Welfare-state governments are reaching the point where they can’t squeeze any more out of their economies and taxpayers but cutting spending is politically difficult to impossible. From Patrick J. Buchanan at buchanan.org:
As that rail and subway strike continued to paralyze travel in Paris and across France into the third week, President Emmanuel Macron made a Christmas appeal to his dissatisfied countrymen:
“Strike action is justifiable and protected by the constitution, but I think there are moments in a nation’s life when it is good to observe a truce out of respect for families and family life.”
Macron’s appeal has gone largely unheeded.
“The public be damned!” seems to be the attitude of many of the workers who are tying up transit to protest Macron’s plan to reform a pension system that consumes 14% of GDP.
Macron wants to raise to 64 the age of eligibility for full retirement benefits. Not terribly high. And to set an example, he is surrendering his lifetime pension that is to begin when he becomes an ex-president.
Yet, it is worth looking more closely at France because she appears to be at a place where the rest of Europe and America are headed.