I need to follow up my recent article about tax, GDP, a free lunch and big governments. The Biden administration is calling for a tax hike and a much bigger government. Is the United States on the way to be a socialist country like France? If so, how would that be?
Let`s take a look at France. The biggest welfare state in the world. No other coutries in the world spend more money on welfare than the French government. No other coutries has higher taxes either.
But who is protesting a lot? No other countries in the world are protesting more than the people of France, and the yellow vest protesters showed us that. There were multiple reasons for all the protests in France. What they all had in common is that they were all dissatisfied.
Does the people of the United States really want to be a socialist state like France?
First of all; lets talk about tax. No other countries in the world have higher taxes than France. Personal income tax has dropped to 45%, down from 59,6% about twenty years ago. In other words; half of your hard earned money goes to the government.
Corporate tax rate in France dropped to 28% under president Macron. Do doubt that Macron is doing something right. A Trump strategy that is boosting the economy with lower taxes (but that was before the covid attack).
In the early 80`s, the corporate tax rate in France was at a record high with 50%. All that happened under President Fracois Mitterand who served as a President of France from 1981 to 1995, the longest time in office in the history of France.
Mitterand started political life on the Catholic nationalist right, but joined the resistance and moved to the left. He opposed Charles de Gaulle`s establishment of the Fifth Republic.
He invited the Communist Party into his first government, which was a controversial decision at the time. In the event, the Communists were boxed in as junior partners and, rather than taking advantage, saw their support erode. The left the cabinet in 1984.
Interestingly, right after that, the taxes started to decline. Mitterand followed a radical left-wing economic agenda, including nationalisation of key firms, but after two years, with the economy in crisis, he reversed course.
He pushed a socially liberal agenda with reforms such as the 39-hour week, and the end of a government monopoly in radio and television broadcasting.
His partnership with German Chancellor Hermut Kohl advanced European integration via the Maastricht Treaty, but he reluctantly accepted German reunification. By the way; he was also the only French President to ever have named a female Prime Minister; Edith Cresson.
Beyond making the French left electable, Mitterand presided over the rise of the Socialist Party to dominance of the left, and the decline of the once-mighty Communist Party (as a share of the popular vote in the first presidential round, the Communists shrank from a peak of 21,27% in 1969 to 8,66% in 1995, at the end of Mitterand`s second term).
As you can see, the popularity of the Communist Party declined from about 21% to 8%, but so did the corporate tax rate under Mitterand too.
But taxes need to come from someone, and that is the people. How is that going to work out if millions are unemployed? In France, the unemployment rate has always been high. It dropped to 8% in December of 2020, down from 9,1% in the previous period.
The number of unemployed people decreased by 340 thousand to 2,4 million. That sounds expensive. Someone has to pay for it.
France spend nearly one third of their GDP on social welfare, according to OECD. France are on top of the list (27,5) while the U.S is number 22 with 14,3% (as a percentage of GDP).
If we look at total net social spending, France is still at the top with 31,7%, but interestingly, the U:S is second with 30%. Total net social spending takes into account public and private social expenditure, and also includes the effect of direct taxes (income tax and social security contributions), indirect taxation of consumption on cash benefits, as well as tax breaks for social purposes.
Top 20 list of all the countries with tax revenue as a percent of GDP from 40% to 50% are all from Europe. except one; Cuba, at number 8 on the list. A communist country among all the European countries.
The debt in France is skyrocketing. Under Mitterand, the debt to GDP was about 20. Now, under Macron it has increased to 115,70 percent in 2020 from 97,60 percent in 2019.
At the same time, Government Budget in France decreased to -9,20 percent of GDP in 2020 from -3,10 percent in 2019. In other words; the government spends more money than it takes in from taxes and other fees.
So, socialist welfare state France has more debt than the United States. Devt to GDP in the U.S increased to 107,60 percent in 2020, up from 106,90 percent in 2019.
The unemployment rate is also lower in the U.S. The unemployment rate fell to 6 percent in March of 2021. The U.S government is also spending more money than they have. In 2019, the U.S recorded a government budget deficit equal to 4,60 percent of the GDP, but it`s expected to be about 13 percent in 2020.
On top of all the taxes, people in France also need to pay for the roads. A typical socialist country has toll roads. From Boreaux to Paris, you need to pay 55,60 euros for Classe A and 85,60 euros for Classe B.
All the money you earn from Janury to June goes to the government. The govenment will give the money you give them to sick people who ask for free healthcare. State healthcare insurance is available to everyone staying in France for more than three months.
The French Social Security system runs this insurance (called PUMA), and this insurance covers about 70% of the medical costs, and in some cases, even 100% of the costs. The state also pays for every child`s education from 6 to 16 years old.
So, if you pay nearly half of your hard earned money to your welfare state, and drive a car from Boreaux to Paris often, you have to ask yourself what your real tax actually is?
Donald Trump is still popular. In 2018, Republicans used to call Ronald Reagan the best president in US history, but now, in 2021, it`s Donald Trump, according to the latest Economist/YouGov poll. Trump is at the top (36%), while Ronald Reagan is second (18%), followed by Abraham Lincoln (13%).
Among all Americans, Donald Trump comes in third at 13% with Barrack Obama on top of the list at 18%, followed by Abraham Lincoln at 17%. President Joe Biden is not on the list at all, as he had served less than 20 days when the survey began.
I support all the presidents no matter what side they are on, but that doesn`t mean I agree with all they do and say. Right now, Biden is the president, and he has a lot of things to fix. And Trump talked about it in his speech at CPAC.
«We`re in the middle of a historic struggle for America`s future, America`s culture, and America`s institutions. Our very identity as Americans is at stake, like perhaps at no other time, so no matter how much the Washington establishment and the powerful special interests may want to silence us, let there be no doubt; we will be victorious and America will be stronger and greater than ever before,» Trump said in the speech.
Much of the crazy ideas are coming from the left side. Ideas like language are violent, don`t practice yoga or cook Chinese food, there is no such thing as biological sex and only white people can be racist. Many people are confused by these ideas.
Do you wonder how some people on the left side have managed so quickly to challenge the very logic of Western society?
What`s going on in America is not unique. It`s the same playbook in Europe as well. President Macron talked about it a few days ago and said he doesn`t want all these crazy ideas from the left in France. Sorry Macron, but it all started there; in France.
It`s an evolution from French postmodernism to its refinement within activist academic fields. Today we can recognize it by its effects, such as cancel culture and social-media dogpiles, as by its tenets, which are all too often embraced as axiomatic in mainstream media:
knowledge is a social construct; science and reason are tools of oppression; all human interactions are sites of oppressive power play, and language is dangerous. As they warn, the unchecked proliferation of these anti-Enlightenment beliefs presents a threat not only to liberal democracy but also to modernity itself.
This is what authors Helen Pluckrose and James Lindsay talk about in their book; «cynical theories.» While acknowledging the need to challenge the complacency of those who think a just society has been fully achieved, Pluchrose and Lindsay break down how this often-radical activist scholarship does far more harm than good, not least to those marginalized communities it claims to champion.
They also detail its alarmingly inconsistent and illiberal ethics. Only through a proper understanding of the evolution of these ideas, they conclude, can those who value science, reason, and consistently liberal ethics successfully challenge this harmful and authoritarian orthodoxy, in the academy, in culture, and beyond.
During the modern period in the last two centuries in most Western countries, there has been developed a broad consensus in favor of the political philosophy known as «liberalism.»
The main tenets of liberalism are political democracy, limitations on the powers of government, the development of universal human rights, legal equality for all adult citizens, freedom of expression, respect for the value of viewpoint diversity and honest debate, respect for evidence and reason, the separation of church and state, and freedom of religion.
These liberal values developed as ideas and it has taken centuries of struggle against theocracy, slavery, patriarchy, colonialism, fascism, and many other forms of discrimination to honor them as much as we do, still imperfectly today, Pluckrose and Lindsay said.
But the struggle for social justice has always been strongest when it has cast itself as the defender of liberal values universally, insisting that they are applied to all individuals, not just to wealthy white males.
It must be noted that the general philosophical position that we call «liberalism» is compatible with a wide range of positions on political, economic, and social questions, including both what Americans call «liberal» (and Europeans call «social-democratic») and modern forms of what people in all countries call «conservative.»
This philosophical liberalism is opposed to authoritarian movements of all types, be they left-wing or right-wing, secular of theocratic.
Liberalism is thus best thought of as a shared common ground, providing a framework for conflict resolution and one within which people with a variety of views on political, economic, and social questions can rationally debate the options for public policy.
However, we have reached a point in history where liberalism and modernity at the heart of Western civilization are at great risk on the level of the ideas that sustain them.
The precise nature of this threat is complicated, as it arises from at least two overwhelming pressures, one revolutionary and the other reactionary, that are waging war with each other over which illiberal direction our societies should be dragged.
Far-right populist movements claiming to be making a last desperate stand for liberalism and democracy against a rising tide of progressivism and globalism are on the rise around the world.
Trump said in the speech that his movement is successful. «We began it together four years ago and it is far from being over,» he said.
Europe is in trouble. The growth is plummeting. The Euro area «is facing an economic contraction of a magnitude and speed that are unprecedented in peacetime», the ECB president Christine Lagarde said on a news conference in Frankfurt, Germany earlier today.
The Eurozone economy shrank by 3,8 percent on quarter in Q1, and that was the steepest contraction since comparable records began in 1995 as a coronavirus lockdown from mid-March forced businesses to close and consumers to stay at home.
And this is just the beginning. Ms Lagarde suggested euro area GDP could fall by between 5 and 12 percent this year. I repeat: 12 percent!
Not only the euro area came out with the GDP news today. France came out with their bad news today. The French economy shrank 5,8 percent on quarter in the three months to March 2020. And you know what; they are entering a technical recession. I repeat; recession!
This is ugly. This is the steepest decline in GDP on record, as the Covid-19 outbreaks stopped the economy. Household consuption plummeted -6,1 percent, led by falls in spending on both goods and service, fixed investment; -11,8 percent. Foreign demand contributed negatively as both exports and imports fell.
Italy is also in a technical recession. Italy`s GDP shrank 4,7 percent on quarter in the three months to March of 2020. It was the steepest contraction since comparable records began in 1995, as the country was severely hurt by the coronavirus pandemic during March.
The domestic and external demand contributed negatively to the GDP in Italy.
Spain is in the same club. Their economy shrank 5,2 percent on quarter in the first three months of 2020. That is the steepest contraction since the series began in 1995, as the Covid-19 pandemic forced the government to impose lockdown measures in mid-March.
Years of economic growth is wiped out at a pace never seen before. Not only in Europe but also in the United States. The unemployment rate go straight up and the personal spending go straight down.
Personal spending in the US dropped 7,5 percent month-over-month in March 2020, and that was the largest decline in personal spending on record, as the coronavirus crisis hit households’ demand.
Within services, the leading contributor to the decrease was spending on health care.
What`s interesting to see is that France has the highest personal income tax rate in Europe, which is 45 percent. At the same time they have a very high unemployment rate; 8,1 percent. Not only that; their Dept to GDP is 98,10 percent.
Unemployment rate in Italy is 8,4. Personal income tax rate is 43 percent. Both very similar to France, but Italy`s Debt to GDP is 134,8 percent.
Government Debt to GDP in Spain is 95,5 percent with an unemployment rate of 14,41 percent. Personal income tax rate is similar to France and Italy; 45 percent.
France, Italy and Spain has also a lot of problems with the coronavirus. They are all on top of the debt burden list, but they are also on top when it comes to covid-19.
It seems like it is a correlation between debt, high unemployment rate, personal tax income and coronavirus deaths. In comparison; the US debt to GDP is 107 percent as of December 2019. Experts say it will be worse.
To contact the author of this story: Ket Garden at firstname.lastname@example.org
MEP`s (Members og the European Parlieament) voted overwhelmingly to approve the withdrawal agreement today. MEP`s ratified the Brexit Withdrawel Agreement by 621 votes to 49 following an emotional debate in Brussels today.
The UK will leave the EU on Friday night this week, and Nigel Farage is the happiest man in the world right now.
Nigel Farage had a speech in the parliament today and said the EU is anti-democratic, while most British MEP`s who spoke expressed deep sadness about Brexit. Many of them predicted that the UK will return to EU some times in the future.
The Brexit party leader said this earlier today: «I`m hoping this begins the end of this project. It`s a bad project, it isn`t just undemocratic it`s anti-democratic…..
There is a historic battle going on now across the West. In Europe, America and elswhere. It is globalism against populism. And you may loathe populism, but I`ll tell you a funny thing – it`s becoming very popular.
And it has great benefits. No more financial contributions, no more European Court of Justice, no more common fisheries policy, no more being talked down to, no more being bullied, no more Guy Verhofstadt.»
Guy Verhofstadt is a Belgian politician who was the leader of the Allicance of Liberals and Democrats for Europe from 2009 to 2019. He has been a MEP from Belgium since 2009. He was also a Prime Minister of Beligium from 1999 to 2008.
He led the Allicance of Liberals and Democrats for Europe Group (ALDE) from 2009 to 2019, and founded the inter-parliamentarian federalist Spinelli Group. He has been the European Parliament`s Brexit Coordinator and Chair of the Brexit Steering Group since 2016.
Verhofstadt is an advocate for federalisation of the European Union, and earlier today he said this; «What is in fact threatening Britain`s sovereignty most – the rules of our single market or the fact that tomorrow they may be planting Chinese 5G masts in the British islands?…..
It is sad to see a country leaving that twice liberated us, has twice given its blood to liberate Europe…
In the last couple of days I have received hundreds of mails from British citizens saying they desperately want to stay or return….. So this vote is not an adieu, this vote, in my opinion, is only an au revoir.»
Verhofstadt and Farage know the history of the United Kingdom. What`s happening today is similar to the era of Henry VIII who broke England`s ties with the Roman Catholic Church, becoming the sole head of the English Church. It was time for the English Reformation.
The English Reformation was a series of events in 16th – century England by which the Church of England broke away from the authority of the Pope and the Roman Catholic Church.
These events were, in part, associated with the wider European Protestant Reformation, a religious and political movement that affected the practice of Christianity across western and central Europe.
Caused included the invention of the printing press and increased circulation of the Bible, and the transmission of new knowledge and ideas among scholars, the upper and middle classes and readers in general.
However, the various phases of the English Reformation, which also covered Wales and Ireland, were largely driven by changes in government policy, to which public opinion gradually accommodated itself.
The English Reformation was at the outset more of a political affair than a theological dispute. The reality of political differences between Rome and England allowed growing theological disputes to come to the force.
Until the break with Rome, it was the Pope and general councils of the church that declared doctrine. Church law was governed by canon law with final jurisdiction in Rome. Church taxes were paid straight to Rome, and the Pope had the final word in the appointment of bishops.
The break with Rome was effected by a series of acts of Parliament passed between 1532 and 1534, among the 1534 Act of Supremacy, which declared that Henry was the «Supreme Head on earth of the Church of England».
But this title was renounced by Mary I in 1553. Under Mary, the whole process was reversed and the Church of England was again placed under papal jurisdiction. Soon after, Elizabeth reintroduced the Protestant faith but in a more moderate manner.
The structure and theology of the church was a matter of fierce dispute for generations.
The violent aspect of these disputes, manifested in the English Civil Wars, ended when the last Roman Catholic monarch, James II was desposed, and Parliament asked William III and Mary II to rule jointly in conjunction with the English Bill of Rights in 1688 (in the «Glorious Revolution»), from which emerged a church polity with an establshed church and a number of non-conformist churches whose members at first suffered various civil disabilities that were removed ove time.
The legacy of the previous Roman Catholic heritage and establishment as the state church remained an issue for some time and still exists today. A Substantial but dwindling minority from the late 16th to early 19th centuries remained Roman Catholic in England. Their chuch organisation remained illegal until the Relief Act of 1829.
The Reformation was a clash of two opposed schemes of salvation. The Catholic Church taught that the contrite person could cooperate with God towards their salvation by performing good works. Medieval Catholic worship was centered on the Mass, the church’s offering of the sacrifice of Christ’s body and blood.
The Mass was also an offering of prayer by which the living could help souls in purgatory. Protestants taught that fallen humanity was helpless and under condemnation until gien the grace of God trhough faith.
They believed the Chatholic emphasis on purgatory was an obstacle to true faith in God and the identification of the Mass with Christ’s sacrifice a blasphemous perversion of the Eucharist. In place of the Mass, Protestant worship was centered on the Bible, to them the only road to faith in Christ, either read or presented in sermons.
More calls for reform came from Renaissance humanists, such as Erasmus. Humanists downplayed the role of rites and ceremonies in achieving salvation and criticised the superstitious veneration of relics.
Erasmus and John Colet emphasised a simple, personal piety and a return ad fones («back to the sources») of Christian faith. Colet’s commentaries on the Pauline epistles emphasized double predestination and the worthlessness of human works.
Anne Boleyn’s own religious views were shaped by French humanists such as Jacques Lefèvre d’Étaples, whose 1512 commentaries on Paul’s epistles stated that human works were irrelevant to salvation five years before Luther publiched the same views.
Jacques Lefèvre d’Étaples was a French theologian and humanist. He was a precursor of the Protestant movement in France, and a friend of Erasmus. He anticipated some ideas that were important to the Protestant Reformation.
Jacques Lefèvre d’Étaples remained a Roman Catholic throughout his life, and sought to reform the Church without seperating from it. Several of his books were condemned as heretical, and he spent some time in exile. He was, however, a favorite of the king of France, Francis I, and enjoyed his protection.
By the early 1520’s, the views of German reformer Martin Luther were known and disputed in England. The main plank of Luther’s theology was justification by faith alone rather than by good works. In this view, only faith, itself a gift from God, can secure the grace of God.
Justfication by faith alone threatened the whole basis of the Roman Catholic penitential system with its doctrine of purgatory, prayer for the death, indulgences, and the sacrifice character of the Mass.
Early Protestans portrayed Catholic practices such as confession to priests, clerical celibacy, and requirements to fast and kepp vows as burdensome and spiritually oppressive. Not only did purgatory lack any biblical basis according to Protestants, but the clergy were accused of using fear of purgatory to makke money from prayers and masses.
Catholics countered that justification by faith alone was a «licence to sin».
English Catholicism was strong and popular in the early 1500’s, and those who held Protestant sympathies would remain a religious minority until political events intervened. Protestant ideas were popular among some parts of the English population, especially among academics and merchants with connections to continental Europe.
Martin Luther was a German professor of theology, composer, priest, monk, and a ceminal figure in the protestant Reformation. Another word is the European Reformation, and it was a movement within Western Christianity in the sixteenth-century Europe that posed a religious and political challenge to the Roman Catholic Church and papal authority in particuar.
It started with Luther’s Ninety-five Thesis in 1517. About 500 years ago. There was no schism between the Catholic Church and the nascent Luther until the 1521 Edict of Worms. The edict condemned Luther and officially banned citizens of the Holy Roman Empire from defending or prpagating his ideas.
The end of the Reformation era is disputed: it could be considered to end with the enactment of the confessions of faith which began the Age of Orthodoxy.
Other suggested ending years relate to the Counter-Reformation, the Peace of Westphalia, or that it never ende since there are still Protesters today.
Those who identify with Luther`s wider teachings, are called Lutherans, though Luther insisted on Christian or Evangelical as the only acceptable names for individuals who professed Christ.
In two of his later works, Martin Luther expressed antagonistic, violent views toward Jews, and called for the burning of their synagogues and their deaths. His rhetoric was not directed at Jews alone, but also towards Roman Catholics, Anabaptists, and nontrinitarian Christians.
Luther was the most widely read author of his generation, and within Germany he acquired the status of a prophet. According to the prevailing opinion among historians, his anti-Jewish rhetoric contributed significantly to the development of antisemitism in Germany, and in the 1930’s and 1940’s provided an «ideal underpinning» for the Nazis’ attacks on Jews.
Reinhold Lewin writes that anybody who «wrote against the Jews for whatever reason believed he had the right to justify himself by triumphantly referring to Luther.»
According to Michael, just about every anti-Jewish book printed in the Third Reich contained references to and quotations from Luther.
The leading member of the Nazi Party of Germany, Heinrich Himmler was one of the most powerful men in Nazi Germany and a main architect of the Holocaust. He formed the Einsatzgruppen and built extermination camps.
Himmler directed the killing of some six million Jews, between 200,000 and 500,000 Romani people, and other victims. The total number of civilians killed by the Nazi regime is estimated at eleven to fourteen million people Most of them Polish and Soviet citizens.
Heinrich Himmler (albeit never a Lutheran, having been brought up Catholic) wrote admiringly of his writing and sermons on the Jews in 1940. Professor Richard Geary noted, based on his research, that the Nazi Party received disproportionately more votes from Protestants than Catholic areas of Germany.
Chruch historian Martin Brecht said; «There is a world of difference between his belief in salvation and a racial ideology. Neverthless, his misguided agitation had the evil result that Luther fatefully became one of the «church fathers» of anti-semitism and thus provided material for the modern hatred of the Jews, cloaking it with the authority of the Reformer.»
Luther saw the Turks as a scourgge sent by God to punish Christians, as agents of the Biblical apocalypse that would destroy the Antichrist, whom Luther believed to be the papacy, and the Roman Church.
He went on to produce several critical pamphlets on Islam, which he called «Mohammedanism» or «the Turk». Though Luther saw the Muslim faith as a tool of the devil, he was indifferent to its practice: «Let the Turk believe and live as he will, just as one lets the papacy and others false Christians live».
Henry VIII broke England`s ties with the Pope and the Roman Catholic Church hundreds of year ago and said goodbye. Church taxes were paid straight to Rome, but not anymore. The Pope had the final word in the appointment of bishops, but that also came to an end. So is it today. The UK will no longer pay to the EU, and the EU has nothing they can say.
But they didn`t say goodbye to Europe, and so is it today. Prime Minister Boris Johnson and the United Kingdom is leaving the club European Union, but they are still a part of Europe.
The UK isn`t leaving Europe but a trading club that provides several non-rival but excludable goods to its members. Now, they want free trade and to be a member of another club like EU. We can assume the United States is on top of that list.
This is the end of the relationship with EU, but it is also the beginning of a new era for those who are building Europe. The UK is leaving the EU because EU is the problem. Not the UK. Therefore, the European Union must change.
The old European model is dead. So is the globalisation as we know it. It`s tragic for those in charge of building Europe not to see that this is a great opportunity to build a new one.
The so-called war on Christmas has been going on for years and many people doesn`t want to say Merry Christmas anymore. «They» will rather say Happy Holiday. But president Trump saved America`s right to speak the words «Merry Christmas» again.
Mr Trump told the conservative student group, Turning Point USA, in a speech on Sunday in Florida. Trump said in 2016 that he promised to fix the issue of «they» attempting to take the word «Christmas out of Christmas.»
Do you remember? «They» were trying to take «Christmas out of Christmas.» «They» didn`t want you to say «Merry Christmas,» president Trump said. But, guess what? We`re saying Merry Christmas again!» Trump said.
A lot of people didn`t say Merry Christmas. «They» said Happy Holiday, and that phrase has been labeled anti-christmas. But who are «they?» It`s people who don`t believe in God, Jesus and religion.
Earlier this year, Notre Dame in France burned down, and the catastrophic fire could have been caused by a burning cigarette. Maybe, but a dozen Catholic churches have been desecrated across France in an egregious case of anti-Christian vandalism and that cannot be caused by a cigarette.
A series of acts of vandalism is seen at churches in Europe for decades, and that cannot be caused by a cigarette. You don`t have to be Einstein to understand that people who believe in God doesn`t want to burn down churches. Anti-christ will.
What we know from history is that Godless Communists have bombed and burned down hundreds of churches and killed priests. We know what Lenin did in Russia 100 years ago. A group of criminal terrorists who almost destroyed Russia, but now president Putin is fixing it.
We also know that «Greven» burned down three churches in Norway and moved to France were he live today. At that time he said he was a racist and a Notional socialist. He was also a member of White Aryan Resistance, but in 2008 he said in an interview that he don`t like Satanism and Nazism anymore.
Psychiatrists said he had defective mental abilities.
«Greven» inspired many people around the world to do they same. After he burned many churches in Europe, some people did the same in California, Texas, Italy and Australia. They all said they did it because they supported his satanic black-metal music.
We have people who believe on one side and those who don`t believe on the other side. But what give people who don`t believe in God to dictate others to stay away from their believes?
If the totalitarian police-state in Communist China find a bibel or coran in your apartment, they will put you in a re-education camp. Maybe torture you. They do not believe in God. There is no religion for them, and you have to do what they say.
In America, you have freedom of religion. You can read the bibel or coran and you can say what you want. There is freedom of speech too.
The so-called War on Christmas has been going on for a while. In 1959, they released a pamphled called «there Goes Christmas», in which they claimed that there was a new communist plot to «take the Christ out of Christmas» by replacing Christmas decorations with United Nations iconography.