France’s presidential elections. Vote happy.
France is an unhappy country. Despite:
-socialism (not the economy), although under threat from the surprisingly-negative attitude to foreigners, particularly Arabs-c’est-a-dire-moslems and blacks (it’s okay in France to use that word);
-human rights (although France is the same as most other western nations, it thinks it is superior in this field);
-the culture of food and drink. Still strong; even McDonald’s’ taste better;
-culture generally. Impressive museums and other attractions. Ok there’s Paris Disneyland — but it’s a failure because it should have been built in the south, maybe between Marseille and Barcelona;
-magnificent countryside, particularly in the bottom half of the country;
-magnificent cities and buildings (not just Paris and Nice but Cannes, Lyon, even Marseille — although then there is the north);
Why is France not supremely happy?
To me the problem is the economy and economics. France has a socialist attitude to this, which cannot work when you are part of the world economy. And the attitude to work and jobs is shocking. I recall one cartoon in an English newspaper, showing students protesting in the streets against a government plan to make it easier to employ young people.
The situation was real; the students were protesting against this. They wanted to make it harder to employ young people. Eh? The cartoon caption was (something like): “They are on strike before they get their first job.”
Unions are much too strong. They are subsidised, have well-paid jobs in comfortable Parisian offices with little responsibility. The hard part of their job is thinking up a reason for the next strike; when in doubt use ‘working conditions’ until details can be developed.
For many media and by most leading politicians, employers and companies (big ones in particular) are nasty people and entities. For one presidential candidate (left of Trotsky!), companies exist solely to make money and fire employees. (Yes.) She would stop all redundancies — all of them, for ever. If she were in power at the turn of the 20th-century there would still be 1000 people in Paris employed to clean up the shit from horse-drawn vehicles, and the horse-carriage industry would still be making 150 carriages a month — and lots of horseshoes.
(She is not the only one to laugh at. One of the front runners, Melenchon, proposes 100% tax on the rich. That’s Year One, of course; in Year Two there would be no money, or rich, to tax. There’s more. One just outside the top-4, Hamon, proposes a tax on robots. I wonder if they could they be programmed to protest march in the streets?)
Here then is my summary of the four leading contenders. In order of Best For France, although #3 and #4 would not be simply Not Good; their policies would ruin France:
-Emmanuel Macron. The happy candidate. Could inspire economic success. Please vote for him.
-Francois Fillon. Too catholic (small C) for me, but could inspire economic success. Ok he is accused of cheating by employing his wife and children on state pay, but 50% of politicians do the same (legal) thing; Fillon’s mistake was getting caught.
-Jean-Luc Melenchon. Some good social ideas, but would cause economic chaos. Would leave European Union, NATO, and anything else he can find.
-Marine Le Pen. Promotes hate/fear. Would cause economic chaos. Would leave EU (but scandalously has a cop-out; a referendum; what happens if France voted to stay? Then why vote for her?), stop immigration, which would mean erecting hard borders, and having an even-worse football team.