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Paris Hires a Socialist

Howell Hurst Uncategorized

Anne Hidalgo, the new mayor of Paris France was born in Spain 54 years ago. In the recent French elections, which nationwide generally replaced French Socialists in favor of Center Right and Far Right candidates, Ms. Hidalgo bucked the trend and got elected the first Socialist lady mayor of the City of Lights. This strikes me as an intriguing political experiment that American voters might want to watch.

Despite the official end of our recent Recession, with 30 million Americans still unemployed in our capitalist country, we all know that our economy is not exactly boiling over with shared economic growth. The same is true for Paris and France. Ms. Hidalgo won by offering her own design of economic reform. She says she’s going to turn the city’s economy around. So, I think it will be interesting to see if and how she pulls it off.

She’s offering up a lot of “Green” strategies, and is planning on concentrating on schemes that are people oriented. One, for instance, is an increase in Kindergardens. The theory is, help the kids early and they’ll grow up better able to fend for themselves; or something like that. Don’t misunderstand me. I’m not trying to make fun of the new mayor. Rather, I wish her well. I am not a convinced believer in capitalism as the alleged best economic strategy in the financial chess game of life.

When 1% of a population can corner a massive portion of all assets and leave 1/10th of their population in abject poverty and unemployment, the argument that the 30 million are all simply losers simply does not compute. Socialism is not synonymous with Soviet or Chinese style Communism, although it is often touted so by American far rightists. A collaborative mixture of Capitalism and benign Socialism is theoretically filled with rewarding potential. I suggest we watch Ms. Hidalgo’s mayoralty and see how she does.

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