No, Barack Obama, the United States should not be more like France

President Barack Obama has an idea, you guys. In his latest pivot on the economy, because everything else his administration is doing failing so spectacularly, he said the United States should offer the same sort of benefits that France requires businesses to offer their workers:

Extolling the business virtues of helping workers balance family and employment demands, including providing paid time off for the birth of a child, Obama said that if France can provide the benefits, so can the United States.

“Other countries know how to do this,” Obama said. “If France can figure this out, we can figure it out.”
[…]
Obama made the comment at the first White House summit for working families, which sought to amplify issues like paid maternity leave and the ability to take paid leave to take care of elderly loved ones.

“Many women can’t even get a paid day off to give birth,” Obama said. “There is only one developed country in the world that does not offer paid maternity leave, and that is us. And that is not a list you want to be on, by your lonesome.”

The White House hosted the summit jointly with the Center for American Progress, a liberal think tank, and it served in part as a campaign pep rally focused on turning women voters out in November.

Yeah, man, France has really figured it out. The country has a 10.4 percent unemployment rate, and the number of jobless citizens recently hit a record-high. France’s economy is doing so poorly, in fact, that the International Monetary Fund warned that it may not meet its deficit reduction goals for the year. Just yesterday, the Wall Street Journal reported “the main source of weakness for the euro zone was once again France.”

François Hollande’s economic policies have a lot to do with why France is struggling. The socialist president jacked up taxes on high-income earners and businesses, policies that have hurt the country’s economy. Hollande has realized that his high-tax, big spending policies have backfired, which is why he’s trying to reverse them.

But those policies just added to the burden that French employers already face due to generous benefits mandated by the government. Sure, some of the benefits that French workers get may sound attractive, but the costs are borne by businesses, which hurts economic growth and drives up unemployment.

Basically, France is the last developed country that the United States should try to emulate, and Americans should be frightened that President Obama wants to copy a European welfare state.


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