France mirrors the world

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Last week I started following the French presidential election. One of the first articles I read was an Associated Press (AP) story about the race, which told how close the two frontrunners were. President Emmanuel Macron and his chief rival, Marine Le Pen, were thought to be quite close, with Le Pen surging in the period just before this past Sunday’s first round of balloting. Pollsters and pundits turned out to be accurate, as Macron received 27 percent of the vote and Le Pen 24 percent.

The election will be settled on April 24, when Macron and Le Pen face each other, as the only survivors of an original field of 12 candidates.

What I found especially interesting about the story is the reason voters gave for supporting their candidates. The story featured a look at the race through the eyes of a woman who for 40 years has operated a produce stand in Paris. The woman, Yvette Robert, explained the election in economic terms that I think Americans would find very interesting.

Robert told the AP that soaring prices were weighing on the election, turning the race into a nail-biter, which is quite a difference from four years ago when Macron won in a landslide. Robert said she was going to vote for Macron because he doled out lots of money to help merchants make it through COVID shutdowns, but she thinks Le Pen has a good chance of winning this time. 

Shoppers, increasingly worried about how to make ends meet, are buying ever-smaller quantities of Robert’s neatly stacked fruits and vegetables, she says. And some of her clients no longer come at all to the market for its baguettes, cheeses and other tasty offerings. Robert suspects that with fuel prices so high, some can no longer afford to take their vehicles to shop.

That is a very candid description of what is happening in France and other countries around the world, including the U.S. When Robert describes her customers as buying “ever-smaller quantities” of her merchandise and says that some of them no longer come to the market at all, Robert has displayed an uncanny sense of economics that the elitists in this country have never understood. Because of high prices — led by skyrocketing energy prices — most consumers everywhere have started cutting back. This will undoubtedly lead to a worldwide recession…and I suspect a very severe one.

Le Pen is said to be an admirer of Vladimir Putin and the Biden White House is reportedly very concerned about a Le Pen victory at the polls, suggesting that it might bring about the demise of NATO. It’s quite ironic, isn’t it, that Biden’s energy policies have made Putin the threat he has turned out to be and made it possible for Le Pen to become the next president of France. 

Do not forget for one moment that crude oil was selling for less than $40 a barrel prior to the November 2020 election and that recently it was going for $130 a barrel. Had Biden not put his foot on the throat of our nation’s energy production, American and French citizens would be in much better shape, along with most people around the world. 

Common folks have suffered tremendously at the hands of our president, while Vladimir Putin, and tyrants in Venezuela, Iran and elsewhere, are riding a gravy train. 

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