The war between expropriators and producers has taken a wholly expected turn in France. The recently-elected socialist government announced plans to slap a 75 percent tax rate on the dwindling number of its citizens who make more than a million euros (about $1.2 million). Obamanomics on the Continent!
France’s GDP in 2011 was about $2.776 trillion. Government revenues were $1.386 trillion. You’d think that taking half of the wealth generated in the country would be enough for the politicians. But no! They spent $1.535 trillion, resulting in a huge budget deficit. The government debt now is pushing 90 percent of GDP. And the economy is a mess.
For decades the political parties have traded positions in power. But even so-called conservative governments at best have slowed the growth of state controls on the economy and the looting of the more prosperous citizens in order to transfer wealth to those who did not earn it.
In the past decade one French government policy sought to spur job creation by cutting the work week to 35 hours, but keeping salaries the same, and punishing anyone who worked too much, supposedly to force employers to hire more workers. But paying them how? Off what magic tree would employers pick money for salaries? Blank out. Yes, that’s how self-deluded socialists and welfare statists are! Needless to say, unemployment in France has been at 9 percent or more for the past decade.
Even if the French citizens targeted by 75 percent tax acquiesce in their own despoilment, the resulting revenue would barely make a dent in the budget deficit. In any case, a growing number of those potential victims are likely to flee the country or retire from productive work. Atlas will shrug, there will be even fewer victims to loot, and France will follow the downward spiral of Greece and other collapsing Euro-economies.
The 2012 American elections are also a battle between expropriators and producers. President Obama promotes the same policies that are destroying the economies of Europe, using the same appeals to guilt and envy that destroy personal autonomy, independence, and pride in the human soul. Only enough producers voting this fall for their right to their own lives will keep the guillotine from their necks.
For further reading:
Edward Hudgins, " France Fried: The 2012 Elections & Return to Socialism." May 8, 2012.
Edward Hudgins, " France Labors at Folly ." March 29, 2006.
Edward Hudgins is research director at the Heartland Institute and former director of advocacy and senior scholar at The Atlas Society.