The streets of Paris and many other cities in France are burning at a time when tourists and shoppers should be out getting ready for the holidays. One of the most famous avenues the in world, the Champs-Élysées, was littered with burned-out cars, stores, and restaurants. Many also had their windows broken out and the contents looted.
Thousands of people wearing “yellow jackets” protested the increase in taxes on gasoline and diesel fuel, as well as an additional tax increase in January 2019 of 12 cents a gallon on gasoline and 28 cents on diesel. One of the reasons for the tax increases is that French leader President Emmanuel Macron has committed to try and do something about climate change and he needs money to bring about the reforms.
Higher taxes is just one of the issues driving people to protest. Their taxes could well be headed higher after the first of the year. Here is an example: If you work in France and are earning between $30,675 and $82,237 you are taxed at 30 percent. By comparison, a U.S. individual earning $30,675 would pay 12 percent in federal tax while someone earning $82,237 would pay 22 percent.
People of France are also protesting the unemployment rate of 10 percent — with stagnant wages making the cost of living increase harder to bear. Increasing fuel taxes have added to the frustration of the people about the quality of their lives.
While the riots were taking place all over France, Qatar announced that they are withdrawing from OPEC next month.
While Qatar is a small exporter of crude oil, it is one of the largest exporters of Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG). The use of natural gas to produce energy is less polluting than coal, and so the number of new LNG power generating plants is expanding rapidly all over the world.
The people of France may be the first wave of people all over the world that are concerned with the cost to convert to green energy.
I have been investing in alternatives for many years and the one question that I have always asked is what is the cost-benefit analysis (CBA) of the alternative sources of energy? Some do not score well at all; I have seen some examples of CBA of 60 percent of the power generated to make the process work. In simple English, you build a 1,000-megawatt power plant, but to make it green the plant has to use 600 megawatts to power the C02 reduction. Building a 1,000-megawatt plant which only adds 400 megawatts to the power grid is hardly cost effective. I’m sure that most of the people protesting in France don’t understand the CBA of alternative energy, but they do see the money they have in their pockets quickly going down.
The simple fact is this: the middle class globally is paying the price for climate change and they are angry. Global warming hawks have made many outlandish predictions on what can happen and when it will happen, but they often have been wrong. The people of France and many other countries are rethinking the issue with their wallets.
I wrote some time ago that the Paris Accord on climate was a massive wealth redistribution of the developed nations to the lesser-developed nations in the world. The people of France are leading the way in wanting to keep more of their money in their own pockets.
I think this disagreement with government policy on climate change will spread, and if people refuse to pay the price for fuel, OPEC is in real danger of imploding.
Dan Perkins is an author of both thrillers and children’s books. He appears on over 1,100 radio stations. Mr. Perkins appears regularly on international TV talk shows, he is current events commentator for seven blogs, and a philanthropist with his foundation for American veterans, Songs and Stories for Soldiers, Inc. More information about him, his writings, and other works are available on his website, DanPerkins.guru. To read more of his reports — Click Here Now.