Welcome to European Tribune. It's gone a bit quiet around here these days, but it's still going.
"I gave you the numbers in my article as to how many jobs were created in 1997-2002. Do you deny this?"

No, and I do not have time for re-researching all your figures. But what matters is how many are unemployed, and that is not pretty reading in France.

"All studies suggest that the 35-hour week directly created 400,000 jobs, and contributed to the generally more upbeat mood in France"

Do you have a couple of links to those studies?

What upbeat mood in France? Where do you find that?

12% of the population in poverty, nearly 9% unemployment, is that an upbeat mood? The fact that you can point to cases of happily employed people doesn't disprove the cases that many are not. It just underscores that France is a two-tier society with some in privileged positions and some left out in the cold. Yes, it's anecdotal evidence, couples with 12% poverty and 9% unemployment. Far from ideal.

Wealth tax: What matters is that the capital and activity disappearing from France because of it exceeds the tax it would have collected. I know from first hand about that person who nearly stayed away because of that tax. I have seen estimates of the cost of the wealth tax, although it's virtually impossible to prove what the situation would have been without the wealth tax. I know from the concrete example that I would have lost income from an important client if he had stayed away because of the wealth tax had he not found the exoneration. I'm one of the little guys who are losing out because that tax keeps certain clients away. Who pays the taxes that France needs to function when the wealthy ones go away or don't come? The little guy! How do you explain that France is nearly the only western country that still has a wealth tax, while even socialist countries like Denmark and Sweden are scrapping it? That tax is nothing but an envy tax that the socialists need to keep in place for dogmatic reasons. In absolute value, it represents very little tax and the revenues could easily be replaced by other taxes that are less provocative. The psychological impact of the wealth tax is much higher than the real cost to the few who pay it. I'll never ever pay that tax but I want to see the back of it asap. Think about it!

"You want anectode? As a banker, I am paid more in Paris than in London, for the exact same job, after tax, housing and school costs."

And so what? What is the point you want to prove with that?

Maybe you have endless time to dig up facts, but I have a business to run that the state is trying to smash up, sorry. "social model" go to hell!

by skovgaard on Sun May 6th, 2007 at 09:02:29 AM EST
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