It's not often that we Texans (or anybody for that matter) can say, “good for the French” for throwing a hissy fit. And throwing a hissy fit they are.
So, why? Why the protests?
Some would have you believe that the cost of energy/petrol is the reason (but that would be misdirection). The price of oil is low ($50-$60 dollars a barrel) ... as is natural gas and other major sources of energy. So, no... that's not the problem.
The problem is the artificial cost of energy. The artificial cost of energy brought on my leftist government addressing two "problems"; 1) climate change and 2) revenue generation. President Emmanuel Macron simply decided to implement a carbon tax to simultaneously address those two purposes.
What Macron didn't count on was the sheeple to react the way they did. And why would he, overall France has always swallowed massive abuse in the name of leftist dogma (unions, work ethic, climate change, big government…)
Though the protests have expanded, the back breaking straw that instigated all of this was the cost of gasoline. Gasoline in France (and most of Europe) is about $6.00 a gallon (in US terms). In comparison, in the US, gas is about $2.50 a gallon. Understand that approximately 75% of that cost (in France) is... taxes, vs 20% in the US. What does this mean? It means (as with all leftist pipe dreams), the guy to bear the brunt/expense of globalism and climate change is by design, the working man... the non-urban. Call them, if you will, Les Déplorables.
One would think such government abuse of its citizens is evident to all; but make no mistake about it this is by design... and global. When UN climate chief Patricia Espinosa says, "We require deep transformations of our economies and societies", THIS is what she means; this and much, much more.
For Americans, we should also understand that progressive, environmental politicians here see the US as on the "wrong side of history" on this issue; not France, not Europe. The problem isn't Macron; it isn’t punitive carbon taxes; it isn’t the smug, condescending environmental elites; it isn’t that France (and Europe, and others) are overbearing, abusive and contemptuous of a large portion of its citizenry. No, the problem is that the US is not following suit. To their eternal frustration, they know that US citizens wouldn't put up with this crap, and any attempt would further erode their climate change cause.
But, back to the original point.
I say, “Good for the French people”! Good for them for waking up and noticing their chains. Now if they can just summon the common sense and inclination to shed them; along with the socialist current that has, for way too long, flowed through European society.
Can we hope "Frexit" isn't out of the question? There's nothing like a climate change inspired boot on your neck to inspire such courage and momentum.