To some, the difference between the French government being run by an avowed socialist or some other party doesn’t much matter.
The reason is simple: the culture has evolved to the point that it’s impossible to escape the shackles of a socialist society.
In a terrific piece from TheHill.com, the former New Hampshire governor, Judd Gregg, warns of dangers of an entitled society.
While I tend to disagree that Americans should be concerned over electing a socialist, or becoming a socialist country (not coincidentally, it’s the powerful influence of big business that shapes political action in this country), there are some important lessons to learn here nonetheless.
Most relevant to American society is the following line:
If a culture gets to a position where your vote establishes your income, then it becomes rather reasonable to expect a massive growth in government, the outer limits of which have not even been reached in France.
As Gregg points out, the system can only take you so far.
Government still has to pay for things. It’s not as if a socialist government suddenly forgoes a monetary system of commerce and everyone just gets their sustenance for free.
That’s impossible in a modern, global society.
More and more people suckle at the tit of government, raising costs and lowering the tax base.
Inevitably, we turn to an increasingly progressive tax system until everyone making over a certain amount has the vast majority of their earnings taxed.
The inherent flaw of socialism is then revealed. At a certain point, there’s no incentive to gain anything. No incentive to work or to enterprise.
No incentive to create or innovate, to compete or sustain.
Then where does the government get its money?
Even if the government absorbs industry in the country, it has no capital to invest in those industries, no money to produce.
Print more money and you risk potentially devastating inflation, further undercutting your productivity and viability.
As Greece found out, you can’t borrow your way out of these messes either.
There is something appealingly Democratic about voting to determine your income, but the two were never meant to be intertwined.
Government is importantly and justifiably separate from industry in any successful nation-state throughout modern history.
How many French corporations can you name?
Many in America look at France and see free health care, free education, a 35 hour work week and retirement at age 55.
We see the outcome, not the system. A system rife with unsustainability and peril. Not only is their system completely unfeasible to apply in America, it’s not one we ought to even consider if we care at all about our long-term future.
But it’s easy to see why liberals would want it: It’s easier for us, at least our generation. It’s a trap of ease, of burgeoning government excess.
It’s a trap into which we cannot afford to fall.