'Très malade': France still has a very sick economy
We've heard a lot lately about President Hollande's alleged love affair.
However, don't blame the French if they'd rather talk about their economy. In other words, it's bad in France as reported by French sources:
"France's INSEE statistics agency said in a report released on Thursday that the jobless rate jumped in the third quarter to 10.9 percent from 10.8 percent in the previous three months.
The rise in the unemployment rate brought it closer to an all-time high of 11.2 percent registered in France in 1997.
The latest figures come as French President Francois Hollande says his administration will reduce unemployment by the end of 2013.
In mid-November, INSEE said that France's economy contracted by 0.1 percent in the July-to-September period.
According to the agency, the contraction was due to a 1.5-percent slide in France's exports in the third quarter and a 0.6-percent fall in business investment.
New surveys have showed that a stagnant economy and high unemployment are among the main reasons behind a decrease in the approval rating of President Hollande."
There is more, according to Reuters:
"With business recovering in much of Europe, the French corporate sector's weak performance increasingly stands out, a situation President Francois Hollande hopes to turn around with new plans to cut the cost of labour in exchange for hiring and investing inFrance.
Data compiler Markit said its composite purchasing managers' index rose in January to a three-month high of 48.5 from 47.3 in December. It remained below the 50-point threshold separating expansions in activity from contractions.
"Companies are worried about the outlook," Markit chief economist Chris Williamson said.
"They're worried about the political situation, about the lack of proper reforms and just how the French government is going to bring about a recovery in the economy," he added."
We understand that country to country comparisons are not easy to make. However, there are some lessons that President Obama can learn from President Hollande and his lousy economy.
First, it's always about jobs for democratically elected leaders.
Second, you can"t tax your way to prosperity, especially when the taxes are directed at "the rich" or people who can move to another country. There was an ad running in Europe recently calling on the overtaxed French to move to Britain. Many have indeed moved.
Third, and saddest of all the lessons, the young people are leaving, according to a rather amazing story in the New York Times last summer:
"Young French people need to go abroad, to work, to travel, to see how things can work differently in cultures and countries that don't play by the same old rules - and then come back to France, and reinject some of the energy and enthusiasm they've absorbed to help reconcile the broader population with the global reality that France has shunned for far too long."
Let me say it again. Don't be surprised if the next resume that applies for that job posting is a young person from France.
How many more times is socialism to fail before people get that it does not work?