France's Macron offers up economic succor from Nicolas Maduro's playbook

What's a French leader without a rich, buttery serving of appeasement?  Here's a France24 headline: "Macron raises minimum wage to appease Yellow Vest protesters."

That's what he's offering, following the big buildup for his national address following at least two weekends of populist riots across the country.  Oh, there's a bit of economic tinkering on other things – a tax hike taken back here, a tax hike delay there, a request that companies (instead of the government) pay workers more cash via bonuses with a tax sweetener in it for them – but raising the minimum wage seems to be the crown jewel in his plan to...make the sans-culottes in yellow vests out there just stop rioting.

As you can imagine, the response, even from state-owned France24's report, has been tart:

The self-declared "Jupiterian" president's announcement met with fraught responses from his political opponents, who have largely failed so far to tap into the discontent from the leaderless Yellow Vest movement.

(Aside: Old Spartacus out in New Jersey has nothing on France's new Jupiter.)

For good reason.

Minimum wage hikes have been offered up as solutions and tried, a lot...in Nicolás Maduro's Venezuela.

Here's an editorial from Investor's Business Daily about the last one that I know about, which kicked off after a Venezuelan round of riots last September:

Faced with a collapsing economy and hyperinflation from his socialist policies, Venezuelan strong man Nicolas Maduro announced an immediate increase in the minimum wage of 3,500%.  That wasn't the first: Since 2013, Maduro has raised the official minimum wage 24 times.

This is how Maduro solves his country's economic problems: by raising the minimum wage.  And raising it, and raising it, and raising it, because, after all, more is better, right?

Now that's what desperate Macron is offering – monkey-see, monkey-do – a man who, based on what's being reported in the news, seems just as desperate to cling to power as Maduro.

France's workers are rioting in the streets because they're continuously being squeezed by France's elites with higher and higher costs of living.  That's not the exact same thing as monetary mismanagement and money-printing, which turned Venezuela into hyperinflation heaven, with its million-percent inflation, or whatever the figure is now, but it comes close, because higher costs of living are inflationary even without a clown show going on at the central bank.

The showcase global warming schemes, which Macron insists won't be subject to a "U-turn" as he seeks to be the star of the European Union, have left nothing but economic misery for France's normal people.

Raising the minimum wage is a particularly pathetic solution, give that it cuts job availability as a side-effect.

What's more, the comparison to Venezuela isn't all that far-fetched, as IBD notes:

Well, you say, minimum wages aren't necessarily a fault of socialism.  After all, we have them here in the U.S.

True enough.  But minimum wages are a standard of all socialist systems.  And they have the same effect, wherever they are used: They deny workers the right to work at a wage that will keep them employed, and force employers to pay some workers far more than they're worth.

To ensure no one cheats, minimum-wage laws require the giant authoritarian hand of government to police it all.  That's happening now in Venezuela on a frightening scale.

Bottom line: A minimum wage hike is going to work about as well in France as it's already done in Venezuela.  How pathetic is it that rich, glittering France would copy such a miserable dump?

Yet there Macron is, waving his magic wand and demanding that others pay for shutting the sans-culottes up, taking after Venezuela.

Image credit: Tasnim News Agency via Wikimedia Commons, CC BY-SA 4.0.

What's a French leader without a rich, buttery serving of appeasement?  Here's a France24 headline: "Macron raises minimum wage to appease Yellow Vest protesters."

That's what he's offering, following the big buildup for his national address following at least two weekends of populist riots across the country.  Oh, there's a bit of economic tinkering on other things – a tax hike taken back here, a tax hike delay there, a request that companies (instead of the government) pay workers more cash via bonuses with a tax sweetener in it for them – but raising the minimum wage seems to be the crown jewel in his plan to...make the sans-culottes in yellow vests out there just stop rioting.

As you can imagine, the response, even from state-owned France24's report, has been tart:

The self-declared "Jupiterian" president's announcement met with fraught responses from his political opponents, who have largely failed so far to tap into the discontent from the leaderless Yellow Vest movement.

(Aside: Old Spartacus out in New Jersey has nothing on France's new Jupiter.)

For good reason.

Minimum wage hikes have been offered up as solutions and tried, a lot...in Nicolás Maduro's Venezuela.

Here's an editorial from Investor's Business Daily about the last one that I know about, which kicked off after a Venezuelan round of riots last September:

Faced with a collapsing economy and hyperinflation from his socialist policies, Venezuelan strong man Nicolas Maduro announced an immediate increase in the minimum wage of 3,500%.  That wasn't the first: Since 2013, Maduro has raised the official minimum wage 24 times.

This is how Maduro solves his country's economic problems: by raising the minimum wage.  And raising it, and raising it, and raising it, because, after all, more is better, right?

Now that's what desperate Macron is offering – monkey-see, monkey-do – a man who, based on what's being reported in the news, seems just as desperate to cling to power as Maduro.

France's workers are rioting in the streets because they're continuously being squeezed by France's elites with higher and higher costs of living.  That's not the exact same thing as monetary mismanagement and money-printing, which turned Venezuela into hyperinflation heaven, with its million-percent inflation, or whatever the figure is now, but it comes close, because higher costs of living are inflationary even without a clown show going on at the central bank.

The showcase global warming schemes, which Macron insists won't be subject to a "U-turn" as he seeks to be the star of the European Union, have left nothing but economic misery for France's normal people.

Raising the minimum wage is a particularly pathetic solution, give that it cuts job availability as a side-effect.

What's more, the comparison to Venezuela isn't all that far-fetched, as IBD notes:

Well, you say, minimum wages aren't necessarily a fault of socialism.  After all, we have them here in the U.S.

True enough.  But minimum wages are a standard of all socialist systems.  And they have the same effect, wherever they are used: They deny workers the right to work at a wage that will keep them employed, and force employers to pay some workers far more than they're worth.

To ensure no one cheats, minimum-wage laws require the giant authoritarian hand of government to police it all.  That's happening now in Venezuela on a frightening scale.

Bottom line: A minimum wage hike is going to work about as well in France as it's already done in Venezuela.  How pathetic is it that rich, glittering France would copy such a miserable dump?

Yet there Macron is, waving his magic wand and demanding that others pay for shutting the sans-culottes up, taking after Venezuela.

Image credit: Tasnim News Agency via Wikimedia Commons, CC BY-SA 4.0.