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European Tribune - Comments - The end of the Euro
Concerning the capacity of France to reduce its deficits and debt, respondents favoured spending cuts (85%) to higher taxes (12%).

Austerititis seems to be endemic in Europe.

Too bad it's potentially fatal.

The fact is that what we're experiencing right now is a top-down disaster. -Paul Krugman

by dvx (dvx.clt ät gmail dotcom) on Thu Aug 11th, 2011 at 07:06:54 AM EST
[ Parent ]
On the other hand, it's hardly surprising not many vote for higher taxes.
by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Thu Aug 11th, 2011 at 08:00:15 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Well the question could be phrased: "do you want spending cuts for your schools or hospitals OR a progressive tax increase on the rich and on wealth?" That might change the outcome somewhat...

The road of excess leads to the palace of wisdom - William Blake
by talos (mihalis at gmail dot com) on Thu Aug 11th, 2011 at 08:02:57 AM EST
[ Parent ]
The question might also be: "Do you want your country's finances to collapse or would you prefer that fair and progressive taxes be imposed AND COLLECTED on the to 2% of income earners.?" It amounts to the same thing.

As the Dutch said while fighting the Spanish: "It is not necessary to have hope in order to persevere."
by ARGeezer (ARGeezer a in a circle eurotrib daught com) on Thu Aug 11th, 2011 at 09:43:14 AM EST
[ Parent ]
The question actually put (see results (pdf)), was (my translation):

If France had to reduce its debt and public deficits, would you prefer that it be done principally

  • by strongly reducing its (ie the country's) spending
  • by strongly increasing taxes
  • no reply

I somehow find that "strongly" predisposes to answer reduce spending.

Of course, if it's not stated that it's "schools, hospitals, and pensions", but just "France", people will tend to envisage spending cuts as less champagne and petits fours.

by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Thu Aug 11th, 2011 at 11:50:16 AM EST
[ Parent ]
When the experience of the past few years indicates that reducing spending doesn't reduce deficit and debt...

Economics is politics by other means
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Thu Aug 11th, 2011 at 12:02:00 PM EST
[ Parent ]
People are thoroughly indoctrinated. Nobody is aware of what you say, everybody has got the message that raising taxes is bad.

I can't help thinking, though, that if the word "fortement" had been left out, the distribution would have been less markedly anti-tax. Even less so if the fiscal advantages Sarko has granted to the wealthier were mentioned as being top of the list for change.

by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Thu Aug 11th, 2011 at 12:15:45 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Miesenmeister der Welt, schaut auf Deutschland! - Debt masters of the world, look to Germany!
Fast alle Industriestaaten ächzen unter enormen Schulden, ihr Problem: Die Staatseinnahmen sind viel zu niedrig. Pleitestaaten müssen jetzt die Steuern erhöhen - auf ein ähnliches Niveau wie in der Bundesrepublik. Ein Gastbeitrag des Wirtschaftsweisen Peter Bofinger.Almost all developed countries have enormous debts. Their problem: government revenues are too low. Insolvent countries have to raise taxes now - to a level comparable to Germany. A guest column by economic council member Peter Bofinger.

Actual and hypothetical budget balance 2011 of selected OECD members (% of GDP)
Rank Country Actual Balance Balance for German levels of revenue Balance for EU-average-level of revenue
1 Irland -10,1 -2,3 -0,7
2 Vereinigte Staaten -10,1 1,9 3,5
3 Japan -8,9 3,1 4,7
4 Großbritannien -8,7 -6,9 -5,3
5 Neuseeland -8,5 -3,0 -1,4
6 Griechenland -7,5 -6,2 -4,6
7 Spanien -6,3 0,8 2,4
8 Portugal -5,9 -4,3 -2,7
9 Polen -5,8 -2,6 -1,0
10 Slowenien -5,6 -6,1 -4,5
Quelle: OECD
by epochepoque on Thu Aug 11th, 2011 at 11:12:25 PM EST
[ Parent ]
German economists do not understand three-sector national accounting. Film at 11.

- Jake

Austerity can only be implemented in the shadow of a concentration camp.

by JakeS (JangoSierra 'at' gmail 'dot' com) on Fri Aug 12th, 2011 at 05:26:49 AM EST
[ Parent ]
And taxes in countries like the Uniteds states and Ireland are to low. Only neo-liberal nutters deny this.
by IM on Fri Aug 12th, 2011 at 11:06:45 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Indeed they are, but raising them would not reduce the sovereign deficit, given a commitment to full employment fiscal policies. And if the private sector is deleveraging - as is presently the case - not even without such commitment.

- Jake

Austerity can only be implemented in the shadow of a concentration camp.

by JakeS (JangoSierra 'at' gmail 'dot' com) on Fri Aug 12th, 2011 at 12:06:06 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Yes, but I would have expected something like 60:40 against. 85:12 just seems... extreme.

The fact is that what we're experiencing right now is a top-down disaster. -Paul Krugman
by dvx (dvx.clt ät gmail dotcom) on Thu Aug 11th, 2011 at 08:13:45 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Who still answers polls except for bored pensioners?

Von überall könnte das Volk, Urbrut alles Undemokratischen, Zelle des Terrors, über die gewählten Hüter von Wachstum und Wohlstand® kommen. - flatter
by generic on Thu Aug 11th, 2011 at 08:30:44 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Actually, pollsters are pretty anal when it comes to their demographics.

The fact is that what we're experiencing right now is a top-down disaster. -Paul Krugman
by dvx (dvx.clt ät gmail dotcom) on Thu Aug 11th, 2011 at 10:39:25 AM EST
[ Parent ]
The full results are available here (pdf), with a breakdown by age groups.
by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Thu Aug 11th, 2011 at 11:37:57 AM EST
[ Parent ]
It is all in the phrasing of the question.

A vote for PES is a vote for EPP! A vote for EPP is a vote for PES! Support the coalition, vote EPP-PES!
by A swedish kind of death on Fri Aug 12th, 2011 at 07:58:30 AM EST
[ Parent ]
And the question was:

Si la France devait réduire sa dette et ses déficits publics, préféreriez-vous qu'elle le fasse principalement... ?
... en réduisant fortement ses dépenses
... en augmentant fortement les impôts


A vote for PES is a vote for EPP! A vote for EPP is a vote for PES! Support the coalition, vote EPP-PES!
by A swedish kind of death on Fri Aug 12th, 2011 at 08:06:09 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Instead of asking about taxes and services, or revenues and expenses, they ask about taxes and expenses.

I bet they didn't think of asking about revenues and services.

Economics is politics by other means

by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Fri Aug 12th, 2011 at 08:28:50 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I bet they didn't think of asking about revenues and services.

Yeah, it is unthinkable, especially if they value their current job.

As the Dutch said while fighting the Spanish: "It is not necessary to have hope in order to persevere."
by ARGeezer (ARGeezer a in a circle eurotrib daught com) on Sat Aug 13th, 2011 at 06:17:00 PM EST
[ Parent ]

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