What we see in Depardieu is the coming to fruition of what so many have been saying -- if the Takers keep taking, the Makers will stop making. In Belgium, Depardieu has found his version of Galt's Gulch. In the United States, citizens are leaving in record numbers, in search of theirs. An estimated 8,000 Americans will leave the US in 2012, up from 3,800 in 2011.
According to the Heritage Foundation, the United States ranks 10th in economic freedom, behind Hong Kong, Switzerland and Australia. Hell, even Canada ranks #6 on the 2012 list. Socialist Canada is more economically free than the United States. But the move out of the United States, like Depardieu's move out of France, is about far more than money.
No one likes to feel like a slave, and no one likes to actually be a slave. Yet this is the inevitable result of class warfare, and the progressive claim on culture. As Thomas Sowell wrote, "Not since the days of slavery have there been so many people who feel entitled to what other people have produced as there are in the modern welfare state, whether in Western Europe or on this side of the Atlantic."
The American Makers and Depardieu proves that the desire to live free does not derive from government, but from our innate desire to choose our own path. That, "...success, creation, talent," should be celebrated when achieved, and seen as something to strive towards to better one's life. Depardieu summed up the values of the American way, that is, to say, the values of the free man:
"We no longer have the same homeland," Depardieu said. "I no longer have any reason to stay here. I will continue to love the French and this public that I have shared so much emotion with."
"Who are you to judge me, I ask you Mr Ayrault, prime minister of Mr Hollande? Despite my excesses, my appetite and my love of life, I remain a free man,"
The human spirit craves freedom and respect. Even in France.