The European Tribune is a forum for thoughtful dialogue of European and international issues. You are invited to post comments and your own articles.
Please REGISTER to post.
but again, is it really a problem? Pension payments grew from basically nil to 10% of GDP in 40 years without obviously bankrupting any country today. Why wouldn't we succeed in climbing to 15% of GDP in 20-30 years, in a slow process which simply reflects the shifting priorities of our societies;
So this issue of what happens when the boomers retire has received a lot of attention in the US (not enough action, but a lot of analysis and attention). And there is general agreement that we have a problem, particularly with pensions and healthcare costs as the boomers retire.
I have not looked at this as an issue outside the US, though I have read that other countries, particularly Japan, has even bigger issues with this demographic bulge (note Japan in the demographic chart). But I was particularly surprised to see that France, according to that chart, has a larger demographic issue than the US. And we had recently discussed the higher retirement rates of the French economy, which led me to look at this issue.
So, voila, we in the US are heading to a problem. You in France seem to have a larger demographic issue, complicated by an earlier retirement pattern. But Jerome, you say
but again, is it really a problem?
What makes you think that we won't be able to afford to pay for a larger number of pensioners? Why wouldn't all our productivity growth oriented towards preserving the income of the pensioners rather than the revenues of the workers? It's a distribution choice, i.e. a social/political issue, not an economic problem. And for individual workers, little will actually change.
In the long run, we're all dead. John Maynard Keynes
What makes you think that we won't be able to afford to pay for a larger number of pensioners?
As I look at the OECD numbers, they say that many countries have a bigger "baby boom bulge" than the US does. So I conclude that, for example France, may have an even bigger problem than the US does.
Now, the US "can afford to pay for a larger number of pensioners". It's just that if the problem is not addressed earlier, the impacts on the future US economy are pretty harsh.
So, I can only conclude that I am missing something about US pension/healthcare programs, that causes us to have a more significant problem than France, or other countries; or, France is more willing to pay the price later and live with the adverse consequences; or France has not looked at the impact of this in detail. My hunch is that the first is the answer, "I am missing something about US pension/healthcare programs, that causes us to have a more significant problem than France", but I just don't know what I'm missing yet,,,,,and being curious about things, would like to find out.
Frankly I'm a little disappointed in this dialogue on my diary (not with you Jerome as I think you have taken time to thoughtfully respond). But what I have previously normally found as ET's more thoughtful approach to problems, seems to have broken down here. For some 80%ish of the poll takers to respond that there is not a problem, or there is no answer among the alternatives, leads me to the conclusion that people are not looking at the issue,,,,,or are taking the easy way out and attacking the message, or messanger, as someone who is a "neocon", and just wants to defend the "anglosaxon model" and attack the "socialized European systems"--whatever any of those things in quotes means. That is certainly not my goal. I'm here to debate and learn from the debate,,,,and my learning on this the debatge in this diary is very low.
. The analysis is flawed, no change is required, and everything will be fine. 17%
. Politicians will articulate the problem, and present a combination of programs involving benefit cuts, higher taxes, later retirement, and more debt. This will work well, with little disruption. 5%
. Strikes will prevent adequate change, a fiscal crisis will develop as debt soars, the economy will falter. Change will be in a crisis mode, with extreme disruption. 11%
. The above disruption scenario will occur, with similar episodes in other EU countries. The EU will disolve, as a result. 0%
. None of the above. 64%
You've even failed to clearly show that there is a real problem - the "problem" with US pensions and healthcare is arguably simple underfunding by ideologues who disapprove of welfare and taxation in any form though I'll leave it to the dKos people to go into the detail of that - I think boondad did a series on this that makes it clear that the problem is actually nowhere near as serious as presented by some people. As did Brad de Long if I recall properly.
For some 80%ish of the poll takers to respond that there is not a problem, or there is no answer among the alternatives, leads me to the conclusion that people are not looking at the issue
wc, you put up a provocative title and invited people to take a poll. Now you complain people didn't answer the way you say they should if they were serious and "thoughtful", and were facing the issues. So next time, either don't do a poll, or make an effort to do a less transparently loaded one. (See Colman's analysis).
Also, the quality of "debate" seems to you "disappointing". So, next time, don't do a diary based on yet another tiresome rubbish column from an American pundit who trots out the usual stereotypes on France-which-is-not-facing-up-to-facts etc. Don't make this disingenuous attempt to invite "debate" when your aim is so clearly prescriptive (ie these are the problems; if you say "No, they're not," you're not facing up to the problems).
Also, the quality of "debate" seems to you "disappointing". So, next time, don't do a diary based on yet another tiresome rubbish column from an American pundit who trots out the usual stereotypes on France-which-is-not-facing-up-to-facts etc. Don't make this disingenuous attempt to invite "debate" when your aim is so clearly prescriptive
by Frank Schnittger - Nov 26 4 comments
by Frank Schnittger - Nov 25
by gmoke - Nov 19 6 comments
by Oui - Nov 20 16 comments
by Oui - Dec 45 comments
by Oui - Dec 31 comment
by Oui - Nov 305 comments
by gmoke - Nov 30
by Oui - Nov 26
by Frank Schnittger - Nov 264 comments
by Frank Schnittger - Nov 25
by Oui - Nov 2016 comments
by Oui - Nov 193 comments
by Oui - Nov 1911 comments
by gmoke - Nov 196 comments
by Oui - Nov 1711 comments
by Oui - Nov 1431 comments
by Oui - Nov 1316 comments
by Oui - Nov 107 comments
by Oui - Nov 830 comments
by Frank Schnittger - Nov 781 comments
by Frank Schnittger - Nov 711 comments
by Oui - Nov 697 comments
by Oui - Oct 3052 comments