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TheLand

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"The French have no word for 'entrepreneur'" - George W Bush

It was the 28th of March 1847, and King Louis-Phillipe of France, son of indecisive parents, boarded the lavish train laid on for him in celebration of the first railroad service to run from Dunkirk to Marseilles, spanning the French nation from North to South.



As he took seat on a silken throne, he thought back to the policies that had made this economic miracle possible...

His ministers had strongly recommended high taxes on everyone, apart from wealthy landowners and merchants. Probably because they were weaalthy landowners and merchants themselves, though there seemed to be some sort of justification behind this. Since the last war against Britain and the German states hadn't gone too well there didn't seem to be much point preparing for another one. The only thing the ministers wanted to fund was education: after all, if the poor could read and add, they could calculate their tax bills correctly, couldn't they?



Bankers in Paris seemed to be quite happy under the new economic policy...



... even if some industry, particularly luxury furnishings and artillery manufacture, were slowed down by lack of resources.



Shortly, those Paris bankers seemed to become very well-off..



... in fact something called a 'Bank Sector Hausse' seemed to happen, meaning that a lot of junior clerks were able to buy houses, or horses, or hats, or whatever those 'hausse' things were. Ah well, more wealthy people would be a good thing, surely?

 

TheLand

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However, none of these rich people seemed to be building anything - unlike the English, who seemed to be going mad with railway building!



Was it because the economy had run out of steel?



The Economic Ministry lifted its somewhat unwise order not to import steel. But still nothing seemed to happen... until finally in 1840 someone announced they had built a railroad! In Paris! Louis-Phillippe had been overjoyed, and turned the owner into a Duc when he let him pull the level to change the signals.



Soon railroads were being made in all the major towns, and a flourishing cement industry developed in the picturesque Provence...



... and even some extra Artillery manufacories, even though the previous factory had been closed by Government order because there was never enough steel, ammunition or explosives for it!



As Louis-Phillipe commissioned a special set of cement sculptures to show of fthe work of the new factory, it seemed that the railway-building bug had finally start to take hold - even if the Parisian banking class still hadn't used any of its capital except to hold money-counting tournaments.



Perhaps it was the laws that said that no-one wealthy need ever pay tax. Perhaps it was the concentration of French minds on bigger and better banks and more efficient machinery. Perhaps it was a mixture of the above that had resulted in the nice big railroad network.

But still the British - and even the Russians and Austrians - had even more trains to play with! Whatever was Louis-Phillipe going to do next?
 

unmerged(17581)

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It's out? I knew there was something I forgot to do last week! :wacko:

And congratulations, a historic first! :eek:
 
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mib said:
Oh noes! Does it say "factroy"? :rofl: :mad:
As usual, the event text seems to have been written by a brain-damaged gorilla under the influence.

I'm watching this one. :)
 

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At last! Now the French could build their own machine parts, and not have to rely on the English ones which drive on the wrong side of the road!

By the 1850s, the King was bored of railways, and concerned himself with problems like persuading his people that mosquito bites shouldn't put them off going and colonising other countries! After all, France already had colonies. But they should have more!

In the meantime he ordered the NAvy to upgrade some harbours...



In a fit of stupidity, French businessmen were trying to build shipyards inland. Not even the new steamships could sail over dry land to get to the sea.



Finally, however, they managed to get it right (after the third time). And the first shipyard to be able to build any ships made a handsome profit!



The Navy commissioned a new squadron of modern warships.

 

TheLand

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However, with no chance to colonise, the French decided there was only one way to take out pieces of Africa. Morocco had made the mistake of going bankrupt so were ripe for invasion...



and once they were sorted out, Liberia were next in line to be annexed!



Fortunately, all of this was possible without raising taxes on capitalists even slightly, and while still funding schools and academies!

The main economic problem was the continuing shortage of things like steel and lumber, which were both often scarce on the world market.

 

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sainte-therese said:
http://www.snopes.com/quotes/bush.htm

Just a friendly helpful correction.
What's more, while entrepreneur is obviously a word in French, it doesn't have the same meaning - it means something much closer to 'foreman' than 'venture capitalist'. ;)

However, I could think of no better title for an AAR about French capitalism.
 

TheLand

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sainte-therese said:
heh as they say "don't let facts get in the way of a good story". :)
Actually, on reflection, Snopes are being overly friendly to GWB on this one. I'd say it's doubtful, rather than definitely false.

The original source is Shirley Williams, who Tony Blair regards to an extent as his intellectual forebear. It isn't beyond belief that Blair passed on the alleged GWB remark to her. Equally it's not beyond belief that she embellished or fabricated it for effect. (I don't believe GWB is stupid, and even if he made the remark, it might have been meant as a joke).

however, what has absolutely no value is something being denied by Alistair Campbell, Blair's press spokesman - you can be sure that regardless of the fact of the matter he would be denying that Blair said it.
 
Jul 29, 2002
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Snopes' "rebuttal" is nothing of the sort; all they've got is a second-hand quote by Alistair Campbell saying Bush didn't say it.

Now, considering Alistair Campbell was a professional liar, bully, and bullshitter employed by a certain Anthony Charles Lynton Blair of 10, Downing Street, London, SW1, this is not particularly conclusive proof that Bush didn't say it.

In a toss up between Alastair Campbell and Shirley Williams, I know who I'd be willing to believe. To be conclusive, they'd have to have asked Shirley Williams if it was a joke on her part or not, and judged the answer - and considering how dull Shirley Williams is, I'd wager that she didn't concoct it herself, even if it was.

Snopes are usually quite good on this kind of thing, but they've fallen on their arse in terms of a critical approach on that one.
 
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Vincent Julien said:
Snopes' "rebuttal" is nothing of the sort; all they've got is a second-hand quote by Alistair Campbell saying Bush didn't say it.
I disbelieve it not because of the reasons Snopes has, but because I don't think Bush is the sort of person who would (or could) use the word "entrepeneur" in an informal conversation.

Also, updates are good when they happen. Yes.
 

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Interesting AAR you have here TheLand. I'm very interested to see how this new economic system works, and this AAR certainly is doing that!
 

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Aldjazar was just too tempting...



In Africa, the railways follow the regiments!



The ancient kindgom of Egypt. having accumulated so much bankruptcy and humiliation that its ambassadors to Great Powers often took the opportunity to become horse-manure-shovellers and domestic servants, was next; its fleet destroyed by modern French gunnery.



Not that the average Egyptian peasant complained, now he was able to load his goods onto a modern railroad for sale in France...



However, this was all the more remarkable, given the commencement of a string of wars against Prussia. Prussian colonialism was utterly intolerable, threatening French dominance in Africa...