Friday, August 13, 2010

Krugman on the Retirement Age Debate

Paul Krugman weighs in on the issue of raising the retirement age. He's against it, mainly because of disparities in the life expectancy of rich and poor:

Finally, disparities in life expectancy have been rising sharply, with much smaller gains for disadvantaged socioeconomic groups and/or those with less education than the average. Yet these are precisely the people who depend most on Social Security.

Juppé Tackles Sarkozy

Alain Juppé is not happy with Sarkozy's sécuritaire turn. The country is not in flames or awash in blood, he says. Let's not exaggerate. And then he quotes Montesquieu to good effect:

« Je rappellerais volontiers […] cette belle maxime de Montesquieu : “Quand il n'est pas nécessaire de faire une loi, il est nécessaire de ne pas en faire.”
La priorité sécuritaire ne doit pas non plus conduire à des exagérations, peu compatibles avec nos valeurs fondamentales. »

Claws Out

The most savage comment yet on Sarkozy's attack on les Roms, from an unexpected but witty quarter. And a characteristically witty and informative analysis from Eolas.

Double Dip?

As deflationary fears gain traction in the US, we see that prices actually declined in France by 0.3% last month, and industrial production is down. Not good signs.

Fighting Words

"Racist" is of course an incendiary word. The UN Committe for the Elimination of Racist Discrimination did not exactly call France a racist country. It did, however, say that France "lacked political will" in the fight against racial discrimination. But Claude Guéant isn't worried: for him, the committee is not the UN, just a group of individuals expressing themselves individually. This posture conveniently allows him to avoid the substance of the charge or the role of recent presidential verbiage in eliciting it.

The End of Social Mixing?

Bernard Girard offers some astute observations on the absence of social mixing in France (but applicable to other countries as well).