Tarry for the Nonce

January 29, 2009

Revolution . . . Or Something

Filed under: Uncategorized — lmwalker @ 8:07 pm

I’ve had an increasing number of discussions with friends and acquaintances and discovered – with a fair amount of dismay, I admit – to how many of them identify themselves as Socialists. I spoke to one friend last night who advocates a world government. (I don’t think he realizes that he himself is in the top 10% of the world’s population in terms of wealth.) His grand scheme is to tax everything above $1,000,000 at 90% and then redistribute it to the poor, but I can’t quite follow the logic where small business owners are concerned. If an individual is limited to $1,000,000, what possible motivation do they have to enterprise and entrepreneur (and create jobs in the process)? Perhaps Socialists simply find the concept of small business initiative to be fundamentally flawed.

In any case, my confusion was only reinforced today by the French today. They left their jobs to take to the streets to protest their lack of job security.

Specific demands included better pay and conditions for public transport workers and the abandonment of plans to reform hospitals, cut 13,500 jobs in education this year and change the status of the state-owned post office.

Apparently, they would prefer to see their country bankrupt. Amusingly, they blame the United States:

“This crisis comes from the United States, it’s the financial bubble that is bursting. It’s not for the workers to pay for that,” he said as crowds gathered at the Place de la Bastille in Paris, birthplace of the French Revolution.

So – if I understand this correctly – our (theoretically) capitalist nation is responsible for the financial crisis in (socialist) France. Without dismissing the obvious impact that the United States economy downturn has on the world, why is it our fault that France has spent itself into a recession? We’ve got our own problems to worry about. And how do the French rationalize less production as a means of helping their own economy?

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3 Comments »

  1. France is a socialist state?

    Comment by Howard The Social Liberal — January 29, 2009 @ 8:45 pm

  2. No. They are a republic. Their public policy is socialist, however, thanks to the sweeping nationalization of companies in the early 1980s through the reforms of François Mitterand and the Parti Socialiste in power at the time.

    Personally, I don’t think the nation will ever recover from the damage that was done.

    Comment by lmwalker — January 29, 2009 @ 9:35 pm

  3. I don’t think that it is very controversial to say that the collapse of the financial system in the United States is primarily responsible for the global recession. There is a lot going on, but that aspect of it is hard to ignore!

    It would be a shame if the excesses of our own unfettered financial markets results in a regulatory overreaction that smothers the free market and eliminates the incentives to make profits, develop new technologies, improve lives, etc. But, people just don’t want to go through the pain, so they’ll (apparently) gladly surrender their economic liberty in exchange for the government’s protection. We saw another form of the same thing after 9/11.

    Comment by Troy — February 3, 2009 @ 7:21 am


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