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jeffolie

Now you are catching up to me and my pessimism. My political doom and gloom is economically based with a political overhang.

France appears to have exceeded my political gloom for the US's worst case of a deflationary depression:

HeliBen & Hillary will regulate...RIOTS…ARSON…SUICIDE…MURDER

I predict a deflationary depression with 30 % unemployment and political swing to the left as that did happen in the 1930's when 30% registered as socialists. Socialists will promote riots.

Real estate agents, bankers, and anyone with two cars and a decent income will draw the ire of lawsuits, harassment and greater taxation. Regulation will come and be enforced on the Real Estate industry. Four years ago Helicopter Ben gave a speech calling for tighter regulation of mortgages while reinforcing Alan Greenspan's view that the Fed should not be responsible for popping asset bubbles.

One of the many lawsuits to open the MLS's will be successful in front of the conservative Supreme Court.

President Hillary will pass forbearance laws preventing foreclosure for 2 years. Houses with federal backed mortgages that are foreclosed will be used to house the poor and unemployed.
Desperate, angry owners will commit arson for the insurance proceeds or suicide for the mortgage insurance or life insurance to the survivor. Sheriffs will be murdered to prevent foreclosures.
The Dark Side will rule.

GK

On France, yes, I believe they are on the precipice of doom. They have no one to blame but themselves, however, and could still solve the problem tomorrow if their culture were to permit it. But they won't.

Europe will be displaced by Asia in the global economy.

I don't think the US will have a crisis, however.

Note that there is some doubt that Hillary would win. The far-left does not like her, they like Feingold. Plus, many who liked Bill Clinton specifically don't like Hillary. Lastly, it depends on who her opponent actually is.

Plus, I think the world economy is on a solid trendline of 4%+ growth. A US depression could still mean some foreign economies do well. Americans could still invest in foreign equities through the appropriate funds, and earn a good return.

Paladin

To quote “Young Frankenstein”: “A Riot is a Terrible TERRIBLE Thing … AND IT’S ABOUT TIME WE HAD ONE!” The French will lead the way into a New World Order Beware the Dark side … Forever, it will dominate your Destiny. MUuaaaaAAhh!

Juno888

On France, yes, I believe they are on the precipice of doom. They have no one to blame but themselves, however, and could still solve the problem tomorrow if their culture were to permit it. But they won't.

Baaldagg

Hi !

Your blog is really good !
I discovered it today and I have been reading a few articles.

But I have to admit that this one might suffer a little lack of perspective. I am french, male, 26. I have been raised here and I have taken part in the 2005 protest, most of which was against a particular aspect of a new set of laws (know as LRU) that aimed at raising university fees through privatization of these institutions.

I understand that it may be hard to get it from a french point of view, so I am obviously not blaming you here and I would like to share my point of view on a few cultural things /facts (my english has gotten pretty rusty, sorry):

- The protests did not involve any particular social class of students. Indeed, french higher education being almost free (between US$ 150 - 800 a year), pretty much anyone can get it. My father has been carrying boxes in a factory for decades and my mother has been unemployed a few years here and there, so we have basically nothing and yet I managed to get a master's degree and I am currently pursuing a new one.

- No, french youth is not all about complaining about work. When I see "government supported laziness" I can only think "woow" ! I know this is how we are depicted overseas, but it's always shocking.. We do want to work (at least most of us)! The unemployment issue has more to do, in my assessing of the situation and from personal experience, to the immense lack of flexibility of recruiting processes. One is always asked to fit an ideal profile and there is no room for improvisation. No one will ever try to see your POTENTIAL to do things beyond what you have learned. This is indeed a terrible situation and many suffer from it. I envy americans' flexibility on this (if I make a mistake thinking this, please tell me). We can have 20 interviews and nothing happens, this can get quite frustrating and tiring. Last year, I started a new school and I was looking for a training. Employers would not accept me because of a slightly different academic background and very little school fees they would not pay for ! On the other hand, someone who chose the wrong path can still start a new program to diversify his skills and try to get a more accurate profile.

- Despite this different view I have on our issues, I recognize that we have some kind of anti-business mentality. This is one subject on which it seems that I cannot give an objective explanation. It is so much embedded in our society and history that I feel I strongly align with this mentality. But not all french people do. I guess the same could be said from a US perspective : entrepreneurship [funny that this word actually comes from French] and the self-made man concept is strongly embedded into the american way of thinking. With that being said, I can only objectively point out that the US and France have a dramatic gap when addressing these values (money, leisure time, etc..). I believe that one can only accept and respect these differences without commenting on it, unless he is able to tell exactly why one way would be better over the other without any cultural influence. I think the most important thing is to keep in mind is that people believe their mindset is right because, from their perspective and in their culture, it is.

- One last point I would like to talk about is the "Islamic riots". Well, first, they were not islamic riots.. many of the young people rioting may have been islamic because of the place where they live (suburbs of big cities where there are indeed a higher proportion of islamic people, among MANY others). As opposed to the US, suburbs of France are the place where "ghettos" are found.

Second, these riots did not originate from an anger at unemployment rates (actually - and sadly enough - they are kind of "used to it") but it started after the death of 2 young people who were chased by policemen. Of course, many other problems were pointed out at that time (and we could count on our beloved Sarkozy to stir-up the heat before he was even president.. he was in charge of the ministry of security / police brutality at the time).

Third, there has been no rioting because of "government-supported laziness of the upper-class students" because they don't care about them and because, as I mentionned earlier, they simply don't exist (of that I am a living proof).

Well, I think I have covered most of my thoughts on this. I will gladly debate on this with you but in the meantime, I just want to keep on reading you blog entries. =)

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