Tuesday, May 3, 2016

Socialism is a taxing, and economically destructive, proposition...

Well, for starters, when it all began I thought the notion that Donald Trump would win the Republican nomination to be, well, unthinkable. I just heard that Bernie Sanders won Indiana's primary. Suddenly I'm thinking the unthinkable for the Democrats as well.

Before I continue, you must know that I have no dog in this race. Let me rephrase that, I don't have so much as a flea in this race! Actually, not even an itch! I.e., I have zero regard or respect for a single candidate on either side of the aisle. So there! If I offend you, know that I do not do so in favor of any individual who opposes your chosen one.

As for the notion that a self-proclaimed socialist, democratic socialist, and progressive would be the choice of a majority of American voters suggests that a majority of American voters have virtually no concept of history (explains the youth vote, perhaps?) or of the utterly destructive incentives/tendencies of big government politicians who aim to centrally control  the economy our lives.

Back in January 2014 I wrote about a politician who made his way to office by promising to rescue his country's populace from their economic ills while having the upper income class foot the bill. Hmm... Kinda sounds like erecting a wall between businesses and success and having businesses pay for the construction... sound familiar?

Well, a funny thing happened on the way to the promised land the land of broken promises.

Here's that short essay (feel free to pass it along to the folks whom you passed "There Ain't No Such Thing As Free College Education" along to):

“How can we redistribute if there’s no wealth?” French President Hollande, of all people…

May today's (1/14/2014) Wall Street Journal Article Hollande Courts Business With Economic Revival Plan be a lesson to us on the economic realities of socialism---and the duplicity of politicians. I can almost make my entire point by excerpting the article. Here goes:
Speaking at a news conference designed to relaunch his presidency that—like France's economy—has been stuck in the doldrums, Mr. Hollande said he would tackle France's chronically high payroll taxes, addressing a long-standing demand of French business leaders.

Mr. Hollande is striving to repair relations with France's business community, which has voiced anger about climbing taxes and alarm that the euro zone's second–largest economy is losing ground to Germany.

Since his election in May 2012, Mr. Hollande has relied largely on tax increases to fix France's finances with only marginal efforts to pare expenditures. The economy has barely grown since he took power while unemployment has risen.

Business leaders say this has hampered their efforts to compete internationally. France stands out among European peers for its relatively high labor costs, which eat into profit margins necessary to invest and recruit. For nonfinancial corporations in France, gross profit share—a standardized measure of profit margins—stood at just over 28% at the end of 2012, compared with 38% in the wider euro zone and 40% in Germany, according to Eurostat.

"How can we run a country if entrepreneurs don't hire?" he said. "And how can we redistribute if there's no wealth?"

By the end of his mandate in 2017, Mr. Hollande said, French companies will no longer be required to foot the €35-billion ($47.9-billion) annual bill for France's generous family welfare programs. He said he planned to fund the tax cut by slashing government expenditures, a departure from his previous practice of forcing consumers to bear the burden through high sales tax.

The overture to French companies risks fueling tensions within Mr. Hollande's Socialist-dominated majority in parliament and angering the country's unions. "He's turned his back on workers," the left-leaning CGT union said in a statement.

Yes, promising the moon wins elections---we've witnessed that a lot of late. But, like I said the other day, the moon is---fortunately, ironically, for the promiser's political career (and the promisees' livelihoods)---unreachable. Although, as France's president is discovering, the air can get mighty thin even as you head in that direction---particularly in a country that was half way there to begin with. Ah, but Hollande, like all politicians, is of the family Chamaeleonidae: while campaigning in 2012 he donned his socialist colors and slid his way to office. Today, he senses danger. Survival going forward means blending with the folks whose vilification was so effective on the stump. I.e., he has come to understand that the economy will break him if he doesn't break his government's stranglehold over French businesses...


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