Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Tax Reform

The thème politique du jour is tax reform, and economists Thomas Piketty, Emmanuel Saez, and Camille Landais have a new book and a new Web site devoted to the subject. (Thanks to Anonymous for the lead.)

The French Paradox

The French are the most pessimistic people in the world, according to this poll. On the other hand, they're having babies at a rate of 2.01 per woman, and the population just passed 65 million, according to INSEE. Explain. (h/t Éloi Laurent)

Twisting Slowly in the Wind

It seems that Éric Woerth has been hung out to dry by Sarkozy, who once defended him tooth and nail. He lets loose at Fillon and Baroin in this interview, sparing the monarch by spitting on his ministers, but one feels his pain. This treatment retrospectively compounds the mystery of the unwavering support Woerth received in the thick of the Bettencourt affair. Didn't everyone believe then that he was being protected because he possessed the secrets of the UMP's financing? So why has he been unceremoniously dumped now? Was the racetrack affair really a surprise to the powers-that-be?

In any case, such whining isn't what one expected from a stalwart soldier like Woerth, un ex-premier-ministrable. From a Dati or a Boutin such pique was to be expected. But Woerth? Politics is a cruel business.