Welcome to European Tribune. It's gone a bit quiet around here these days, but it's still going.
Nice job Jerome.  I completely agree that there is little, to nothing, in the economic statistics that justify an underlying assumption that the French model has not worked as well, for France, as the American and UK models have worked for their countries.  In fact all of the economies have shown an improvement in economic well being, and as you point out, the French model wins out when you focus more on the equality of the wealth distribution.

Looking at the upcoming election, I would be interested in some discussion and comparison of the economic programs that the various candidates would implement--much like afew did in an earlier diary on the various tax proposals.  Perhaps as a starter, what are your thoughts on this from an earlier Economicst article discussing Royal's new programs, and the challenge that they may require an increase in taxes?

Ms Royal promises to boost the minimum wage to €1,500 a month ($2,000, a 19.6% jump), increase the lowest state pensions by 5%, abolish the new flexible job contract for small firms, create 500,000 subsidised jobs for young graduates, and pay the entire salary and social charges for unskilled young people to work for a year in small businesses. She plans a big increase in spending on universities, research and innovation, and the construction of 120,000 social housing units a year.

To pay for all this, it is hard to see how Ms Royal could avoid putting up taxes. She insists, however, that she will not increase the overall tax burden. Instead, her plans, which optimistically assume annual GDP growth of 2.5%, depend heavily on that familiar fallback: eliminating waste.

and a little more on the taxation issue.  Quoting from afew's diary, the part on Sarkozy's positions

.it's a fact that French citizens and enterprises pay higher taxes than almost anywhere in Europe or the world. But who bears the burden? Not those who signed this petition. Let's stop the hypocrisy! Social contributions, CSG and CRDS, VAT, house tax and the tax on petroleum products, that are taxes that burden all the French, and therefore above all the least well-off, add up to 66% of the total tax burden in France, while the income tax runs to 7% and estate taxes 1.2%. That's why I repeat, with neither shame not hesitation, that one of my objectives, if I become president, will be to reduce the tax burden, particularly the part that weighs on labour, to bring down the rate (44.4% at present) to the EU15 average of 40% and to give back no less than €68 bn to the French, or €2,500 per family.
I had always thought that the French tax system was very progressive, but looking at some of the figures above, such as only 7% of the tax burden being covered by income tax, is it actually progressive.  Taxes such as VAT and others included in the "66% of the total tax burden" would seem to be regressive.  But since the current approach seems to yield a good and fair income distribution, maybe leaving well enough alone is the answer?
by wchurchill on Sun Apr 15th, 2007 at 02:57:36 PM EST

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