French Government Denounces Wealthy Leaving Country After Imposition of 75% Tax Rate

150px-Gérard_Depardieu_Cannes_2010-1220px-François_Hollande_(Journées_de_Nantes_2012)During his campaign for president, France’s Socialist President Francois Hollande famously declared “I don’t like the rich” and upon taking office hit the wealthy with a 75% tax rate — a rate that I have criticized as economically foolish and part of an increasing demonization of the wealthy around the world. Now wealthy French citizens have responded predictably by moving out of France and last week famed French actor Gerard Depardieu joined the exodus. The steady stream of departures has left the Hollande government incensed and this week Prime Minister Jean-Marc Ayrault blasted the rich. The English have also seen the same decline in wealthy taxpayers after it imposed a 50% tax. They are now going to reduce that tax after the departure of many wealthy Brits and David Cameron controversially pledged to “roll out the red carpet” for any French residents fleeing the massive tax hike. In the meantime, anger at the wealthy continues to rise in France, where “eat the rich” signs are appearing. The problems is that you cannot eat the rich if the rich flee before the meal.

Depardieu is not going to a tax haven. He is reportedly moving to Belgium which has a 50 percent taxation rate. He is moving to Nechin, a town just a kilometer inside Belgium near the French city of Lille.

Bertrand Delanoe, the Socialist mayor of Paris regretted the move because Depardieu “is a generous man but in this instance he is not showing that.”

Politicians often assume that higher taxes have no impact on market behavior for earners. However, such taxes often make no investments less attractive once the labor and time is factored into the lower rate of net profit.

While I am in the minority on this blog, I continue to be concerned over the economic impact of such confiscatory tax rates and the demonization of the wealthy. A 75% tax rate will not only encourage many French to leave the country or find ways to avoiding direct income, but it will discourage those who might become French citizens. I also fail to understand the increasing vilification of the wealthy which is defined as anyone making over $250,000 a year (as defined by the Administration’s proposed tax hike on the rich). Many of such earners are active in community work and supporting social programs. They also pay the vast majority of taxes in this country. Will they have to pay more, yes. However, the suggestion that they are all deadbeats who do not pay their fair share is unfair in my view.

220px-DantonPosterIn the meantime, the exodus is likely to continue and brings new meaning to the statement of Georges Danton: “At last I perceive that in revolutions the supreme power rests with the most abandoned.”

Source: France 24

79 thoughts on “French Government Denounces Wealthy Leaving Country After Imposition of 75% Tax Rate

  1. When Hollande gets done he will probably be living in Holland. We call it the Netherlands. But that is neither here nor there. If you read the Economist 2013 issue, which is a separate issue with predictions for the coming year, the Frogs come out looking like they might croak. No pun intended. I think it was John Maynard Keynes who talked about the “convergence” between communist countries and capitalist countries. The communist countries per se, except perhaps Korea, have converged so much that they have folded. Some of the capitalist contries are converging in the left direction so much that they will fold soon. Spain, Italy and Greece seem to be going off the Fiscal Cliff if not the Physical Cliff. Jimmy Cliff predicted that You Can Get It If You Really Want. Keynes brother, Maynard G. Krebs predicted that the French would soon be out of Algeria. That was about the time that they left. Unfortuneately many of the Algerians left for France and live there with the wealthy. Maybe the exiting Frogs will migrate to the Caymans. America received a huge influx of Europeans following the failed Social Revolution of 1848. The next generation of those folks formed the labor unions here. I would relate more history but my dog biscuits just arrived.

  2. Professor,
    I do not see this as a demonization of the wealthy. I see it as a process of leveling the playing floor. Why should he wealthy have the ability to consider their investment income at a rate that is 1/2 (approx) of the rate that I have to pay? If France wants to keep high rates, the people can vote that government out, if they don’t agree with its policies. Did we lose an inordinate amount of the wealthy population here during the Eisenhower era? Besides, we have lost their money a long time ago since they started hiding it and sheltering it in the Cayman’s and Swiss bank accounts.

  3. JT:

    “At last I perceive that in revolutions the supreme power rests with the most abandoned.”

    ~Georges-Jacques Danton


    While I agree (and have defended here) the proposition that you can’t raise the height of the forest by cutting all the tall trees, Danton’s words may not be the best support. Danton’s point, as understand it, is that the ones who did the abandoning bear the responsibility for their own destruction. At least then and there, history proved him correct.

  4. maybe they aren’t leaving because the tax is increasing…maybe they see an ugly repetition of history and an even uglier writing on the wall….and maybe we should pay close attention to what happens over there because the 98% probably isn’t so much vilifying the wealthy as they are really pissed off at the anti-worker legislations and gross, blatant thievery by some against the working class with no effective corrections in their favour. Starving overworked people may look angry but mostly they are desperate…and driven into corners by unresponsive governing bodies who continually ask for ‘austerity’ of the poor for the support of continued luxury of the wealthy is not the same as vilification….it is simple baseness and does not bode well.

  5. Sixty-five percent of Americans say the Nov. 6 results gave Obama a “mandate” on his proposal to raise tax rates on income over $250,000 and “to get it done.” Forty-five percent of Republicans agree. Bloomberg poll

  6. I think I finally figured out how “fair share” is defined: more. When you add up all the different tax burdens (sales, property, income, wages, social security, etc.), the resulting number, be it 40% of annual income, 50%, 60% — it doesn’t matter. What’s “fair” is simply more. It’s always easy to ask someone else to pay for government benefits. Correspondingly, spending other peoples’ money is easy — a variant on Margaret Thatcher’s comment on the perils of socialism: you eventually run out of other peoples’ money. God forbid that all citizens contribute something to our common problems. Witness the commotion over the “fiscal cliff,” which raises everyone’s taxes and which passed both Houses of Congress and was signed into law by the President just last year. It’s just easier to blame someone (“the wealthy”) for unrestrained spending and economic woes. If you’re both the cause and the only solution, it’s not hard to see why some people like Gerard get “confused” and leave the country.

  7. “and maybe we should pay close attention to what happens over there because the 98% probably isn’t so much vilifying the wealthy as they are really pissed off at the anti-worker legislations and gross, blatant thievery by some against the working class with no effective corrections in their favour. Starving overworked people may look angry but mostly they are desperate…and driven into corners by unresponsive governing bodies who continually ask for ‘austerity’ of the poor for the support of continued luxury of the wealthy is not the same as vilification….it is simple baseness and does not bode well.”


    Sums up my own feelings beautifully. what’s missing from JT’s equation is that this is not simply a matter of “over-taxing” the wealthy, it really is about the “class warfare” begun by the “haves” against the “have-nots” To abjure response to the warfare initiated by the “haves” as being uncivil and/or self defeating, is really another way of saying “The Rich get rich and the poor get poorer…..tra la…tra la.”
    The “austerity” measures put in place to “save” Europe are really a means of having the “lesser classes” bear the burdens of the excesses of the super-rich that have led to the economic disaster. Let them all leave to some of their tax-havens and maybe the rest of us will see how very un-essential these Faux Enterpreneurs are to society. Few of them are brilliant and far too many of them have basked in the glow of inherited wealth and/or socio-economic privilege throughout their charmed lives. I’m sure in their absence real entrepreneurs will spring up with more inventiveness of the creative kind, rather than the “creativeness” of figuring out money schemes akin to mob predations of legitimate businesses.

  8. the French Revolution was the result of a population which worked hard and paid taxes so that a king who did not work could live a carefree lifestyle.

    I see a parallel. This isnt France circa 1789 and it isnt Russia circa 1971. Both which had a monarchy and taxes paid by the people who were tired of paying taxes so a select group may live at someone else’s expense.

  9. There’s a big difference between a 75% rate, and quibbling over 35, or 37..5, or 39% rate. Or even, OMG, 45%

    And the $250K level is a red herring. Pols throw around figures like $250, $500. $1M like they were interchangeable concepts, .i.e., folks who can afford to pay more. And we’re talking about marginal rates of course. And no doubt the GOP will demand all loopholes remain in force if the ‘give in’ at all on rates.

    Demonizing the wealthy, for some, may include the $250kers, but theose folks are simply the cannon fodder for the $250 millioners, or t he $2 billioners. Call me a socialist, or a communist if you like but no one needs to be sitting on 4, or 5 or 6 billion dollars, on the vague hope that they’ll do some social good with that pile.

    Call it confiscatory (which I have addressed in comments on the “urininating” thread), the disparities are so great between the 1% and the rest that I think it threatens the fabric of our pretty fragile social compact as it is.

    The biggest problem I have with shearing the ultra rich is that I have little respect for the priorities of the government that would be reaping the benefits.

    But not to worry, since the ultra rich have disproportionate influence on the ultra deferential government, the ultra rich can rest easy in their featherbeds stuffed with $10,000 bills.

  10. The wealthy should pay more, a lot more. My reasoning is that they profit immensely off of war which runs countries into debt. In some cases the wars are mostly waged to give Western corporations an advantage in the global economic market. Then they multiply their wealth on Wall St., giving them free money so as having no immediate need to create jobs. Then, to make more money, they use their political influence to oppress the working class by cutting wages and pensions, and providing inadequate, if any at all, healthcare. These tactics reduce the power of government to collect taxes elsewhere, while forcing the government to look after the general welfare of its people. In view of that, now the rich are undermining democracy in their home countries because, as they did to the Third World, they have even greater advantages under tyrannical leaders using militant police tactics, than they get by the people’s votes.

    I am astonished, Mr. Turley, that you don’t see how the rich are undermining democratic principles. Voter suppression is just one way they do that. They also control, when necessary, the SCOTUS and state governments, thereby getting whom they want into the White House, giving corporations greater political protection than the people possess. The fact is that the rich are waging war against democracies because they see how much money the government spends and they want that money. That is why the rich seek to “privatize” every government program which will end up costing the public far more than the government now spends because profit will be the incentive rather than caring for the citizens. Without a people, a nation cannot exist. Undermine a nation’s people and you destroy the nation.

  11. We’re also hearing in France, as well as here, that the rich should be “patriotic” and pay more in taxes because their country is in peril (and similarly worded claptrap). Patriotism is indeed the last refuge of scoundrels; and used in various ways for specious purposes.

  12. Maybe it is less about the tax rate than about the incredible imbalance in tax loop holes etc which leave the working stiff (especially the middle class working stiff) with less opportunity to hold onto what s/he earns. And the whole off-shoring thing is nothing more than the thief who stuffs YOUR goods into YOUR pillow case and takes it out of your house to have it in HIS POSSESSION….which strangely enough is all it takes for some people to believe they have earned it….

    Mike….I agree…the ones who run away are rarely worth holding on to…

  13. So many people decry the money that rich people/corporations make off of big government, then they say we need bigger government? The answer is smaller government. As long as there is billions $ to be made off government programs, people will scheme to get it. Get rid of the billion $ government programs and you don’t have people scheming after it.

    Another person talked about War. How about electing a congressman that demanded a Declaration of War when our President wages War?

    The problem isn’t the other guy (rich or not), it is you for electing the person you did to Congress. Elections have consequences. Who you vote for matters.

  14. Here’s a thought: as long as our stupid government is going to continue to waste billions of dollars to feed the militarist state (not to mention lives), which benefit the wealthy in numerous ways, why shouldn’t the wealthy , circuitously perhaps, be forced to cough much more of that cream back up?

    And what rafflaw said about effective rates on investment income. If that isn’t enough to to drive the most pacifist among us to lock and load . . .

  15. rippleton:

    “I am astonished, Mr. Turley, that you don’t see how the rich are undermining democratic principles. Voter suppression is just one way they do that. They also control, when necessary, the SCOTUS and state governments, thereby getting whom they want into the White House, giving corporations greater political protection than the people possess.”


    Class warfare leaves us all damaged, and generalized complaints help not at all. Irish statesmen and lawyer, Edmund Burke, reminds us of that when he said, “I do not know the method of drawing up an indictment against a whole people.”

    To do so equates the Koch brothers with Bill Gates.

  16. “the French Revolution was the result of a population which worked hard and paid taxes so that a king who did not work could live a carefree lifestyle.”


    As usual your history is selectively written. It wasn’t just the King that was being supported, but an entire class of Nobility, who lived off of the efforts of the people, while keeping the resources produced for themselves. That class today is made up of Corporations, Financial Institutions and inheritors of their forebears wealth. You, I and the rest of us are considered to be “their” peasants, though some are allowed more income than others, just to keep the pot boiling.

  17. “To do so equates the Koch brothers with Bill Gates.”


    I believe it was Elaine who showed on another thread that Bill Gates is the equivalent of the Koch Brothers. when it comes to charitable contributions the idea is 3,000 or so, years old:” Beware of Greeks bearing gifts”. foundations do great tax shelters make and their work is often self serving to something of great value to the donor, by which I don’t mean the public good.

  18. Hmmm, I was just about to call Paul naive😉

    Mespo, I know you have said that the class warfare is rally a matter of envy. But, by their behavior, who do you think started this war?

    While I take your points, and of course who can deny Edmund Burke was a sane man, there is an anger and emotion underlying the unfairness of our political economy that wont be talked down. It’s only going to get worse, but I am confident the rich will shelter themselves adequately. Emotions are seldom rational (duh), but a necessary leavening.

    BTW, I don’t see all that much difference between Koch and Gates, but maybe it’s because I curse Gates every time anything goes wrong with my computer😉

  19. really its only fair that we approach on bended knee and plead with the wealthy to inform us how much they feel they should pay to support the government that made their wealth possible and protects them form the rabble that would take it from them.

    Perhaps we could start with burnt offerings, perhaps a few old or disabled people, if the smell pleased them they may not be so deeply offended when we ask such an impertinent question.

  20. Mespo, Context, context, context! I assume a measure of knowledge is possessed by anyone engaged on a blog such as this one. And yes, Bill Gates may not be as maniacal as the Koch brothers, but they still reap the same rewards. Wall Street is the tool by which all corporations open to public trading operates. Wall Street only differentiates between the moguls whose wealth it protects and the middle class savings group by whom they hedge their bets.

  21. “But it’s because of their political activity that the brothers Koch have recently gained notoriety. Together, they’re probably the nation’s biggest political donors. Nobody else — not George Soros, not Bill Gates, not even Sheldon Adelson — comes close. And their influence is everywhere. They’re major funders of two conservative think tanks, the Heritage Foundation and the Cato Institute. They’ve created pseudo-scientific research centers on many college campuses, like the Mercatus Center of George Mason University. They’re the sugar daddies behind two powerful political organizations, FreedomWorks and Americans for Prosperity — which is currently running anti-Obama TV ads in 10 states. They were the money bags behind the tea party. They put up the funds to oppose new mining safety regulations in West Virginia, overturn tough mileage standards in California, and elect Scott Walker in Wisconsin. And, by my count, they’re principal sources of funding for at least 57 conservative political action groups.

    Indeed, their political empire is so vast it’s been called the “Kochtopus.” Charles Lewis, founder of the Center for Public Integrity, told the New Yorker’s Jane Mayer, “The Kochs are on a whole different level. There’s no one else who has spent this much money. … They are the Standard Oil of our times.” Chicago Tribune The Koch bros. are far far worse than Bill gates. The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation does do some god things. The Koch bros. are in a league of their own.

  22. OT? Or not… Ah the benefits that accrue to the wealthy and powerful:

    HSBC, too big to jail, is the new poster child for US two-tiered justice system

    “DOJ officials unblinkingly insist that the banking giant is too powerful and important to subject to the rule of law”

    “The New York Times Editors this morning announced: “It is a dark day for the rule of law.” There is, said the NYT editors, “no doubt that the wrongdoing at HSBC was serious and pervasive.” But the bank is simply too big, too powerful, too important to prosecute.”


    (As to the 75% tax rate? It’s obscene.)



    Too Big to Indict

    Published: December 11, 2012

    It is a dark day for the rule of law. Federal and state authorities have chosen not to indict HSBC, the London-based bank, on charges of vast and prolonged money laundering, for fear that criminal prosecution would topple the bank and, in the process, endanger the financial system. They also have not charged any top HSBC banker in the case, though it boggles the mind that a bank could launder money as HSBC did without anyone in a position of authority making culpable decisions.

    Clearly, the government has bought into the notion that too big to fail is too big to jail. When prosecutors choose not to prosecute to the full extent of the law in a case as egregious as this, the law itself is diminished. The deterrence that comes from the threat of criminal prosecution is weakened, if not lost.

    In the HSBC case, prosecutors may want the public to focus on the $1.92 billion settlement, which includes forfeiture of $1.26 billion and other penalties, as well as requirements to improve its internal controls and submit to the oversight of an outside monitor for the next five years. But even large financial settlements are small compared with the size of international major banks. More important, once criminal sanctions are considered off limits, penalties and forfeitures become just another cost of doing business, a risk factor to consider on the road to profits.

    There is no doubt that the wrongdoing at HSBC was serious and pervasive. Several foreign banks have been fined in recent years for flouting United States sanctions against transferring money through American subsidiaries on behalf of clients in countries like Iran, Sudan and Cuba. HSBC’s actions were even more egregious. According to several law enforcement officials with knowledge of the inquiry, prosecutors found that, for years, HSBC had also moved tainted money from Mexican drug cartels and Saudi banks with ties to terrorist groups.

    Those findings echo those of a Congressional report, issued in July, which said that between 2001 and 2010, HSBC exposed the American “financial system to money laundering and terrorist financing risks.” Prosecutors and Congressional investigators were also alarmed by indications that senior HSBC officials might have been complicit in the illegal activity and that the bank did not tighten its lax controls against money laundering even after repeated urgings from federal officials.

    Yet government officials will argue that it is counterproductive to levy punishment so severe that a bank could be destroyed in the process. That may be true as far as it goes. But if banks operating at the center of the global economy cannot be held fully accountable, the solution is to reduce their size by breaking them up and restricting their activities — not shield them and their leaders from prosecution for illegal activities. “

  24. Mike S., I especially liked your earlier comment — we quickly forget that the so-called “class war” has two sides, and that it has been waged for decades by those at the top of the heap, and the “class war” canard pulled out whenever the rest of us resist or propose an alternative.

    Barkin, re: The Economist (the second post in this thread), they have been predicting France’s immanent demise for decades — I think they simply cannot fathom that France has been essentially successful by following something other than the US-British (or, as the French would have it, Anglo Saxon) economic model. There is more than an undercurrent of the ancient rivalry between France and the UK in the pages of The Economist in that paper’s coverage of affairs across La Manche.

  25. I remember in 2008 I asked a friend who was a one-percenter why the wealthy could not be asked to simply hold onto their stocks and ride the storm so that they could increase America’s strength. He was horrified. He said, “You can’t do that; it would interfere with the market!” I wonder: If it’s OK to make someone sacrifice for the country’s strength when that person makes $24,000 per year and has a net worth of negative $4,000, how is it not fair to ask the one percent to sacrifice for the country’s strength?

    Are we just nuts or stupid or what?

  26. Great point, anonymous. It is becoming more and more evident that governments are powerless against the mad money machine. Governments have throughout history served as the strong arm for the wealthy bandits. The real culprit behind the monetary system exposes the greater evil causing senseless poverty, sickness and death around the globe. Currently it is twisting the arm of America to become more “business friendly” which is code for creating sweatshop-like conditions like the tyrannical nations have already been providing to them.

    Let’s not forget that General Petraeus comment to a Fox “analyst” showing the “growth” is in the intelligence sector. Growth for the sake of growth is a cancer and it is destroying our people and therefore our nation.

  27. The tea party had two factions, the religious zealots and the fiscally radical libertarians. Only the religious faction has proven least useful in the last general election to the true conservative agenda. If it comes to a battle between which side remains, it will be the latter. They have already gained what they needed from the false religious segment of society; namely, to give money the appearance of righteousness despite it being the “root of all evil.”

  28. Maybe France needs to build their version of the Berlin Wall. Hopefully, they won’t use the Maginot Line blueprint.

  29. Woosty,

    You’re right on the money!

    BTW, how come no one calls it class warfare when some of the greedy mega-rich use their money to get anti-worker legislation…to eliminate collective bargaining for public workers…to bust unions…to buy politicians who will work to privatize/eliminate social programs like Medicare and increase the age at which the elderly can receive the full benefits of Social Security. These same people don’t give a damn about the number of children and elderly and working class folks living in poverty or near the poverty level.

  30. Elaine, Grab your signboard and head to Michigan. You’re losing another state to that horrible right to work travesty. The honest chant should be, “NO CHOICE, NO CHOICE, NO CHOICE.” But, that doesn’t sound good, does it?

  31. [gigya height="340" width="500" src="" wmode="transparent" allowscriptaccess="always" allowfullscreen="true" flashvars="embedId=57a69423-655c-4c6e-9571-d2b1b5bf51ca&autoPlayback=TRUE" ]

  32. The people of Iceland threw out their government, jailed their bankers and recovered their economy.

    Why don’t we do the same? Maybe b/c the guy who was at the center of the financial debacle is also the guy Obama put in charge of the bailout. And he wants to look forward and ignore all the wrong-doing of the past, effectively hamstringing the justice department.

    Why are our farms and food all being turned over to Monsanto? Maybe b/c the guy who was a vp at Monsanto is also the guy Obama put in charge of all farms and food?

    Oh, yes, the guy most responsible for drafting Obamacare has just accepted a new job with the pharmaceutical industry.

    Accepting the 4% increase on money over $250,000 (while also getting reductions on that first $250,000) is a great buy when considering all the other goodies that Obama is passing out. So the guys between $2.5K and a million or so don’t get a lot of it, it’s palliative to those in the lower brackets taking the heat off those making millions off the capital gains, deferred interest, off-shore accounts, governments contracts, money laundering ,etc. etc. can get a lot more back than the extra taxes they pay.

  33. Swarthmore Mom, the Koch brothers from Wichita got filthy rich by stealing oil from the Oklahoma Native American tribes. They controlled the oil meters and skimmed profits for decades. We do not need these sorts of people. Show them the door. We can get along fine without them.

  34. “These are hectic days for trusts and estates lawyers, as they make house calls, work nights and fly overseas to meet rich clients before Bush era tax cuts expire.

    “To say we’re busy is the understatement of the year,” said Martin Kalb, chairman of the global tax group at Greenberg Traurig LLP. “I’ve been practicing for 35 years, and I’ve never seen it like this.”

    Unless Congress and President Barack Obama decide otherwise, top rates for estate and gift taxes will rise to 55 percent from 35 percent on Jan. 1, with lifetime exemptions falling to $1 million per person from $5.12 million.” Bloomberg

  35. Ok. Germany’s largest bank be too big to fail but it’s so big that it’s top officers can’t be prosecuted! In the US they get a fine amounting to 1/8 of a year’s profit and no one goes to jail. This is for bank tax evasion, not personal tax evasion.,b=facebook

    Deutsche Bank Raided, Co-CEO, CFO Under Investigation For Tax Evasion

    FRANKFURT, Germany (AP) — Deutsche Bank says its co-chief executive Juergen Fitschen and chief finance officer Stefan Krause are under investigation as part of a tax evasion probe linked to the bank’s emissions trading business.

    The bank said Wednesday the reason Fitschen and Krause are being investigate is because they signed the company’s 2009 tax declaration. The bank says the declaration was later amended in a timely way, but that prosecutors do not agree.

    The Frankfurt prosecutors’ office says 25 employees of the bank are suspected of serious tax evasion, money laundering and attempted obstruction of justice.

    Prosecutors said 500 police officers swooped Wednesday on Deutsche Bank AG offices and private properties in Frankfurt, Berlin and Duesseldorf.

    Deutsche Bank says it is cooperating with the investigation.

  36. bettykath
    1, December 12, 2012 at 3:40 pm

    The people of Iceland threw out their government, jailed their bankers and recovered their economy.

    Why don’t we do the same?
    because there may be enough room in the prisons for all the naughty bankers, but not all the naughty bankers+all the naughty CEOs + all the naughty politicians (who would be hard pressed to jail the bankers and the ceos…😉 ) + not sure who you could actually find to enforce this anyway cause who really owns all the big boom boom guns…I’m thinkin it must be the private guys and that is the real reason we have seen such low die behaviors….now I’m going back to watching MIB3 because if I stay here much longer I will become paranoid….and the portents of the future of corrupted space and time MUST be dealt with….

  37. Maybe only good corporate actors should get lower taxes.

    Jack taxes up on Multinationals who refuse to pay living wages, who refuse to pay to clean up their messes, who have gigantic recalls on faulty products or drugs that harm people through scientifically skewed testing.

    We should just tally up the public dollars that are needed to do these things for them, and give them the total bill.

    For a Multinational like Walmart, just add up the public assistance dollars their employees receive and give Walmart the bill.

    Every nation should do the same. Africa could just tax oil Multinationals enough to clean up the environment. etc etc etc et al. All of them. We should b taxing the fracking industry for environmental damages right now.

    This would protect the commons and give corporations an incentive to invest R&D in better operations. The economy would recover if the masses of employed working poor people were lifted out of poverty.

    Good corporations like Costco would have low taxes.

  38. “… The people of Iceland threw out their government, jailed their bankers and recovered their economy. …”

    – Ólafur Ragnar Grímsson, good old pal to the oligarchs, is the sitting president.
    – Jón Ásgeir Jóhannesson, Jóhannes Jónsson, Lýður Guðmundsson, Águst Guðmundsson, Björgólfur Thor Björgólfsson, Björgólfur Guðmundsson are all free and still super wealthy men. The only one who got jail time was a low ranking public servant in the finance ministry, a scapegoat.
    – Iceland choose not to reimburse the foreign small investors and to shield their fat cats. Iceland’s “recovery” is, just like their previous “boom”, entirely based on screwing “the foreigners.”

  39. There should be a transaction tax on the market as well. You could exempt pension plans and other public good investors (like foundations who give to the community).

    When any of us buy something, it is taxed. The wealthy not only buy on the market with no tax, they also have any gains made taxed at a lower rate than labor. It is an obscene imbalance that should be understood.

    The poor are taxed on everything they buy. The rich are not, and when they sell they pay a lower tax rate than the poor on capital gains.

  40. Berliner: the ‘foreigners’ were really the ‘bondholders’ who made a bad investment.
    If all the nations did this, we would have had a debt write down, clearing and economic recovery that was really strong. instead they are pushing even more debt.
    And Bernanke today saying QE infinity will continue until unemployment reaches 6.5%.

    What could possibly go wrong?

  41. shano: no the “foreigners” were the European customers of the Icelandic banks.

    Iceland had, as a prerequisite of entering the EU/EFTA banking market, signed a treaty that they would guarantee the first 10,000 euro of every customer.

    When the Icelandic banks failed they said that they’ve never actually had a deposit insurance system as required by the treaty. Then they had two referendums in which they gave their European customers the finger.

  42. Both, Berliner. Which one had more at stake? The bondholders. The Icelandic bankers who committed fraud have been charged with crimes.

  43. shano, there are actually many people and households for whom loosing 10,000 euro out of their saving account is a ‘big stake.’
    And what does it change? Iceland robbed these people, plain and simple.

    “… The Icelandic bankers who committed fraud have been charged with crimes. …”

    Can you name a few which also have been convicted? Of the big oligarchs?

  44. You can search this as well as I can Berliner. The Prime Minister was convicted on one count of four, if I remember. Why did people have money in Icelandic banks? Greed, right? They must have gotten a good deal for a while.

    Here is what is actually wrong in America, the robber barons are still doing what they have always done. We cannot seem to learn from history even when it is our own history:

  45. shano, I don’t have to search to remember that Geir Haarde was found guilty, but not punished, and that even his legal expenses were paid for by the state.

    A slap on the wrist without consequences for the PM is something totally different than ‘jailed their bankers,’ which kinda implies that there were bankers actually spending time in a jail.

    Which is not what happened in Iceland, because they still shield their crooked oligarchs.

  46. so lazy Berliner, here are some convictions this year:

    08.06.2012 | 11:55
    Managers of Byr Savings Bank Guilty in Exeter Case
    The Supreme Court of Iceland convicted former CEO of Byr savings bank Ragnar Z. Guðjónsson and former chairman of the bank’s board Jón Þorsteinn Jónsson for breach of trust in the so-called Exeter case yesterday—thereby reversing an earlier verdict of Reykjavík District Court—and gave both of them a four-and-a-half year non-suspended prison sentence.

    These are the longest sentences that have ever been announced because of economic crimes in Iceland, Fréttablaðið reports.

    The case of the third defendant, former CEO of MP Bank Styrmir Þór Bragason, was referred back to the district court.

    This is the second verdict announced by the Supreme Court in cases filed by the Special Prosecutor’s Office in connection with the 2008 banking collapse.

    The first verdict was announced over former undersecretary of the Ministry of Finance, Baldur Guðlaugsson, who was sentenced to two years in prison for insider trading.

    In both cases the prosecutor’s demands of maximum punishment were agreed to.

  47. “Bertrand Delanoe, the Socialist mayor of Paris regretted the move because Depardieu “is a generous man but in this instance he is not showing that.””
    I don’t know if anything was lost in translation here but I would think generosity would stem from a voluntary offering. How can one be generous when they don’t have a choice in the matter to give.

    Don Corleone: “I’m going to make him an offer he can’t refuse.”

  48. Reblogged this on Abundant Truth and commented:
    The American government would do well to pay attention to these facts. Both Britain and France raised their top tax rates, and both had wealthy people flee the country. Britain was smart enough to lower the rates again, but will France wise up? And will America pay attention?

  49. I guess war it shall be.

    Why should I pay more?

    – Should I pay more because you all sit around and post comments to each other all day long? I don’t do that.

    – Should I pay more because some people obtained their money illegally or unethically? I didn’t do that.

    – Should I pay more because it is my patriotic duty? It is my patriotic duty to be the best father, husband and citizen I can be. Somehow though that isn’t good enough. Somehow you are entitled to more from me? As if I don’t work hard enough. As if I don’t already have my own problems now I am a problem to others because I made good decisions and worked really, really, REALLY HARD. Now I am the problem! And now I have to pay for that?…I WONT DO THAT!

    We’ve tried it your way (1922-1991). It never works.

  50. “As if I don’t already have my own problems now I am a problem to others because I made good decisions and worked really, really, REALLY HARD. Now I am the problem! And now I have to pay for that?…I WONT DO THAT!”

    Poor, poor Me,

    Here he is an individualist whose success is based purely on his own merits and so really owes nothing to the society in which he lives. Me does’t need no stinking infrastructure since he flies his helicopter from the pad at his house to the heli-pad above the building he alone owns. The power in the building is off the grid and the water is all bottled water. his children are home-schooled so he shouldn’t have to pay school taxes. He pays for his own security forces so he does’t need no stinking police. His security forces are trained to act as firefighters also so forget the need for a fire department. As for protection from “foreigners” he has a bought a share in a mercenary army that will protect him in wartime. He needs no FDA or USDA trying to keep his food supply safe, because he grows and manufactures his own. All those things the rest of you “dependent sissies” need, Me doesn’t because Me is an individual unto himself, with no need for society. How strong! How independent! How woefully egotistical ad ill-informed.

  51. There is one difference between the Kochs and Gates and that is still better haircuts. Both engage(d) in anti-competitive business practices – seemingly with government approval – and both use the power of their wealth to push the government around via lobbying and “campaign contributions” to get compliant pols. Both are scumbags for that alone. That Gates is trying to “buy his way into Heaven” with the Gates foundation is immaterial. The Gates Foundation does as much harm as it does good.

  52. Here are some thoughts on the 1%:

    We oppose the 1% because we are defending the freedom of the American people. The 1% is the cause and beneficiary of our slavery They have misused the social misery of the broad masses to deepen the dreadful split between the right and left of our people, to divide America into two halves thereby concealing the true reason for the recession and war we have endured.

    The wealthy have no interest in solving America’s problems. They cannot have such an interest. They depend on it remaining unsolved. If the American people formed a united community and won back its freedom, there would be no place any longer for the Rich. Their hand is strongest when a people lives in domestic and international slavery, not when it is free, industrious, self-aware and determined. The rich caused our problems, and lives from them.

    The rich are parasites of decomposition. Where they find filth and decay, They surface and begin their butcher’s work among the nations. They hide behind a mask and present themselves as a friend to their victims, and before they know it the rich have broken their necks and feasted on their carcass.

    The wealthy are uncreative. They produce nothing, they only haggle with products. With oil, grain, stocks, peoples and states. They have somehow stolen everything they deal in.

    What does hating the wealthy have to do with socialism? I would put the question this way: What do the rich have to do with socialism? Socialism has to do with labor. When did one ever see a 1 percenter working instead of plundering, stealing and living from the sweat of others? As socialists we are opponents of the wealthy because we see in the 1% the incarnation of capitalism, of the misuse of the nation’s goods.

    But the rich, after all, are also human beings. Certainly, none of us doubts that. We only doubt that they are decent human beings. They do not get along with us. They live by other laws than we do. The fact that they are human beings is not sufficient reason for us to allow them to subject us in inhumane ways. They may be human beings — but what kind of human beings are they! If someone steals from you, do you say: “Thank you! He is after all a human being!” That is not a human being, that is a monster. Yet how much worse have the 1% done to us, and are still doing today!

    We oppose the rich because we affirm the American people. The wealthy are our greatest misfortune.

  53. “If the American people formed a united community and won back its freedom, there would be no place any longer for the Rich.” ~Bron
    there is always a place here for the wealthy….the responsible, responsive and concerned and committed wealthy….and there are a lot of them because those who gain their wealth rightly have a great respect for those who labor….they understand and feel the priviledge of being able to contribute on a greater scale, even in taxes, and they don’t (surprisingly) live lives that look much different than the middle class used to look. Those are truly wealthy people. The impoverished riche, on the other hand, those who will steal, enslave, corrupt and lie to retain their cash…..they are very frightened of losing their wealth….because they never felt it was theirs to begin with. They ALWAYS KNEW it was taken unlawfully from those who worked for it. They are poverty stricken and will find all manner of places to hide and sequester their ill-gotten goodies….

    “They live by other laws than we do. ”
    No, you are confusing criminality with wealth.
    They are not the same.
    Criminals have had a field day because the force and stability of the law was weak and ill-led in this Country. The market has too many secrets and closed doors and ways around the law…which has catered to those who enjoy being catered to… The war was a result of the same mentality. This Country is being tested on more fronts and in more ways than before but it does not mean we are ‘Socialist’ any more than it means we are ‘fascist’. There will always be a firm foundation here for the Constitutional principles that made us and if you really want to see it happen, raise the tax and let the rats jump ship. We can’t afford the criminal parasites anymore. The world is getting very much smaller for them….like polar bears swimming from ice flow to ice flow is the current crook swimming from Cayman Island to Cayman Island in secret….

  54. self correction:
    Criminals have had a field day because the force and stability of the law was weak and ill-led in this Country. should read;
    Criminals have had a field day because the force and stability of the law was weak and ill-led in them.

  55. Most wealthy french (except for the super wealthy) arent leaving france due to tax reasons. But they are leaving mainly because they fear that France has a bad future and they are also leaving because in france everyone has a very bad attitude towards rich people. You cannot show your money in france anymore, the less fortunate will abuse you …there is a lot of jealousy in french society and they are obsessed with financial equality. But they dont realize that without the rich there will be even more inequality in the absence of businesses fuelling growth in France. Also france is filled with bad immigrants now – a lot of refugees and asylum seekers from former french colonies. These immigrants refuse to integrate and are just using france for free benefits its really sad what some of them have done to france..of course some are very good too as they educate themselves and work hard maybe even harder than the natives but a lot of immigrants in france are not adding any value to the country and causing a lot of problems.

    As for this entire discussion about rich french leaving france….its all nonsense…rich people everywhere in every country move around all the time…there are more rich americans and rich british leaving their countries for plenty of reasons.

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