Is France Doing Better Than The U.S.?
Why does it appear France is bouncing back more quickly from the recession than the United States?
France has long been known for having an economy that suffered from too much government interference, too-high taxes and destructive union activity. Yet it grew 1.4 percent in the second quarter of 2009, while the U.S. economy continued to decline.
The United States and Britain have had the largest "stimulus" programs of the major economies (as measured by increases in government spending and deficits relative to gross domestic product) and yet they are not moving toward recovery as rapidly as most other countries that had far smaller stimulus programs or none.
... France has sharply reduced its corporate income-tax rate so it is lower than the U.S. rate. France also has been reducing its individual tax rates so that many Frenchmen now pay a lower maximum tax rate than do the taxpayers of New York, California and many other states.
If the tax-rate increases proposed by the Obama administration and the Democrat Congress are passed into law, all upper-income Americans will be paying higher personal tax rates than the wealthy in France.
[See the table in article for a tax and finances comparison]
However - the economic reforms in France have not been sufficient to keep large numbers of wealthy French from moving much of their savings and investment to other countries.
Rather than make their tax laws sufficiently competitive to keep their capital at home, the French have been on a crusade to force other countries to raise their tax rates and engage in widespread tax information sharing.
These bad habits have been picked up by many in the U.S. Congress as it pushes for legislation to discourage the free movement of capital along with the destruction of financial privacy. The result will be slower economic growth throughout the world, less job creation and more economic misery. [...]
As the French make changes in their own economy, perhaps we should emulate their successes, rather than their failures. The article goes on to say that other countries offer more attractive models, but that France is continuing to work on theirs to make it more workable and attractive, thanks to French think-tanks like the Institute for Economic Studies-Europe and other groups too.
There really is a lot be learned here from the French. Is our government paying attention? Or are they too busy maintaining and orchestrating a crisis, as an "opportunity" to further their agenda of expanded government control and interference in our lives?
The energy policies of France, and the protection they afforded France from the effects of the recession, are also worth noting.