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More information is now surfacing about newly elected French President Francois Hollande. It’s not that the information was hidden, but now that he has been elected, his calls to aggressively tax the rich have more significance. However, it’s more than aggressively tax the rich. He hates the rich.
According to French journalist Nabila Ramdani, Hollander will “strike fear” in to the “hearts of the rich”:
The 57-year-old Socialist has openly admitted that he “does not like the rich” and declared that “my real enemy is the world of finance”. This means taxing the wealthy by up to 75 per cent, curtailing the activities of Paris as a centre for financial dealing, and ploughing millions into creating more civil service jobs.
This means more than just taxing the wealthy, this means a full on, frontal assault on Capitalism. Certainly, outgoing French President Nicholas Sarkozy was no friend to open markets, but Hollande’s talk is far more ugly, and is reminiscent of the Occupy movement who feel Capitalism is the root of all evil.
Recently, on Sean Hannity’s FOX program “Hannity,” Occupy spokesperson/organizer/anarchist Harrison Schultz stated: (emphasis mine)
Anarchy isn’t easy….The problem here is capitalism. That’s what needs to change. That’s what failing all these people…I’m looking at far far more radical alternatives than political alternatives.
People can have multiple views on what “far, far more radical alternatives” can be. However, Hollande has specific views on those who have attained financial success. Exactly how will Hollande “curtail” financial activities in Paris? What, exactly, will be those civil service jobs that will cost millions of Euros? What will their pensions and benefits be? How will they get paid for in the long term? Already, wealthy French citizens are looking for ways to get out of the country.
When referring to something (in this case, the “world of finance,” which is, to say, Capitalism) as the “enemy,” one can easily assume that your response in how to deal with it will be, like the Occupy movement, a “radical alternative.”
Ramdani also added:
Add an explicit threat to renegotiate the euro pact to replace austerity with “growth-creating” spending, and you have one of the most vehemently left-wing programmes in recent history.
Does “growth-creating spending” equate to stimulus, as has been tried to nil success in the United States? Perhaps: (emphasis mine)
Shortly after his victory…Hollande announced he will make his proposals for a “pact of responsibility, growth and governance”…“Austerity can no longer be the only option,” added the Socialist president-elect.
Stimulating growth through old-style Keynesianism is,however, out of the question: “The means cannot be extra public spending, since we want to rein it in, nor can they be tax relief, which is forbidden,” Hollande told Slate.fr.
All along his presidential campaign he has championed four proposals at European level: increasing the capital of the European Investment Bank (EIB), a financial transaction tax (FTT), remobilising structural funds toward growth and creating eurobonds or project bonds….Bridge-building will be necessary as the new French president is unlikely to settle for non-binding growth measures as was the case at the March European Council. (German Chancellor Angela) Merkel has already invited Hollande to Berlin to hold talks, touted to take place within a week at the earliest. Previously, the chancellor had publicly declared her support for Sarkozy.
Its certainly good to hear that Keynesianism is “out of the question,” but the financial transaction tax in question is definitively Keynesian. It was economist John Maynard Keynes who suggested the tax as a way keeping speculators in check. In 1971, it was again brought forward by American Economist James Tobin, and is often referred to as the Tobin Tax.
President Obama has been echoing the themes put forth by Hollande. The Buffett Rule would add a 30% tax on income over $1 million. His latest budget, based on the idea of “growth,” would add $3.5 trillion to the deficit through 2022. And Obama’s financial reform – The Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act – in their own words, provides “assistance” by, “…imposing tough new capital and leverage requirements that make it undesirable to get too big…” and, “…Strengthens oversight and empowers regulators to aggressively pursue financial fraud, conflicts of interest and manipulation of the system that benefits special interests at the expense of American families and businesses.”
Said another way, it “curtails” the world of finance. There are 183 days until Election Day in the United States.
As reported by USA Today, via The Transom, all types of federal employees – from scientists to custodial staff – have had huge increases in pay over the past five years. As expected, this has made working for the government the “right” decision for recent college graduates:
A 20- to 24-year-old auto mechanic started at an average of $46,427 this year, up from $36,750 five years ago. The government hires about 400 full-time auto mechanics a year….A 30- to 34-year-old lawyer started at an average of $101,045 this year, up from $79,177 five years ago. The government hires about 2,500 lawyers a year. And a mechanical engineer, age 25 to 29, started at $63,675, up from $51,746 in 2006. The government hires about 600 mechanical engineers a year.
On a percentage basis, the average starting wage for a government lawyer is up 27% over five years. A government mechanic? Up 26%. Mechanical engineer? Up 23%. USA Today gives a very interesting rational for the massive increases in government pay; it’s how the job is now classified: (emphasis mine)
The government is classifying more new hires — secretaries, mail clerks, chaplains, laundry workers, electrical engineers and wildlife biologists — as taking more demanding versions of their jobs and deserving more pay.
It is illogical and immoral to assume that a laundry worker or a mail clerk has taken a more “demanding version” of a job in the public sector than those in the private sector. It is illogical because if one believes in equal work for equal pay, then an open market should create a prevailing wage for that job. Certainly, there may be outliers, but the mid-line should have consistency. It is immoral to think that because someone works for the government, that their job will be more demanding. It is immoral to say that because of this lie, that the worker deserves more pay. No one deserves more pay; they either earn more, or they create more value…value that someone will pay for.
Situations like this remind me of my father, who for the majority of my years on planet Earth has been asking a very simple question that focuses on the inevitableness of the big government thesis. He asks the following:
A society has 100 people in it. 50 people work at the hospital, and 50 people are patients in the hospital. Who pays the electric bill in the second week?
My father has asked this question at family gatherings, at talks over coffee and cake, at wedding receptions and at all manner of business meetings where the conversation wandered. People of the political “right” are stunned by its simplicity, and understand near immediately his point. People of the political “left” are simply stunned. They stare at my father as if he was missing his nose; a sense of incredulity and sheer hatred. Then they dismiss him, telling him he is ridiculous.
They never have an answer for the question; that if a society is either being paid by government or taking of government services, and no one is creating the wealth that is required to run those services, then that society is doomed (they can’t pay the electric bill in the second week!)
What is truly ridiculous is the federal government engaging the conversation that their employees are more deserving than private sector employees. What is ridiculous is the leftist mind-set that government can satisfy the needs of man by giving man all of their needs, and the willful ignorance of those who believe in government supremacy; that through government all is possible, and that government jobs create value.
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the federal government employs over 2 million people, and is the largest employer in the US. Though mass retirement was expected before the economic downturn, the majority of government workers are holding on to their jobs, with the quit rate falling 29% since 2007. As reported, “Workers are 13 times more likely to die of natural causes than get laid off from the federal government.” The amount of people making over $100,000 per year has advanced from 12% in 2006 to 22% in 2011.
Margaret Thatcher famously quipped that Socialism is great until you run out of other people’s money. Said another way, it works until you have to pay the electric bill. Which is, to say, it doesn’t.
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Another great show from Tony Katz.
The French, and students in specific, are protesting the raising of the retirement age. When will they learn that you can’t get something for nothing? When will the American Left learn the same?
Victor Davis Hanson returns to talk about those who fail to recognize the greatness of the American Way, and Amy Laff enlightens us on happenings in Arizona.
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