Thursday, December 13, 2018

"Let them eat cake" not resonating well among The Great Unwashed

'Your Majesty, the peasants don't have enough bread to eat, what is Your recommendation?'  Historians disagree that the wife of King Louis XVI of France, Marie Antoinette, actually replied 'then let them eat cake' (brioche, I believe was the actual confection she suggested), but there can be no doubt that the French elite at the time of famine within their realm around 1800 held their constituents in poor regard.  And remember, things did not go well for these elites shortly thereafter, what with guillotines, pitch forks, torches and stormings of the Bastille coming to fruition as a result of this indifference on behalf of the disgruntled proletarian's 'betters.'

History repeats itself, or so they say.  We now see a modern day French president, insistent upon foisting an unpopular green agenda on those who can least afford it, jacking up fuel taxes in order to; a) fund the many hare brained green programs that clearly cost jobs, resources and tax money, and b) discourage the Great Unwashed from buying artificially high priced gasoline and diesel fuel, thereby funneling them into turning towards higher priced green policies.

I myself lived in Europe for the better part of 6 years during my two stints in the U.S. Army back in the 1970's and early 1980's: I saw for myself how the average Europeans lived their lives.  A typical West German family was jammed into an apartment (nobody except the elites owned private homes) of perhaps 800 square feet.  A pack of Marlboro cigarettes cost a German about the equivalent of $2.50/pack, when American G.I's could buy these same cigarettes in the PX for 14 cents a pack.  Hence a healthy black market for entrepreneurial folk aware of this situation.  And this was nearly 40 years ago.  Similarly, a liter of gasoline was approximately $1.00/liter, or $4.00/gallon - 40 years ago.  The average price in Europe for gasoline is now around $7.00/gallon.

The average German family was forced to go to the market every day for food - their tiny, dorm-sized refrigerators scarcely had room enough for a few eggs and a liter of milk.  No such things as deep freezers for Europeans - they took up way too much space which was desperately needed for elbow room.  And as for automobiles, the average German walked or rode a bike to where they needed to be; only the very affluent among the holy poly could pop for a Mercedes Benz, and some hoping to break into the upper crust could afford maybe a Citroen CV, popularly known as the 'Ente,' or 'Duck.'  You've seen these little death traps on occasion, not much more than a riding lawn mower with a windshield.

The standard of living in Europe in 1976 was akin to what we in the U.S. would call 'below the poverty line.'  And this was among West Germans, one of the most 'affluent' countries in Europe at the time.  The average G.I. was paid peanuts back then, and they lived like kings compared to the average German.

Things have not improved over the last 40 years.  They have in fact gotten worse; unemployment has been in the double digits for generations, crime is sky rocketing out of control owing to unchecked immigration of millions of barbarians flooding in from Africa and the Middle East.  And now President Macron of France believes that he and his elite buddies can eliminate fossil fuel from their constituent's lives and live in peace and harmony within a Green paradise.

These elites are heading for troubles.  Paris is burning 24 hours a day now.  It won't be much longer before the Great Unwashed have had enough, and storm that Bastille yet again, and break those guillotines out of mothballs.  


LL said...

Revolutions are called such because of the revolving nature and repeating nature of history. I'm surprised that the Germans stood still for the importing of a million military age Muslims, hard core unemployable.

I was in and out of Europe at the same time you were there, also at the behest of Uncle Sam. I saw the same thing, not just in Krautland but throughout Europe. The peasants lived like peasants and their betters lived very well indeed. There was a gulf that the poor couldn't pass that did not exist in the same way in the USA.

In England they were still complaining that we were over paid, over sexed and over there in the mid-1970's.

Gorges Smythe said...

Americans have no idea how the rest of the world lives, or how blessed they are. When they really have nothing to lose, things will get dangerous fast.

Well Seasoned Fool said...

Glad to see it. Hope it spreads all over the world.

Kid said...

I knew right from the start the boy president would crash and burn.

I suspect the same fate for Justine Trudy on Canuckia.

Bottom line on the climate scam. If these idiots truly believed in this thing, they would be Hammering on China and India. Are They? Hell no. This make it painfully obvious that the scam is all about a reason for failing socialist economies to raise taxes and try to suck money from other countries, Er I mean the USA. And as the chick who was former head of the IPCC said "This global warming thin only has the goal of destroying capitalism".

Fredd, I suspect Gold, having gone sideways for a year and a half will only go sideways for another 100 years.

I'm playing with leveraged ETFs based on the S&P index SPXL and SPXS.

Fredd said...

LL: yes, we Yanks are hated everywhere that capitalism is not embraced. We seem to have things just a little better, and nobody likes us snooty capitalist pigs because of it. I guess things will never change, despite the enormous bank of facts that support our way of thinking.

Fredd said...

Kid: the boy president hasn't crashed and burned yet. Clinton never had to pay for his reprobate ways, and I predict The Donald won't, either. Yes, both are cut from the same bolt of cloth - playboys who have had the world handed to them. Such is the way of the world.

Gold - I had my play in it, DUST did me well when I invested in it at $1800/ounce. Now I don't know which way it will head, and will avoid it like the plague.

My entire portfolio is now invested in ETF's, mutual funds are a thing of the past - highly paid managers who couldn't manage their way out of a wet paper bag, or beat a monkey who just threw darts at a chart.

Fredd said...

Fool: yes, eventually the right way of thinking prevails, even though the status quo forces try as they might to maintain the wrong way of thinking.

Fredd said...

Gorges: lots of Americans know how the rest of the world lives. I am here to testify that capitalism is the way to go, and yet most of the world fights it, and suffers for their stubbornness.

Kid said...

Fredd, been reading this one for about 10 years now. Best read on the markets bar none.

Give it a shot for a couple weeks. Jeff Saut, Chief Market Strategist for Raymond James. All you need to know is on page 1 and maybe a little overflow on page 2.

Macron? Dude he did an immediate backflip on taxes and immigration.. ? Tho I don't believe France will do jack on importing moslem vermin. Slovakia has outlawed islam and the Czech Republic is strongly considering the doing the same. We need to also. It's the peaceful breeding moslems who are the problem.

LSP said...

Fredd, I agree and remember the '70s. Europe was still climbing out of wartime austerity and not all the bomb damage in London had been repaired.

Then the '90s swung by and wealth increased, you could see it rolling into London on a tide of Bentley Turbos. But that didn't benefit everyone, including the imported Muslim votes or many of the people that were taxed to pay for them.

Looks like Macron's sneaky little weather tax has upset the status quo, and the generals. Let's see how this one goes.

And Kid? Right on.

Fredd said...

Pastor: yes, British reconstruction after the Nazi bombing raids took decades, and only really kicked in after Maggie Thatcher's input into all things British. You know, capitalism unleashed. Maybe the Bronx should try it sometime, and perhaps their bombed out slums can get a coat of fresh paint one of these days. No, the Nazis didn't bomb the Bronx, socialism provided plenty of the blast that leveled much of this filthy town.

Don't count on it, though. They elected the dumbest socialist to ever come down the pike to represent their interests in the House. No paint heading in their direction anytime soon.