Economy

I continue to be amazed by the French economy… People don’t see the links between different sectors.  My French friend who is retired from the Department of Finance and was an attorney looked me straight in the eye and said the people who were striking were not in the tourism sector so the tourism decline didn’t impact them.  After a pause to compute that statement and be amazed, I said what about the hotels that don’t have clients and then don’t have income and then have to decide they don’t need new tables or chairs or beds and must just get by and so then the factories that manufacture those things don’t have orders and there is no work…   She looked a bit surprised.  Maybe they should teach less philosophy and more business economics…

Tourism is still on the decline!  Numbers went down last year after Charlie Hebdo.  And significantly after the Nov 13 attacks.  The strikes and the floods haven’t helped.  I just read today that tourism is down 15.5% from last year at this time – which was down from the year before because of Charlie Hebdo.  By country, British are down%, Italians 28% and Japanese 60%.

My American friend said it doesn’t matter to many of the French because their employment is guaranteed.  I don’t know how widespread that is outside of government, but I do know that one of the employer benefits of the Loi de Travail (that they are striking over) is to make it easier to lay off workers in an economic decline.  Is it the feudal mentality?  The Lord (not up in the sky – in the chateau) will provide?

Next Tuesday June 14 is set for a National Strike!  I have no idea what that will entail – except a lot of manifestations, lots of noise, flares, whistles, fog horns and maybe some burning tires.  Oh and last week some union strikers pelted one of the ministers with eggs.  Easy to toss from a far, sailing right over the heads of the security officials.   How old are these people???

But, yeah, I still love it here.

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