In my last column, “France to the rescue,”
I praised new French President Francois Hollande for an enlightened
perspective that brings progress to a Europe dominated by conservative
governments with backward economic policies. Since that column Hollande
has succeeded in nudging European leaders toward economic growth at
their summit in Brussels, while a number of European banks face
investigations about fixing interest rates in a scandal that brings
further discredit to those who masquerade their tolerance for greed and
corruption in the costumes of Ayn Rand and Austrian economics.
Hollande is right. As America faces fateful jobs reports this week, the great debate in Europe and America will be joined in full. Hollande, to his great credit, believes in bringing a version of Glass-Steagall to France. Dare I suggest a de facto alliance between the French socialist and the American libertarian Ron Paul? Will Paul use his committee to investigate banks that may be fixing interest rates? Probably not. Will Paul join Hollande for their joint belief in Glass-Steagall reform of banks? Perhaps he will.
If a bad jobs report arrives, the "hope America fails" Republicans rejoice. Hollande will continue his enlightened battle for change and reform. President Obama will have his second great chance to fight for the principles he championed in 2008.
And the man Rick Perry so correctly called the vulture capitalist, who championed layoffs and outsourcing to make his fortune, who is likened to an Etch A Sketch by his own staff, will be exposed for what he has done to workers throughout his career, which can fairly be called, from the workers’ point of view:
Apres Mitt, le deluge.