France goes full socialist

posted at 5:21 pm on June 18, 2012 by Erika Johnsen

While certain other European countries continue to reel from the effects of their spending-happy policies (Spain, Italy, Greece, etcetera — I’m looking at you), France decided to just throw caution to the wind on Sunday, declaring loudly and proudly: “No austerity for us, thanks.”

In the May presidential election, France voted out “right-winger” Nicolas Sarkozy and voted in socialist Francois Hollande. He promised tax hikes and job creation, and asked French voters to provide him a majority in parliament so he could guide them through the eurozone crisis — and did they ever.

Sunday’s parliamentary run-off saw the Socialists — who already dominate the upper house Senate — win 314 of the Assembly’s 577 seats, enough to form a majority without the complication of support from the Greens or far left.

“Forty days after giving the keys to the Elysee to Francois Hollande for five years, the French people have given him all the means to exercise power,” business newspaper Les Echos wrote on Monday.

Left-leaning newspaper Liberation hailed the result as an “impressive wave” of support for the Socialists, saying they would enjoy a “hypermajority” in parliament.

The right-wing UMP party of ex-president Nicolas Sarkozy, whom Hollande defeated in last month’s presidential vote, and its allies were reduced to only 229 seats after dominating parliament for the last five years. …

The result will strengthen Hollande’s hand as he faces off with eurozone paymaster Germany in his effort to shift the bloc’s economic focus from fiscal austerity to growth.

Ahh, yes, because as we can all so clearly see, higher taxes always encourage economic growth and more government spending is a great way to pay off the debt. …Or something.

Although Greece’s elections were much in the news on Sunday because of their severely imminent debt crisis, Greece has a relatively tiny economy — whereas France is running the euro’s second-largest economy. Their fiscal future, along with the deepening worries over the troubles in Spain’s fourth-largest euro economy, will be much more dire to the fate of the euro than Greece’s. This resounding choice to reject austerity does not bode well.


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I just posted all my WW11 french military rifles for sale on Ebay.
Like new
never fired
only dropped once

Bacon4allah on June 18, 2012 at 6:19 PM

Well to France’s credit, and surrender monkey jokes aside, by and large they do pay for their own national defense. Unlike most of our NATO “allies” who like to live under our umbrella.

MJBrutus on June 18, 2012 at 6:20 PM

A little long and dated, but applies even more now….

Better a True Socialist Takes France Over the Cliff Than a Failed Conservative

It would be understandable for those American conservatives who take an interest in goings-on in Europe (and I appreciate that many will have grown bored of the regular announcements that the debt-mired continent has been ‘saved’, followed a few days later by the news that it’s once again at the brink) to root instinctively for Nicolas Sarkozy in France’s presidential election run-off a week on Sunday.

As Michel Gurfinkiel writes, Sarokozy, of the nominally conservative UMP, finished narrowly behind the Socialist Party’s Francois Hollande in yesterday’s first round of voting. The outcome of the run-off will depend on how many votes each can pick up from the eliminated candidates.

Opinion polls, which called the first round pretty accurately, suggest a win for Hollande, and crunching the numbers he appears to have a slight edge; factor in Sarkozy’s personal unpopularity and the ‘throw the bums out’ mood of French voters and the margin grows. Sarkozy could still turn things around; however, from a conservative viewpoint, his defeat would be no bad thing.

When Sarkozy came to power in 2007 he was hailed in some quarters as a French Reagan or Thatcher, the man who would finally take on the unions and other vested interests to cut taxes, reform the public services and free businesses and industry from burdensome regulations.

He made some progress, but was thrown off course when the financial crisis hit in 2008. Sarkozy soon reverted to the time-honored French policies of state intervention, or dirigisme, raising taxes and clamping down on what he called the “dictatorship of the market”. Acknowledging this change of direction he even mused “Have I become a socialist? Perhaps.” From the French Reagan to the French Bernie Sanders in a little over a year.
Sarkozy was pushed further to the left by the rise of Hollande, who has promised big increases in state spending, 60,000 new teaching jobs (Sarkozy had promised 100,000 new state-subsidized jobs), a rise in the minimum wage and a 75% top tax rate on high earners (sound familiar?). He’s also pledged to scrap Sarkozy’s modest proposal to raise the retirement age from 60 to 62.

While it’s tempting to leave French voters to choose their poison, the result of this election will have implications for the rest of Europe and beyond. While Sarkozy has so far gone along with Germany in promoting austerity-led policies in a bid to tackle Europe’s sovereign debt crisis, Hollande favors an approach based on more borrowing and more spending to promote growth – precisely the policies that brought ruin to Greece and now threaten Italy and Spain. He’s also pledged to ‘renegotiate’ the Fiscal Compact that Europe’s leaders signed in March, which holds nations to strict deficit limits.

As this Wall Street Journal analysis makes clear, France is already heading for the edge of the fiscal cliff; the only question is how quickly it gets there. Yesterday’s victory for Hollande caused European stocks to fall, and if he prevails in the run-off and makes good on his promises, the bond markets could soon begin to take a tougher line with France, as they have with Europe’s southern nations (French banks are already dangerously exposed to Spanish and Italian debt).

A Sarkozy win would postpone the day of reckoning, but if he continues to pursue his socialist-lite polices then France will eventually find itself facing a Greek-style crisis either way. That would hasten a radical restructuring, and perhaps the break-up, of the single currency eurozone, which in turn would drive another nail into the coffin of the European welfare state model – which the eurozone has helped to sustain way beyond its sell-by date by propping up the continent’s weaker countries with borrowed money.

That’s an outcome fiscal conservatives both in Europe and the US should welcome, and if Mitt Romney is elected in November the opportunity will exist to once again demonstrate the superiority of America’s free-market model for those who need persuading, or reminding. And when France goes over the cliff it will be better to have a full-throated socialist in the driver’s seat than a discredited conservative.

We’ve bailed your derrieres out twice now. So, pardon us, why we engage in a peu SCHADENFREUDE!

Après Sarkozy, Le Déluge. Viva M Hollande – L’homme, Qui Va Détruire La France!

(After Sarkozy, The Deluge. Viva M Holland – The Man, Who Is Going To Destroy France!)

Resist We Much on June 18, 2012 at 6:20 PM

I’m not sure how connected we are to the French economy, but it’s time to push them out of the nest.

BKeyser on June 18, 2012 at 6:21 PM

Is her Grand Dad the infamous fascist?

MJBrutus on June 18, 2012 at 6:09 PM

Her grandfather is Jean-Marie Le Pen. It’s true he has become a radical statist nativist obsessed by immigration, law&order and, sadly, anti-semitism – after starting his career as the “Reaganite before Reagan”. Notwithstanding, calling him fascist is a gross mislabelling his political views. But yeah, that’s probably who you were thinking about.

Marion is far less toxic.

joana on June 18, 2012 at 6:21 PM

What’s the old saw about why the French streets are tree lined,so the Germans can march in the shade.

docflash on June 18, 2012 at 6:22 PM

I’ve seen this movie before…

… It does not end well for them.

Seven Percent Solution on June 18, 2012 at 5:44 PM

…I’m loading up on popcorn, skittles, and 60 ouncers to watch though! (you still got lotion?…they may need it!)

KOOLAID2 on June 18, 2012 at 6:22 PM

Finally! A Socialist Utopia that our Liberals can get behind. Hopefully after November they can pack up and move there in droves.

ghostwalker1 on June 18, 2012 at 6:28 PM

The French lunatic asylum is fully operational. It it time for the Germans and the rest of the countries in the Eurozone that believe in working for a living to withdraw from this failed experiment. Goods and services come with a cost and are not to given away by an overly generous government, even if it is democratically elected.

SC.Charlie on June 18, 2012 at 6:31 PM

The Nation of France, doubling down on stupid.

Can’t say that surprises me all that much.

Hopefully America won’t follow suit.

Meople on June 18, 2012 at 6:34 PM

how about a little joke to lighten up the mood of this depressing thread?

why is the champs-elysees lined with trees?

so the germans can march in the shade.

renalin on June 18, 2012 at 6:36 PM

Her grandfather is Jean-Marie Le Pen. It’s true he has become a radical statist nativist obsessed by immigration, law&order and, sadly, anti-semitism – after starting his career as the “Reaganite before Reagan”. Notwithstanding, calling him fascist is a gross mislabelling his political views. But yeah, that’s probably who you were thinking about.

Marion is far less toxic.

joana on June 18, 2012 at 6:21 PM

Call him what you will. Being a Jew myself, I have to confess that being an anti-semite is kind of a big thing for me. Actually it’s a deal breaker and I don’t care whether he would have been able to make the trains run on time.

I don’t know a thing about Marion and hope that far less toxic means VERY far.

MJBrutus on June 18, 2012 at 6:38 PM

Like new
never fired
only dropped once

Bacon4allah on June 18, 2012 at 6:19 PM

There are many who have served with the French in Afghanistan fairly recently who might take issue with your joke. The performance of the French and German forces were practically reversed from their historical behaviors.

crosspatch on June 18, 2012 at 6:41 PM

Call him what you will. Being a Jew myself, I have to confess that being an anti-semite is kind of a big thing for me. Actually it’s a deal breaker and I don’t care whether he would have been able to make the trains run on time.

I don’t know a thing about Marion and hope that far less toxic means VERY far.

MJBrutus on June 18, 2012 at 6:38 PM

Well, it’s a big thing for me too. That doesn’t make one a fascist. There are fascists who aren’t anti-semites and plenty of anti-semites who aren’t fascists.

I’m not friends with anti-semites. Already said she’s exceptionally intelligent.

joana on June 18, 2012 at 6:43 PM

The very first post beat me to it, quoting “Tropic Thunder”.

BigFluffyClouds on June 18, 2012 at 6:45 PM

Well after January old bammy can head over there and assimilate very easily ……..

angrymike on June 18, 2012 at 6:53 PM

I can’t lay my hands on the stats right now but I saw them right after the election. Hollande was voted in by the Muslims, pure and simple. They all voted for him, and without their votes Sarkozy would have won.

YehuditTX on June 18, 2012 at 6:53 PM

I can’t lay my hands on the stats right now but I saw them right after the election. Hollande was voted in by the Muslims, pure and simple. They all voted for him, and without their votes Sarkozy would have won.

YehuditTX on June 18, 2012 at 6:53 PM

Probably. Muslims voted 9/10 for Hollande. If 2 million of them voted, that would be a +1.6 million gap and Holland won by 1.1 million.

Muslims are a challenged for right-wing parties in Europe. They vote massively for left-wing parties and are a growing demographic. The right will need to close the gap with them.

joana on June 18, 2012 at 7:03 PM

Here ya go:

Photos of huge crowds on election night with various Muslim-nation flags.

YehuditTX on June 18, 2012 at 7:04 PM

What’s exactly your point? Do you want them to purge their citizens of Muslim faith? Taking away their right to vote? Concentration camps?

Muslim-Americans were a reliable Republican constituency for years. There’s no reason why Muslins can’t vote for right-wing parties. Their social conservatism, religiosity and the Arabic culture of entrepreneurship makes them more naturally inclined to vote right than left.

joana on June 18, 2012 at 7:08 PM

This is what I was looking for. Here’s the photo with the money quote:

This photo was taken at La Bastille Plaza in Paris during the election celebration for the comrade socialist president Hollande. See any French flags? Anywhere? Actually, there is ONE towards the bottom right. The other flags are in order of appurtenance, Palestinian (2 flags top right+1 center left), Algerian, Turkish (towards center), Syrian (towards left of pic + below Palestinian flag), Moroccan (w. star in center), and European Union flag. The other flags I can’t recognize, there are also Syndicates or Unions’ flags. That’s France in a nutshell.

YehuditTX on June 18, 2012 at 7:09 PM

Joana, that photo and caption explain the concern. See any French flags? If 93% of a special interest group, which in France is already violent and intolerant and refuses to assimilate, vote for the guy who promises to give them goodies, that’s a problem.

Most Muslims, like other immigrants to America, assimilate and want to be Americans. They don’t in France.

YehuditTX on June 18, 2012 at 7:13 PM

France is gonna have a Barackapalooza now – grabs your socks, people. You know not what you have done.

disa on June 18, 2012 at 7:26 PM

The result will strengthen Hollande’s hand as he faces off with eurozone paymaster Germany

Ah, that should go well! As it has in the past.

PattyJ on June 18, 2012 at 7:27 PM

Their social conservatism, religiosity and the Arabic culture of entrepreneurship makes them more naturally inclined to vote right than left.

joana on June 18, 2012 at 7:08 PM

Riiight. They’re “naturally” aligned with Republicans.

*snort*

disa on June 18, 2012 at 7:28 PM

When Oh,loan’ed won I wrote, “France in recession by about July”.

He’s on pace. If/when he drives Germany out of the Eurozone, same thing give or take.

Speakup on June 18, 2012 at 7:45 PM

Recount by Le Pen

Schadenfreude on June 18, 2012 at 7:49 PM

Attn. American Lefties: Your modern Utopia is now a reality in France. Pay close attention to how everything plays out over the next 5 years.

visions on June 18, 2012 at 5:38 PM

Better yet, just move there now. C’mon! If you truly believe in the Socialist Utopia…it’s there now! GO!

squint on June 18, 2012 at 7:50 PM

Yet that defeat was unevenly distributed across the French right. Sunday’s balloting returned the extreme-right National Front (FN) party to parliament for the first time since 1988. One of the two seats the party won was captured by Marion Maréchal-Le Pen, the 22 year-old niece of leader Marine Le Pen, and granddaughter of FN founder Jean-Marie Le Pen. Although Marine Le Pen lost her own electoral bid in a northern constituency by just 118 votes, she nevertheless celebrated the relatively strong showing by her party.

Le Pen claimed that showing, combined with the pummeling of mainstream conservatives, was a sign voters on the French right were turning to the formerly pariah FN as a credible actor in French politics. “Voters are ready for a re-composition [of the right] around the FN,” Le Pen said of the many party candidates posting respectable scores in losing run-off races. “It shows reconfiguration of the political landscape is under way.”

Schadenfreude on June 18, 2012 at 8:02 PM

I don’t think the times will let Socialists be Socialist.

BL@KBIRD on June 18, 2012 at 8:16 PM

He promised tax hikes and job creation

Sounds familiar…

bofh on June 18, 2012 at 8:17 PM

This story always ends well.

CorporatePiggy on June 18, 2012 at 8:41 PM

majority without the complication of support from the Greens or far left.

Good grief, you mean the Socialists are not considered the ‘far left’?

slickwillie2001 on June 18, 2012 at 5:37 PM

I had teachers in HS in the late 70′s who tried to tell me that Socialists (Nazi’s) were far right. I knew then that they were wrong.

This is SOP of all the Marxist teachers in our public school system. Marxist teachers blame the Holocaust on the far right when the truth is it was the Socialists (Nazi’s), who are the far left, right next to liberals ideologically speaking.

We have millions of children who are now adults who never caught on about the lie these teachers have told repeatedly over several decades.

Conservative4Ever on June 18, 2012 at 8:52 PM

Her grandfather is Jean-Marie Le Pen. It’s true he has become a radical statist nativist obsessed by immigration, law&order and, sadly, anti-semitism – after starting his career as the “Reaganite before Reagan”. Notwithstanding, calling him fascist is a gross mislabelling his political views. But yeah, that’s probably who you were thinking about.

Marion is far less toxic.

joana on June 18, 2012 at 6:21 PM

Actually a lot of people in France think of him as Fascist…I agree he didn’t start like one, but his anti-semitic rhetoric became unpalatable at some point…

jimver on June 18, 2012 at 9:04 PM

ouch! I have 6 framd paintings depicting French military scenes hanging in my pool table den. I can’t read much of the captions but with that rundown I bet I will have a clue of some kind. They have to be drawn from the French perspective as everyone looks so noble but I just don’t know about all the French victories.

DanMan on June 18, 2012 at 5:46 PM

Well, don’t let them kid you too much. The French are like the little girl with the little golden curl. When they are good, they are very very good. When they are bad, they stink on ice.

Militarily speaking, they’ve had a long but uneven history of bravery in battle (The Foreign Legion’s -enlisted men- are legally supposed to be non-French, their officers have always been French and it was and is considered to be an honor posting for members of the French officer corps to serve in the unit, unlike other European colonial forces). What gets them into trouble is that the national penchant for arrogant chauvinism (a word THEY originated, natch) causes them to write geopolitical checks with their politician’s mouths that their fundaments can’t cash.

ebrown2 on June 18, 2012 at 9:08 PM

I wonder where they’re going to get other peoples’ money. We need to make sure they don’t get ours. I’m sure Obama will tell us they’re too big to fail…sort of like California.

Christian Conservative on June 18, 2012 at 9:10 PM

France is like the California of Europe: Doubling down on stupid!

NoLeftTurn on June 18, 2012 at 10:22 PM

Nous sommes condamnés. Passe-moi le vin.

Aardvark on June 18, 2012 at 11:07 PM

I will never understand how anyone who passed first grade math can actually think that spending money you don’t have is the only way to get out of a major economic crisis. It’s just……nuts.

Cyhort on June 19, 2012 at 1:13 AM

Nous sommes condamnés. Passe-moi le vin.

Aardvark on June 18, 2012 at 11:07 PM

Good idea :)…I recommend a Bordeaux St -Emilion…My fave would be a Chateau Bellevue-Mondotte ,2004….heavenly :)…

jimver on June 19, 2012 at 1:20 AM

“Give me your productive, your hard working, your wealthy, your self reliant yearning to breathe free”

Dollayo on June 19, 2012 at 1:58 AM

jimver on June 18, 2012 at 6:04 PM

So how may Tea Partiers over there? like 5?

Oil Can on June 18, 2012 at 6:16 PM

Can’t think of anything similar there…they have an actual extreme right wing party there, Le Front National and their former leader, Jean-Marie le Pen used to employ quite extreme rhetoric, anti semitic at times and generally anti-immigration (though it’s been always harsher with re: to the Maghrebis and the non-Europeans, not so much the immigrants of European descent, so that’s the racist element in the FN) but since his daughter, Marine le Pen took over, she distanced herself from that kind of crazy, xenophobic talk. She still sounds crazy to most normal people, to me fo sho :), I think the Ronulans here would like her :)…but she’s clearly an improvement compared to her dad. So, the FN is basically a nationalist, anti-EU party nowadays (she wants out of the eurozone), in favour of protectionism, doesn’t like involvement in any foreign wars (kinda like ron paul here), pretty much that’s it…

jimver on June 19, 2012 at 1:59 AM

Can we get a time traveller to warn Eisenhower not to bother with France since they’re eventually going to embrace the slavery of Socialism anyway?

Crusty on June 19, 2012 at 6:08 AM

Heh. My daughter was in Spain for the $125 billion EU loan vote, and went to France after the Socialist takeover. Can’t wait to chat.

Jaibones on June 19, 2012 at 6:22 AM

France decides to vote themselves more German Euros while they are still available and lower the retirement age.

Even with Greece as a demonstration of where this leads, France continues with being SOS – Stuck On Stupid. The countdown to capital fleeing France has begun…

The roll and burn of the EU has already started, its just a question of when the car goes airborne for the dramatic grand finale of stupidity and hubris.

ajacksonian on June 19, 2012 at 7:40 AM

My French students are currently touring France as I write this. They are blissfully unaware of the political underpinnings that are ruining “the Hexagon”, but as they boat down the Seine and head for the luxurious beauty “du Vallee Loire”, they probably don’t care. As it should be. I weep uncontrollably however, for the French populace–sadly, they are oblivious to what is going to come. Undone by Holland(e), ironically–they won’t have anyone to blame but themselves when La Republique swirls down the drain. “Ils ont choisi le lit, il faut donc, reposer”.

pacard33 on June 19, 2012 at 8:21 AM

The French doubling down on stupid. Why am I not surprised?

Bevan on June 19, 2012 at 8:52 AM

Actually a lot of people in France think of him as Fascist…I agree he didn’t start like one, but his anti-semitic rhetoric became unpalatable at some point…

jimver on June 18, 2012 at 9:04 PM

Lot of people in France think of everyone who says something right-ish – and the only stuff Le Pen says that makes him sound right-wing is on law&order issues – as fascists.

his daughter, Marine le Pen took over, she distanced herself from that kind of crazy, xenophobic talk. She still sounds crazy to most normal people, to me fo sho :), I think the Ronulans here would like her :)…but she’s clearly an improvement compared to her dad. So, the FN is basically a nationalist, anti-EU party nowadays (she wants out of the eurozone), in favour of protectionism, doesn’t like involvement in any foreign wars (kinda like ron paul here), pretty much that’s it…

jimver on June 19, 2012 at 1:59 AM

Yes, but Marine is to the left of Obama on economic issues. But she’s much less scary than daddy, indeed.

joana on June 19, 2012 at 8:54 AM

jimver on June 19, 2012 at 1:59 AM

Yes, but Marine is to the left of Obama on economic issues. But she’s much less scary than daddy, indeed.

joana on June 19, 2012 at 8:54 AM

indeed, she is all over the place from an ideologic standpoimt, hard to pin her down, her views easily cover the whole ideological spectrum from left to right, if you have the patient to go with her issue by issue :)…no surprise that she didn’t endorse sarkozy…and yes, they are pretty liberal with the term ‘fascist’ there, must be a projection of sorts going back to the collabos times :)….

jimver on June 19, 2012 at 9:30 AM

I weep uncontrollably however, for the French populace–sadly, they are oblivious to what is going to come. Undone by Holland(e), ironically–they won’t have anyone to blame but themselves when La Republique swirls down the drain. “Ils ont choisi le lit, il faut donc, reposer”.

pacard33 on June 19, 2012 at 8:21 AM

And yet they will still find a way to blame someone else. Probably us.

swinia sutki on June 19, 2012 at 9:41 AM

Even with Greece as a demonstration of where this leads, France continues with being SOS – Stuck On Stupid. The countdown to capital fleeing France

ajacksonian on June 19, 2012 at 7:40 AM

Yep, the big flight of capital to the City has just begun and by City I mean the City of London of course :)…you should see how fhe lefty media (well that means most of the media in france) got their undies in a wad there over this whole thing….now they call unpatriotic (sounds familiar?? : ) the business people who are considering not only relocating capital and assets across the Channel, but even relocating themselves (some actually will probably relinquish their french citizenship too in the process)…

jimver on June 19, 2012 at 9:43 AM

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