| Click for the Finfacts Ireland Portal Homepage |

Finfacts Business News Centre

 Irish Economy
 EU Economy
 US Economy
 UK Economy
 Global Economy
 Asia Economy


How to use our RSS feed

Follow Finfacts on Twitter

Web Finfacts

See Search Box lower down this column for searches of Finfacts news pages. Where there may be the odd special character missing from an older page, it's a problem that developed when Interactive Tools upgraded to a new content management system.


Finfacts is Ireland's leading business information site and you are in its business news section.


Finfacts Homepage

Irish Share Prices

Euribor Daily Rates

Irish Economy

Global Income Per Capita

Global Cost of Living

Irish Tax - Income/Corporate

Global News

Bloomberg News

CNN Money

Cnet Tech News


Irish Independent

Irish Times

Irish Examiner

New York Times

Financial Times

Technology News




Content Management by interactivetools.com.

Analysis/Comment Last Updated: Sep 5, 2013 - 9:56 AM

France like Ireland is run for the benefit of the old
By Michael Hennigan, Finfacts founder and editor
Sep 4, 2013 - 6:42 AM

Email this article
 Printer friendly page
President François Hollande, along with three ministers, tried to connect with school children at the start of the new school year, in Denain, Northern France, Sept 03, 2013  

On Tuesday in an op-ed piece in The Financial Times, Gaspard Koenig, a novelist and the director of Generation Libre, a Paris-based think-tank, wrote that France is run for the benefit of the old. It's a story that's familiar also in Ireland.

In Ireland, the mainly old men who run the country, manage institutions such as the universities, dominate the professions and the firms that have thrived in boom and bust, and are the top earners in the media, were also in prominent roles during the bubble. They have good reason to defend the status quo, which with the security provided by survival of the euro, ensures material comfort until the grim reaper beckons.

Ireland's residential owner-occupier level without a mortgage at above 40%, is high for Western Europe -  see figure 6 here [pdf] for 2009; Irish data is missing from Eurostat's recent updates. The old men have insured that 40 years after the campaign by women for equal pay for equal work, a dual labour system in the public service avoids any hassle from incumbents. The policy makers will of course be retired by the time the European Court of Justice will mandate compensation.

Austerity is a popular topic for those with a grip of the public megaphone but it's a personal abstraction to most of them.

On France, which hasn't balanced its books in any year since 1974 while public debt as a ratio of GDP (gross domestic product) has more than quadrupled, Gaspard Koenig says today’s discussions on the virtues of the “French social model” are a rhetorical scam for the baby boomers to cling to their advantages. The welfare state is their welfare – and their children’s burden.

He says of the baby boomers born shortly after the second world war who control most of the country’s structures, "the average age of a French MP is 60. They had it all: sexual revolution, complacent neo-Marxist ideology, easy employment, rising property prices, generous social transfers, free and high-quality health services and a generous retirement. They are designing a society that looks like them: fearful, risk-averse and inward-looking."

Pdf copy of FT op-ed

SEE also Finfacts article:

Why should Europe expect ever rising standards of living?

Irish Budget 2014: Half of Ireland's population on welfare

Irish farmers hugely dependent on EU welfare after 40 years - - there are more Irish farmers over 80 than under 35!

Check out our subscription service, Finfacts Premium , at a low annual charge of €25.

Related Articles
Related Articles

© Copyright 2011 by Finfacts.com

Top of Page

Latest Headlines
Disastrous 44-year War on Drugs and ignoring the evidence
HSBC & Tax Evasion: France/ Belgium issued criminal charges; UK/ Ireland nothing
Analysis: Germany world's top surplus economy; UK tops deficit ranks
Facts do not always change minds - can even entrench misinformed
Finfacts changes from 2015
Facts of 2014: Guinness not Irish; 110 people own 35% of Russia's wealth
In defence of dissent and Ireland's nattering nabobs of negativism
Dreams of European Growth: France and Italy facing pre-euro economic problems
Globalization's new normal needs permanent underclass - Part 1
MH17 and Gaza: who is responsible?
Israel vs Palestine: Colonization set for major expansion
Aviva Ireland's 'fund' runs dry and life cover to die for
We wish Martin Shanahan - new IDA Ireland chief - well but...
Ireland as an Organised Hypocrisy is in lots of company
Dr Peter Morici: Friday’s US jobs report won’t alter Fed plans to raise interest rates
Own Goal: Could FIFA have picked worse World Cup hosts?
Ireland: Spin and spending will not save bewildered Coalition
Irish Government parties set for 2-year vote buying spending spree
European Parliament: Vote No. 1 for Diarmuid O'Flynn in Ireland South
Dr Peter Morici: US April jobs report may show 215,000 added in April
Dr Peter Morici: Hardly time to call Obamacare a success
Celtic Tiger RIP: Change in conservative Ireland six years after crash
Dr Peter Morici: Five things to know about the Fed’s obsession with inflation
In age of acronym/ Google, Trinity to rebrand as 'Trinity College, the University of Dublin’
Hoeness case part of ‘painful’ change for Swiss bankers
Dr Peter Morici: The Cold War was only on vacation
Dr Peter Morici: US economy drags on Obama's approval ratings; Don’t look for changes in Washington
Dr Peter Morici: Bitcoin debacle shatters the myth of virtual money
Dr Peter Morici: US Tax Reform: Eliminate the income tax and IRS altogether
Wealth threatens the simple life in Gstaad, Switzerland
Irish journalists get cash payouts over 'homophobic' defamation claim
Irish academics get lavish pension top-ups as private pensions struggle
Dr Peter Morici: Inequality is President Obama’s highest priority, but solutions are naive
The Finfacts Troika: Better times ahead and a hangover to forget?
Dr Peter Morici: Volcker Rule arrives with the hidden jewel in Dodd-Frank financial reforms
Ireland's toothless fiscal watchdog threatens to bark
Analysis: Germany's current account surplus - - Part 2
The end of western affluence?
Bono's hypocrisy on Africa, corporate tax avoidance in Ireland
France like Ireland is run for the benefit of the old