October 21st, 2010
02:27 PM ET

U.S. passionate about French protests

Ah, France. A nation known for its passion in food, wine, love…and protests.

Many French citizens have been rallying for days against the proposed increase of their retirement age from 60 to 62, leading to riots, school closings, and the shutdown of a major airport.

What’s interesting is how passionate people here in the U.S. are getting about the French protests. Strong opinions abound in the CNN.com comments, from users envying the French retirement age to saying the protesters should get back to work. And, of course, some commenters are using the story as an opportunity for some good old-fashioned France-bashing…

ntcz: “I am impressed; this has been going on for a few days and the French haven’t surrendered yet?”

RandyF offered a clever reply: “The US would not exist if it were not for the support of the French during the Revolution. Why all the sour grapes about the French? Seems more like jealousy from the 50% of folks who are going to die before they reach 65 from stress, over eating and the general American lifestyle.“

But seriously, RandyF’s sentiments are echoed by many other contributors. Some feel like the U.S. should adopt a system more like France’s, with a relatively low retirement age and increased vacation time.

Read more over on the CNN iReport blog

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Filed under: France
soundoff (36 Responses)
  1. john patton

    The french are the laziest people on earth. We have bailed them out in the last three major wars counting vietnam

    October 21, 2010 at 2:54 pm | Report abuse |
    • Ash

      What? Were you raised in a barn? Shut the door! Probably was raised in a barn, along with the other primitives.

      October 21, 2010 at 3:01 pm | Report abuse |
    • David

      @Ash, the French get 8 weeks off a year, plus they have a 35 hour work week. That equals an additional 22 days off. While they may not be the laziest people in the world, they certainly are not hard workers.

      And in WW1, the infusion of American soldiers countered the German offensives of 1918 and led to the defeat of the Kaiser. By that point, the French and British had been bled white, and the war was leaning towards the Germans. In WW2, well, if you need me to explain that, and John was born in a barn, did you come from a cave? And Vietnam was a mess that the French started and then gave up on after they lost. So that one really doesn't count. Though we did provide them with a great deal of aid during their war in Indo-China. I hope this helps you to understand things better. 🙂

      October 21, 2010 at 3:10 pm | Report abuse |
    • Ash

      Well hello Mister Fancypants. Well, I've got news for you pal, you ain't leadin' but two things, right now: Jack and sh!t... and Jack left town.

      October 21, 2010 at 3:32 pm | Report abuse |
    • Ben

      Kinda easy to "bail them out" after your country sat out most of the heavy fighting, but that is just semantics I guess.

      October 21, 2010 at 3:36 pm | Report abuse |
    • Ash

      So what's the deal?

      October 21, 2010 at 3:41 pm | Report abuse |
    • Douglas

      We didn't bail them out of Viet Nam, they were smart enough to leave

      October 21, 2010 at 4:03 pm | Report abuse |
    • Daveparts

      The laziest people on earth John are bankers and your school teachers. This is about international banking cartels manipulating bond rates and creating a crisis. Iceland, Greece, Spain and coming soon to a government near you the US where once your retirement has been looted and your social security cut will you have the gumption of the French?

      October 21, 2010 at 4:31 pm | Report abuse |
    • Jim

      Getting their butt kicked at Dien Ben Phu was not LAZY. American workers are lazy. They prefer to work 9 weeks more every year than the French worker. Americans get about 2-3 weeks vacation a year compared to the French 6-7 weeks. French have HEALTH CARE. Here Teabaggers scare workers out of getting healthcare.

      Viva la French; At least they are in the streets. Lazy! Who is lazy?

      October 21, 2010 at 10:27 pm | Report abuse |
    • termlimits

      The old war films of the french filling the streets of paris to clap and hile hitler their supreme leader puts it all in perspective to the average person. You wine soaked frenchies and wannabes are basically pathetic. You've got a good leader over there, listen to him.

      October 22, 2010 at 8:13 am | Report abuse |
    • Louis

      French people are actually the most productive people in the world. They work 35 hours a week, but they make the most of it to make it profitable. They're actually a lot more pragmatic and reasonnable about work thand the Americans are. Just to make you realise they're not lazy, France is the 3rd country in the world concerning foreign investments, and the 2nd in Europe. Plus it is not 8 weeks of vacations they have a year, but 5. Before asserting something like that, just go and check it out, the internet becomes quite handy in that case.
      Lastly, do I have to remind you that if the French did not win in Vietnam, The Americans certainly did not either... At this time there were 60 million people in Vietnam....Americans were almost 200 million... you do the math...

      December 19, 2010 at 6:39 pm | Report abuse |
  2. nordspan

    We're easily able to adopt the early retirement age just like most European countries – it's called work really hard, long hours and earn lots of money and SAVE it until you stop working. Not rocket science.

    October 21, 2010 at 3:02 pm | Report abuse |
    • Ash

      Say hello to the twenty-first century!

      October 21, 2010 at 3:33 pm | Report abuse |
    • Jim

      Time away from the family on those long hours. Not good for Family Values is it? How's the health after that kind of stint. I see so many people broken down by this capitalist system who have no energy or health to do anything. They are reduced to barely living. More vacation time and better retirement benefits are what the American worker needs and maybe they will begin to see it.

      October 21, 2010 at 10:31 pm | Report abuse |
  3. Ash

    Now whoa whoa whoa right there spinach chin!

    October 21, 2010 at 3:33 pm | Report abuse |
  4. k

    ash, honey the more you talk, the more i like

    October 21, 2010 at 4:07 pm | Report abuse |
  5. myself

    Wonder what it will be like here when responsible leaders begin to make the necessary cuts to union pensions? Of course, that will only happen IF we get responsible leaders.

    October 21, 2010 at 4:58 pm | Report abuse |
  6. mn

    Let em whine and protest. .they dont do anything of international importance. .take ash with she is useless also

    October 21, 2010 at 5:04 pm | Report abuse |
  7. k

    the french are known for three things kissing, coffee, and QUITING! Pansies! No wonder they dont bathe much, they dont do anything

    October 21, 2010 at 5:59 pm | Report abuse |
  8. red

    Mort à l'Amérique
    vive la france

    October 21, 2010 at 9:04 pm | Report abuse |
    • phildor07

      T'es con ou quoi ?
      On ne dis pas des choses pareilles.
      Comment peux-tu souhaiter la mort aux USA ? Tu es complément stupide !!!

      October 22, 2010 at 7:03 am | Report abuse |
  9. Hayley

    wow...all this to work a whole TWO YEARS longer. What a lazy country.

    October 21, 2010 at 9:48 pm | Report abuse |
    • Jim

      No, they got brains and they don't want to be WAGE SLAVES for the BILLIONAIRES who caused this crisis in the first place; it wasn't the workers. The workers shouldn't have to bail out the Capitalist THIEVES

      October 21, 2010 at 10:33 pm | Report abuse |
  10. Chill

    Lazy????? Ok. Just because many Americas rather borrow and pay ridiculous intrest rates to greedy banks that in turn rip you off and put themselves in the revolving door of continuos debt and keeps them in them job dependent makes Americans harder worker. I am debt free except for my utilities. I own a basic home and a basic car. No I am not on welfare! I work a part time job and yes I value my time more than money. It feels great to have so much time to do the things I love and considering I'm debt free a good chunk of my check goes to savings. Keep working your triple overtime and hectic shedules if that makes you a harder worker.

    October 21, 2010 at 10:33 pm | Report abuse |
    • Hayley

      Well fine work a part time job...but don't expect handouts to help you live at the same level as someone who puts in a little more effort in a full time job and has more to live off of when you retire. Don't expect the government to take care of you. Expecting anyone to take care of you is lazy.

      October 22, 2010 at 7:02 am | Report abuse |
  11. Jim

    Go French Go; Show the American Working Class how it is done. Americans are preparing to vote in favor of tax cuts for Billionaires; How Idiotic. Those Billionaires would wipe their feet with their supporters if given the chance. They don't give a damn about the well being of anyone except their priviliged friends. They already have more wealth than they could ever spend.

    Small business accounts for 2/3 of the French economy; Here it only accounts for 1/2 of the US economy. So the "small business" that is crying are some pretty big corporations. As long as they are LLC they can claim "small business" status.

    Obama just gave tax cuts to 95% of the American people by taking less out of the paycheck. The Rich dumped the economy to make a profit and now the states are raising taxes. So the "lucky" working class here can bail out the Billionaires.

    Viva la France, Viva la Resistance to capitalist domination. The workers here need more power not less. They need less hours and more pay not the otherway around.

    October 21, 2010 at 10:41 pm | Report abuse |
    • poneyponey

      You don't say "Viva" in French, you're not in Spain or Italy, you say "Vive"!!!!! the "e" at the end is mute!!!! thanks!

      December 20, 2010 at 9:22 am | Report abuse |
  12. Chill

    That's what I say Jim. It's sad too many Americans are so dependant on their jobs. Oh wait.... Profits are down time to lay off. Ohhhh..... You have a mortgage and a family to feed..... I'm sorry but we have maintain profit margin and by employing you it reduces my chances of getting my big bonus at the end of the year and as for the rest of you who are still employed it's time to work more for less. Thanks for the hard work and remember capitalism is great!

    October 22, 2010 at 12:21 am | Report abuse |
  13. chan

    The situation creates an excellent opportunity for a serious terrorist attack in all this chaos.

    October 22, 2010 at 1:13 am | Report abuse |
  14. taxster

    Over-taxing the wealthy leads to massive unemployment. the wealthy simply take the French idea and retire early, no longer creating jobs. and sell their factory to mexico.

    October 22, 2010 at 4:55 am | Report abuse |
  15. k

    well said chill, too many lobbyist working for the rich, employ people to find a way to decrease overhead, lay off some workers, the others will get scared, and work harder so they wont be next, and then it got real bad. Then the big three (two of them) got in deep, and upper level managers had to start eating each other, down sizing outragously overpaid execs, and design teams (that werent making anything anyone wanted) and in just 2 years they are returning to profits. How many hourly workers could be kept by getting rid of overpaid, incompetent upper tier suk as.sses

    October 22, 2010 at 8:19 am | Report abuse |
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