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John Boehner Loves Socialism

By Matthew Yglesias  

"John Boehner Loves Socialism"

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Brian Beutler notes the irony of conservative affection for socialism when it comes to the subject of nuclear power. He quotes John Boehner:

But there are nuclear reactors operating all over the world. Eighty-two percent of the electricity produced in France comes from nuclear sources, and has done so successfully for decades. Only 20 percent of the electricity in the United States comes from nuclear sources. So I think let’s learn the lessons, let’s understand what safeguards if any additional safeguards need to be put in place. But let’s not just say like we have for the last 30 years, we’re not even going to look at it because we’re afraid of it.

I think it’s important to be clear about this. It’s not just that France has high taxes and trains and “socialism.” France, almost uniquely in the modern world, features large state-owned enterprises. In particular, both Électricité de France, the world’s largest utility, and Areva, the world’s largest builder of nuclear plants, are largely owned by the French government. As of today, they’re formally organized as S.A. private firms rather than E.P.I.C. state-owned firms, but the state owns majority stakes in both of them.

Now maybe France is doing this right, but it’s a strange model for conservatives to be pushing, especially since they don’t even seem to know what the model is.

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