Skip to comments.Vote in French presidential election should be a warning for America
Posted on 05/07/2012 6:37:38 AM PDT by neverdem
The French have now elected a socialist government. This event should be instructive to us.
France currently has a government that absorbs more than 50 percent of its economy. They have a cradle-to-grave employment system, where once you have a job it is virtually impossible to lose it no matter your level of performance.
The retirement system for many union and government employees allows a person to retire at age 55 at close to full pay. For a while they had in place a 35-hour work-week law, which is still followed by many businesses and government entities.
With these types of policies, it would seem difficult to imagine what a socialist government would change. But there is still room for movement to the left, according to the folks who are running.
One candidate, who was eliminated from Sundays runoff but whose ideas linger on, proposed that all income above $350,000 should go to the government. A cause célèbre of the campaign has been a $22 million euro bonus which reflected in large part accrued, deferred compensation paid to the head of one of Frances fastest growing and most profitable companies that has added hundreds of new jobs.
It was considered by all the candidates for the French presidency to be excessive compensation that should be taxed away.
The reason this is instructive is that it reflects the fact that there is a point of critical mass. If a culture gets to a position where your vote establishes your income, then it becomes rather reasonable to expect a massive growth in government, the outer limits of which have not even been reached in France.
The effect of this will not be apparent for a while. But the outcome is inevitable.
First, the government runs up massive debts to pay for its expenditures. When adding debt can no longer be done conveniently, it turns to a dramatically progressive tax policy. Both of these steps, when coupled with an irrational retirement system, lead to a dramatic drop in the productivity of the society and an inevitable resulting drop in the standard of living for all.
Ironically, all this is done under the banner of fairness and equality.
It is obvious that voting for ones living is a great deal easier than working for it. It is easier to blame someone else who is wealthier for a reduction in the standard of living than to look in the mirror and ask hard questions about the nature and effect an expansionist government has on the quality of life in a society in general.
The driver of this process is at its most basic level envy. In a democratic system it is very simple to claim, for what seems like a long time, that if you just take more from your neighbor, you will be able to live better.
But in the end reality has a way of setting in. Countries that choose this path see that, rather than all the boats rising on the incoming tide of massive government expansion in the name of goodness and light, the boats actually start to wallow and the wealth of the society as a whole begins to erode significantly.
Rather than being lifted up through greater productivity and economic growth, the society becomes mired in finger pointing where the many, through their politicians, blame the few.
It has been a long time getting there, but France now seems to be on the final leg of this journey of self-delusion and self-destruction. The world is becoming more and more competitive, with no time for the self-indulgent as nations seek better lifestyles for their people. The politics of envy and the real reduction in competitiveness of the French society is clearly placing France and many nations in Europe at a tipping point.
They have dealt themselves a losing hand. We should simply observe, note it and hopefully choose not to play the same cards.
Judd Gregg is a former governor and three-term senator from New Hampshire who served as chairman and ranking member of the Senate Budget Committee and as ranking member of the Senate Appropriations subcommittee on Foreign Operations. He also is an international adviser to Goldman Sachs.
They’re just doing what we did in 2008.
France.....every once in awhile, they go insane.
This is what happens when the freeloaders (”garbage dump bears”) wanting a government that gives them “free stuff” outnumber the producers, workers and taxpayers.
The communist playbook.
“This is what happens when the freeloaders (garbage dump bears) wanting a government that gives them free stuff outnumber the producers, workers and taxpayers.”
See the once great United States, circa May, 2012.
My first thought exactly ‘ is this how the free loaders here in USA will act.
Vote to keep their” freebies” instad of working.
It is a genuine fear
“Julia” will be volunteering for 0dumbo
France surrenders again.
What is it exactly that people think they are going to get out of a Utopian society, which is really what this “fairness” crap is about? I don’t see how it could ultimately ever work here in America. Socialist countries have mostly always been socialist countries. On the other hand, most of us were born “free”. We don’t know what that looks like, really. And I can’t imagine people standing for it for long. Not the producers anyway.
I mean seriously, these elitists in this country don’t even understand what it is they are really talking about. Do we think for even one iota of a second that people like P Diddy are going to give up all they have so that they can live “equal” to everyone else. LOL Yeah, right.
France will fall. German troops will once again invade Paris. With characteristic calculation, the Germans withheld automatic citizenship from their Gastarbeiter. With characteristic slovenliness the French didn’t. The French learned nothing from history. The Germans did.
These aren’t your father’s Germans. They will go Muzzie right after France does.
We could very well see the seeds sprouting in the next few months.
One candidate, who was eliminated from Sundays runoff but whose ideas linger on, proposed that all income above $350,000 should go to the government.
Wonder how long before businesses move to another country,echo’s of Obama ring.
Since we have two socialists running for President, it's a bit late to learn any lessons from it.
I predicted that the French would do this the day Sarkozy signed the bill raising their retirement age to 62.
The ability to retire early is considered a “human right” in France. Now they will have the “notch baby” problem of what to do with everyone who has turned 60 since Sarkozy signed the bill.
The German people are fed up with having to carry the lazy slackers and moochers of much of the rest of the EU.
Reminds me of the old joke:
Know why the French have all those trees lining their boulevards?
So the Germans could march in the shade.
Our depression will start the day after Obama’s re-election. Employers ought to be upfront with their employees and tell them that they may be out of business shortly after the election.
Sorry, I think your time-frame is a bit off....by almost 100 years.
16th & 17th, Fed Res Act, SS Act; here’s where it all started for us (Though, I could also point it was the Civil War when we ‘lost’ our Republic)
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