Former Sen. Gregg: US Must Not Duplicate France

Monday, 07 May 2012 11:24 AM

By Dan Weil

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Sunday’s election of Socialist Francois Hollande as president of France signals even more damaging government intervention in France’s economy, says former New Hampshire Sen. Judd Gregg.

And the United States should make every effort to avoid traveling down the same road, he says. “The French have now elected a socialist government. This event should be instructive to us,” he writes in The Hill. “They have dealt themselves a losing hand. We should simply observe, note it, and hopefully choose not to play the same cards.”

The government already accounts for more than 50 percent of France’s economy. Lifetime employment is virtually guaranteed once workers find a job, regardless of their performance. Many workers have 35-hour weeks and can retire at 55, according to The Hill.

“With these types of policies, it would seem difficult to imagine what a socialist government would change,” Gregg writes. “But there is still room for movement to the left, according to the folks who [ran].”

Hollande pledged to increase the income tax rate for those earning more than 1 million euros ($1.3 million) to 75 percent. And he pledged to raise corporate taxes too.

“France now seems to be on the final leg of this journey of self-delusion and self-destruction,” Gregg writes in The Hill. “The world is becoming more and more competitive, with no time for the self-indulgent as nations seek better lifestyles for their people. The politics of envy and the real reduction in competitiveness of the French society is clearly placing France and many nations in Europe at a tipping point.”


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