Shocker: French Socialism Drives Young Frogs Abroad

Not just for Depardieu anymore. |||So how is France's lurch to the left working out since the election last year of Socialist Party President François Gérard Georges Nicolas Hollande? Well, as readers of Reason's great 24-7 newsfeed know, French unemployment last month reached an all-time high, and Hollande has responded to his plummeting poll numbers and protests from the left by proposing new taxes on business, calling for the eradication of tax havens and threatening rule by decree.

What happens when you punish citizens (sometimes taxing households more than 100 percent of their income) for the sin of their government spending too much money? Time magazine's Vivienne Walt has the answer: "Stymied by Socialist Policies, the French Start to Quit France." Excerpt:

Charles-Marie Jottras, president of Paris's biggest luxury-real-estate company Daniel Feau, estimates that during the past year his company has sold hundreds of homes of wealthy families leaving France, driven out by what he calls "a very bad atmosphere." Jottras says the departure of wealthy clients is reminiscent of the early 1980s, when the previous Socialist President François Mitterrand was in power. The difference this time, he says, is that "it used to be just rich people who left, not business people." [...]

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."

I live in an old Italian part of Brooklyn long famous for its pizzerias, mafia, and Old World seniors sitting on benches and stoops kibbitzing about the neighborhood, and yet the foreign language you hear most on the streets is French. They may not all be economic refugees, but they tend to be far more dynamic than your average fonctionnaire. France is working on maybe its second consecutive Lost Generation of young people fed up with scleroris. Quelle honte.

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  • ||

    is quoted as saying that France's system "does not value or stimulate active youth."

    That didn't sound at all creepy

  • Dweebston||

    If I can be of value to the French government in stimulating their active and able-bodied young women, please advise.

  • Tex||

    I'm libertarian and all, but would fully support US or state government incentives to induce Audrey Tautou, Sabine Herold, and Alizee to move to the U.S.

    Any others?

  • Lord Humungus||

    you know who else cause the French to flee France?

  • Lord Humungus||


  • ||


  • Dweebston||

    Julius Caesar?

  • LTC(ret) John||

    +3 parts of Gaul

  • Fist of Etiquette||

    Why do people insist on inventing their own economic incentives out of government actions? Perhaps leaders, when they make such policy decisions, need to do a better job explaining to the people what they expect them to do in response.

  • NeonCat||

    "Hand over your money and no one gets hurt. In fact, we'll 'give' you health-care."

  • Dweebston||

    Finally, comrades! Without those bourgois stalwarts impeding our progress, we can at last realize equal immiseration for all.

  • AlexInCT||

    Plus sa change, plus c'est la meme chose!

  • ||

    North American leftist argues we should emulate France in 3..2.....

  • ||

    so much for the French "social solidarity" they're always bragging about as the pay-off for their punitive tax rates

  • Robert||

    Que veut dire "honte"?

  • ||

    You're not 'embarrassed' to ask that question?


  • ||

    Ce n'est pas un cauchemar totalitaire.

  • Anonymous Coward||

    Le problème de la France c'est qu'il ya trop de Français sont là.

  • ||

    Pas pour longtemps.

    Je veux un jour à parlons completment en français en l'H-et-R. La langue correspond à l'humeur sombre.

  • AlexInCT||

    C'est la merde.

  • ||

    Henri, le chat noir, dit: "C'est ça."

    At least Henri had the sense to sell out to Friskies.

  • ||

    L'enfer, c'est les chats autres.

  • buddhastalin||


  • entropy||

    It was one thing when you were advocating open borders for the Mexicans but now you want to let all the French in?!? I don't know what's happened to this country.

  • LTC(ret) John||

    We'll take the Mexicans and the Chinese...BUT NOT THE FROGS!

  • Scarecrow Repair||

    How about frog legs?

  • Otis B. Driftwood||


  • DaveAnthony||

    Unsustainable kleptocracy is unsustainable.

  • The Original Jason||

    One of the reps from one of our partner companies (being vague on purpose to preserve third party anonymity) is from France, as is his wife. He said he came here because young people have trouble finding jobs in France and when they do find jobs, they can't live on them.

    He plans on moving back when he retires so he can live off the French tax-paying class (a/k/a the suckers).

    And he came over here before Sarkozy, much less Hollande.

  • Steve G||

    wow, that's some endorsement, "if you liked pretty woman.. give this (movie) a try"


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