Living Car Free Do you live car free or car light? Do you prefer to use alternative transportation (bicycles, walking, other human-powered or public transportation) for everyday activities whenever possible? Discuss your lifestyle here.

Gilets Jaunes

Old 02-08-19, 03:05 PM
  #1  
fietsbob 
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Gilets Jaunes

VS Car free Urbanites


One of the frictions is ..Class related , Paris is expensive to live in, but If you can afford it you can live car free..because of all the investment in public transit..


If you cannot afford to live in the city, then you will not like the fuel price rises thought of as a driving dis incentive for a better environment..

which is great if you have access to public transit not that welcome if you live in a small rural town.. Or Farm..






shifting to P&R may be pending..

...
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Old 02-09-19, 09:32 AM
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Originally Posted by fietsbob View Post
VS Car free Urbanites


One of the frictions is ..Class related , Paris is expensive to live in, but If you can afford it you can live car free..because of all the investment in public transit..


If you cannot afford to live in the city, then you will not like the fuel price rises thought of as a driving dis incentive for a better environment..

which is great if you have access to public transit not that welcome if you live in a small rural town.. Or Farm..






shifting to P&R may be pending..

...
Going car light would be a solution that reduces fuel consumption. Indeed I think the Yellow Vest issues are more about politics than transportation, though. At best, they are about the transportation politics of being a driving worker who has to pay higher taxes than other workers who don't rely on driving for their work. I think the assumption is that they have no other choice to make money but to drive, so they can't choose to drive less and use less fuel.
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Old 02-09-19, 10:00 AM
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Yes, it seems that the protestors are angry in part because they believe the government is adopting policies that have an unfair impact on rural, and often lower-class, workers. It is not limited to a protest about fuel taxes, which is one reason the protests have continued for so long.

One thing I love about France is that its citizens do not hesitate to be disruptive over policies that are deemed unfair. It is messy but a crucial part of the country’s democracy.
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Old 02-16-19, 02:38 AM
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Unfortunately, more than 80% of French people don't live in Paris or it's suburbs. France, by-and-large, is still an agricultural country with lots of land, and thousands of communities throughout the country. With unemployment already very high, wages not keeping up with inflation, and a heavy regulatory burden which has driven businesses and businesspeople to other countries, many of the French are just getting by.

The gasoline tax Macron wanted to implement would have made a significant dent in the budgets of most of the French. Not only would they have that much less money to spend each month on things like food, housing, and utilities, they would face higher prices for other goods, because the everything they buy is transported by truck and train, and the transporters must raise their prices to offset the cost of the tax.

When you consider the effect of taxation, you have to consider the indirect even more than the direct. You pay income tax, sales tax, taxes on your phone and utilities. If you drive, you pay tax on gasoline, plus the license and registration fees. But that is not all. The taxes your employer pays are offset by paying you less. When you buy a product, be it a phone, a beer or a sandwich, part of the cost of those things goes to pay the tax of the companies which made those things. And, like in France, everything you own, and everything sold in stores is transported on railways and highways, the railroad operators and trucking companies pay high taxes on fuel, and those are added to the prices of all goods, not to mention their corporate tax, property tax, utility tax, etc. Even if you don't earn enough to pay any net income tax, more than half of the money you earn is eventually absorbed by taxation.
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Old 02-16-19, 03:48 AM
  #5  
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I'm in two mind about this movement.

As I'm not in favour on increasing reliance on fossil fuels, I would theoretically be in favour of Macron's tax, the problem is where it goes, and the fact that it hits the people who can afford it the least. Even if he had organised that part somewhat better, then perhaps a hike of tax on the richer might have been a good idea, alternatively more incentive to go electric. Given the rethink of diesel fuel particles across the world, his timing wasn't brilliant, either, as diesel was never taxed as highly as petrol, so masses of diesel motored cars were sold.

That said, I'm concerned the gilets jaunes don't really appear to have a leader yet. I'm also concerned about driver education. I live in a rural town with a Boulanger. People drive in from distance or from a couple of streets away to buy their fresh patisseries or bread, usually leaving their cars, motor running, for 5-10 minutes depending how long they chat with everyone else in the shop. There's also the issue of increasing amount of heavy transport on the N roads, which are costly to repair. These problems aren't only French ones, by the way.

50PlusCycling, your figures might be right, but you have forgotten there is more than one major city in France. You need to compare the figures between city dwellers and rural. As it stands, that figure you gave is meaningless.
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Old 02-17-19, 03:21 PM
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Originally Posted by 50PlusCycling View Post
Unfortunately, more than 80% of French people don't live in Paris or it's suburbs. France, by-and-large, is still an agricultural country with lots of land, and thousands of communities throughout the country. With unemployment already very high, wages not keeping up with inflation, and a heavy regulatory burden which has driven businesses and businesspeople to other countries, many of the French are just getting by.

The gasoline tax Macron wanted to implement would have made a significant dent in the budgets of most of the French. Not only would they have that much less money to spend each month on things like food, housing, and utilities, they would face higher prices for other goods, because the everything they buy is transported by truck and train, and the transporters must raise their prices to offset the cost of the tax.

When you consider the effect of taxation, you have to consider the indirect even more than the direct. You pay income tax, sales tax, taxes on your phone and utilities. If you drive, you pay tax on gasoline, plus the license and registration fees. But that is not all. The taxes your employer pays are offset by paying you less. When you buy a product, be it a phone, a beer or a sandwich, part of the cost of those things goes to pay the tax of the companies which made those things. And, like in France, everything you own, and everything sold in stores is transported on railways and highways, the railroad operators and trucking companies pay high taxes on fuel, and those are added to the prices of all goods, not to mention their corporate tax, property tax, utility tax, etc. Even if you don't earn enough to pay any net income tax, more than half of the money you earn is eventually absorbed by taxation.
1) Aren't the trains electric?
2) If communities are agricultural, couldn't they grow more of their own food locally and transport less?
3) Couldn't people drive less by riding bikes and walking more?
4) If the point of fuel taxes is to stimulate less use of fuel, then couldn't people just keep the same fuel budget and buy less fuel with it?
5) Is it possible that all this protesting the fuel taxes is just promoted by oil interests, who would invest less in the French economy as less of their products are bought there?
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Old 02-19-19, 01:08 PM
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There are a lot of other cities in France besides Paris with good public transportation, However, Many French people love their cars as much as most Americans, and for some the car is necessary. I've also seen a decline in the number of small neighborhood stores that cannot compete with the super and hypermarches located on the outskirts of towns; not convenient without a car. And although urban sprawl is nowhere as bad in France as it is here, it is happening and a lot of people live outside a city and its' transit network, and need a car.


There was a long thread on the P&R forum about the Gilets Jaunes. There was lot of discontent with the government before the fuel price increase, which was simply the"drop that overflowed the cup", or as we say "the straw that broke the camel's back".
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Old 02-19-19, 04:07 PM
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Originally Posted by ironwood View Post
There are a lot of other cities in France besides Paris with good public transportation, However, Many French people love their cars as much as most Americans, and for some the car is necessary. I've also seen a decline in the number of small neighborhood stores that cannot compete with the super and hypermarches located on the outskirts of towns; not convenient without a car. And although urban sprawl is nowhere as bad in France as it is here, it is happening and a lot of people live outside a city and its' transit network, and need a car.


There was a long thread on the P&R forum about the Gilets Jaunes. There was lot of discontent with the government before the fuel price increase, which was simply the"drop that overflowed the cup", or as we say "the straw that broke the camel's back".
This is the LCF forum, not P&R, so the relevant question is ultimately whether the people protesting could simply do more to reduce their fossil-fuel use, which is the point of the fuel taxes.

Basically, is LCF a better solution to avoid paying the taxes than protests and rebellion?
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Old 02-20-19, 07:08 PM
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Originally Posted by tandempower View Post
This is the LCF forum, not P&R, so the relevant question is ultimately whether the people protesting could simply do more to reduce their fossil-fuel use, which is the point of the fuel taxes.

Basically, is LCF a better solution to avoid paying the taxes than protests and rebellion?
Seventy years ago, the majority of French people were car free. It must have been a great time for cyclists,and bike builders. Since that time, there has been a shift to automobiles, so now the infrastructure in many places is built up around the car. The network of small local trains has largely disappeared, and for many people going without a car is difficult.

As to your claim that the increased fuel taxes were imposed to cut fossil fuel use, that is debatable. I was in France last December, and followed the demonstrations and the press reports, but that is a matter for another forum.
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Old 02-21-19, 06:44 AM
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Originally Posted by ironwood View Post
Seventy years ago, the majority of French people were car free. It must have been a great time for cyclists,and bike builders. Since that time, there has been a shift to automobiles, so now the infrastructure in many places is built up around the car. The network of small local trains has largely disappeared, and for many people going without a car is difficult.
Yes, that's the problem everywhere the car was broadly embraced without foresight of the consequences of dependency growing out of it. Now it is difficult to backpedal and restore LCF as an equally-viable transportation option, but how else to stimulate the public to chip away in that direction besides raising fuel prices?

As to your claim that the increased fuel taxes were imposed to cut fossil fuel use, that is debatable. I was in France last December, and followed the demonstrations and the press reports, but that is a matter for another forum.
So you think the taxes were increased as an excuse to keep people driving and make them pay more to do so? If that's true, what does it matter anyway as long as fuel consumption is going down, that is a win for climate/CO2 reform, no?
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Old 02-21-19, 01:33 PM
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Originally Posted by tandempower View Post
Yes, that's the problem everywhere the car was broadly embraced without foresight of the consequences of dependency growing out of it. Now it is difficult to backpedal and restore LCF as an equally-viable transportation option, but how else to stimulate the public to chip away in that direction besides raising fuel prices?

So you think the taxes were increased as an excuse to keep people driving and make them pay more to do so? If that's true, what does it matter anyway as long as fuel consumption is going down, that is a win for climate/CO2 reform, no?
I think these taxes were imposed to raise revenue. They hit people who depend on their automobiles to get to work or use their vehicle for work. They have no alternative. But it is a waste of time talking about what the French should do since the handful of people who visit this forum live in other countries. Maybe the best thing for you to do is to go to France and spread the gospel of " la vie sans voiture".
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Old 02-21-19, 04:05 PM
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Originally Posted by ironwood View Post
I think these taxes were imposed to raise revenue. They hit people who depend on their automobiles to get to work or use their vehicle for work. They have no alternative. But it is a waste of time talking about what the French should do since the handful of people who visit this forum live in other countries. Maybe the best thing for you to do is to go to France and spread the gospel of " la vie sans voiture".
In general, there is a politics of burden-shifting, where some people claim the onus is on the government to incentivize and facilitate change, while other people would say to just tax fuel and thus incentivize buying less of it.

When you say that "people depend on their automobiles to get to work or use their vehicle for work. They have no alternative," that's not completely true. There are ways to reduce driving and find other ways to make money. These kinds of issues have been discussed in this forum for years. People are always arguing that it's impossible to live car-free or car-light, but then there are people who do it. It takes some creativity and sacrifice, but it can be done.
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