Personally, I hate France. I hate them so much that I refuse to go and see the new Les Miserables purely because the movie is based on a play which is based on a book about the French Revolution. The only time that the French have done anything that could be considered to be remotely awesome was when they helped us to win our independence from Great Britain. They were actually a decisive asset to the war, and might have been the difference between us winning and losing. Napoleon was cool, but he was also kind of a prick. So thank you, French people, for doing that ONE thing for us and then going back to being pretentious, self-indulgent douchebags that are more concerned with the art being displayed in the Louvre than the wellbeing of your country.
Some of you might have heard the terrifying news that France elected a Socialist president during its last round of elections. This may not be surprising considering the direction that the country has taken in recent years, but should serve as a warning for the rest of the world. If you start to let socialism fester in your society, eventually it will take over; kind of like a horrible disease that chokes the life out of society by trying to make sure that everyone has the exact same amount of money, whatever it takes.
The French president and his party tried to pass a 75% tax plan on those individuals living within their borders that make more than 1 million euro in a year. Yes, that number is correct. Seventy-five percent. Three-fourths. A vast majority. The amount of people who can maintain a lifestyle that they are accustomed to after having 75% of their earnings stolen from them is very select, even if they are making more than 1 million euro in a calendar year. For those of you who take Bane’s view of the world and think that the rich people need to be ripped from their pedestals because their standard of living is too high, you need to re-evaluate where your life is headed. For those of you who just read that and realized that The Dark Knight Rises was really just a huge commentary on class struggle (Occupy Wall Street and the 99 versus the top 1 percent of earners) then congratulations. You just got schooled.
France’s highest court struck down the tax plan, which had been one of the main planks of the Socialist president’s campaign, but for reasons that did not completely kill the idea that it might actually become a law. The court ruled that the plan was so egregious that it was considered to be “confiscatory” because it was unfairly taxing the citizens who earned that much money. Their idea was that if you want to tax rich people to that extent, then you have to be fair about it and tax all rich people the same (see the article that I linked at the end of this post for a more in-depth description of the ruling). Slightly contradictory if you ask me, but they thought it made sense. The tax in and of itself is saying that the government of France has the right to take 75% of what a person earns and do with it whatever it pleases, which in this case is most likely to give it to someone who has not earned it.
That confiscatory attitude that the French are starting to show is something that is showing up in the United States as well. Those who prefer a free-market and laissez faire approach to the economy have harped on the fact that our government hast started to follow in Europe’s footsteps for a long time now, and I fear that if we keep up this path, we will eventually end up like France. And that scares me.
I know that some people might knock that logic and call it a slippery slope, but I don’t care. This threat is real, and it’s always hanging over our heads. We cannot let our government start to take more and more away from those who are earning more in the United States because they are the ones who can grow the economy. If we start to take money away from those who are running the economy, then the fact is, they will have to spend less and therefore the economy will cease to grow and function as it should. The crippling debt that we have today is not going to be solved by taking more from the rich but by cutting useless spending from years of pork barrel politics that has funded programs that we don’t need and aren’t something that the federal government should be funding anyway, and by stimulating the economy through CUTTING taxes and DECREASING regulation rather than raising both and trying to force the economy to do what we want it to. You cannot multiply wealth by dividing it, and you cannot legislate prosperity.
If we can take a stand now and tell those who represent us in government that they need to start to be more accountable to us, the people, and try to give us some of our money and power back rather than horde it for themselves, then we can possibly avoid this type of situation like the one the French are dealing with at the moment. Socialism, nay, communism and complete redistribution of wealth have never worked and trying it again isn’t going to change the outcome. If you make everyone equal, then where is the incentive to be creative, competitive, hard-working, etc.? If the doctor makes the same as a maintenance worker, then why would someone spend all that money to go into medical school and try to become a doctor? Do you really think that all the doctors that we have today did it purely because they want to help people get better? Sure doctors would not be good at what they do if they didn’t have a heart to serve other people and to have a vested interest in their patient’s wellbeing, but they also like the fact that they make a lot of money and get to live a lot more comfortable life than they would have if they had just stuck with their undergraduate education.
I said all that to say this: we cannot follow in the footsteps of France. I don’t know why we would EVER use the French as an example for ANYTHING outside of art (if you’re into that sort of thing) and possibly food, but we definitely not be using them as examples on how to run a country.
Here is a link to the Wall Street Journal article that I got my information from. Please read, be horrified and write to your Congressman to stop the rampant taxation and spending that has plagued Washington. It’s only going to get worse if we don’t act fast.