The West is running out of money

The West is running out of money, by Alan Kohler.

The riots in Paris over the weekend and going back to November 17 have their roots in the fact that France is running out of money. …

The French government last ran a surplus in 1973. Government spending is 57 per cent of GDP, well over double Australia’s, and successive governments have proved incapable of even stabilising spending, let alone reducing it. …

What’s different about these protests, and the thing that should have every political leader in the western world taking note, is that these are not the leftists who usually do the rioting in Paris: these are ordinary people and workers, organised not by trade unions, or the Communist Party, but by Facebook.

France can’t tax its rich or its companies because they can easily move to Switzerland or Ireland, or an actual tax haven, so the most effective thing for Macron to do was impose a fuel tax, with the result that the nation’s disenfranchised, who live in poor villages and have to drive everywhere, boiled over.

hat-tip Stephen Neil