Thursday, April 18, 2019

Pro-billionaire, anti-education populism comes to France (Michael Simkovic)

In the United States, both Democratic and Republican politicians sometimes attempt to bolster their populist credibility by going after easy targets--attacking pharma companies, or doctors, or insurance companies or banks or universities--while being elitists where it really counts: cutting taxes for billionaires and raising taxes on the middle class.

French president Emmanuel Macron, who recently faced angry protests after making France's tax system more regressive, is taking a page out of the American playbook by threatening to close ENA, an elite institution that trains the upper echelons of the civil service and corporate managers. 

In knee-jerk populist logic, making civil servants less well-educated and less competent somehow makes up for taxing the middle class more heavily to provide tax relief to the wealthy.

Guest Blogger: Michael Simkovic | Permalink