|»Vivek Kaul's Diary|
France is a Mess
29 JULY 2016
VIENNA - Real money must reflect the realities of the real economy.
If it becomes detached from economic reality, like a clock that no longer tells the right time, it becomes a hazard to everyone.
Appointments are missed. Trains crash. You show up at the airport and find the plane left two hours ago!
Air France is on strike. Our flight - with Austrian Airlines - left an hour late as a result.
'This is a mess,' we said to nobody in particular, as we waited for a plane this morning.
'Welcome to France,' said a voice behind us.
|EXPOSED: The Crony|
Socialism of Narendra Modi...
|While crony capitalism has taken a beating under Narendra Modi, crony socialism is alive and kicking.|
Yes, the public sector is back and so are the HUGE losses!
And in case you thought that this is a problem which we've always had...well, you are in for a surprise. The public sector is burning money at probably the fastest pace ever.
And Vivek Kaul reveals it all in his latest Special Report - "The Crony Socialism of Narendra Modi".
A must read for everyone who is interested in the present state of the country and where it is headed...Plus, it's Absolutely Free!
So, don't delay...Click here to download this Special Report right away!
We remember discussing the radicals' strategy back in 1969.
This is where the nostalgia comes in...
Last night, we stayed at a tiny hotel in Paris, near where we first got to know the city 43 years ago.
We had gone for a semester abroad, after discovering that the tuition at the University of Paris was only $80. That meant that even with airfare, it was cheaper to go to the Sorbonne than to the University of Maryland.
The semester turned into a lifelong relationship, marked by equal periods of affection and disgust.
We didn't speak French at the time, but we had had four years of it in high school. That seemed like plenty. (Although it later proved comically insufficient.)
But we were adventurous back then. And penniless. So, we got ourselves to Paris...and hung out at the bars around St-Germain-des-Pres.
It was a very different city in the 1960s. It was a world leader in fashion, technology, movies, food, and philosophy.
But Paris had a problem back then, too.
Communists, Trotskyites, Maoists, anarchists, syndicalists, and students - in 1968, they rebelled, ripped up the streets to build barricades out of the paving stones (the streets were covered with asphalt soon after), and engaged with the police in pitched battles.
By the time we arrived a year later, skirmishes between gendarmes and radical groups were still going on.
The organised rebels would race around a corner, throw rocks and Molotov cocktails at police who formed up into protected phalanxes with their clear plastic shields.
Then the cops would suddenly charge the insurgents, swinging their billy clubs at anyone they could reach.
Trained and practiced, the terrorists would retreat quickly. This left the police with nobody to rough up except innocent onlookers.
That is how your editor nearly got hospitalised. Walking down the street, he was mistaken for a radical...knocked to the ground and worked over by three policemen, who eagerly went about their work with happy cudgels.
Sitting in a cafe with a bandaged face, we discussed the revolutionaries' strategy with a young French intellectual of Trotskyite tendencies.
Even almost a half-century later, we recalled the conversation when we passed the cafe (still in business) where it took place.
'Oh...sorry to see you got beaten up,' he said. 'But it's just collateral damage. We're making headway.
'The police don't like it when we attack them. It's a point of pride, more than anything else. So, they overreact. But the more they show on TV people like you getting beaten up by the cops, the more the working class comes over to our side. We're going to win.'
The revolutionaries did not win. They did not topple the Fifth Republic. But they eventually got much of what they wanted - free schooling...free drugs and medical attention...a high-cost, zombified, crony economy...a bureaucratised, tightly regulated society...even a 35-hour workweek.
And now look at it.
'Yes, it's a mess...' repeated the voice behind us.
© Equitymaster Agora Research Private Limited