CAPITALISTS USE MONEY, SOCIALISTS THROW IT AWAY
March 12, 2012 12 Comments
Winston Churchill said
“The best argument against democracy is a five minute conversation with the average voter”.
The average voter in France appears to be heading towards handing over the country to the Socialists, seemingly more as a way of showing their distaste for Nicolas Sarkozy, the Centre-Right incumbent President, rather than any specific appeal of the Socialist agenda nor its candidate Francois Hollande, nicknamed Monsieur Flamby (Mr. Pudding), as much for his flabby political beliefs as for his long time rotundness. (See “A Dummy’s Guide to French Politics” posted 28th November, 2011).
If he does win it will mean that France will join the only four other countries in the world who currently openly describe themselves as Socialist being China, Laos, Vietnam and Cuba … a great club to join, and with even some other French speakers in the group.
Hollande’s answer to solving France’s economic difficulties, like all socialist governments worldwide before him, is to increase taxes and to massively increase the number of public sector employees, seemingly in an attempt to ensure that any incremental tax trove is spent without delivering any increase in productive useable output nor any nett national value.To make it even harder for France economically he has also said that he will roll back the retirement age from 62 to 60, heading in the opposite direction to every other country in the world generally moving to 67 based on inreasing life expectancies and diminishing workforces.
Earners over € 1 million annually in France will be taxed at 75% but not in an attempt to “soak” high income earners, but as a way of allowing them to be patriotic (Hollande’s words not mine). The standard marginal tax rate will also be increased from 41% to 45%, as well as proposed increases in Capital Gains tax and Wealth tax, which I consider to be one of the greatest despicable examples of state sponsored theft.
Taxes will also be raised on evil (but as yet undefined) “big business” to ensure that they do not have the ability to generate any jobs that would actually add to the country’s wealth or long term well-being, and which will ensure that businesses keep moving everything that can be moved to overseas locations, including their executive teams who will be branded as non-Patriots because they do not wish to pay 75% in income tax.
Interestingly, I believe it will also have quite some impact on France’s second most popular sport of soccer (the first being the holding of national worker’s strikes) as high paid French soccer stars have to weigh up the price of this new definition of patriotism, being the right to pay the 75% income tax on their inflated salaries(which only they and a diminishing number of executives will have to pay).
I had always believed that patriotism needed to be a widespread national initiative rather than just the sorting out of some individuals from the herd for a sacrifice that others will not be asked to make.
London already has a French expatriate population of 400,000 making it France’s sixth largest city, and Hong Kong which had a handful of French expatriates 10 years ago, now has over 10,000 and is growing at an estimated rate of 60% annually. In fact whereas the French long had a reputation of not readily leaving home, beyond the occasional colonial foray, France now has nearly 3 million expatriates globally, who I am sure will think twice before rushing back home, despite the strong attraction of foiegras and boudin noir, which can now be sourced anywhere in the world anyway.
Hollande’s fundamental platform also includes hiring 210,000 additional civil servants including creating 60,000 new teaching positions, as well as rescinding the Sarkozy government initiative of allowing only one replacement for every two civil servants who retire. In a country where over 20% of French workers are in government sponsored jobs, with another 20% in the educational sector, plus more in government owned enterprises (compared with 8% total in US), it is hard to understand the benefit to the country in increasing the number of jobs somehow paid for by the taxpayers.
The last time the Socialists had control of the country was when Francois Mitterand became President in 1981 and the Socialists dominated all aspects of French politics after having been in opposition since 1958. They immediately nationalised 12 of the largest industrial companies in France giving the government control of industries as diverse as telephone and telecommunications, iron and steel, electric power, pharmaceuticals and chemicals, electronics, aeronautics, gas, coal, railways and transportation as well as large parts of the banking sector such as the BNP. They also implemented a major spending spree that quickly brought the country to its knees and by 1983 had to be curtailed and replaced with an era of austerity to try and bring the country back to some measure of fiscal stability.
After having seen so many socialist governments get it so very wrong so many times, in so many countries, how can the French people not see past Hollande’s crash diet, new suit and hyped up marketing, and remember that socialists always tend to fatten up again when they do get their snouts into the trough? (See “Are we Students or Prisoners of History?” posted 13 February, 2012).
It is unfortunate that Sarkozy managed to create an image that made him look like a lightweight playboy to French voters, as he has shown considerable leadership in many ways including attempts to contain the euro crisis and to keep France afloat despite the loss of the AAA rating during his term. The Socialists, in contrast, have already announced that they will renegotiate the EU Fiscal Compact which will deal another blow to weakened European unity and to the health of the ailing Eurozone currency.
Francois Hollande has also said that he will pass legislation that will allow euthanasia for the terminally ill.
Unfortunately, in France, euthanasia may also become one viable exit option for more than just the terminally ill, as the socialists never seem to learn that there will never be enough tax-take that can be squeezed from its citizens nor from a diminishing and penalised business community needed to support an exploding public sector with its incumbent spiralling costs and bottomless pensions pit.
David Horowitz, American writer and reformed Leftist, said it best
“In practice, socialism didn’t work. But socialism could never have worked because it is based on false premises about human psychology and society, and gross ignorance of human economy”