World News: Emmanuel Macron Confronts Pension Reform and The Populus

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French President Emmanuel Macron, empowered during his second term is moving forward with his social agenda and confronting another divisive issue, the concept of pension reform, which will surely cause Parisians to flood the streets in protest.

Crystallizing all social passions, the pension reform is a continuation of those that preceded it: extending the contribution period to save the pay-as-you-go system. But wouldn't the central question be more demography than economic?


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But why do the reforms affecting the pension system provoke so much social unrest to the point of crystallizing a large part of opinion against yet another reform, wanted by the Prime Minister Elizabeth Borne and the President of the Republic, Emmanuel Macron? However, in view of the current situation, it is a safe bet that in the years to come, the question of pension financing will once again be a major social and political issue.  

There are several reasons that may explain the tensions surrounding this issue. Initially, these same tensions highlight the relationship to work that many of us have. The latter, often suffered more than experienced, is frequently absorbed, especially for the generation born just after the Baby Boom (1945 - 1965), as a heavy and painful constraint, which has not been necessarily given satisfaction as it was necessary to fight to get a job because of the economic vagaries of the city.

So, for many, postponing the retirement age often means prolonging suffering, alienation from work that must stop.


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Low Rate

However, beyond the affective approach highlighted by the relationship to work, there appears another problem, intrinsically linked to the question of financing, rarely addressed but nevertheless crucial: that of Demographics. With an average fertility rate of 1.84 children per woman, the France does not receive enough births.

This is a reality that   should be highlighted above the issues of postponing the retirement age, which remains conditioned by the number of individuals of working age per generation. current and future. In order to be in  a situation that would allow it to free itself from successive pension reforms, the rate of children per woman should be in France, 2.2 or even 2.3.

However, the demographic question is also linked to the relationship between the younger generations of childbearing age (20 and 39 years) have to parenthood. If for their parents' generation, this one was central, responding to a triptych inherited from their own parents, to know: a job - a home - children, parenthood     is no longer a priority for many of the generations mentioned above.


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Different relationships to employment and fulfillment through work, fear of the future with regard to climate issues, individualism and a form of hedonism are all, among other explanations, reasons that may justify the decline in the birth rate in France and in other countries of the world more seriously affected than France.  

Demographics at Half Mast

Italy uses a rate of 1.24, and 1.34 for Japan, 1.57 for Germany and 1.72 for the United States. Naturally, each rate has to be studied according to the demographic and economic situation of each country, but it is clear that a demography at half-mast in so-called   developed countries is a factor in lengthening the contribution period among other elements to be considered such as the number of active people, the number of retirees, the state of public finances.

Thus, after the sociological considerations that everyone can maintain at work and react according to them to the content of the future pension reform or future ones, it should be remembered that all will be implicitly dictated by demography, much more than by economic and sociological realities which are only the consequences and not the causes.


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Bio: Olivier Longhi has extensive experience in European history. A seasoned journalist with fifteen years of experience, he is currently professor of history and geography in the Toulouse region of France. He has held a variety of publishing positions, including Head of Agency and Chief of Publishing. A journalist, recognized blogger, editor, and editorial project manager, he has trained and managed editorial teams, worked as a journalist for various local radio stations, a press and publishing consultant, and a communications consultant.

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