Sunday, August 25, 2013
NYT on the French economy
Here is a New York Times article on the challenges facing France as it tries to continue providing a decent quality of life for its inhabitants, in the midst of a harsh global economy. It seems to me a good overview of the social and political situation there, and many of the article's claims ring true to my experience living as a foreigner in France; namely that if you are inside the system, French society really takes care of you and assures a lot of nice things, but if you are outside, whether because of your age, your nationality, or your different values, you are left out in the cold, and it's a pretty unpleasant place to live. Nevertheless, the article was filled with what seemed to me to be an unobjective, biased attitude, a sort of sneering at French society that is certainly prevalent in the US, but that I wouldn't expect from a top-quality news source. After a well-thought statement like, "the question is not whether the French social model is a good one, but whether the French can continue to afford it", which effectively summarizes the article's central argument, there follow rash value judgments like "France would be fine if only the rest of the world would just disappear, or at least work a little less hard" or talk of the country slipping into "Europe’s second tier". Anyway, a generally good article, even if it lacks an air of professional journalism at times.