Let’s not say the French are correct. If we say they are “right,” then someone must be “wrong.” I am not willing to go that far – yet.
European states adhere to a variety of forms of socialism. Socialism is not Communism, though one could argue that Communism is a form of Socialism, taken to the extreme.
In particular, European states adhere to Democratic Socialism. In Democratic Socialism, the people, through a representative government, institute laws and policies that are designed to help the people reach and attain their goals, protect and provide for their population.
Yes, taxes are higher, yet so are the benefits. Read through the article on maternity leave in France, daycare, and the shorter workday in Norway so that parents can be home from work when their children arrive home from school. Over the last decade, divorces have reduced by 6%, according to the article, anyway.
The biggest difference between Europe and the United States, that I can discern, is the perspective each Union has regarding the protection of its citizens. Let me describe the idea this way:
In the United States, we work, yes, for ourselves, but also for our place of business in order to make that business better. Many of us in the workforce not just work for that business, but for all the shareholders of that business. We pay taxes, and the business pays taxes, and those taxes really are not enough to cover the true cost of business when one considers the environmental impact of every business. The burden of taking care of ourselves falls upon each of us, though, the burden of protecting our own health, or own education, and our own families. The business, the corporation, has no such desire.
Many of the highly-developed European states, and again, this is only my perspective, works the other way. The corporations and businesses are there to provide a means to provide for the people. Businesses and industries are present provide a sufficient income stream in order to cover the expenses of providing a variety of services and benefits to improve the overall quality of life for the residents. Through higher taxes, taxes on the employee, on the business, and from income the government receives, the populations are able to receive a subsidized education, free to low-cost medical care, subsidized daycare – for everyone.
In other words, their governments work for the people, which, to me, appears to follow the spirit of our Bill of Rights, “of, by, and for the People.”
Not “of, by, and for the Corporation,” or, “of, by, and for the Shareholders.”
I often speak about the dangers of comparing the United States to individual European countries. However, I know that we have much to learn from them, especially when the rights and benefits of our people are involved.