Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Nicholas Sarkozy: Who is This Guy?

When Nicholas Sarkozy was elected President of France in 2007, I had high hopes that he would bring sensible economic reforms to a country with a bloated public sector, massive unionization and a protectionist bent. As the G-20 Summit continues, it appears my hopes have been dashed. While Sarkozy is still trying to put forth reforms despite the unruly labor protests, he has argued for more protection of French industries and acted like a petulant child when he pushed for global financial regulations at the G-20 Summit and threatened to walk out at the same time.

Perhaps if he could take some time away from his beautiful wife and the cameras that follow him, he could read up on the wisdom of Frédéric Bastiat to better understand why his initial instincts for reform were correct and that if he gives in to populist pressure, it will only cause more pain in the long-term.

1 comment:

  1. Advocating for protection of French industries is nothing new. When Ireland decided to lower their taxes and attract industry the French protested and eventually proposed a global tax to offset unfair competition caused by countries like Ireland.

    The French cannot have it both ways. They cannot have booming domestic industries and at the same time a less-than 40 hour week and a slew of unrealistic social packages.

    Ironically, I saw signs at the G-20 protest that stated "Capitalism is not working." I would argue that modern European nations have not tried capitalism and is not the culprit for their current economic woes.