I noted several weeks ago that in France of all places the housing market is largely shielded from the carnage that's occurred here. Why? Well they don't subsidize housing and they require people to have a pretty good sized chunk of change to buy a place. They also have lower household debt than we do. In short, despite their reputations they seem pretty sane when it comes to household finance.
Now today comes word that the American left's other favorite socialist paradise had decided to take a pass on nationalizing Saab, the Swedish automaker. Yes Sweden, the hammer that every good liberal in the U.S. uses when socialism gets critiqued, has decided to let the market kill off Saab unless some private investor steps-up to the plate.
In the meantime today we see that Timmy O'Toole, sorry, I mean Geitner, is planning on continuing to throw billions of OUR dollars at basically five large insolvent U.S. banks. This is a radical departure from the previous administration's plan to throw billions of dollars at every bank they ran into walking along the street.
How recycled is this plan from the Bush administration's plan? Well even Dr. Depression, Paul Krugman, calls it recycling. Paul doesn't understand the key problem. Read the piece - he honestly believes that simply by making reasonable arguments to the Obama folks they will see the light. The real problem is not about arguing policy - it's that both Democrats and Republicans owe their existence to the same rich interests. Those rich interests don't want to lose money with those large banks. The two parties are one and the same - no difference between the two gangs of thugs.
But back to our "socialist" Europe friends. I've always cringed when folks have blamed "capitalism" for this current crisis as much as I've twitched when they called European countries socialist. We aren't Hong Kong or some libertarian paradise. The Europeans do have markets, albeit typically ones that are more regulated than ours.
But the events of the past few months have really got me completely confused. I mean, am I going to start hearing Leftie Americans railing against the oppressive housing policies of the French and the failure of the Swedish government to acknowledge the suffering of workers? Will Ann Coulter buy a place in Stockholm? Is Fox News going to broadcast from Paris? Tune into the next episode of the Twilight Zone.