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European Unemployment European Unemployment

The big news in Europe is the dissolution of the French government as various left-wing government factions try to blame each other for the abysmal condition of their economy. 'French economy going nowhere: now on track for nine straight months of zero growth', writes the Telegraph.  The problem, says Hollande's critics, is that he isn't socialist enough. "Two senior left-wing French cabinet ministers have broken ranks with the President, François Hollande, and demanded that Paris abandon the 'forced march' of public-spending cuts in Europe." They warned that unless France did something drastic, like spend more government money, things would fall apart. "The French government recognised on Thursday that its economy had 'broken down' after new data showed there had been zero growth so far this year. In more bad news for the eurozone new figures also revealed the German economy has contracted." And it wasn't just France. EU Central Bank Governor Mario Draghi said that compared to America, Europe was a disaster zone.

There were warnings of Green Suicide by a few lonely voices. "The U.S. shale-gas boom is placing 30 million jobs at risk in Europe as companies with greater reliance on energy contend with higher fuel prices than their American counterparts, the International Energy Agency said." But the mainstream consensus was that Europe had done too little to stimulate demand. Paul Krugman wrote that Europe's only hope was to print more money.  Draghi "is basically urging Germany to run bigger deficits, but the Germans aren’t interested. "  Things are so bad, according to some pundits, that Europe 'is where the US was 5 years ago'. Realizing this, President Obama is doing his best to catch up.  His basic idea was that America needed to become more like the Old Continent, with socialized everything, and to replace the curmudgeonly negative rights with the shining European positive ones.  Alas, not everyone likes that. Some are heading for the exits.

Last week, President Obama announced his intention to bring back the cash that many leading American companies are hoarding offshore by acquiring foreign companies and then relocating their headquarters abroad. This practice, known as an inversion merger, allows companies like GE and Starbucks to dodge the 35 percent corporate tax rate and pay lower taxes, if any, to the United States government. Senate Democrats including Durbin, Reed and Warren have proposed legislation — the Stop Corporate Inversions Act — that would end inversion and presumably close corporate tax loopholes. They are also urging President Obama to reform the tax policy through his executive powers.

The latest company to flee the Obama taxman is Burger King, which is bound for Canada. The King has sought refuge with the Queen. Although President Obama takes a dim view of this practice, which he calls "unpatriotic," he has so far resisted calls to return the campaign donations made by such companies, whom he terms "corporate deserters."