In 2010, the French government under Sarkozy increased the retirement age from 60 to 62 and this is what happened:

Like spoiled children who’ve been promised the moon by successive governments, their reaction was  a public tantrum.

The tantrum climaxed Saturday when they elected a socialist who promises to keep the good times rolling by increasing government spending — money borrowed from future generations — and by taxing the rich. (Sound familiar?)

Tim Cavanaugh at Reason writes:

Hollande has promised to raise income tax rates from 41 percent to 75 percent. He has also pledged to accelerate the departure of French troops from Afghanistan. His election comes at a time when unprecedented levels of public debt coupled with work-averse political cultures are threatening to break up of the eurozone.

The problem with gouging the rich is they can move themselves, and their money, elsewhere.

Rob Long

…something new may be happening to the beleaguered French entrepreneurial and investor class. From today’s Financial Times:

Wealthy French people are looking to London as a refuge from fresh taxes on high earners pledged by candidates in the country’s presidential elections.

The “soak the rich” rhetoric that has punctuated the presidential campaign has prompted a sharp rise in the numbers weighing a move across the Channel, according to London-based wealth managers, lawyers and property agents specialising in French clients.

And if you switch some of the countries around, is this a preview of coming attractions for American high-earners?

The departure of France’s business people, entrepreneurs and the young for opportunities overseas is not a new phenomenon. When Nicolas Sarkozy visited London in 2007 he called for its French residents to return to a reformed France under his presidency. But the trend has been accelerated by the growing possibility of a Socialist victory in Sunday’s decisive second round of the presidential election.

Mr Blanc says some French clients were even contemplating acquiring British or other nationality in order to safeguard assets from fears that France could move to collect more tax from citizens overseas. “A lot of people are extremely worried,” he said.

As Margaret Thatcher aptly noted: “The problem with socialism is that eventually you run out of other people’s money.”