So How Is France’s De Blasio Doing, Anyway? (Hint: Like Merde)

Progressivism standing tall. |||It’s clear that Planet Progressive has a lot
riding on new New York Mayor Bill De Blasio, who took control of
Gotham yesterday. The Nation magazine has a dedicated blog
to De Blasio’s first 100 days,
and is filled with excitable headlines like “How
the rise of Occupy and decline of the neoliberal narrative helped
shape the ‘de Blasio moment.
‘” (Sample line: “It’s far too
soon, of course, to begin drawing comparisons between de Blasio’s
election and the epochal achievements of Rosa Parks and the
Montgomery campaign….”) 

De Blasio’s ascension is already being touted as a victory for

income-inequality politics
; now his administration will be the
nation’s leading laboratory for progressive economic policy ideas,
such as jacking up taxes on the rich, expanding paid sick leave,
universalizing public pre-K education, and giving a hearty middle
finger to the politics of austerity. If all that sounds vaguely
familiar, it’s because the same song was being sung (and greeted
with the same hallelujah choruses from the same lefty pundits) when
French Socialist Francois Hollande swept into power in May

Here’s how New York Times columnist Paul Krugman

greeted the Hollande era

What chaRAZma! |||The
French are revolting….And it’s about time. […]

It’s far from clear how soon the votes will lead to changes in
actual policy, but time is clearly running out for the strategy of
recovery through austerity — and that’s a good thing. […]

Europe’s voters, it turns out, are wiser than the Continent’s
best and brightest.

What’s wrong with the prescription of spending cuts as the
remedy for Europe’s ills? One answer is that the confidence fairy
doesn’t exist — that is, claims that slashing government spending
would somehow encourage consumers and businesses to spend more have
been overwhelmingly refuted by the experience of the past two
years. So spending cuts in a depressed economy just make the
depression deeper.

This is perfect in so many ways. ||| classwarfareexists.comFinally, we had an
old-fashioned macroeconomic laboratory experiment on our hands. On
one side, the misguided “austerians” in London and Berlin; on the
other, a Paris-led campaign of growth through government spending
and equality through taxing the rich. The New York Times

the stakes:

“Austerity need not be Europe’s fate,” Mr. Hollande declared
after his victory was announced. 

“You are much more than a people who want change,” Mr. Hollande
told a huge crowd in Paris gathered to celebrate his victory at the
Place de la Bastille. “You are already a movement that is rising
across all of Europe and maybe the world.”

It’s been 19 months since then. How’s the experiment going? In
honor of De Blasio’s fondness for the
tale-of-two-cities metaphor
, here’s a tale of two

* “French
Unemployment Rises to 16-Year High

* “UK
unemployment rate at lowest since 2009

Hollande’s approval rating is lower than that of any president

in the history of the Fifth Republic
. Moody’s has downgraded
France’s credit rating for the second time in
two years
. A “lost
” of young French people have migrated to countries
that actually provide opportunities for work. So ineffective has
been Hollande’s recipe of taxes and spending that he announced in
his New Year’s address a new program of tax and spending


So how will New York City’s very own Hollande fare? Check back
in 19 months. If history is any guide, the progressive commentariat
will have moved on by then to the next shiny new

from Hit & Run

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