Among the issues most commonly discussed are individuality, the rights of the individual, the limits of legitimate government, morality, history, economics, government policy, science, business, education, health care, energy, and man-made global warming evaluations. My posts are aimed at thinking, intelligent individuals, whose comments are very welcome.

"No matter how vast your knowledge or how modest, it is your own mind that has to acquire it." Ayn Rand

12 May 2012

French Austerity

Despite claims of austerity, nominal government spending in France has gone up almost linearly since 2000.  Real spending was linear to 2008 and then almost flattened through 2011.  Yet, real spending did go up each year slightly since 2008.  The share of government spending as a percentage of GDP was:

2000     51.6%

2009     56.8%

2011     55.9%

Such is the French notion of austerity and such was the driver for the election of the Socialist Party leader Francois Hollande.  How can anyone imagine that a government that gobbles down more than half of the economy is austere?  Yet in France, the median worker not only pays a higher fraction of his own income to taxes than the American worker does, but he also pays a larger fraction of all taxes paid.  French socialism is not very kind to the middle class worker.

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