France’s flirtation with and eventual embrace of socialism goes back more than a century. The late President Francois Mitterand effectively implemented socialism as national policy in 1981 when he issued his “110 Propositions,” which included a program to nationalize many industries. Seven of France’s largest 20 conglomerate industrial companies were nationalized, as were 36 banks and two finance companies. Mitterand’s misguided plan was designed to ensure that the government would have sources of capital for the nationalized sectors.
The French state accounts for about one-fourth of the industrial output of France. Among those employment enterprises with 2,000 or more employees, one-half are in state enterprises.
In typical socialist fashion, Mitterand tried to reverse a stagnant economy with collectivist tactics instead of using capitalist tools. As would be proved in other socialist states, a heavy government hand stifles initiative, restricts capital creation and leads the worker for the state or state-subsidized enterprise into a false sense of job security. It also makes it more difficult for one to achieve independence and success, as part of an upwardly mobile career in a position that produces products and services consumers truly want and need. In a socialist society the reverse always occurs, resulting in despair, high unemployment, mutually shared poverty and riots in the streets to protest the broken promises of the state.
I’ve always been curious as to why so many Americans, the bulk of which seem to be centered in a few liberal cities like Burlington, believe that we will be able to do socialism better.
For example, why do they want socialized medicine, even while Canada experiences out-of-control costs and excessively long waiting lines?
Why does anyone in this day and age insist upon repeating the failed experiment that is socialism? Is there something I don’t know or understand?
I don’t doubt that these people are intelligent, or at least have intelligent people among them, so there must be something I am missing. My common sense, backed by historical evidence, tells me that a government-controlled economy will be disastrous in the long term.
That’s the worst part of this whole matter. If the current forces behind US socialism ever have their way, they will have a glimpse of their utopia and die feeling like they saved us from ourselves. It will be future generations that will be left trying to salvage the ruins of this once great nation.