Maybe I should move to France

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I know that would make some of my happy trolls even happier. But then I'd have to learn French. And I don't know if the bars in Paris have Bud Light.

But when you look at the agenda of the new French government, it's pretty much what a lot of us, including a lot of non-Socialists, have been advocating for the United States: Tax the rich, end tax breaks for banks and oil companies, hire a lot of new teachers, invest in youth and the future, don't get your pants in a wad about short-term deficits, legalize same-sex marriage ... damn. They've got it all.

Or rather, Fichu. Ils l'ont obtenu tous.

Did I get that right?

Of course, the critics are terrified about the same things they all seem terrified about whenever anyone in San Francisco talks about local taxes on the wealthy: OMG! The rich will all leave town and go live in Fresno! See:

The pledges have prompted fears of an exodus of wealthy footballers and pop stars to lands beyond the French border.

I suppose. But I suspect a lot of wealthy Parisians will stay Parisians even if their taxes go up. They live there for a reason, as do San Franciscans, and Californians. What, you're going to play football in France and live in Antwerp? That's not going to go over too well.

So this will be a fine experiment here. If France doesn't collapse and Paris doesn't empty out and the world doesn't end, maybe we'll all learn a lesson. Oui?

 

 

 

Comments

A lot of rightist politicians are asking whether the main center-right UMP party's rightward drift over the last five years has been a good idea. Some still advocate a hard right agenda, including pandering to base anti-immigrant sentiment and pressing for cuts and austerity at all costs. But given how far that's gotten them with a fed-up public, most sane rightists are calling for the party to adopt a more "centrist" approach to make them more electable.

Can you even imagine such a thing happening in the American Republican Party?

Posted by Greg on Jun. 20, 2012 @ 4:32 pm

Maybe you should, you know they have the internet there right?
It might be good to see that there is an entire world out there that ISNT san francisco.
And dont worry, they protest at the drop of a hat over virtually anything - just like here.
Ask Bruce if he can spot you some dough, I keep hearing he came into a bit of money lately.

Posted by Guest on Jun. 20, 2012 @ 4:52 pm

They have the Internet? In France? I thought the Internet shuts down when the rich have to pay high taxes.

Posted by tim on Jun. 20, 2012 @ 5:19 pm

aren't an intellectual. But you really should spend some time in these allegedly socialist nirvana's (France, Cuba, Albania, Bulgaria) just so you can see how disasterous it would be if we were all ever collectively stupid enough to vote for the kind of nonsense you promote.

Posted by Guest on Jun. 20, 2012 @ 7:21 pm

You do realize the Soviet Union is no longer around either - right? And that Albania, France and Bulgaria are fellow members of NATO?

Posted by Troll II on Jun. 20, 2012 @ 8:32 pm

All those countries actually named are very left-wing compared to here. Tim just happened to pick on France as the best known one, but you could say the same thing about the others.

Tim loves to crow about these policies precisely because he knows they will never be adopted here, so it's "safe".

Posted by Guest on Jun. 21, 2012 @ 5:42 am

Vivre en France pendant un mois et vous comprendrez le paradis. Venezuela aussi.

Posted by Troll Le quat on Jun. 20, 2012 @ 7:54 pm

Many top French footballers already play abroad. Of the French National Team playing in Euro 2012, 8 play in England, 2 play in Spain, 1 plays Germany, and 1 plays in Italy, compared with 11 who play in France. The players who play for clubs abroad are over-represented in the starting lineup.

If taxes were substantially higher, more would move abroad. If taxes are only moderately higher than other countries, the appeal of French cities and football clubs with deep pockets will keep many players at home. This probably should not be the top concern with tax policy, but it is true.

Posted by Karim Benzema on Jun. 20, 2012 @ 8:14 pm

Spoken like people who've never been to France, Cuba, Albania, Bulgaria, or Venezuela. Or much of anywhere for that matter. Spoken like people who don't know what economic system exist where, or what socialism means.

In other words... like most Americans.

Vive le ignorance!

Posted by Greg on Jun. 20, 2012 @ 8:28 pm

Greg has been everywhere.

He studied abroad in Spain for a semester where he drank a lot of tinto. "Dame una cana, cono."

Now he is an expert of everything

Posted by Troll Le quat on Jun. 21, 2012 @ 6:37 am

Time for some more vino tinto, methinks.

Posted by Guest on Jun. 21, 2012 @ 7:06 am

Doubt any rich person's taxes will be going up anytime soon here in France.. it's not footballers we care about it is wealthy business people and yes they will move abroad for tax purposes even though they may make frequent visits to France. An American friend has just had medical treatment in the US and compared it to treatment he had when he was living in France and said France's system wins hand down. The country may be socialist but it is also caring.

Posted by Guest Melanie on Jun. 21, 2012 @ 2:23 am

That's called confiscatory.

Posted by Guest on Jun. 21, 2012 @ 5:44 am

"fair"

Incidentally, the taxes are progressive. Top marginal rates sound big but really say nothing about what people pay. Nobody pays 60% on their entire income.

Posted by Greg on Jun. 21, 2012 @ 4:50 pm

The golden age of conservativism here in the US was during the Eisenhower era, back when government taxed at a 70% marginal rate and invested in socialized projects like the interstate system and public universities.

I bet you have nightmares of tax increases, huh?

Posted by marcos on Jun. 21, 2012 @ 6:36 am

How do you know it wasn't segregation that conferred all that prosperity on the nation, rather than any other one factor cherry-picked from that time?

Posted by Guest on Jun. 21, 2012 @ 7:05 am

Eisenhower was elected in 1952, Brown v. Board was in 1954 and Eisenhower sent in the National Guard to enforce Brown. Economically, the country was a powerhouse and socially it was on the optimistic fast track to hopeful reform.

Contrast that with today's neoconservative practitioners of "free market" economic sharia, albeit with a carve out for rent seeking and speculation, and that's quite a difference, a different economic ideology entirely.

But then again, ideologies are for people without ideas.

Posted by marcos on Jun. 21, 2012 @ 7:27 am

You really should study history, Marcos, if you're going to try and quote it here in defense of our indefensible ideas.

High taxes do not cause economic success - they impede it.

Posted by Guest on Jun. 21, 2012 @ 8:46 am

"was on the optimistic fast track to hopeful reform."

So you admit that things began to get better in the 1950s and proceeded to improve in the 1960s based on the principled stand of a Republican president and very high taxes.

High taxes lead to high economic growth, greater distribution of wealth and civil rights gains, a Republican president proved that.

Posted by marcos on Jun. 21, 2012 @ 9:05 am

what you perceive as high taxes and what you perceive as a "golden age" is random, coincidental and non-causal.

There is always a complex array of factors that determine economic success or failure. Your attempt to generalise and over-simplify it down to a single thing just to suit your politics is as unconvincing as it is amateur.

There is no more evidence that taxes cause prosperity than there is that segregation does.

Posted by Guest on Jun. 21, 2012 @ 9:19 am

Right, so there is a case study of how high taxes led to sustainable, broad based economic growth on one hand, and there is another case study where tax whining has led us to a depression, but there is nothing to be derived from that to indicate the path forward.

You're no different than a Christian who is banking on the return of Jesus Christ, than a Muslim who practices Sharia Law because the Quran says so.

Posted by marcos on Jun. 21, 2012 @ 9:54 am

high taxes brought about economci success. nor given any reason why it ever could. All you've done is dreamed up a coincidence and claimed it's causation.

Posted by Guest on Jun. 21, 2012 @ 10:10 am

There is always a complex array of factors that determine economic success or failure. Your attempt to generalise and over-simplify it down to a single thing just to suit your politics is as unconvincing as it is amateur.

There is no more evidence that low taxes cause prosperity than there is that resegregation does.

Posted by marcos on Jun. 21, 2012 @ 10:03 am

nor high taxes necessarily cause prosperity?

That's some progress. Although I doubt you'd find one economist in 100 who would claim higher taxes are good for an economy.

Posted by Guest on Jun. 21, 2012 @ 10:12 am

No, idiot, I'm just throwing your crappy reasoning back at you.

Most economists missed the 2008 mortgage meltdown because their crappy models had no place for normal human conduct like the kind of greed and subterfuge that are attendant to rent seeking.

Posted by marcos on Jun. 21, 2012 @ 10:26 am

Yet did you short shares in Fannie/Freddie in 1997, and thereby make a fortune? Nope. You were as clueless as anyone else. but now you're all wise after the fact.

So far all you have furnished in the way of evidence that high taxes help business is a coincidence. You haven't cited even one single credible economist who advance such a paradoxical notion.

Posted by Guest on Jun. 21, 2012 @ 10:45 am

No, we went long on our home by refinancing to avoid the crunch because it was easy to see that we were running at speed into a wall if you're not blinded by boosterism and religious economic conviction.

Posted by marcos on Jun. 21, 2012 @ 11:04 am

didn't short the banks, which would have made you fabulously wealthy, even though you also claim you saw it coming.

Total disconnect.

Posted by Guest on Jun. 21, 2012 @ 11:29 am

I am not an investor, so that did not occur to me to speculate.

What did occur to me is to preserve the value of my asset and I did so because the writing was on the wall.

Posted by marcos on Jun. 21, 2012 @ 11:40 am

and alleged powers of prediction would naturally exploit such an advantage.

Assuming, of course, that such an edge ever existed.

Sorry, not buying it.

Posted by Guest on Jun. 21, 2012 @ 12:01 pm

It takes money to invest and make money, doesn't it? Since when do you expect for progressives to be flush with the kind of cash that could be risked on speculative investments?

Idiot.

Posted by marcos on Jun. 21, 2012 @ 12:09 pm

though it is typically the wealthier US States that support liberal candidates and policies, while the poorer States support conservatives?

Hmm, interesting that a liberal sees liberals as failures, and conservatvies as successful.

Posted by Guest on Jun. 21, 2012 @ 12:29 pm

Yes, unlike Europe, the productive states are progressive politically while the unproductive states are libertarian capitalist politically. This means that unlike Europe, where the economically conservative European north supports the economically liberal European South, the economically liberal coastal states support the economically conservative southern and mountain western states. That's called not walking the walk, libertarian parasites expecting to be subsidized by the productive progressives.

Presuming that everyone has gobs of money to invest based on their politics or location is as ill advised as the rest of your economic sharia is.

Posted by marcos on Jun. 21, 2012 @ 12:46 pm

Like the French, you use a hundred words when ten will do, and spout obfuscatory nonsense masquerading as intellectual rigor at every turn.

Posted by Guest on Jun. 21, 2012 @ 12:55 pm

Glad I was able to turn this thread into a detail of how I personally dealt with things. I love making everything about me!

Posted by marcos on Jun. 21, 2012 @ 12:57 pm

I just enjoy playing with it.

Posted by Guest on Jun. 21, 2012 @ 1:07 pm

Oh boy, Marc must have read a Wikipedia article that explained "rent seeking"....so he must now repeat it in every post.

Marc, you do know that rent control as practiced in SF is a form of rent seeking, in that it confers a economic privilege to the renter that would not exist in a free market?

And you also undoubtedly are aware that this concept is a cornerstone of classical economics? You know, the people who encourage free trade, free markets, and capitalism?

But then, intellectual rigor (or coherence) isn't exactly your strong suit.

Posted by Paul Noe Valley on Jun. 21, 2012 @ 8:14 pm

derivative, twice-removed nonsense.

It's a wonder he knows how to breathe.

Posted by Guest on Jun. 21, 2012 @ 9:16 pm

Yes, I admit that what we are doing is rent seeking. But the problematic rent seeking that was attacked by the classical capitalist economics was narrow base rent seeking, the elites rigging the game for their continued benefit, as we've seen on Wall Street and in the Real Estate sector.

Broad-based "rent seeking" is not the problem that Smith addressed because that shifts economic from a narrow base to a broad base which recirculates those dollars back into the productive economy.

Posted by marcos on Jun. 22, 2012 @ 11:32 am

is when you try to rig the system so that you can get something for nothing; economically negative or at least neutral behavior which results in a transfer of wealth. Is that right?

Seems like faulting rent control as "rent seeking" which was meant to prevent ACTUAL rent seeking is the most ludicrous point you could attempt to make.

If rent control prevented the building of new, non-rent-controlled rental properties, or fixed annual rent increases at some standard below inflation rates, I mean, you would have a point... but...

Let me put it this way: I know of a place where you can get a job putting nut and bolt assortments together.

Posted by lillipublicans on Jun. 22, 2012 @ 11:54 am
LOL

"If rent control prevented the building of new, non-rent-controlled rental properties, or fixed annual rent increases at some standard below inflation rates, I mean, you would have a point... but.."

Er, it does exactly that.

Posted by Guest on Jun. 22, 2012 @ 12:11 pm

There are several large rental projects that are under construction or in the approvals pipeline. Archstone at 8th and Harrison is one, Trinity Plaza is another.

Posted by marcos on Jun. 22, 2012 @ 1:16 pm

No small private developer is building non-condo rentals in the city.

Posted by Guest on Jun. 22, 2012 @ 2:07 pm

Small, private developers are not capable of building sufficient numbers of units to the extent that they can make a dent in much of anything.

Posted by marcos on Jun. 22, 2012 @ 2:27 pm

You just need a lot of them, and they're scared off by the rules and regs.

Posted by Guest on Jun. 22, 2012 @ 3:14 pm

The French aren't terribly eager to have you. Good luck getting a work permit.

Posted by Guest on Jun. 21, 2012 @ 6:44 am

I doubt there's much demand in France for provincial, aging hippies with no real-world skills, Tim. But you can dream. They do have Bud Light in France, by the way, but only the rubes drink it, just like in SF.

Posted by Chromefields on Jun. 21, 2012 @ 7:29 am

I guess that's me.

Posted by tim on Jun. 21, 2012 @ 10:18 am

Quel vulgaire.

Posted by Guest on Jun. 21, 2012 @ 10:27 am

it's all you can afford, because where you're from, not enough of other people's money has been redistributed to you to compensate you for your unproductive life choices. They'll sympathize. At least, the 3,000,000 unemployed sociology majors will.

Posted by Chromefields on Jun. 21, 2012 @ 11:23 am