Tuesday, February 10, 2015

In the spirit of the oh so French, grand, empty gesture, Paris mayor Anne Hidalgo, has proposed banning motorcycles made before 2000 and other vehicles with dates of manufacture varying from 1995 to 2001. 

Being the owner of a vintage motorcycle, I joined a few thousand others in a protest yesterday, a protest that was officially banned by the police. It happened anyway with police escorts.

Hidalgo is a Socialist, and in France the Socialists are the party of the bourgeoisie and entrenched interest groups rather than as you might think, the poor and working class. While for me and for many of my fellow protestors, yesterday, our complaint is ephemeral to our daily lives, an ever more restrictive ban on older vehicles will be a double whammy on the lower classes. It will crush the value of their current vehicles and force them to buy more expensive newer vehicles or go without. This at a time when large sections of French society is experiencing unemployment of 25-30% and economic growth is been so flat for so long that the country and Europe is facing a deflationary spiral. Interestingly, the city council will not vote on this measure as it will be imposed by executive fiat under a previously passed pollution control law.



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