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  • if the population is getting older, that means that the young dependents are gettign scarce, which means that the total dependency ratio may not change that much (focusing only on the old dependents gives a wrong picture - you can transfer funding from schools to pensions); DoDo provided some numbers on that earlier;

  • the fact that the employment rate of the 55-64 is low suggests that a very simple solution will be to increase that rate somewhat and presto, problem solved;

  • 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;

  • as to the non-integration of the immigrants, commentary from the US is mostly hogwash. It's either viewed through the prism of the clash of civilisation with Islam ("Eurabia" and the like, France "forced to compromise itself not to alienate its restless and powerful muslims") or through the (wrong) idea that France is a failed economy.

If you look at your GDP growth graph, you'll see that most of the big economies are between 2 and 2.5% growth per year. If you put that in terms of GDP per capita growth, the differences will be even smaller.

So sure, we have problems, but talking about the bankruptcy of European economies right in the middle of the biggest debt binge in the history of the world, fully centerd in the US, is kind of ironic, don't you think?

In the long run, we're all dead. John Maynard Keynes

by Jerome a Paris (etg@eurotrib.com) on Tue Apr 4th, 2006 at 04:00:39 AM EST

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