France has many serious problems. I believe that foremost among these are their government’s socialist policies and the long-term effects of their colonial exploits in French-Algeria.
During the Socialist era, a number of policies were implemented, one of which was the heavy social security tax (about 42% paid for by employers on each employee salary). This tax was used to “reward” the unemployed and the middle class with generous social benefits. True, a government has to look after its people, but unfortunately, these benefits are not only too generous that the government and people’s taxes are hard-put to sustain them, but also these benefits have been exploited by the champagne socialists (the gauche caviar).
So you find the French are better paid to do nothing, because starting salaries are less than what the government gives to the unemployed. You will find the French going on strikes and demonstrating against any adverse reforms on these benefits. Ultimately, the working class are the losers because jobs are few and ill-paid, employers being constrained with financial and government limitations. There is an uncommonly high unemployment in France.
The other issue is the immigrant problem. Algeria was a French colony, and like most colonialists, the French took advantage of the natural resources of the country and treated its citizens as inferiors. The French government improved Algeria’s infrastructure and implemented modernising changes, but what the French government did and what the French as people did in Algeria were two different matters.
The French people exploited the Algerians, alienating them. Algerians rebelled, began to clamour for independence and set up the FLN, the National Liberation Front. When de Gaulle proposed a referendum, asking Algeria if they wanted independence, the colonialists French who were against independence, set up the OAS, a terrorist organisation whose objectives not only included a hostile stance towards Algerians, but also to bring down the French government. The brutality of this organisation which involved the slaughter of Algeria’s civil population, is unprecedented.
Many Algerians fled across the Mediterranean sea to France. They constitute the largest immigrant class in the country. Many of them were granted French citizenship, but they are stigmatised all the same. And like the French lower social class, they also take advantage of the benefits of socialist policies. They are resented for this even more.
It would take a very complex solution to solve these two issues. The French have a penchant for paralysing infrastructure by going on strikes. If labour syndicates were limited in certain capacities from doing this, then socialist policies can finally be reworked on. This will require a firm hand, and absolutely necessary to unspoil a spoiled class of people. But we do not wish for a government dominated by the rich, but neither do we wish a government shackled by the poor.
There is a law against racism in France, but however overt this is, racism is widely practised. Education could be the key for both sides. Algerians must be taught to adapt to French culture. The French must learn to be more understanding of their plight.
Oh, if it were only as effortless as it sounds…
To extraordinary circumstances we must apply extraordinary remedies.
— Napoleon Bonaparte