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“To conservative opponents of the gentry leftism that often seems blind to the impact that their market-distorting policies and regressive tax schemes have on average people, there is a lot to like about France’s “gilets jaunes” (Yellow Vests). Their movement was spontaneous and organic. It was composed early on of rural, middle-class professionals who simply could not afford French President Emmanuel Macron’s “green tax” on fuel. The wave of protests ignited by Macron’s “de-carbonization” plan exposed precisely how shallow public support for green initiatives is when the costs are no longer hypothetical. American conservatives might be tempted to sing this movement’s praises, but that would be ill-considered.
The Yellow Vests are many things, but they are not anti-tax. They’re certainly not for the kind of smaller government championed by Macron’s government. Following the announcement that the Yellow Vests had forced the French president to suspend the implementation of his gas tax for six months, Yellow Vest spokesmen Benjamin Cauchy sounded a note of defiance. “Our demands are much bigger than this moratorium,” he said. “We want a better distribution of wealth, salary increases.” Indeed, one of the Yellow Vests’ central grievances is one of Macron’s first acts as president: a substantial reduction of the tax burden on France’s high earners. Among the “people’s directives” the Yellow Vests endorsed are an increase in the minimum wage, a “maximum wage” that caps income at €15,000 per month, the repeal of tax credits for employers, rent controls, dramatic increases in public spending on schools, post offices, and railroads, a ban on outsourcing, and a lower retirement age.”
JJ Editor's Picks
"Not even what one might think of as the most basic tenet of any religion, a belief in the existence of God, is a prerequisite: Agnosticism is a key principle of at least one major school of Hindu philosophy."
"The presidency of any particular incumbent is relatively short... but the precedential consequences of impeaching a president without complying with the specific provisions of the Constitution “as it was written” are enduring."
"After news that a judge allegedly provided sexual favors to Bar Association president Efi Nave in exchange for her appointment, several politicians said in their responses that the Judicial Selection Committee needed to be the “Holy of Holies.”"
"Two new documentaries take on Billy McFarland and his disastrous music festival... the secret villain of this story all along: the subtle menace of social media marketing."
"Eating out, ordering in. Throw in a bagel here, a coffee there, and it all adds up. "It's definitely a challenge for people my age to save on food.""
"Popular music is shrinking. From 2013 to 2018, the average song on the Billboard Hot 100 fell from 3 minutes and 50 seconds to about 3 minutes and 30 seconds. "
"Here in the good old U.S. of A, the third annual Women's March planned for Jan. 19 is in serious trouble, thanks to irreconcilable political disagreements."
"Nature, however, with its endless cycles of death and rebirth, fascinated her. Walking in the woods, she developed a method that has become the hallmark of her poetry, taking notice simply of whatever happens to present itself."
"Modern parents haven’t stopped playing favorites; they’ve just stopped doing it openly. Though few parents today will admit they have a favorite child, studies indicate that about two-thirds of parents do."
"The first science-based diet that tackles both the poor food eaten by billions of people and averts global environmental catastrophe has been devised."
"Sphen and Magic looked like they would make great, diligent, careful egg-warming parents. They made the biggest nest, and they sat on it constantly."
"How YMHAs, followed by synagogue-centers, and finally JCCs have tried—in different ways—to balance Judaism and Jewishness, by bringing Jews together in intellectual, spiritual, and physical pursuits"