While tax cuts for the rich are being maintained, or expanded, across the Western world, France’s Socialist President François Hollande is doing something unthinkable: reducing the deficit by taxing the rich. And the Anglo-American business press and the “1%” are terrified the idea will spread.
“French Socialist economics” may seem like a contradiction in terms. But even the more radical in the Socialist Party are promoting a very concrete mix of Krugmanite Keynesianism and realist mercantilism that practically addresses people’s concerns about recession, offshoring, the banksters and cuts to public services. Whether or not one agrees with it, it deserves to be taken seriously.
Here is a translation of an in-depth interview on these themes with Arnaud Montebourg, the Socialists’ “most successful radical,” proponent of “deglobalization” and now a minister in François Hollande’s government.
French Socialism is now something that has to be understood and dealt with because, if nothing else, a self-styled Socialist now works in the Élysée and France, along with Germany, co-leads the flawed currency union whose contradictions could well drag the entire global economy into crisis.