French businesses, entrepreneurs living the dream — but not in France

posted at 6:31 pm on March 23, 2014 by Erika Johnsen

Quoth the New York Times, after first introducing the story of one Guillaume Santacruz, a 29-year-old entrepreneur who moved to London to work with start-ups after “his attempt to start a business in Marseille foundered under a pile of government regulations and a seemingly endless parade of taxes”:

France has been losing talented citizens to other countries for decades, but the current exodus of entrepreneurs and young people is happening at a moment when France can ill afford it. The nation has had low-to-stagnant economic growth for the last five years and a generally climbing unemployment rate — now about 11 percent — and analysts warn that it risks sliding into economic sclerosis.

Some wealthy businesspeople have also been packing their bags. While entrepreneurs fret about the difficulties of getting a business off the ground, those who have succeeded in doing so say that society stigmatizes financial success. …

Hand-wringing articles in French newspapers — including a three-page spread in Le Monde, have examined the implications of “les exilés.” This month, the Chamber of Commerce and Industry of Paris, which represents 800,000 businesses, published a report saying that French executives were more worried than ever that “unemployment and moroseness are pushing young people to leave” the country, bleeding France of energetic workers. As the Pew Research Center put it last year, “no European country is becoming more dispirited and disillusioned faster than France.” …

Today, around 1.6 million of France’s 63 million citizens live outside the country. That is not a huge share, but it is up 60 percent from 2000, according to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Thousands are heading to Hong Kong, Mexico City, New York, Shanghai and other cities. About 50,000 French nationals live in Silicon Valley alone.

The election of self-professed Socialists like Francois Hollande didn’t exactly help with the growing national stigma against the self-made wealthy, nor did one of his biggest policy proposals to impose a 75 percent super-tax on millionaires deter people from fleeing the country for greener, more competitive pastures — and the semi-surrender he made in announcing some new ideas for tax cuts and labor-law streamlining weren’t enough to convince them that France is truly turning a corner. The government wants to have its cake and eat it, too, in trying to both introduce “significant proposals to make France more alluring for entrepreneurs and business” while simultaneously “seeking to preserve the nation’s model of social protection,” as the NYT puts it, which sounds like a great way to achieve exactly nothing but stagnation in either direction — and in the meantime, France is still one of the heaviest economic anchors in Europe:

Surveys of thousands of companies by the financial information firm Markit show private businesses enjoyed their fastest growth rate in over two and a half years last month.

It was though a mixed picture as manufacturing growth slowed, while the service industry expanded quicker than had been initially calculated from the first reading of the February data.

And there was big geographic variation. The gulf between expansion in Germany, Europe’s biggest economy, and the decline in No. 2 France has only been wider once in the 16-year history of the surveys.

Germany’s composite purchasing manager’s index compiled from the surveys – which includes services and manufacturing – soared to a 33-month high.

By contrast France’s fell further below the line between expansion and contraction where it has languished for most of the past two years.


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I thought Gerard DePardieu (sp) left France…

OmahaConservative on March 23, 2014 at 6:44 PM

Yep, The Frogs talk crap and carry a miniature bat (to be dropped at the sound a cap gun), but they sure do sound purty!

vnvet on March 23, 2014 at 6:45 PM

The same thing may be true of the U.S. in a few years.

bw222 on March 23, 2014 at 6:46 PM

Naw, O’ll just crap his mom jeans and the world will continue to turn and my stomach, churn.

vnvet on March 23, 2014 at 6:48 PM

I thought Gerard DePardieu (sp) left France…

OmahaConservative on March 23, 2014 at 6:44 PM

He went to Russia: Gerard Depardieu Russian Citizen: French Actor Gets New Home Address

Kaffa on March 23, 2014 at 6:57 PM

The same thing may be true of the U.S. in a few years.

bw222 on March 23, 2014 at 6:46 PM

…never thought I would see the day that socialist leaning Canada would look better…but it is happening!

KOOLAID2 on March 23, 2014 at 7:00 PM

If things don’t start changing in our own economy, I’m going to have to consider retiring to someplace like Costa Rica so I can still afford to eat.

The bad thing about all these French economic woes is that President Mom-Jeans keeps looking at Hollande as someone to emulate.

TKindred on March 23, 2014 at 7:11 PM

Well I’ve already lost the betting pool on the over/under of when Germany would ditch the EU anchor on their economy.

I really didn’t think they’d have the persistence to carry this much this long and this far for no noticeable benefit.

I guess they’re more masochistic than I gave them credit for… is that a good thing?

gekkobear on March 23, 2014 at 7:13 PM

MeanWhile,…

France local elections, March 2014
40m
====

France’s far-right National Front party leads 1st round of municipal elections in several cities – @AP
read more on bigstory.ap.org

http://www.breakingnews.com/topic/france-local-elections-march-2014/

canopfor on March 23, 2014 at 7:18 PM

“his attempt to start a business in Marseille foundered under a pile of government regulations and a seemingly endless parade of taxes”:
=================================================================

Suck Le Blue, and Tabernakles Sumpins,

jus like in America,…under eh, President eh Obama!!
(sarc)

canopfor on March 23, 2014 at 7:22 PM

The welfare state is tyranny. Freedom is lost when the socialist idea that it is justifiable for the state to take resources — by force through taxation — from some people for the purpose of transferring them to others who have not earned them.

To be forced to work for the sustenance of another is slavery.

This is the essence of the “social safety” net to which even American conservatives have acquiesced.

If freedom is to be saved, this must be reversed. Conservatives MUST begin to call for the end of the welfare state. Voluntary charity toward the truly needy, forced slavery for none.

Whitewolf7070 on March 23, 2014 at 8:08 PM

France local elections, March 2014
40m
====

France’s far-right National Front party leads 1st round of municipal elections in several cities – @AP
read more on bigstory.ap.org

http://www.breakingnews.com/topic/france-local-elections-march-2014/

canopfor on March 23, 2014 at 7:18 PM

However, the final outcome will depend in some cases on highly unpredictable three-way races between the Socialists, the UMP and the National Front.

While Ayrault called for Socialist and UMP voters to back whichever of the major parties’ candidates is best placed to ensure the FN does not win control of a town, the UMP is seen declining such a pact.

Le Pen has sanctioned or ejected members found to have made racist comments. While skeptics say much of the party’s grass roots remains racist, analysts say the strategy has made it more acceptable to many potential voters.

“The National Front is much less repulsive than it has been in recent years,” said Jean-Daniel Levy, an analyst with pollster Harris Interactive. “Voters are not looking for the most competent candidate, but the one who shares their feelings about the state of French society.”

Emphasis mine.

I think this sentiment translates here in the US as well. RINOs need to start thinking about which side of this they want to be on.

Difficultas_Est_Imperium on March 23, 2014 at 8:11 PM

I think this sentiment translates here in the US as well. RINOs need to start thinking about which side of this they want to be on.

Difficultas_Est_Imperium on March 23, 2014 at 8:11 PM

They made the decision some time ago. Expect more Republicans to follow the path of Dick Lugar, Charlie Crist, and Arlen Specter in the next decade while whining that right-wing extremism forced them to do it.

Doomberg on March 23, 2014 at 8:49 PM

I’m beginning to think that this socialism thing doesn’t work.

307wolverine on March 23, 2014 at 9:00 PM

Hammered

Schadenfreude on March 23, 2014 at 11:14 PM

Is Hollande in reality a rare example of the balding hobbit?

Sherman1864 on March 24, 2014 at 5:16 AM

My son took a course on socialism at Hamilton College. His conclusion after taking the course that the only way socialism could ever work would be to get rid of capitalism. (even the memory of capitalism)

jmtham156 on March 24, 2014 at 8:01 AM

When will Bill de Blasio and Francois Hollande announce NYC and Paris are now “twin-town and sister-cities”?

mrt721 on March 24, 2014 at 11:33 AM

Thousands are heading to Hong Kong, Mexico City, New York, Shanghai and other cities. About 50,000 French nationals live in Silicon Valley alone.

It’s a bad sign when your citizens are moving to New York and California for tax and regulation relief.

RJL on March 24, 2014 at 1:13 PM

History never teaches leftists anything. There is no difference between those in France and those over here. You might as well try preaching to a stone.

earlgrey on March 24, 2014 at 3:20 PM

But, but, but everything is going great in Venezuela , right?

cosifantutte on March 24, 2014 at 6:33 PM