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What if protesters in Paris win, and the French government gives in to all their demands?
What if taxes are reduced, wages increased, President Macron steps down?
I am not talking only about the fuel tax; attempts to impose it have been already abandoned. I am not talking about increase of the minimum wage -- the government already agreed to rise it by 100 euro per month.
What I am talking about are real, fundamental changes which many protesters seem to be desiring: substantial tax reduction for the majority of French citizens, generous increase in wages and enhancement of social benefits for all.
So, if the Yellow Vests manage to win all this, then what will happen? Who would benefit? But also, who would lose?
One of my readers recently wrote to me that France should reduce its military budget and from those billions of euro saved, could easily finance demands of the protesters.
Another reader wrote that the richest citizens of France (or call them 'elites') should be taxed heavily, and the money saved in this way could be then distributed among the poor and the lower middle class.
Sounds 'reasonable'? Yes, definitely; reasonable and logical. The only tiny defect is: we all know that it will never happen this way.
President Macron was elevated to the throne by precisely those so-called elites. In return, those rich folks expect their privileges to be guaranteed, even swollen.
And to imagine that a NATO member country (in this case France) would suddenly slash its military budget and from what is saved, start to finance various new social programs for the poor and the middle class, is unrealistic, even childish.
So where will the funds come from, if the French government decides to do something truly 'radical'; radical at least by the standards of our era of turbo-capitalism: to listen to its own people?
Let me stop beating about the bush and ask my question brutally and concretely: "What if all demands of the Yellow Vests get satisfied; who will pay the bill?"
To put all this into a context: I write this essay in Hanoi, capital of socialist Vietnam.
Some time ago, I used to live in this city. I spent almost three years here, when it was still poor, and people remembered war, some even the French colonialism.