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Author Topic: (For My Friend Fred) French: The Most Productive People In The World  (Read 4513 times)
Slobodan Blagojevic
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« Reply #20 on: July 15, 2011, 02:36:58 PM »
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.... But if you actually believe that Reagan's tax rate reduction handed his successor an "economic disaster,"...

In that sentence, I was referring to Bush, not Reagan.

As for the rest... how convenient. When an economic policy (say, tax cuts) works, the credit goes to the...policy. When it does not work, blame... the Congress or Administration.
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Slobodan

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Slobodan Blagojevic
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« Reply #21 on: July 15, 2011, 02:41:51 PM »
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... Since that "slashing" resulted in increased revenue,...

Bush took a surplus from Clinton and turned it into a huge deficit... so much for "increased revenue".
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« Reply #22 on: July 15, 2011, 02:42:59 PM »
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In that sentence, I was referring to Bush, not Reagan.

You're right. I missed it. So what? Bush's tax rate decrease resulted in a tax revenue increase. Same difference. I don't like what Bush did with that increase, but that's a different argument.

Quote
As for the rest... how convenient. When an economic policy (say, tax cuts) works, the credit goes to the...policy. When it does not work, blame... the Congress or Administration.

Not at all, I blame our career politicians -- congress or administration -- for the deep do-do we're in. This isn't a party thing. Both parties have been moving us toward disaster all my life except for the first two years of it -- before FDR became Pres.
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fredjeang
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« Reply #23 on: July 15, 2011, 02:46:09 PM »
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Allons enfants de la patrie...le jour de gloire est arrivé... (just to cool down)
« Last Edit: July 15, 2011, 03:36:53 PM by fredjeang » Logged
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« Reply #24 on: July 15, 2011, 02:51:31 PM »
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Bush took a surplus from Clinton and turned it into a huge deficit... so much for "increased revenue".

Slobodan, Are you aware that spending bills have to originate in the house? Clinton's surplus came from Reagan's tax rate policies and the fact that after 1995 he had a congress that refused to fund most of his vote-buying plans. I'm not going even to try to defend the crap either Bush did, but the "W" deficit was designed in congress. Unfortunately it was accepted by Bush. I couldn't believe it when most of that garbage passed without a veto.
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Slobodan Blagojevic
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« Reply #25 on: July 15, 2011, 03:03:53 PM »
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... But I'm far from being an expert in economy and won't and can't comment on that any further, just an humble cultural observer.

Ps: it seems reading you and Russ that you also are in this right-left political war in the US.

Fred, we (economists) need more people like you, that is, keen and humble cultural observers. As I mentioned in an earlier post, although I am mostly factual and logical, there is so much more to life than just facts and logic.

As for left-right... I understand why people might resort to simplified labels, it is so much simpler, but I personally do not like to be labeled as belonging to either side (not a criticism of you).

I like to think of myself as an independent, skeptical and critical thinker (note the part "I like to think...", i.e., I do recognize that I might - or do have - a too-high opinion of myself). As some keen observers on this forum might remember, I frequently go against (extreme) left-wing views, as I often go against (extreme) right-wing ones. I buy (agree with) arguments, not party lines. As someone who comes from the University of Chicago, often considered rather conservative, if not outright right-wing, I do understand many arguments that conservatives make. As truth and life is much more complicated than the left-right would imply, I am usually going against misuse of otherwise sound principles.
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« Reply #26 on: July 15, 2011, 03:36:00 PM »
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I think I would call that "independant" thinker. Those left-right concepts are to me absurd and I also like to be skeptical, critical on left or right wings narrow views.

Here what is happening in the US is vastly commented. Do you imagine they could re-qualify the US and downsample (sorry for the photographic term) the AAA ?...I don't think it will ever happen.
« Last Edit: July 15, 2011, 03:38:38 PM by fredjeang » Logged
Rob C
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« Reply #27 on: July 17, 2011, 01:12:19 PM »
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I Have been living both in France and Spain.

I can tell you that here in Spain, people are working much more hours (the spanish "siesta" that makes think that Spain is a lazy country is completly mystified).
But they are far from being as productive. They are so messy and disorganised that they have to work much more for the same productivity.

In the French mentality, sweating is only part of the equation if it gives them time for privacy. Frenchs like good life, bon vivants. They would never understand neither accept
to just being part of the system with very little rewarding like you see in Asia for ex. The economic battle, the values of sacrifice and die at work for the benefit of the 2% leaders
is a shocking idea in the french minds.

The nationranking statistics in the link are hilarious and put Spain before France. I don't know who are those funny people (they might be the same than Moody's Islandia accurate qualifications...) but I can tell you that the standart of living in France is much higher than here in Spain. Not a little higher, much higher. Anyone who has lived in both countries knows it.

They have this sort of elegance even in the technology. I have to say it even if there is a long list of things I don't like in France. When you travel you see it. Spanish people are brute, noisy but friendly. French are not specially friendly,
they are basically elegant. They won't be able to build a crude and brutal capitalism, they will just make it elegant, easy, smooth. They are very good at that.

France is a indeed a socialist mind within a capitalist structure and they kind of deal well with the paradox. Capitalism yes, but...a chic one! Not the jungle law.
Middle class life standart is definatly very high. You live well in France. In general, I think that considering all the parameters and not just numbers, Europe is probably the place where the average standart of life is the highest among the 3 economic giants, USA, Asia and Europe.

I would take the Lauper's song: French just wana have fun... not that wrong.



Fred-

Spain and France are strange bedfellows. Those high sierras running east-west or west-east, depending on which political wing you fancy, are just in the right place: they make the transition from one land to the other simpler, and avoid the problems of merge.

Take hotels: in Spain, they tend to be quite expensive, and the food also, but that’s best taken outwith the hotel; in France, I felt the hotels we used, at the level we wanted to spend, were a lot more inexpensive but the food noticeably better (we mainly used the Logis system), even though the bill at the end might possibly give you indigestion. The chains, however, were basic, clean and well placed just outside the main towns, but pretty interchangeable; great if you were in a hurry, but not much fun if touring.

Eating. In Spain you can generally expect a lunch welcome from 1pm until 4pm or so; in France, our experience of driving around for pics was that unless you bagged your restaurant seat at noon, you’d go hungry. That’s not civilized. It is all designed to suit the eatery and not the traveller. In France, dogs are welcome in many dining rooms; far less so in Spain.

Gasoline. In Spain, lots of pumps; in rural France, fill up at the quarter-tank.

When we came to live here three decades ago, we’d spend the summer evenings, post-dinner, down at the seafront, sitting at a bar and watching the world parade by. And I mean parade. My wife could see a lady forty feet away and tell immediately from whence she came: Italy, France, Germany, Spain. She was never mistaken, as we confirmed when the person would pass, chatting with her companions. The Brits were ever the Brits, and nobody ever mistook them for anything else. Today. I wouldn’t dream of sitting there anymore: everybody looks like the Brits. You could say that national style, fashion and glamour have gone with the dodo, and that happened long before we waved farewell to Kodachrome.

(But then, I remember sitting in the Diani Beach hotel (as was) in Mombasa, having a couple of drinks when the crocodile walked past us. This wasn’t greeny-brown with tail and teeth, this was American and wearing the ‘classical’ safari suits… five or six of them, in single file, walking the Egyptian (almost) and looking quite unique. That’s what happens when you see too many Hemingway movies or read Vogue and Harper's B and don’t get the joke.)

Fred, tell me: here in Spain I can’t find an insurance company that will give me home insurance and also insure my cameras outside the house; I used to have a pro policy with a firm in London, but they abandoned me when I closed the business (mine, I hasten to add), and ever since, watches, jewellery and cameras were out of the house at our own risk. It seems the same with all of the companies I’ve tried; do you know better?

Rob C
« Last Edit: July 18, 2011, 03:59:29 AM by Rob C » Logged

NikoJorj
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« Reply #28 on: July 18, 2011, 05:26:55 AM »
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Allons enfants de la patrie...le jour de gloire est arrivé... (just to cool down)
Reminds me : once we'll discard the Défilé Militaire du 14 Juillet (Ecologist candidate Eva Joly punched the hornet's nest proposing that), we'll also have to find another anthem... this one is way too blood-thirsty (for the poor and deprived ones that can't read the grandeur of our great language , the chorus goes "Let a unreintainted blood water our furrows" - Qu'un sang impur abreuve nos sillons).
Well, it reminds us that the French Revolution did have to shed its way through war, but I'd rather like to think this is a tad outpassed in XXIth century's Europe.

To get the focus back on its rails after this train-hijacking attempt, it's rather funny that, despite the general trend in developed countries to lower working times (sorry, this is written in french), the main motto in Nicolas Sarkozy's 2007 campaign was "travailler plus pour gagner plus" : "work more to earn more" - which lured many votes from lower classes. And (une fois n'est pas coutume because we say here that "political promises only bind the ones who believe them") he fulfilled the promise (at least partially), undoing some parts of the 35-hours general waged labour regulation.
« Last Edit: July 18, 2011, 05:29:06 AM by NikoJorj » Logged

Nicolas from Grenoble
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Rob C
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« Reply #29 on: July 18, 2011, 11:28:58 AM »
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Reminds me : once we'll discard the Défilé Militaire du 14 Juillet (Ecologist candidate Eva Joly punched the hornet's nest proposing that), we'll also have to find another anthem... this one is way too blood-thirsty (for the poor and deprived ones that can't read the grandeur of our great language , the chorus goes "Let a unreintainted blood water our furrows" - Qu'un sang impur abreuve nos sillons).
Well, it reminds us that the French Revolution did have to shed its way through war, but I'd rather like to think this is a tad outpassed in XXIth century's Europe. To get the focus back on its rails after this train-hijacking attempt, it's rather funny that, despite the general trend in developed countries to lower working times (sorry, this is written in french), the main motto in Nicolas Sarkozy's 2007 campaign was "travailler plus pour gagner plus" : "work more to earn more" - which lured many votes from lower classes. And (une fois n'est pas coutume because we say here that "political promises only bind the ones who believe them") he fulfilled the promise (at least partially), undoing some parts of the 35-hours general waged labour regulation.




Unfortunately or maybe fortunately, so, I think, is Europe as a United States of!

It was a great idea to open markets but a crazy one to try to steamroll all sizes into one shoe. The peseta and the euro in bed with the Dmark? Really? And the irony: the euro dives but the pound manages to stay low. How do they do that, it must take a genius somewhere pulling the strings! I remember around December when I was thinking of getting new wheels: I looked at the Mini first, the price, and couldn't believe my eyes that it never shed a penny in euros despite the rise in the value of the euro compared with a few years ago. A weak pound is supposed to make exports cheaper for the host country! Not with Mini you don't! So I bought a Ford.

Rob C
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