Saturday, October 6, 2012

French Atlases Protest

French Socialist President Hollande and majority socialist government are trying to save their welfare state by raising taxes on the current and future wealthy (i.e. entrepreneurs). On top of the 75% tax on millionaires, a new progressive capital gains tax that would cost entrepreneurs up to 45% (60+% with other charges) finally prodded the victims to rebel. Anonymous entrepreneurs have formed 'Les Pigeons' in protest. Pigeon in French is slang for 'sucker'.

In any economy, it is the businessman who translates scientific and technical advances into new products and profitable businesses. Yet businessmen are targeted with guilt for their sin of profit seeking. They make possible the rise of civilization out of poverty into affluence and yet are pilloried and made to pay for welfare programs entitled to others by the virtue of not having been successful.

As of now, Les Pigeons is a protest movement with no positive defense of their right to pursue profits (and happiness), but it has already gained one victory. Their main leverage appears to be the implicit threat to go on strike. The government has backed off implementation of the progressive capital gains tax, for now.

I've watched several tea-party-ish movements in France over the last few years, but this one looks to have more energy than the rest. Since its creation a week ago, its facebook page has 60,000 likes. Its twitter account has 8000 followers and hashtag #geonpi is very active. I hope they find a positive message before they run out of anger. They would do well to read La Greve!

(H/T Mish Shedlock)

UPDATE: Confirming the lack of a positive message, les pigeon have released a video that states they are not a political party, nor are they dogmatists (i.e. they have no ideology), they are simply pragmatists who want economic growth and jobs. No movement without a moral foundation has ever succeeded. Get one.


  1. Why has it taken them so long? They've been vilified forver!

  2. Good question. You could say the same in the U.S. Rand calls it the sanction of the victim, the fact that they agree with the basic morality of those attacking them.

  3. My mother is in france right now happily telling everyone over there that the US hates Obama and that socialism is evil...she's surprised at how shocked they all are. These birds have a lot of work ahead of them!