It was Margaret Thatcher who is credited with having correctly stated that, "The problem with socialism is that you eventually run out of other people's money."
In France, they've run out.
Or at least they are running out quickly. This reality is what caused French President Nicolas Sarkozy to build his administration around the difficult task of reforming the pension promises of the government.
And such a task has revealed the great difficulty coming to America if we don't start curbing our entitlement programs and government welfare initiatives now. For once people come to expect handouts from their government, they will become restless when those false promises fail to materialize as advertised (a metaphysical certitude, by the way):
More than 3 million demonstrators - one in 20 of all French people - marched yesterday against the President's plans to raise the standard retirement age from 60 to 62. Tens of thousands of students joined the marches for the first time, threatening to radicalise the protests and broaden them into a rebellion against a deeply unpopular presidency.
Militant union branches in the railway and oil-refining industries were pushing last night for a showdown with Mr Sarkozy, who has made reform of the loss-making state pension system the make-or-break issue of his final 20 months in office.
After a series of largely theatrical 24-hour strikes in the past six weeks, militant workers were expected to vote last night and this morning for the kind of open-ended stoppages in strategic industries which have overturned previous attempts to reform the French social system.
Once again, this is why government should protect people's freedom to pursue happiness, not falsely guarantee happiness to the masses.