A few days back the French newspaper Le Monde reported two events that very clearly epitomize the conflicted nature of people, their level of brainwashing and their political evolution.
Good news first.
The first event was a poll conducted for the Journal du Dimanche outlining the complete debacle in terms of approval rate that the current French President Mr. François Hollande is "enjoying". It would seem that only about 82% of the population is unhappy with him. And why would not be otherwise? France has a weird political organization (but not weirder than many other countries), where the president is the head of the state (i.e. a political figure) while the Prime Minister is the head of the government (i.e. the seat of real, actual power). In other words, being the President of France is a cushy bureaucratic job and knowing French people, probably the cushiest of them all (who can beat French people to the delights of life?… but we digress).
This is good news indeed because the faster people gets fed-up with politicians, the faster they will evolve into new-and-improved political systems which approach Libertarianism.
And now, for something completely different: the bad news.
It would seem that in Paris there was a huuuuuuuge demonstration (about 100.000 people… well maybe more like 25.000… or… ahhhh the numbers game… always so entertaining). This people came to the streets to say NO! to upcoming austerity measures. Damit! They want the government to spend, spend and spend; after all, the government is the sole source of infinite wealth. Don't they have the magic printing press coupled with the enchanted computer key which can produce money on demand? To the numbers!
This first plot shows the French GDP over time in cash. Not good. Furthermore, if the guys at the IMF are correct with their forecasts (and they are always overly and ridiculously optimistic), the immediate French future does not look rosy.
But wait! Maybe this graph is not the correct one. Maybe we should be looking at the graph of French debt as a percentage of GDP. After all, what matters is how much the French can afford to pay. Fair enough, there you have it.
Well, it does look a little bit better, but again, there would seem that there are no good new up to around 2016, even in the absolutely best case scenario. Past 2016, the amount of debt would still be horrific, but it would at least be "sustainable"; as in we (the politicians) spend and you (the French taxpayer) pays. Got it.
But this is not the whole story. Is this business of debt as percentage of GDP kosher (as Yiddish people would say)? Does it fly? For that, we need to go to our very own Project Default.
Hummmm… this does indeed paint a different picture. France is in deep du-du and heading into toilet city. It would seem that their ratio of Assets to Debt was in the order of 15 times in 2013 heading towards 22 in 2014 and 24 in 2015. Again, let's not forget that these are the best case scenarios. We would do well to remember that countries begin to default when the ratio hits the 15 mark. Hummmm… do you think that France has much room to maneuver left? Of course not. This business of debt as percentage of GDP does not pan out.
Politicians know this. They also know that if they don't do something and soon, they will be out of a job; the horror!!! This is something they cannot allow, hence the sudden austerity measures.
The problem is that in this regard French people are stupid; or at least those who went to the demonstration.
It's simple. Look at the debt in USD graph. What do you see? That's right. In the long term, debt goes in one direction only: Up!
France has had many governments from the right as well as from the left. What was the end result? The debt went up. This, this is the key lesson that all those demonstrators in Paris failed to learn. It does not matter which government you have, it does not matter which tendency the government has, left, right or center, they are all the same. They all spend and the reasons are simple, politicians and bureaucrats want to stay in cushy jobs (see Politicians And Bureaucrats Job Security Through Misery).
And so, today's news were sort of a mixed bag of good and bad news. People still have a very long way to evolve and they can only do so through the school of hard knocks where failure is the best option to learn.
This is why our motto is no taxation and no representation, because the only way to win is not to play (politics).
It is now your turn to make a judgment call. Believe or not, it's your wisdom.
Note: please see the Glossary if you are unfamiliar with certain words.