Sunday, October 30, 2005

Beware of the Socialist-Industrial Complex

Here’s another Pamelicious comment response that sums up what’s wrong with the suckers on the left. Responding to a troll who called himself “Monkey”:

«Your contempt for capitalism is palpable. Monkeys like you really ought to be living in socialist/communist cultures.
You hate everything. Your selective cherry picking of economic indicators is a fallacy.
I admire hard work. I admire achievement. I do not hate people that create wealth, create jobs, contribute to society.
You, on the other hand, would punish achievers. Your idea of taxation is slavery.
The deficit? If you looters would just unleash the economy, freeing it from crippling taxes and regulation, that deficit would all but go away.»
While there has been a huge amount of growth in the US economy, leftist see it through a prism of solipsistic personal hatreds. Even if the US does experience a monstrous economic downturn, not only would it never be permanently diminished, but we would have gained what we have in a period of growth which brought the standard of living (and the state of being of the poorest) to something around 30% higher than the enlightened on EUtopia.

I’m reminded of Andy Warhol. After he passed away a handful of people gained access to his private apartment. It turned out that he had a preference for Victorian interior design (which was genuine and wasn’t played for anything), collecting work from the early renaissance, and was a devout Catholic who went to the length of keeping a statue of the Madonna in his home, and displayed it without irony, and as a part of his own fulfillment.

By keeping people out of his home, he was either protecting his privacy and shielding himself from the very same sort of thoughtless criticism that comes with the emotional outbusts of leftistswhether it’s in politics or anywhere else, or telling the public that adored his work that through their own choices they were letting him know that they were suckers or taking him too seriously. People looked for a “truth” about society in his experiments, over-thought it, and through their own conduct became the irony or pop-culture that they tried to mock.

When all of the burning issues in your life are a collection of problems with other people and the minutae of their lives, or with single issue matters of your own lifestyle then it’s hard to call it a world view when all there is left is a selection of pet peeves, and stock lines about demanding bicycle paths as a human right.

So too is this the case of the French who believe that the social goals of their government is to seek first and foremost, the well being of the public by picking winners and losers in industry. Paying people to not imagine any need to be ambitious to the point where their life amounts to imagining who will play you in a movie of your life. What really makes suckers out of the true believers in it is that the whole scheme is a system of subsidies paid for by the public, and by an overwhelming percentage by income, the poor, in order to prop up rich people and their businesses.
« In the case of EdF, let's review the perks: employment for life, free health insurance, "special" retirement benefits (at 55 years of age with a pension much higher than a private-sector employee). EdF's 110,000 French employees work a 32-hour work week, a 1,440-hour work year, enjoy many extra vacation days (for example three days for the death of a in-law), and 20% discounts on vacation plans with the company workers committee (CCAS). Half the meals are paid for. They also get a 10% discount on gas and electricity bills, tax rebates and a starting salary 36% higher than the minimum wage that -- with promotions based on seniority -- leaves them earning more than peers in the private sector. On top of that, consider the €416 million annual budget of the CCAS, which goes, in part, to bankroll the CGT labor union and the French Communist Party.
[ ... ]
Of course everyone in France pays for electricity, including minimum-wage earners, the unemployed and welfare recipients. Indeed, they pay the full fare, even though the average EdF employee earns significantly more than the French average -- about €5,334 per month compared to €3,000. So it is especially rich -- we can even say scandalous -- that the CGT, on behalf of EdF workers, every few weeks calls its people onto the streets against any plans to change this cozy arrangement using the rhetoric of social welfare and public service. For in reality, EdF symbolizes France's upside-down social welfare system: The poor pay for the better off.»
Writes Nicolas Lecaussin in the Wall Street Journal,
«Privatization à la française is a mystery. As France has claimed to privatize the economy over the last 20 years, reversing the nationalization campaign of the early Mitterrand era, the number of state-owned companies has been steadily and magically increasing. Over the last 20 years, it has doubled, from 800 in 1985 to more than 1,600 in 2004. How is this possible?

The explanation is fairly simple. In the mid-1980s, most government-owned companies were large banks and other companies like BNP, Société Générale, Elf, Thomson and so on. Today, those are in private hands, and doing quite well for it. But the government expanded in other areas. In 2004 there were fewer large companies (except the most well-known ones like SNCF and EdF) but many more small and medium-size companies in a variety of sectors under state control.

The French public companies that are fighting against a public selloff are veritable multinationals. EdF has bought companies in the U.K., Germany, Italy and Latin America. SNCF runs a large part of the transport in Stockholm's suburbs, as well as several rail lines in northern England and Holland. Even RATP benefits from open markets, though Paris remains off-limits to outside investors in subway and bus transport. It's involved with the subway systems in Florence and Athens, and with buses in Casablanca, as well as regional trains in the Rhineland.»
So today’s suckers are the publics where the newly de-privatized services come from, while the real suckers are the ones that finally realize a generation from now that their taxes went into leverage buyouts that made their own utilities into hideouts for even lazier, more selfish, and more demanding parasites.
«Hypocrisy aside, can anyone blame the unions for opposing any efforts to privatize EdF? No rational person would voluntarily give up this sweet deal. When the government announced plans to float shares in the company last year, the CGT inevitably struck. More strikes and protests are now expected once the government unveils its mini-privatization plan Friday. After months of discussion, Finance Minister Thierry Breton on Monday said that it would try to raise about €8 billion by selling off a bit of its national utility.»
As if the CGT owned the competition-less EdF/GdF...

When the Government got itself into this it not only opened itself up to the sort of manipulation that can only come from state-owned industries, but found that the instrument of it is the blackmail that labor unions demand from the poor.

It amounts to a situation where there is a special class of seamen pounding a hole through the bottom of the boat in order to demand better life-rafts from people who are up to their necks in water.

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