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LQD: Pwofitasyon

by r------ Wed Feb 18th, 2009 at 12:28:48 PM EST

Jérôme has already blogged the unrest in France spreading out from Guadelope on the front page. And indeed, the unrest is spreading to other DOM/TOM, to neighbouring Martinique,with a general strike called not just for Guadeloupe, but for the rest of the DOM/TOM and, hopefully, to the Metropole as well:

After nearly a month of general strikes in Guadeloupe and the beginning of social unrest in Martinique, a 4,000-strong protest for better purchasing power in the islands.
Jean-Luc Mélenchon's Parti de Gauche, Lutte Ouvrière, Olivier Besancenot's NPA and other anti-capitalist movements on the left protested against the effects of the crisis alongside Antillais living in Paris. (n.b. if you watch the video, you'll see Pierre Laurent representing the PCF as well, right next to Mélenchon, Besancenot, Laguiller for LO...is there unity on the left again?)

Cost of living increases, declining living standards, insecurity: activists in Paris think metropolitan France is effected by  "Pwofitasyon,"  (exploitation in Créole) and hope the general strike will spread to other DOM-TOM and to the metropole as well.

This has everything to do with the unwinding of the financial crisis, as it takes out the weakest among us while our respective governments protect their patrons, the wealthy, the bankers, the industrialists, the contributors.

Surprise, surprise....as usual, the PS is nowhere to be seen. Now why could that be?

the front pages of your press?

(Adding, there is progress towards a common left front for upcoming European elections in France...more on this in later diary...)

The Hun is always either at your throat or at your feet. Winston Churchill

by r------ on Wed Feb 18th, 2009 at 12:57:30 PM EST
or the failure of the media to report what the left actually says (like, in Parliament, for instance)?

In the long run, we're all dead. John Maynard Keynes
by Jerome a Paris (etg@eurotrib.com) on Thu Feb 19th, 2009 at 06:53:56 AM EST
[ Parent ]
The problem for the PS is three-fold.

One, they have a long record of saying one thing and doing another. Rhetoric does not match socialist principles. It's an afflication of much of the "respectable" Euro left. It would surprise many outside observers to learn that Jospin privatised far more than Sarkozy has. This is a disconnect which matters to more and more on the left.

Second, there is no outreach in the PS to speak of to the left. It's this reason which has caused a split off to the left, with former PS Senator Mélenchon starting the Parti de Gauche which is, for the Europeans, not cooperating with the PS, but the PCF and hopefully NPA and LO as well for upcoming Europeans. The PS should be bending over backward to work towards a proper front de gauche, and this includes humility, but we don't see this happening, they don't show up, it is as if they believe the left is theirs by default even though they haven't actually delivered anything t working people in years.  

Third, and this undergirds the entire problem for the PS: it's voters are tacking left, when PS party cadres' imaginations are more captured by Modem or Modem-style prescriptions which, quite frankly, are not as forward-thinking as they believe. This is a product of training in the PS universities, no doubt, where soft centre-leftism has held sway since the early 1990's.

I don't actually blame the left though. I blame the PS. Big difference.    

The Hun is always either at your throat or at your feet. Winston Churchill

by r------ on Thu Feb 19th, 2009 at 10:17:29 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Unfortunately, in Denmark "unrest" tends to be conflated with "violent crime."

I see a creeping police state. But hey, y'know, they're all elected in free and (more or less) fair elections. So it's democratic, right? Ingen over og ingen ved siden af Folketinget, and all that.

After all, we all know that holding elections every once in a while makes you a democracy. Just look at Iraq and Russia and the US...

- Jake

Friends come and go. Enemies accumulate.

by JakeS (JangoSierra 'at' gmail 'dot' com) on Fri Feb 20th, 2009 at 11:06:12 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Oh, yes, I've been following the subtexts of the SUBPRIME MORTGAGE -MORAL HAZARD EXPLOSION in the MSM since county prosecutors began to acknowledge publicly their inability to enforce bank-owned (REO) obligations --both property maintenance and tax liability.

  • Civil disobedience:Marcy Kaptur (OH-) protested systematic dispossesion by advising her constituents to challenge procedural law requiring plaintiffs in foreclosure actions to produce title to mortgaged property; Evans, Sheriff, Wayne County, MI, sez:
    "I cannot in clear conscience allow any more families to lose their homes through foreclosure sales until I'm satisfied they have been afforded every option they are entitled to under the law to avoid foreclosure."
  • Squatters: Activists around the US are settling homeless in REO, abandoned property with or without legal assistance from county commissioners and court orders. In some locales, RE speculators are paying squatters to occupy delisted properties. Take Back the Land, National Low Income Coalition, Seattle Times, Weekend America, USAToday, Beaver County Times. Recent federal negotiation to impose foreclosure moratorium and REO tenant rights on core banks and FHA entities follows agitation and failed bills to do just that since 2007.
  • "Name and Shame:" NACA has organized picketing at  the homes of banks' and lenders' executives. NACA is a kind of financial services mutual society (or co-op) in residential mortgage brokerage, lending and refi. MortgageNewsWatch, NY Post, Omaha World-Herald

Template free rider objection to prohibition of "predatory" lending practices. Variations throw the it's-not-illegal argument for ARM arbitrages into reverse discrimination: I pay my mortgage; Why should I continue to pay?

The obvious conclusion, becoming homeless which government actions purportedly seeks to remedy, is inconceivable to such speakers. Their indignation is totally focused on imaginary "opportunity costs."

Diversity is the key to economic and political evolution.

by Cat on Wed Feb 18th, 2009 at 03:51:25 PM EST

I suppose they are talking about exploitation of the metropole tax payers by the DOM/TOM.

nice of them

by fredouil (fredouil@gmailgmailgmail.com) on Wed Feb 18th, 2009 at 07:16:35 PM EST
I would love to see them seriously asking for Independence, Haiti is such a great role model.

ils ont du culot.

by fredouil (fredouil@gmailgmailgmail.com) on Wed Feb 18th, 2009 at 07:19:17 PM EST
[ Parent ]
the problem here, is that they could also go for the Caïman islands model.... then, you'd be screwed.
by Xavier in Paris on Thu Feb 19th, 2009 at 06:11:14 AM EST
[ Parent ]

I think the Caiman islands work only the way they work, because they are associated with the UK. Why else wouldn't lot of small poor islands, of which there is quite a number, go the caiman way?
While Gibraltar, Isle of Man, Jersey,... (all the UK associated) do it...

Der Amerikaner ist die Orchidee unter den Menschen
Volker Pispers

by Martin (weiser.mensch(at)googlemail.com) on Sun Feb 22nd, 2009 at 08:13:45 PM EST
[ Parent ]
ils ont du culot.

Folks living on these supposed "paradise" islands who are struggling to make both ends meet with minimum salaries lower than in the mainland with prices quite a bit higher, might want to return the compliment.

Few people know much about the history - particularly economic history - of the French Antilles that led to the present crisis. So, yes, at first glance, it sounds like yet another case of "send us more (taxpayers) money". And that's a narrative that some, here in mainland France, are surely not too unhappy to see develop as an alternative to a closer examination of the roots of the crisis.

BTW, I found an interesting take from Alexandre Delaigue on the Econoclaste blog:

econoclaste - Le blog d'econoclaste

On lit que ces facteurs certes existent, mais qu'ils sont aggravés par le fait que les productions locales sont "étouffées". Mais étouffées par quoi? Toutes les caractéristiques que l'on lit sur l'économie antillaise hurlent en même temps "dutch disease"; la situation dans laquelle quelques secteurs étouffent le développement manufacturier local. Et toutes les activités qui étouffent le reste ont une chose en commun : elles font l'objet de subventions publiques massives. Citons la culture de la banane, archisubventionnée depuis les années 60 et bénéficiant du régime ACP; les investissements touristiques dopés par la loi Pons; et de façon générale les massifs transferts en provenance de la métropole, qui produisent exactement l'effet de dutch disease constaté pour l'aide extérieure en économie du développement; on pourra se référer aux travaux de Rajan et Subramanian sur ce sujet.One reading could be that these factors are existing, but the aggravating factor is that the local production is "strangled". But strangled by what? All the characteristics one can read about the Antilles economy are crying "Dutch Disease"; the situation where a few sectors crowd out the local manufacturing sector. And all the activities that are strangling the others have one thing in common: they are massively subsidized. Let's mention banana farming, over-subsidized since the 1960s and benefiting from the ACP regime; tourism investment doped by the Pons law; and generally speaking, all the massive transfers coming from mainland France that end up producing the Dutch disease that is also noted in developing economies; one will refer to Rajan and Subramanian work on this subject (PDF).
Toutes ces politiques publiques ont été encouragées systématiquement, à gauche comme à droite, en métropole comme par les élus locaux, békés ou créoles. Il n'est pas du tout étonnant qu'elles produisent l'atrophie des secteurs non subventionnés, le renchérissement des prix, et de fortes inégalités; c'est exactement ce que l'on s'attend à observer avec le dutch disease.All these public policies have been systematically encouraged, from the left as well as from the right, in mainland France as well as by local elected officials, "békés" [white descendants of plantations (and slaves) owners] or créoles. The shrinking of non-subsidized sectors, the massive price increases as well as strong inequalities therefore come as no surprise; that's what one would expect to find out with Dutch disease.

If your French is any good, read the whole thing, as well as the two links to the Geographe du Monde blog. Translation is grunt work...
by Bernard on Sun Feb 22nd, 2009 at 11:27:56 AM EST
[ Parent ]
His french is plenty good...being french, which explains the comment imho.

The Hun is always either at your throat or at your feet. Winston Churchill
by r------ on Sun Feb 22nd, 2009 at 11:44:29 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Yep, the dominant narrative...

My comment was more for our non-French speaking fellow ETribbers. Deciphering the Antilles situation is complex enough if you can read French, if you're limited to English language publication...

by Bernard on Sun Feb 22nd, 2009 at 01:19:02 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Well, at least, the local economy will be boosted by all the far-left tourists rushing there...

"Dieu se rit des hommes qui se plaignent des conséquences alors qu'ils en chérissent les causes" Jacques-Bénigne Bossuet
by Melanchthon on Thu Feb 19th, 2009 at 02:48:29 AM EST

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