WUI (Writing under the influence)

Somebody once said we are all Americans, sometimes born in the wrong places.
On a warm autumn day in 1986, while enjoying beer with my college buddies,
I decided to join my new homeland.

I've come to appreciate the ideals that helped create this great country.
Liberalism, political-correctness, multiculturalism and moral equivalence
are destroying it.

This old house Grovenet Wal*Mart Visiting Poland American wine better than French.

Saturday, December 17, 2005

 

Let's be more like the French?

Principally, I'm opposed to socialism because I don't want the government to spend my money. I want to spend my money. I also don't want the government to use taxes for social engineering. But I'm also opposed to socialism because it doesn't work. Even if it could solve many problems it claims capitalism creates, I would still object as I believe people have free will to reject many temptations capitalism creates.

So this article from Sunday Business Post should serve as a warning to everybody who thinks we should be more like the French.

France's public debt is spiralling out of control, according to a report commissioned by the French government from the chairman of BNP Paribas bank.

[...] report shows that the debt stands at 1,117 billion, representing 66 per cent of France's GDP or 18,000 per citizen.

The staggering figure encompasses the debt accumulated by the state and local authorities, as well as social and health insurance bodies, over the past few decades.

However, it does not include the upcoming time bomb of civil servants' pensions. Depending on who you agree with, this could add between 450 billion and 900 billion to the country's arrears.

As things stand, French taxpayers see almost all of their income tax contributions end up in interest repayments for their public debt, to the tune of 45 billion each year.

This is one of the budget's largest expenditure items, second only to primary and secondary school education - "twice as much as research and third-level education", according to the report.

In his conclusions, [the report] criticises successive governments - both right and leftwing - which have all "consistently taken the easy option"; when it came to public finances.

[...]

The document suggests several measures to tackle deficits: reduce the number of civil servants; freeze the current government's policy of tax cuts; merge a number of redundant administrative authorities and push back retirement age to salvage the French public pensions system.

[...]

In a television interview on Wednesday, he said: "France spends too much and too badly, we must take the matter into our own hands."

This last sentence should scare the French cizitens more than it should reassure them.

High taxation and all kinds of social programs don't lead to better societies as the recent riots illustrated. Furthermore, and more importantly, high taxation and social programs hamper the economy they rely on for support. The end result is "debt out of control" and no hope for the future. Any mention of meaningful reforms results in strikes of public sector employees which often paralyze the country and force politicians to give in to public employees unions' demands.

It is extremely important that Americans do not fall for Democrats' promises of some kind of workers' paradise if only we stared taxing the rich more and allowed the government to do more for us. Many people insist that a universal health care, for example, would not only help the millions who are not insured (they still have access to health care, however) but it would also be cheaper because a lot of redundancy would be eliminated. Government programs by definition are fraught with redundancy and other waste. More importantly, once created, they become politicians' favorite election props. Even after it is clear they don't work or cost too much to be sustainable (i.e., social security) they can't be terminated or even reformed.

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