Welcome to European Tribune. It's gone a bit quiet around here these days, but it's still going.
So...this is happening in France? (I wasn't clear...) But the media and all the rich cronies are all happy with Sarko in, yes?

"Once in awhile we get shown the light, in the strangest of places, if we look at it right" - Hunter/Garcia
by whataboutbob on Tue Aug 28th, 2007 at 05:52:11 AM EST
Not sure I understand your question, but here's an answer anyway...

Don't count on conservative triumph in France

In Mr. Sarkozy's book "Testimony," he notes that 30 years ago Britain had a GDP 25 percent lower than that of France. Now Britain's is 10 percent higher. What happened? Margaret Thatcher did. But although Mr. Sarkozy vows a "rupture" with the past, he is not bold enough to affirm an affinity with her and to seriously challenge the consensus at the root of France's social sclerosis: Both left and right reject economic liberalism, the left because of its regnant socialism, the right because it regards statism as a prerequisite for national greatness.

France's unemployment rate has not been below 8 percent in 25 years -- not since 1982, when Francois Mitterrand inadvertently did what Mrs. Thatcher intentionally did -- killed socialism. Elected president in 1981 promising a "rupture with capitalism," he kept that promise pitilessly. He had the most sweeping program of nationalizations ever proposed for a free economy; he increased pensions, family allowances, housing allowances and the minimum wage. The franc was devalued three times and soon he was forced to adopt "socialist rigor" (austerity).

French leftism is perfectly reactionary. Wielding a word with semi-sacred connotations in France, socialists say they are "the resistance." They are not for anything; they are against surrendering any of their entitlements. They stand against three menaces: "neoliberalism" -- markets supplanting the state as the primary allocator of wealth and opportunity, Americanization of culture by imports of American entertainments and globalization.

In May, in an election with the highest turnout (85 percent) since 1981, Mr. Sarkozy's socialist opponent, Segolene Royal, a princess of vagueness, won 47 percent of the vote for, essentially, "resistance." Remarkably, she defeated Mr. Sarkozy among voters ages 18 to 59 -- the working population. It does not bode well for reform that he won by winning huge majorities among those most dependent on the welfare state -- 61 percent among those 60 to 69 and 68 percent among those over 70.

One in four French workers is employed in the public sector, which devours 54 percent of GDP. (The U.S. percentage is about 34.) The fact that for 15 years France's GDP and output per hour worked have been declining relative to those of Britain and the United States surely is related to the fact that 60 percent of the French respond positively to the word "bureaucrat." American conservatives should seek happy harbingers elsewhere.

This is from George Will, so that with the appropriate grain of salt, etc...

In the long run, we're all dead. John Maynard Keynes

by Jerome a Paris (etg@eurotrib.com) on Tue Aug 28th, 2007 at 05:55:49 AM EST
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We have no rich here Bob. It's only "petit bourgeoisie" or "bourgeoisie." You trying to start class warfare in France, or something?

Hey, Grandma Moses started late!
by LEP on Tue Aug 28th, 2007 at 07:38:38 AM EST
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