France’s 75 percent Tax On The Wealthy: A Nice, Natural Experiment

The socialists in France are planning to put a 75% tax on the richest Frenchmen. Much to their dismay, this policy is starting to have consequences.

Bernard Arnault — the richest man in Europe — has ignited an uproar in France over taxes, citizenship, patriotism and what policies the government needs to promote growth.

It’s a pretty impressive achievement for one little statement.

Arnault — the CEO of French fashion giant LVMH, owner of houses like Louis Vuitton and Christian Dior — is the symbol of France’s treasured luxury fashion industry.

So when the face of “Made in France” confirmed Sunday that he had applied for dual citizenship in Belgium it struck deep chord in France’s national pride.

Despite his protests, many thought it was an attempt to dodge the new Socialist government’s planned 75 per cent tax on the country’s wealthiest.

One French paper’s front-page headline called him a “rich jerk” on Monday and French President Francois Hollande questioned Arnault’s patriotism.

But beyond the name-calling, the debacle highlighted a very French contradiction: A country that prides itself on producing exorbitantly-priced luxury fashion has tax policies that target the very people rich enough to buy French goods.

Arnault is the world’s fourth-richest man, whose personal fortune Forbes magazine estimates at $41 billion.

His application to Belgium comes as Hollande prepares to implement a 75 per cent tax on those that earn more than €1 million ($1.28 million) a year — although it was hinted the plan could be watered down.

First of all, as the late, great Milton Friedman would have probably said if he were still among the living, this is an opportunity for a natural experiment. There are liberals all across Western Europe and the United States who dream of soaking the rich. Well now, France is poised on the brink of achieving that dream. Let’s hope that it does and see what happens. If so, my expectation is that France’s wealthiest citizens will flee the country, stop producing, cheat on their taxes, hide their income, and do whatever else it takes to protect their money. That would lead to the tax bringing in considerably less income than expected and would cause a slowdown in economic growth. Whatever the case may be, it’s much better to conduct this experiment in France than here — especially if it goes poorly. So, good luck with your socialism, France.

Getting beyond that to an argument made here and by liberals here in America, are producers who flee a country to avoid exorbitant tax rates unpatriotic? Obviously, there’s a fine line involved because every American should be willing to pay taxes to help cover the costs for our common government and the services we all receive. On the other hand, there are limits to patriotism. Just as a slave had no patriotic duty to keep working on a plantation, no American has a patriotic duty to do nothing while the better part of the money he’s earned is looted in order to pay for programs he doesn’t want, need, support, or agree with. So, before we try to tax the rich into oblivion, perhaps we should wait to see what happens in France first.

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4 Responses to France’s 75 percent Tax On The Wealthy: A Nice, Natural Experiment

  1. Who says the stink rich are synonymous with “producers”?…. Henry Ford became rich, too….but he earned every last solitary dime of it and put us working people into a car we could all afford so that the pleasure of driving (at least it was at one time) was not just a “privilege” for the gilded trash of Wall Street. Chas. Hank Bukowski finally became respectfully wealthy off the poetry and other writings born of youthful grief and disfranchisement—I would not begrudge the man one damned red cent of it: he worked, suffered and PRODUCED for it….Nikola Tesla also became a man of wealth for his inventions; tragically he allowed chiselers, swindlers and parasites (of the ilk Wallow Street is maggot-infested with) handle his personal estate and they ruined him—but Tesla GAVE and PRODUCED for what he got—-so don’t try to lard the few productive men of wealth in with the swarm of dirt bag parasites, the Buttface Bernankes and BlankSWINES and Larry SilverSWINES who take everything and produce NOTHING (leolom tekach) and expect us working people to bail their sorry asses out when they screw up and blow a wad on derivatives. I’m not going to carry their damned dead weight—let them starve in the streets for the totally useless parasites they are. I have no use whatsoever for a nation that allows certain “select” or “self-chosen” to get stink rich for doing nothing but speculating with OPM and then expecting us who work to save their precious hides because they are supposedly “too big to fall” —-yeah, the World Trade Center was “too big to fall” too, wasn’t it?…and the Arizona was too big to be sunk by Jap planes also, right? So your blowing off and deprecating the idea of taxing the stink rich is typical of what flatulates out of the John Birch Society and amounts to nothing more than intellectual and moral turpitude carried to the nth degree.

    Iceland is doing what this country apparently will never have the gonadic gumption to do—-they are prosecuting the stink rich banksters who ruined their island nation and throwing them in the slammer to rot to Hell—giving them nice stiff prison sentences.
    That is what should be done in this palsied country—the current Graveyard of the Once Free—- if not just out and out public hangings of the bankster crowd en masse.

  2. Carole Aus says:

    When have we EVER learned from the mistakes of other countries????? Obama is working his hardest to make America a Communist police state even though in all history that mode of government has failed badly. But he keeps trying to shove that square peg into the round hole.

  3. John Ladd says:

    I for one do not agree with the current form of taxation, ie, the income tax. This abomination serves only the interests of the international bankers. The acts of congress which gave us the income tax and the federal reserve serve only to put us all in bondage to the bankers. These acts should be repealed and the gold standard brought back with congress doing their constitutional duty of coining money and establishing the value there of. Just look at what passes for money today, it states plainly on it that it is a note, by law a note is a debt instrument. The value behind that note belongs to an international banker not to you!

  4. jknowll says:

    I agree let the experiment begin! Although they really aren’t the first experiment to point out the failures of liberalism. Look at California. The most beautiful state in America is about to go bankrupt. Go figure.

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