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Hell Just Froze Over… France Just Rejected Socialism

By Dr. Steve Sjuggerud
Tuesday, November 22, 2016

Don't these campaign promises sound like the words of a candidate destined to lose?
"I promise to lengthen the workweek by four hours!"
"I promise to raise the retirement age needed to receive pensions!"
•   "I promise to cut half a million jobs!"

A candidate with these promises would never get elected in America. But I have some shocking news for you...
Chances are GREAT the new leader of France will come into power based on these promises.
France, of all places!
France is known for embracing socialism... But it appears the French have figured out that working less than anywhere else – and getting more from your government than just about anywhere else – simply doesn't work out over the long run.
It sure looks nice on paper...
The law in France enforces a 35-hour workweek. Ultimately, the average French worker works about 300 hours less per year than the average American worker, according to the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD). At seven hours a day, that means the average French citizen works 43 fewer days a year than the average American.
The benefits are great, too... French workers get more vacation than just about anyone. They get six weeks of paid vacation, on average.
•   The retirement age in France is 62. In the U.S., for people like me (born in 1960 or later), the retirement age is 67.

Sounds like a great life in France, right? The problem is, it doesn't work...
To help pay for all these benefits, France instituted a 75% "supertax" on incomes of more than 1 million euros. As a result, rich people fled France – and businesses fled, too. (France dropped the supertax two years ago.)
Today, the unemployment rate in France is in the double-digits, versus 5% for the U.S. The youth unemployment rate is even worse... about 24%.
It appears the people of France are finally tired of it...
François Fillon just became the new front-runner in France's 2017 presidential election – campaigning on promises to do away with many of France's socialist policies. When he took office as premier in 2007, he called France "a bankrupt state." As Bloomberg reported...
Fillon, 62, vaulted from third position in most polls to win the first round of the Republican primary by 15 percentage points from the veteran Alain Juppe on Sunday with the most free-market platform among the seven candidates. They'll face each other again in next Sunday's runoff and the winner will be favorite to become president in May 2017.

Fillon's shocking win reminds me of two things...
1.   The people of Britain shocking everyone, voting to get OUT of the European Union (the so-called "Brexit").
2.   The people of America shocking everyone by electing Donald Trump as president.

These three events are probably not isolated... It's the voice of the people rising up and taking back power from the political elites.
In some cases, it should be good. In other cases, well, it's not so good...
For example, more economic freedom and less government intervention is almost always a good thing... It creates economic growth.
On the flip side, restricting international trade and immigration is typically a bad thing. New restrictions on international trade arguably kicked off the Great Depression in the 1930s.
Trump's victory in the U.S. was surprising... but France rejecting socialism? I think Hell just froze over...
Good investing,

Further Reading:

The results of the U.S. presidential election were shocking. But earlier this month, Steve explained why it could be a good thing for the stock market. "The message from history is this: Don't worry so much about it," he writes. Get the full story here: Stocks Soar When Republicans Control It All.
Two weeks ago, Doc Eifrig told DailyWealth readers to ignore the noise. "Too often, investors get caught up in macroeconomic trends and the drama of interest rates," he writes. See what he says you should focus on instead right here.

Market Notes


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A good way to check the industry's pulse is through the iShares Insurance Fund (IAK). Its holdings include industry titans AIG, MetLife, and Prudential Financial. It's an easy "one click" way to invest in these types of stocks.
As you can see in the chart below, IAK is in the midst of a steady, long-term uptrend. The fund just hit its highest level since the financial crisis of 2008/2009. It's no wonder insurance companies are the only investment Porter hopes his kids ever make...

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