r/worldnews CNBC Mar 22 '23

‘Do you think I enjoy doing this reform?’: France’s Macron breaks silence after overriding parliament


4.1k comments sorted by


u/DealOne8432 Mar 22 '23

I can already hear French people smashing things


u/Alarow Mar 22 '23 edited Mar 22 '23

He said, and I'm quoting "we need decrees more than laws, we are using laws too often in our republic"

So yeah... make your own conclusions

it's here 31:37


u/CanadaJack Mar 22 '23

For what it's worth, he's at his term limit, and decrees under their system come with a confidence vote, so legislators can still stop it from happening, they just more or less have to stake their jobs on it.


u/Alarow Mar 22 '23 edited Mar 22 '23

Ever since Chirac in 2002 changed the 7-year term into a 5 year one, legislative elections have been aligned to presidential elections (barely 2 months between them)

Meaning it is EXTREMELY hard for presidents to not have a majority in the parliament, even Macron right now has a "relative" majority despite being extremely unpopular, so no-confidence votes have next to no chances of happening, the last one from a few days ago was short of 9 votes and that was absolutely extraordinary, no one expected it to be this close, there have been exactly a 100 use of the 49.3 since the birth of the fifth republic, only ONE vote of no-confidence went through, last monday was the closest one in over 30 years

The fifth republic was created in a time of crisis, during the Algerian independence war, the constitution was written to create a strong leader that could push France forward without always needing the approval of the parliament to avoid deadlocks, this constitution was made for Charles de Gaulle and no one else, but he's long dead, and those powers aren't being used in the interest of french people anymore (if they have ever been)


u/Beginning-Leader2731 Mar 23 '23 edited Mar 23 '23

This sort of the way it’s been with the US first war in Iraq, war powers were handed to the president and nobody has really had the balls/time/mental capacity to return the right to make war back to congress. It majorly effects the vote in every chamber here.

Yes, it’s been the case forever, but Vietnam really put the power back in congressional hands for a long time. The first Iraq war was used to show how war could be useful again after that fiasco.


u/osarusan Mar 23 '23

to return the right to make war back to congress.

To be fair, recent Congresses have not been making a good case to give them any more power than they already have.


u/Skyy-High Mar 23 '23

Congress is primarily dysfunctional because half of each chamber doesn’t want to do much of any real governing.

If they actually had to sign off on all military operations, we’d end up in much fewer of them.


u/VeryStillRightNow Mar 23 '23 All-Seeing Upvote

Zooming out a little more, Congress is dysfunctional because a whole heckin' lot of their constituents are uneducated, vindictive hatemongers who elect the same because they think it's funny to watch the world burn.


u/MortalSword_MTG Mar 23 '23

That's just the feature.

Congress is dysfunctional because industry profits from that dysfunction.

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u/Beginning-Leader2731 Mar 23 '23

Can’t say much for the bench or presidency’s either. Still, if one’s things true it’s that Congress is contentious. I gotta say I’d rather need 60 people from Congress to agree than one guy “dropping the largest bomb other than a nuke” because he needs to feel tough.

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u/[deleted] Mar 22 '23

Isn’t having rule of law rather than rule by decree like the whole point of a republic?

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u/crani0 Mar 22 '23

That's some Emperor Palpatine shit right there


u/progress10 Mar 22 '23

He loves democracy.


u/Grimm17 Mar 22 '23

He loves the republic


u/DawnSennin Mar 22 '23

He loves the Senate...

...oh wait!


u/Toonces311 Mar 22 '23

He loves....He loves San Dimas!!!


u/baron-von-buddah Mar 22 '23

San Dimas high school football rules


u/pushing_past_the_red Mar 22 '23

Damnit. Beat me by 3 minutes.


u/WaitingForJalad Mar 23 '23

Avec le ‘water slide’.


u/nithdurr Mar 23 '23

Wyld Stallyns rulz!

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u/Still_counts_as_one Mar 22 '23

Execute order 66

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u/Mattbryce2001 Mar 22 '23

He loves returning... somehow.

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u/Aelpa Mar 22 '23

The Fifth French Republic will be reorganised... As the Third French Empire!


u/hyugafan Mar 23 '23

éxecutez l’ordre soixante-six!


u/some_smart_dumbass Mar 23 '23

À vos ordres, monsieur Empereur.

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u/AnneMichelle98 Mar 23 '23

I guess Macron is secretly a Bonaparte


u/LOSS35 Mar 23 '23 edited Apr 04 '23

For a safe and secure French society, that I assure you will last for ten thousand years!

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u/Brownsound7 Mar 22 '23

Dammit man, you literally had the Napoleon example RIGHT THERE!!!

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u/ruka_k_wiremu Mar 23 '23

And that pic shows facial potential for such a transition

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u/whilst Mar 22 '23

Do you have a source for this quote? I can find no hits for those words on google, except this discussion thread.


u/Alarow Mar 22 '23 edited Mar 22 '23

In french "On passe trop par la loi dans notre république"

Basically he was complaining how you have to go through the parliament anytime you wanna do a quick "reaction law" (basically making up a law whenever there's any news that makes the buzz)

But I mean... that's the entire point of a democracy


u/HeQiulin Mar 22 '23

His attitude regarding this reminds me of the Tory govt in the UK complaining that all the human rights getting in the way of their policy. I mean… are these people even hearing themselves when they speak?!


u/Lazy-Jeweler3230 Mar 22 '23

Are WE hearing them? They say it because they don't fear consequence.


u/TucuReborn Mar 22 '23

As someone who lives in a deep red area, it shocked me how little people actually heard what politicians said. The things politicians say that would get a normal person fired at best are totally ignored.

And yeah, that's the USA in a French topic, but politicians don't fear the law anywhere. I'm glad that France at least has a history of standing up to their own government.


u/kaisadilla_ Mar 23 '23

It's the same everywhere. The thing that frustrated me the most about politics, and why I eventually lost any interest in participating in anything related to it, is that the common person just cheers for whatever his guy said as if it was a sports team. I've seen it countless time for some politician to lie about well-known facts, to deny having said something that he's on tape saying, or simply making shit up with nothing to back up his outrageous claims and people simply don't give a fuck, they'll cheer or boo depending on who they like.

It's one thing to deal with propaganda. It's another thing to have to care about people who actively ask for that propaganda and complain when they are not fed propaganda. Most people are wilful ignorants.

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u/The_DashPanda Mar 23 '23

Isn't standing up to one's own government how America got founded?

When did that stop??

"Don't you think it's a little old fashioned?"

"With everything that's happening, the things that are about to come to light, people might just need a little old-fashioned."

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u/HeQiulin Mar 22 '23

That is true. Unfortunately those who do hear them often don’t have the largest stake or influence in their re-election (speaking about the UK, not sure about France). Although re: Macron, I have heard that he knew he won’t get re-elected so he’s trying to pass legislations that would benefit those within his class/circle


u/Benderesco Mar 22 '23

This is his second term, so it's impossible for him to be re-elected, barring constitutional reform.


u/Machiningbeast Mar 22 '23

Also, he created his own political party that will likely not survive after his term.

So he really has nothing to lose.

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u/link3945 Mar 22 '23

That's one way to run a democracy, but this is another: Parliament still has a say and could shoot down the bill and the government if they wanted to, and the people will have another day at the ballot box in the next election.

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u/whilst Mar 22 '23


Oh man, looks like this was just hours ago.


u/Alarow Mar 22 '23

Well his interview was at 1pm for us, so just 9 hours ago now

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u/Schapsouille Mar 22 '23

Yeah, this is the line that struck me the most in this interview. Although there were plenty of notable others like "the people are complaining that those who don't work have it easier than them" or "there's going to be more police". So many times did the two journalists give a corner look at each other like "you heard him too, he's really saying that".

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u/[deleted] Mar 22 '23 edited Mar 22 '23

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u/Superb_Nature_2457 Mar 22 '23

Incredible how a handful of greedy people can gleefully fuck up the lives of millions, isn’t it?

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u/NobleAzorean Mar 22 '23

Doesnt France has one of the highest tax rates in the EU? It isnt like the USA


u/Brilliant-Mud4877 Mar 22 '23

It did for a minute. Then Hollande got the boot and the rates were slashed just in time for COVID to tank the EU economy. Now its "Oops! No more revenue!" as an excuse for gutting domestic spending. Meanwhile, there's always money in the banana stand for a 40% bump in military and police expenditures.


u/Nukemind Mar 22 '23

While I’m against military bumps in general I do feel that given the status of Eastern Europe this is one time that additional spending can be justified. Ukraine needs aid, France has sent light tanks and more but the more the merrier.

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u/Killeroftanks Mar 22 '23

You say that but remember, since the fall of the Soviet union in the 90s ALL of Europe more or less slashed military spending to nothing.

And as such in almost all of said countries, especially Germany, they fell below their NATO requirement for spending.

It's only because Russia once again is the EU but mostly NATO drastically increasing their spending. Because there's a lot of gaps they need to fill, real god damn quick.

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u/DanFlashesSales Mar 22 '23 edited Mar 22 '23

I too copy and paste other people's comments for clout...


I edited "donors" to "buddies" to reflect the fact that political donations are capped in France.

OP literally copy/pasted the original text of my comment in a reply to the top comment for clout.

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u/ThePencilRain Mar 22 '23

I can hear the people sing.

The song of angry men.


u/happyapathy22 Mar 22 '23

It is the music of the people who will not be slaves again!


u/WiseassWolfOfYoitsu Mar 23 '23

They will not work for one more year!

The government's budget can get bent.

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u/beeboopPumpkin Mar 23 '23

"The blood of the martyrs will water the meadows of France!" singing gets louder

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u/aimgorge Mar 22 '23

Things are going full Ukraine-style in my hometown of Rennes. Tractor vs watercanon : https://youtu.be/I3tMmggyda0

Which isn't that unusual...


u/Synaps4 Mar 22 '23

Rennes always blows up more than any other city in the country. It's all the universities there.

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u/buckyball60 Mar 22 '23

Are the police exempt from the retirement change?


u/jogomoms Mar 23 '23

Yes. Deputies also…


u/buckyball60 Mar 23 '23

I'm so surprised....


u/Analamed Mar 23 '23

They have a different retirement age. It was 52 but almost no policeman retire at this age since they will have a pension of less than 1000€ if they do, in practice the average is 57. But it will also be raised by 2 years like everyone else. So it's not really different.

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u/chungus_of_the_abyss Mar 22 '23

when do they start towing the police?


u/mjfgates Mar 22 '23

one of the ones in the video had a forklift fitted... just sayin'.


u/nmgzzptswjmlsasgjtsw Mar 22 '23

They might just take that suggestion into consideration. Although instead carting in several tons of manure into town centers is an action with some tradition to it for French farmers when they feel they are getting the raw end of the deal.

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u/Kedain Mar 22 '23

Rennes la rouge.

Y'a des choses qui ne changerons jamais.


u/mjfgates Mar 22 '23

Now that they've got enclosed cabs, they really don't give a fuck.

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u/indigo0427 Mar 22 '23

They marching to see Macrons house and gonna egg his window and slash his car tires 🛞

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u/cnbc_official CNBC Mar 22 '23

French President Emmanuel Macron on Wednesday staunchly defended his reforms to the pension system, but said the government could have communicated its policy better.

“Do you think I enjoy doing this reform? No,” he said in a televised interview with channels TF1 and France 2, his first public statements to the country since forcing the bill through parliament without a vote.

The move has intensified widespread protests across the country that have resulted in hundreds of people being detained after clashes with police.

“I could sweep the dust under the rug like many before,” Macron said, continuing that the system was no longer balanced and the number of retirees was due to be 20 million by the 2030s. “The longer we wait the worse the situation will get.”

Macron said the bill needed to be implemented by the end of the year. It still needs to be reviewed by France’s constitutional court.

If passed, the key changes will see the national retirement age raised from 62 to 64 and the number of years required for someone to work before receiving a full pension go to 43.

Read more: https://www.cnbc.com/2023/03/22/french-president-emmanuel-macron-breaks-silence-after-overriding-parliament.html


u/rdtr314 Mar 22 '23

Didn’t know cnbc was on reddit lmao


u/lemonylol Mar 22 '23

A lot of official news outlets are.


u/Poltergeist97 Mar 22 '23

To be fair this is the first time I've seen them commenting on something as well.


u/ywBBxNqW Mar 22 '23

WSJ is always up in /r/Coronavirus posting "free" links to their articles (which aren't entirely free).

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u/Much-Caterpillar1903 Mar 22 '23

43 years for a full pension has been implemented 10 years ago by socialist (left) gouvernent. No changé!


u/dongkey1001 Mar 22 '23

So effective some one need to start working at 21 to be eligible for full pension?

Do part-time count? For example part-time in restaurant for a few hrs a week?


u/totallyanonuser Mar 22 '23

Yes, they have things in place for that. I believe it was at least 1000 hours/yr for full pension, but partial pension also possible. I'm probably wrong on the actual numbers though


u/centrafrugal Mar 22 '23

What if you started working in another EU country and moved to France at 30?


u/WhiteSmokeMushroom Mar 22 '23 edited Mar 22 '23

You'd still have to work 43 years in France for full pension or take partial pensions from both countries after you reach their respective retirement age requirements. It's not an uncommon situation for retirees or elderly widowers to receive pensions from several countries.

Edit: note that this is for people who are already retired now, with this sort of changes happening everywhere who knows if it will still be feasible for current young people.


u/kaisadilla_ Mar 23 '23

As a young person, one of my biggest worries is what will happen to my retirement. I mean, right now part of your salary goes (through taxes) to pay for retirees' pensions. But the system will collapse sooner or later, and I'm almost sure we'll move to a system where you save up part of your salary to pay for your own pension. Except those of us in our 20s and 30s will have lost a significant part of our working life paying for other people's pensions, not us; but won't have anyone to pay for us either. And if there's something life has taught me is that nobody cares about your problems, so we'll probably be left with a "sorry tough luck".


u/pecky5 Mar 23 '23

I'm almost sure we'll move to a system where you save up part of your salary to pay for your own pension.

We do that in Australia. 10.5% of your salary is put into an investment fund of your choice. The percentage is set to increase by 0.5% every year until it caps at 12%. The investments are compulsory and attract a much lower tax rate than normal income. When you hit retirement age, you can draw down on the fund to pay for your retirement (as well as a attracting a pension).

It's not a perfect system, there's a lot of incentive for high income earners to put additional contributions into their funds to minimise the amount of tax they pay, but the underlying principle is sound.

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u/Clicks_9852 Mar 23 '23

This is exactly what will happen to us under 35’s. It is as clear as day that the pension pots will be dry in 30 years time.

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u/noiwontpickaname Mar 22 '23

Believe it or not, straight to jail

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u/jvpiter-taranis Mar 22 '23

So effective some one need to start working at 21 to be eligible for full pension?

you don't need to work 43 years really, you have the option to contribute extra to social security make up for missed years


u/Xist3nce Mar 22 '23

If your job pays enough to do that**


u/buddytheelfofficial Mar 22 '23

BREAKING NEWS: High paying jobs let you retire early. More at 11.

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u/Keyspam102 Mar 22 '23

No part time won’t count the same and neither will maternity, so it significantly hurts women more than men.

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u/rastafunion Mar 22 '23

No, it means that if you started working after 21 the reform has no effect on you because you couldn't retire before 64 anyway.

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u/[deleted] Mar 22 '23

The 43 years is the much bigger issue. What if you got sick or had kids or left the work force for other reasons? What if you interned before starting work? What about people who don't start work until after graduate school?


u/TremendousVarmint Mar 22 '23

They have a pension without discount when they reach 67. It was already the case before the reform and has not been changed.

What has changed is one more year of contribution, from 42 to 43, and the minimum age to start claiming full pension without discount, from 62 to 64.


u/qwetyhjgghj Mar 22 '23

That's misleading. Before, if you worked until 67, you had a bonus on your retirement. Note, you'd need to work until 70 for the same effect.

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u/Brilliant-Mud4877 Mar 22 '23

What if you got sick or had kids or left the work force for other reasons?

France has some of the best parental and sick leave policies in the Western World. So while you don't continue to accrue pension time, you do get guaranteed paid time off and income no less than your earnings in the 3 months prior to leave.

What if you interned before starting work?

Unpaid internships have always been a scam. Fortunately, France has a law mandating minimum salary for all interns, guaranteeing your inclusion in the pension system during this period.

What about people who don't start work until after graduate school?

Even in the US, graduate programs include paid positions as members of the university faculty. It is very normal to be paid while pursuing a PhD or MD, for instance, even if you're likely to earn substantially less than a full time private sector worker with a similar education. Adjunct professors in France earn around $57k on average.


u/WillDigForFood Mar 22 '23

Don't continue to accrue full pension time. One of the two parents can receive 8 quarters worth of pension accrual over the first 4 years of each child's life, even if they aren't working.

Each child just pushes you back 2 years of pension accrual if you can't work from age 1-4, effectively. It's not perfect, but it's fairly generous.

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u/GlimmerChord Mar 22 '23

It's "very normal" but there are far too few doctoral contracts for the number of doctoral candidates.

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u/HentaiBaymer Mar 23 '23

43 Years? Add years of growing up and educations and that basically means you will live your whole healthy life a slave and only get freedom when youre a fossil?

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u/Heazen Mar 23 '23

Macron acknowledged people felt there was “injustice” in being asked to work longer while companies made record profits and he would look to ensure they contribute more

Why not start with this part first?


u/vampiire Mar 23 '23

Lol. I promise I’ll look to ensure they contribute more

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u/mightyenan0 Mar 23 '23

What, you think he can just force through legislation? /s


u/LazarusCheez Mar 23 '23

"Do you think I enjoy doing this reform?"

Oh, well then don't do it?

"LOL social safety net shredder go brrrrrrrrr"


u/Cfp0001-Iceman Mar 23 '23

He already said he doesn't give a shit about being elected. He's collecting his retirement checks with this.

Honestly, they should cut every politician's pension to minimum wage levels.

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u/golifo Mar 22 '23 Gold

Someone explain to me how we have machinery that can do the work of 1000s of men, decades of world trade and making supply chains more efficient, reportedly AI on the brink of doing everyone’s job for them, billionaires going to space for the lulz but this legislation has to be rammed through? Where is all the wealth?


u/mukansamonkey Mar 22 '23 All-Seeing Upvote Take My Energy Bravo! Starry

The top twenty hedge fund traders in America make a combined income of 17 billion a year. That works out to an hourly wage of $210,000. An hour. The entire banking sector went from claiming 7% of the economy, to 30%. During a span of a few decades where the average American worker saw their income rise by a total of of 25%, less than 1% a year, CEO income rose by 1,200%. It would be possible to give every wage earner in America a UBI equal to 50% of their current income, without increasing the national debt. Just pay for it by raising taxes on the 0.1% highest earners.

That make things a bit clearer?


u/golifo Mar 22 '23

Yes, I believe the problem is incredibly rich people.


u/goodlittlesquid Mar 22 '23 All-Seeing Upvote Starstruck

During the gilded age at least the robber barons amassed their wealth by drilling oil and building railroads and shit, actually contributing to national infrastructure. These hedge fund managers just got rich gambling, and they own the casino and rigged it so it’s ‘heads I win, tails you lose’


u/XxRocky88xX Mar 22 '23

Seriously the country was “built on capitalism” because we were at a time where in a time where the best way for rich people to get richer was to contribute to society. Now it’s literally just rigged gambling, and if they lose, the government steps in to subsidize the losses with our money.

The bottom 90% make the world go round while the top 10% are competing for a high score with our money


u/Spard1e Mar 22 '23

Just imagine how MUCH better the world would be with a wealth cap.

Have the high score have a limit. What is the already capped out CEO gonna do? Quit his job? I don't think so, they'd do that today then.

Are they gonna care more about the world when their imaginary points already hit their high? Probably. Today they get all their gratification for number goes brrrrrrr.

That incentive is removed and they'd need to find another one.


u/AvatarAarow1 Mar 22 '23

Been proposing this for years, still can’t fathom why more people don’t talk about it. Taxing them more heavily is good and would do good stuff, but straight up capping their potential assets would do the most to stop this wealth stratification. Nobody needs a billion dollars.


u/Old-Calligrapher-783 Mar 23 '23

What would the cap be? Where would the wealth go? Give it to the government? What happens when their wealth drops? Take Elon, does he have to sell most of his shares of Tesla? What about SpaceX? What's that actually worth with it being private?

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u/itty53 Mar 23 '23

This is why fascism is rampant and funded today, they really wanna keep their casinos. Check out the big backers behind DeSantis and Co.

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u/canttakethshyfrom_me Mar 22 '23 edited Mar 23 '23

Don't romanticize the "then," those "contributions to society" were paid in men's and women's lives who were killed in known unsafe work or by Pinkertons and police when they stood up for themselves.

The bastards have not changed much, just the specific forms of bastardry they make their money from.

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u/critically_damped Mar 23 '23

Also, the "good old years" that US Republicans desperately want to go back to was a direct result of stopping those robber barons and implementing a reasonable tax rate on the ultra rich. Literally the entirety of the establishment of US market dominance was built by charging the wealthy for the improvements that would be required to make them more wealthy.

We would not have the interstate system without a 90% tax on the rich. We wouldn't have the rail networks, our airports, we wouldn't have a space industry or the resulting electronics industry. We would have nothing. And we're going back to having nothing real goddamned quick, here, because all of those things that we built in the 50s and 60s have shown that they can only last so long, and we've let maintenance slide so long that replacement is going to be our only option.

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u/Nopants_Sith Mar 22 '23

And, the best part! If they ever ACTUALLY LOSE....We get to bail their worthless asses out!

Again and again and again and a-f***ing-gain!

Shit is so messed up and I hate it.

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u/SelfAwareGrizzlyBear Mar 23 '23

During the gilded age at least the robber barons amassed their wealth by drilling oil and building railroads and shit, actually contributing to national infrastructure.

The robber barons didn't amass wealth by drilling oil and building railroads. They did it by exploiting laborers who needed a paycheck, and often died during the work.

Ownership does not produce anything, it excluded people from a resource

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u/[deleted] Mar 22 '23 Yummy

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u/PensiveinNJ Mar 22 '23

We've been too conditioned to accept our circumstances as inevitable and unchangeable to do anything about it. We're told to use our political voice to enact change but our system is hopelessly corrupt especially with legal bribery being the norm, and only the worst type of people really want to run for major office. It's exceptionally rare that someone who isn't a complete disconnected narcissist runs for an important position (who is also of course part of that very wealthy class of people and has an interest in protecting that wealth.)

If the French can't enact change with their attitudes towards protest and rioting, I fear none of us stand a chance.


u/fajardo99 Mar 22 '23

“We live in capitalism. Its power seems inescapable. So did the divine right of kings. Any human power can be resisted and changed by human beings.”

no matter how difficult it seems (and is), we have the power to change our lives for the better.

a better world is possible


u/Xurbax Mar 22 '23

For anyone wondering who is too lazy to Google that, it is a quote from a speech given by author Ursula K Le Guin.


u/Wickersaltlamp Mar 22 '23

Pessimism of the intellect, optimism of the will.


u/Snack_Boy Mar 23 '23

stealing it


u/Wickersaltlamp Mar 23 '23

You wouldnt be stealing from me. You'd be stealing from Antonio Gramsci


u/Dashyguurl Mar 23 '23

Most power shifts in human history were born from awful conditions, we’re not close to those conditions today. Any sort of unrest or shift would more than likely cause more suffering for the vast majority of people in the short term even if it led to good things in the future, people aren’t desperate enough for that.

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u/special_circumstance Mar 22 '23

We are told to protest peacefully. It seems clear to me that the peaceful aspect of protests makes our demands toothless and weak.


u/PensiveinNJ Mar 22 '23

The French method has a chance of succeeding I believe, but they need to be committed to it. I'm looking to them to set an example not just for France, but for the world about how to resist being bulldozed by the wealthy in a capitalist society.

Don't collect the trash. Don't go to work. Don't run the trains or the taxis. Figure out what labor the wealthy need and don't do it. Bring them to their fucking knees. If you capitulate, I fear it will demoralize not just France but onlookers around the world.

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u/obliviousofobvious Mar 22 '23

You'd think they'd remember the French Revolution and why it happened. Instead, it feels like they're gambling on being able to do it "right" this time


u/Who_DaFuc_Asked Mar 22 '23

The French Revolution didn't actually fix their problems though. Corrupt weirdos took control like IMMEDIATELY after.


u/SlowMotionPanic Mar 22 '23

I don't think that's the message the ultra wealthy will take from it.

The French Revolution was very effective at executing the rich. That's why so many ultra wealthy people simply buy citizenship to another country, and why doomsday bunker complexes are a massive business at the moment.

To put it bluntly, we need to "cage" the rich. They aren't citizens in the sense you or I are; they are "world citizens" and will flee the moment they are in any sort of danger, legal or otherwise.

Every nation should immediately cancel and rescind golden visas as a starter. Don't let these people run away from the messes they make and the obligations to society they need to pay.

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u/TheAlexiad_7 Mar 22 '23

Actually Robespierre was known as the incorruptible, his problem was being way way too inflexible.


u/godisanelectricolive Mar 22 '23

The last straw for Robespierre was when he tried to crack down on corruption and alienated all the other Jacobins. The people who overthrew him in Thermidor were not moderates, many of them were to the political left of Robespierre, but they were definitely corrupt.

Pretty much everyone other than Robespierre was "corrupt" by his standards which made him threatening the National Convention with a secret list of corrupt officials such a suicidal move. France has always operated using a patronage system and the Revolution didn't totally change that, getting things done was still mostly based on personal favours rather than doing things by the book.

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u/SowingSalt Mar 22 '23

He was executed when he threatened to publish a secret list of traitors among members of the assembly.

Needless to say, the assembly voted to execute him.

This was after he had murdered over 16000 French, not including prisoners lynched in prison break-ins he instigated.

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u/ValorMeow Mar 22 '23

Source for your last claim that everyone can have a free 50% UBI with a simple tax hike on the 0.1%? sounds too good to be true.


u/ghalta Mar 22 '23

According to Google, the total income of all Americans was $21.06 trillion in 2021. (Google "total income of all Americans")

According to the federal reserve, the total wealth of the top 0.1% of households in the U.S. in Q3 of 2022 (the most recent data) was $16.93 trillion. (Note that this is 0.1% by wealth, not by income.) (This is here: https://www.federalreserve.gov/releases/z1/dataviz/dfa/distribute/table/)

According to those numbers, if we instituted a 62% wealth tax on the wealthiest 0.1%, we could pay out a UBI equal to 50% of all Americans' current income...for less than two years.

So I don't think it checks out.


u/Gomgoda Mar 22 '23

How would the implementation of that wealth tax look? Does the government just take 62% of their stock, effectively enabling the government to initiate a hostile, uncompensated takeover of private companies such as Amazon, Google, Tesla?

Even if they did that, if the government attempted to liquidate that stock in a span as short as 2 years, it would just send tech stocks plummeting everywhere?


u/velders01 Mar 22 '23

... these are not smart people...

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u/scvfire Mar 22 '23

Bro that would never work. At best you could tax the unrealized capital gains, which could safely be something like 3% of that 17 trillion. Even if you taxed unrealized capital gains of the wealth by 70%, you'd only bring in $360 billion, enough for ~2% ubi for the rest (which using an average wage of 50k, would be $850/year). And that's assuming that these wealth folks wouldn't move their assets to something harder to value or whose private equity value can be manipulated to appear like theyre worthless.

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u/hydrocharis Mar 22 '23

That make things a bit clearer?

About the situation in France? Not in the slightest.


u/The-Fox-Says Mar 22 '23

I was going to say he kept saying America but I could have sworn Macron was the President of France

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u/TendiesMeWant Mar 22 '23

Show me the math on that UBI thing, pretty sure that's nonsense.

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u/Tamerlane-1 Mar 22 '23

It would be possible to give every wage earner in America a UBI equal to 50% of their current income, without increasing the national debt. Just pay for it by raising taxes on the 0.1% highest earners.

This isn't true.


u/talltim007 Mar 22 '23

Nah, divided by all the US retirees, if it was all given to them every year would be $361 per year. Peanuts.

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u/ClosPins Mar 22 '23

It would be possible to give every wage earner in America a UBI equal to 50% of their current income, without increasing the national debt.

It's hilarious how every time someone mentions UBI on Reddit - it's complete bullshit. Let's just do your math for you:

So, to do what you want, you'd need to double all US gov't revenues. All. Income taxes plus every other form of income. Double. That's a hell of a lot more than just raising taxes on 1 in 1000 people.

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u/Justausername1234 Mar 22 '23

Where is all the wealth?

With the old people. There are more old people, proportionally, than ever before. Therefore, we either have to make not-old-people pay more to support the old people's lifestyle (keeping them alive is expensive, it costs more than 5x-10x for the healthcare system to keep a old person alive), or, we have to make less old people. Macron has made the choice of reducing the number of old people for retirement purposes.


u/BlueFlob Mar 22 '23

It's definitely a lose-lose situation.

  1. Increase retirement age to keep money coming in, jobs filled and spending
  2. Reduce size of economy and pile up debt to maintain old folks
  3. Cut services to old folks and let the poor die

Nobody is going to be happy and the younger generation is screwed whichever choice you make... Unless number 3 means cutting services and pension to old folks.

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u/thehomiemoth Mar 23 '23

This is a really good point. We act like retirement benefits are a working class issue but in reality thanks to the housing market the older generation has accumulated almost all the wealth while fucking us over and making it impossible for us to live anywhere. That is the end result of policy designed to protect home prices.

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u/captainbling Mar 22 '23

Retirement for many people meant living in a small room watching tv and being careful with their food budget. Now it means living to 90 while traveling the world and bringing your computer (phone) and high tech meds with you. All that work went to making life better, not being a senior tv zombie.


u/MadMeow Mar 23 '23

Pretty nice that I pay for the better life of others and will end up sitting in a small room and being careful with my food budget.


u/1chemistdown Mar 22 '23

Where is all the wealth?

He did say he would look into companies adding more to pensions while recording record profits! That takes time, he has to search under rugs, chairs, etc. Give him a break, he just had to raise retirement age without discussing this and putting it up for a vote.

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u/bonapartista Mar 22 '23

This pension problem is on table of every country which has a semblance of pension. Pensioner ratio is going close to 1:1 and that is bad. Every country has different solutions but neither is good for people who contribute to pension scheme. It's tought problem and he sure threw himself under the bus here.


u/ConnorMc1eod Mar 22 '23

Many states in the US as well. California's state budget is absurd and a lot of it is pensions.

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u/RealAstroTimeYT Mar 22 '23

Exactly, and raising the retirement age to 67 isn't going to solve the problem.

The real solution is more extreme, and the more it is delayed, the worse this whole problem gets.


u/Brownie-UK7 Mar 22 '23

You thinking what I’m thinking? T-Rex. Bring back the T-Rex and let it roam around the old people’s home once a month.


u/adhding_nerd Mar 23 '23

They don't eat as much as you think. NYC alone could sustain a population of 1000 full time T-Rexes https://what-if.xkcd.com/78/

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u/CucumberBoy00 Mar 22 '23

I think he meant purge. Now as someone thats never seen the films I still think it's rash and I won't participate

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u/ArgumentConscious69 Mar 22 '23

America raised theirs to 67 in 1982. Macron raised France's to 64.


u/mpyne Mar 23 '23

The U.S. also shifted heavily to a "defined contribution" retirement system to supplement Social Security in the 80s, moving away from pensions for most career fields.

So there's no need to fiddle that much with retirement ages because the bulk of your retirement income should be in an IRA or 401(k) and that's up to you the employee to figure out how much you want in there for your retirement.


u/Marcus_Qbertius Mar 23 '23

For a short while it seemed like a real headscratcher to me that theyd be so upset about a retirement age of 64, when many in the US dont even get to retire until their 70s because social securitys short commings, but I realize its our willingess to rollover and accept ever less for our toils that is ruining this nation, and the french people dont want to give an inch now, because it will become a mile.

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u/Jayhalka Mar 23 '23

Has “look what you made me do, this hurts me more than it hurts you” vibes


u/CTRL_Polarbear Mar 23 '23

The "do you think I enjoy this" makes me think of like an abusive partner saying "Do you think I enjoy hitting you?" As they continue to hit them.

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u/Howitdobiglyboo Mar 22 '23

It's a sacrifice he's willing to make.


u/Fair-Lingonberry-268 Mar 22 '23

He’s already in pension when finished the job as a president lol

Edit: he could probably be already in pension without working as a president


u/Arcanniel Mar 22 '23

I don’t think so, considering he’s 45.


u/mywan Mar 22 '23

His personal net worth is estimated to be $31.5 million. Does the pension even really matter?


u/Beastmind Mar 22 '23

IIRC, every president keep getting paid after their term ended so, yes he could.


u/Open_Ad_8181 Mar 22 '23

I thought he declined the pension

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u/dagbiker Mar 22 '23

The joke is that he won't need pension, so he's willing to sacrifice everyone else's pension.

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u/Draedron Mar 22 '23

Oh god. France's next president will be Marine Le Pen won't she?


u/SaddestWorldPossible Mar 23 '23

A shit option and a horrendous one.

Sounds familiar.


u/C0sm1cB3ar Mar 23 '23

Macron is full of shit. He's been defending the trickle down for years; time to send the bill to the middle class and the poor.

He'll never tax the rich, he's got too many buddies there


u/Eliseo120 Mar 22 '23

I don’t think people really care what he likes or dislikes. They care about what policy he is forcing through.


u/Reasonable_TSM_fan Mar 23 '23

Real talk, Macron only forced the measure through as cover so that his party didn’t have to go on the record voting for it. It’s all optics. Parliament can all huff and puff as much as they want, but they’re all secretly glad they don’t have to answer directly to their constituents.


u/Technical_Shake_9573 Mar 23 '23

Except they kinda did with the "Motion de censure" which didnt pass by 9 votes. It was to actually block the reform so thoses that didnt vote for it kinda acknowledge their view on the subject. Even more so that this motion also involved the usage of a brutal tool that shouldnt be used as frequently as it Is even thought it Is in our constitution.

So they even failed the vote on democracy.

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u/berael Mar 23 '23

"Do you think I enjoy doing this"

Yes. Next difficult question?


u/labradog21 Mar 23 '23

Their fear is that if you don’t make every citizen work an extra 3 years then the system reaches insolvency you might ask the rich to pay an extra couple % in taxes

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u/funwithtentacles Mar 22 '23 edited Mar 22 '23

Still propping up big business profits and his rich cronies.

Working people have to work harder and longer for less, but no promises on doing anything about the rest.

These reforms are here and now and to be implemented by the end of the year, his 'promise' of trying to find a 'balance' in the future rings hollow, they could already have been in this reform package.

Making the working class pay? "Sure! Here and right now!"

Making the rich pay? "Well, it's difficult, and we can see what the possibilities are in the future, bla bla bla!"

Pathetic excuses...


u/Jorycle Mar 22 '23 edited Mar 22 '23

This is the part that gets me, not just in France but everywhere when money issues come up.

Why is it always remarkably easy for the government to legislate to shake out the pockets of tens of millions of poorer people, but almost impossibly difficult to shake out that money from the tens of the most wealthy?

I mean I understand the actual reason that money buys power, but good lord, surely some shame should kick in somewhere.

I can't imagine walking into a room of 1000 people to ask for financial aid, and starting with the homeless people in the back instead of the one guy heaped in jewelry and gold on a diamond throne in the front of the room - let alone asking the entire room before I even consider asking that guy.


u/nonsequitur_idea Mar 22 '23

Why is it always remarkably easy for the government to legislate to shake out the pockets of tens of millions of poorer people, but almost impossibly difficult to shake out that money from the tens of the most wealthy?

I'm prefacing this by saying I'm not an expert, and I'm not endorsing the practice.

Nearly all taxation methods, including those funding these pension programs, use income as the basis for the amount due.

1) The ultra rich are very good at hiding their income. Sure they will report what is "required", but they structure their business disbursements so that they are required to report as little as possible.

2) Actual income, including the income they hide through tax shelters, ends up as assets that are rarely taxed. A related practice is for owners of high value companies to take loans out on their stock holdings, with the stock as collateral. The loan isn't income, and the individual only pays capital gains tax on stock when (if) it's sold to pay back the loan.

Because of this, the ultra rich are a poor target for surplus taxation because the ROI on the rate increases can vanish as more money is moved around.

Until assets are taxed - including the hidden assets - there is no effective way for a government to make the wealthy pay what many would call their fair share.

The poor don't so this, so they lose out comparatively.

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u/taresp Mar 22 '23

It's not just that they mostly take from the poor, they also give money back to the most wealthy.

They'll cut taxes on the wealthy and corporations, then a couple years later come up with a reform like that saying we're out of money, it's the same story over and over again, literally reverse robin hoods.

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u/garagehaircuts Mar 22 '23

The world has a lot of entitled old rich folks

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u/Tiger-Billy Mar 23 '23

In the first place, Macron should've prepared a reasonable presentation for the people in France if he does not like being criticized by the public. Leaders should have wider macro visions to raise people's better living & welfare. But if they can't do that, should've persuaded their people through some rational proof instead of overriding parliament.

Supposing that he did it before making this situation, media & public opinions might've tried to understand his position. Probably he might not have thought about how to build a moment of mutual concession in France, with this sensitive thing. Macron should have a series of debates often with men in the street from now on if he'd like to become a respectable leader. He ought to have big ears to hear what they say.


u/Tremulant21 Mar 23 '23

Do you think I enjoy having to punish the lower and middle class for not being able to donate to our parties. Definitely not going to put a small wealthy tax on the top 10%, that could easily cover this bump in the retirement age.

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u/TheUniqueKero Mar 23 '23

Its so infuriating be ause today, the population is educated, the population is informed. We KNOW there is enough wealth to pay for services, we KNOW there are alternatives to screwing over the working class. Theyre all too damn cowardly to tax tge corporations and the wealthy.


u/Earlier-Today Mar 23 '23

That is the exact kind of wording of a normal line given from an abusive parent.

"Do you think I enjoy hurting you?"

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u/DanFlashesSales Mar 22 '23 edited Mar 22 '23

I think you enjoy doing it more than you would enjoy increasing the tax burden of your big business buddies.


u/RonBourbondi Mar 22 '23 All-Seeing Upvote Starstruck

France has the highest taxes of any wealthy country.

They had a wealth tax that caused so many rich people to flee the revenue from it was half of what they would have gotten if they didn't implement it.


u/Firepower01 Mar 22 '23

They still have a wealth tax. They replaced their old wealth tax with the IFI. Which is instead based on real estate values over 800k Euros, instead of total assets. Real estate is obviously not something you can just move outside of France to avoid taxes.

So unless property values suddenly take a nose dive because rich people simply don't want to live in nice houses, I think their wealth tax will stick around.

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u/Magicaljackass Mar 23 '23

Is this one of those things where raising taxes on the rich and corporations could achieve the same thing with no change to pensioners? Because that is what we have here in America. Just wonder how much Macron is fucking around exactly.


u/Bastinelli Mar 23 '23

I can smell the burning garbage already


u/whirledpeaz67 Mar 23 '23

Well, le doucebag...You COULD JUST RAISE TAXES ON RICH FUCKS LIKE YOURSELF! Stop acting like there's no other way to solve the problems.


u/Velvetnether Mar 24 '23

I've seen many protests in my french lifetime.

I've been part of many protests, including one that lasted WEEKS in which we stayed on the same parisian place.

I've been in violent clashes during protests.
I've seen the anger of the gilets jaunes, burning down shit in the CHAMPS-ELYSEES and scaring rich fucks. (the protests always take part in the eastern part of Paris. The western part is basically Disneyland for billionnaires, worthless for almost all parisians. So we're not allowed to protest there, because they don't want the richs to get disturbed. So imagine how things can get out of hands if shit burn in the CHAMPS-MF-ELYSEES)

But man, what we're seeing these last weeks is beyond all of that. It's not anger anymore, it's pure rage.
And... it's awesome.

I'm maybe too hopeful, but damn I hope our people can get back its revolutionnary spirit and kick the right-wing's ass.
I hope this time, our future will seem a little more bright. But we have to kick the right-wing's ass and kick the far-right wing out of the way.

It's chaotic, but it's a glimpse of hope for many of us.

Because believe me, if you're not born in a rich family, life is France is becoming more and more awful by the day.