Another Lesson for Politicians: Raising Taxes Drives the Wealthy Away

by Bob Adelmann


It’s too bad that French President Francoise Hollande is so committed to his socialist ideology that the inevitable consequences of his actions are incomprehensible to him. He raised taxes on the wealthy even further, and now those wealthy are leaving France. He can’t believe it. The economy is dropping like a stone, just like his approval ratings (by the same voters who voted him into power in the first place, I presume).

The Financial Times explains:

Two senior executives at Moët Hennessy, the champagne and cognac arm of the LVMH luxury group, are moving to London from Paris and  the head of Dassault Systèmes, the software arm of Dassault  Aviation, said some senior managers of his company had left and he was  considering following suit.

Naturally, these are business decisions and have nothing to do with exorbitant tax rates in France:

LVMH, headed and controlled by Bernard Arnault – Europe’s richest man – told the Financial Times that the moves by Gilles Hennessy, a LVMH director who is also  executive vice-president of commercial at Moët Hennessy, and Christophe Navarre,  chief executive of Moët Hennessy and a member of LVMH’s executive committee, were not because of tax reasons. (my emphasis)

Of course not. It was just coincidental that Arnault has applied for Belgian citizenship, where tax rates are significantly lower. As USA Today noted when news of his application leaked out last September,

When Arnault’s plans for Belgian citizenship were made public, the debate became a class-war furor. A close friend of former French president Nicolas Sarkozy, he was accused by the left of treason. In a nationally televised address, Hollande even questioned Arnault’s patriotism: “(Arnault) should have reflected on what it means to ask for another nationality, because we are proud to be French.”

Stupidity has its consequences even as Hollande denies them. Industrial production in France fell by more than one percent in just one month (December to January) while his own approval ratings have cratered as well, now coming in a 30 percent. Unemployment is climbing as well.

Just wait until the government reports on its tax revenues. Hollande has a solid grip on socialist fantasy in France and things are working out just about as expected.


A graduate of Cornell University and a former investment advisor, Bob is a regular contributor to The New American magazine and blogs frequently at, primarily on economics and politics. He can be reached at

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