The Corner

Re: Sarkozy (Been There, Done That)

Andrew, you may well be right that even a Sarkozy victory won’t amount to much in the way of change. I say something similar in my post on the French elections, although I think significant conflict over real reform proposals from Sarkozy remains a live possibility. But as I argue in my Superman post, this issue takes us back to the controversy over Europe’s demographics. You’ve argued for some time that Europe’s demographic crisis is an illusion. Just upping the retirement age is enough to solve it. The Eberstadt-Groth article I refer to essentially confirms your point. But there’s a catch. Europe has to actually follow through, by substantially pushing up a retirement age that for years has been going down. And this will require political courage in the face of what is likely to be serious opposition. So if you’re right that Sarkozy’s election won’t mean very much in the way of real reform, then Europe may in fact soon be facing a serious demographic crisis.

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