SEARCH BLOG: POLITICS
Just as President Obama cracks the whip for "social justice" [income redistribution] in his rhetoric to his followers, so does French President Francois Hollande. President Obama had "hope and change" while President Hollande had "change is now." So how is that old leftist slogan working out?
From the BBC via The American Interest:
President Hollande's campaign slogan was "change is now" but, since he has been in office, another catchphrase has started to be heard more often. It is one inherited from the previous Socialist president, Francois Mitterrand - "Donner du temps au temps". It roughly translates as "all in due course" or "be patient, don't rush things".Many of those who signed up for "change now" are none too happy about being told to be patient. One of the first campaign pledges the government fulfilled was to raise the minimum wage. But the increase met with derision from many union members. They calculated that it would only add up to a few extra euros a month, after tax."It's not even enough to buy a baguette a day," snorts Jacky.At the same time, Mr Hollande's plan to sharply increase taxes on the super-rich and big companies has angered those who argue that it will lead to capital flight and a brain-drain to countries like Britain or Belgium.I spoke to a group of architects in their 30s and 40s. On the face of it, they are doing quite well. The last thing any of them wants to do is leave France.
Reality is a bitch, eh?Most of them, in fact, voted for Mr Hollande but, like a lot of other middle-class people, they are starting to feel uneasy about the impact of higher taxes on their business.They want more social justice but they also want the government to recognise that French companies have to be able to compete internationally.So what do they want Mr Hollande to do?One of them, a woman called Murielle, says he would do well to remember that, after two years of left-wing policies which did not work in the 1980s, Mr Mitterrand did a U-turn, becoming less radical and more friendly to business.That, she says, led to a period of comparative prosperity. Mr Hollande will do the same, she predicts."There's really no choice," she said. "It's only a question of time."