Wednesday, November 02, 2005

Blood money versus elbow grease

«Invited to show his stuff on a new political program on state-owned France 2, Villepin managed to talk about jobs, promise jobs, claim that jobs are his government's top priority, repeat the word "jobs" as if it were an open sesame, and never say a word about the economy, let alone economic development.»
Writes Nidra Poller in Tech Central Station.

The divergence of view isn't just large, it's historic. While most of the world to some degree still looks up to a Horatio Alger story to live by, and giving of oneself to others as a celebration of ones' success, the French view is that someone else's tax bill is the only expression of charity, and a history inspiring little to be proud of:
«This too is the French Economic Model: a stingy peasant attitude that perceives jobs as a scarcity to be jealously hoarded and parsimoniously distributed.»
As if a society made up of people who can by law keep freeriding off of one another can survive. Others still are not permitting themselves the indulgence of envy and looking for another way to get there themselves. L’Expansion notes that an extended period of growth changes some factors permanently:
«Il n'y a jamais eu autant d'Américains riches que cette année ! Pour la troisième année consécutive, le nombre de millionnaires a augmenté, selon une étude de la société TNS pour atteindre le chiffre record de 9 millions.
[ . . .]
L'explication est plus surprenante : les millionnaires ont moins de dettes. En effet, le poids de leur dette a baissé de 8% pour atteindre en moyenne de 165 000 dollars, ce qui a pour effet d'augmenter leur revenu net.»

«The explanation is more surprising: millionaires have less debt. Indeed, the percentage of the debt they’re carrying dropped by 8% to reach on average of 165 000 dollars, which has caused an increase their net income
[ . . .]
There never were as many rich Americans as there are this year. According to a study by the TNS Company, for the third consecutive year, the number of millionaires rose according to a record figure of 9 million.»
Hardly the portrait of a society where those generating employment are pissing their wealth away on the “plastic fantastic” or living beyond their means. Those who think expansion doesn't matter are diminishing the potential of everyone around them. A look at lefty rhetoric tells one quite clearly that socialism kills - either quickly in a fanatical purge, or by a thousand cuts with a thousand rules.

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