Depardieu Becomes A Russian

We're still laughing over the storm of righteous indignation that Gerard Depardieu's flight from the bloodsuckers that rule France these days has created among statists of all stripes. Here you can watch Henry Blodget repeat Obama talking points about why citizens are supposed to let themselves get taken to the cleaners by rapacious governments no matter how rapacious they become. But his is actually still quite a polite way of putting the case, if misguided. In Europe, we have e.g. people like Daniel Cohn-Bendit calling Depardieu a 'cretin' (or what in the US would be referred to as a 'moron').

Cohn-Bendit is an ex-communist (ever since the sugar daddy in Moscow expired they've all found new homes, natch) and self-confessed child molester, who was once in the European parliament for the German Green party, whereby the only part of its authoritarian political program he ever rejected was its anti-militarism, i.e., he's for war too. The man is a statist through and through in other words. Today he's in the European parliament for the French Europe Écologie and member of the 'Spinelli Group' that agitates for a fully federated Europe (i.e., he's quite open about wanting a socialist super-state to replace the independent nations of Europe).

 

As a friend mentioned to us today (paraphrasing): “Depardieu has given me and my family many hours of entertainment and joy. All of it imbibed quite voluntarily. The same cannot be said of Mr. Cohn-Bendit, who has probably cost me a lot more”. There are no if or buts about it, actually – it is certain that this member of the robber brigade has cost a lot more.

What has incensed the bien pensants especially is that Depardieu has dared to flee into the arms of the Devil Incarnate – Vladimir Putin.  If anyone had told us in, say 1988, that in 2013, a rich French actor would flee from France to Russia of all places to escape the socialists and their draconian taxes, it would have been quite hard to believe. And yet, here we are.

 


 

Gerard_Depardieu__Putin

Ye olde bear hug: Gerard Depardieu greets his new sovereign.

(Photo credit: Reuters)

 


 

Some Highways Are Less Robbery-Prone

Now, in some media reports a certain important item is mentioned as an aside, but others don't mention it at all. For instance, the Guardian writes:

 

“Last week, Gérard Depardieu flew to Sochi in Russia where he was greeted by Vladimir Putin. Depardieu has joined a select band of people claiming Russian citizenship – in his case, because he didn't want to pay the 75% rate of tax imposed by François Hollande on millionaires.”

 

Aaaand…in another article on the same topic, it reports:

 

“Putin signed a decree on Thursday granting Russian citizenship to Depardieu, who objected to plans by the French president, François Hollande, to impose a 75% tax rate on the super-rich. His decision to quit France had prompted accusations of national betrayal.”

 

Aren't they, like, forgetting something? What could that be? We'll tell you: Russia has a 13% flat tax. You read that right, dear readers, a 13% flat tax (to be fair, we later also found an article where they do mention it). So there is a really good reason for Depardieu to celebrate his arrival in traditional Moldovian garb while flaunting his new passport for the press:

 


 

Gerard Depardieu, wearing a local costume, shows his passport

добро пожаловать, това́рищ! From now on, most of my money will actually remain with me …

(Photo credit: Stringer / Reuters)

 


 

We're certainly not claiming that everything is perfect in Russia – far from it. As a good friend who hails from there reminds us quite often, corruption is rife, and the Putin government has begun to treat its political opposition with  something less than benign neglect. To this it should however be added that said opposition often consists of unsavory characters as well (ex-communists for instance, who dream of resurrecting the USSR).

As Justin Raimondo points out here, the Western reportage on things like elections in Russia is brimming with unwarranted hypocrisy – likely mainly a result of Putin's independent foreign policy (i.e., he is certainly not automatically toeing the NATO line like a good vassal would).

As an aside, Brigitte Bardot is now threatening to follow Depardieu into Russian exile, although officially it's because of two circus elephants that are about to be put down. According to Cohn-Bendit, she's a 'cretin' as well.

Meanwhile, Depardieu is big news in Russia and to say he has been warmly welcomed is actually understating things. As our media helpfully remind us, the people extending their hospitality are also devils incarnate, and if they're not abusing human rights, then they are at least 'garrulous':

 

“Offers of hospitality came flooding in from across Russia.

The Chechen leader Ramzan Kadyrov, who is accused of widespread human rights abuses, announced that Depardieu could have his pick of any piece of land in his republic. And one of Russia's most famous celebrities, the garrulous TV presenter Tina Kandelaki, said Depardieu was welcome to stay in her flat. "Lets not divide up Depardieu," she wrote on Twitter. "Simply give him to me."

 

However, the really important point here is actually this: as Bob Hoye has phrased it so trenchantly: “People will eventually find out that unlimited government requires unlimited funding.

Perhaps Depardieu's at first glance odd choice of exile will have a salutary effect – it is after all quite rare that Russia's extremely benign tax regime is mentioned in our media (not that this is surprising in any way), but now that it has been, it surely offers people some food for thought.

Meanwhile, as Doug Casey points out here, the highway robbers we have had the misfortune to be saddled with won't be able to avoid the final catastrophe of the welfare state no matter by how much they hike taxes – it is simply too late. They will either have to default on their promises or eventually inflate the currency into oblivion. It's that simple. As Bastiat said, “Government is the great fiction through which everybody endeavors to live at the expense of everybody else”, and we are destined to find out that it really is a fiction.

 


 

 

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Dear Readers!

You may have noticed that our so-called “semiannual” funding drive, which started sometime in the summer if memory serves, has seamlessly segued into the winter. In fact, the year is almost over! We assure you this is not merely evidence of our chutzpa; rather, it is indicative of the fact that ad income still needs to be supplemented in order to support upkeep of the site. Naturally, the traditional benefits that can be spontaneously triggered by donations to this site remain operative regardless of the season - ranging from a boost to general well-being/happiness (inter alia featuring improved sleep & appetite), children including you in their songs, up to the likely allotment of privileges in the afterlife, etc., etc., but the Christmas season is probably an especially propitious time to cross our palms with silver. A special thank you to all readers who have already chipped in, your generosity is greatly appreciated. Regardless of that, we are honored by everybody's readership and hope we have managed to add a little value to your life.

   

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4 Responses to “Welcome, Tovarishch !”

  • Jay:

    Depardieu is joined by Bernard Arnault (France’s richest man, and the 4th richest in the world, according to Forbes) in Belgium. I’m curious why these two ran to Belgium. I would be inclined to run to Andorra rather than Belgium because Belgium has more debt/GDP than France while Andorra is debt free or nearly so. But then I’ve never been to either country.

  • Specterx:

    The kid-gloving of Russia is a bit odd. Yes, France is lurching to the left; on the other hand the Florange blast-furnaces weren’t actually nationalized and last I saw, the 75% tax bracket had been struck down by the courts. Russia on the other hand appears to be a far more perfect example of a fascist ‘coerced economy’ than any Western country. There, large segments of the economy, including the crucial oil and gas sector, are actually owned and operated by the state. Anyone who even expresses anti-regime political views runs a serious risk of imprisonment, having their property confiscated, or even being assassinated a la Litvinenko. Unsurprisingly, this means that most wealth has become concentrated in the hands of a tiny pro-regime elite who derive the spoils of state backing and patronage (including enforced monopolies, etc.) while most of the country remains impoverished, and genuine private sector growth is stunted.

    Hardly a place for those seeking liberty and free markets to live in or emulate.

    • worldend666:

      All true but also one-sided . The 13% flat tax makes up for all of that. If you don’t have designs on the presidency or a political rock band you can live a very nice life in Russia if you don’t mind the cold.

  • White eagle:

    One big fat taxcow escaped from the socialist barn.It is obvious owners of the barn are not happy,their children are very demanding.
    What is even more annoying,owners media had to report there are other barns with just taxes and,what a horror,applied to all cows equaly-flat tax.
    Thank you Gerard Depardieu for your courage!I am sure Hollande tried to influence Belgium’s authorities in this case and Gerard had one of his moments and sent everybody to hell…

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