Thursday, June 9, 2011

Economics Is Not Marine Le Pen's Forte

Marine Le Pen is clear about one thing: protectionism is the answer to France's economic woes. But when asked about what will happen to prices of imported goods if high tariff barriers are erected around the Hexagon, her answer is simple:

Quant aux prix des biens importés, ils n’augmenteront pas dans la mesure où nous contrôlerons très sévèrement les marges de la grande distribution, un chantier qu’il est temps d’ouvrir. Chacun pourra continuer d’acheter ses I-phones « made in China ». Mais mon ambition est qu’on en fabrique en France ! La désindustrialisation n’est pas une fatalité.
This answer betrays a confusion on a par with Sarah Palin's confusion about Paul Revere's midnight ride. If Le Pen imposes tariffs on imported goods, their price will rise even if the retailer's margin is limited to zero. And if she somehow persuades Apple that manufacturing the iPhone in France is a reasonable investment, it will only be because its French price will have increased to the point where it becomes economical to manufacture it with French labor paid at French wages. But then the phone companies will have to raise their subscription fees so much that French workers won't be able to afford the phones even with their French wages.

But never mind: she will forge an alliance with Heinz-Christian Strache of the radical right Austrian FPO:


D.B. : Hier, au Parlement européen, vous avez tenu une conférence de presse commune avec Heinz-Christian Strache, le leader de la droite radicale autrichienne (FPÖ) . Certes, son parti est en train de devenir la première force politique d’Autriche. Mais en vous affichant avec un personnage aussi sulfureux, ne ruinez-vous pas tous vos efforts pour dédiaboliser l’image du Front National ?MLP : « Sulfureux » ? Cette affirmation parfaitement gratuite procède de la diabolisation des partis patriotes européens par des élites qui craignent pour la survie de leur système mondialisé. Je vous rappelle que le FPÖ est un grand parti qui a déjà participé au gouvernement autrichien. C’est aussi l’un des fers de lance de la lutte pour la liberté des nations contre l’Union Européenne. Pour ma part, je compte bien me rapprocher des partis patriotes belge, suisse, britannique, italien ou suédois pour proposer une alternative au funeste projet de l’UE.

I think that perhaps we are about to witness the bursting of the Le Pen bubble. The Austrian connection will undo the effort to de-demonize the FN, and the economic confusion should be apparent even to those most committed to the belief that protectionism and exit from the EU are good answers to the difficulties of globalization.

3 comments:

Alex Price said...

Was there ever a time when the FN's economic proposals made any sense? I first became acquainted with them in 2002 and was struck by their lack of seriousness.

MYOS said...

Unfortunately, many people understand truly N0THING of the way economics works. I'm no genius but when I have to explain that going back to the Franc will not bring all prices back to what they used to be before the Euro, it's easy to figure why MLP's ideas can be believed and thought logical.

Passerby said...

Ironically, MLP's solution to "threaten" a globalized system and find an alternative to the EU project is to ally herself with foreign politicians...