How France Got So Lazy

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non-starter

Burnsville, MN

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Feb 23, 2013
 

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How France Got So Lazy
by Janine di GiovanniFeb 22, 2013 4:45 AM EST

It came from the mouth of an American businessman, but it struck a raw nerve here in France.

“The French work force gets paid high wages but only works three hours,” wailed the chief executive of Titan International, a U.S. tire company, in a letter to France’s industry minister.“They have one hour for their breaks and lunch, talk for three and work for three.”

A recent Newsweek piece even hailed Hollande for putting France back on the map as a “manly superpower.” But back at home, it’s increasingly clear that stifling union rules, high unemployment (and higher taxes), and a baffling lack of entrepreneurial spirit signal a country in crisis. And the deepening sense of dread can be traced directly to the educational system.


“It’s a culture of nul,” says Peter Gumbel, whose bestseller On Achčve Bien les Écoliers (They Shoot School Kids, Don’t They?) criticized the French school system for creating a generation of bureaucrats who refuse to think out of the box. Nul, or “worthless,” is a familiar word to the French—it’s often tossed at schoolchildren who do not get their lessons right.


The aim of French schools isn’t to impart the wonder of learning, according to Gumbel, but to learn to endure an achingly competitive system. French children are taught to parrot, not to analyze—to memorize endless passages and vomit them out.

Hence, Gumbel argues, there is no French Mark Zuckerberg, or Richard Branson, or Steve Jobs. Sure, there are plenty of brilliant minds in France, such as the phenomenal former finance minister Christine Lagarde, a former competitive synchronized swimmer. But Lagarde’s career was largely honed in America, and her detractors called her L’Americaine. She also left France to take up Dominique Strauss-Kahn’s former post at the International Monetary Fund.

Wealthy, or striving toward wealth, is not a compliment in France.

“There is not the spirit of entrepreneurship here,” said one French management consultant who made it through the rigorous French graduate school system, worked in finance in London, and came back to Paris to raise his family.“The state system and its huge amount of administration and paperwork discourages venture capitalism.”

Fric, the slang for money, is seen as vulgar. The consultant cites as an example Bernard Arnault, the CEO of LVMH—which includes the luxury brands Louis Vuitton and Christian Dior—who was publicly mocked as a sale con (dirty asshole) because he is a successful, rich businessman. Wealthy, or striving toward wealth, is not a compliment in France.

At the last World Economic Forum in Davos, where global leaders of government and big business mingle in the Swiss Alps, France was woefully under-represented. Despite the fact that David Cameron of the U.K., Angela Merkel of Germany, and many other world leaders were present, Hollande—a Socialist president who must appeal to the unions—skipped it entirely.

Representing France instead was Fleur Pellerin, 41, the brilliant minister of Internet, small businesses, and innovations. Pellerin is unusual: born in Korea and abandoned at birth, she was adopted by French parents. Now she is trying to carve an energetic niche for New France, one that can encourage and use its talent to compete with the Brazilians, Chinese, Indians.

“Education is so vital,” she says, in perfect English.

There is painful joke that Europeans often tell of their Gallic neighbors: God created France, the most beautiful country in the world with so much good in it, and ended up feeling guilty about it. He had to do something to make it fair. And so, he created the French people.

My French friends and French husband, even my 9-year-old French son, hate this joke. And yet, there is a terrible ring of truth to it. Often the French, with their extraordinary lifestyle and la belle vie, can be their own worst enemies.

Whether they like it or not, they must globalize or die.
Bushwhacker

Seattle, WA

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#2
Feb 23, 2013
 

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Lying guy found a BLOG ?? Wooo HOOOOOOOoooooo !
DSM Local

Ankeny, IA

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#3
Feb 23, 2013
 

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Socialism will do that, the american communist left is trying to do the same through godless government schools, brainwashing via the media, and Vicious attacks on those who stand up and say, "This is Wrong."
Bushwhacker

Seattle, WA

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#4
Feb 23, 2013
 

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Hey dumb*ss, it's wrong to ran-dumbly capitalize, then not capitalize America...FYI !
DSM Local

Ankeny, IA

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#5
Feb 23, 2013
 

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Bushwhacker wrote:
Hey dumb*ss, it's wrong to ran-dumbly capitalize, then not capitalize America...FYI !
SPELL CHECKER!!! it's the super spell checker out and abouot to spell check till his death! what a pointless life, a waste of oxygen if you ask me.

Slew walks into a bar with his buddy from the homeless shelter, his buddy says I'll have some H2O, slew says I'll have some H2O too, Needless to say the drink turns out horrible for slew, anyone know why?
Miss Piggy

Minneapolis, MN

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#6
Feb 23, 2013
 

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Say what you want about the French government, but as far as students go: they can all speak English, and I have talked to many French high school students who would put American college grads to shame.
And, while striving for wealth may be seen as vulgar, displays of wealth are de rigueur. You will never see a Frenchman leaving the house looking like a slob!
Bushwhacker

Seattle, WA

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#7
Feb 23, 2013
 

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Pig sty.... "speaks" ??? So, why are wing nuts such drama queen name changers ???
Miss Piggy

Minneapolis, MN

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#8
Feb 23, 2013
 

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Bushwhacker wrote:
Pig sty.... "speaks" ??? So, why are wing nuts such drama queen name changers ???
Poor little basement dweller, you couldn't be expected to make a sensible comment about 'the outside world'! LMFAO!!!
Iowan

West Des Moines, IA

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#9
Feb 23, 2013
 

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DSM Local wrote:
<quoted text>
SPELL CHECKER!!! it's the super spell checker out and abouot to spell check till his death! what a pointless life, a waste of oxygen if you ask me.
Slew walks into a bar with his buddy from the homeless shelter, his buddy says I'll have some H2O, slew says I'll have some H2O too, Needless to say the drink turns out horrible for slew, anyone know why?
I don't know, why?
Iowan

West Des Moines, IA

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#10
Feb 23, 2013
 

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Miss Piggy wrote:
<quoted text>
Poor little basement dweller, you couldn't be expected to make a sensible comment about 'the outside world'! LMFAO!!!
Hey, he doesn't make stupid jokes like DSM Loco
non-starter

Burnsville, MN

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#11
Feb 24, 2013
 
French Tax Proposal Zeroes In on Web Giants’ Data Harvest

By ERIC PFANNER

Published: February 24, 2013

PARIS — When it comes to taxes, the French are pioneers. In 1954, they introduced the world’s first value-added tax. Since then, they have proposed or championed duties on all manner of other things, like online advertising, pollution, financial transactions and vacation homes.

Only a few weeks after the French Supreme Court rejected one new tax proposal — a 75 percent levy on incomes of more than €1 million, or $1.3 million, a year — an even more novel idea began percolating through the halls of the finance ministry last month: a proposal to tax the collection of personal data on the Internet.

Google and Facebook know that John Doe “likes” wine, is shopping for a Volkswagen and often e-mails Jane Doe. Soon, they might have to pay for gathering that information.

Does France really need another tax? As of 2009, French tax revenue was equivalent to 42 percent of gross domestic product, one of the highest burdens in the world, according to the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development, the coalition of free-market democracies. The U.S. figure was 24 percent.
Bushwhacker

Seattle, WA

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#12
Feb 24, 2013
 

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"Janitors have won a great contract, but Security Officers plans to hold a strike preparation rally at 1 p.m. Sunday at Minneapolis South High School. Although the janitors will not strike now that they have a tentative agreement, they plan to attend that rally to provide “moral support,” Javier Morillo President of SEIU Local 26 said.

Poor multiple moniker TrashyLiar, another loss for your team of moronic monikers ?? Hertz SO BADLY !!!

LMAOROTFU~!

YEAH----*** AMERICAN WORKERS UNIONS ***!!!!
non-starter

Burnsville, MN

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#13
Feb 24, 2013
 

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Bushwhacker wrote:
"Janitors have won a great contract, but Security Officers plans to hold a strike preparation rally at 1 p.m. Sunday at Minneapolis South High School. Although the janitors will not strike now that they have a tentative agreement, they plan to attend that rally to provide “moral support,” Javier Morillo President of SEIU Local 26 said.
Poor multiple moniker TrashyLiar, another loss for your team of moronic monikers ?? Hertz SO BADLY !!!
LMAOROTFU~!
YEAH----*** AMERICAN WORKERS UNIONS ***!!!!
It isn't a pretty picture, you drooling all over your keyboard, trying to make multiple posters into a single one in your twisted mind. I guess you can tie the lazy French labor unions to these American unions if you really want to, but you are far too slow to be able to put those pieces together. Nice spam on multiple threads of single idea from a different topic, slewche. I suppose after you pay someone to come up with a single idea for you to spam, you want to get the most use out of it that you can.
Bushwhacker

Seattle, WA

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#14
Feb 24, 2013
 

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Lying guy found a BLOG ?? Wooo HOOOOOOOoooooo !

LMAOROTU~!

Discussing people, again..dumb*ss ~!
Bushwhacker

Seattle, WA

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#15
Feb 24, 2013
 

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non-starter wrote:
<quoted text>It isn't a pretty picture, you drooling all over your keyboard, trying to make multiple posters into a single one in your twisted mind. I guess you can tie the lazy French labor unions to these American unions if you really want to, but you are far too slow to be able to put those pieces together. Nice spam on multiple threads of single idea from a different topic, slewche. I suppose after you pay someone to come up with a single idea for you to spam, you want to get the most use out of it that you can.
Your "picture", moron.... As for spamming Pot=Kettle, stupid troll....
Bushwhacker

Seattle, WA

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#17
Feb 24, 2013
 

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I copied your pal, are you completely dishonest still/again ?? YEP !!

Sevice, Guiness, Connicuit ?? LMAOROTFU~!

While you blather about your buddies mistake ??

WHATEVER!! LMAOROTFU~!

What a complete loser...

Display MORE DISHONESTY, dumb*ss ~! LMAOROTFU~!
L I b E r a l i Sm

Saint Paul, MN

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#18
Feb 24, 2013
 

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"What a complete loser..."

YOU are the definition of a complete loser. Just take a look at yourself.
Bushwhacker

Seattle, WA

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#19
Feb 24, 2013
 

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This tire exec complains about work rules in France and workers who take breaks. Does our corporate media ever complain about exes who take a write-off on three martini lunches, who spend hours on the golf course during working hours, and who use company money to travel to exotic spas ( this was typical Wall St behavior even AFTER the Great Recession started). Why not? Because the corporate media is controlled by the top 1/10th of 1%.

Despite the fact that there has been a massive transfer of wealth from the middle and working classes to the top 1% in the past 30 years, corporate execs like this tire guy continue to portray themselves as victims, while the austerity policies they support keep millions of their fellow Americans in poverty. Nice!
Bushwhacker

Seattle, WA

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#20
Feb 24, 2013
 

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L I b E r a l i Sm wrote:
"What a complete loser..."
YOU are the definition of a complete loser. Just take a look at yourself.
Oddly, none of you children will face me or can compare... Guess, your limit is childish writing.
no ame

Saint Paul, MN

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#21
Feb 24, 2013
 

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Bushwhacker wrote:
<quoted text>Oddly, none of you children will face me or can compare... Guess, your limit is childish writing.
Hey, I want no part of anyone who owns his own "Dojo".

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