Saturday 17 November 2012

Allez La France, Allez

It is reported that this week “The Economist” came up with a big one to the effect that while the media were looking at some countries in the Euro area as being in deep trouble, it could be France that is the big problem.

The President of France and other political leaders there have taken exception to this decrying “The Economist” and muttering dire threats about it destablising what is an essentially sound economy for reasons of copy.

This would be convincing if France in the past had a record of impeccable economic management, but this is far from being the case.  Their tendency to boom and bust with the emphasis on the bust is one of features of European economic history.

Perhaps it was the picture in “The Economist” of some baguettes being wrapped in a tricolour apparently about to be exploded as a bomb that may have been a little tactless.  They are nothing if not proud of their symbols.

If you would like to read the leader in question it is linked below and beyond this is a fuller Special Report linked in the article:

The French Revolution at the end of the 18th Century is usually characterized as essentially a political matter. But it also arose out of what was essentially an economic breakdown in a society where hunger and poverty were extreme.

It was also a Kingdom where the elite paid few taxes but the ordinary people were subject to the whims and predatory conduct of tax farmers who then bought themselves into the aristocracy.

I could go on down the years to one revolution and breakdown of government after another but it is too long for a weekend post when there are other things to do.  There is plenty out there on the web if you want to seek it.

Personally, I think “The Economist” could be right, the laxity and self centred attitude to public finances in France has often led Europe into trouble in the past.  It would be nothing new.

So, off with their heads of expenditure.

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