FRANCE: The Good Life Returns

Confronted with Paris' stiff prices, many a visiting American has wondered how the French manage to live at all well on their monthly salaries, which average far below U.S. scales. The answer is that Frenchmen do not get by on their salaries alone. Thanks to an elaborate system of vacation bonuses, workers receive up to 14 months' pay a year. Fringe benefits—from subsidized lunches to company-paid housing—are far more generous than those in the U.S. or Britain. Today Frenchmen are more than ever enjoying the good life, evident in the brisk trade...

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