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Friday, 25 January 2008
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Where Is The Fear?

Today, The Foundry asked the question, "When Did the French Become Better Adherents To Limited Government Than the GOP?"  That is asked in regards to this article in the Financial Times:

France is planning to freeze public spending for five years under its biggest programme of social and economic reform since the late 1960s, according to François Fillon, the prime minister.

In an interview with the Financial Times, his first with a foreign newspaper since being appointed by President Nicolas Sarkozy in May last year, Mr Fillon signalled his intention to get serious about restoring French public finances to health.
The government has said it wants to eliminate its deficit and reduce spending as a share of national output – the highest in the EU at 53.5 per cent – during Mr Sarkozy’s first five-year term, but it has said little about how, to the frustration of its eurozone partners. It has also avoided any hint of austerity measures.

This reminds me of something my brother-in-law Shannon said offhandedly while I was in California last Labor Day.  The French Government fears its citizens in a way that the United States Government does not.  Our politicians aren't afraid of us... we're afraid of them.  We scoff and insult the French for being out of control when different groups in that country riot... but there is something very powerful that those riots do.  They instill fear in the government... a fear that they should have.

For all the talk of change that people like Hillary, Obama, McCain and Romney preach... its false change.  Sure... the people change here and there... but if any of them lose the election (except for Romney), they'll go back to their "day jobs" as Senators.  And the reality is, none of their policies are really any different than those of George Bush.  Government doesn't change in this country except to grow.  Yet Presidential and Congressional approval ratings continue to race each other to the basement.  How is it that two branches of government that are so despised by so many are able to do so much?

Simply put... they don't fear reprisal.  And that's not a good thing.  Our government should fear us.

# Posted at 13:22 by Nick  |  Comment Feed Link 5 Comments  |  No Trackbacks

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Friday, 25 January 2008 16:08:08 (Central Standard Time, UTC-06:00)
At this point, I read that as mere lip service more than any actual preference for limited government. The rubber has not met the road yet.

As for the fear, it's important that whatever fear there is in France is not that there will be another all-French revolution. Rather, it's a fear that France will become a part of the worldwide Islamic caliphate. Those riots were not because France was becoming too socialistic or even not socialistic enough (what the media would lead one to believe); rather it was that France wasn't an Islamist state.
Friday, 25 January 2008 16:10:04 (Central Standard Time, UTC-06:00)
Perhaps we're thinking of different riots Steve. I'm specifically thinking of the riots that took place when the French Gov't tried to repeal the law of guaranteed employment for those under a certain age (28 I believe). That had nothing to do with Islam.
Friday, 25 January 2008 18:50:27 (Central Standard Time, UTC-06:00)
That particular riot would, if the French goverment had fear of the people, would have led it toward more socialism, not less. There is no natural constituency for a truly-free market there; rather, the economic line between European conservatism and European liberalism is whether the few industrialists that made it before the descent of full-on socialism get to continue to exist.

Rather, the Sarkozy government is damning the torpedoes and at least attempting to slow and reverse full-on socialism. That's something that is singularily not happening here, mainly because we have now crossed the 'minority paying for the wants and needs of the majority' line, and nobody is particularily interested in reversing that. Not the majority who are getting the largess of the successful. Not enough of the successful who would rather not see anybody else join them.
Friday, 25 January 2008 20:25:24 (Central Standard Time, UTC-06:00)
If the French government fears people like this guy

then their military history since 1870 is easily explained.
Saturday, 26 January 2008 08:31:49 (Central Standard Time, UTC-06:00)
I don't agree that they fear their people. They fear their unions. The French government and its
policies are dictated by unions more than any other group. Yes their people riot and that puts
pressure on the government which in turn supports the union demands, but make no mistake, unions
are in charge and the reason France's policies are so incomprehensible.
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