Saturday, December 22, 2012
A long post - it's not my usual self to copy someone else's post, but I thought this fitted in nicely with "the unemployment post" two days ago. I got to this post through the (top) picture; in the writer's eyes the quintessence of a French unemployed worker, I guess. What amuses me, is the response given by a visitor, a Frenchman, and a man to my heart. Enjoy:
"Lazy French Must Barely Work Slightly Longer
Please excuse the French for believing they lived in a free country and not some Russian gulag—obviously, they were mistaken. For the first time since
France became civilized, its
workers are expected to work until age 62.
Fun fact: since 1983, Frenchies have been able to retire at the youthful age of 60! (They also work 35 hours per week). This is due to the French economy's need for large numbers of pensioners to have time to write existentialist, world-weary memoirs. Yes, there's a "$40 billion in the pension program alone this year." But, counterpoint: French people don't want to work more."
"I always love comments from the Yanks about our continental lifestyle and work habits. You have to be European to understand our love of not working. Our approach is that people work to live, not live to work. You see, with our more humanistic view of the world, we don't see people solely as resources to be put to work. We view them as well, people.
People that should have enough money, security and free time to be comfortable and happy. I work for myself and in the 10 years I've been doing that I have yet to work a full year. In fact, I generally work during the winter months and then live in
Spain for the beautiful 6 months of
summer. And then go back to work. Never once have I missed working. Not for one
fat second. There are plenty of other fun things to be done.
The point the French are making is that once they start to muck about with the retirement age, it will only continue to increase. That's why we are fighting so hard against this Anglo-Americanization drive which
Europe's leaders are trying to force
down our throats.
Maybe the question all you yanks should be asking yourself is why you have to work til you die and we get approximately 20 years off for good behaviour (since we live significantly longer than you on average - even with our love of good cheese, great wine and smoking!) We also get minimum 5 weeks of vacation a year and loads of public holidays. Oh, and all that over time you work in the States, we don't do that either. It's not laziness, it's called having a life. You should try it.
I guess the real question is why do you folks all just roll over, stick your ass in the air and say: Fuck me harder Walmart or GM or Starbucks (or where ever it is you work) every time they cut your pay or your benefits or your sick /vacation time instead of being a bit more French about things and try to fight for the things that matter to you?
You don't have to be so passive about it and what you maybe should learn from the French is that when you are just one person the companies have all the power, but united the people have the power. Our governments are there to serve and protect us, not the corporations."