How is socialism going in France

November 3rd, 2013 at 1:00 pm by David Farrar

Seeing Labour has just voted to refer to itself as a socialist party, it seems worthwhile to look how is going in .  Milton Ezrati writes at National Interest:

More than one thousand factories have closed in France since 2009. And not a week goes by without another announcement of relocations to Eastern Europe or Asia. Rates of new business formation today remain 13.3 percent lower than at the end of 2009, while business failures are 7 percent higher. The pace of home sales, though it seems to have stopped declining, shows no sign of improvement and remains 16 percent below 2008 levels. Residential real-estate prices continue to decline. Unemployment rolls have grown without interruption, recently averaging some 10.5 percent of the nation’s workforce. Youth unemployment averages over 26 percent. Real wages in France, having stagnated for some time, have declined for the last four consecutive quarters. The country’s balance of international payments continues to sink deeper into the red, with the shortfall of exports to imports almost doubling in just the past year to almost 3 percent of GDP. Government finances, too, continue in deficit, far exceeding the EU’s mandated maximum of 3 percent of the economy. Budget shortfalls over the years have brought public debt outstanding to fully 90 percent of France’s GDP.

Sounds like a worker’s paradise. Businesses failings, jobs disappearing, real wages dropping and a huge level of debt.

French government spending has continued to grow, rising almost 4 percent during the last two years. Government in France now constitutes some 57 percent of the entire economy, well above the euro zone’s average. 

I can only assume NZ Labour aspires to this with nationalisation of electricity, state owned construction companies, state owned insurers all to be set up.

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69 Responses to “How is socialism going in France”

  1. nickb (3,687 comments) says:

    I still struggle to understand why the National Caretaker Government has basically kept all of Labour’s socialist policies intact.

    Selling minority stakes in 3 companies the govt shouldn’t own anyway hardly classifies them as even right of centre, let alone right wing.

    It is becoming clearer by the day that John Key got into politics because he was a bored rich guy looking for something new to do. Not because he had any guiding political beliefs. National’s policies reflect this.

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  2. Kimble (4,440 comments) says:

    nickb simultaneously:

    1. dislikes Labour policies, and
    2. dislikes that National didnt break their election promises and hasten the return of Labour.

    We dont need a 1 or 2 term National government. We need the incompetent, venal fools in Labour out of Government for as long as humanly possible!

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  3. duggledog (1,557 comments) says:

    Yes but they are French.

    Nickb, National kept Labour’s policies intact becuase that’s precisely what Labour didn’t expect them to do.

    Most of those policy bribes were also carefully planted land mines, designed to go off if tampered with. Like Maori TV. Get rid of that, and you have an instant hikoi marching on Wgtn.

    Cheers Klark & Kullen

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  4. gazzmaniac (2,307 comments) says:

    People in Australia whinged about John Howard’s softly-softly approach to reform, and now a lot of those people who look back favourably on the Howard era. JK will be the same I suspect.

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  5. nickb (3,687 comments) says:

    Ok Kimble, sorry. Better a 3 or 4 term National Government which preserves Labour’s policies whilst implementing no bold ones of its own than a 1-2 term government which will achieve real change and avoid our looming baby boomer debt crisis.

    Hence my term the National Caretaker Government.

    Putting that aside, the whole premise of your comment is completely flawed. National did break election promises, namely in raising GST. They also softened their tone on our enormous welfare state the second they got into office.

    I voted for National in 2008 on the basis of a speech John Key gave in 2008 where he explicitly and implicitly said there would be reform to Super (not in 1st term), interest free student loans, and working for families. These latter two he has particularly harsh on and stated they were completely unsustainable.

    Obviously this has all gone out the door in the search of a long term in government.

    And gazz, FFS who could you look back on a government that achieved nothing (like JK’s has) with favour?

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  6. Kimble (4,440 comments) says:

    France is doomed. Not only are they making it unattractive for businesses to operate, they are making it unattractive for the business OWNERS to live there!

    Their 75% tax rate for millionaires is basically saying to them, ‘We dont want your kind here, go pay your taxes somewhere else!’

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  7. Kimble (4,440 comments) says:

    nickb, National’s policies are often unpopular in the same way that a parents rules are unpopular with the teenage child.

    Labour’s policies are the equivalent of the Uncle who buys them beer and porn and tells them their parents are being unfair old fuddy-duddies. You can’t change a CULTURE of entitlement by switching off the entitlements.

    Far better National make small, incremental changes over a long enough period that our culture changes, than bold adventurous ones that get them booted out and leaves us with the unfit guardian of Uncle Labour.

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  8. nickb (3,687 comments) says:

    WTF? By your logic National’s policies are the equivalent of softly scolding the uncle for giving them the beer and porn but letting the kid keep it anyway. Then buying them more beer and porn yourself when your kid gets addicted to it!

    BTW, in the areas that matter most, which cause our structural deficits and our increasing govt debt – namely the tax system, WFF, interest free student loans, and NZ Super, I don’t see National making any changes at all, let alone small incremental changes. In fact JK has said he will resign rather than tamper with the age of eligibility for Super.

    Surely if you can’t change a culture of entitlement by turning them off, you would at least have the political will and determination to educate the populace as to why those entitlements are not sustainable? Thereby effecting change in the thinking of the nation over a period of time?

    John Key has shown none of this courage and is merely ticking something off his bucket list.

    I simply can’t begin to fathom how people can think about the National government as some sort of bullwark to Labour when they preserve and in many cases expand on their policies.

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  9. kowtow (8,475 comments) says:

    France is doomed.

    Allahu Akbar.

    Ain’t mass immigration and multiculturalism great?

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  10. Kimble (4,440 comments) says:

    nickb, you prefer Labour?

    Personally I wouldnt give a shit if National did absolutely nothing. Could you image what a Clark-Cullen combo would have delivered by now? Zero policy is actually better than Labour policy.

    Intentions over tax didnt stand the first contact with GFC reality.
    WFF is the beer and porn. If National eliminated that overnight, they would be doomed. WFF factors into the economic decision-making of too large a portion of the population. Labour has the luxury of introducing policies like this, because that part is easy.
    Same with student loans. I said at the time that this is something that COULDNT be wound back, and that THAT was the reason it was such a horrible policy.
    NZ Super, HA! No one is going to mess around with that.

    You have been living in a fantasy land, thinking that National could simply wave a magic wand and make the world as if Labour stupid policies never existed. And now that the real world finally becomes apparent you are lashing out.

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  11. thePeoplesFlag (245 comments) says:

    “…France is doomed.

    Allahu Akbar.

    Ain’t mass immigration and multiculturalism great..?”

    Most of the migration to France comes from Algeria, a country destabilised after the French invaded it without excuse in the nineteenth century then spent eight years from 1954-62 fighting a savage war that killed up to a million people and brought down the fourth republic just so that they could keep calling the inhabitants of Algeria “French.”

    Aint irony great?

    Oh and reports of France’s demise are a regular staple of right wing wishful thinking, but I think you will find the reports are greatly exagerated.

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  12. nickb (3,687 comments) says:

    Ok, I am glad we have established that National is too weak and / or unprincipled to roll back Labour’s socialist welfare state.

    Roger Douglas and Ruth Richardson both achieved this in a NZ context. Alas, John Key and the current Nats are no Douglas or Richardson. They would probably prefer a beer with David Cunliffe.

    Carry on.

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  13. smttc (752 comments) says:

    France has been in decline for many years and like a slow train wreck it will continue to fall further into decline.

    The French have been essentially socialist by culture since well before WWII. It’s why the country was so divided at the time.

    The French see socialism via state funded subsidies, protections and handouts and socialist politicians as the only way of preserving their traditional way of life against competition from the outside world. They are essentially living in a false economy for the sake of preserving their cultural traditions.

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  14. smttc (752 comments) says:

    nickb, until the country is back in surplus and ordinary voters feel more prosperous and confident about the economy, removing government handouts will only lead to the electorate throwing National out of office. Key knows this (reference his comments about getting turfed out of office if he did away with interest free student loans).

    Weaning people off government funded handouts is a long game if you want to take the sheeple with you and there is no point in bitching about it.

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  15. gandalf (3 comments) says:

    “France has been in decline for many years and like a slow train wreck it will continue to fall further into decline.”

    Facts are sometimes inconvenient:

    http://research.stlouisfed.org/fredgraph.png?g=nZC

    France is the red one…

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  16. Kimble (4,440 comments) says:

    gandalf, that chart shows France’s growth rate decreasing. Grown-ups use log scales.

    And for NZ, you can ignore everything before 1990.

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  17. thePeoplesFlag (245 comments) says:

    “…The French have been essentially socialist by culture since well before WWII…”

    Oh. My. God. This is the so stupid it needs to be framed.

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  18. dime (9,972 comments) says:

    “Seeing Labour has just voted to refer to itself as a socialist party”

    what? really? please be so!

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  19. Ross12 (1,428 comments) says:

    nickb

    The reason why the current Government ( or any to follow it ) cannot make major change is MMP. The Government did not get in last time by a landslide. So while we have this system of voting we will always likely to have small majorities or minority Govt. ( and probably alot of tail wagging the dog situations) and therefore very average policy making –no matter what side of the political fence you sit on.

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  20. nickb (3,687 comments) says:

    Weaning people off government funded handouts is a long game if you want to take the sheeple with you and there is no point in bitching about it.

    No doubt, but this is what you all were saying both before and immediately after the 2008 election.

    5 years later and no start to the “long game” in sight.

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  21. Kea (12,841 comments) says:

    France is doomed.

    Allahu Akbar.

    Ain’t mass immigration and multiculturalism great?

    Do you mean the Christians that infested Europe with their ignorance and intolerance ?

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  22. cha (4,017 comments) says:

    Seeing Labour has just voted to refer to itself as a socialist party, it seems worthwhile to look how socialism is going in France. Milton Ezrati writes at National Interest

    And not a week goes by without another announcement of relocations to Eastern Europe

    So we’re not alone… great…
    /

    http://www.nbr.co.nz/opinion/another-kiwi-tech-gutted-after-offshore-sale

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  23. Redbaiter (8,882 comments) says:

    “Seeing Labour has just voted to refer to itself as a socialist party”

    Wow, cheeky bastards have got some nerve just taking National’s slogan like that.

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  24. smttc (752 comments) says:

    nickb, we are not back in surplus yet and the economy is only just starting to come right. Ross12 makes a very good point as well. Even if Key wanted to, he doesn’t have the numbers to get rid of WFF, interest free student loans etc. The Maori Party will never vote for it and I doubt Peter Dunne would either.

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  25. thor42 (971 comments) says:

    “…Labour has just voted to refer to itself as a socialist party…”

    Where is your source for this, DPF?
    ( I’m not doubting you – I just want to see it for myself “from the horse’s mouth” as it were. )

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  26. Kea (12,841 comments) says:

    NZ was founded on egalitarian principles. I think that is a good thing. However it has morphed into socialism, which I am not so keen on.

    NZ is, and always has been, a socialist leaning country.

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  27. kowtow (8,475 comments) says:

    peoplesflag/keatroll can root all they like for the Mohamedans in France ,once France goes down to the North African barbarians and liberte et egalite are done away with,the only vestige of La Republique will be fraternite, but it won’t be Gallic it will be the Muslim Brotherhood…….hahahahahaha.

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  28. Kea (12,841 comments) says:

    kowtow, do you reckon the French should go back to being Pagans then ?

    The reality is that Christians have killed far more people in France than Muslims. You lot used to torture scientists to death for telling the truth until recentlyl !

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  29. gazzmaniac (2,307 comments) says:

    The Government did not get in last time by a landslide

    The Queensland LNP won a smaller percentage of the vote than National did in NZ, and control all except (I think) five seats in parliament. If NZ had FPP National would have had a similar result.

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  30. OneTrack (3,104 comments) says:

    “Sounds like a worker’s paradise. Businesses failings, jobs disappearing, real wages dropping and a huge level of debt”

    But they are narrowing the income gap. And that is the socialists real goal, isnt it? As long as everybody is in poverty, its all good.

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  31. OneTrack (3,104 comments) says:

    “Seeing Labour has just voted to refer to itself as a socialist party, ”

    That probably means they see themselves as a communist party, but dont want to scare the horses.

    Is it just me, or have Labour been consumed from the inside by the Greens?

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  32. gump (1,649 comments) says:

    @kimble

    “France is doomed … Their 75% tax rate for millionaires is basically saying to them, ‘We dont want your kind here, go pay your taxes somewhere else!’”

    ———————

    Somewhat inconveniently for your argument, France doesn’t tax the income of its millionaires at 75%

    The idea was proposed and discarded.

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  33. wat dabney (3,756 comments) says:

    Football strike on as France says won’t drop 75% tax

    ‘Hollande’s initial proposal to tax the rich on individual incomes over one million euros was shot down as unconstitutional by the country’s top court.

    But the government came back with a modified proposal that now makes companies liable to pay the 75 percent tax rate for the portion of employees’ salaries above the million-euro ceiling.’

    http://sports.yahoo.com/news/football-strike-france-says-wont-drop-75-tax-171954997–sow.html

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  34. kowtow (8,475 comments) says:

    gump

    It has only just been dropped.

    Kimbles point is valid and still holds.Hollandes intent was to tax the rich at75%.That was an election promise,if I’m not wrong, a promise to the sheeple that the rich would pay!It was only going to raise a tiny fraction of what France needs but the signal was clear…. vote for me cos I like you hate the rich and successful.

    But now it’s a broken promise , surprise!or better yet a lie to lure the envious poor.

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  35. gump (1,649 comments) says:

    @kowtow

    From WWII to 1964, the top marginal income tax rate in the United States was 90%.

    Between 1964 and 1982, the top marginal income tax rate in the United States was 70%.

    Economists consider this period to be one of the longest peacetime economic expansions in American history – with GDP growth averaging over 3% per annum.

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  36. thor42 (971 comments) says:

    Kowtow is spot-on with his comments about France and the Muslims.
    France is already having big problems there with the Muslims getting stroppy and throwing their weight around.

    The same goes for Sweden (which has also thrown open the immigration floodgates). Malmo is the poster-child example of what happens when a Western city is flooded with Muslim immigrants.

    Kenya too – they now have a population that is 10% Muslim and they are having more and more problems with unrest.

    Australia? Yep – them too – thanks to Rudd’s “great idea” of having six years of massive immigration (the “boatpeople”, most of whom are Muslim), there’s a big bikie gang causing problems on the Gold Coast and crime by Muslims is increasing.

    As soon as a country’s Muslim population reaches a certain percentage, the Muslims cause more and more problems. NZ isn’t quite there yet (we’re around 1.5% Muslim IIRC) but given time, we will follow the same *inevitable* path.

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  37. Longknives (4,746 comments) says:

    “As soon as a country’s Muslim population reaches a certain percentage, the Muslims cause more and more problems”

    Yep- And by the time they start sawing people’s heads off in public or blowing shit up the horse will have well and truly bolted…
    Which will be the first Auckland suburb to become an ‘Islamic zone’?? (Sharia law, any non-muslims get attacked etc)

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  38. Harriet (4,972 comments) says:

    thor 42#

    “….NZ isn’t quite there yet (we’re around 1.5% Muslim IIRC) but given time, we will follow the same *inevitable* path….’

    I’ve posted this previously, at the time of the ‘wogastan’ comment made by the NZFirst MP. I got something like 47 upticks – the most I’ve ever had.

    As long as the Muslim population remains around or under 2% in any given country, they will be for the most part being regarded as a peace-loving minority, and not as a threat to other citizens. This is the case in:
    -United States – Muslim 0.6%
    -Australia – Muslim 1.5%
    -Canada – Muslim 1.9%

    At 2% to 5%, they begin to proselytise from other ethnic minorities and disaffected groups, often with major recruiting from the jails and among street gangs. This is happening in:
    -Germany – Muslim 3.7%
    -United Kingdom – Muslim 2.7%

    From 5% on, they exercise an inordinate influence in proportion to their percentage of the population. For example, they will push for the introduction of halal (clean by Islamic standards) food, thereby securing food preparation jobs for Muslims. They will increase pressure on supermarket chains to feature halal on their shelves — along with threats for failure to comply. This is occurring in:
    -France – Muslim 8%
    -Philippines – Muslim 5%
    -Sweden – Muslim 5%

    At this point, they will work to get the ruling government to allow them to rule themselves (within their ghettos) under Sharia, the Islamic Law. The ultimate goal of Islamists is to establish Sharia law over the entire world.

    When Muslims approach 10% of the population, they tend to increase lawlessness as a means of complaint about their conditions. In Paris we are already seeing car-burnings. Any non-Muslim action offends Islam, and results in uprisings and threats, such as in Amsterdam, with opposition to Mohammed cartoons and films about Islam. Such tensions are seen daily, particularly in Muslim sections, in:
    -Guyana – Muslim 10%
    -India – Muslim 13.4%
    -Israel – Muslim 16%

    After reaching 20%, nations can expect hair-trigger rioting, jihad militia formations, sporadic killings, and the burnings of Christian churches and Jewish synagogues, such as in Ethiopia – Muslim 32.8%

    At 40%, nations experience widespread massacres, chronic terror attacks, and ongoing militia warfare, such as in:
    -Bosnia – Muslim 40%
    -Chad – Muslim 53.1%

    From 60%, nations experience unfettered persecution of non-believers of all other religions (including non-conforming Muslims), sporadic ethnic cleansing (genocide), use of Sharia Law as a weapon, and Jizya, the tax placed on infidels, such as in:
    -Albania – Muslim 70%
    -Malaysia – Muslim 60.4%

    After 80%, expect daily intimidation and violent jihad, some State-run ethnic cleansing, and even some genocide, as these nations drive out the infidels, and move toward 100% Muslim, such as has been experienced and in some ways is on-going in:
    -Egypt – Muslim 90%
    -Gaza – Muslim 98.7%
    -Indonesia – Muslim 86.1%
    -Iran – Muslim 98%
    -Iraq – Muslim 97%

    100% will usher in the peace of ‘Dar-es-Salaam’ the Islamic House of Peace. Here there’s supposed to be peace, because everybody is a Muslim, the Madrasses are the only schools, and the Koran is the only word, such as in:
    -Afghanistan – Muslim 100%
    -Saudi Arabia – Muslim 100%

    As I said, the figures are now not fully accurate, but the general sense of how this process works is nicely contained in this piece of information.

    http://www.billmuehlenberg.com/2013/02/04/dar-al-harb-and-islamic-expansionism/

    http://www.billmuehlenberg.com/

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  39. Johnboy (16,554 comments) says:

    “Which will be the first Auckland suburb to become an ‘Islamic zone’??”

    St.Mary’s Bay. Winnie could pass as a camel jockey with a teatowel wrapped round his skull. :)

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  40. gazzmaniac (2,307 comments) says:

    Thor – which bike gang is Muslim?

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  41. gazzmaniac (2,307 comments) says:

    Harriet – we have halal food available in Queensland. It doesn’t bother me, it tastes fine, and I’m happy as long as nobody suggests banning bacon and pork.

    The UAE is entirely Muslim and they are liberalising. You’ve cherry picked some stats to make your racist point.

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  42. Johnboy (16,554 comments) says:

    “Thor – which bike gang is Muslim?”

    Hijabs Angels? :)

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  43. gump (1,649 comments) says:

    @Harriet

    “After 80%, expect daily intimidation and violent jihad, some State-run ethnic cleansing, and even some genocide, as these nations drive out the infidels, and move toward 100% Muslim, such as has been experienced and in some ways is on-going in:”

    —————————–

    Here are five countries which disprove your nonsense.

    Bahrain – 81.2% Muslim
    Kuwait – 86.4% Muslim
    Jordan – 98.8% Muslim
    Oman – 87.7% Muslim
    Turkey – 98.6% Muslim

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  44. thor42 (971 comments) says:

    @gazzmaniac – “Which bike gang is Muslim?”

    There’s one called the “Soldiers of Islam” and another called the “Muslim Brotherhood Movement” (mentioned here) –
    http://www.brisbanetimes.com.au/queensland/new-legislation-to-make-life-hell-for-bikies-20131015-2vkyn.html

    That page doesn’t mention the Soldiers of Islam but many other pages do.

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  45. gazzmaniac (2,307 comments) says:

    So out of a list of 25 gangs, you’ve picked the only one that nobody’s heard of, just because they are muzzos?

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  46. Harriet (4,972 comments) says:

    “……Harriet – we have halal food available in Queensland….”

    I didn’t know you were in QLD too.

    But anyway, the Bandidos and Comencheros are fully active in recruiting Lebs and other middle easteners ect.[albeit some of those would be maronite christians ect]. The Hell’s Angles and the Finks do too but to a lessor dgree. Albeit the Finks have repatched to the mongols. The Hells Angles in the US do not allow blacks or Mexican types to join them, and that is how the Mongols came about – they’re mostly mexican ect. However in Australia the Hells angels do recruit Maoris PI’s ect. The Sydney Pres is a Maori.

    And I did read in the Australian about how serious the Mongols are:

    [1] Shoot on site any Hells Angel.

    [2] You need red and brown ‘wings’ to become a fully patched member – which means going down on both white and black chicks who are menstrating.

    [3] If you thought that was bad – you also have to perform necrophilia on a women!!!!

    [4] Once a member, you don’t ever leave – alive!

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  47. Johnboy (16,554 comments) says:

    You probably wouldn’t leave alive depending on how old the corpse was you had to shag earlier! :)

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  48. gazzmaniac (2,307 comments) says:

    Harriet – those gangs you mention are not Muslim gangs. What’s your point?

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  49. Harriet (4,972 comments) says:

    Gazz – it’s the older bikies who are saying that the younger ones who are coming through the ranks are Muslim. It’s only time.

    And they are also more ruthless. some can’t even ride a bike. It’s just guns, drugs and money now.

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  50. Harriet (4,972 comments) says:

    JB :cool:

    I forgot to mention – thay are the US rules.

    In QLD about 200 finks patched over to the Mongols – the last in line would be rooting something rotton – that’s started to fall apart. :cool: Or they are going to go out and shoot a dozen or so women.

    I don’t think that rule may apply in Aust though, and the same with the shoot on sight order. Too easy to get caught in OZ compared to the US.

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  51. gazzmaniac (2,307 comments) says:

    you conveniently forgot to mention.

    Fixed it for you.

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  52. thor42 (971 comments) says:

    @gazzmaniac – “So out of a list of 25 gangs, you’ve picked the only one that nobody’s heard of, just because they are muzzos?”

    No. I picked them because with Australia already having more than enough crime, the last thing that the country needed was for the immigration floodgates to be opened to a group of people – Muslims – that is the *least* likely to “fit in”.

    There was an Ahmadiyya mosque opened in Wiri a day or two ago (and yes, I’m well aware that that branch of Muslims is persecuted in Muslim countries), but anyway – the imam said “Islam is peace”. I’m sitting here seeing that and thinking “yeah, right – tell that to the Coptic Christians in Egypt.”

    The Quran has 527 verses that are “intolerant” towards non-Muslims, and 109 verses calling on Muslims to make war against non-Muslims.
    http://www.citizenwarrior.com/2010/08/what-about-good-verses-in-quran.html

    Why do many Muslims in the West not follow those violent teachings directly?
    * Many are unaware of them. I have seen *many* testimonies from former Muslims saying that “I did not know this. I was unaware of this.”
    * Similarly, many of them simply learn and repeat the Arabic verses without knowing (or being taught) their meaning.
    * Many find it easier to simply ignore the verses and cruise along as they want. This makes them good people but bad Muslims and hypocrites.
    ( The terrorists are in fact *real* Muslims – they follow the Quran to the *letter*. )
    * Some Muslims in the West will support violence indirectly, by donating to Islamic charities (many of which funnel part or all of their funds to fighters).
    * Immigration and having lots of children are other ways to help Islam without actually fighting. Gaddafi was not kidding when he said that “Islam will take over Europe without having to use guns or bombs.” Malmo in Sweden is a good example of that. Most of the Muslims there are not “fighters”, but enough of them are that it means that emergency services and even police have second thoughts about going in there.

    I should also mention that Islam is much more of an *ideology* than a “religion”. Have a look here for some confirmation of that –
    http://themuslimissue.wordpress.com/2012/11/04/statistical-islam/

    http://wikiislam.net/wiki/Muslim_Statistics_%28Scripture

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  53. gazzmaniac (2,307 comments) says:

    There was a Destiny church opened in Wiri a day or two ago (and yes, I’m well aware that that branch of Christians is persecuted in Christian countries), but anyway – the priest said “Christianity is peace”. I’m sitting here seeing that and thinking “yeah, right – tell that to the Musilms in Albania.”

    The Bible has 527 verses that are “intolerant” towards non-Christians, and 109 verses calling on Christians to make war against non-Christians.

    Why do many Christians in the West not follow those violent teachings directly?
    * Many are unaware of them. I have seen *many* testimonies from former Christians saying that “I did not know this. I was unaware of this.”
    * Similarly, many of them simply learn and repeat the Latin and Greek verses without knowing (or being taught) their meaning.
    * Many find it easier to simply ignore the verses and cruise along as they want. This makes them good people but bad Christians and hypocrites.
    ( The terrorists are in fact *real* Christians – they follow the Bible to the *letter*. )
    * Some Christians in the West will support violence indirectly, by donating to Christian charities (many of which funnel part or all of their funds to fighters).
    * Immigration and having lots of children are other ways to help Christianity without actually fighting.

    I should also mention that Christianity is much more of an *ideology* than a “religion”.

    There you go. 90% of the rubbish in the previous post can be applied to Christianity too. I am unsure of the exact number of bible verses that are intolerant towards non Christians, but I know there are plenty.

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  54. burt (8,269 comments) says:

    Socialism fails, we have all seen it time and time again. But it’s such an easy thing to sell to generations raised on Disney.

    You really have to say, any party selling socialism as a viable form of governance is polishing a turn, ignoring the actual outcomes from 100% of all past socialist governments. And ‘socialists’ buy this turd … It’s astounding !

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  55. Kimble (4,440 comments) says:

    Maybe someday someone will be bold enough to provide a suggestion for the mechanism by which very high income tax rates lead to the economic prosperity the West experienced in the 20th century.

    Until then this sort of ridiculous correlation=causation comment will be as good as it gets.

    From WWII to 1964, the top marginal income tax rate in the United States was 90%.

    Between 1964 and 1982, the top marginal income tax rate in the United States was 70%.

    Economists consider this period to be one of the longest peacetime economic expansions in American history – with GDP growth averaging over 3% per annum.

    Maybe he just means that the high tax rates in France wont have a noticeably negative impact if France experiences a peacetime economic expansion similar to the US?

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  56. Gulag1917 (917 comments) says:

    Gazz – you need to read your Bible more. I do not know of any Christian that will go to war with an unbeliever.

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  57. gump (1,649 comments) says:

    @Kimble

    “Maybe someday someone will be bold enough to provide a suggestion for the mechanism by which very high income tax rates lead to the economic prosperity the West experienced in the 20th century.

    Until then this sort of ridiculous correlation=causation comment will be as good as it gets.”

    ———————-

    There is no mechanism.

    The point I was making is that there is no correlation between high marginal income tax rates for the wealthy and a decease in economic activity.

    I personally support high marginal income tax rates on the basis that wealth can only be accumulated through the use of public infrastructure. John Donne’s famous aphorism that “No man is an island” holds true in economic terms.

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  58. Sonny Blount (1,782 comments) says:

    gump you dork, “no man is an island’ better explains why the market provides better outcomes than central planning can.

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  59. gump (1,649 comments) says:

    @Sonny Blount

    The market provides much better outcomes for most things.

    But some things are better provided through central planning. Pharmac is the easy example – centralised purchasing allows the NZ healthcare system to pay lower prices for pharmaceuticals then many other countries.

    http://www.bmj.com/content/340/bmj.c2441

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  60. Kimble (4,440 comments) says:

    gump, the best you can say is that high marginal tax rates do not necessarily lead to a decrease in economic activity.

    Of course, given that 100% marginal taxes definitely WOULD reduce economic activity (to the extent that tax avoidance and evasion doesnt blunt the impact), and 0% marginal taxes would have NO EFFECT on economic activity, there is logically a point between the two extremes where a negative impact would be felt. It is perfectly reasonable to assume it would be closer to 100% than 0%.

    So it is equally fair to assume that economic growth in periods coinciding with high marginal tax rates may be due to other confounding factors. So the nature of Frances high marginal tax rate would rely on analysis of those factors and whether they are likely to be repeated in France. So is France another post war USA?

    Oh and CostCo allows members to group together to pay lower prices for a wide range of goods. Pharmac is just a government run CostCo, without the benefit of opting out. Where CostCo receives price signals from its members, Pharmac is operating in a relative vacuum.

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  61. Bogusnews (474 comments) says:

    A very interesting doco here http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0-9tUqeZCAI covering the crisis that is coming to Britain, quite similar to France I believe.

    I was talking to a very pleasant chap at one of the councils a little while ago. he mentioned how good it was that Winston Churchil didn’t get back in because he said otherwise there would not have been the birth of the welfare state in Britain. Might come back to haunt them about now I think.

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  62. kiwi in america (2,452 comments) says:

    Gump
    “From WWII to 1964, the top marginal income tax rate in the United States was 90%. Between 1964 and 1982, the top marginal income tax rate in the United States was 70%.”

    What you failed to include was the fact that you could count in low three digits the numbers of US taxpayers who paid those tax rates because the high income earners used accounting and structure mechanisms to avoid such punitive rates. The Reagan tax cuts dramatically reduced those high marginal rates and the amount of tax gathered from high income earning individuals actually increased as the time and effort put into avoidance was as needed.

    The same was true when Clark and Cullen introduced the ‘rich prick’ tax in 2000. The amount of income tax gathered from individual income earners making over $60,000 actually DECREASED because those on higher incomes channeled their income via companies and trusts whose marginal tax rates remained at the 33c rate. The only people who benefitted were the tax advisors who set up the structures. The same thing will happen if Labour get another crack at it.

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  63. Kea (12,841 comments) says:

    How is capitalism going for the US ?

    Last time I checked they were only getting by with loans from China. Makes you think !

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  64. Manolo (13,774 comments) says:

    How is capitalism going for the US?

    Cronyism has infected the US for many years. Now the Kenyan Messiah is determined to kill capitalism for good.

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  65. flipper (4,065 comments) says:

    kiwi in america (2,127) Says:
    November 4th, 2013 at 6:40 am
    Gump
    “From WWII to 1964, the top marginal income tax rate in the United States was 90%. Between 1964 and 1982, the top marginal income tax rate in the United States was 70%.”
    *****

    The whole marginal tax rate comparison issue is an illusion, just as the proposed CGT is an illusion.

    The basis upon which tax is levied is NOT the same in all OECD nations. A simple example: If you pay interest on a home loan, or motor vehicle in the US, that interest is tax deductible. At that point, a CGT is a very different beast, is it not?

    Then there are the other deductibles. They go on and on. The number of top marginal FEDERAL tax payers drops to almost. zero

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  66. Paulus (2,627 comments) says:

    In the last French Election the third largest constituency was ….. LONDON.

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  67. gazzmaniac (2,307 comments) says:

    you need to read your Bible more. I do not know of any Christian that will go to war with an unbeliever.

    Like what happened with the crusades?

    Also, people are comparing a tax rate for people who earn a million euros with one for people who earn $60k. There is a big difference, given that people who earn $60k are far greater in number (they are just middle class people) than people who earn a million (the genuinely rich).

    Personally I don’t really give a shit about people with million dollar pay packets. They can afford accountants to set up dodgy structures and get around it. I do give a shit about taxing the crap out of the middle class, who are considered by some to be rich enough to pay the highest rate, but can’t afford the clever lawyers and accountants to get around it.

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  68. Azeraph (604 comments) says:

    Paulus (2,032) Says:
    November 4th, 2013 at 10:31 am

    That’s a joke right?

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  69. burt (8,269 comments) says:

    Liwi in America

    What you failed to include was the fact that you could count in low three digits the numbers of US taxpayers who paid those tax rates because the high income earners used accounting and structure mechanisms to avoid such punitive rates.

    Exactly. Here in little ‘ol NZ in 1999 the wise Dr Cullen remarked that at 39% our top tax rate was actually reasonably low as far a top rates go. At that time the top rate in the US was 48% he told us…. What he didn’t tell us was that the top rate in the US kicked in at (at that time) $400,000 USD. ( which at that time time was ~ $600,000 NZD )

    So our top tax rate was ~10% lower than the top rate in the US – But it kicked in at 1/10 of the threshold.

    This is the kind of thing socialists specialise in – half truths and partial information. They will make up any old shit to justify getting their hands onto as much of other peoples money as they can.

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