Here’s an interesting piece of perspective from French Tribune — The reason why French are so up in arms about what seems like just a few extra years less of retirement is because they value retirement so much.
More so than money even.
Look at how angry Americans get when the richest few are told they might have to pay a bit more on their stock and bond market profits.
French don’t mind being taxed a lot, and they don’t mind earning a bit less money. All they want is to enjoy life and retirement while they’re still somewhat young, explains French Tribune:
Frenchmen and women, social benefits like long vacations, state-subsidized health care and early retirement mean more than mere luxuries. For them, such things are a birthright and regarded as an important part of present France’s identity.
Their demand is that the retirement age should be kept at 60 years. It is not just about luxury, but also something that their parents, grandparents and even great-grandparents had fought for in the past. At present, these people are seeing that they are losing all that they have fought for. They are not ready to accept this.
Retirement, by these people, is held higher than a higher salary, thereby making this issue a significantly sensitive one.
Yes, we’ve personally been sceptical of the current protests, but fair enough, the point above reminds us that we all value different things. Americans want to earn more, but are willing to have less retirement and less of a social safety net. French in general might want the opposite. Thus they’re shocked when they see Americans bring guns to anti-taxation rallies, while Americans are shocked when they see people burn cars in defence of early retirement.