France, Paris, United States discussed on Thom Hartmann
Is the Thom Hartmann program. My friends patriots lovers of democracy, truth and Justice believers in peace freedom, and the American way tell Harbin here with you. Boy, we have a big day to day. There's an awful lot in the news. I have a custom-made rant just for you about Nancy Pelosi as president, and I'll just leave it at that. For the moment. Cole statler is going to be with us in just a moment from Paris on the yellow vest movement in the second hour of our program, congressman ro Khanna will be here for the full hour. Taking your calls in the third hour program today, Dr Stephanie Kelton will be here on the green new deal. She was monitored modern monetary policy. We've got some really shocking information about what's driving the fall in stocks. We'll get to that. In fact, I think we'll get to that this hour Donald Trump some of his corrupt practices. It looks like he stole a million over a million dollars out of his can't out of his from his donors amazingly enough. Some information. About Nick Ayers today is the deadline for net neutrality nursing while black. I mean, there's just a whole pile of stuff here that will we're going to be getting too. But I want to start out with call statler coal is the Paris based journalist and contributor to both the nation magazine and Jakobsen among others is website, coal Stangl, R S, T A, N G, L E, R dot com. And you can tweet him at Kohl's dangling coal. Welcome. Yeah. Thanks for joining us from Paris. So you're there, you you live there, you speak, French Shearer view. You have some sense of what's going on. I have read, you know, in the in the kind of mainstream media, I'm reading that the Elvis movement is all about we don't want to pay for gas tax. But in the the well, actually, I Louis IRA washing France twenty four over the weekend and BBC because you just can't get news in America, the weekends. And in both cases, they were talking about people were basically protesting the fact that the rich are getting richer and working people are getting poorer. And you know, it's not just the gas tax. It's basically they're protesting Nie Nieto liberal economics. So what say you call? It this this movement really started over the over the fuel tax. So you had anger mounting over the summer. Prices have actually gone up pretty substantially in France about twenty five percent over the last year. You had a call to protest on November seventeenth? So a big day of action to protect against taxes against the tax. This is something that really affects people you do the math. You know, the the gallon a fuel in in France comes out to over six dollars per gallon. I'm really significant people twenty five percent increase over the last year. In addition to that the government wanted to apply the ten percent increase effective twenty nineteen. Initial called a protest over the fuel tax. I'm calling for the government to drop this this deal tax increase. However, it's clear that since that I need a protest on November seventeenth where you had over two hundred thousand people coming out across the country since that I purchased this. This has really come to encompass a much broader discontent with manual, micro and much broader frustration with the rising cost of living Reno working class people in France say why should we be expected to pay another one hundred euros or so per month in gas. Well, the same time the super rich are getting this massive tax cut. That's one of the landmarks of Emmanuel Macron's presidency. So far is cutting taxes for the super rich. So you had this trigger of the gas tax. But it it clear that we're at the moment now at the much bigger movement. That is really you're a deep discontent with the president. And the way that he treats working class people. You know, there is a system or method or whatever policy that has been. Widely applauded in fact to raise gas taxes in a way that wouldn't produce this kind of blowback and it's called fee and rebate, which is where you raise the taxes, but a hundred percent of that money gets recycled back to people in in the bottom eighty ninety percent. And so yeah, the gas tax by go up twenty five percent. But you know, you're going to get a hundred dollars a week or a month check from the government or something like that. Has there been any discussion about feed rebate there? That's not a politics team floated in the moment. But I think it's important to point out here because it really raises the question, you know, when you talk about opposition to fuel tax. I think, you know, especially if you're sitting in the United States protest, I think it's very easy to transplant. You know, you're kind of especially right winners. This kind of anti-government key party at kind of ideology onto the protesters. But I think it's important to point out the kinds of people that are Kirk testing here. You know, they're not protesting against the idea of intervention in the economy. They're not protesting against the idea of the state trying to address the environmental crisis. What protesting is the fact that it should be done on the backs of of working class alone in the backs of regular people. The idea is why should why shouldn't the rich guy expected to pay for this? We're the ones that are being active paper to transition that are bearing the cost of of your policies. Yeah. That's a real important point here. Yeah. At the same time Honda's doing the classic neo-liberal trick of massive tax cuts and deregulation for the for the billionaires the big corporations and cutting social services, and and and suppressing wages for average working people in now hitting them with a twenty five percent increase in fuel taxes on top of that. How do you think this? Go ahead. I was gonna say this is a movement that also sprung up from from parts of French society. They're not accustomed to to purchase. That's why I think it's it's captured, you know, so much attention in France. And also why the government is actually competed on this initial demand about about the about cancelling the fuel tax. It actually now cancelled the fuel tax increase at ten percent increase between nineteen conceited. It sparked a lot of fear. And that's because this is coming from people that are not your typical left-wing or labor. Demonstrators are coming from people that live outside of major cities is the first point coming from rural areas coming from what is known as the Peri urban areas. So these are basically outskirts of suburbs on the transition between rural areas in more suburban areas coming from people that are not terribly political. And I think that's what had people frightened. And this is the this is the backlash against. Micromax first year in office, and those are the areas where people would be more likely to have a long commute to work because they're not living in the city centre. Although France does have a pretty good public transportation system. But but I'm curious this. This is my understanding is call we're talking with the dangling the Paris-based journalist for the nation, and Jacob minor standing is that this was to a large extent organized on social media is specifically Facebook do I have that. Right. And and has there been any evidence? I mean, we're seeing here in the United States now that, you know, twenty one out of twenty two million comments or something like that to the FCC saying blow up net neutrality were entirely coming from Botts apparently corporate bots, and and we're totally faked. Is there any evidence that social media's been manipulated in a way that might make these demonstrations worse than than or larger than otherwise expected? You know, we we've seen speculation about that. I haven't seen any conclusive evidence. You know to to really convince me that's the case. We know there was a BuzzFeed piece recently that they made the connection between Facebook and the protest, you know, it is clear that this protest was organized mostly on Facebook and social media. That's why it's a remarkable. That's why it's also very messy. We shouldn't romanticize too much. You have some real progressive demands that are being circulated among among these Facebook groups, and again, no real lockup structure here as well. Which is again why? So fascinating frightening now, it sounds it sounds like there's there's the French equivalent of the black block that has is participating in this, and perhaps even the French equivalent of the proud boys that that both the the the the left wingers who like to smash the windows of fancy stores in the right wingers who liked to go out and turn it into anti immigrant stuff in their respective spheres have been doing this is that. Is are those roles being exaggerated by by the media, particularly here in the United States is that actually a real phenomenon. Yeah. I think I think it's fair to say that you do have groups too far-right, and you have kind of extreme anarchist as well. That have come to the demonstration mostly in Paris again. I think it's important to emphasize parents is at the center of media attention in France at the center of attention from from abroad, and that that's what gets the attention. But if you look at the rest of the country, I mean, parents you had ten thousand demonstrators this most recent Saturday, you had you know, tens of thousands of other demonstrators across the country where you don't have any sensitive taking place. You don't have the you don't have as much as much of the violence, but you do have the far, right? You have some anarchists taps into it. But by and large the supporters of this movement. If.