Yesterday, Francois Hollande defeated Nicholas Sarcosy in what can only be described as a big Left turn for French politics. The narrative being pushed by the main stream media and by socialists is that austerity measures have not worked, and most European countries are mired in double dip recessions. The left is trying to argue that these "right wing" austerity measures have failed, and that only a return to the European Socialism will fix what is ailing these countries.
The problem with this thinking is simply untrue. The first is that the austerity measures are to any degree "right-wing." If right wing is defined as any departure from the central planning models that have dominated European politics for the last two decades, then yes these austerity measures are right wing. The reality is that "conservative" in the US and conservative among European socialist countries means two different things. And finally just austerity measures are not the only thing that needs to be done.
What is really happening is that Europe is reaping what they have sown. This is what happens when two or three generations have lived in such a cradle to grave social democracy. They have a whole generation of people who think they are entitled to a free ride after doing so little.
What is worse is that the social democracies of Europe have reached the tipping point on taxation. Countries such as the UK, France, Spain, Italy, etc, have tax rates that are close to 50% and that does not even count the 17% minimum VAT tax on everything bought in Europe (Some Countries VAT Taxes are higher). Austerity will not work, because it is not addressing the real cause of the real problems in Europe, that taxes on businesses are so high that they cannot generate enough capital to invest or to hire new workers. High VAT and income taxes take away disposable income from consumers who might otherwise spend their extra cash on goods and services.
The only way for Europe to solve their financial problems, is to cut back on social programs and cut taxes. The problem is that when the population is not willing to buy into what is wrong, and demand services that a country can no longer afford, that country is ripe for financial ruin.
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