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Alex

Eric,
One comment I would add to this post is that I agree that French people are not “in the mood” for voting ‘yes’ to the European Constitution. One big mistake French politicians are doing is to be too confident in the maturity of the French people…it is completely false! French people are not mature at all (they should read Asterix comics again…).
Like a financial market, the French opinion is super volatile. The Frenchs vote when they are angry. They don’t vote for a better future because they always question the present. Your post clearly explains the difference with the American behaviour. The US is a country where the future is always the “next frontiere”. France is a country where the past always come back.
Should French people change their reading habits? Yes, for sure…because they do not know their History. When I discuss with students from graduate schools and I discover that even them, they don’t see what it is at stake in that Constitution…I feel pretty depressed. I believe that they should know their own history first, the History of the world and the French History. To do so, French people should read this great book: “Toute l’Histoire du Monde”…It is mandatory to understand what is at stake! A question of perspective, isn’t it ?

Matt

In my opinion the Ehrenreich book is most useful as a study of the author. She found what she wanted to find, not some objective truth about being working poor in America.

I don't dispute that trying to live on unskilled labor wages is unpleasant. But it is much more livable than she makes it out to be. Prudent poor people do not live in hotels, they find someone looking for a roommate and share rent. They shop in thrift stores. They do not eat at restaraunts every day. Of course this does not make as good a story as making choices that "prove" it is impossible to get by on $6/hour.

Matt

Doh! I just found this blog, I should have looked at the date before I posted. Nevermind!

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