The presidential victory of socialist Francois Hollande in France is being presented everywhere as a vote for “growth” over stagnation:
[Irish Foreign Minister] Eamon Gilmore last night said the election of Francois Hollande will “accelerate” a growth agenda in Europe.
Mr. Hollande has said that he intends to give “a new direction to Europe,” demanding that a European Union treaty limiting debt be expanded to include measures to produce economic growth.
What a brilliant act of branding. Implication: Those who believe in reining in government debt and spending are “anti-growth.” Those who believe that the private economy and the free market are the only true sources of economic growth are “anti-growth.”
The pro-big government stimulus spenders have managed to turn a disagreement over means into a division over ends. Obviously, there is a lot more work to be done in explaining how an economy works. The fact that Germany’s is practically the only non-moribund economy in Europe should in theory help make the case for government discipline, but the false promise of the big government Ponzi scheme is apparently too seductive.