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- of course France didn't stand still during the Mitterand years, but many of the achievements you cite (nuclear, TGV etc.. were started before Mitterand).
This is not the fight between two models - a "socialist one" and a "liberal one". Both presidencies Mitterand AND Chirac have failed, mostly for the same reasons, the unwillingness to take the tough decisions that all paradigm shifts include. Same in Bush's America : rather keep my little cosy power than piss off some privileged groups at whatever level of the society you may find them.
This is what this election is about : repeating the mistakes until final catastrophy or find a new way. One thing is sure : neither Sarko or Sego are the right answer. They are going to keep the monarchic French system in place and appease it with postures and spraying of small measures, another words for band-aids. Then they will be "astonished" if Marine LePen/DeVilliers win the presidency 2012.
Could France have done more along these lines, given the big differences between France and these "nordic" countries? Was the problem just one of lack of imagination and/or will?
neither Sarko or Sego are the right answer. They are going to keep the monarchic French system in place and appease it with postures and spraying of small measures, another words for band-aids.
If you could "design" the perfect policy platform for a candidate in this presidential race, what would it look like?
Truth unfolds in time through a communal process.
While I like his vision and ambitions for a "union of Europe to change the world" and "to defend our model of society (...) our social values in particular", could you elaborate how his proposed policies would address the problems and concerns you have with Sarkozy's and Royal's "rhetoric" (I am doubtful you would agree to call them "proposals").
For example, according to the article you diaried:
Pointing out the amazing level of the French debt, he invited his supporters "to ask explanations from Nicolas Sarkozy and Ségolène Royal, who every evening in their speeches promise tens of billion euros additional expenditure".
So, what is Bayrou's position on French debt, and how to resolve the problem?
What does he propose to do about unemployment, pensions, and other issues that you have identified in other comment as urgent issues for France?
(I will post this comment over in your diary as well, where it may in fact be more relevant.)
Truth unfolds in time through a communal process.
the Mitterand model is not a social-democratic model nor even a socialist one. It's a "I keep the power to myself-model at any price". Thereof the contempt.
Your (not unreasonable) contempt for the man makes you ignore the economic policies that were pursued.
On the pensions front - of course there is a demographic evolution. Of course the system will need to adapt to it. All I am saying is that it can be done via fine tuning and tinkering over the years, as we've done over the past 40 years to adapt to new population distributions and needs. There will be a combination of slightly higher contributions by workers, slightly longer years of work, and slightly lower pensions, comapred to what have been, but as productivity keeps on increasing, we'll be able to oafford the system and not leave anybody behind.
One thing - on the public pensions thing. I'll let you argue this with my father, who has a simple argument. As a professor, he has had for his whole life a lower salary than his qualifications could have gotten him in the private sector. In return, he got a safe job and a safe pension. You may make a different choice, but it was a deal, a full package, and it is quite unfait to change one part of the package after the fact - and after one party to the deal has already given all it was supposed to.
As to employment/unemployment, the main difference between France and the Nordic countris is the employment rate of the seniors - much higher in Scandinavia. Unemployment has gone to pretty high leves in Finland (above 15%), Denmark (10%) and even Sweden (8%) as well.
You mention Ericsson and Nokia. But the reverse point is that having just one such company is enough to distort all statistics relative to the very small countries that host such a large company. Alcatel or Airbus is not enough, on its own, to have an impact on French macro-economic statistics. Ericsson and Nokia are.
In the long run, we're all dead. John Maynard Keynes
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