Welcome to European Tribune. It's gone a bit quiet around here these days, but it's still going.
J7eacute;rôme, in your diary Article Deconstruction (vol. 5) - French fear you wrote
France did make the choice 30 years ago, when unemployment first struck, to protect those in the work market and have flexibility borne by a small subset of the population: the old, the young and the immigrants. It has been trying to reverse course ever since, but the behaviors incentivised then (in particular, the preference by companies to invest in machines rather than hire people, while asking for more deductions on labors taxes and yet more freedom to fire people) have remained.
and then
Again, the French State has given up its authority, because French elites have been lured by the money promised to them, as part of the elites, in the globalised financial world. They've tried to keep the power and legitimacy the French State gave them, and grab the money they "deserve" as elites (on the back of the people) - and then they act surprised that the people, that used to have less power but a better access to wealth in France, are unhappy about that obvous breach in the French social contract?
Given that France has made a conscious choice to exclude whole swathes of the population from the usual job protections, thereby hindering cosial mobility into the middle class, and that the elites are breaking the social contract which you describe as "the elites treat the people well so the people will let the elites enjoy political and economic power", I simply cannot believe that the elites would allow the Grandes Écoles system remain equitable. In an increasely unequal system, where the inequality is consciously fostered by the elites in breach of the "social contract", access to the schools that define elite status itself becomes too precious to leave up to a purely meritocratic system.

Any comments?

A society committed to the notion that government is always bad will have bad government. And it doesn't have to be that way. — Paul Krugman

by Carrie (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Sun Mar 26th, 2006 at 01:19:14 PM EST

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