does the article have to do with "hate"? Do you have to be french in order to cricize their economy?
 
Gonzo
#6
This guy always posts negative attacks on France. I've been to Britain too. I loved the country and the people, but they all trash France.
 
Andem
Free Thinker
#7
Quote: Originally Posted by Gonzo View Post

This guy always posts negative attacks on France. I've been to Britain too. I loved the country and the people, but they all trash France.

Atleast those who visit Paris, I don't blame anybody for bashing the country. The article was nothing but the truth, me being up-to-date as of 2.5 weeks ago visiting Paris. They are generally rude to anybody who isn't French and including those who may have a French-Canadian accent (such as myself who was refused service in a restaurant SIMPLY because of my Canadian accent in French.)

No, it's not only the British who don't fancy the French.. it's Netherlands, Germany, Eastern and Central Switzerland [never been to the west] among others including the northern countries.
 
Gonzo
#8
Okay, but lets not lump all the french into that catagory. I've met some nice people from France. It just seems that it's okay to bash the french.
 
Andem
Free Thinker
#9
Quote: Originally Posted by Gonzo View Post

Okay, but lets not lump all the french into that catagory. I've met some nice people from France. It just seems that it's okay to bash the french.

I think the article clearly targets customer service in Paris and then the overall economic outlook of France. Neither, in my opinion, are irrelevant and make perfect sense and speak truthful observations. I don't think it's necessarily bashing the French, but the country does face these issues.

A personal observation is that of the mainly African exclaves -- people of whom do not see themselves as French nor are they French, make the situation even worse with people who have no European values inside of a European country.. Forcing people to hire them and then taking away the right to fire them.
 
Gonzo
#10
Fair enough. But if I'm getting bad service from a cute french waitress I'm happy.
 
Toro
#11
France is living off their accumulated capital. Or at least they're aren't adding to it. Unless they change, I have no idea why anyone would invest there.

However, here is a graph that gives me hope.



Marginal taxes are falling.
 

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