Protesting in Their Birthday Suits

In France, everybody goes on strike now and then. Only entrepreneurs seem to be an eternal exemption, although they have more reason to strike than anyone else, given the forsaken retro-socialistic environment in which they are forced to muddle on. Going Galt anyone? It would be high time, if only to send a signal, but of course entrepreneurs are bearing risks, so this would be a difficult thing for most of them to do.

Anyway, everybody else in France does go on strike now and again, and this time  nude models have decided to remain clothed – no, strike that, they didn't keep their clothes on actually. Mind that these are models for painters, art students and the like, not Playboy bunnies or employees of the Titty Twister. They have a certain advantage: by striking naked, they have managed to attract a lot of attention (including ours).


nudes strikeNude models go on strike in Paris.

(Photo: AP)


So what is it all about? As the Daily Beast reports, the models are temp workers, and although they get a minimum wage of €15/hr. (which strikes us as fairly generous actually, but then again, life in Paris isn't exactly cheap), they have a number of gripes, as their temp status means they don't enjoy many of the other protections France's convoluted code du travail bestows on employees (you can read about this bizarre and economy-destroying piece of legislation that has permanently raised France's level of institutional unemployment to truly shameful levels in a previous article: “France's Sacred Labor Code”)

They do have one complaint which we believe has great merit: the government has simply banned the tradition of the 'cornet' – a tip jar that they used to pass around after finishing a modeling session. The reason for this ban is typical statist tripe, quite disgusting actually. Supposedly, the government “cannot allow people to collect untaxed income in a public building”.


“Proving that there is no French profession immune from collective work stoppages, the country is now facing a potential epidemic of empty sketchbooks and blank canvasses as its nude models threaten to cover up, complaining of low wages and poor working conditions, while also fighting for the state to recognize their work as a serious career rather than a paying hobby or part-time gig.

A group called La Coordination des Modeles recently staged a protest complaining that most life-class nude models are treated as temp workers, with none of the perks afforded most French workers, like job security or vacation pay. And this isn’t the first time the nude models have organized to protest working conditions. La Coordination formed in 2008, after Paris’ city hall—home to the Ministry of Culture and many state-sponsored art classes—banned the tradition of le cornet (or “the paper cone”), a makeshift tip jar passed around the studio to supplement a model’s paltry wages. The ban sparked a naked demonstration outside Paris’ city hall, with dozens of models braving the cold to demand job contracts, higher pay, and more “respect” for their work from the state.

The striking models argued that they relied on the cornet to supplement their near minimum-wage income of €15 per hour (roughly $20), a meager sum for a job that they say requires both artistic and physical skill; holding a pose for three hours at a time for nine-hour days is, they argue, more physically taxing than the manual labor required of other minimum wage workers. As one of the protest organizers told The Guardian, theirs is “a craft that should be respected; not just anyone can take their clothes off and hold a pose." (Roughly 100 nude models refused to attend classes that day).


But rules are rules, and the French government sees an untapped source of tax revenue. “Regarding tips, we can’t let people collect money that’s not taxed while working in a state building,” Christophe Girard, deputy Paris mayor for cultural affairs, told The Guardian.”


(emphasis added)


Capitalist Acts Between Consenting Adults

The French government is obviously not very eager to grant the models full-time employee rights (even though many of them are technically doing this job full-time and are quite correct when they state it is not as easy as it looks). This is mainly because the State itself would then have to pay for all their perks.

As long as private sector employers are forced to pay, the French government has no problem whatsoever with introducing the most absurd labor market distortions. The results speak for themselves: France nowadays has a moribund economy, marked by strong increases in unit labor costs and enormous rates of unemployment.

Regarding the tip jar issue, we would wager that the models used to make far more from these tips than from the perks they would get if they were reclassified as full-time employees. Obviously, no harm would befall France's public buildings if the models were allowed to collect tips. The real question should be: why does the State feel the need to interpose itself and prohibit people from engaging in voluntary capitalist acts between consenting adults? (note: this felicitous phrase was coined by libertarian philosopher Robert Nozick)

This mainly goes to show one thing: a State that promises to give people all sorts of handouts will definitely also greatly abridge their liberty. There is obviously little one can do about this, if one keeps demanding more goodies from the government and keeps assenting to the establishment status quo.



The models are unlikely to succeed, given that their employer is the government. Meanwhile, the tip jar issue is a good reminder of what one must give up when living in a cradle-to-grave nanny state.


"I'm not accusing you of anything, Your Honor. I'm just saying the tip jar may create an impression of impropriety."There are some professions for which tip jars are inappropriate. Nude models aren't one of them.


funny-tip-jarsIt's for a good cause! Please note in this context: donations to not only help children avoid getting mullets, they will also one day help with sending a three-toed sloth into space.

(Photo via / Author unknown)




Emigrate While You Can... Learn More




Dear Readers!

You may have noticed that our so-called “semiannual” funding drive, which started sometime in the summer if memory serves, has seamlessly segued into the winter. In fact, the year is almost over! We assure you this is not merely evidence of our chutzpa; rather, it is indicative of the fact that ad income still needs to be supplemented in order to support upkeep of the site. Naturally, the traditional benefits that can be spontaneously triggered by donations to this site remain operative regardless of the season - ranging from a boost to general well-being/happiness (inter alia featuring improved sleep & appetite), children including you in their songs, up to the likely allotment of privileges in the afterlife, etc., etc., but the Christmas season is probably an especially propitious time to cross our palms with silver. A special thank you to all readers who have already chipped in, your generosity is greatly appreciated. Regardless of that, we are honored by everybody's readership and hope we have managed to add a little value to your life.


Bitcoin address: 12vB2LeWQNjWh59tyfWw23ySqJ9kTfJifA


Your comment:

You must be logged in to post a comment.

Most read in the last 20 days:

  • A Surprise Move in Gold
      Traders and Analysts Caught Wrong-Footed Over the past week gold and gold stocks have been on a tear. It is probably fair to say that most market participants were surprised by this development. Although sentiment on gold was not extremely bearish and several observers expected a bounce, to our knowledge no-one expected this:   Gold stocks (HUI Index) and gold, daily. As noted in the annotation above, a Wells Fargo gold analyst turned bearish at the worst possible moment...
  • May Away
      May Gone in June... Yes, now that June is here, it is indeed the end of May. Theresa May, to be precise, the henceforth former British Prime Minister. After delivering her unparalleled masterclass in “how to completely botch Brexit”, British cartoonists are giving her a well-deserved send-off, which we are documenting below. But first, in case you don't know anything about Ms. May's heroic “Brexit”-related efforts, here is an explanation of how she tried to finagle the best...
  • Elizabeth Warren’s Plan to Bamboozle American Voters
      A Plan for Everything! The run-up to the presidential primaries offers a funhouse reflection of American life.  Presidential hopefuls, hacks, and has-beens turn to focus groups to discover what they think the American electorate wants. Then they distill it down to hollow bumper stickers. After that, they pump their fists and reflect it back with mindless repetition.   A plea for clemency from Mr. 1/1024th crow. [PT]   Change We Can Believe In.  Feel the...
  • Fed Chair Powell’s Plan to Pickle the Economy
      A Loose Relationship The Dow Jones Industrial Average made another concerted run at the elusive 27,000 milestone over the last several weeks.  But, as of this writing, the index has stalled out short of this psychosomatic barrier.  By our estimation, this is for the best.   Since early 2018 the DJIA has gone nowhere, albeit in interesting ways... [PT]   While not always apparent, the stock market generally maintains a loose connection to the underlying...
  • Paul Tudor Jones Likes Gold
      Gold is Paul Tudor Jones' Favorite Trade Over the Coming 12-24 Months In a recent Bloomberg interview, legendary trader and hedge fund manager Paul Tudor Jones was asked what areas of the markets currently offer the best opportunities in his opinion. His reply: “As a macro trader I think the best trade is going to be gold”. The relevant excerpt from the interview can be viewed below (in case the embedded video doesn't work for you, here is a link to the video on...
  • The Italian Job - Precious Metals Supply and Demand
      Lira Comeback? The price of gold jumped 35 bucks last week, and that of silver 48 cents. The dollar is now down to 23 milligrams of gold. Keith is on the road this week, so we will just comment on one thing. If Italy is serious about moving back to the lira, that will make the euro less sound (to say nothing of the lira). That will drive people mostly to the dollar, but also to gold.   Italian deputy prime minister Matteo Salvini (as the leader of the Lega party he is...
  • Bitcoin: What is the Best Day of the Week to Buy?
      Shifting Patterns In the last issue of Seasonal Insights I have discussed Bitcoin’s seasonal pattern in the course of a year. In this issue I will show an analysis of the returns of bitcoin on individual days of the week.   Bitcoin, daily – since bottoming in early December, BTC has advanced quite a bit. It remains an excellent trading sardine. [PT]   It seems to me that Bitcoin is particularly interesting for this type of study: it exhibits spectacular price...
  • Feeling the Heat of a Civilization on the Downside
      An Epic Folly for the Ages Today we begin with a list.  A partial list.  And in no particular order... Angela Merkel. Donald Tusk. Mario Draghi. Donald Trump. Jerome Powell.  Shinzo Abe.  Haruhiko Kuroda.  Theresa May. Boris Johnson. Mark Carney. Xi Jinping.  Emmanuel Macron.  Vladimir Putin. Justin Trudeau. Juan Trump.  And many, many more...   Politicians and bureaucrats of the modern age of statism and central planning... fighting a rearguard action...
  • Silver Remains a Monetary Metal - Precious Metals Supply and Demand
      Silver Price Driven by Reservation Demand The price of gold went up a buck last week, but the price of silver dropped back 13 cents. And the gold-silver ratio marches further upwards. Keith spoke at a conference this week, about how to analyze the fundamentals of supply and demand in gold and silver. He talked about the basis of course.   Silver coins – silver prices are partly influenced by an industrial demand component, but the fact that they move most of the time with...
  • “We’re All Socialists Now”
      An Ominous Sign of Things to Come Despite being probably robbed of the Democratic Party’s nomination by the Clinton political machine, the success of the Bernie Sanders’ 2016 campaign with his advocacy of “democratic socialism” was an ominous sign of things to come and, in some sense, more telling of the political climate than Donald Trump’s improbable victory in November, 2016.   Bernie Sanders, yet another professional finger-wagger (he is actually famous for his...
  • How Do Stock Prices React to Rate Cuts by the Fed?
      The “Greatest Economy in History” Stumbles “This is the greatest economy in the history of our country”, Donald Trump opined just a few months ago. Alas, recently there is growing evidence of an economic slowdown.   The Morgan Stanley MSBCI business conditions gauge plummets to its lowest level since 2008, as recent economic data releases ominously persist in disappointing. [PT]   This has fueled speculation of imminent rate cuts by the Fed. You may...

Support Acting Man

Austrian Theory and Investment


The Review Insider


Dog Blow

THE GOLD CARTEL: Government Intervention on Gold, the Mega Bubble in Paper and What This Means for Your Future

Realtime Charts


Gold in USD:

[Most Recent Quotes from]



Gold in EUR:

[Most Recent Quotes from]



Silver in USD:

[Most Recent Quotes from]



Platinum in USD:

[Most Recent Quotes from]



USD - Index:

[Most Recent USD from]


Mish Talk

Buy Silver Now!
Buy Gold Now!