# News Is France Serious?

1. Jan 16, 2008

### Economist

Is France Serious???

And people wonder why I said that the French seem to be "Economically Illiterate."

2. Jan 16, 2008

### TheStatutoryApe

I've seen sillier things than this. I'm not even sure that Amazon would win a similar suit if it happened in the US, excepting that there are no such laws that I know of here.

3. Jan 16, 2008

### Anttech

Try telling that to Alcatel, Orange, Total group, BNP Paribas. Or even American Investors, whos investments amount to ±18% share in the French Market (The biggest FDI). I suppose also the fact that the Euro is Wiping the floor with the Dollar in terms of value is another great gage as to how awful the French economist are, since along with Germany they are the powerhouses of the Euro.

sigh

4. Jan 16, 2008

### Economist

I'll take a weaker dollar over a government who's growth rate is almost always lower than ours, that makes it difficult to find jobs, who's PPP adjusted GDP per capita is significantly lower than ours, and that taxes (some might even say "plunders") approximately 50% of GDP (read 50% of the wealth that it's citizens produce).

I am not denying that the French economy is still strong on World terms. However, the real question is how much better they could be doing without all this rediculous legislation? Maybe they'd get even more investment, have less unemployment, who knows, maybe they'd even have a stronger economy then the US.

Edit: The PPP numbers are here http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_countries_by_GDP_(PPP)_per_capita

Our average is $42,186.00, while their's is$30,594.67. In other words, our GDP (PPP) per capita is approximately 38% higher than their's. For those of you who've never heard of PPP, what it basically means is that the average American enjoys a standard of living 38% greater than the average French person.

Last edited by a moderator: Jan 16, 2008
5. Jan 16, 2008

### Art

Economist,

So let's see how the commie European Union compares to the US in GDP PPP,

Well the IMF has Europe 1 US 2
And the World Bank has Europe 1 US 2
And even the CIA World Fact Book has Europe 1 US 2

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_countries_by_GDP_(PPP)

Notice a pattern here

Or if you prefer to use per capita figures then why not look at Ireland's which is higher than the US's

And on top of that we get free health care, unemployment benefit, subsidised mass transit systems, free education and gov't pensions.

Looks like our economic illiteracy and socialism isn't as bad as you think. It's just we tried the Laissez Faire model years ago (there's actually a clue in the name ) and discarded it in favour of a more fair and gentle society whereas I get the impression you only discovered it yesterday in some old text book but no doubt in time your attitude will also evolve.

Last edited by a moderator: Jan 16, 2008
6. Jan 16, 2008

### Economist

Your link doesn't even go anywhere. Notice my link uses PPP numbers from the IMF, CIA, and UPenn. Also, notice that my link doesn't even list "Europe" but rather individual countries. You're right that Ireland is ranked ahead of the US in 1 of the 3 studies, however, it is ranked behind the US in 2 out of the 3 studies (in other words, what's your point).

It's funny that you mention Ireland, because as a matter of fact it is one of the Economically Freest (read: one of the most Capitalistic) countries in all of Europe. The Economic Freedom of the World project does such research precisely to rank all of the countries in the world (see page 14: http://www.freetheworld.com/2007/EFW2007BOOK2.pdf). The fact that Ireland is so Capitalistic seems to prove my point better than it does yours.

Just for the record, I have great respect for Ireland precisely because they don't adhere to many of the same policies that other European countries seem too. If things in the US ever start to go the way of a country like France, I plan on moving to either Ireland or Australia.

7. Jan 16, 2008

### DrClapeyron

They were sued, paid and continue to do business. I am not certain why there is discussion but I wager it tends on the fringe of Frenchie bashing.

8. Jan 16, 2008

### W3pcq

They do have much higher taxes, but the government pays for everyones doctor bills and other related services which are far superior in quality to ours and our system. They also get unlimited payed sick days and a wealth of paid vacations while still managing to be more productive than us.

9. Jan 16, 2008

### Economist

I think it's rediculous why they were sued (which is why I started the thread). I'm not trying to bash the French, in fact, I love the French as my grandfather was born and raised in France. However, as far as economic policies/legislation is concerned, they do often make an easy target.

You are forgetting that such legislation makes it more difficult to get jobs. In other words, if you're lucky enough to have a job then it works out well for you, but if you don't have a job, you could be in trouble.

It is true that on average a French worker is more productive than an American worker, but not for the reason you think. Nope, in fact it's all tied into my first paragraph. Essentially, their rediculous labor restrictions make it very difficult for low skilled people to find jobs, and this therefore raises "the average productivity" precisely because it's difficult for people with low productivity to find work.

If you're still confused, try this thought experiment: What would happen to the average productivity of an American worker if we raised the minimum wage to $100 an hour? Answer: The "average productivity" of an American worker would skyrocket, because anyone with skills that don't reward a wage of$100 would be unemployed (and therefore not counted in the productivity calculations).

10. Jan 16, 2008

### W3pcq

It seems that if Amazon has a harder time selling to France, then France will need more jobs. They probably don't want Amazon to take over their markets. I think that it would be a good thing for their economy and bad for Amazon. The book money goes to French booksellers and not Amazon corporation executives. Why is this a bad economic choice. Should they just let large foreign corporations take over there businesses and jobs and be happy with cheaper books. Besides Amazon sells everything.

11. Jan 16, 2008

### DrClapeyron

Sorry, but there is a real lack of detail in the link given during the original post. To you and I the difference between a burrito and a sandwhich is noticeable but to Chick-Fille and Taco Bell it means the difference between violating contract and doing legitimate business.

Obviously in the French case with Amazon and the local guild, this must have been the case as well. There needed to have been a legal arguement made by the plantif to bring the issue into court. Now the difference between French law and American law is contrasting, perhaps this is more what you are getting at.

Last edited by a moderator: Jan 16, 2008
12. Jan 16, 2008

### Gokul43201

Staff Emeritus
It also, I guess, means that the average citizen of the Equatorial Guinea (an oil rich state ruled by a corrupt despot, which ranks consistently among the poorest 30 countries in the world on indicators like infant mortality and unemployment) enjoys a standard of living that is about 25% better than the average US citizen.

13. Jan 16, 2008

### W3pcq

Last edited: Jan 16, 2008
14. Jan 17, 2008

### t-money

Where does the govment get it's money to pay for everyones healthcare?

15. Jan 17, 2008

### W3pcq

From taxes. The problem is that in the US insurance company workers get paid by the amount of people that they can deny coverage. They get more profit by providing less care. In France doctors get paid by the amount of people they successfully treat. It is the incentives that cause the problem. Here Health care is about profit, there it is about health. The tax money that goes into it is used honestly and therefore they get a better deal for there money as well. More taxes, better quality of life and less risk of being screwed over sometime in life. Another advantage is that they don't need to do a huge amount of paper work before getting help. Here people die in Emergency rooms waiting to see if they can get coverage. There in an emergancy a doctor is rushed to your house or whatever necessary. No paper work, no scams, no extra wait, no profit outside the system. The money they put into health care goes into that and that only. Here we pay for the care plust the insurance companies profits. Here people get thrown out of hospitals midtreatment because they run out of money so they die on the street.

Last edited: Jan 17, 2008
16. Jan 17, 2008

### ShawnD

Is that based on mean or median? Sure the mean is high, but I would bet the median is horribly low in that place (1 rich guy, 100 slaves, median = slave).

I can't believe healthcare keeps coming up again and again and again. Yes Europeans are taxed to pay for healthcare. Yes they get a better deal than you.

50% of bankruptcies in the US are caused by medical bills source
60% of those bankruptcies happened to people who had health insurance source
Americans pay literally 3x as much for health care as any other country in the world http://www.who.int/whosis/database/core/core_select_process.cfm?countries=all&indicators=nha [Broken]

Economist, there actually is a way to measure overall standard of living in a country, called Human Development Index.. It factors in things like gdp, life expectancy, education, literacy, etc. France is 10th best, USA is 12th, Canada is 4th, Australia is 3rd, UK is 16. You can say France doesn't have as much money as the US, but they do rank higher than the US in a lot of other things. HDI is just one of them.

Last edited by a moderator: May 3, 2017
17. Jan 17, 2008

### Art

To compare apples with apples if you wish to break up Europe into it's individual members then you would also need to break the US into it's constituent parts in which case only California has a higher GDP than France
As you seem to have missed it previously I'll repeat myself. Ireland provides it's citizens with free health care, unemployment benefit, subsidised mass transit systems, free education and gov't pensions. To add to that list Ireland also provides paid maternity leave, sick pay, disability allowances, subsidised housing (free if unemployed) and a min of 4 weeks annual paid vacation time plus 9 further paid public holidays. And with one of the lowest unemployment rates in the industrialised world it knocks on the head the oft repeated nonsense that if people aren't kept hungry they'll just sit on their hands. Also bear in mind Ireland has no natural resources whatsoever not even coal so all of these benefits are paid for through high productivity. Whilst debunking some common misconceptions it is also worth noting that 10% of Ireland's current population is foreign born through the influx of economic migrants which questions the common assertion that high immigration damages the economy. I note the UK also ranks highly on your 'free ecomomy' list; another country with socialist programs famous for it's national health service.

So Ecomomist do you consider Ireland's measures to be models of capitalist policies? If so perhaps you and I have very different ideas of what constitutes socialism and capitalism and you are in fact a socialist albeit a confused one

France's social problems are not so much about their socialist policies it is more about the legacy of their colonial past and the resulting influx of migrants from places such as Algeria who having seen the French turn their native country into a wasteland have little love and zero loyalty toward France and it's gov't who in return have little love and zero loyalty towards them..

With regard to the specific instance in the OP there is insufficient information to draw firm conclusions but it appears to be a trade complaint based on below cost selling which is outlawed by the WTO.

Last edited by a moderator: Jan 17, 2008
18. Jan 17, 2008

### Economist

Well, it definitely benefits French book sellers, but at the expense of who? At the expense of French consumers. Maybe you should google the word "Ricardo Comparative Advantage" and read up.

Laws like this make goods more costly, which will make the cost of living go up (and therefore, make the standard of living go down).

I don't understand why people are so hung up on the fact that "some people get put out of work, therefore it must be bad." You know what puts people out of work at a rate much higher than trade? Technology. Do you realize that a couple hundred years ago 90-something% of Americans were farms, but technology put most of them out of business and now it's only like 1% of Americans who are farmers. So it made some people worse off in the short-run, but made many people better off in the long run (you might also want to google "Schumpeter Creative Destruction"). Only a fool would think we'd be better off if we could have "saved" those farming jobs.

19. Jan 17, 2008

### DrClapeyron

There is no free lunch in Amazon's free delivery. Either they can afford cuts at the profit margin or they tack on extra fees. The law may be in place to prevent a sudden increase in freight deliveries, which could adversely affect France's ablity to import oil and meet fuel needs. Transportation makes every good cost more, because it is not free.

Who do you know that has been put out of work because of this practice?

20. Jan 17, 2008

### ShawnD

Stores shut down all the time because they can't compete with a bigger company that is capable of selling for less. Amazon was the one undercutting this time, but the one you probably hear the most is Walmart.