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Thread: Obama: We Should Be More Like Socialist France - the Detroit of Europe

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    Obama: We Should Be More Like Socialist France - the Detroit of Europe

    Obama: We Should Be More Like Socialist France

    Michael Schaus | Jun 24, 2014



    Well, here’s the good news: We’re getting a clearer picture of how the Obama Administration would like to “fundamentally transform” America. And the bad news (you know how the whole “good news” thing works, right?) is that their newly transformed America would look a whole lot more like France. Now, I like a good cigarette and moules marinières as much as the next guy (unless, of course he’s French… then he might like it more) but, I’m not thrilled about living in the socialist-lite version of Europe’s paradise for workers.
    While extolling the virtues of government-mandated minimum wage and vacation time, our President decided it would be good to invoke the French worker as an idol to which Americans should aspire. According to Washington Examiner:
    “Other countries know how to do this,” Obama said. “If France can figure this out, we can figure it out.”
    Wow. I guess he’s seen the future; and the future works. Of course, the truth is a little less glamorous (and a little less snarky). It goes without saying that Americans can do anything that the French can do – and heck, we can probably even do it better.
    But, really, do we want to compete with the French over who can be more socialist? I mean, they’ve had a lot more practice than we have. And, the truth is, France has been (economically speaking) a little bit of a let-down nowadays. For starters, our GDP is about six times that of France, despite the fact that our tax revenues barely double that of the socialist nation. Also, France just saw another GDP contraction (that’s a officially a “recession”), its unemployment rate has been hovering around 10 percent for two years, and there has been an exodus of wealthy entrepreneurs and philanthropists who have decided to scour the earth for a more economically inviting business climate.
    In other words: The “worker’s paradise” of France is on the road to being the Detroit of Europe.
    Besides, there are some pretty fundamental differences between American business expectations and those of European socialist states. Even Cadillac (ya know: the luxury line of Government Motors) understands that there is a foundational difference between good-old-fashioned Americanism and the paradise of François Hollande. (Seriously, check this article out… It will make you thrilled to be a hard working American.)
    France currently has some of the most “generous” labor requirements in the (non-bankrupt) civilized world. Full time employment is considered a mere 35 hour work-week; women receive 16 weeks of paid maternity leave; it’s almost easier to fire a Chicago teacher than an incompetent French employee; and they pretty much get the month of August off for holiday. Sounds great, right?
    Of course, maybe we should think about how much productivity would suffer if worker’s hours were cut to meet the French-approved standards of the White House. Maybe our socialist-sympathizing comrades in DC don’t get it, but productivity actually does translate into prosperity. And prosperity tends to make the lives of the disadvantaged slightly more comfortable. After all, productivity tends to create all that wealth that socialists like to “spread around”.
    Here’s the dirty little secret that our President fails to understand: Worker benefits are not free… In fact, they cost a lot of money. And this price tag is not the burden of the employer, but the burden of consumers, employees, and productivity.
    Then again, the President wasn’t trying to craft a proposal that would actually put people to work, or solve America’s economic woes. He was merely pandering to the working class liberals that constitute his base of support.
    Sure, French workers might get a month of vacation and enjoy daily two hour lunch breaks; but Americans can get more done by noon on Tuesday than half the nation of France can get done in a week. What Obama seems unable to comprehend is that the Socialist model for “worker’s rights” comes at a cost… And that cost is paid through higher prices, increased taxes, and an increasingly under performing labor force.
    And, if you don’t believe me, just look at Detroit. The French would have been proud of the UAW’s business demands… Of course, France is now slipping into an economic slump that closely resembles the crumbling ruins of motor city.
    Besides, if we only worked 35 hours per week, I probably wouldn’t have had time to make fun of the French today. And, really, is that the kind of world in which we wish to live? N’est-ce pas?

    http://finance.townhall.com/columnis...5024/page/full
    Last edited by AirborneSapper7; 06-28-2014 at 10:57 PM.
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    bttt
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    Bastiat Institute

    Socialism, making everyone equally poor...

    Except the elite ruling the show.
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    no...definitely not

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    French Housing "In Total Meltdown", "Current Figures Are Disastrous"

    Submitted by Tyler Durden on 07/30/2014 13:20 -0400

    If Venezuela is the case study of a country in the late stages of transition into a socialist utopia, then France is the clear runner up. The most recent case in point, aside from the already sliding French economy, whose recent contraction can be best seen be deteriorating PMI data...

    ... which hints at the dreaded "triple dip" recession, nowhere is the economic collapse in France more evident than in its housing market which as even Bloomberg admits, citing industry participants, is now "in total meltdown."
    The reason? The belief of the socialist president that a few economists know better than the overall market, especially when the sanctity of the "fairness doctrine" and the greater good is to be upheld at all costs. To wit: "French President Francois Hollande’s government may have made a housing slump worse, pushing the construction market to its lowest in more than 15 years. Housing starts fell 19 percent in the second quarter from a year earlier, and permits -- a gauge of future construction -- dropped 13 percent, the French Housing Ministry said yesterday."
    The reason: a law that was passed this year that seeks to make housing more affordable by capping rents in expensive neighborhoods. To protect home buyers, the law also boosted the number of documents that must be provided by sellers, leading to a decline in home sales and longer transaction times.
    Of course, it didn't take long for the government to realize its mistake and to scramble to adjust the rules, but "the damage is done, threatening France’s anemic recovery that’s already lagging behind those of the U.K. and Germany."
    Enter the soundbites: “Construction is in total meltdown,” said Dominique Barbet, an economist at BNP Paribas in Paris. “It’s difficult to see how the new housing law is not to blame.”
    Barbet says the drop in home building lopped 0.4 points off France’s gross domestic product growth last year and cut the pace of expansion by a third in the first quarter. Expenditure in the sector was at its lowest level ever as a portion of total real GDP in the first quarter at 4.7 percent, down from 6.3 percent in the first three months of 2007, he estimates.
    Sales of new-build homes fell 5 percent in the first quarter from a year earlier and are down by about a third compared with their level in 2007, according to Credit Agricole.
    It's not just the government to blame, though: central planning, which has made the rich richer beyond their wildest dreams has pushed prices near all-time highs in the Paris are, making real estate inaccessible to all but the richest, and leading a crunch in new construction and the associated spending. This is further impacted by the country’s record jobless claims, which in turn is leading to a plunge in sales and profits at building material and electrical equipment makers including Cie. de Saint-Gobain SA, Lafarge SA, Vicat SA, Schneider Electric SE, Legrand SA and Rexel SA.
    Enter more soundbites: "Current figures are worrying and will be disastrous if nothing is done; clients of the building sector are sounding the alarm bell,” Pierre-Andre de Chalendar, chief executive officer of Saint-Gobain, said this month. “It’s as though everything is being done to discourage investment in housing.”
    Alternatively, it is as if everything is done by a socialist government to boost the economy. The outcome almost without fail is the same. Alain Dinin, chairman of property company Nexity (NXI), concurs.

    “The French residential real estate market has been in a particularly tough situation,” he told investors after last week posting a drop in first-half revenue. “A host of complex regulations have been introduced and, most importantly, buyer sentiment has suffered. All those factors have combined to slow the already historically-low rate of new homes entering the market.”
    The direct threat of this housing collapse is that the country's already lowered GDP forecast may end up sliding to 0%, if not negative:

    Reduced home construction is threatening Hollande’s goal of increasing GDP by 1 percent this year. The International Monetary Fund slashed its 2014 French growth forecast to 0.7 percent this month from 1 percent previously. The IMF expects expansions of 1.9 percent in Germany and 3.2 percent in the U.K., as well as growth of 1.2 percent in Spain.

    Hollande, who has been trying to revive an economy that has barely grown in two years, is grappling with a record 3.3 million jobless claims and an approval rating that’s at the lowest level ever for any French president.

    Construction has the advantage of being an industry that’s easy to revive and lifts the broader economy by leading to the hiring of less-skilled workers and spurring private investment, economists say.

    “A recovery in construction would help the rebound but it won’t happen without government initiative,” said Ludovic Subran, chief economist at Euler Hermes in Paris. Building is “a sector where the impact on growth and employment is felt immediately.”
    Sadly, the underlying problem is one which even China has figured out has no solution, and where a housing sector saddled with insurmountable debt has only one short-term "fix" - even more debt to boost sales for another quarter or two, while kicking the can of the inevitable collapse a little further, assuring that the plunge, when it comes, will be worse than anything experienced.
    In France, it is no different, and the "solution" is to do more of what has not worked:

    State-controlled financial institution Caisse des Depots is starting talks with public and private investors to raise funds to build several tens of thousands homes in the greater Paris region, where the lack of available land and a rising population has boosted housing prices.

    “If we invest public money and funds from the Caisse, we must lure private investors,” Caisse des Depots CEO Pierre-Rene Lemas said in a July 6 interview. “Some talks are starting with a view to conclude by the end of the year.” Sylvia Pinel, who replaced former housing minister Cecile Duflot in April, has also introduced measures to revive the construction market, and cut some rules to reduce construction costs.
    At the end of the day, the only thing left is what has so far prevented the world from imploding since the Lehman collapse on the back of trillions in central bank liquidity: preserving public confidence at all costs.

    “What is important for France is to reassure people, to reassure everyone who wants to invest and to restore confidence,” Lafarge CEO Bruno Lafont said in an interview with Bloomberg Television last week, calling for simpler rules, lower construction costs, and incentives for institutional investors to invest more in housing.
    But, as Bloomberg summarizes it best: "It may be too little too late."

    http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2014-0...are-disastrous
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    France's 'Recovery' In 1 Hard-To-Believe Chart

    Submitted by Tyler Durden on 08/12/2014 11:27 -0400

    With French government bonds trading at record low yields under 1.5%, it is hard to argue that the troubled socialist nation is 'priced' for either recovery or credit risk... but then again, thanks to Draghi's promise and domestic banks' largesse, none of that matters. With joblessness at record highs, the following chart of France's "recovery" shows near-record high bankruptcies and record-low profitability. Oh the beauty of socialism...as Europe's core diverges dramatically.

    "Recovery"?




    * * *

    The widening popularity gap between Angela Merkel of Germany and Francois Hollande of France reflects the countries’ diverging economic performances.



    In June, the German unemployment rate fell to 5.1 percent, according to Eurostat. That is half the rate in France and the country’s best reading since reunification.

    Source: Maxime Sbaihi of Bloomberg Briefs ( @MxSba )

    http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2014-0...-believe-chart
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    Obama KNOWS how to ruin an economy!...
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