Wednesday, November 02, 2005

Trouble in Paradise

The dominant, left-leaning, mainstream media has painted a picture of France as a perfect little socialist utopia with none of the problems the mean, ugly, capitalist U.S. has to deal with. I cannot begin to tell you how many times I have heard comparisons between the U.S. and France with the end interpretation of the comparison being some demonstration of how much better things are in France. I am sure you have heard it too. According to the media's depiction of France, one would think that there is no such thing as poverty nor crime nor violence in France. The reality of France's much touted socialist policies, so appealing to the left-wingers in the U.S., has been largely ignored, until now.

As I watch footage of the multi-day riots going on in the Paris housing projects, I cannot help but to wonder if the media will discuss the social problems in France that have led to these riots initiated and perpetuated by poor Mulsim immigrants. Will they admit that France's socialist policies have not eliminated poverty like they are supposed to do here in the U.S., if only we could wake up and smell the coffee? Will they admit that France's lax immigration policies and lavish welfare system made available to these immigrants led to this problem? Will they admit that social and economic inequalities exist in French Utopia? Well, it looks as if these topics cannot be ignored now; the cat is out of the bag.

The riots are only the tip of the iceberg. France has been struggling with the repercussions of its socialist policies for some time. France's economy is in the proverbial toilet. The October 25th edition of "The Economist" pretty much sums it up with this statement:

"...But the country's cherished social model, characterized by heavy state involvement, a wealth tax and generous benefits for workers, has in recent years proved a strong disincentive to growth and to job creation. Unemployment is double that in Britain, and the pension system and rising health-care costs are straining the public finances..."

It is time we learned something from the French. We should ask ourselves whether we really want to follow in their footsteps.

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