France, Meet Le Fisc...

To the many, many Americans among our readers who are fed up with the nation's tax system: I'm afraid I can't offer solutions, but I can tell you that it could be worse...

The New York Times (along with many other outlets) has been reporting on new French President Francois Hollande's proposal to bump up the top tax bracket in that nation to 75%, a strategy he believes would help the nation get back on its economic feet. However, due to the relative paucity of high-income earners in the country, many analysts believe that the move will provide the president more in the way of political capital than actual cash.

Despite popularity, it would seem that such a legislative change could backfire with respect to those it will likely appeal to at first blush; the Times article suggests that some business owners are considering shutting down operation in France. Others are apparently deciding to forgo starting operations in the first place. Even putting aside the snickers of those who disagree with the concepts of trickle-down economics, such developments, were they to continue, would surely impact workers.

I suppose from the government's perspective (assuming this isn't just an appeasement bill in Hollande's mind), the hope is that the new tax revenue collecting on les riches will be enough to cover current deficits and new unemployment benefits for those impacted by fleeing business interests. For their sake, I hope they are correct; the French certainly have a history of not taking too kindly to government policies that leave them behind.

The Parliament is set to address this issue in September. Until then, France's 'uncomfortable relationship with money' seems set to continue.

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