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Thread: France and la marche away from Corbynomics?

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Sep 2006

    France and la marche away from Corbynomics?

    About the time that coalition government was formed in the United Kingdom we had a very interesting discussion here about the merits of either 'austerity' or 'growth' as the best counter to the, then, state of the economy following the Financial Crisis. In a later discussion I suggested it would be interesting to compare the fortunes of France as the, then, new French president François Hollande had been very definitely elected on a mandate of 'growth'.

    Now the parallels between the policies of François Hollande and Jeremy Corbyn are clear: (very) high taxation for wealthy individuals, an already high corporation-tax rate, an expansion of the state, an ambitious house-building programme (500,000 homes including many 'council houses'), 60,000 new teaching jobs and the creation of a public investment bank to help small businesses.

    However the new president of France, Emmanuel Macron, and his newly-created 'La République en Marche' (Republic on the move) party is now seeking to undo some of these policies: including £50billion 'cuts' to state-spending, natural wastage of 120,000 public-sector jobs, lowering corporation-tax from 33% to 25% and revised taxes that lower the tax-rate for the financial investments of wealthy individuals.

    So why the sudden change of direction, and a popular change at that; were the 'growth' policies of François Hollande not working as the electorate had hoped?

    With a 'bloated' French public-sector (spending over 56% of GDP), slow growth in the economy and unemployment at over 10%, with youth-unemployment at about 25%, it is certain that the 'growth' economy of France has been out-performed by the pre-BREXIT 'austerity' economy of the United Kingdom in these key areas at least. Plus France has a higher level of public-debt, 96% of GDP compared to 89% of GDP for the United Kingdom.

    Now we wouldn't know if 'Corbynomics' would work in the United Kingdom unless we tried them but based on what has been tried by 'socialists' in France it doesn't seem like the policies tried over there have been any magical solution to France's problems and, going on public opinion, François Hollande has been one of the least popular French presidents ever.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    I've been 'watching' the economic vagaries of France for over fifty years. In fact before GB was the basket case and the French wouldn't take sterling offered by tourists.

    The French are strongly wedded to socialist directed and inspired welfare principles. Anyone taking charge in France who thinks that they can even tinker with the system and not cause extensive and persistent industrial unrest is seriously mistaken in that belief.

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