Column by Ron Scarbro
Back in the 1700s when America was young and fighting for her independence from England, France came to our rescue. They sent troops, arms and money. Their assistance was invaluable. They later gifted us with the Statue of Liberty, a gift that still shines off our shore welcoming visitors as well as new citizens. During World War II, we repaid that debt many times over. Thousands of our finest soldiers and sailors lie beneath French soil, their lives given to free the French people and kick the Nazis out of France. Our two countries are forever linked as allies. Today France is giving us yet another gift. A gift whose value could never be calculated. A gift which will prove, in the final analysis, to be her greatest.
France has decided at the polls to re-institute a socialist government. The voters have decided the austerity efforts of Sarkozy were just too unfair. Raising the retirement age from 60 to 62 was just too harsh. Requiring citizens to help pay for their services and retirement was just unfair. This, they said, was the government’s job. Never mind that France, along with most of Europe, is broke; the money will somehow appear. The new Socialist government plans to increase the tax rate on their wealthiest citizens to over 75 percent. That, they opine, will fix everything. Of course if those wealthiest people move or transfer their money offshore, 75 percent of zero is still zero. In our own country it has just been reported that Eduardo Saverin, co-founder of Facebook, will renounce his American citizenship in order to evade some $600 million in capital gains taxes occasioned by Facebook going public. His 4-percent share will be $3.84 billion. So much for taxing the rich.
The French gift to which I refer is a picture of what happens when socialism becomes the government of choice of formerly free people. The gift to America will be to watch what happens to a once great country when the takers outnumber the givers. We get to see what happens when you try to create wealth by taking away from the producers and giving to the non-producers. We have reported time and again Margaret Thatcher’s comment, “The problem with socialism is that eventually you run out of other people’s money.”
The world will now see clearly that socialism is a fantasy and has no place in a modern world.
The civil service unions that dominate France’s workforce seemingly don’t care. The welfare class of France will continue to have their hands out.
There seems to be a class of people in every country that believes money grows on government trees. That certainly is true here in America. There are people who think rich people are rich because they are lucky. There are even some people, the “Wall Street Occupiers” for example, who believe they should never have to work, that the government should just support them from birth to death. They will just sit around and sing Kumbaya. They never seem to consider where the money will come from.
There are some realities that must be faced by everyone. Governments don’t produce wealth, they only consume it. Monies that fund governments are the result of profits created by working people in successful, working companies. Money doesn’t fall out of the sky. It doesn’t just magically appear. If governments overtax and overspend, they contribute to the ultimate destruction of their own existence. Greece is a prime example of this overtaxing and overspending. France has apparently decided to be next.
To France I would say keep your gift. Save yourself. But if you insist on killing yourself, don’t look to us. We will not be available to bail you out again. You will have to depend on Germany for your salvation, and I don’t like your chances. After all, how did that work out for you the last time?