As it turns out, a couple of the items I wished to write about are no longer available at the New York Times. Specifically, I'm not able to link to their articles about British/French reactions to austerity measures and angry, drunken witches.
You'll just have to trust me that angry drunken witches have invaded the beer industry and are using their evil powers to modify labeling. For reals.
In terms of of the different ways the British and the French are responding to cuts, I can direct you to the lovely and anonymous gentleman that's currently penning Lexington.
To sum up...
The pampered French are being asked to retire a little later. They have responded by taking to the streets, rioting, burning the place down, re-enacting the revolution. In Britain, meanwhile, the new coalition government has taken a chainsaw to public spending. A squillion public organisations are being shut down, a zillion civil servants are being fired, welfare benefits are being slashed, the navy is being told that it can no longer afford to have aircraft for its aircraft carriers and so forth. The British reaction? Oh well, we enjoyed the good times, some belt-tightening is probably in order, and, after all, one mustn't grumble.
In America, almost everyone serious agrees that public spending is on an unsustainable trajectory unless entitlements can be cut and/or taxes increased. The political response: neither the Republicans nor the Democrats dare to propose any serious cuts to entitlements and the Republicans equate tax rises, even for the richest, with treason and blasphemy.Heh. I love it when he says "Gracious me." in reaction to the comments. I imagine him spilling tea all over his waistcoat in consternation. So veddy, veddy British our man Lexington. Indeed.