Tuesday, 15 January 2008

Homeless in Paris

Don't Smile
Originally uploaded by malias.

A question that always puzzles me is why, in France and Paris in particular are there so many homeless people. France has one of the best welfare systems in the world and the taxes each individual has to pay is phenomenal.

Despite the arrival of Sarkozy France is still the most socialist of the western democracies. London on the other hand is a bastion of captialism with relatively low taxation and fewer safety nets for the poor. And yet there are far more homeless people in Paris than in London. On every street, on the metro, by the canal, in the parks they are everywhere. I can't explain this paradox. I hope someone else can.

Paris is an exciting place to live but what I know is that it's far more difficult to make a living here than most other places (especially London which is most familiar to me). If for example you have to rely on a salary as an English teacher (professeur d'anglais Paris) from a language school as many ex-pats do, it's difficult. At the end of the month your net wage doesn't go very far.

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