Who still wants to work? Does life begin in retirement?

French President Emmanuel Macron visits the Sileane factory in Saint-Etienne, October 25, 2021.

French President Emmanuel Macron visits the Sileane factory in Saint-Etienne, October 25, 2021.

Ludovic MARIN / POOL / AFP

Industrial and agricultural policy

The economy and industry were not at the center of the debates and presidential campaign. Political observers have deplored the poverty of most candidates’ proposals. We are today without a program and without a vision, as crises follow crises and will continue as the acceleration of technical progress.

Presidential elections are often the occasion for debates where everyone can decide on their ballot and there is no shortage of social issues to explain convergences or differences with the candidates. We noticed that certain comments or people sparked passions, which is completely common in our democracies that have known others. Curses are also common during these periods and the word “extreme” like the word “radical” is often pronounced both by those involved themselves and by their supporters or commentators – newspapers, radio or TV -.

The economy, like industry, was far from central to the debates, but the surprise came from the convergence of most comments on the poverty of most candidates’ proposals. The “economists” or their spokesmen managed to note the five-year cost of the proposed measures and then calculate that this and that were unrealistic by spreading a science for which we would have had great difficulty obtaining the justifications. Most of the economists who spoke actually had their favorite candidate and gave readers or listeners their impressions without much justification. when we saw thisin the Soviet countries this was called manipulation, that is, the expression of official policy that takes the place of truth. Admittedly, the campaign also had some more questioning writings, but little or poorly recorded, especially not available to the general public. So we have witnessed the triumph of the “circle of reason”.

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The question of policy effectiveness followed for years “the only possible”does it have the right to be asked? We hope so, but that means the person wondering shouldn’t be immediately “destroyed” on a personal basis in the minute that follows. We can discredit the publisher without the comment he dares to ignore. This is what distinguishes the “Stalinist” way of functioning from that of our democracies that emerged from the Age of Enlightenment! “Assignment” that does not want to distinguish an individual’s word or thought from his personality and thus from the individual’s history is contrary to our culture, our society and our traditions. Unfortunately, if it is used, it is not in accordance with the Constitution and with our Republic.

The fact that we have a colossal debt, a trade balance that is largely in deficit and industrial potential that has been cut by half in 20 years cannot lead any observer to believe that the policies followed have been a great success. The initiatives that “want to turn the tide” should have been viewed and discussed by the world of specialists without “a priori”.

Those who have put their finger on the country’s debt burden, on the expensive euro, on the weight of government spending, on the country’s lack of competitiveness… have tried, candidates or not, to formulate proposals and question dogmas may be the cause of our current difficulties, but the insights were quickly swept away by the body of “expert experts” with deep and definitive convictions.

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Well, the minds of all these experts show concern, good has triumphed, but they are unable to tell us where they are going after proclaiming that the guiding principle would be to act hastily to bring down the retirement age. to rebalance our accounts.

To paraphrase Cyrano de Bergerac “it’s a little short, young man” and moreover more risky because the social body that has spoken out in the majority is against it! The beauty and importance of life in a business is that it teaches you that after you set the goal, always think of the method to achieve this. The priority now is to mobilize men and womento succeed ! We can reasonably say that if the fundamental goal defined by the experts is to quickly increase the retirement age in France, we also know for years that we have not found the right method. But since economists have been seduced for years by measures that have all failed, is it really serious? We may not be able to follow them and take an interest in real topics that can unite: it is clear that the re-industrialization of the country is one of them and that, if we realize that, there is no doubt that we will find solutions to the problem of pensions, because if we increase assets, if we introduce complementary retirement programs in companies that have become competitive again, if we show the interest of pension funds in rebalancing our accounts, the orientations will come naturally. Each individual has his own story and it will be necessary to allow the differences according to the life of each other. The period of retirement is also that of transferring to the next generation and this is an element that macroeconomists have a hard time grasping!

No offense to the “circle of reason” we are today without a program and without a vision, as crises follow crises and will continue as the acceleration of technical progress. We hear those who want to direct, plan, punish, control for changing realities where only initiative, flexibility, innovation, courage, a penchant for risk make success possible. They are told freedom, freedom to do business and they respond to excel tables! We want to talk about personal satisfaction at work and they answer you for retirement and leisure. If we expect the mobilization of the country and its youth by prioritizing pension problems, are we not making a mistake? This is not to say that work is a constraint that we must escape as quickly as possible by striving for the longest possible time out of work thanks to advances in life expectancy. Doesn’t this tell the young that their ‘real life’ will begin with their retirement?

We have huge debts, an insecure collective currency, a growing trade deficit, a stifling bureaucracy, deterrent norms and regulations, an erupting youth, a hesitant education, and the “circle of reason” thinks that thinking about retirement is the priority! Thus, young people who leave school become enthusiastic, find reasons to live intensely, to flourish in a job that is important to them and to the country: to demonstrate for us against the retirement age ! It’s certainly an important topic for the nation’s bills, but we’ve just been through it for five years with no tangible results, are we going to start over? After the Covid, after the war in Europe, after the influx of Ukrainian refugees, and by fueling fears about the end of the world, rising sea levels, the shortage of drinking water and all the disasters that we hear for days and nights. Forecasters are always wrong, especially the Cassandras. We should not be afraid of reality, but our country has always known how to face difficulties. It is our collective will, our work for the common good that will bring us future success and it is the increase in agricultural and industrial production that will enable us to weather the storms to come. Because there will be storms, life is not just a cozy cocoon, and in order to prepare for it, it is better, regardless of our age, to consider that we are at the beginning of something and not in the end.

Let’s rebuild our industry and agricultural production first, ladies and gentlemen, later we will think about our retirement, à la carte, according to our abilities, our health and our personal history.

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