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Sugarcoating Socialism the French Way

reefedjib

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It's clear this is the direction the left has been aiming for America to follow. Why they think this is a better system can only be imagined. I suspect it has something to do with capturing the votes of the lower classes. It will break America.

The American left embraces a romantic myth of the superiority of French socialism, to impress upon mushy minds that the corporatist state envisioned by Obama would be a good thing.

...

The American left has always cherished a similar myth: the myth of the superiority of European socialism. John Kerry and Barack Obama, and their many supporters, have spent decades attempting to reshape America in the image of France. Now, with the passage of Obamacare and increased federal control of the financial, automotive, and energy sectors of the economy, they are close to succeeding. With the passage of just a few more pieces of legislation -- cap-and-trade and the nationalization of 401(k) accounts among them -- the transformation of America into a European-style welfare state will be all but complete.


The problem with this transformation is that it will soon lead to a French-style standard of living as well. Taking into account higher taxes and inflation, French per capita GDP is $32,679 versus $46,381 for the U.S. (2009 IMF figures). Ranked by purchasing power, France comes in at #21, while the United States is first among major economies. The reasons are not hard to find. It is certain that the French do not work as many hours as do Americans, and it is doubtful whether they work as hard. National workplace regulations make it difficult to fire incompetent or lazy workers. As a result of overregulation, French industry is slow to adapt and innovate. While unionized workers enjoy full benefits, early retirement, and guaranteed annual vacations of five weeks, France as a whole pays the price of significantly lower growth rates than America.


There is, unfortunately, one area in which the U.S. already resembles France all too closely. As in the USA, France has piled up increasing amounts of unfunded liabilities in its retirement schemes. President Sarkozy has proposed reasonable reforms that would ensure adequate funding of government-run pensions. An obvious solution for a country in which workers retire at age 60 is to gradually raise the retirement age to at least 65, a level comparable to that of other developed countries. Union response to this proposal has been to schedule a nationwide walkout on May 27. As in Greece, it appears that French workers would rather wave their little red flags and shut down the economy than negotiate a practical means of funding their own retirements.


Perhaps this is because they "know when to quit." Unfortunately, their knowing when to quit -- that is, at age 60, with full benefits regardless of years of service -- has bankrupted the pension funds that must support workers for an extra five to seven years beyond those in comparable economies. The result is that France's pension funding is now deeply in debt -- a debt level that is projected to reach $127 billion by 2050. Predictably, unions have called for more taxes on the rich and, implicitly, for increasing the national debt. In return, they offer little or nothing in the way of compromise.


By rejecting reforms, French unions are jeopardizing even the low standard of living that they now enjoy. Absent real reform, the French standard of living -- and that of several other Europeans countries -- will continue to fall relative to the U.S., and it will fall even farther relative to the world's developing countries. In the next four years, it seems likely that the Chinese currency will appreciate within the range of 15-20% versus the dollar. If the euro falls another 15% against the dollar, which is not unlikely, the economies represented by the euro will have declined in nominal terms 30% against that of China. The Chinese middle class will be both more numerous and better off than that of Europe.


Regardless of exactly what the future brings for Europe, and for France in particular, the damage of socialist welfare schemes, bloated public-sector employment, and intransigent unions is clear. Long ago, the French made a devil's bargain that ensured a social safety net in return for a lower overall standard of living. In this country, Democrats are intent on enacting precisely the same kind of cradle-to-grave welfare system. European-style socialism is the goal of the Obama administration, just as it has been that of the American left for decades. With the support of SEIU and other unions, Obama plans to regulate, control, and unionize every sector of the private economy. The result will be a workplace and an economy that resemble those of France.


If the French wish to live under the thumb of a corporatist state dominated by federal bureaucracies and powerful national unions, that is their business. The result of French corporatism will be continued high unemployment, rising national debt, and declining purchasing power. Most Americans, however, do not want French-style corporatism, and it should not be imposed on them by the small cadre of political elitists temporarily in charge in Washington.
American Thinker: Sugarcoating Socialism the French Way
 

Boo Radley

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My first thought was where did this silliness come from, and then I saw. Of course, it had to be the American (Non) Thinker. :roll::roll::roll:
 

Z3n

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I agree with the OP. You can't have the government help the lower class majority of the country. That's not how civilized democracy works. :roll:
 

reefedjib

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I agree with the OP. You can't have the government help the lower class majority of the country. That's not how civilized democracy works. :roll:
That's not what I nor the article is saying. You can provide some help, but promises of full social support for retirement is unaffordable.
 

Z3n

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Well you did mention that capturing the vote of the lower class will break America. :p

If its majority interest...
 

reefedjib

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Well you did mention that capturing the vote of the lower class will break America. :p

If its majority interest...
Sorry I wasn't clear. I meant that they are doing it to capture votes. I meant that implementing French socialism will break America's piggy bank - it already is. I did not mean that simply capturing the vote of the lower class will break America.

This is a danger that some of the founding fathers touched on. If the majority figures out that they can vote themselves money from the public coffers, then the Republic is done for.
 

Z3n

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Sorry I wasn't clear. I meant that they are doing it to capture votes. I meant that implementing French socialism will break America's piggy bank - it already is. I did not mean that simply capturing the vote of the lower class will break America.

This is a danger that some of the founding fathers touched on. If the majority figures out that they can vote themselves money from the public coffers, then the Republic is done for.
God forbid political cadres do things to capture votes :p

Rather if the majority wasn't apathetic, we'd have a much more responsible and efficient government, of much more capable statesman. At least I think so.
 

reefedjib

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God forbid political cadres do things to capture votes :p
Sure, but when it is the outright payment of largess when we cannot afford to sustain it, then what they are doing is hurting America...all to get votes. This worldview, that implementing French socialism will establish themselves a voting block at the expense of American capitalism, is dreadful. It is American capitalism that has provided the growth and jobs to support employment and careers in the private sector that created American strength. They are merely leeching off this success.

Rather if the majority wasn't apathetic, we'd have a much more responsible and efficient government, of much more capable statesman. At least I think so.
I agree with you here, or at least the statesmen would be answerable to the constituents and have to actually vote in their interest.
 

Z3n

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Sure, but when it is the outright payment of largess when we cannot afford to sustain it, then what they are doing is hurting America...all to get votes. This worldview, that implementing French socialism will establish themselves a voting block at the expense of American capitalism, is dreadful. It is American capitalism that has provided the growth and jobs to support employment and careers in the private sector that created American strength. They are merely leeching off this success.
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I definately agree. The problem though is that this concept of "Socialism" is so evacuated of any actual meaning. Socialism used to mean literally being in control of what you own, and public ownership of the economy...but there is a second manifestation which is statist. It's all about the :spin:
 

Orion

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America lacks the solidarity of France to enact equivalent social systems. The French government is afraid of the people, as it should be. In the U.S., it's the reverse.
 

Boo Radley

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There is no socialism here. And there won't be. But people will use the word to try and derail a good many decent efforts to improve life. It's a very old tactic, very unoriginal.
 

Deuce

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Man, I just hate it when those conservatives support blowing up the moon. That's all they ever talk about these days. Blow up the moon this. Blow up the moon that.
 

webrockk

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Well you did mention that capturing the vote of the lower class will break America. :p

If its majority interest...

Pandering to the lower class to "capture" their vote by promising entitlements, "free" health care, and womb to tomb security will indeed break America.

At some point, the "haves".... those expected to fund it all and simply keep their mouths shut.... will simply shrug. It is then when government guns and boots will be turned inward.

Americas looming failure was predicted over two centuries ago with these quotes some attribute to Alexander Tytler:

"A democracy cannot exist as a permanent form of government. It can only exist until the voters discover they can vote themselves largess from the public treasury. From that moment on, the majority always votes for the candidates promising the most benefits with the result that a democracy always collapses over loose fiscal policy, always followed by a dictatorship. The average age of the world's greatest civilizations has been 200 years."


and this....no words come closer to describing the birth of America, and the path we've chosen:


"Great nations rise and fall. The people go from bondage to spiritual truth, to great courage, from courage to liberty, from liberty to abundance, from abundance to selfishness, from selfishness to complacencey, from complacency to apathy, from apathy to dependence, from dependence back again to bondage."
 
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webrockk

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There is no socialism here. And there won't be. But people will use the word to try and derail a good many decent efforts to improve life. It's a very old tactic, very unoriginal.
"There is no socialism here" But wait....all I ever heard from lefties when defending Obama's socialist HCR was "what about police and fire departments, hmmm?...that's socialism...what about roads and highways, hmmm?...that's socialism"

So...which is it?
 
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Hatuey

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"There is no socialism here" But wait....all I ever heard from lefties when defending Obama's socialist HCR was "what about police and fire departments, hmmm?...that's socialism...what about roads and highways, hmmm?...that's socialism"

So...which is it?
"It" is more proof of the stupidity of people like you when it comes to debating socio-political structures above a 9th grade level. The McCarthy inspired belief that any kind of collective action is 'socialism' or 'communism' has completely destroyed discourse on many issues. When you define 'Health Care Reform' as 'socialism', you prove that you don't know what socialism itself is. So then what choice to 'lefties' have but to show equivalent examples of collective action in our society which by the standards you set could not be anything other than 'socialism'?
 

spud_meister

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"There is no socialism here" But wait....all I ever heard from lefties when defending Obama's socialist HCR was "what about police and fire departments, hmmm?...that's socialism...what about roads and highways, hmmm?...that's socialism"

So...which is it?
none of the things you listed are socialism, unless you labour under the delusion that UHC is socialism, in which case, using that logic, they would be too
 

webrockk

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"It" is more proof of the stupidity of people like you when it comes to debating socio-political structures above a 9th grade level. The McCarthy inspired belief that any kind of collective action is 'socialism' or 'communism' has completely destroyed discourse on many issues. When you define 'Health Care Reform' as 'socialism', you prove that you don't know what socialism itself is. So then what choice to 'lefties' have but to show equivalent examples of collective action in our society which by the standards you set could not be anything other than 'socialism'?
Ah...a liberal calling someone stupid. That's rich. And coming from one that hasn't the comprehension abilities to decipher my simple comment.

You of course realize that police and fire departments are funded by those choosing to own property...and road construction and maintenence is funded by those choosing to own automobiles...But Obama's socialist HCR mandates (forces) compliance via the IRS on everyone except 'victims' of society that will receive it as a socialist entitlement.
 
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reefedjib

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The recent Health Care Reform is not socialist, but Medicaid and Medicare are socialist. Social Security is socialist. A social democracy is one where much economic activity is capitalistic, but key social programs are socialist.
 

Hatuey

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Ah...a liberal calling someone stupid. That's rich. And coming from one that hasn't the comprehension abilities to decipher my simple comment.
If I mentioned McCarthy, I most certainly deciphered your simple comment. It's a matter of extrapolating what is being said instead of simply browsing over it. Read this part again:

The McCarthy inspired belief that any kind of collective action is 'socialism' or 'communism' has completely destroyed discourse on many issues.
It is response to this:

"There is no socialism here" But wait....all I ever heard from lefties when defending Obama's socialist HCR was "what about police and fire departments, hmmm?...that's socialism...what about roads and highways, hmmm?...that's socialism"

So...which is it?
In other words, your simple comment is a lazy attempt to play 'gotcha' - However the problem is that it fails on so many levels and only serves to expose your own ignorance. The American Right was inspired by McCarthy to water down issues to whether or not they were communist or socialist without ever really understanding the basic core components of either one. The Liberal response to it has been to lower the intelligence behind the defence of such programs to a level people like you can understand.

You of course realize that police and fire departments are funded by those choosing to own property
What if you don't own property and still pay taxes which go towards those means? No. You're wrong on this.

...and road construction and maintenence is funded by those choosing to own automobiles
What about people who don't own automobiles and still pay taxes for those means? No you're wrong on this too.

...But Obama's socialist HCR mandates (forces) compliance via the IRS on everyone except 'victims' of society that will receive it as a socialist entitlement.
Illogically your argument lays on the belief that the infrastructures and myriad of social programs in this country are funded only by those who use them. This is simply untrue. People who don't own property pay taxes which go towards funding fire and police departments departments. People who don't have kids pay taxes that go towards funding schools. People who don't drive pay taxes that go towards funding road maintenance. People who are U.S. citizens and live in other countries still pay taxes to the U.S. government.

But please, since we're on the subject of liberalism. Which part about what Obama did is socialist? It's a measure implemented by the majority of industrialized countries. None of which are socialist or practice socialism. Do you know what socialism is?
 
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webrockk

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If I mentioned McCarthy, I most certainly deciphered your simple comment. It's a matter of extrapolating what is being said instead of simply browsing over it. Read this part again:



It is response to this:



In other words, your simple comment is a lazy attempt to play 'gotcha' - However the problem is that it fails on so many levels and only serves to expose your own ignorance. The American Right was inspired by McCarthy to water down issues to whether or not they were communist or socialist without ever really understanding the basic core components of either one. The Liberal response to it has been to lower the intelligence behind the defence of such programs to a level people like you can understand.



What if you don't own property and still pay taxes which go towards those means? No. You're wrong on this.



What about people who don't own automobiles and still pay taxes for those means? No you're wrong on this too.



Illogically your argument lays on the belief that the infrastructures and myriad of social programs in this country are funded only by those who use them. This is simply untrue. People who don't own property pay taxes which go towards funding fire and police departments departments. People who don't have kids pay taxes that go towards funding schools. People who don't drive pay taxes that go towards funding road maintenance. People who are U.S. citizens and live in other countries still pay taxes to the U.S. government.

But please, since we're on the subject of liberalism. Which part about what Obama did is socialist? It's a measure implemented by the majority of industrialized countries. None of which are socialist or practice socialism. Do you know what socialism is?
Florida, where I "choose" to live, has no state income tax (yet), all infrastructure and social services are paid by property owners, gas taxes and sales taxes where one can "choose" their participation based on levels of consumption. If you "choose" to live in a state that has state income taxes....well, that's on you.

When government mandates a program (Obama's HCR) that some are forced to fund and others benefit from without funding, a form of socialism has occurred.

Blatant violations of "equal, unalienable rights" and private property rights have also occurred.

Incremental acceptance of these practices... for the "common good" and continual misinterpretation of "general welfare" by lefties have brought us to this unique place in American history....staring into the abyss of socialist malaise and failure.

See: Greece.
 
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Boo Radley

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"There is no socialism here" But wait....all I ever heard from lefties when defending Obama's socialist HCR was "what about police and fire departments, hmmm?...that's socialism...what about roads and highways, hmmm?...that's socialism"

So...which is it?
Not sure who you're quoting, but you might try asking them. It sounds to me as if whoever was you are quoting that they are being a bit sarcastic. You may be reading them wrong.

However, when talking to me, it would be helpful to argue against my points and not someone's argument that is not mine, as I can't speak for them.

The fact is this is not a socialism here in the US. Nor has anything really changed from what we have been doing for decades. The socialism scare tactic is as old as the country, if not older. So, it is hardly original. And it is no more true today than it's ever been.
 

MKULTRABOY

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This is a danger that some of the founding fathers touched on. If the majority figures out that they can vote themselves money from the public coffers, then the Republic is done for.
Did they touch on the danger of pandering tax breaks until the country's done for? You know, tax breaks for no good economical reason, unless.... :gasp: theyre buying off votes from as many taxpayers as possible.:rofl
 

reefedjib

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Did they touch on the danger of pandering tax breaks until the country's done for? You know, tax breaks for no good economical reason, unless.... :gasp: theyre buying off votes from as many taxpayers as possible.:rofl
No, this was before they had an income tax. I am sure they knew that a tax cut caused the economy to grow, however, since Adam Smith had written his book.
 

MKULTRABOY

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Oh, I guess this is before french socialism too then. :p

I dont think I have any point to make at all though... it just wasnt a very good article.
 

webrockk

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Not sure who you're quoting, but you might try asking them. It sounds to me as if whoever was you are quoting that they are being a bit sarcastic. You may be reading them wrong.

However, when talking to me, it would be helpful to argue against my points and not someone's argument that is not mine, as I can't speak for them.

The fact is this is not a socialism here in the US. Nor has anything really changed from what we have been doing for decades. The socialism scare tactic is as old as the country, if not older. So, it is hardly original. And it is no more true today than it's ever been.
Good or bad, welfare is a form of socialism, WIC is a form of socialism, the food stamp program is a form of socialism.

Any time private, and lawfully aquired property (money) is taken from one person with equal, unalienable rights to succeed or fail and given to another ...with identical equal, unalienable rights to succeed or fail at the hand of government, a form of socialism has occurred.
 
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