President Emmanuel Macron has warned the French populace that the end of abundance is here, and they should get used to living with less.
“What we are currently living through is a kind of major tipping point or a great upheaval… we are living the end of what could have seemed an era of abundance… the end of the abundance of products of technologies that seemed always available … the end of the abundance of land and materials including water,” he said in an interview. [emphasis added]
“This overview that I’m giving, the end of abundance, the end of insouciance, the end of assumptions — it’s ultimately a tipping point that we are going through that can lead our citizens to feel a lot of anxiety,” he continued. “Faced with this, we have a duty, duties, the first of which is to speak frankly and clearly without doom-mongering.”
However, while it looks like Macron may be right when he proclaims the “end of abundance” for some people, this is not the case for everyone.
Macron’s statements come the same month that corporate profits hit record highs amidst a nationwide housing crisis.
As reported by the Daily Times, “France’s CAC 40 stock index, which includes the country’s largest companies, just reported its best quarter ever.”
“From a profit perspective, 73 billion euros represents a 26% increase over 2013. Record-breaking inflation, energy shortages, economic growth nearing recession, and the most difficult times for the average French household since the 2008 financial crisis have all contributed to this year’s record.”
Similarly, dividends paid out by large French companies in the second quarter reached a record 44.3 billion Euros (a 32.7% increase), which was significantly higher than the European average.
Clearly, not everyone is suffering from the same lack of “abundance.”
As for “doom-mongering,” which Macron said people should avoid, it’s not surprising that he sees this as an issue as it largely stems from statements made and actions taken in recent months.
In July, Macron told the public sector to cut down on its energy use and asked the private sector to do the same amidst an energy crisis that could’ve been avoided. This cut in energy use includes, amongst other things, turning off the streetlights at night and passing a new law regulating air conditioning.
Meanwhile, supermarkets have already begun cutting down on their energy use thanks to soaring prices, going so far as signing an agreement to reduce heating in their stores this winter.
Anyone can see why the average person would be concerned about the state of France and where things are going. And unfortunately for the French people, it doesn’t appear the government, nor the financial elite who have made record profits amidst the decline, are doing anything tangible to remedy the situation. Instead, the President is quite literally telling people that they should get used to never having the same quality of life that they used to enjoy.