Friday, October 8, 2010

Today the French Senate Les Senateurs voted in favor pass retirement reform raising the legal retirement age from 60 to 62.

From a French viewpoint: This is an absolute outrage, an example of how the elite at the top are hurting the poor, hard-working French worker. Clearly the government must be pandering to businesses. They are corrupt officials and this is disgraceful, therefore we shall strike at dawn (not that we don't do that anyway)

From a French Politician's viewpoint: This is necessary to deal with a rising budget deficit, rising union power, and an aging population. 2 years will be relatively mild and we will save a lot of money.

From my viewpoint: This will reduce the burden, but only in the short term.

What I am trying to say is that in the context of this bill, French workers will have to pay taxes for an additional two years raising revenue for the government to actually pay for all of the benefits it offers. But then what happens?

Voters will probably realize this and will demand more benefits from its politicians, leading to new bills in which the already entitled French population will receive even more cheques du gouvernement and then the problem will keep compounding on itself.

If French politicians want to reduce the burden they face, they should try a combination of several acts in which the population strike a deal with their "out of touch" senators. I understand that they consider it a great personal achievement if they have a universal healthcare and subsidized education. Leave that in place but French laborers are going to have to reform. The French government can promote domestic spending if they can pass a tax cut but at the same time strike a bargain with the workers to cut back on their luxurious paid vacations. The average French worker has 39 days of vacation under his belt. That's a whole summer that even I couldn't enjoy and I'm only 17, not 60. That too, I think that it is time that French politicians jump on the side of businesses who are right now feeling that France isn't a great country to keep their operations going anymore. The CAC 40 index is a good reflector of how corporations are feeling at the moment and the index has remained stagnant. Maybe allow entrepreneurs more collective bargaining power and then we're talking about motivated workers who might just think twice before they head to picket lines.

Sunday, October 3, 2010

Just when you think you know who will gain power in Congress, the polls indicate otherwise. In about March, the Republican Party was looking poised to take control but now their confidence has been shaken by a few results in state primaries.

On the other side, the Democrats who feared that a fizzling economic recovery may damage their chances...still feel that way.

One thing both parties are doing is trying to market themselves as the party that can offer change and the right solutions for America. Each party has questions about the other's integrity and voters are beginning to doubt their own representatives turning to the more extreme Tea Party. Well I have questions to both parties, the Tea Party, and even the voters who are in this dilemma where they feel as though no one can help them.

My question to Republicans: "In 8 years, Republicans allowed a housing bubble to build up without the least bit of foresight. What convinces me that you won't let the same thing occur?"

My question to Democrats: "In just 2 years the Democrats have exploited their super-majority to pass liberal legislation and have mismanaged their priorities to a humongous extent. Are you going to fix the economy and support industries this time around instead of trying to restrict and kill them off?"

My question to Tea Party Candidates: "Name two things you will do that will actually work and elaborate on how they will work." My second question: "Do you have a fundamental understanding of how our government works and how the economy works." My third question: "How do we know you will represent the voice of America when you have members who are known to racially abuse minorities?"

If my points sound somewhat angry and sharp-tongued, I don't intend them to be but these are questions the voters should be asking and instead of getting poised for a concerning revolution backwards, we should be concerning ourselves more with who really will act in the best interests of the people.

Now here's my ultimate question to voters: "Do you keep track of what your representatives and senators are doing?" Because you should and maybe they will actually listen when you threaten to vote them out if they don't accomplish your needs.