In case you were asking yourself how all that socialism was working out for France, Time Magazine has the answer.
It’s been a year since the French, in their great wisdom, voted for the candidate who promised to raise taxes on the rich, to regulate businesses to death and to continue all of the generous welfare programs.
It hasn't been working out very well. The French are leaving their native land in droves, seeking freedom and opportunity elsewhere:
In fact, the sense that the world beyond France might hold a lot more promise for French people than home does has so intensified that in recent months two weekly magazines, L’Express and Le Figaro — both fiercely conservative critics of the Socialist government — featured the same cover headline: “Why they are leaving France.” L’Express added the subtitle: “It’s not just the rich!” as though the editors were amazed that regular folk would opt to try their luck elsewhere and forgo cherished French benefits like minimum five weeks’ annual paid leave, decent public health care and free schooling. The magazines cite the 300,000 French estimated to be living in London, and the 200,000 French residents of Belgium, a 25% rise since 2010, according to Le Figaro. Each magazine interviews young go-getters who’ve upped sticks for New York City, Dubai, Shanghai and elsewhere for better pay, more-rapid promotion and a chance to make their mark — things that those profiled say are all-but impossible under a sclerotic French system. Alexandre Perrot, 30, featured in Le Figaro, moved to New York City a year ago and works for a business-intelligence company, is quoted as saying that France’s system “does not value or stimulate active youth.”
If there’s anyone who still needs convincing that France is in a dyspeptic funk, a flurry of statistics last week showed just how serious the situation is. The statistics suggested that the problem might not be due only to Europe’s economic crisis, as Hollande argued during his press conference on May 16. On May 14,Pew Research published a poll saying that “no European country is becoming more dispirited and disillusioned faster than France,” with 91% of those surveyed by the organization saying that the economy was doing badly and 67% ranking Hollande as doing “a lousy job.” The next day, May 15, France’s official statistics agency INSEE announced that the country had entered its third recession in four years, with unemployment rising more than 11% since Hollande came to power. And on Friday came a new poll by Gallup, showing that only 16% of French youth were optimistic about their future, the lowest rate in the E.U. Compare that with Spain’s youth, 49% of whom felt optimistic about their future, even though their country’s unemployment rate is double that of France.