“including raising taxes on the wealthy”

France is on fire over this one. Full retirement at age 64 is too much to tolerate it seems. People are the same around the world often expressing a detachment from the things they want government to provide and paying for them.

“People know that yes, on average, you have to work a little longer, all of them, because otherwise we won’t be able to finance our pensions properly,” Macron told the Associated Press in February. The bill also would require people to have worked for at least 43 years to be entitled to a full pension.

But polling shows a vast majority of French citizens oppose Macron’s pension reform, as do trade unions, who say there are other ways to tackle the issue, including raising taxes on the wealthy. While the retirement age of 62 is among the younger retirement ages in Europe (more commonly 65), cherishing life after retirement is deeply embedded in French culture, and it is seen as a necessary (and earned) reprieve after a life of hard work. …

..l In his Forbes piece, Gleckman notes some key differences between the U.S. and French retirement systems. Notably, French retirees on average receive about 60% of their pre-retirement earnings through the public pension system, while U.S. retirees receive only about 40% from Social Security. But France spends about twice as much on its national pension program as a share of its overall economy than the U.S. does.

But Gleckman also notes that many U.S. retirees also have income from private, work-based pensions and/or tax-advantaged 401(k)s and IRAs that don’t exist in France.


The answers are the same too, just get the “wealthy” to pay. Ask an average person to define wealthy and the range of answers is wide.

According to Schwab’s 2022 Modern Wealth Survey, Americans believe it takes an average net worth of $2.2 million to qualify a person as being wealthy. (Net worth is the sum of your assets minus your liabilities.). In 2023 that level of net worth is really not a great deal considering it includes one’s home, 401k, IRA and all other belongings.

Net worth varies greatly by age and there is a wide difference between average and median.

Of course, when politicians talk about the wealthy they want us to believe they are talking only of billionaires.


  1. I don’t know enough about the French pension system to have a position for or against proposed changes but it seems like the changes might be put in all at once. That would rankle anybody. Also the 43 year full pension requirement would be another sore point if someone were a miner, for example, or a high steel worker while an office worker might be able to put in 43 years a lot easier.
    It’s probably a little more nuanced than wanting somebody wealthier to bail them out.


  2. “People know that yes, on average, you have to work a little longer, all of them…”

    On average.

    “In France, the average standard of living in the most affluent 5% of the population was €5,800 per month in 2012-2016. Men in the most affluent 5% had a life expectancy at birth of 84.4 years. At the other end of the scale, in the poorest 5%, the average standard of living was €470 per month and male life expectancy was 71.7 years. So, on average, the most affluent men live 13 years longer than the poorest. For women, the gap is smaller: life expectancy at birth for women in the most affluent 5% of the population is 88.3 years, compared with 80.0 years in the poorest 5% (an eight-year difference).”

    …two elderly women are at a Catskill mountain resort, and one of ’em says, “Boy, the food at this place is really terrible.” The other one says, “Yeah, I know; and such small portions.”


  3. Promise to give people something will get you a minor thank you, but try taking something away, for whatever reason, and you get a riot.


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