Monday, 7 May 2012

Vive la République socialiste

Congratulations to the French on having elected a president determined to challenge the monetarist hegemony and introduce policies designed to produce growth and create employment.  All Keynesians will watch his progress with rather more than sympathetic interest, as his success or otherwise will have reverberations far beyond France.  Interesting that the French electors have supported  a politician who is not afraid  to propose a marginal income tax rate of 75%. Cowardly Liberal Democrats, who were once proud to be the only party proposing a 50% rate, please note. If the new Greek government, when it is formed, can persuade its richer citizens to pay their taxes rather than export their wealth, there is some hope for recovery there too.

Whereas the French have elected the "dull" M Hollande rather than the flamboyant Sarkozy, London has done the opposite (though I suppose it is rather unfair to describe Ken Livingstone as dull.).  This is surely an object lesson in the dangers of introducing show-biz style contests into serious politics.  I do not follow London politics all that closely but I understand that whereas Livingstone has introduced various  schemes which have benefited ordinary Londoners (eg lower Tube fares, the congestion charge) Johnson has done little other than provide entertainment.  Even his iconic bicycles were actually planned under Livingstone. Thank goodness all the other cities except Bristol have voted against having a directly elected mayor.

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