They are known as the gilets jaunes, or “yellow jackets”. The protestors wear the yellow high-viz jacket, that is common on building sites and airports.
It’s a powerful totem for the French deplorables, a unifying symbol of ordinary, working class folk across the nation.
This protest is different. And it has very specific, historic reasons, as this article will reveal.
Think you know the real France? Here are a few facts that may shock you:
- • The French state has been bankrupt since 2004. A minister finally admitted it in 2013.
- • French GDP hasn’t risen above 2% in 50 years. Yes – FIFTY. The average annual GDP growth rate between 1949-2018? 0.78%.
- • In 2018, 14% of the population in France live below the poverty line (they earn less than 60% of the median income).
- • Worse, more than 50% of French people have an annual income of less than €20,150 a year (about $1,900 US per month).
- • The ‘official’ unemployment rate is 10% – about 3.5 million citizens (in reality, it’s much higher).
- • The youth unemployment rate is 22%. Yes, you did read that right.
- • Astonishing but true: the French government employs 25% of the entire French workforce…and it’s impossible to fire them.
- • Because the citizens make such little money, they pay no tax. Less than 50% of French pay any income tax at all; only around 14% pay at the rate of 30%, and less than 1% pay at the rate of 45%.
- • The government can’t deliver services without taxes, so it borrows money. France’s debt-GDP is now 100%.
Another revealing statistic: “structural unemployment” is now at 9 -10%. That statistic measures when it is impossible to find people who have the skills and qualifications, to fill available positions. Why? French kids aren’t being educated to participate in the workforce. So even if France has a growth spurt (it won’t), they won’t have the labor to fill the new jobs.
So how did this epic disaster happen? And if blame is to be allocated, who bears the most of it?
In other words – why are millions of French citizens on the rampage, right now?
Because there’s a real France, that few ever see.
The France of the gilets jaunes. Or as we might label them, les deplorables.
And they are in a state of fury at a ruling class who not only let the population suffer, while enjoying a life of luxury and wealth, but who also blame ordinary people for their own suffering.