De Par Dieu: World Plutocrats Unite

The richest Greeks are buying the most expensive apartments in Berlin and London. “Shameful” says the president of the European parliament. The president of EU parliament, Martin Schultz, a German SPD member, calls attention to the breakdown of Greek society, with the poorest dying of lack of food and health care, while the richest and mightiest Greeks do not pay taxes (but the Germans and the French certainly do to back-up the European Central Bank Quantitative Easing, and various direct loans to Greece).

One week in December 2012, French actor Depardieu established residency in Belgium. Belgium is a country very friendly to plutocrats. The world’s fourth richest man, Arnault, another Frenchman, owner of all sorts of luxury brands, established residency there last year. The day Arnault announced it, there was a demonstration below the windows of his private residence. By thousands of enraged Belgians.

Reason? Plutocrats are spared taxes on capital gains and inheritance in Belgium. This is only normal: after all this plutocratic status is enjoyed by members of the Royal Belgian family, who are corrupt, and inherited this disposition, free of taxation.

Yet, someone has to pay for the state. Salaried Belgians pay some of the highest taxes on income in the world. This is directly related to others paying nothing: the hyper rich don’t pay taxes, because salaried persons pay them on their behalf. Such a system can perdure. After all, the plutocrats did not pay taxes in Europe for more than a millennium. They called themselves “the best who rule” (aristocrats).

This lack of taxation in the upper reaches brought ever more powers to the powerful. In the end, even when the king and government of France used everything in their arsenal to make the wealthiest pay taxes, they failed.

That unbalance at the top is why all of Europe underwent a succession of serious revolutions, among which those of the Netherlands (16 C, and a 75 year war against Spain) England (three revolutions and civil wars in the 17 C), the North American colony (1776-1791 + Secession War 1860-65), France (1789-1792 + 1830 + 1848 + 1871), Russia (1917), Germany (1918).

Perhaps suddenly aware of this problematic Belgian situation, Depardieu met in a private dinner the Czar of All Russias, Vladimir Putin in his gigantic palace (with TV, microphones and interpreters present, recording the very familiar tone). That was in Sotchi, a ski resort on the south side of the Caucasus. Sotchi and Putin have been officially celebrated by international sport authorities. A bit as Hitler organized the 1936 Olympic Games, in Berlin, to celebrate Nazism, Putin is organizing the next winter Olympic games, to celebrate Putinism, a crow’s flight from where he is waged heavy war in Georgia, and exerts mighty military occupations of many a country of the Caucasus.

Pontificates Depardieu: “Ceux qui disent du mal du president Putin ne sont jamais sortis de chez eux, ils sont restes en arriere depuis lontemps” (“Those who say bad things about president Putin never got out, they stayed stuck in the past for a long time”). Sorry that we confuse Stalin and Putin. Both are ending the same.

Putin gave Depardieu Russian nationality, and a Russian passport. Such is the power of the Czar. “Czar” is a deformation of “Caesar”. But Caesar could not make an alien into a Roman citizen overnight. Putin has more powers.

Depardieu has been protesting high taxes in France. His father was a French Communist Party member. Depardieu himself was a truant, delinquent and drunkard, who left school at 15. He was saved by the French movie industry, which is heavily subsidized by the French state, hence French taxes. Depardieu is a first class ingrate.

Now Depardieu, who made perhaps half a billion dollars in France alone is peeing on France. Literally so. Not only does he drive the wrong way on one way streets while cameras are rolling, but he actually peed in a plane, and not in the toilet.

Hey, who needs France when you can sing with the daughter of the dictator of Uzbekistan, do business with the Castro brothers, cheer for the dictator of Chechnya, enjoy payments throughout the dictatorships of Eastern Europe?

5403 French cheaters, a few thousands Germans, 1831 Italians, according to Eurostat, have become Russian citizens in 2010. Most of them are wealthy tax evaders. Rushing to take advantage of the Russian 13% flat tax rate on income and capital gains, a dream come true for plutocrats. Ironically the 13% rate was instituted to induce wealthy Russians to pay taxes. It is understood that it will be phased out in the future. Putin recently said that, as in France, taxes on luxury items ought to be introduced soon.

Depardieu was offered by Czar Putin a vast terrain to build a mansion, a car, and a job of minister of culture. As a quasi billionaire, Depardieu is happy to accept these free gifts from the Russian people. His residence will be next to where the Pussy Riot protesters are imprisoned. He immediately left Russia for Switzerland to encounter the head of the international soccer association to promote Russia for some world cup.

And yet, the glorious Depardieu vacation in Sotchi and Switzerland could not be all what it could. Not only is Depardieu obviously too obese to ski, but he has a justice convocation on Tuesday, 2 days after getting Stalinist citizenship.

French justice ordered Depardieu to appear in Paris regarding a charge of driving under the influence of alcohol. He actually got into an accident, with nearly four times above the legal alcohol limit. Here is the Dark Side reappearing again.

Depardieu used to be the darling of the French left (when that was profitable to both parties). Now he has become satanic for all to see. How come? This is a particular example of the genesis of the plutocratic effect, in the case of one individual’s psychology. The same happens to entire classes of individuals.

Basically, the persons affected get seduced by the Dark Side, and then so thoroughly enjoy it, that they want more, ever more. Being a leader, and enjoying the leadership status is one of the main component of the Dark Side. Nietzsche used to call that the Will to Power, and deify it (an idea Hitler followed single-mindedly).

The Will to Power is old, very old. It is even older than when it made baboon style, war-like primate societies possible, by perfecting fascism into a world conquering superior psychobiology. So it is completely ingrained in human psychology.

But there are many ways to lead. The ultimate leadership being, of course intellectual, as this is what the species is. Yet all forms of leadership call onto the Dark Side. Hence the fierce battles in academia. Hence the nomination of Stalin and Hitler to the Nobel Peace Prize. All humans confusedly sense that, without the Dark Side, nothing of consequence ever gets done (as Mahatma Gandhi, or Barack Obama, found out). The unfolding of the exact reasons of why this happens is quite elaborate.

One of these reasons: the Dark Side makes tribalism possible. Tribalism is central to humanity: it evolved from it. Tribalism makes human institutions possible. Including science, medical associations, or dignified philosophical societies.

Some will scoff: and how do I dare seize the noblest human institutions, and tie them to the Dark Side? But look at the Catholic church, or whichever Muslim hierarchy: in the fullness of history, although peace is their mouthpiece, they caused, directly, the death of dozens of millions of dead, and more than a millennium of terror.

And the case of Gandhi is famous: he brandished non violence against the British, while infuriating the Muslims, thus causing the partition of the subcontinent, leading to maybe ten million dead, while waiting for the great Indian subcontinent thermonuclear war.

By the way, Martin Schultz, a perfect anglophone and francophone, may well be elected head of the European Commission by the European Parliament after the next European elections. And why not? Listening to him, in French, one has more the impression of listening to a Frenchman more than when listening to Sarkozy the American, or Depardieu the Stalinist.

What is sure is that the European parliament will elect the next head of the European Commission, as per the Lisbon Treaty.

So why the English Europhobia? Very simple: up to 15% of English (in contrast to British) GDP is from financial services. And more than that is directly tied to plutocracy, if one includes English tabloids (controlled by the likes of Murdoch, a newspaper heir initially from Perth, Australia, in the lineage Maxwell, a scientific publishing tycoon, riding the public purse). One now knows that PM Blair got brainwashed into the Iraq War. And why not? left to himself, Blair was nothing. Murdoch was an empire, a sort of monarch who already told PM Thatcher what was up and what was down.

Instead, Blair was a good boy, as PM John Major had been before him. Major became a major at major USA based hedge funds. Blair “retired” and made 50 million dollars in just one year.

So now, exposed to continual disinformation, the majority of British stupidly attribute their problems to the European Union. Verily, their problems are not caused by the EU. Great Britain barely belongs to it; it has opted out of mostly all European institutions. it is not the EU that explains why Italian industrial production is vastly superior to the British one. It is rather finance supreme.

Britain blocks European construction at every turn. 25 countries have engaged the European Monetary system, three more are associated to it, 17 countries belong outright to the Eurozone. However, British vetoes block European construction, including that of a banking union. While everybody can see that a private banking speculation crisis caused the European financial crisis (the states got dragged into it while trying to save the private banks with public money).

Britain is like Depardieu: rendered grossly insane by the plutocratic phenomenon. meanwhile in the USA, health insurers are starting to crank up their rates by up to 22% in 2013. Poor Obama found a fancy name for his health care: the AFFORDABLE Care Act. However, in his naivety, he forgot about cost control of those he entrusted with the care of Americans as the farmer entrust the hens to the wolves (a well known method in Hawai’i). When I write “naivety”, I am charitable. A more ominous explanation is that Obama played golf with the wrong people.

Something that happens to people who live in big mansions paid by taxpayers, surrounded by armies of bodyguards, and they believe their minds extent to the end of the universe.

Satan is very crafty, and very cruel. Therein his strength and virtue. It’s the only god some deserve.

On January first 2013, the French government decided unilaterally to tax those of the 5,400 French citizens who pay very low taxes in Switzerland while earning their living in France. Excellent. The Swiss authorities are livid: after all the Canton de Vaud (capital: Lausanne) alone makes 300 million dollars from such tax evaders. No more free ride, no more living like a vampire, sucking French blood, Suisse!

Not that this new found will to resist tax evasion by the wealthy exclusively French. The USA has put increasing pressure on Switzerland, encouraging Italy, Germany and France to do the same. (This is one of the rare sectors where Obama has acted as a real democrat instead of a playing as dead as a plutocratic carpet.)

PM Cameron, the lazy and cowardly Europhobe, did something like this in Jersey, an island tax haven, a few Weeks earlier. He insisted that some Brits in London who insisted to pay (no) tax in Jersey, ought to be taxed in the UK (that can be up to 50%).

Some Jerseyists (?) spoke of independence (from Britain). A problem easy to solve by sending a few Royal marines, or French gendarmes. Who do these parasites think they are?

Why can Belgium or Switzerland, and many other banana haven countries afford low taxes? Why does France (or Britain or the USA) have high taxes? Well, very simple; in 1939, there were only four large modern armies in the world: Hitler’s, Japan’s, Stalin’s, and France’s. Only one democracy, and three dictatorships were well armed. We know what happened next: more than 70 million dead, nearly 5% of mankind.

The situation has not really changed. If we reverted to the military situation of 1939, with only the French republic with a serious army, the result would be quickly the same.

This is in no way surprising. The Roman legions were withdrawn from Britannia, Germania, and Gallia, for budgetary reasons in 400 CE. It is not that the economy was collapsing. The plutocrats were refusing to pay enough taxes to keep the dozen legions concerned.

The Roman state left the Franks in charge of defending much of Western Europe. Although the Franks were initially successful in Germania, they then ran out of luck, and massive invasions followed within six years. Then, and only then got the land ravaged in Britannia, Germania, Gallia, Iberia, and 4 years later, in Italia itself, and soon enough, Africa when the vandals made it there.

Thus one has to conclude that taxes are not just about fairness, and preventing the plutocratic effect. They are also about preserving the appearance of a republic.

France, the USA, Britain, Germany, and Italy have used increasing force to combat tax evasion and thus plutocracy, in recent years. They should not hesitate to use maximum force. After all the military force of France is about a billion times greater than that of Switzerland.

It is not just a question of defending democracy, or civilization. It is a question of not being dominated by the Dark Side. Without the rule of love supreme, humanity cannot go on. It’s love who has to tell the Dark Side what to do, and not the converse. Therein true goodness and wisdom.
***
Patrice Ayme

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23 Responses to “De Par Dieu: World Plutocrats Unite”

  1. Chris Snuggs Says:

    There is no dark “side” (except in Hollywood or in the unhinged minds of lunatic fundamentalists), just a proportion of individuals driven by greed and selfishness.

    • Patrice Ayme Says:

      Chris: It seems that you never heard about the dark side of history. I recommend that you read the (German) book about the (mostly British, some USA) recordings of the Nazi Wehrmacht and (some) SS during WWII. It just came out. Even the Greeks had the notion, and it was accentuated further by the Christians. Besides, it dominates Islam. But what to say? If you think that there is no Dark Side, the next step will be to do like Paul Handover, and find “weird and bizarre” that I mention Nazism sometimes. Just 50 million dead, my bad.

      I guess Assad, Stalin, Hitler, Vlad the Impaler and Blue Beard are Hollywood characters? And the crusade against the Albigese a scenario from central casting with more than a million dead? yest, how to explain that Countess Bathory, who had everything, killed by torture about 700 girls? It was certainly not from greed and selfishness.
      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Elizabeth_B%C3%A1thory
      My excuses to the few I singled out, out of millions of others who come to mind…
      PA

  2. Chris Snuggs Says:

    I do not believe in ANY “side” or entity outside of the human mind. That is my point. Evil does not exist per se. Humans do things we call evil, but THEY do it, not some external force.

    • Patrice Ayme Says:

      The Dark Side is within, at every single choice a human mind makes. One side the Light, what one can defend to all. The other the Dark, what cannot be defended in public, as it truly is. Nobody has to make any metaphysical assumption for this.
      PA

  3. Dominique Deux Says:

    Amusing that so many tax evaders are fleeing to Russia. With their assets. I guess Putin is waining for the trap to be full before springing it…

    More generally, the much vaunted ability of top earners (and owners) to vote with their feet and flee to tax havens could well herald a situation where these people are herded into a dwindling number of increasingly bleak and boring tax-free locations, until they’re ripe for the taking by normal governments. Their private armies will only have to be bought off.

    • Patrice Ayme Says:

      Dear Dominique: Basically Putin already said there ought to be taxation of higher revenues in the future. On the other hand, he wants to ingratiate himself with the wealthiest as he can observe that they are getting ever richer. The fact that we could not fix the case of the wealthiest Greeks (still wealthy while the country starves) is emblematic.

      The abiliity of the hyper wealthy to flee is completely illusory. Most tax havens, with the exception of Russia, China and North Korea, have no military or economic might. All their power is financial, that is, resting on convention. Their real power now comes only from having corrupted the leadership of the mightiest democracies, while hiding behind an economic crisis they partly created as a smokescreen. And one of the main arguments they use is their ability to flee to Mars, and thus empoverish Earth, if contraried. Well, that sounds like an excellent idea; one way ticket to Mars, and we will keep what’s left…
      PA

  4. Chris Snuggs Says:

    The French state is a bureaucratic monster.It only knows how to grow bigger and tax more and more. France is one of the highest-taxed countries in the world. It is drowning in tax and debt and at last even the Germans are getting fed up with it. The EU is cast in the mould of French elitist statism; hence its obsession with control and power. Under Hollande it can only get worse. At least DeParDieu is paid what someone thinks else he is worth. The politicians – not only in France – pay themselves what they themselves think they are worth. Many have not actually earned an entire centime for their country in their entire lives, yet to take ever MORE of OUR money is all they know how to do. It is going to get a LOT worse before it gets better.

    • Patrice Ayme Says:

      Chris: The support of French culture by the French state is massively approved by the French people. Rightly so. That sort of support also exists in the USA, it’s just hidden to naive Europeans’ eyes. Depardieu was massively supported by that system, and now that he is threatened with indigestion, he spits on it. First problem. Second problem: Depardieu is closely associated to Tsar Putin, and praises fascism. Depardieu made a career of being gross. Now he has become the symbol of those plutocrats who owe everything to the state, and then claim that they got everything because they were divine, and they owe nothing to the state. See Alexander so called the Great.
      PA

  5. Patrice Ayme Says:

    Depardieu is the essence of what is wrong with the welfare state: a taxpayers supported bully who turns around & say they owe him. Minable.
    PA

  6. Chris Snuggs Says:

    It is not HIS fault that the bloated, arrogant state “supports” him. The govt is elected to govern properly and in particular to spend OTHER PEOPLE’S money wisely. This the French state DOES NOT DO and it is not Depardieu’s fault.

    No party saw ANYTHING wrong in people getting rich as long as the state could afford it. Actually, it could NEVER afford it; it was just building up problems for the future, which has now arrived. It is only NOW (and NO FRENCH GOVT SINCE 1994 HAS SET A BALANCED BUDGET) that the state is bankrupt that suddenly this has become a moral issue. MESSAGE (and LAROCHEFOUCAULD WOULD HAVE BEN PROUD) it is only immoral to not pay 75% of one’s income in tax as long as the state can borrow billions to finance its own incompetence.

    Remember the statistic. NO BALANCED BUDGET SINCE 1994. In other words, France has been living beyond its means for nearly 20 years, each year spending mroe than its income. If you or I did that (were anyone stupid enough to lend us the money) people would call us idiots. So, being logical, I call the French elite idiots AND of course cowards, since all they do is buy votes with LIES. Hollande won the last election by LYING, pledging an “end to austerity”, which of course he is now applying EXACTLY AS SARKO would have done.

    The entire European political elite (almost) LIED to get Greece into the euro and now WE ARE PAYING for it. Do you notice any mea culpas? I don’t. It is always someone else’s fault ……. cretins.

    • Patrice Ayme Says:

      Chris: Lots of these problems are worldwide, and because worldwide, hard to fix. As long as the rabble is ignorant. Maybe France did not balance since 1994, but the USA is not doing much better, with 7% deficit for 5 years running, 111% total debt/GDP for the USA: much more than France, and approaching Greek levels pre-interest explosion. Ah, who is spending the most on the military in the West? USA & France. Not exactly neglectable; the USA military budget is about one trillion dollars (once the semi-secret parts are included). But don’t worry: the sequester is coming. Maybe we could send the likes of Depardieu and Arnault to Guantanamo? Meanwhile, Cameron could invade Jersey, just to warm up. Rome fell, because the plutocrats refused, and succeeded, to not pay taxes. On the positive side, Merkel is sending 300 of the Wehrmacht’s best to teach Malians the better ways of the white man… It was high time that Germany behave as if it was not for France alone to fight for civilization… Depardieu is fundamentally uncivilized, but he does not know why, that’s why he suffers while sleeping with some of the Earth’s worst people. But don’t worry: Clinton, Bill, and his Foundation, are never too far….
      PA

  7. Chris Snuggs Says:

    Patrice. You ALWAYS turn the argument away from France to accuse the USA of doing worse. I don’t give a shit about the USA. I don’t live there. They can fuck their country’s finances up as much as they like. I live in Europe. I have a house in France. My son was born in France. I am concerned with France, not the US. And there is no point in blaming everything on the USA. That is what the French elite does. Let Europe put its OWN house in order first. What is the POINT of denying France’s horrendous situation just because someone somewhere else is doing worse? There IS no point.

    Europe is incapable of sorting its own problems out. Kosovo was an excellent example. A fascist state was indulging in ethnic-cleansing of an entire country and Europe did fuck all. It took the USA to bomb the Serb army to stop it.

    • Patrice Ayme Says:

      Chris: I am not pinning all on the USA, although the USA is the most important mood master. There is a worldwide plutocracy, based in the major democracies, and the USA first of all, that has organized the world to its own advantage. You yourself continually accuse the Europeans in a way that is counterfactual by omission.

      And here you do it again about Serbia. France and the UK ARMIES, under UN mandate, intervened in Bosnia, and against the Serbs, years before the USA got involved. To say otherwise, as you do, is to serve USA (self serving) propaganda.

      It is the French artillery’s counterstrikes that saved Sarajevo. The USA were nowhere in sight at the time. Although UK soldiers were. The French even got planes shot down, french pilots made prisoner. Understandably, after what happened in 1939 and 1956, France and the UK waited for Washington’s COLLABORATION until going all out against the Serbs.
      PA

  8. Pe Romaneste Says:

    Pe Romaneste Economic problems don’t exist in isolation, especially in a global economy. The leader of the pack bears most responsibility. When you keep printing money at the center, what do you expect the others to do, take the former’s paper for real, or start printing their own?

    Kosovo had been a major fuck up in the sense that the West didn’t want an entity as big as Yugoslavia to go on–they could have given the post-soviet countries an alternative to neo-liberal globalization. The fact that the situation has not gotten any better is an indication of how failed the US intervention was. Suggesting Yugoslavia was a EU failure is myopic, the Europeans only knew better. You remember with the British general (Michael Jackson) accused Wesley Clark, head of NATO, that the latter wanted to start WWIII?

    • Patrice Ayme Says:

      dear Pe: I agree about the globalization, funny Chris affect to slink about that point… Yougoslavia: let’s not forget Slovenia, Croatia and Bosnia were part of Austro-Hungary. They certainly did not see Serbia as friendly. The three of them belonged to the PARS OCCIDENTALIS of the Roman empire. Serbs arived later, much later, authorized by Constantinople. On top of that the Orthodox Church and the Cyrillic alphabets were invented as an anti-OCIDENTALIS machine. The centuries long Turkish invasion complicated matters further…
      PA

  9. Pe Romaneste Says:

    Yougoslavs are ALL SLAVS of the same root, except for the Albanian Kosovars. Some went the way of the West (Slovenians & Croations), others converted to Islam (Bosnians), while the rest stayed Orthodox Christian.

    While I don’t think Yugoslavia had legs, it didn’t have to go down in flames. I’d pin the blame game elsewhere, onto different reasons, other than Serbian nationalism and/or EU. It looks like the Czechs and Slovaks figured that out, the Belgians are still debating it, while the Scots are trying their luck. No such luck with the Northern Irish…

    While the whole thing still escapes my understanding, I’m looking for an explanation beyond the common places.

    • Patrice Ayme Says:

      The Slavs were authorized to settle in the area in the 7th century, by the Roman empire. That does not mean that they eradicated the populations that were there before. The OCCIDENTALIS-ORIENTALIS border passed in the middle of Bosnia, corresponding to the strife border of the 20C. Yougoslavia was defitinitively an artificial construct, to pay the Serbs for WWI.
      In 1527, faced with Ottoman conquest the Croatian Parliament elected Ferdinand I of the House of Habsburg to the Croatian throne.
      PA

  10. dumky2 Says:

    “He was saved by the French movie industry, which is heavily subsidized by the French state, hence French taxes. Depardieu is a first class ingrate.”

    You are undoubtedly correct that the movie industry is much subsidized by the French government.
    But I’d like you to elaborate on Depardieu’s obligations that derive from this.
    In particular, is he indebted, how much and how would anyone know how much?
    Are you suggesting that any individual which benefited from government should submit to any taxation imposed by said government forever and such taxation is justified? That seem a Faustian bargain.
    Did Depardieu pay enough in taxes (presumably high tax bracket) over the years when he benefited from the subsidies?
    How much longer will he be indebted after he no longer works?

    To contrast with a private arrangement, I feel I owe a debt of gratitude to Apple, Comcast and many other companies that make my life better and allow me to be productive.
    But that is not an actual debt. The service was repaid in full to both our satisfaction and according to agreed terms.
    Clearly “gifts” from government do not come with such clear terms of exchange. They seem more like the gifts that keep on taking.

    • Patrice Ayme Says:

      Dumky2: Welcome to the comments! In general individuals who profit from the government generosity should show appropriate humility.It’s a question of the ethics of the public-private economy There are examples of such individuals all over. First ALL bankers, ALL OVER.
      Then there are people like Elon Musk. (I have been very critical of SpaceX obtention of public property and subsidy, in the past.)

      In general, entities that get public funding are mandated to not run away once they got the gold.

      As far as French movie stars are concerned, the scandal is not finished, as it has been asserted by (French) movie insiders that they are vastly overpaid. as far as Depardieu is concerned, his association with some of the worst, bloodiest, creepiest dictators speak volumes. Only North Korea is missing to his collection of the worst.

      As far as the EU is concerned, the patience of France and Germany with tax havens should be about over. Even Cameron is exasperated by the Channel Islands. Everybody is expecting interesting opinions from Eire, presently presiding the EU. Eire is a tax haven.
      PA

      • dumky2 Says:

        Thanks for your courteous and thoughtful reply.

        I was hoping you could address my questions from my earlier comment more directly.
        Starting with the first one: is he indebted, how much and how would anyone know how much?

        “individuals who profit from the government generosity should show appropriate humility”

        What makes you qualify government as “generous”. It is not the government’s money, is it? It’s easy to be “generous” with other people’s money.
        Did Depardieu take special steps to pursue these subsidies (lobbying) or did he just follow the rules as states in legislation?

        “entities that get public funding are mandated to not run away once they got the gold.”

        Since all individuals receive some benefits from public funding in one form or another, when is it appropriate to leave the country?

        “French movie stars [...] are vastly overpaid”

        I cannot comment as to Depardieu’s character, but I am curious about you determine that someone is overpaid. As far as I am concerned, if people voluntarily give you money as part of an exchange, then they didn’t feel they overpaid (otherwise they would not pay).
        Of course, subsidies are a separate matter.

        • Patrice Ayme Says:

          Dear Dumky2: The government has a fiduciary duty to spend the public’s money well. In France, state spending is 57% of GDP, the highest in the world, with the possible exception of Dubai. The movie industry is entangled in the subsidy system. In comparison to international averages of compensation relative to profits, French movie stars, of which there are really many, maybe as much as American movie stars, are paid too much, and they are paid by companies entangled in the subsidy program.

          An interesting case in the USA, similar, but bigger is the billionaire Elon Musk, who got, and is getting, subsidies in the billions through Tesla Motors and SpaceX. The White House sings the glory of SpaceX, a “public-private project”. Now I, myself and me has advised, for more than a decade in public, to emulate such programs, which originated in France in the 17C with Colbert. I will paste a link to my old article on this.

          So it may sound strange, even disgracious and vicious for me to criticize such a program as SpaceX, after advocating such. My discomfort is NOT from the existence of SpaceX, but from the fact that Musk is a billionaire. greatly, if not completely, on taxpayer money (he had made money with Paypal, but then he launched into subsidy-land).

          A way to determine if someone is overpaid is the following. Someone is overpaid in money or power, if the income of that person contributes to the growth of plutocracy. At this point I favor Ike’s 92.5% tax on plutocrats. No exception except for capital re-invested in projects of (Congress determined) public utility.

          Depardieu claimed that the perspective of a 75% tax is unbearable to him. So he flees to Belgium, or Russia. Is Belgium or Russia fighting in Mali?

          No. So is Depardieu aiding and abaiting the enemy? Is he like one of these collaborating movie stars of WWII?
          PA

          • dumky2 Says:

            Thanks for the clarification.
            It seems to me that you should be ranting about subsidies, not about recipients of subsidies.
            If subsidies should come with conditions (which seems reasonable), they should be spelled out beforehand, not after the fact. It is very important for society to function that the rule of law be understandable and knowable in advance, so that people can make good decisions (understanding the effects of their choices).

            If you wanted to apply a 92% tax (or whatever arbitrary number people make up) on individuals who receive this or that subsidy, or reach a certain wealth “due to subsidies” (hard to measure and prove, seems very arbitrary), or you cannot leave the country until you repay some amount, then I would argue it should be applied moving forward, not retroactively.

            It would be unfair, unreasonable and unacceptable if Apple came back to you a couple years after you bought a Mac and said: “we determined that you benefited a lot and made a lot of money by virtue of using our product to run your business, so we determined that you owe us amount X”.

            In short, you should be criticizing the French government for spending money badly and not setting clear condition.
            You should promote stopping the subsidies. That will be simpler, more straightforward, less arguable and more effective than trying to figure out how much should be taken back after the fact.
            That I would understand.

            Btw, I am skeptical and concerned about your terminology “the enemy”. Is Depardieu the enemy? Is Russia? Did Depardieu give his wealth to Russia or is it still his own?

            We leave in a mostly peaceful society and France is not at war with Russia. If any violence was used, it would be the taxation and mis-spending of the French government.

            • Patrice Ayme Says:

              Dear Dumky2: I do criticize subsidies. Some are excellent, some are bad. As I said, as demonstrated by SpaceX, the cruxes are in the details.

              By the way I do not see myself as “ranting. In my book that’s rather for mad people. Now as far as using the word “enemy”, I persist and sign. Depardieu has associated himself with people who have tortured and killed to stay on top, for all to see. He gave them his official respect.

              Dictators are the ENEMIES of democracy. It’s true for Assad, it’s true for many people Depardieu has associated with. He claims that this happened because he is vivacious, and those assassins are also vivacious. I think it’s simply because he is the basest sort of person, who trample all and any principle under greed. That’s why he plays such base characters so well, he just has to reveal his inner fiber.

              The USA has taxed at 92.5%, and did great afterwards. Right now, if an American citizen tries to flee the USA, by renouncing his or her citizenship, his or her wealth is (mostly) CONFISCATED. The law is not ancient, it was passed under…Bush II. In some ways, the USA is more Marxist, Communist and Stalinist than any European can imagine. Fir example the flight of Arnault to Belgium could not have happened in the USA.

              Funny Europeans: so naive…

              France is not at war with Russia, and Russia is not a dictatorship. But some of the creeps Depardieu has associated himself with are defitinitively dictatorial. Notice that, in Argentina, all the dictattors have finally been tried.

              In spite of past deals saying they would never be tried! Why? Democracies do what they want. The law that USA citizens fleeing with their wealth would be taxed in a confiscatory way was passed, because the USA is (still partly) a democracy, not a full plutocracy… Now if you will excuse me, inspired by the pope, I will publish my reason why Neanderthals disappeared…
              PA

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