Heard on the French radio the other day (Les Grosses Têtes) that a guy did some research between a family that was unemployed (neither parent working) and a family with two parents working minimum wage.
The family that was unemployed, ended up with 1100 EUR a month after expenses.
The family working minimum wage ended up with almost 50% less at 600 EUR a month after the (same) expenses.
(I tried Googling for this study so I would be able to provide numbers, but alas my French is not that strong.)
Can you believe this?!?
Why the hell would anyone bother working in France at minimum wage?
Just so they can buy a cellphone or an iPad? Who cares!? The country is essentially paying you to NOT work, and making your unemployed existence as cushy as possible.
It is a far better deal to be unemployed.
Reasons for this are that France will basically help you …
- pay for your rent if you are unemployed
- allow you to have a pass on income taxes (obviously, no income = no taxes)
- allow you to have a a pass on your HOUSING taxes (wtf!?)*
- have programs for subsidized entertainment (museums are cheaper, so are cinemas)
- give you money to buy food (no food stamps, this is actual cash for food as I am told)
- give you subsidized transportation (or pay for it entirely) so you can go to job interviews (*snort*)
- ..and of course healthcare is a non-issue there (even more so than in Canada)
*UPDATE (10:56 a.m. EST October 24th 2013)
The maximum time for the benefits is 730 days or 2 years on unemployment, but you can just go back to work for a short period, and go BACK on the dole system for another 2 years. Wash, rinse, repeat. (Source)
Pauline (who is also from France, and is now loving her life elsewhere in Guatemala) says in the comments below:
Re housing tax there are two taxes, taxe d’habitation that is for garbage disposal, street lightning and so on, that you get an exemption on if you are on benefits, and taxe fonciere if you own your place, there is no exemption as they consider you could sell your place if you needed cash.
…and a whole bunch of other fabulous options for the unemployed while they are not working, which Pauline confirmed is about 100 EUR a month with free museum passes and so on.
Also, if you have more than 2 kids (at least 3 kids), you get some pretty hefty bonuses from the government for growing the population, which is why you see many French families with 3 kids these days — cha ching!!
The more kids you have, the more money you get. Some people make a living just having children.
I am all for helping people get back on their feet, but France takes it to another extreme.
The ones who are paying for all of this?
Well, it’s the chumps who are working of course. Why would anyone in their right minds stay in France to support such programs?
UPDATE: (1:15 p.m. EST October 23 2013)
Big thanks to Vanessa for pointing out 2 articles worth reading:
“In practice, France’s welfare system is a failure, and there is an economic explanation for this.
Welfareship does not create wealth; there are no incentives to create wealth.
Despite its good intentions, welfareship has created a “poverty trap.”
- In France’s Welfare State Status Quo, Are We Seeing America’s Future? (breaks down the numbers)
- The Work versus Welfare Trade-Off: 2013