Gerard Depardieu Quits France

France's socialist government is chasing away the country's best and brightest, as well as the rich and famous (the two classes are not always congruent). However, it would be quite wrong to merely think of Gerard Depardieu as an 'overpaid actor' who is somehow not deserving of his income. After all, his income is determined by the market. His income is the result of voluntary exchanges. It would also be quite wrong to think that he is not valuable to France.

For one thing, the man is a huge asset for France's movie industry: an export hit, instantly recognizable all over the world, rivaled perhaps only by Jean Reno in this respect. Moreover, the savings and capital Depardieu has amassed over the course of his career support countless economic activities, to the benefit of everyone.

However, he now has finally had enough of the highway robbers running France's administration and their hypocritical appeals to his 'patriotism' (as if it were the mark of patriotism to let a bunch of bureaucrats rob you blind).

Bloomberg reports:


“Gerard Depardieu offered to surrender his passport after Prime Minister Jean-Marc Ayrault called his decision to seek tax exile in Belgium "pathetic."

“I am leaving because you consider success, creativity, talent, anything different are grounds for sanction,” the movie star, known for such classic French roles as Cyrano de Bergerac and the musketeer Porthos, wrote in correspondence to Ayrault published today in Le Journal du Dimanche. “I don’t expect to be pitied or praised but I reject the word pathetic.”

Depardieu, the latest celebrity to leave France after Socialist President Francoise Hollande introduced a slew of new levies since he was elected in May, said he has paid 145 million euros in taxes over the course of his 45-year working life that began at age 14. As well as a 75 percent tax on income over 1 million euros ($1.3 million) Hollande has also added new charges on capital gains, an increased tax on wealth, a boost to inheritance charges and an exit tax for entrepreneurs selling their companies.


“I am totally scandalized,” Culture Minister Aurelie Filippetti said on BFM-TV today. “Gerard Depardieu is abandoning the battleground in the middle of the war against the crisis.”

The actor, who played Obelix in films on one of France’s most beloved fictional characters, said in the newspaper he paid tax at an 85 percent rate on his 2012 income.

“Pathetic, you said ‘pathetic?’ It’s pathetic,” Depardieu’s letter to the prime minister began. “I don’t have to justify the reasons for my choice, which are numerous and personal. Who are you to judge me in this way?”


The letter comes after Ayrault last week referred to as “quite pathetic” news of Depardieu’s plan to move to the Belgian community of Nechin, just across the French border. Depardieu’s departure highlights the need forFrance to renegotiate a fiscal agreement with Belgium, said Labor Minister Michel Sapin, condemning the actor’s attitude and defending the Socialist party’s tax increases.


(emphasis added)

So Depardieu is supposed to grin and bear it and pay 85% (!!) of his income to these charlatans to help them 'fight the crisis'? After having already forked over some €145 million in the course of his career? Perhaps someone should remind these people that it was they and their ilk that caused the crisis in the first place!

It is manifestly not Gerard Depardieu's 'patriotic duty' to pay such vast percentages of his income to the blood-suckers in the French capital if he can legally avoid it. The only people who come off as 'pathetic' and worthy of condemnation are they, not he. The only thing worth feeling 'scandalized' about are the greedy demands of the government.

There is nothing for labor minister Sapin to defend: the tax increases are petty, vindictive, and most importantly, economically harmful. They do not just hurt those they victimize directly, they hurt everyone in France. Such high taxes kill every last shred of incentive among those normally dedicated to taking the initiative to better their own lives and the lives of their fellow citizens by the application of hard work, ingenuity and creativity.

Their choice is simple: they can either stop doing whatever they were going to do, or they can leave. And they are leaving in droves, just as was predicted before the tax hikes went into effect (as it were, many people thought France's taxes and regulations way too stifling even before that event: some 400,000 Frenchmen live in London today in order to escape the statism practiced in their home country, making London “the 6th largest French city”).

So what to expect? The socialists have always believed that nature must bend to their will and economic laws can be suspended by a wave of the State's magic wand. They won't admit the error of their ways until it it is way too late (Mitterand's failed socialistic experiments stands as a monument to that).

We should therefore expect that even more repressive measures will be taken. A hint was already contained in Sapin's comment about the need to renegotiate the existing double taxation treaty with Belgium. They're going to have their hands full, as people will then simply move from Belgium to Switzerland, or to any other country that is more welcoming to enterprising people and doesn't consider making money a crime that needs to be punished.

There is however one silver lining to all of this: all of Europe can now watch with morbid fascination as yet another socialist experiment goes down in utter failure. It may at least serve as a valuable example for others, even though it is obviously going to impose an enormous economic and social cost on France.




So long, socialist charlatans! Go rob someone else!

(Photo credit: Roberto Pfeil / AP)




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3 Responses to “Bidding the Highway Robbers Adieu”

  • jimmyjames:

    There is however one silver lining to all of this: all of Europe can now watch with morbid fascination as yet another socialist experiment goes down in utter failure. It may at least serve as a valuable example for others, even though it is obviously going to impose an enormous economic and social cost on France.

    Wonder when the bond market will clue in-you cant eat gold-but you can eat OATS

  • White eagle:

    That is a result of the Democracy.French people are full of envy.Profits and capitalism are bad words.Keep in mind that Hollande and his team are mainstream and there are much more radical forces in France.I am not talking about Front National,but truly communist parties and very aggressive unions.

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