The election of Francois Hollande is making me very optimistic for the first time in a long time. I am getting more bullish on France and for Europe in general. (Maybe even for the U.S. too, but that could be a bit of a stretch.)
The reason I am so optimistic is because Hollande has promised to go after the rich and shrink the financial sector while creating millions of new and very needed civil service jobs. I believe it's a formula that can absolutely work.
|The 57-year-old Socialist has openly admitted that he "does not like the rich" and declared that "my real enemy is the world of finance". This means taxing the wealthy by up to 75 per cent, curtailing the activities of Paris as a centre for financial dealing, and ploughing millions into creating more civil service jobs.|
I am fully aware that all you hear is exactly the opposite. Ever since Hollande shot to the top of the polls we've been warned about the dangers of taxing the rich. We've been told that we need the rich because without them we wouldn't have the most productive members of society. Innovation would be stifled and job creation would plummet. A new Dark Ages would result because--let's face it--all the rest of us owe the very air we breathe to the benevolence that trickles down from the wealthy few.
Let me tell you something...don't pay any attention to that crap. It's all just a bunch of propaganda being orchastrated by the rich themselves, who fear losing the cushy public welfare support they've had for the past 30 years.
The fact is, we don't need the rich at all, nor do we need a big financial sector. Tell me, what "wealth" do the rich create? The modern day rich are mostly involved in stock, commodity and real estate speculation and other forms of gambling and rent seeking. The rich are mostly idle, whereas the real wealth is created by workers toiling in factories, on consturction sites, in laboratories and schools and in so many other areas of our economy and society that never get any attention.
A society run by a small group of billionaires who get to play in their own personal "casino economy" while everyone else struggles to get by is a shitty society. Hollande gets it. The people of France get it. Let's hope that real change is on the way in France, not like the "real change" we saw here.
Bottom line is, I am rooting like hell for Hollande to succeed because maybe, just maybe, it will break the back of this brutal, selfish and destructive Reagan/Thatcher/Friedman neoliberal free-market bullshit dogma that has enslaved us for the past 30 years.