Macron Caves

Emmanuel Macron was elected in France because he was seen as a change from a system that delivered nothing for the the ordinary Frenchman while serving the transnational banks and corporations.

To the horror of the voters, Macron is even more the minion of a bloated and corrupt financial sector than were his predecessors.

So he has proposed increases in taxes on ordinary people, more austerity, tax cuts for the wealthy, and, finally, a roll-back of pension rights.

Now, following massive protests,  Macron has abandoned his plans to change pensions:

With tens of thousands of anti-government demonstrators once again coursing through the streets of Paris and other cities and clouds of tear gas and smashed store windows punctuating the urban landscape, the French government made a major concession on Saturday to unions protesting its pension reform plan.

It agreed to scrap, for now at least, a proposal to raise the full-benefits retirement age from 62 to 64. Unlike in the United States, the French government plays a huge role in the retirement plans of individuals in France, both as a source of funds and as overseer and guarantor of the pension system.

The raised age had infuriated moderate unions that the government of President Emmanuel Macron badly needs on its side. Mr. Macron has insisted the French need to work longer to strengthen a generous retirement system that is one of the world’s most generous but may be heading toward a $19 billion deficit.

On Saturday, with a crippling transport strike already in its sixth week, Mr. Macron’s government backed down, announcing that it would “withdraw” the new age limit, and put off decisions on financing the system until it gets a report on the money problem “between now and the end of April.”

Macron’s definition of meaningful reform is robbing from the poor to give to the rich.

The argument is that, in the long run, everyone benefits, but in the long term, as Keynes observed, “In the long run we are all dead.”

Europe does seem to dedicated to repeating the failures that led to the rise of Fascism and World War II.

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