We are a commune of inquiring, skeptical, politically centrist, capitalist, anglophile, traditionalist New England Yankee humans, humanoids, and animals with many interests beyond and above politics. Each of us has had a high-school education (or GED), but all had ADD so didn't pay attention very well, especially the dogs. Each one of us does "try my best to be just like I am," and none of us enjoys working for others, including for Maggie, from whom we receive neither a nickel nor a dime. Freedom from nags, cranks, government, do-gooders, control-freaks and idiots is all that we ask for.
Here’s a question I would like to ask François Hollande (I’d like to ask it of Barack Obama, too): just where does he think money comes from? I sometimes wonder if socialists suffer under a species of arrested development. Some credulous children believe that the stork brings babies. So it is that socialists tend to believe that money comes from “the rich.” Need some dough for your social program? Simple, take it from “the rich” (however you define that elastic category) and give it to someone else via a government bureaucracy you have set up.
But what happens when the rich cease to be rich? What then?
Certainly, the steep austerity policies have in Portugal, Spain and Greece only produced bigger deficits as tax revenues have fallen. But what really matters is that Europeans more and more are coming to see the E.U. and the policies it enforces as counter to their interests and harmful.
As economic freedom declines, EU member states are becoming less and less competitive on the world stage, while emerging economies from Asia to South America are gaining ground. Decades of big government policies have now brought several European economies to their knees. Soaring taxes, spiraling unemployment, mountains of red tape, stifling labour regulations, and ruinous levels of public spending needed to fund vast and unsustainable welfare states and entitlement programmes have created a perfect storm of economic malaise. And France is a potent symbol of that decline, with huge levels of public debt, now standing at more than 80 percent of GDP, government spending at 55 percent of GDP, and a tax burden equivalent to 42 percent of total domestic income.
In addition, Western Europe’s problems have been exacerbated by the relentless centralisation of political and economic power in Brussels, which has added layers of suffocating regulations for businesses operating within the EU, as well as onerous regulations on financial institutions, while the single currency has made it increasingly difficult for national leaders to address their own countries’ economic woes.
When politicians take money from the rich, they spend it to buy votes to remain in office.
When politicians do not take money from the rich, the rich invest it in the private sector, creating nongovernmental jobs.
Which is the better investment?
It seems to me that those in the government, and their "not for profit" allies, have done very well during this downturn. I can understand why they see no need, either in Europe or the U.S., to alter a formula that has worked rather well for them for quite some numbers of years now.
The modern era is said to've begun with the French Revolution. I guess one could say, the Inner Party (the aristocracy) fumbled and let the bourgeoisie (the Outer Party) and the sans culottes (the Proles) make an alliance.
Nowadays, the bloody lesson learned, it's all refined --one could say, the 10-15% permanent unemployed are, from the inner party point of view, a freebie as they're supported by the outer party's labor, via the inner party's tax directives.
And at 10-15% their number constitutes a reserve army capable of a Reign of Terror --the potential of which is plenty to keep the outer and inner parties in workable alliance.
Somehow, both very low and very high unemployment threaten the inner party, maybe because both conditions tend to ally the outer party and the proles --tho in vastly different movements.
We should remember that Sarkozy was simply a slightly less
leftward socialist. Only Le Pen could have saved them from the Islamic takeover and, as usual, the Frogs pressed the "Surrender" button. Au revoir.