City Journal Spring 2014

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Spring 2014
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Philippe Nemo
Le Squeeze « Back to Story

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Valentin;

It is the working class that manufactures those luxuries and other accoutrements of the 'good life'.

Many years ago the state of Massachusetts slapped a luxury tax on yachts. The rich decided to stop buying them, with the result that hundreds of carpenters, electricians, painters, mechanics and so forth were thrown out of work.

The tax was repealed.
A little glossing over here and Monsieur Nemo even has me half convinced. No, the issue is very simple; workers have their labour taxed; entrepreneurs; their profits. Apply the same rules to the worker and he would pay no tax on his earnings just like the entrepreneur who only pays taxes on his profits. The haves always use this same old argument as they know the worker is out there trying to make ends meet and hasnt time for this sort of debate. As for small businesses, dont make me laugh, they are only a very short step ahead of the salaried worker and as i write this here in France,they are also being taxed out of existance. This is a rich and poor subject; the poor have no choice but to pay taxes.The rich prefer not to; I feel sorry for the rich.
@Jaykimball : 400 000.
Philippe Nemo : give up. La France will never change. The 'rich' are the bad guys.
Yes, but mere facts can't override the thinking of the "blame the rich" gang.
What is ESCP? IS that a university, or simply some conservative think tank?
(Which when you think about it, is a contradiction in terms.) As for the rich French, who are apparently being treated so badly , I say, "Let them eat cake."
It depends. If the creative accept the situation, all they will need is economic freedom. But if they are stripped of a larger part of their income, even if they accept the situation, how will they be able to build up their businesses and materialize their ideas? A healthy ratio of 100:1 to 1000:1 should always be kept as a difference between the income of the most successful and the average salary. Income spent on luxuries and good life should be taxed heavily, while income reinvested in the productive business and for the realisation of new ideas should be left untaxed.
Sounds just like Obama care a few years from now. Why punish the very people who make the economy run? The poor don't create jobs but those with money and a opportunity to excel w/o over taxation do.
[Thus the government’s attempt to unite “the people” at the expense of a few scapegoats will wind up harming the vital interests of “the people.” ]

Precisely. Common sense to any non-Leftist with even the most rudimentary understanding of history or economics.

There are two types of people in Western societies: net producers and net consumers. And the economic system of a society is a like any living organism in that it consumes energy and expends energy: the net producers feed it energy, while the net consumers deplete its energy. Entitlements - of any sort - incentivise the growth of the consumer class, with a correlating disincentivisation of the growth of the producer class. Over time - a bit more than a half century for Western nations it would seem - the two classes reach parity and that's when the real trouble starts.

This is where France - and many other Western nations - now find themselves. They have two options: curtail their entitlement cultures or increase their confiscatory policies. The first would be painful but will eventually lead to a revitalized society; the second will simply make the inevitable economic reckoning all the more painful when it finally hits. Unfortunately, continental Europeans have been steeped in the Left's class warfare scapegoating since the French Enlightenment, so there's little hope that they'll suddenly recognize their faulty reasoning. Instead, as the economic pinch begins to worsen over the next decade or so, they will simply double-down on the blame-the-rich rhetoric. Eventually, as desperation begins to sink in, I wouldn't rule out violent revolution at the hands of consumer class, egged on by the country's assorted socialists and Marxists.

Once that happens...au revoir and adieu.
Regarding your assertion:
"Either they will leave the country, preferring the misfortune of an unjust exile to the humiliation of losing their economic freedom; or they will stay but live differently, starting a kind of countdown—keeping in mind how many years they have left to live, as well as the taxation that gradually strips them of their wealth, they will refrain from initiative and investment beyond what they require to maintain their standard of living."

Do you have any evidence of this? How many "rich" have left the country versus how many have entered? How many "rich" have refrained from initiative and investment?

Thanks