Sunday, July 8, 2012

Challenge for the American Left: Go on Record For Hollande's Socialist Program

During the French presidential campaign, pundits assured us that Francois Hollande was simply playing to his socialist base. Once in office, he’d prove to be a pragmatist. All his talk of 75 percent income tax rates, wealth surcharges, infrastructure banks, new taxes on dividends, hiring more public employees, not giving an inch on entitlements, and punishing the financial sector was just talk. Two months later, we know Hollande meant every word. Armed with a solid parliamentary majority, he is carrying out his socialist agenda, no holds-barred.

It is time for our anti-austerity, pro-stimulus, and ueber-fairness crowd to go on record in support of Hollande. I’d like to count them when the French economy goes down the toilet, as it certainly will unless Hollande changes course.

The American Left counts among Hollande’s many cheerleaders. At long last, a leader of France is standing up to the austerity crowd. Liberal New York Times columnist, Paul Krugman, rails against the Hollande hysteria of the staid Financial Times and the stingy Germans. Per Krugman: we need not fear someone who genuinely believes in the need for a fair society, and we know the mess we get into when the government does not run things.  By ignoring the austerity nonsense, Hollande offers the “possibility of something better” not only for “new Keynesians and old socialists” but for France, Europe, and the world economy.

As they say, time will tell.

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  1. Just came across this: "President Francois Hollande on Saturday denounced a plan by carmaker PSA Peugeot-Citroen to cut 8,000 jobs as unacceptable and said it must be renegotiated."

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