Patterico's Pontifications

2/3/2009

France Rejects “Obama-style” Stimulus

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 7:45 am



Apparently, the plan is too socialistic for France:

Prime Minister François Fillon on Monday rejected demands that the French government seek to stimulate consumer spending, rather than follow his plan to stimulate corporate and infrastructure investment, to lift France out of its economic slump.

“It would be irresponsible to chose another policy, which would increase our country’s indebtedness without having more infrastructure and increased competitiveness in the end,” Fillon said in a speech in Lyon.

. . . .

Opponents of the government have been calling for an “Obama-style” stimulus plan, one that puts money directly into the pockets of working people.

When France is more responsible and less socialistic than your own government, it’s time to worry.

57 Responses to “France Rejects “Obama-style” Stimulus”

  1. To understand France, you have to accept that what they tell us to do, and what they applaud when we do it, has nothing to do with their own practices. For example, they generate 85% of their electricity with nuclear power. When there were disturbances in Ivory Coast that endangered French citizens a few years ago, the French Army went down there and kicked ass. The French medical care system, as I have discussed on my blog, retains fee-for-service and limits what it pays for to scientific medicine. They have their troubles with Muslim immigrants but school girls don’t wear veils to French schools. I expect that one day soon, they will tire of the riots and car burnings and clean out the banlieues. I don’t expect to see the Muslims read their Miranda rights, either.

    Mike K (2cf494)

  2. Never thought the day would come when I’d make fun of my own country and praise France.

    Patterico, I hope you’ll cover the latest tax cheat nominee, Nancy Killefer. The Obama Admin. is fast becoming something Shakespearean, I just can’t decide whether tragedy or comedy.

    Peg C. (48175e)

  3. When France is more responsible and less socialistic than your own government, it’s time to worry.

    +1,000,000…..

    We’re so bleepin screwed, even France is more conservative than the Obamanation.

    J. Raymond Wright (d83ab3)

  4. That last sentence should be the official GOP line, but they are (as ever) the Stupid Party.

    Karl (f07e38)

  5. When there were disturbances in Ivory Coast that endangered French citizens a few years ago, the French Army went down there and kicked ass.

    Not to mention their activities in Algeria during the unrest there – the types of torture methods they used on suspects make waterboarding look like Mr. Toad’s Wild Ride at DisneyWorld (since discontinued – the ride, I mean).

    Dmac (49b16c)

  6. A little hyperbole here. The current French government is a fair amount more conservative than its constituents and the current US government is more liberal. I doubt Francois “the worm” Mitterand would have had a problem with this trillion dollar porkfest.

    Sean P (e57269)

  7. My mistake: Mitterand wasn’t “the worm”, It was Chirac.

    Sean P (e57269)

  8. The current French government is a fair amount more conservative than its constituents

    Uh, what? This is similar reasoning we heard when Reagan was elected. Whether Sarko’s re – elected or not, they knew exactly what they were getting with him and his administration.

    Dmac (49b16c)

  9. Mitterand learned the hard way what happens when you try socialism. He was elected as the first Socialist President since World War II and the new 4th Republic constitution. He nationalized the banks and the economy crashed. Anybody with money was fleeing the country. A couple of friends of mine bought a chateau near Lyons for about $250,000. Houses were dirt cheap. Once he saw what had happened, Mitterand backed down and retracted a lot of his initial policies. France is governed by a small elite who all go to school with each other and who are sheltered from the normal economy and its risks. We are going that way, unfortunately. They are less concerned about wacky economic theories because they know they will not have to live the way the poor folks do. That, for you peasants, is everyone who didn’t attend an Ivy League school.

    Here is a socialist web site describing what Mitterand did. Notice no mention of what happened. Even Wikipedia glosses over the fact that he was forced to change course and give up the socialist program. I wonder if Obama will be as astute as Mitterand finally was when he realized he had to change course.

    Mike K (f89cb3)

  10. As Mike in #1 acccurately pointed out, the France of liberal dreams is an imaginary place that has very little to do with the France that sits between Germany and Italy. I’m sure the France of the Upper West Side latte crowd looks on with envy at Obama’s stimulus and, if he were exactly the same except Republican, would undoubtedly be agitating for more.

    tim maguire (50b9b8)

  11. A recent guest columnist in the WSJ made the salient point that France is, and forever will be, a steadfastly contrarian citizenry and government. Whatever the US is currently undergoing, France will do exactly the opposite. Reagan = Mitterand; Bush = Chirac; Obama = Sarko.
    We even see this dynamic regarding our relative cultural icons – Mickey Rourke was lionized over the past decade in France, but everywhere else was mocked and scorned. Now that he’s on the comeback here, the French are already showing signs of disillusionment with him. Au contraire.

    Dmac (49b16c)

  12. Not to mention their activities in Algeria during the unrest there – the types of torture methods they used on suspects make waterboarding look like Mr. Toad’s Wild Ride at DisneyWorld (since discontinued – the ride, I mean).
    Comment by Dmac — 2/3/2009 @ 12:01 pm

    Dmac, say it isn’t so! Did Disney really cancel Mr. Toad’s Wild thing? Well, with Obama in the Oval Office, we may well, euphemistically speaking, be on it anyway. Hang on, folks.

    marybel (1ea4a9)

  13. Mike,

    Ecole, you must go to the Ecole.

    Obama über alles!!!!! (48dd5e)

  14. What is that sound?
    John Kerry’s head exploding.

    Perfect Sense (0922fa)

  15. […] This ain’t good. France has rejected an “Obama-style” stimulus plan as being too socialist. Yeah, that France. LYON: Prime Minister François Fillon on Monday rejected demands that the French government seek to stimulate consumer spending, rather than follow his plan to stimulate corporate and infrastructure investment, to lift France out of its economic slump. […]

    Dull Razor » Blog Archive » Oh, crap (7be474)

  16. See they already have the TGV, and know the beauty of SUPERTRAINS

    imdw (d69d05)

  17. “Whatever the US is currently undergoing, France will do exactly the opposite. Reagan = Mitterand; Bush = Chirac; Obama = Sarko.”

    You do know that Sarko predates Obama, right?

    imdw (c5488f)

  18. I wonder if France has a mile high dirty berm and a balloon fence too ?

    JD (5535b9)

  19. France will do exactly the opposite

    imdw – Focus on the word opposite. You do know that Sarko holds office now. Chirac overlapped with Bush and Mitterand with Reagan. See if you notice a pattern to the statement to which you were referring.

    daleyrocks (5d22c0)

  20. “I wonder if France has a mile high dirty berm and a balloon fence too ?”

    JD – No, but they have smelly cheese, hairy women and effeminate men. Death is not an option.

    daleyrocks (5d22c0)

  21. I never thought I’d see the day when France seemed like a more inviting country than my own!

    The next four years can’t go by fast enough…

    ~T the D
    http://thedrunkelephant.blogspot.com/

    T the D (387724)

  22. “imdw – Focus on the word opposite. You do know that Sarko holds office now. ”

    Yes but if they were first, its more like the US does the opposite. You said whatever we’re ‘currently undergoing’ france does the opposite. When Sarko was elected, we were ‘undergoing’ bush. When france was undergoing Sarko, we elected Obama.

    imdw (c5488f)

  23. You do know that Sarko predates Obama, right?

    Do you know the meaning of the word “trending?” How about “anal retentiveness?” Here’s an idea – you could actually look them up, and get back to us with your findings.

    Dmac (49b16c)

  24. Slightly OT, but really ON TOPIC

    http://www.stimuluswatch.org/

    You have GOT to see this — look up your own town to see how much your local representatives are gorging from the public trough.

    steve miller (3381bc)

  25. Yes

    imdw – That’s where you should have stopped.

    daleyrocks (5d22c0)

  26. I’m disappointed. Not one cent in there for my town. But, if I really checked, I’m positive my CongressKritterette poured the pork into the East L.A. portion of her district, that more closely resembles, politically, her sensibilities.

    AD (8486ab)

  27. ‘Do you know the meaning of the word “trending?’

    Certainly. I use it when i mean it.

    ‘imdw – That’s where you should have stopped.’

    These are my favorite sorts of comments.

    imdw (4fe3dc)

  28. It’s not about socialism; it’s that the EU members are all famous inflation hawks.

    jpe (6479d5)

  29. Certainly. I use it when i mean it.

    Translation – I don’t understand them in the first place, but it will still take me a few hours to justify my ignorance.

    Dmac (49b16c)

  30. Dmac, its ok. Its just some crap on the WSJ op-ed page. usual buffonery. And frankly, its still somewhat correct — the US and france are often going opposite ways. Its just that its necessarily france that is the ‘contrarian.’ Sometimes they move first and we react.

    imdw (c990d8)

  31. “its necessarily”

    oops. should be “its not necessarily”

    imdw (c990d8)

  32. imdw – After all that blather about Sarkozy and timing, what point were you trying to make or were you actually trying to make one at all?

    daleyrocks (5d22c0)

  33. Only someone whose IQ approaches room-temp on the Celsius scale would state that the WSJ OpEd page is composed of “the usual buffonery”.

    AD (8486ab)

  34. “Only someone whose IQ approaches room-temp on the Celsius scale would state that the WSJ OpEd page is composed of “the usual buffonery”.”

    Ever see their laffer curve?

    http://www.brendan-nyhan.com/blog/2007/08/replicating-the.html

    What did that do to your IQ? Or did you not read it that day?

    imdw (1b8bcd)

  35. Proof positive of its trollery.

    JD (5535b9)

  36. Comment by imdw — 2/3/2009 @ 8:17 pm

    Actually, I did not read this article when it came out, as I was travelling on business (IIRC, I was in Portland that week), and do not take a laptop with me, and don’t receive my WSJ-Online OpEd email away from home.
    However, it is a well proven phenomenon that when tax rates for Cap-Gains (for example) are reduced, revenue to the Government increases.
    And, from personal experience, I can tell you that here in CA in the early 90’s, the state raised a great many tax-rates into a recession, and watched total revenues decrease – decreases that were completely outside the models. They completely overlooked the very human characteristic of self-interest, and that people will move to other areas where the tax environment is more friendly to live and operate their businesses in, which is what happened. CA experienced a period of out-migration for approx. five-years as tax generators removed themselves from a hostile financial environment, and re-located into a more friendly one.
    On an international scale, we are seeing the same effect with corporate reaction to the draconian requirements of Sarbannes-Oxley. The number of Initial Public Offerings are way down in New York, but have exploded in financial marketplaces from London, to Dubai, to Hong Kong. Just another result of the law of unintended consequences.

    AD (8486ab)

  37. “Its just that its necessarily france that is the ‘contrarian.’ Sometimes they move first and we react.”

    imdw – I think it is mostly people on the left and in France itself who still who still consider that country a world leader. Others recognize a failed socialist experiment and an ungrateful nation attempting to fix itself under the current government.

    daleyrocks (5d22c0)

  38. addendum…
    Since the WSJ on any day has more than a dozen OpEd pieces, that you can only find one over the last 7-months to support your statement of derision shows that perhaps this one article was an outlier; or, that you have an animus against Arthur Laffer (who did not draw that graph, BTW)?

    AD (8486ab)

  39. Ever see their laffer curve?
    Comment by imdw — 2/3/2009 @ 8:17 pm

    Look at the ponies over there!!!!!

    daleyrocks (5d22c0)

  40. You mean that there is something that even the French won’t do?

    EricPWJohnson (806bed)

  41. “However, it is a well proven phenomenon that when tax rates for Cap-Gains (for example) are reduced, revenue to the Government increases.”

    If it is “well proven,” that makes that jackass graph even dumber.

    imdw (e36369)

  42. Infrastructure spending is not stimulus, unless its an increase in maintenance spending. Anything that results in immediate action- new hires now, not later- acts as stimulus. Nothing that takes 3 years of planning counts as stimulus.
    But infrastructure spending needs to go up a lot for a lot of other reasons.

    sleepy (09c352)

  43. Imdw, if you are on the wrong side of the Laffer Curve, and the US has been for decades, a decrease in taxes will increase revenue. And I did look at that website. Even the “new” curve the guy made showed the US on the wrong side of the curve.

    John Hitchcock (fb941d)

  44. And, sleepy, I know I’m going to regret it later but I agree with your #41.

    John Hitchcock (fb941d)

  45. So much idiocy. Where to start?

    JD (a6482e)

  46. […] | In Uncategorized | Tags: economy, France, stimulus No Stimulus For France: “When France is more responsible and less socialistic than your own government, it’s time to […]

    No Stimulus For France « The Salty Pundit (b4c4db)

  47. Comment by JD — 2/3/2009 @ 9:45 pm

    Well, you’ve announced your intentions, so there goes the whole stealth thing (should have worn the kilts).

    AD (f7a58e)

  48. Would you quit with the kilts, already? I hate thinking about blue ribbons.

    John Hitchcock (fb941d)

  49. “Imdw, if you are on the wrong side of the Laffer Curve, and the US has been for decades, a decrease in taxes will increase revenue.”

    I understand all the Laffer curve predictions. The joke is the graph that the WSJ chose. The best part of it is even if you discount however they drew their “fit”, it seems to prove that a higher percentage of GDP being collected as taxes results from being in a better point in the laffer curve. Think about that. A higher percentage of the GDP is collected.

    imdw (24abbf)

  50. It sounds like someone just has a bit of a problem with drawing graphs, or do you contest the data too?

    AD (f7a58e)

  51. Lower taxes. People keep more of their money. People earn more money. Tax revenue increases. GNP increases. People earn more money. Tax revenue increases. It is not a static economic system.

    John Hitchcock (fb941d)

  52. AD, he’s saying percent of GNP (a static point in his mind) climbs as tax rates drop, thereby actually leaving businesses with less money. He’s not taking into account the fact GNP itself is fluid and highly influenced by tax code.

    John Hitchcock (fb941d)

  53. imdw is just trying to threadjack away from her earlier botched obtuse threadjack on France.

    daleyrocks (5d22c0)

  54. “It sounds like someone just has a bit of a problem with drawing graphs, or do you contest the data too?”

    I don’t think they’re making up their data. I think their fit is a joke and the conclusion they draw is a joke: Laffer doesn’t predict a higher percentage of GDP being collected as a result of being at an optimal point on the Laffer curve. Hitchcok has some shorthand for the Laffer prediction here:

    “Lower taxes. People keep more of their money. People earn more money. Tax revenue increases. GNP increases. People earn more money. Tax revenue increases. It is not a static economic system.”

    Note how this doesn’t quite work if tax revenue goes up as a percent of GDP.

    “AD, he’s saying percent of GNP (a static point in his mind) climbs as tax rates drop, thereby actually leaving businesses with less money.”

    Actually that’s what the WSJ graph says. And no it doesn’t mean businesses have less money in nominal terms. It does mean a greater share of the national product is collected as taxes. An odd result for the WSJ to tout.

    imdw (70833b)

  55. Anything that results in immediate action- new hires now, not later- acts as stimulus. Nothing that takes 3 years of planning counts as stimulus.
    But infrastructure spending needs to go up a lot for a lot of other reasons.

    Agreed – now, if someone would just tell the Dem overlords in DC about this unfortunate reality.

    Dmac (49b16c)

  56. There’s an argument going on right now. But if someone would tell the republicans to grow up.

    -“RNC Chair Michael Steele: “Not in the history of mankind has the government ever created a job.”
    Tell me, is he that stupid?

    -“Just heard Mitch McConnell again in his senate press conference. Let’s make sure we understand the Republican position. Tax cuts are far less efficient as stimulus than spending. In other words, they save fewer jobs. But McConnell apparently wants all tax cuts and no spending. He didn’t seem that extreme even a few days ago. But now that’s where he is. In other words, no jobs bill.”

    “Not a Stimulus bill. It’s just a spending bill.” That was Sen. Jim DeMint (R-SC) just a few moments ago on Fox.

    There are obviously very basic disagreements between Democrats and Republicans on this issue, which is fine. There’s nothing wrong with that. But I think of all the Republicans I’ve heard making nonsensical points about this bill, Sen. DeMint (R-SC) is running way ahead of every other competitor, certainly ahead of any other senator.

    A short DeMint wish-list.
    Can someone point out to me any case where an interviewer presses DeMint on the point that stimulus bills are by definition spending bills. Please someone send me this link or a time when it happens on TV. You’re trying to counter the drop off in the demand that is causing the recession.

    I’m told DeMint isn’t a dolt, which is hard to tell from recent TV appearances, just an anti-government radical who thinks the government shouldn’t take any role in trying to cushion the effects of economic downturns or having any policy response to possible economic catastrophes. But really, he’s getting a crazy free ride here.”

    sleepy (09c352)

  57. Good for franch they dont want any of this stimulis pork like were getting

    Krazy Kagu (e1e2c1)


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