The Riots in France Reveal a Greater Truth About Governments and Ideologues
(Pierre Suu / Contributor / Getty Images)
The people of France love a nice, relaxing riot after a long week of work. There's nothing quite like it to relieve the stress of the Monday through Friday grind, and hurling rocks and setting fires is tremendous exercise.
But France is being burned to the ground by it's citizens for reasons that lie far beyond mere health and fitness goals. The 'Yellow Vest' riots of late were rooted in financial grievances and outrage over a proposed fuel tax hike that aimed to wean France off fossil fuels and uphold the Paris climate agreement - a plan that has since been abandoned.
Never underestimate the breadth of a politician's skull nor a government's ability to turn a deaf ear to its citizens, however.
Mere days after French President Emmanuel Macron announced intentions to abandon the fuel tax hike in response to the protests, news broke that France will move ahead alone with a new tax on big technology companies after struggling to secure an agreement for an EU-wide levy.
France has been pushing for a EU GAFA tax – named after Google, Apple, Facebook, Amazon – but faced opposition from countries including Ireland, which hosts the European headquarters of several technology companies, including Google and Apple.
France has also been working with Germany on plans for a 3% tax on EU advertising sales that would begin in 2021.
The plans are a response to the often complex corporate structures set up by several companies that derive huge revenues from major European economies but allow them slash their tax bills by shifting profits to low-tax jurisdictions.
WIBC host Tony Katz:
"So here they have failed on this gas tax, on this carbon tax, and yet they don't quit. Because they never have a moment where your money isn't THEIR money.
As far as what's happening in the United States, the same things apply; lessons don't get learned. But here in the U.S., they count on the fact that most of the time, the American people will not express their outrage by heading to Washington D.C. to overturn cars and set fires. Politicians do things that cost them nothing - it only costs you. And they know there will be no level of retribution."
Click the link below to hear Tony's full commentary: