Hopefully, their president’s antics are distracting the French people from the calamity that their nation is fast becoming. While the Hollande-Trierweiler-Gayet threesome plays itself out, more and more French citizens are leaving France. Mostly, the emigrants are young and talented. They are not looking for a younger mistress, but for economic opportunity.
In an indignity that only the French can truly appreciate, they are finding it in Great Britain.
Paul Krugman notwithstanding, it’s not the austerity that is driving them away. It’s the high taxes, coupled with bureaucratic regulations that make it nigh unto impossible to run a business.
Newsweek has the story:
With 70 percent of the French thinking taxes are "excessive" and 80 percent believing President François Hollande's economic policies "misguided," they are attracted by the benefits of a less regulated economy, more relaxed labor laws, a more meritocratic society, a lively business networking scene, a large pool of professional talent, and easier access to investment capital.
The differences are not limited to government policies. French and British culture are markedly different. Some British academics did a cross cultural study:
The French entrepreneurs had found a noticeable contrast between "a neoliberal model of an economy characterized by meritocracy, flexibility and a willingness to recognize talent in individuals" (Britain) and a system they see as "rigid and profoundly hierarchical" (France). The French are mired in what Mulholland calls "qualificationalism" - a preoccupation with diplomas and certificates from the right institutions "which bear no relationship with the talent within the individual," resulting in "a kind of nepotistic social elite."
England offers a free market economy, a place where all have the opportunity to compete fairly. French society is based on family ties and credentials.
It’s difficult to know exactly how many French people are living in London—the European Union has open borders—but the numbers are certainly in the hundreds of thousands:
… the French consulate estimates that London, with a population of 7.6 million, is home to between 300,000 and 400,000 French residents, which is more than live in French cities like Bordeaux, Nantes or Strasbourg. By contrast, there are just 8,500 Brits living in Paris.
One Frenchman, who emigrated before the current Hollande regime, explained the difference:
"I did part of my studies here in England and then went on to work in the city. I guess with hindsight my opinion of France now is the same or even worse. I have met a lot of young French people with really excellent ideas, especially in the high-tech sector, but they get no encouragement in France. It's a country run by civil servants for civil servants.
"What is really outrageous is that pretty much everyone in charge [of France] come from the same background, and none of them have any experience in the private sector.
"Employment flexibility is one of the key differences between the two countries. In France what you pay the employee is doubled by taxes. In Britain the burden is much more moderate, so you can hire people quickly and easily."
Unfortunately, this sounds familiar: a government run by bureaucrats and for bureaucrats. Where else have you heard of a government directed by a ruling class of bureaucrats that has no experience in business and no understanding of it?