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Bravo Monsieur le president Macron! You have gotten off to a most impressive start. France’s five-year national depression – known as ‘morosité – has lifted and been replaced by a sense that the republic is not doomed after all. In fact, quite the contrary.

France’s new 39-year old president has astounded nearly everyone. Like the silver-tongued Barack Obama, he appeared out of nowhere and captured the imagination of the nation. Like Obama, Macron is accused of being a cat’s paw for the deep state and/or powerful financial interests. Macron used to work for the influential Rothschild bank arranging deals.

Yet Macron, with limited political experience and few evident allies, chose the perfect moment to enter the lists of French politics. The French public was disgusted by its feckless, self-serving political parties of left and right. The economy was mired in stagnation. France’s former role as leader of Europe had become a distant memory.

In love and politics, timing is everything.

Emmanuel Macron declared himself and his new ‘En Marche’ party above politics and dedicated to ending the vitriolic battle between left and right that has wounded France since the 1930’s. French were sick of the left-right bickering and trench warfare of their professional politicians. Americans should take notice.

Amazingly, France’s Socialist and Communist parties pretty much collapsed in the recent presidential election. So too the far right National Front and the center-right Republicans. The defeated Socialist president, Francois Holland, bore heavy responsibility for the Socialist’s rout. His sad sack image and inability to lower unemployment doomed Hollande’s presidency and his party. Poor Hollande, a decent man for a politician, was so unpopular he decided not to run for a second term. Almost everyone was happy to see him go.

Macron’s brand new party took over France’s legislature and, of course, the reins of government. He appointed a cool new prime minister, Eduard Philippe, and many new faces from left and right in the cabinet.

The new president lost no time in announcing that his priority would be to attack France’s biggest problem: its stagnant economy weighed down by over 10% chronic unemployment, belligerent left-wing trade unions, and absurd labor laws.

In fact, Macron threw down the gauntlet to the left: either reform and modernize or face full-scale war. But all of Macron’s predecessors vowed to modernize and reform France’s labor laws. All failed.

Only 8% of France’s work force is unionized, less than Germany, Britain, or the US. Back in the 1950’s, the number was over 30% unionized. However, joint union-management work councils have given the left inordinate power over industry. Unlike Germany, where labor usually cooperates with management, the relationship in France is too adversarial and ideological.

ORDER IT NOW

Worse, five powerful unions are recognized by the French government as labor negotiating partners. Except for a leading moderate union, they are dominated by Communists, Trotskyites, and militant socialists, backed by free-enterprise hating academia and the leftist media. These extreme labor groups are concentrated in transportation, telecommunications, power, trucking and food distribution. They also dominate parts of the farm and fishing sectors.

It takes only a few phone calls for these unions to shut France down. The center right may control the government in Paris, but the left controls the streets, highways, airports and metros. Every time Paris and its union foes fight, up go the barricades and roadblocks and the public suffers. Striking is France’s national sport.

Up until now, union blackmail and violence has won almost every confrontation. It’s become a ritual: they make outrageous demands, up go the barricades, and the two sides palaver until government finally gives in to union demands.

The result has been to make France a no-go zone for industry. Labor laws make firing workers and closing plants almost impossible and hugely expensive. One would be crazy to open a manufacturing business in France. Blizzards of government regulations smother enterprise and hand power to bitter government bureaucrats who hate their jobs and their lives.

The net effect of this Marxist miasma has been to deter French firms from hiring, 40% youth unemployment, and a widespread sense of despair in the business community. Even France’s once glorious gastronomy has been degraded by the Socialist’s daft 35-hour work week and high taxes. The majority of French restaurants now use pre-prepared food in portion packs – much like airline meals. This is unforgivable.

Seizing the moment, Macron plans to reform the labor code by decree. He calls it ‘the Mother of All Reforms.’ The truculent CGT labor union has already called for strikes and demonstrations on 12 September. This will be the beginning of a ‘battle royale.’

Macron has invited US President Donald Trump to Paris for the 14 July Bastille Day celebration. That should be very interesting.

Copyright Eric S. Margolis 2017

(Republished from EricMargolis.com by permission of author or representative)
 
• Category: Foreign Policy • Tags: Emmanuel Macron, France, Neoliberalism 
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  1. Even France’s once glorious gastronomy has been degraded by the Socialist’s daft 35-hour work week and high taxes.

    Lol. What is this, a self-parody? Right, and also the goddamned 35-hour work week and high taxes frigidized the once passionate French ladies…

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  2. Dan Hayes says:

    Macron is either going to win big or lose big. I’ll put my francs on the latter.

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  3. Ouilla says:

    [ This comment is to replace the first one. Sorry for all the misspellings ]
    I’m French and very surprised by the tone of this texte. Indeed if M. Macron is not a traditionnal party leader he is from the traditionnal political environnent. To be elected he was helped by the whole mainstream media and the economical environment. And he has been rejoint by many people from the traditionnal parties. And the politicy he wants to endorse is a very old one. He has been elected by very few people having chosen him for his “program” in the first round. No this guy is a great deception. He is the same old washing powder in more abrasive in a brand-new parcel

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    • Replies: @22pp22
    Maybe you woyuld like Margolis's job. He is the weak link on this website.
    , @Diversity Heretic
    Like you, I'm skeptical about the tone of this piece and of Emmanuelle Macron. I don't think the French "communists" collapsed in the last election; the Front Gauche did rather well. And Marine Le Pen made it into the second round of the presidential election and the party went from two to nine seats in the National Assembly--disappointing but still an improvement.

    Governing by decree might work for matters of national security, but reforming a labor code by decree sounds like a recipe for disaster--you give the opponents of the substance a valid procedural reason to take to the streets. And if Macron's marvelous new party has a majority in the National Assembly, what need should he have of governing by decree?

    The latest thing I've seen in the French press is that France faces a colossal fiscal deficit. Let's see if Emmanuel Macron is a Rumpelstiltskin who can spin straw into gold.
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  4. Renoman says:

    He’s a Banker, a tool of the Rich, he will be slaughtered.

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  5. 22pp22 says:
    @Ouilla
    [ This comment is to replace the first one. Sorry for all the misspellings ]
    I’m French and very surprised by the tone of this texte. Indeed if M. Macron is not a traditionnal party leader he is from the traditionnal political environnent. To be elected he was helped by the whole mainstream media and the economical environment. And he has been rejoint by many people from the traditionnal parties. And the politicy he wants to endorse is a very old one. He has been elected by very few people having chosen him for his “program” in the first round. No this guy is a great deception. He is the same old washing powder in more abrasive in a brand-new parcel

    Maybe you woyuld like Margolis’s job. He is the weak link on this website.

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  6. @Ouilla
    [ This comment is to replace the first one. Sorry for all the misspellings ]
    I’m French and very surprised by the tone of this texte. Indeed if M. Macron is not a traditionnal party leader he is from the traditionnal political environnent. To be elected he was helped by the whole mainstream media and the economical environment. And he has been rejoint by many people from the traditionnal parties. And the politicy he wants to endorse is a very old one. He has been elected by very few people having chosen him for his “program” in the first round. No this guy is a great deception. He is the same old washing powder in more abrasive in a brand-new parcel

    Like you, I’m skeptical about the tone of this piece and of Emmanuelle Macron. I don’t think the French “communists” collapsed in the last election; the Front Gauche did rather well. And Marine Le Pen made it into the second round of the presidential election and the party went from two to nine seats in the National Assembly–disappointing but still an improvement.

    Governing by decree might work for matters of national security, but reforming a labor code by decree sounds like a recipe for disaster–you give the opponents of the substance a valid procedural reason to take to the streets. And if Macron’s marvelous new party has a majority in the National Assembly, what need should he have of governing by decree?

    The latest thing I’ve seen in the French press is that France faces a colossal fiscal deficit. Let’s see if Emmanuel Macron is a Rumpelstiltskin who can spin straw into gold.

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  7. The result has been to make France a no-go zone for industry. Labor laws make firing workers and closing plants almost impossible and hugely expensive. One would be crazy to open a manufacturing business in France.

    All this bs you write amounts to the idea that western workers must have no unions, no rights, slave wages and working conditions, in order be able to compete with Bangladesh and such. In other words: globalist neoliberalism; race to the bottom.

    And this is exactly the opposite of ‘making France great again’.

    Independence, getting out of Euro, of the EU, NATO (as de Gaulle did), slapping high tariffs on cheap imports – all this could, with determination and a bit of luck, make France great again.

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    • Replies: @The Alarmist

    "Independence, getting out of Euro, of the EU, NATO (as de Gaulle did), slapping high tariffs on cheap imports – all this could, with determination and a bit of luck, make France great again."
     
    The French elite pride themselves on being smarter than pretty much everyone else in the world, and certainly smarter than the Germans. They believe they will make France greater by dominating the EU, i.e. France becomes greater on the backs of the Germans. See articles elsewhere on how the Germans believe they will become greater on the backs of Syrians.

    The ancient Greeks and Romans saw slave labour as their route to riches, and instead drove their own middle classes to ruin ... we can see how this ruse works out over time, but we can't resist the charms of a free lunch.

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  8. If you are interested in understanding what’s happening in France, in Europe or in the world, you better read” Elections: Absenteeism, Boycotts and the Class Struggle JAMES PETRAS”.

    Mr Petras, contrary to the writer of this article, knows what he is talking about. He does his homework before writing. The writer of this piece, probably wrote it in a fench café while he was eating croissant and complaining about the incompetence of the waiter.

    It is not only that this creature -Macron- was manufactured by the 1%, and he is as disgusting as all the other “leaders” the world elite puts in power, and therefore if you don’t belong to the 1% or you are not so badly informed as Mr Margolis is, you cannot have any hope or illusion in the man. It is more serious than that.

    What the writer in his ignorance calls “reforms and modernization”, are not more than destruction of jobs,of job security, of buying power, of freedom. Destruction that will affect the people. The french people. If you happen to belong to the 1%, you have nothing to fear.

    People should not write or talk about what they don’t know. Mr Margolis doesn’t know what he is writing about.
    Just an example. Mr Margolis’s bête noir, “les syndicats”, are subsidized by the European Union.
    A long time they aren’t a threat anymore to the 1%…Even the american poodle, the former french President Mr Hollande, was able to start the destruction of the french labor laws and the unions were not able to impede him of doing so.

    Sure, it is not possible to publish only articles with high standard as Mr Petras’ articles are.
    But between Mr Petras’ articles and the rubbish that could have been written by an ignorant 16 yo studying French in Texas, maybe it is possible to find a balance.

    My apologies to the writer of this piece. I don’t want to be rude or violent…but the writer-who is certainly a very privileged guy- wrote very superficially about the violence the powerful will exert in those who are not so lucky as he is. Don’t call this violence”reforms” or “modernization”.
    The writer’s indifference explains my, “violent” post.

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  9. Kirt says:

    Make the workers work longer hours for less pay – sounds like a tool of the banksters to me.

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  10. @Mao Cheng Ji

    The result has been to make France a no-go zone for industry. Labor laws make firing workers and closing plants almost impossible and hugely expensive. One would be crazy to open a manufacturing business in France.
     
    All this bs you write amounts to the idea that western workers must have no unions, no rights, slave wages and working conditions, in order be able to compete with Bangladesh and such. In other words: globalist neoliberalism; race to the bottom.

    And this is exactly the opposite of 'making France great again'.

    Independence, getting out of Euro, of the EU, NATO (as de Gaulle did), slapping high tariffs on cheap imports - all this could, with determination and a bit of luck, make France great again.

    “Independence, getting out of Euro, of the EU, NATO (as de Gaulle did), slapping high tariffs on cheap imports – all this could, with determination and a bit of luck, make France great again.”

    The French elite pride themselves on being smarter than pretty much everyone else in the world, and certainly smarter than the Germans. They believe they will make France greater by dominating the EU, i.e. France becomes greater on the backs of the Germans. See articles elsewhere on how the Germans believe they will become greater on the backs of Syrians.

    The ancient Greeks and Romans saw slave labour as their route to riches, and instead drove their own middle classes to ruin … we can see how this ruse works out over time, but we can’t resist the charms of a free lunch.

    Read More
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  11. Sean says:

    The new president lost no time in announcing that his priority would be to attack France’s biggest problem: its stagnant economy weighed down by over 10% chronic unemployment, belligerent left-wing trade unions, and absurd labor laws.

    Yes he said that was his prority, and he is going to try and defeat organised labour (and working class alternative of the anti German right by jailing Marine lePen who has been placed under investigation by Macron). Yes that will please Germany and the mutualisation (ie German taxpayer bail out) of the toxic loans French banks made to Italy will go ahead.

    http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/europe/angela-merkel-emmanuel-macron-berlin-press-conference-eu-reforms-treaties-no-longer-taboo-a7737656.html

    “I have never defended (the idea of) Eurobonds or the mutualisation of …

    Macron is correct inasmuch he never said it, but everyone knows this is so. “Great” for French bankers and their bootlicking media pals, who are apparently to be accounted the authentic representatives of France’s national interest.

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  12. The writer of this piece, probably wrote it in a French café while he was eating croissant and complaining about the incompetence of the waiter.

    Probably correct.

    Margolis has shown himself to be pretty useless as a source of good info. He seems to be at his best at letting the rest of us know what a high class dude he is, how broad his travels are, and how many bigshots he’s on familiar terms with.

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    • Replies: @mobi

    Probably correct.

    Margolis has shown himself to be pretty useless as a source of good info. He seems to be at his best at letting the rest of us know what a high class dude he is, how broad his travels are, and how many bigshots he’s on familiar terms with.
     

    Years ago, he used to be a source of occasional, genuine insights into what was coming in obscure, soon-to-be-less-obscure, corners of the world.

    Buried deep in layers of insufferable pomposity. Endless, wildly inflated boasting of his exploits, and what 'the President leaned in and whispered to me over dinner'.

    Now, it seems, he's not even trying.

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  13. I think Margolis’s love of France has completely blindsided him.

    Has he or anyone else ever bothered to think how did Macron get his money so easily to create a new party from scratch within a year? It took UKIP 23 years to get up to 34000 members and 4 million votes. It took the National Front over 30 years to get 9 members in the National assembly. But Macron waltzes in and within a year he has a fully functioning well funded party and 370 NA representatives ready to go. Does anyone seriously think this was not possible without massive funding from the usual suspects?

    Yet who is under investigation for financial funding irregularities ? Who is targeted by a BBC Panorama for her supposed funding links to Russia.? Surprise surprise it just happens to be Le Pen

    Macron will fail because bringing in millions more migrants (and beating the unions) will not kickstart the economy or even drag down real wages as he so fervently hopes. It will merely create an ever greater fiscal drag on the economy through millions more of dependent migrants especially from Sub-Saharan Africa who will happily exploit what is left of the welfare system.

    Roll on 2022.

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  14. Anonymous says: • Disclaimer

    Reads like a parody.

    Seriously, at first I thought the author – Eric Margolis – was trying to be funny but he’s really, really trying to sell you this shit-sandwich. I wonder how many of these low-hanging, rotten fruits are spreading their insight (for a fee) on the Interwebz.

    Macron is not an agent of change. He’s a butt-boy for a Rothschild’s golem who wrote books about European destruction.

    Why is this on unz.com? Can we poke it with a stick? Should we care to poke it?

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  15. And the downside for the none-frogs?

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  16. HBm says:

    Macron will finish-off France. His goal is destruction, and he’ll be even better at it than Merkel since he’s not a dipshit. He’s a Elite psychopath. King Louis’ hedonistic transgressions will be nothing in comparison to the destruction Macron will bring upon the French people.

    Margolis is a Jew with a Muslim (or just Arab– I forget) wife. That’s really all you need to know.

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    • Replies: @Anon
    Which Louis, and how did his "hedonistic transgressions" hurt France?
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  17. Anon says: • Disclaimer
    @HBm
    Macron will finish-off France. His goal is destruction, and he'll be even better at it than Merkel since he's not a dipshit. He's a Elite psychopath. King Louis' hedonistic transgressions will be nothing in comparison to the destruction Macron will bring upon the French people.

    Margolis is a Jew with a Muslim (or just Arab-- I forget) wife. That's really all you need to know.

    Which Louis, and how did his “hedonistic transgressions” hurt France?

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  18. mobi says:
    @jacques sheete

    The writer of this piece, probably wrote it in a French café while he was eating croissant and complaining about the incompetence of the waiter.
     
    Probably correct.

    Margolis has shown himself to be pretty useless as a source of good info. He seems to be at his best at letting the rest of us know what a high class dude he is, how broad his travels are, and how many bigshots he's on familiar terms with.

    Probably correct.

    Margolis has shown himself to be pretty useless as a source of good info. He seems to be at his best at letting the rest of us know what a high class dude he is, how broad his travels are, and how many bigshots he’s on familiar terms with.

    Years ago, he used to be a source of occasional, genuine insights into what was coming in obscure, soon-to-be-less-obscure, corners of the world.

    Buried deep in layers of insufferable pomposity. Endless, wildly inflated boasting of his exploits, and what ‘the President leaned in and whispered to me over dinner’.

    Now, it seems, he’s not even trying.

    Read More
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
  19. Useful article, with one quibble. Having just spent some time in France, including two weeks in La France Profonde (mostly the Dordogne region), the author’s claim that France is suffering gastronomic decline-to the point of airline food!-is grotesque libel. I was mostly eating at cafes and inexpensive restaurants, definitely not Michelin-starred affairs, and the food was exquisite.

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    • Replies: @Alden
    Steak&frites at highway rest stops divine.
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  20. Alden says:

    Excellent!! The hedonistic Louises , Henrys and the most hedonistic of all Francois all ruled over France when it was the most highly populated and wealthiest country in Europe.

    Another very hedonistic Louis 14 created a department of roads and bridges that in the late 1600s developed a modern infrastructure of canals, roads and bridges

    . The department built a canal that connected the Mediterranean coast harbors with the Atlantic coast harbor of Bordeaux one could travel from the Mediterranean coast all the way to Strasbourg by the canal/ river system.

    The virtuous, chaste, happily married, non adulterous Louis 16 was the one who was executed by revolutionaries. That revolution led to the mess of constantly changing governments that made 19th century French government so useless

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  21. Alden says:
    @Francophile
    Useful article, with one quibble. Having just spent some time in France, including two weeks in La France Profonde (mostly the Dordogne region), the author's claim that France is suffering gastronomic decline-to the point of airline food!-is grotesque libel. I was mostly eating at cafes and inexpensive restaurants, definitely not Michelin-starred affairs, and the food was exquisite.

    Steak&frites at highway rest stops divine.

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