consultants are sandburs

Sunday, January 29, 2017

Well this is just fine. To this point a spectrum of voters within France agree with me.

The Economist was cited earlier (Jan 23) by Crabgrass, here, for an item it published available online about French Socialist candidate Benoit Hamon.

Today Reuters reports on Hamon as the French Socialist leadership finalist in their upcoming election; here and here. Both items are accessible, with the latter excerpted as:

Alongside promises to legalize cannabis, abandon diesel fuel and cancel debts between European Union countries, Hamon, the ruling Socialist Party's candidate pledges a "universal income" for all citizens.

The cost, says the 49-year-old, will be around 350 billion euros ($374.82 billion), roughly equivalent to the annual budget of Europe's second-biggest economy. An ambitious overhaul of taxes will be pursued to fund it, he says.

The idea has captured the imagination of Socialists who feel betrayed by a shift to more pro-business policies under President Francois Hollande and Manuel Valls, the former prime minister whom Hamon beat on Sunday to win the left's presidential ticket.

Hamon's win, with over 58 percent of the vote according to partial results on Sunday evening, is yet another upset in an unpredictable presidential race.

He was until earlier this month one of several outsiders in a party contest that Valls, a more moderate and more experienced leader, was initially predicted to win.

Valls labeled Hamon "the sandman", a seller of dreams which would condemn the Socialist Party to an opposition role for years to come.

[...] Hamon struck a chord with left-wing voters by declaring on the campaign trail: "I am running for president so that France's heart will beat once again."

Hamon's most visible public roles were as Hollande's junior minister for the social economy and later as education minister. He quit that post in protest at what he viewed as the party's shift towards the political right and big business.


His campaign platform, he says, is based on his conviction that jobs are scarce and will become more so as a digital revolution takes hold and leaves workers displaced by self-driving cars, drones and robots.

Society will only adapt if it accepts that people work less and jobs are shared across a greater number of workers, Hamon says - hence his proposals of a shorter working week and a basic income of 750 euros a month for all adult citizens, whether they work or not.

"Look at Germany, model country with full employment, where the jobless rate is five or six percent. Nobody sees the poverty rate is 17 percent. In reality, it's a tradeoff: jobs at the price of poverty," Hamon said at a meeting in Marseille.

Hamon acknowledges his proposal will require a major revamp of taxes. Among other fiscal policy promises, he plans a "robot tax" levied on the profit margins of digital industry groups as well as higher taxes on giants like Google and Apple.

[...] Asked if he was a dreamer, Hamon argued that France had lost its way and borrowed a line from Italian Marxist thinker Antonio Gramsci: "The crisis consists precisely in the fact that the old is dying and the new cannot be born."

($1 = 0.9338 euros)

(DATELINE: Sun Jan 29, 2017 -- 4:12pm EST -- Reporting By Brian Love; Editing by Richard Balmforth and Richard Lough)

The guy is alright! That said -

A problem stateside is what at least one of the Bush family called "that vision thing." Not a problem with Hamon. Nobel Laureate Minnesotan Bob Dylan, in a song - which one it was I do not remember - wrote/sang, "He that ain't busy being born is busy dying."

And stateside again, Justice Deomcrats was born days ago.

Again, that vision thing.

The minority party of two here had better soon find itself being born.

Not that the French in their ways deserve to be lassoed into things here; they deserve better for certain; but when good ideas present themselves it is hard to not try to bend them to needs more local than an ocean away.

In closing, after 58% of a left leaning vote at this stage, may Hamon achieve a comparable 58% in France's final. Total victory is always best.

Personal limitations are vexing. I speak and understand only one language. French is not it. Yet, French online YouTube video allows those not having my admitted limitation a chance to see, not only to read (or view English coverage) through a filtering bottleneck of US domestic coverage. E.g., here.

Video online availability is not the issue; e.g., here, here, here, and a debate, here. The viewing numbers with those videos are discouragingly low. Yet, the last of the links, the debate, you can follow the format and production cuing, but wtf they are saying is a roadblock, a vexing one, for me because of the insular US linguistic skills prevailing even among the educated, of which I claim membership. My ignorance of French deserves apology, apology is given, but it leads to our having a populace ignorant of much of the rest of the world, kept insular, with a suspicion being US national elites prefer us that way.

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