Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Copé vs. Fillon

Thierry Desjardins has an interesting analysis of the impending duel between Fillon and Copé, both of whom hope to pick up the pieces if Sarkozy loses in 2012. Copé made his first move today, selecting one of his loyalists, Christian Jacob, to replace him as head of the UMP group in the National Assembly. But as Desjardins notes, many UMP deputies are wary of Copé's splashy ambition and prefer Fillon's discretion.

"Le Mythe gaullien"

A review of Sudhir Hazareesingh's book.

Egalité Réelle

I have been rather critical of Benoît Hamon's "Égalité réelle" proposal for the PS. Here is a more positive assessment of the "youth" aspect of the plan. The kicker is the cost:

Ce programme a été chiffré par le think tank Terra Nova à environ 50 milliards d’euros (12 milliards pour l’allocation d’autonomie, qui s’articule à des prêts étudiants) qui dégage des pistes de financement : la suppression de la plupart des transferts liés à l’entrée dans l’âge adulte et qui sont actuellement versés à la famille ; la suppression du quotient familial, donc des allègements d’impôt pour les familles; l’alignement de la fiscalité des retraités aisés sur celle des actifs ; l’augmentation de la CRDS, impôt affecté au remboursement de la dette sociale.
50 billion euros! Surely they jest. Such a figure makes it clear that this is a plank in a campaign platform, not a serious program for governing. Still, the thinking behind the figure is not without interest: that the post high school student years are crucial for orienting the young in the adult world and that insuperable inequalities develop in this period between those who are free to pursue their studies full-time and those who must juggle work and education. Of course one might ask if these inequalities aren't overdetermined by all the accumulated inequalities of the years through high school. But a little utopian leavening is rather refreshing in these times of austerity.