Monday, July 18, 2011

Topsy-Turvy World

Aubry and Hollande have finally clashed over an issue: Which of them is the more devoted to austerity? With unemployment at 9.2%, one might have expected one of them to take the view that putting people to work should be the immediate priority, with deficit reduction relegated to some point in the future. But both appear to wish to portray themselves as "responsible" stewards of the economy rather than champions of the unemployed. Is this because the unemployed don't vote or contribute to campaign war chests? Or have both leading Socialists retreated to the criteria of the Maastricht treaty, which has demonstrated its inadequacy in so many ways, as a way of demonstrating their reliability and soundness as fiscal managers?


Anonymous said...

It all came on the heels of Aubry promising artists in Avignon a 50% increase in the culture budget. Yeah, right. A priority in this economy.

Wondering why they're using that Maastricht criterion, perhaps because they're still living in the 90s?

As for not paying attention to the unemployed, they may be following the Terra Nova report's conclusions, whereby targeting these groups isn't as fruitful electorally as targeting the intellectual classes.
If you're representative, they missed their target though.

A friend of mine stated what appears to be a local saying 'ça sert à rien de mourir guéri" (it's pointless to die cured -?)


Anonymous said...

The real issue continues to be the financial crisis... of course not... the 14th of July's parade; the UMP rep who used "antiFrance", the one who said "go back to your Norway", and, mostly, Fillon. Hamon said "what does President Sarkozy think about this, does he agree that one isn't really French if one has another citizenship?" clever, since it's hard not to think of Carla Bruni. Not to mention Fillon's own wife, whose speech patterns make her clearly a British native. Unless neither is allowed an opinion about national symbols.
In any case, a very clever use of media buzz by Joly, whose election would likely have made 6th page news otherwise.

Competing to supersede this essential debate, Royal said that, after she wins the Primaries, she'll make nice with all PS people, then with the greens and the leftists, and THEN (gasp) even with gaullists who are disgusted with Sarkozy. Cambadélis choked on his tie because God forbid you'd want votes from outside the traditional left. Villepinists said "why not?" Xavier Bertrand tried to make a glib joke, mixed metaphors by speaking of a vaccuum cleaner sucking in votes, and ended up sounding hopelessly sexist (Royal= woman= vacuum, apparently that was the thinking).

Anonymous said...

2 other points of view:

FrédéricLN said...

@ Art : that's a topic we would not agree on ;-)

There may be a point about the relative relevance of keynesianism or balanced budgets - this discussion might be very lengthy and probably not conclusive!

I would rather highlight 3 other points:

-> Keynesianism, in the "Roosevelt, TVA" meaning of the word, refers to public investment which is expected to allow additional production (GDP) in the forthcoming years. That's the reason why Stiglitz advocated, and Obama enforced, public investment as an answer to the 2008 crisis. But France is in a quite different situation. We did not suffer the 20 years under-investment the USA have lived with. Our infrastructures are generally sound, and nobody sees which dams on which Tennessee Valleys of ours, would bring much GDP, and much employment, tomorrow.

-> The USA can spend more and more (if the Congress allows them to) just because you have the dollar. You may spend at the expense of the rest of the world. We France are a small country, we can spend only if someone else agrees to lend the money. And very soon, nobody will. That's very likely the reason why Aubry changed her mind. The money will just not be there.

-> The Maastricht criteria were not great features. But everybody agrees, as far as I know, that, *had they been enforced*, the Greek crisis would never have happened, and the European states would have been able to cope with any other crisis of such magnitude. The issue is not about the criteria, it's about the unability European democratic mechanisms have demonstrated as far as managing public debt, and a currency, is concerned.

And there, we are not far from the situation of the USA!

Anonymous said...

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Bureaux de Vote pour les Français qui habitent ces villes, les autres peuvent voter par correspondance - se renseigner aux emails pour plus d'information:
Etats-Unis : ( vote le samedi 8 octobre et samedi 15 octobre )
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