Things I Don't Understand about the Grève

1) What the alternatives are to this reform. No one seems to be talking about that.

2) Why the nature of the dialogue seems to be: government does this, people hate it. Isn’t it supposed to be a little more complicated than that? I mean, French people did elect the government, right? So is it that the UMP has so much power that it doesn’t matter what the opposition wants? And if the UMP has so much power, shouldn’t that be because French people voted for them?

3) Why this shuts down the country. Or more like, threatens to. I mean, I would think shutting-down-the-country threats would revolve around something extremely serious, like taking away certain rights (e.g. perhaps from citizens not born in France). The reform of the retirement age just doesn’t seem quite serious enough for me for that. But then, here I am living in a foreign culture so maybe not working after 60/65 really just is that important.

Any explanations out there for me?

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4 thoughts on “Things I Don't Understand about the Grève

  1. mom says:

    Apparently (though I would like to see this really examined cleanly and scientifically) no one in America wanted Obamacare (‘cept for me and my husband) yet our Congress passed it. maybe it’s that simple, that the government knows better. No it is probably more this phenomenon: The squeaky wheel keeps on squeaking even though it doesn’t vote. We hear in our media that high school students are the strikers, and they didn’t vote

  2. mom says:

    i’m sorry, we already talked about this and you taught me that the US media are oversimplifying it. So it isn’t just high school kids who are striking and protesting.

    That concession made, which wrecks my argument, I do think that the noisiest complainers are the ones least likely to vote (they say that Jerry Brown, candidate for governor in CA, has won more elections than Meg Whitman, ebay co-founder and his opponent, has voted in. However, to weaken my case even more, I think every tea partier in the country is going to vote in this election GDI

  3. It’s France, what can I say… people don’t like change. This is not to say I agree or disagree with that specific protest. It’s just the way it is…

  4. Wow, I hadn’t gotten any e-mail notifications that there were comments on this. Sorry for the late response!

    Mom: I’ve been reluctantly reading a little about the election coming up (I already voted so felt I couldn’t actually do anything more to actually help it). The Times today says that the Republicans almost certainly have the House and they might have the Senate though it’s less sure. Of course, nothing is sure. But I also read an opinion that said that Obama might have better chances with popularity if there’s a Republican Congress. Anyway, we’ll find out next week.

    Also, with Obamacare, I felt like a lot of that was right-wing spin and media incompetence. This doesn’t feel like a spin job here in France. It seems clear to me that most people don’t like this reform. Not necessarily the idea of having a reform, just THIS one.

    I think since I made this post I’ve gotten the sense from several places that the French striking/negotiating system works differently from other countries so it’s not really accurate to compare it to the U.S, or Germany.

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