Mature Subject Matter - Reader Discretion Advised

Go play, grown ups are talking.
By Dean L

If you are in France, you can't read this. You just voted in a socialist government because you couldn't handle the necessary austerity measures, in a country so socialist already, it shouldn't make much of a difference that the socialist won - there isn't much room to move left anyway:
France currently has a government that absorbs more than 50 percent of its economy. They have a cradle-to-grave employment system, where once you have a job it is virtually impossible to lose it no matter your level of performance.
The retirement system for many union and government employees allows a person to retire at age 55 at close to full pay. For a while they had in place a 35-hour work-week law, which is still followed by many businesses and government entities. 
With these types of policies, it would seem difficult to imagine what a socialist government would change. But there is still room for movement to the left, according to the folks who are running. 
One candidate, who was eliminated from Sunday’s runoff but whose ideas linger on, proposed that all income above $350,000 should go to the government. A cause célèbre of the campaign has been a $22 million euro bonus which reflected in large part accrued, deferred compensation paid to the head of one of France’s fastest growing and most profitable companies that has added hundreds of new jobs.
Clearly the French aren't prepared to face reality and would rather continue to live in a fantasy land of denial and everything-is-free-for-everyone bliss.  That's not mature.  Argue about the priorities and don't avoid the reality, and you can stay in the conversation.  Denying the fiscal reality and leaning on "tax the rich" ad nauseum, means you don't have the maturity to face up to the facts. Greece - ditto, but at least you aren't going socialist in your elections.  So, French or Greek, don't listen or read.

Speaking of which, if you are an Obama supporter, stuck in that same delusional state, you can't read this.  You should instead go outside and play Occupy Something, or read a bedtime story that exalts your hero. For that matter if you believe that Keynesian solutions solved the problem of the Great Recession or that unemployment is in great shape or even decent shape,  it's nap time - go dream about unicorns.

If you are still a global warming alarmist, go hug a tree - adults are talking here.  We haven't got time right now to entertain your notions.

Free health care believer? Go to McDonald's and get yourself a Happy Meal, because there really is such a thing as a free lunch.

Anyone else under the delusion that government is the solution to everything, please walk away.  We are trying to have serious discussions about solutions to problems that liberalism, progressivism and socialism have caused - government debt the world over with no clear way out save government austerity and private sector growth. 

Growth of GDP combined with government austerity is the only way to solve the economic crisis that hasn't really been addressed.  Government spending is like taking sand from the bottom of a pile in order to put it on top of the pile to make it higher.  The reality is far worse than simply just some spending cuts or the ridiculous notion of ever more government spending.  It's not going to be pretty, it's not going to be any sort of soft landing on Medicare or Social Security but it is going to be necessary.  People have stuck their heads in the sand for far too long and it's time to be adult and start talking about some very uncomfortable choices that are going to have to be made.

I'm not sure how many of us are left in the room, but it's time to talk.

12 comments:

  1. The problem though, of course, is that even if the adults are talking, the lunatic children are still in charge. It makes practically no difference however many creative, viable, and desperately needed solutions I, or any other person capable of reading the proverbial wall, come up with: without any way to enact them, the country is still doomed to fail.

    That realization, of course, leads to the next one: the most important crisis facing the country is not the debt, or entitlements, or spending, or any particular policy, but rather the fact that idiots are allowed to govern by proxy. If someone can devise a solution to that problem, all others become easy (eg: you wouldn't need to worry about cleaning up Obama's mess, because Obama would never get elected in the first place). Conversely, as long as idiots are capable of electing imbeciles to office, all the brilliant plans in the world won't help at all, sad as that may be.

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    1. The solution to the dilemma as you describe it, is something that the left has long since mastered as a tactic. It's a matter of gaining control of those institutions that can influence (in this case dampen) the critical thinking of the public, namely education and media. The left knows this and they have managed to counter a smarter message (quality) with indoctrination (quantity).

      The solution, more easily said than done, is to find viable alternatives to those two institutional advantages the left possesses. School vouchers, conservative media, more parental involvement in education for example represent possible solutions.

      While I prefer to be an optimist and believe that childishness can be overcome, your point is well taken - if voters can vote for more 'freebies' for themselves they will do so. At some point a tipping point is reached where there is nothing left to take from others or no one left to borrow from and the country inevitably collapses.

      Perhaps by it's very nature then, liberty and rational economic capitalism that leads to prosperity will always be transient in nature - those able to remove themselves from the collapse will go elsewhere and start anew. However as I said, I try to be an optimist and believe that America is the exception to that eventuality.

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  2. Great post! As conservatives and libertarians, it will be interesting to see where France choice leads them. As you say, they are already socialist; this move just seals the deal. Where in the world will their society be in 10 years? Hopefully we can write about it and warn Americans (and Canadians) of the clear-as-day results.

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    1. Even in France there was, or perhaps still is, hope. Granted that hope is much diminished today. But in defense of rationalism in France, I offer this quote from outgoing conservative president Sarkozy:

      Socialist leader Francois Hollande said in the televised election debate with Sarkozy this class warfare jibe: "I protect the children of the Republic, you protect the most privileged." Sarkozy retorted "You want fewer rich people. I want fewer poor people." Classic. Not enough to win the election sadly, but proof that even in socialist France, there is the spark of true conservatism.

      Where those ideas exist, there's still hope. That's a lesson for America too - the country can survive one term of a bad election. Maybe it can even survive two. But why risk it?

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    2. The people will decide. By majority vote. What will save the republic is if liberty is important enough to inspire people to think beyond just "Hope and Change."

      I for one ain't holding my breath.

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  3. democracy at the breaking point. this could be very slow, certainly painful.

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    1. Painful for sure but slow, maybe not. At the breaking point, if not certainly then quite close. I'm not sure whether France is the canary in the coal mine, but Hollande is the Obama of France and he wants to reduce the country's dependence on nuclear power from 75% of it's electricity to 50% by 2025. How green is that?

      As Sarkozy pointed out, why do that when oil prices are ridiculously high now? It's about appeasing leftist voting blocks. That trumps rationality. As Nick said above, the children are apparently in charge. Let's hope enough Americans see the lessons of Europe past and present and don't emulate France's decision to swing left in the face of socialist policy failures. That would be childish indeed.

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  4. From Yahoo! homepage:

    French president: I won't be 'difficult'

    New socialist leader François Hollande says he sees potential areas of agreement with Obama.

    Of course he does. President Obama is not exactly an American Capitalist, now is he? He says he won't make things difficult for our Dear Leader. Hm.
    http://news.yahoo.com/blogs/ticket/french-president-elect-hollande-won-t-difficult-obama-195617064.html

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    1. Him simply saying that should be making things difficult for Obama, but don't hold your breath that it will.

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  5. Communism worked as long as it did in the Soviet Union because they controlled the movement of labor. If you go crazy with redistribution and punitive taxation in a country where the borders are open, you're asking for trouble.

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    1. Communism "lasted" as long as it did in the Soviet Union...

      Fixed it for you.

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