Saturday, April 26, 2014

The Big, Bad Market: A French Psychosis?

Mises Daily: Friday, April 25, 2014 by Louis Rouanet

There is a cliché according to which the French are genetically against classical liberalism and free-market economics. However, that wasn’t always the case. At the end of the 19th century and the beginning of the 20th century, most French politicians and bureaucrats admitted that the State is globally inefficient and should be as small as possible.

Even a large number of leftists, inspired by the anarcho-socialist Pierre Joseph Proudhon, were strongly opposed to taxation and big government. They criticized the wastefulness and the parasitism of the State. In his Théorie de l’impôt (Theory of Taxation) published in 1861, Proudhon described taxation as an “illusion” and accused the progressive income tax of being a “joujou fiscal” (tax plaything) used by self-proclaimed progressives in order to amuse the people. Opposition to income tax was so strong in France that it was fervently rejected, and almost created an outcry.

The libertarian politician and economist Yves Guyot was fiercely opposed to income tax and did much for the cause of liberty. In 1898, he wrote “Les tribulations de M. Faubert” (“Tribulations of Mr. Faubert”), in which he warned about the danger of income taxes to liberty and prosperity. The income tax appeared in France in 1914 (after the United States!) along with the war and the decline of the French school of political economy……To Read More….

My Take - So who needs polls to determine what a spoiled child thinks about responsibilities. Polls, philosophy....all hoohaw!  This mentality among the French is easy to explain. It's the, "What came first, the chicken or the egg?" argument. The French have been inundated with an, "I deserve free stuff" social justice mentality for so long they now morally believe they should receive without delivering.  First they had to be convinced they're morally freed from the responsibility of paying for services, they then had to be convinced there should be laws requiring others - presumably  unendingly vilified rich – to pay for all their “socially responsible” benefits.  And that's been the theme since WWII. 
 
But there's a problem with all these socialist schemes - eventually they will run out of other people’s money, either by bankrupting them or forcing them to leave the country in order to avoid bankruptcy.  Either way, the French have been trained to act like spoiled children who have never heard the word "no".  Once they have been taught to be spoiled no leader can pull back on the reins and deliver the necessary restraint.  It's just like a union president standing up before his membership and declaring they're going to sign a new contract that keeps the wages and benefits the same because they're getting all they deserve and no more.  Before he finished that sentence he would be dragged off the stage and another would be in his place who would loudly declare how the union needs to rape the company.....to the cheers of his membership.   
 
But the day is coming when the bills are going to come due, not only for France, all the E.U. countries, Russia, China....and the U.S. as well.  Spoiling children carries serious penalties that always come due.    
 

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