The Meaning Of Hollande

Posted by | May 7, 2012 20:07 | Filed under: Top Stories

by Stuart Shapiro

A Socialist has become President of France.  This has led to the predictable hand wringing on the right (ooooh a socialist, scary).  Among the more sophisticated Republican reactions is this op-ed by former Senator Judd Gregg:

It has been a long time getting there, but France now seems to be on the final leg of this journey of self-delusion and self-destruction. The world is becoming more and more competitive, with no time for the self-indulgent as nations seek better lifestyles for their people. The politics of envy and the real reduction in competitiveness of the French society is clearly placing France and many nations in Europe at a tipping point.

They have dealt themselves a losing hand.

On the other hand, Paul Krugman argues that the austerity supported by conservatives is doomed to failure and Hollande represents an alternative:

They will cling to their fantasies of prosperity through pain, and will insist that continuing with their failed strategy is the only responsible thing to do. But it seems that they will no longer have unquestioning support from the Élysée Palace. And that, believe it or not, means that both the euro and the European project now have a better chance of surviving than they did a few days ago.

My guess is that Hollande will act as a brake on German-advocated austerity but won’t approach anything like the statist solutions feared by Gregg.

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Copyright 2012 Liberaland
By: Stuart Shapiro

Stuart is a professor and the Director of the Public Policy
program at the Bloustein School of Planning and Public Policy at Rutgers
University. He teaches economics and cost-benefit analysis and studies
regulation in the United States at both the federal and state levels.
Prior to coming to Rutgers, Stuart worked for five years at the Office
of Management and Budget in Washington under Presidents Clinton and
George W. Bush.

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