I’m not going to pretend that I get the nuance of the politics in France. But President Macron has instituted some new fuel taxes to save the planet, and a growing movement has risen to protest those taxes.
This is, of course, France. I can recall any number of times in my life when I’ve heard stories about some union or coalition shutting down the country over [blank]. Trucks. Trains. Always some union stoppage crippling the nation.
So, the appearance of thousands of angry people protesting the French government and promising to shut something down is not new or surprising. But the fact that they are concerned about high gas prices and the commensurate loss is spending power is unexpected.
“…the so-called “yellow vest” movement, which has grown out of anger over rising fuel prices, is planning a major operation on Saturday that they hope will ring the French capital to a standstill. … Some 175,000 people have signalled they are interested in going to the event.
On Saturday the yellow vests organised approximately 2,000 roadblocks, rallies and traffic slowdowns in France to highlight their anger with President Emmanuel Macron’s government over increases in taxes on fuel and their general loss of spending power.
It’s been labeled a far-right movement. If only because it opposes the government taxing them.
Leftists Love Taxes
Leftist protests traditionally involve trying to get the government to take something. Money and power first, which is to be redistributed to people who didn’t earn either. But, mobs have their own power and the Yellow Vests are banking on theirs. If they can annoy enough people the general outcry will be rewarded with a repeal or reduction in the recent tax hike.
Good luck with that. It was imposed to begin the process of weaning the French of fossil fuels, “which is never simple.” [Macron] reiterated promises of subsidies for low-income households to buy cleaner cars or switch to cleaner home heating methods.”
We won’t get into the environmental catastrophe that is electric vehicle batteries again here but at least nuclear makes that prospect more appealing.
France is still the world’s largest producer and user of Nuclear power, but even that has fallen out of favor. The Green Machine shuns the benefits of emissions-free energy production that fails to fit its narrative. So, while Macron and the ruling class feel pressure to push Paris-Accord like policies, the end result will be higher costs for those who can least afford them. And subsidies are not the solution.
In a positive note: Makers of yellow vests are experiencing a sales boom. Expect France to increase taxes on those any day now.