Free Markets, Free People

The flight of the ‘greedy rich’

France’s prime minister, Jean-Marc Ayrault, is hopping mad. In response to the French socialist government’s plan to significantly increase taxes on "the rich"—including a proposed 75% tax on incomes above €1 million—rich people are moving out of the country. This is intolerable to Mr. Ayrault.

"Those who are seeking exile abroad are not those who are scared of becoming poor," the prime minister declared after unveiling sweeping anti-poverty measures to help those hit by the economic crisis.

These individuals are leaving "because they want to get even richer," he said. "We cannot fight poverty if those with the most, and sometimes with a lot, do not show solidarity and a bit of generosity," he added.

It could be a scene right out of "Atlas Shrugged".

Mr. Ayrault is angry because rich Frenchmen are fleeing the country to keep their money, instead of handing it over to him. And he is joined by the baying of the other hounds in France’s left wing. Case in point, French actor Gerard Depardieu, whose announcement that he was moving to Belgium provoked responses such as:

Socialist MP Yann Galut called for the actor to be "stripped of his nationality" if he failed to pay his dues in his mother country, saying the law should be changed to enable such a punishment.

Benoît Hamon, the consumption minister, said the move amounted to giving France "the finger" and was "anti-patriotic".

In a stinging editorial, Libération, the left-leaning daily, called him a "drunken, obese petit-bourgeois reactionary".

They are owed this money, by God, and how dare you try and steal it away from them!

This is always the implicit argument of the Left: They have the first claim to your income, and you have a duty to honor that claim. No matter how you earned that money, they have the right to take as much of it as they please away from you, and if you dispute that right, you’re unpatriotic, and should be punished.

This is Leftism in a nutshell. You are not a free individual, but rather a serf of the state or some other politically-defined "larger community" that has an absolute claim on your property and income that you may not defy. This is no different in concept, or in practice, than the idea of ancient Babylon or Akkad that every subject is a slave of the king.

You can dress it up in high-sounding phrases like "solidarity" or "social justice", "helping the poor" all you want, and it still amounts to nothing but the simple declaration that the state owns you.

The people who believe in this idea are the enemies of freedom, and should be treated as such.

Dale Franks
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24 Responses to The flight of the ‘greedy rich’

  • petit-bourgeois = kulak?
    And what is French for wrecker?

  • Bummer, dude!

  • I just wonder how much wealth all those crying out against the flight are contributing.
    Nothing I like better than people screaming I don’t contribute enough of my wealth when they’re sitting on mounds of their own.

  • I’m more interested in the lesson that you can raise rates on the rich and expect them to sit there and take it.  We use to have ridiculous tax rates on the rich.  Over 80% at one time for almost 20 years at one point.  That was met with the rich expatriating their investments to other countries and working the system for sheltering their money.
    So good luck balancing the budget with tax increases.

  • “We cannot fight poverty if those with the most, and sometimes with a lot, do not show solidarity and a bit of generosity,”

    Ah, it begins…  The inevitable recalibration of the mob, setting their sights on lower and lower levels of productivity, as the highest levels either leave or are sucked dry…or are simply by-passed via corruption like Buffet.

    • It should say: “We can’t fight poverty when the poor overwhelmingly refuse to pull their heads out of the asses and WORK!”

  • If its a choice between patriotism and my own (and family’s) self-interest in terms of confiscating what I worked for……this country will lose. 100% of the time. I owe the free sh*t brigade nothing at this point.

  • “We pay lots of taxes; we pay them in the legally prescribed ways,” he [Google chairman Eric Schmidt] told Bloomberg. “I am very proud of the structure that we set up. We did it based on the incentives that the governments offered us to operate.”
    “It’s called capitalism,” he said. “We are proudly capitalistic. I’m not confused about this.”

    This did not, however, mollify or persuade the UK’s business secretary, who goes by the delightful name Vince Cable.

    It may well be [capitalism] but it’s certainly not the job of governments to accommodate it.”

    Yet, “Capitalism is a social system based on the principle of individual rights. So, while may not be a government’s job to specifically INCENTIVIZE capitalism (and I think it is NOT), it IS the role of government to “accommodate it” by assuring individual rights…both as against predatory individuals AND a predatory government.

  • I think we conservatives are missing a great opportunity here.

    We know many of the rich are tax hypocrites (cough Buffet, cough east coast elite, cough hollywood types, cough 10 wealthiest counties in the US) and we know how they vote, so I say, to paraphrase General Sherman, let’s give them all they want

    Tax their wealth, eliminate home interest deductions for homes over $XXX value, eliminate tax deductions for state, local taxes, etc etc.  Target them specifically.  Put them in the position of defending.

  • The real enemies of freedom are those conservative reactionaries who prefer to maintain an underclass who will work for as little as possible, and not be able to move from their job for fear of losing their health insurance (if the have any), nor have any minimal government retirement (which they’ve been unable create on their own because of low wages)—when they get too old or sick to work, these people are to be warehoused by their conservative commissars in minimal housing with minimal services and an unmarked in back.

    • Tad just broke wind again in his typical drive-by fashion.
      I never realized a person could be so confused. I mean, Proffesor Erb is a shill. He gets paid to spread agitprop to the young  impressionable masses. I think Tad is intellectual equivalent of a calf raised to be veal. Fed and penned for slaughter by the likes of Farmer Erb.

    • As opposed by being left to die if thirst on a NHS gurney for days right Tad?

    • You seem to think that, because we don’t want government to do certain things, we don’t want those things done at all.
      That’s because you’re stupid.

      • Oh, it is also because that is the currency with which he buys his cheap santimony, Dale.  Collectivists…in their few lucid moments…know that people who insist on small, efficient government also ACTUALLY ARE taking care of people around them on a purely voluntary basis.  We ACTUALLY care about what they pretend to care about.

    • As opposed to Democrats who prefer an underclass that doesn’t work at all to keep them in office.

    • …conservative reactionaries…conservative commissars…

      ALMOST as piquant a self-parody as when New York Timesman call TEA Party people “Stalinist”…as though THEY actually thought Stalin was bad…!!!
      Tad is too stupid to even understand the words he uses.  As he demonstrates very time he posts.

    • If you insist on stealing, don’t try to couch it behind BS rhetoric, do it in the open where you risk being blown out of your socks.

    • Who keeps people in an underclass? Why Democrats do, LBJ’s welfare did wonders for the black community, didn’t it Tad?

  • The only thing I disagree with here is characterizing this as an artifact of the “left”.
    This has nothing to do with “left” or “right”, it is the mind-set of the Statist, those who put the state first in line for your wealth, with the individual who actually earned it a distant second.
    The “left” wasn’t always full of Statists, and the “right” started out as the side of the Nobility and Clergy, Statists to the core.