Socialist Francois Hollande's assumption of the French presidency is dreadful. Hollande, among other things, has promised to raise taxes on the rich and voiced support for an increase in the minimum wage.
Both policies are a recipe for disaster.
1. A rise in the minimum wage will push more people into unemployment. Those who cannot add as much value to a business as the cost of the minimum wage will remain jobless. An unemployed man who can only provide a service worth 8 Euros an hour to a business will not be hired if the government imposes a minimum wage of 10 Euros an hour.
2. Increasing taxes on the rich means forcibly taking more money away from the most productive people in France, making it harder for businessmen to produce goods, expand their enterprise, and hire people.
What France should do is lower and simplify taxes; this will enable individuals to keep more of the money they've earned, and give them the freedom to put that money to profitable, prosperity-creating uses. And France should recognize the moral right of individuals to contract freely with each other and abolish the minimum wage, enabling a massive increase in employment.
France needs to embrace free market principles, not Hollande's socialist policies.