innovation in the economy of l'economy

Tartuffery and economic misanthropy

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For centuries, France has hesitated to be on the same level as the economy. Many countries have gone from a statutory company to a contract company. Ours is half. This writing will astonish those who take politics and scandalize those who make a living from it. Some will laugh at it, others will question its good faith and criticize its exaggeration. - Your portrait of France is biased! - By definition, a point of view can only be particular, but it is the fruit of more encounters than others. Only some of them are retained to compose not a treatise (which would be inappropriate for the occasion) but a series of anecdotes whose author was only the accidental and rebellious bystander to use that lovely phrase.
 

Recommendations are commented without illusion, but the weather, so far disastrous, is changing. Ideas for reform are beginning to be heard through our policies. - You think, they don't really hear! - A member of the majority refuses to swear only by solidarity. He suggests that everyone, no matter how modest their means, should pay a citizen's tax. - You mean that the minority of taxpayers would stop paying the burden that has become unbearable for them? My friend, you are dreaming! - A former keeper of the seals of the same majority advocates an overhaul of the labour code. - No? his adulators, who kiss him in tears, would no longer be able to consider him as an icon or a sacred text? Stop, you're delirious! - Others, finally, would like the mandate of the President of the Republic to become a septenate again without the elected representative being able to stand for re-election. The return to this tradition is a step forward, but a mandate, renewable once, with fewer competences, would be a step forward. - Don't worry, it's not for tomorrow! - We're on the verge of the abyss where the economy could collapse. We'd have to take a few steps to the side to avoid falling into it. The right grasp of the facts, German-style federalism and recognition of entrepreneurial freedom are the route to follow. - What! France can get out of this?

Ahe French love Molière like the English love Shakespeare. They revere him as much as they pride themselves on Pascal and Descartes, although they read very little of each other. Molière remains imbued in their memories, but they only smile, or even burst out laughing, at the tics and ridicule of the Old Regime. As if the criticism of morals stopped at their great Revolution! They don't see - or don't want to see - that Molière's irony, Molière's humour, is more about the vices of political power, which carries with it the spirit of the courtier - carried a hundredfold - but also ignorance of concrete and economic life.

The tartuffery of power

 
Tartuffe depicts a false devotee who never stops praying and invoking the interests of Heaven.[1] Under the guise of religion, the main character covets, and the host's wife, and his fortune. In the name of Heaven where he intends to place himself, he rejoices in being able to appropriate the very material interests of his contemporaries. Tartuffe is the ultimate sham comedy.
 
 
As Molière wrote in Dom Juanthe impostor wears the mask of selflessness. His face displays the hermit's self-sacrifice. It's a useful ploy, a grimace I want to force myself into...(InTartuffethe dupe likes to be fooled to avoid thinking and being free. Better to be gullible than to face reality alone).
 
The deception is double, even triple, with the audience also being kept in confidence. Everyone is warned. The illusion is unanimously agreed upon. Let no one complain about being tricked! And our impostor to continue with his semi-public confession:
 
There is no shame in this now: hypocrisy is a fashionable vice, and all fashionable vices are considered virtues. The character of a good man is the best of all the characters we can play today, and the profession of hypocrite has wonderful advantages. It is an art of which imposture is always respected; and whatever one discovers it, one dares not say anything against it. All the other vices of men are exposed to censorship, and each one has the freedom to attack them highly; but hypocrisy is a privileged vice, which, with its hand, closes its mouth to everyone, and enjoys in rest a sovereign impunity.[2]
 
Molière himself plays the comedy. He describes under the human comedy the comedy of power. One binds, by dint of grimaces, a close society with all the people of the party...he writes. - But, sir, this is only about the devout party. You see too much of Molière's current antics! – Shock one, throw them all on each other, continues Molière. - You're pouring into anachronism. Do you really think his criticism extends to today's "parties"? 
 
And those who are even known to act in good faith in this matter, and who each one knows to be truly touched, those, I say, are always the dupes of others; they give highly in the panel of the grimaciers and blindly support the apes in their actions.
 
- Ah, you're annoying me by taking over Moliere like that. You're going strong! Following you, politicians would all be rotten, and those who listen to them would be fools! Admit that there are men and women who go into politics with a civic spirit. I admit that it is only at the beginning, but there is still some mayor, some member of parliament, some President (wait, I am looking for ... Ah! I see abroad a Prime minister during the war).
                                                     
How many do you think I know who, by this ploy, have skillfully dressed up the disorders of their youth, who have made themselves a shield of the mantle and, under that respected habit, have permission to be the meanest men in the world?
 
 
- Stop bothering us with Moliere! It's not funny. We're not in Russia or Turkey. France has changed! There's not only shenanigans here !
Though one may know their plots and know them for what they are, they leave no room for credit among people; and a few bowed heads, a mortified sigh, and two eye rolls adjust in the world all that they can do.
 
- So be it, but if you want a transposition that is correct, you should describe the shaking hands, the pats on the shoulder, the tremolos in the voice, the well-dyed hair (or almost), the false tears (with the handkerchief for), the false recognitions and the names that come back as if by chance: Hey! Hello! Monsieur du Corbeau, how pretty you are, how handsome you look to me... (after consulting the file of his com director who follows him).
 
It is under this favourable shelter that I want to save myself, and my belongings. I shall not leave my gentle ways, but I shall hide myself and amuse myself with a little noise. When I am discovered, I shall see, without stirring myself, my interests taken from the whole cabal, and I shall be defended by it against all..
 
- Stop with this hack who reduces our priesthood to a matter of false asses and coalitions of interest. I expect him to go on to accuse us of public slander!
 
I mean, this is the real way to get away with anything. I will set myself up as a censor of the actions of others, judge everyone badly, and have no good opinion of anyone but myself. As soon as I have been shocked once, I will never forgive and will slowly but surely keep an irrevocable hatred. I will make the avenger of the interests of the People, and under this convenient pretext, I will drive out my enemies, and accuse them of ungodliness, and will be able to unleash against them indiscreet zealots, who, without knowing the cause, will shout against them in public, and will overwhelm them with insults, and highly damn them with their private authority. This is the way to take advantage of men's weaknesses, and for a wise spirit to adjust himself to the vices of his century.
 
Ungodly. Translate : failure to respect the public record. Vices of his century. Hear ours in particular. – What! You don't believe in democracy and the critical thinking that corrects it?
 
 
- I answer: How can we believe in a democracy that legalizes the corruption of the accumulation of mandates in space and time? The accumulation of mandates multiplies the places where only one can sit on the grounds that a national mandate would give weight to a local mandate, and vice versa. - You would agree, would you not, that multi-mandate plurality frees us from party tutelage. - A little, it is true, but what is the Senate for, if not to represent the territory? As for the same seat occupied for the nth times, democracy bows before the chosen buttocks of the elective aristocracy. Most of the people's servants make a career out of forgetting their principal. They're old horses back home. They represent only themselves. They occupy a sinecure and speak for the people in defence of their income. Bravo! Bravo! Bravo! Well done. We've come to thank them. We congratulate them. We ask them for autographs. They are almost moved by it, they almost believe it themselves, scorning deep down inside themselves the voters who adore them and do not share their table.
 
How can we also believe in democracy in a country where political power, be it on one side or the other, places or rewards its friends at the expense of the taxpayer? Such a person is appointed to the Council of State, having barely studied law or pleaded at the bar. Another is appointed ambassador or consul abroad who knows nothing about foreign affairs. Don't worry: there is still an embassy in Paris to an international organization, a participation in a useless Commission, an appointment to the Economic and Social Council. The French Republic is famous for the quality of its four hundred "cheeses"!
 
It will be said that these beggars must be given pensions, but the beneficiaries of these offices already have comfortable pensions. When one has been, in this country of France, deputy, mayor and/or general (or regional) councillor, deputy and/or senator, President of the National Assembly or the Senate (during several legislatures), minister of and of, Prime Minister, one receives a pension amount more than twenty times that of an average pensioner. You have to be a socialist or say you are close to the people in order not to feel embarrassed. Ideology doesn't kill, except for those who don't stick to it. When you were President of the Republic on the right, when you receive, in addition to your pension, emoluments from the Constitutional Council, when you accept, without batting an eyelid, a large and luxurious apartment, a secretary, advisers, security officers, a car with driver, the sums allocated far exceed the services rendered. It is not Cincinnatus who wants a Republic at the antipodes of the Roman Empire! Apart from General de Gaulle, few like to return to the plough. Corruption has reached the top of the state to the bottom, while the country prides itself on being a model of governance in the world.
 
- Is that all!
 
- No, my final advice is to come back to Molière and continue to make the necessary changes. False devotees always run under the cover of the true religion, but politicians of all stripes still show false devotion to the republican cause. Many of them are trying tocatch men with counterfeit zeal and sophistical charity.[3] No doubt democracy cannot correct all the vices of public men, but the comedy of Tartuffe(FR) The "The Monarchy", written under the absolute monarchy, still helps to ensure our salvation, provided that everyone wants to defend comedy and democracy in this respect:
 
The marquis, the precious ones, the cuckolds, and the doctors, suffered gently that they were represented, and they pretended to amuse themselves, with everyone else, with the paintings that were made of them; but the hypocrites did not hear mockery; they were frightened [immediately], and found it strange that I had the boldness to make their grimaces and to want to decry a trade in which so many honest people are involved. It is a crime they cannot forgive me for; and they all armed themselves against my comedy with dreadful fury. They were careful not to catch it by the side that wounded them: they are too political for that, and know too well how to live to discover the bottom of their souls. Following their laudable custom, they covered their interests with the cause of the [People].
[…]
I am well aware that, in reply, these gentlemen are trying to imply that it is not the theatre that speaks of these matters; but I ask them, with their permission, on what they base this beautiful maxim.
[…]
If the use of comedy is to correct the vices of men, I do not see what reason there will be for it to be more dangerous than all the others; and we have seen that the theatre has a great virtue for correction.[4]
 

 

The orgy of election promises

 
Electoral promises serve a specific purpose: to give new energy to a constitutional machine that is now only obeying its inertia. The "general will" ends up merging with the anaemic voice of opinion polls. The electrocardiogram of the country becomes flat, lifeless. And now times are changing. Elections are announced! Each group starts to point out the problems again, to identify the issues. The country's hope is growing again. The nation once again draws from the reservoir of goodwill to face the future. The engine was dry. At last! We go to the pump to add fuel and have the collective strength to address new issues (or those that had previously seemed intractable).
 
Everyone is celebrating, but the journey undertaken appears increasingly uncertain. The cloud of clues that converged on a different meaning turns to mist. The promised land turns out to be a mirage. The destination interviewed is lost, detached from the expected meaning. Where am I? The great night of miracle solutions fades away, delivering a black dawn. Ah! moans the chorus of the disappointed, the sun is not there! Rosy-fingered dawn would only exist in Homer! Shouting, beating their chests, the beggars! The vision vanishes. The campaign poet was just a manipulator who didn't actually measure up.
 
The right triumphs. Disaster. Five years later, the left wins. Disaster to the power of two. The ship France, overloaded with debt, falls from Charybdis to Scylla. Unable to relieve itself, it continues to add expense after expense before we think to redress the bar in time. The right-wing candidate announced a great change after 14 years of a lazy king whose authority was reduced to dismissing any competitor. Here comes a young stallion, full of drive, not coming from the establishment. This single feat appealed to many people who no longer suffered from the narrow political enclosure. His young age was to provide the impetus for far-reaching reforms. The image of the action in progress, evoking Bonaparte at Arcole, or even Napoleon on horseback, showing everyone the way forward, made the front page of the foreign press (see the cover of the The Economist who will retouch David's painting).[5]
 
A few days after the election, the candidate announced a spiritual retreat before facing the storms. The country was impressed. A tradition of a great prince, praying before the battle to reconcile destiny! We were in Shakespeare. But now, instead of seeing the image of a monastery, the French discovered that of a yacht on which the chosen one was meditating in the company of a man who had been elected to the throne.happy few ...What a shock and disappointment! A drop too much after the "boxed set" of the chosen one at Fouquet's on the day of his investiture. The public no longer understands. Disappointments pile up. The impetrant proudly displays a watch that is once again rich. What! Not to have one before 50, isn't it a waste of one's life, says one of his advertising friends? The blunder reflects on the young President. The young president got agitated, but nothing helped. Overexcited, he forgot the gravitas required for governing. He storms, thwarts his ministers, insults his advisers. His character instability spoiled his virtues (alertness, imagination, oratory skills, occasional political courage). His desire to be loved pushed him to privilege the short term, making him appear more opportunistic than pragmatic, without a compass or precise strategy.
 
Failing to put himself in the clothes of a President, the elected representative eclipses the Prime Minister. He becomes party leader. He strives to gather, to mobilize. His amount of movement is intact, but he soon comes up against the hostility of those who refuse any reform. Deprived of the public support that had made him his champion, he circumvents, dodges. The result fell short of expectations despite some successes (the start of pension reform, university autonomy, constitutional revision recognising the right of everyone to challenge the law through a specific procedure so as not to destabilise the traditional myth). His qualities outweigh his faults, persists in thinking his entourage. Perhaps. History will tell if he runs again in the presidential election. He seems to still believe in his star.
 
The left-wing candidate, who succeeded him, came to power by chance. Until now, the man had been nothing more than a bureaucrat leading a party that had long since fallen out of favour. He had been used to the socialist arcane and had shown himself to be adept at reconciling for a time the internal currents that divide the barony of the party headquartered in a chic Parisian district. One no longer sings the international as in the time of Jaurès and Blum (it's not good for you in the neighbourhood), but one remains imbued with Marxism and Keynesian vulgate, forgetting that Keynes had responded to those who reproached him for changing his opinion: When the facts change, I change my mind. The candidate takes advantage of a singular combination of circumstances: 1/ the economic crisis, which further weakens the position of the outgoing president; 2/ the extravagant sexual behaviour of a Socialist Party cacique, a favourite in the polls. - Wow! The field is clear! In the Republic of the Blind, a one-eyed man has become king...
 
Here's our Socialist Party leather ring propelled to the front of the stage. Nothing in it changes. His political discourse is full of moralism and catechism. He promises an exemplary Republic (sic) which should put an end to the bling-bling of his predecessor by having forgotten beforehand to clean the stables of Augias of the party of the "people" he represents. (When he was Secretary, he was late in excluding a Socialist senator-mayor who had been convicted of raping a municipal employee. Come on! A General Secretary is not a prosecutor! The principle of the presumption of innocence did not, however, prevent him from being asked to renounce his mandates while awaiting the court's decision. It was only in the run-up to the 2012 elections that the honourable Member was asked to hand in his "card".[6] As for the catechism, the left-wing politician becomes a Jesuit: he promises a worsening of the tax on wealth (when one is born in a well-to-do suburb, one hates the rich (sic), but he does not like "toothless people" either, according to one of his confidants). Politics allows the logical acrobatics of saying yes and no at the same time. In front of the workers, the president promises, with his hand on his heart, the end of unemployment. Having been a civil servant, he does not know the ordeals of unemployment, but he sympathizes, or makes it seem so, by ignoring the economic forces that will put an end to it.
 
 
- You, Frenchmen (it is he who speaks), you are quite right to take your desires for proof! You want more civil servants, who produce no wealth, you will have them! More social spending, and a huge hole in the social security system, you will get them! Less international competition, by continuing to burden the entrepreneurs who exploit you, you'll get it! My ministers will make the boat as heavy as possible so that there will be no more national industry. How beautiful France is when she is alone in the world! A country that only consumes what others produce efficiently, what a noble ideal! The dream must come true. Gather us together, Frenchmen, so that we don't move any more. Let us sleep together, and let others tell us that this plan is unintelligible to a common sense mind!
 
There's a cherry on top. The candidate elected claims to be a president normal (sic). No waves. You have to please the average Frenchman who hates the one who's one head above him. Didn't we make the Revolution less for the love of liberty than for the love of equality? Envy is the passion of the country. Egalitarianism, its ill-fated daughter, is opposed to everything... fiat lux creator, any innovation that sets men and talents apart. We are small and we remain small. At home and among ourselves. What do we need to feel in us this feeling full of a strange greatness who takes over a nation that wants to participate in the evolution of the world and not be enslaved by it?
 
Isn't there, in the human mind..,
 quivering wings and sound strings that stretch out ?[7]
 
These are the words of a true poet, but we prefer to be deaf, to remain in two dimensions, in flatland rather than go up the hill. The new president prefers to play the panpipes. Not to make sounds that wake up, but music that drowses on demand. No hard, electric, energetic rock, but a lullaby, peppered with a bit of humour (ladies like it) when he should be using the scalpel to save the country. But let's be fair. Sometimes he can be imperfect (abnormal) when he finally makes up his mind (sigh of relief) to pass a law on marriage for all despite the outcry of a section of the population who demonstrated, not for themselves, but against the rights of others. When he also decided to reduce the scope of the accumulation of mandates against the opinion of some of his friends. When he finally undertakes to reinforce the regionalization of the country which is suffocating under Paris. The President-in-Office must be given credit! The right has not yet done anything on this front.
 

 

Scared and lacking balls

 
These are, alas, exceptions that confirm the principle. The populo would say: the power's scared to death. He's running out of balls.. What a paradox! Both the right and the left have proved incapable of settling three untouchable issues: that of the trade unions, that of immigration and that of national sovereignty vis-à-vis Europe, which we unwittingly claim to be Europe.
 
 
Trade unions. What strikes the foreign visitor is the permanence of the general secretaries of the "workers'" trade unions. As in political careers, they are elected, re-elected ... and re-elected. ad vitam aeternam. None of them find a technical function in the company or the administration. They used to be labourers or employees, but they have not been for decades, but they keep in touch with the base to stay in place. They know how to give voice so that their fellow workers give their voices (a show of hands is preferable). Everyone knows how to act tough to show that they are the man for the job. A company flat and other advantages (via the works council's budget), it's worth fighting for!
 
 
- But, sir, you don't know anything about it! - Yes, a little. As a citizen, I suffer the effects (the continuous strikes, for no other reason than to protect the "acquired rights" of the very privileged employees of the public sector. The tartuffery of defending the "general interest" pays off to the detriment of taxpayers who pass "for their interest" at the cash register). I have taught the basics of game theory to trade unionists who played games. To my question: Do you have any experience in negotiation? Answer: Of course! Yes, I've been a trade unionist for thirty years and I've been fighting against the bosses! - How do you see the "bosses" when you "negotiate" with them? Answer: What a question! For us (do they repeat over and over), they're scoundrels. - How would you define a scoundrel? Answer: a scoundrel is a scoundrel. - What else? - It's clear! No ? - Do you think that the other side also perceives you as a scoundrel? (Silence.) The Socratic method clearly remains relevant to the fight against prejudices. - Shouldn't we rather see the opposing contradiction as useful to create together new options that neither party had imagined? - No, we prefer to play at zero sum (we take what the other loses). - This is too much to say. Isn't that a way to put a bullet in your foot? You could have gotten more out of different plans as well as the other game. Even if the status quo seems favourable to you, it will eventually turn against you or melt in the sun?
 
 
Scared? One need only look at how the parliamentary report on the finances of the trade unions has fallen through the cracks with the complicity of the majority of MPs on both the left and the right:
The Perruchot report, named after the hon. member New Centre Rapporteur of the Committee of Inquiry, was buried in November 2011without any other form of trial. Officially, it can only be published in thirty years!
 
The report was intended to shed light on the still very opaque finances of both labour and management unions. Its story is not a trivial one. It all began in 2007, when Nicolas PerruchotThe French MP for Loir-et-Cher, known for having been Jack Lang's "lady-killer" at the Blois town hall, proposes the creation of a commission of inquiry. The reception is cold. But in 2010, the New Centre is using the "drawing right", which allows each parliamentary group to call for the creation of a commission of inquiry to reopen the debate.
 
All the groups, the UMP, the Socialists and the Greens, are rearing up. The Élysée too is reluctant to tickle the trade union centres just a few months before the presidential elections. But the committee has been set up all the same. The report has been drafted. Of the thirty members of the committee, only nine take part in the vote. Two centrists voted in favour, three socialists against and four UMP representatives abstained. The Perruchot report, since it was not adopted, will not be published, which is extremely rare for the Ve Republic.
 
It is apparent from [the Report] that :
- the employers' unions, despite their opulence, "tap" into the funds of joint bodies (Social Security, Unedic, training, etc.);
- the workers' unions live at the mercy of the State and the joint bodies;
- The dominant farm union, the FNSEA, has a proven art of confusing public funds with militancy.
 
All in all, the Perruchot report draws up, between the lines, an appalling report on trade union life in France. It is based on tricks and pretences where the State participates in a role-playing game with union apparatchiks who do not represent much. France has 8 % union members and eight "big" unions. They do not run after the militants and their contributions, because it is so much easier to activate other money pumps (including the works councils of public companies).[8]
 
The right-wing MPs defected so as not to displease the employers. Nicolas Perruchot, speaking on La Chaîne parlementaire, said he had The UMP "learned on the eve of the last committee meeting that the UMP was going to drop it, which is not very courageous". And with good reason: his report contains some unflattering references to the financing of the CGPME (employers' organisation representing SMEs) and its management of vocational training funds..[9] The left-wing MPs showed the same pusillanimity. Question to the Rapporteur The socialists consider the work "oriented" against the trade unions of employees. Answer:That is absolutely not true! From the beginning, I was afraid I'd be put on trial for witchcraft. That's why we decided, from the beginning, to go "half and half": 70 pages on employee representatives, 70 pages on management representatives. The treatment is fair. The "hot" subjects too: there are just as many on both sides. [10]
 
Lack of balls? Question: Some revelations must have been embarrassing?  Reply by the same Rapporteur : Indeed, for the first time, for the first time, we find in the same document figures which, put together, can be surprisingly large. All the more so because the opacity of the financing, as well as the virtual absence of control, makes this system perfectible..Q. : Does this report still have a chance? A.: None, unless the rules of the National Assembly are revised! I still think that people, like me, regret this denial of democracy. Over the last few days, I have received dozens of messages of support from people saying "Hang in there! ». Many of them were from trade unionists.[11]
 
- You see there are good people among the trade unionists! - I have no doubt about that, and I myself admire the dedication of some of them when it comes to rebalancing an unfavourable balance of power. I remember, however, when I wanted to be appointed as a Faculty Assistant, one of them slipped in: If you don't join our union, there's nothing I can do for you.... I said it right away: Neither do I! The commission ends up selecting me thanks to the help of a courageous professor, not very sensitive to the trade union criteria for judging competence. The analytical capacity of the trade unions is generally only at its best to help the country get by. A journalist questioned one of their Permanent Secretaries on the extension of the retirement age in view of the increase in life expectancy. The latter judged that demography was not an argument. Our thinker was right: the increase in life expectancy is a fact, and as such unavoidable, but the distinction between fact and argument was not part of his argument. Imagine a lawyer confusing the two! Unhappy would be his client. A physicist confusing hypothesis and its validation. Where would science go!
 
- You're not very soft on parliamentarians either! You don't know how hard they work when they are present! - A.: I was a parliamentary assistant for two years. Apart from sitting at the table in the gastronomic restaurant in each Chamber, I did not see many of them in session, nor in Committee. On the other hand, when it comes to applying for benefits and reserves from the Questure, they are very diligent. The general will, which they once said they represented exclusively, can wait. Nepotism is guaranteed when recruiting assistants. Provide expense reports? You don't think of that! We don't need to justify our expenses. The lobbies? what are you talking about? We're above these vulgar private interests! - But why do you continue to deny their influence? It's the normal game of democracy. The lobbying provides accurate information to parliamentary assemblies and officials, but the game must be transparent. When one refuses to acknowledge their existence, one runs the risk of a deaf influence, distorting decisions without the public's knowledge. Ah! How difficult it is to declare interest groups (industry federations, trade unions, associations) as such, think-tanks(e.g., churches, freemasonry). We'll never prevent networks from playing a role, but we'll see a bit more clearly. It is not a question of persecuting some of them. We are not (or no longer) under an authoritarian or fascist regime. On the contrary, it is important to multiply them in order to neutralize them in part, as James Madison thought when he wrote the American constitution.
 
Madison? Who's this? Who's this? Don't know.
 
Immigration. - But you don't know what the problem is! - How can anyone ignore it when many of our fellow citizens, as DNA would reveal if asked, have come out of it. - Oh, no, you don't! Copen that breast I can't see... ![12] - As a student in France, I worked as a children's instructor in one of the deprived suburbs of the Paris region. The little Arabs in the area used to call me Aladin (when you're called Alain, and what's more, Laraby, you can understand the childish slip). Their parents, I remember, were parked like sheep in barracks behind fences. The end of the Algerian war was not far off. The trauma of the country was too acute for the French to care about their fate. In this context, the policy of "importing" North African workers into France was inconsistent, not to say aberrant. Instead of solving the problem, more was being added to it. It costs less in the short term, but in the long term, the profiteer, his children or third parties often pay the price (as the colonial fact or the black question in the United States proves).
 
 
On the spot, in the midst of growing insecurity, I could see the trouble ahead. More than forty years ago. It was more than a denial of democracy, it was a denial of reality. The political class, left and right, lived in the centre of Paris. The posters showed them in a village in the heart of France, with its bell tower and its countryside, and today they continue to be elected in a small provincial town that ignores the real problems of the whole of France and the world. It's so easy to drink a big red wine with the local hillbillies or eat sausage (in front of the cameras) at the Salon de l'Agriculture. That's us, isn't it? Ah! The France of the Gauls! I have nothing against peasants, but I find it unbearable the way they use it once a year. The rest of the time, we don't care much about them, but it's true that with the beurs and burettes on the outskirts of the cities, visiting the neighborhoods where they live idle is likely to be more disturbed because they've forgotten them.
 
– (with a false sense of outrage) But you yourself forget the housing policy that has swallowed up billions and the family reunification policy that was humane and generous!
 
– (with a fake contrite air) You're right. You're right. The arriving families have been accommodated in magnificent HLM bars, as far away as possible from transportation and amenities. It is said that the architects of these decent homes, built next to the noisy roads, would like to live there. Unfortunately, there is no more room, as there is such a strong demand to squeeze in!
 
- Stop being ironic! The subject is too serious. Today there are bombs, commandos, maybe one day suicide bombings. (in mezzzo voce) The reader may be offended by this.
 
- It's up to you to stop, for once, playing Tartuffe, you who have never taken this subject seriously! You discover, all astonished, that there are dead people, prisons full to bursting. - You're joking ! We did what we had to do: curfews, armed soldiers in the streets, in train stations... I confess that this last measure is useless, but it makes you believe that. The people are so stupid! How else could one be re-elected? But the people who are said to be brilliant, with diplomas in their lapels, can be even dumber. Nothing has been done to integrate recent immigrants culturally and professionally. In other countries, they are taught the values of the neighbourhood and are quickly given a job in their hands. In France, they are given tickets to visit museums, but then they get the chance to queue up in front of the (non)-employment agency. - What nerve! You doubt the effectiveness of the ANPE, which summons every unfortunate person, whether native French, naturalized or immigrant, for 5 minutes to the unemployment office.ith times, for lack of being able to give them something worthwhile! - We know the Ministry's subtle answer: we're going to increase the number of officials in the Agency to create jobs... Descartes' country had never thought so well of the place. I am deranged, therefore I exist, as a soul ignorant of the needs of its body. Remember Montaigne's word: when the body is strong, it obeys; when it is weak, it commands. Ouch!
 
- But who are you riding for at last! For the right or the left? Are you leftist or ultra-liberal? - Neither, Inspector. This kind of question reminds me of an old time: What are you? Nietzschean? Marxist or Freudian? - I'm me, or at least I try to be, avoiding intellectual dictatorships that suit you so well. Your flowerpot policy of sprinkling the government with a few ministers of immigrant background is a cautery on a wooden leg. - It is a start. Before, we had already recruited pretty, colourful female presenters on TV! - Thanks to you, the French have been able to get a good shake, but there are other talents among people of colour. Outside of the "small" screen on which all of France is riveted, the hatred of the excluded that is not shown (apart from a film) has finally burst out. - Who do you tell? In the street, you're no longer at home! To the rejection of the majority, the stone-throwing of minorities has been answered by the desperate cry of "Respect! ». The word is in the mouths of the young people of the cities, brought to exist to form gangs and to follow thick thugs and thugs.
 
- But they're dealing drugs! - Yes, and there are worse. They beat, kidnap and torture young Jews like in the case of the barbarian gang. Ilan Halimi died, the police denying it was anti-Semitism. Instead of feeling French, they became anti-French. Instead of adopting the values of secularism and the equality of men and women, they took religious under-education courses. They opt for the veil, or impose it on their sisters who would like to study and become fundamentalists like them. Instead of enriching French culture, they went to the East to destroy all vestiges of civilization. They converted less to Islam than to the infrahuman by killing others like animals in a savage way. Today, the question of immigration has been revived with the massive arrival of political and economic refugees. If the policy continues to be that of such a sterile "elite", we will go straight to civil war or St. Bartholomew's Day, as the French used to love to do in the past. At best, the electoral debate will go down again with gutter slogans.
 
- You're going strong! - Not so strong when we already see how an extreme right-wing activist compares a coloured minister to a "monkey", when we see how simple parents leave their child waving a banana peel in the minister's path while laughing, when another politician speaks, finally, of "white race" to define France ...
 
- No more hope? - Yes, I see one. For once, right and left have worked in the same direction by striving to form "imans à la française". This is a sign, but we should give up the mentality of considering work and wealth as a fixed quantity to be shared. We must add surplus for all. A pleonasm, yes, to be heard!
 
National sovereignty. For lack of space, we will come back to this in another article. We will talk about it at length in conclusion.
 
 
From business inexperience to economic misanthropy
 
Despite Voltaire's objections to trade and Montesquieu's praise of its spirit, France never appreciated the virtues of this primordial form of exchange. From Colbert to Napoleon, the same incomprehension, the same closing of minds and borders. Long live Colbert... alas! Writes Jean Peyrelevade, former CEO of Suez and Crédit Lyonnais, which he turned around. The spirit of commerce...to sound like Montesquieu, was never encouraged.
 
Colbert is the inventor of industrial mercantilism. Victim of a widely shared illusion, he believes that the accumulation of precious metals provides the true measure of wealth. "Only the abundance of silver for a state makes the difference between its greatness and its power. "Since France has no gold mines, it must export more than it imports, sell more than it buys, to bring home the precious metal which, coming from America, has only passed through Spain. Of course, it is believed that high customs duties on foreign products will speed up the achievement of this goal. On the other hand, imports of raw materials are favoured and exports are prohibited. The industrial state is protectionist from the outset. The national economy is both protected and regulated..[13]
 
Long live Napoleon... Alas! Alas! Alas! Napoleon is a complete inconsistency. On the one hand, he accuses England of being a nation of shopkeepers. On the other, he attempts to mount a continental blockade against her while she controls the seas and trade... Napoleon reasoned like a physiocrat who hadn't seen that trade matters as much as agriculture. England was already a great economic nation before the Industrial Revolution propelled it forward. Napoleon was indifferent to the fate of the merchants, especially the non-French merchants of his own empire.[14] The countries, under French rule, tried to make up for their losses by smuggling. Believing they were playing with the finer points,  
 
Napoleon authorized by licences a clandestine trade with England, with the responsibility to export French goods of a value equal to that which was to be imported. The merchants who used these licences loaded their ships with goods that could not be admitted across the strait and were thrown into the sea when they left the port. The government, completely ignorant in political economy, applauded this manoeuvre as favourable to our factories. But what was the real effect? The trader, forced to lose the entire value of the French goods he exported, sold the sugar and coffee he brought back from England, and the French consumer paid for the products he had not enjoyed. It was as if, in order to encourage factories, manufactured goods had been bought at the expense of taxpayers and thrown into the sea.[15]
 
For centuries, France has missed the boat of trade. It is around France, on the sea and on the continent (in northern Italy, Flanders, the Netherlands) that business is done without it. History shows an incompatibility between strong power and urban autonomy. Under French and Spanish rule, Southern Italy lost its abundant variety. A centralized monarchy, with its heavy taxation, prevented the development of world cities in France comparable to Florence, Genoa, Antwerp, Amsterdam, London, ... Paris remained in the background.[16]
 
From the monarchy to the Republic, nothing has changed in France in this respect. Admittedly, the Etats Généraux are convened more regularly in a new way, but the Parliament is not filled with people who are well versed in business. Civil servants abound. None of them know how to regulate VAT in practice, but some have invented it, proud of this new tax that has an impact on consumption. It is not for us to worry about how the companies will be responsible for harvesting it and passing it on. Paperwork is their business! Deliberation on matters they don't know about is legion. Not having grappled with reality, they make their own decisions. Without ever having to discuss and sign any contract to be hired, they shape the rules of other people's employment contracts in a vacuum. They establish entry and (non-) exit clauses without knowing their effects, indifferent to the torments of employers who recruit and fire according to the economic situation. Their approach is notarial, because the employment contract must be as intangible as a contract relating to real estate. - You might want us to adopt the common law so attuned to business law? The law does not have to worry about protecting the fluidity of trade against state intrusion. By definition, law is straight, not curved!
 
 
Our representatives of the people want the good of the people without even sensing the laws of welfare. Economic science, the rudiments of which some of them know, has prepared them only to admit as the basis, instead of an observed fact, of a principle which is itself based only on argument. Our legislators and ministers, for want of a company, are so unfamiliar with their respective fields, imitate the scholastics of the Middle Ages who discussed words and proved everything, apart from the truth.[17] Apart from spending without counting, they ignore basic notions such as the variation of stocks, the speed of circulation of money, the difference between an average cost and a marginal cost, ... (I stop there, to avoid making them tremble). Their knowledge of how to create wealth is as poor as their knowledge of how to lose it. No one comes in here unless he is a surveyor......as they said in ancient Greece. Not in French politics, where the scientific spirit was not accepted.
 

A test?

 
- Mr. Member, Mr. Senator, Mr. Minister (a former minister who does not yet hear himself say Minister is very upset), tell us about the law of falling bodies. - – (SilenceWe were kind: we did not ask him to evoke general relativity, but a law discovered at the beginning of the 17th.e century... - Galileo? Uh... One day, a person in charge of the scientific research budget, asked an astronomer if the sun was setting in the western hemisphere... Surprised, the astronomer believed a joke. The question was repeated. It is likely that among the people who govern the country, there are spirits who believe in the music of the spheres, not knowing that sound does not propagate in a vacuum. - But Sir, many colleagues, not least of all, consult astrologers! - Who doubted it?
 
During a visit to East Africa, I had the opportunity to meet a "senior" civil servant, a graduate of the Ecole Nationale d'Administration. Instead of telling me about his experiences, he told me about his entrance marks at the ENA and that he had been received thanks to the general culture. - What do you mean by general culture, I asked. He replied with a tone of evidence: literature, history, geography. - That's fine. What about science? - Yes, a bit of humanities, sociology, economics, psychology, ... - A bit of math and physics too? - But, you're joking, that's knowledge, not culture!... - Really?
 
 
Of course, no one has the science infused. It is better for a public decision-maker to know the price of bread, milk or gasoline than to know about Newton, Einstein or quantum physics. Not knowing science is not an evil in itself (a little, anyway), but reasoning in economics without having the reflex to verify one's statements and correct them if the statistics deny their veracity requires a hell of a dose of lack of culture! Ah, if they knew that in science one learns less the truth in itself than uncertainty, as Richard Feynman reminded us.[18] To create the 35 hours of work per week to reduce, it is said, unemployment, and then not see nearly 6 million people out of work, you have to be a master of the non-experimental method. - Sir, you're just a scientist dominated by facts. We are ideological! - To institute retirement at the age of 60 without consulting the tables of actuaries is certainly pure metaphysics, worthy of that of yesteryear - And pure arbitrariness, added a third voice, because it depended on the good pleasure of a republican King (the one who wrote Against the permanent coup) to want it! (The same Sire had not hesitated to illegally wire-tap a number of personalities and journalists who annoyed him).
 
If we disagree on the effect of 35 hours and retirement at age 60, let's do the analysis. From the fact that a fact may have such and such a cause, the spirit of the system concludes the causeso be it, but the analytical mind wants to know why a certain cause produced a certain effect, and to make sure that it could not have been produced by any other cause. - Sir, you're asking too much. Our clientele would not stand for it, even if other categories of the population suffer from our injustice (just look at the state of the non-privileged employees of the public, not to mention the non-salaried).[19] We prefer vague and hypothetical ideas, extravagant imaginations that struggle for a while before being swallowed up forever.,[20] dragging the country down with them.
 
The ignorance of the political-administrative elites in economic matters is a response to the more serious ignorance of the public. - Don't you see yourself, Mr. Lawyer... - In part, yes; in part, no, having taken, in the past, Maurice Allais' courses on the theory of surplus and money. As a former engineer, this French Nobel Prize winner always tried to confront theory and reality by means of numerical series. In any case, The public good requires that individuals know the principles of political economy as well as statesmen. They should learn this as being interested in the public good; it will also suit them if they wish to enlighten themselves on their private interests.. Popular education in economics is unfortunately at an all-time low. In the media, it's no better, considering how all the information is related to the words crisis and globalization!
 
The view that the study of political economy is suitable only for statesmen, false though it is, has caused almost all authors, even Adam Smith, to imagine that their main vocation was to give [complacent] advice to authority; and as they were far from agreeing among themselves that the facts, their connection and their consequences, being very imperfectly known to them, and quite unknown to the common man, they must have been regarded as dreamers of the public good; hence the disdain which the people in power had for anything resembling a principle.[21]
 
For any principle that is true, but not for principles that are false or limited in their application. The government implements a short-term demand policy instead of supporting the supply that would allow for exports and hiring. - Ah, how sad it is that we can no longer devalue! Belonging to the euro imposes constraints on us against our laxity. This rigour is unbearable! It reminds us of the recovery of the franc under de Gaulle with Jacques Rueff. There is, in this country, more than disdain. A deep misunderstanding that leads to hatred of the economy. People feel as if they're being subjected to a hopeless yoke. As if everyone was living the gravitational pull without imagining one day turning it to profit! (In the carnival, we know how to get used to it by running trains on roller coasters). Accustomed to having decisions made for them almost as they did during the Occupation, the French experience the economy as a fatality, as an unknown and disproportionate factor. - Capital", the big word! What an awful sound! The atheist of service contrasts it with a cross of Christ by shouting Vade retro satanas ! A holy man, bearded, composed a Summa on the subject. The Internationals ratified his suras. One of our compatriots has just added a codicil. Another has written on "economic horror". They said it all. Capital slits our throats, drinks our blood, impoverishes our lives. Money corrupts everything. Do you realize that we've come to talk about the men's trade. You who quote Moliere, that you hadn't reread the Misanthrope ?
 
No: you can reason with me no matter what,
Nothing I say can deflect me:
Too much perversity reigns in this century,
And I want to get out of the men's business.[22]
 
 
(I answer) There's some truth to it. Advertising on every street corner is boring and alienating. As in New York, everything is offered but nothing is good, except for those with money. But everything has its obverse and reverse. Wanting to ban the opening of businesses on Sundays borders on the ridiculous nowadays. One member said, in the name of the public good, that libraries should be open on Sundays instead so that parents and children can learn. It is so degrading to go to the big DIY and furniture stores! We should check to see if our member of Parliament is an avid reader. So-called enlightened people want to lend us their lights without owning more than the vulgar. And what would you like me to do, ma'am? would write Molière, while the opening on Sundays or holidays gives me the opportunity to equip my house and think about decoration. The better-paid staff, the students, who are hired on top of that, are delighted, despite the fact that these great minds are not happy about it. are talking about the highest floor to the point of dizziness, swollen [with] self-love. (The Misanthrope.) As if study and DIY were exclusive! The high esteem in which they would like to hold us prevents them from respecting our needs, incapable of grasping their novelty and unearthing the merit of all the actors (manufacturers and intermediaries) who provide for their satisfaction.
 
- You give yourself the easy part. And the subprimes, the uncontrolled speculation, the over-wealth of some: why don't you say something about it? The young French economist you mention is sincere and well-documented. - No doubt about it. In the Anglo-Saxon context, theses on the ugly "capital" have every chance of being heckled and counterbalanced, but in the French context, we take them at their word. The misanthropy against economic laws is so strong that the cause is heard before it is listened to. As for the world economy, the financial crisis is neither the first nor the last. At the end of the 19th centurye In the 19th century, industrial and financial tycoons were the law before American antitrust law curbed its excesses. Each era has its crises and successes, its overrich and its corrective mechanisms, but without "capital" or "capitalists", there is no economy that survives. The economy does not know anaerobic beings. Capital is not just a trick to speculate, but an accumulation of money that a man alone, throughout his life, could not gather.
 
- Would you like to create a start-up (an Anglicism, as if by chance), you need ideas, courage, a team ... and money. How do you get it? As a novice entrepreneur (why wouldn't you be?), you need to put all your savings or those of your family into it. You are taking a risk, a big risk. You quit your cushy, boring or dull job. You are embarking on an adventure. We used to talk about "balls". There's no question here of what you do when you poop your pants. If you don't have any savings, you turn to financial institutions or shareholders. Not all of these money providers are willing to take risks, but some of them give you credit or advances. Not being able to pay your employees right away, you offer them compensation for the loss of their jobs. stock options which they will be able to resell in the distant future. All funds raised will have to be used with care and intelligence because
 
this kind of work [eh! yes, it's a very demanding one] requires moral qualities that are uncommonly found in a meeting. He wants judgment, consistency, knowledge of men and things. It is a matter of appreciating properly the importance of a product, the need for it, the means of production; it is a matter of involving sometimes a large number of individuals; it is a matter of buying or arranging for the buying of raw materials, of assembling workers, of seeking consumers, of having a spirit of order and economy, in a word, the talent for management. You must have a head used to calculation, one that can compare the cost of production with the value the product will have when it is put on sale. In the course of so many operations there are obstacles to be overcome, anxieties to be overcome, misfortunes to be fixed, expedients to be invented.[23]
 
Is this the activity of a profiteer, an exploiter? That you make a profit from the risk undertaken, what could be more normal? Are you one of those predators who gives himself exorbitant severance pay for having managed to hack a company's turnaround by keeping 1,000 employees out of 10,000? These are mercenaries, not entrepreneurs. Was the previous excerpt written by the devil? No, it is the words of an economist that the self-righteous (and not very active) excrete. Jean-Baptiste Say was the first to point out the role of the entrepreneur and to justify his profit in relation to salaries and the interest of shareholders. Reac? Vampire? A foreign economist who would like to destroy our cultural exception? No, a French economist, an ardent revolutionary and resistant to Napoleon:
 
Spending his adolescence in Lyon, Say benefited by paternal decision from an education free from the influence of the Church. Arriving in Paris after the family moved, he began his apprenticeship at the age of fifteen as a grouillot in a trading house. At the age of nineteen, he left for England to train in business practices and the English language. There, he enthusiastically observed the prodigious industrial boom that, from the end of the 18th century, was taking place in Paris.e century, animates the banks of the Thames. He returned to Paris two years later, to be hired as an employee by Etienne Clavière, an insurer by trade, also a Protestant and Genevan by origin. ...] Following in the footsteps of his new boss, he himself joined the group of the Girondins. An active supporter of the Revolution, he gets closer to Mirabeau. However, he quickly asserts himself as a republican and will continue to do so. He volunteered for the armies and took part in the battle of Valmy.
[…]
His Treatise on Political Economy [published in 1803] was not well received by Bonaparte, the first consul, who asked the author to rewrite certain parts in order to support the sovereignist, not to say war economy, based on protectionism and regulation. Say refused to give satisfaction to the new master of the country. He was forced to leave the Tribunate, where he had spent four years as head of the financial section [here is a parliamentarian who knows his stuff], and the reprinting of his book, the first edition of which was quickly out of print, was banned.[24]
 
And Jean Peyrelevade to conclude his presentation: here it is a rebel in the name of freedom and truthful speech... ! In his vision of the entrepreneur, Say announces Schumpeter. No doubt, the entrepreneur is not alone. He is neither Satan nor deus ex machina. His creativity is the result of interaction with diverse minds and profiles, but he is a man who does not pretend to know without an ounce of experience. He does not belong to the airmenMolière would say, who know everything thanks to one or two diplomas that give them illusions about their future creativity.

The drunken ship

 
The entrepreneur faces the risk of losing both his fortune and reputation and his family who will leave him if he fails. It doesn't matter! The taxman is there to suck his success, while the timid, the timid, the one who doesn't dare to face the market, is less heavily taxed. In France, we have other people's butter and other people's money, but those who work hard, weekends included, are not much considered. He's a rich man! A parvenu! As if all company directors were the type to drive around Deauville or the Côte d'Azur, in a sports car, with pretty pin-ups...swollen breasts, at their sides. I don't remember," said one, "seeing Steve Jobs there.
 
Ah! Capital! As it "exploits" us, we must in turn exploit it for the benefit of all those we assist. Those who need it (a minority) and those who have much less, given that we meet every day false needy (or disabled) knocking at the Social Security counter. (I have nothing against the handicapped, I am one, which does not prevent me from working). Solidarity has no limits. You have to pay for cures, at the expense of the French Republic, anxious to avoid treating this problem like so many others. No waves! There will be barricades. Say valued production; we value distribution to the detriment of activity, hence our decline and programmed disappearance tomorrow .
 
I'm in Burgundy, at the restaurant. Next to our table, an apparatchik from a neighbouring region proudly states that Singapore envies our education system. In the United States, he adds, there are no scholarships... This kind of statement reminds me of a professor from French universities in London who said at breakfast that he didn't like America. Certainly, American foreign policy is not always a lacey one. - What are you doing? What are you doing? - I teach English and American literature. Pushing the conversation further, I ask him what exactly he doesn't like, because the country is a more diverse continent than is commonly believed. – I've never been there! My arms are falling off. I have only the strength to add: if you don't carry America in your heart, start by going there to understand what you teach. He looked at me, stunned. His misanthropy towards the economy and the foreigner (which often goes hand in hand) was beyond his comprehension. Tourists in Paris know something about it: our cafés and restaurants treat them like dogs, not hesitating to serve them, without a smile, microwaves at high prices.[25]
 
I come back to our "leader" who is not answerable for anything ("a political "leader" is not accountable for his actions. Where did you see this? AccountabilityWhat does that mean? Universal suffrage clears our convicts, as you well know. Let's close the parenthesis). I listened to our local genius without listening, annoyed by his inaccuracies and his nonsense. Seeing my pout, he thought it good to inform me that subsidies in France are raining down on new companies. The foreigner envies our allowances to industrialists. (He drank a new glass of wine, very satisfied.). I pointed out to him that instead of giving money back, we could simply leave it to the companies and tax them less. They will know better than anyone else how to invest for themselves. We will avoid cronyism and other kowtowing that drives the agenda forward.
 
- How, Mr. Unknown, do you doubt the neutrality of the state? - The stranger replied: It's not a doubt, it's a probability between 0.5 and 1. When I see how, before the elections, subsidies corrupt certain departments and regions, I wonder, but I'm wrong. One day, I went to the West Indies with a colleague to plead a case. In the hotel where we stay, I order a juice cocktail. Half an hour goes by. I politely recall our order. Fifteen minutes go by. We are alone. I show up again. The "boy" (whom I don't call "tel") answers me: Sir, I'm not at your service. – I'm in.I replied,as everyone is at everyone's service. This is how society lives.
 
(Back to our genius) As the person in charge of the general interest, do you believe that the elected official or civil servant knows the right criteria for granting such and such a subsidy? Having only a superficial view of the markets and their evolution, the public decision is often wrong. If there is a concern that the public and private interests are not moving in the same direction, tax incentives should be used to redirect business choices. (Supposed answer from another genius, operating at the national level) - Good timing! Haven't you heard of the misappropriation of the research tax credit, recently reported by Communist Senator Brigitte Gonthier-Maurin? Thanks to this system, large groups do not pay taxes.. Tax deductions, intended to encourage innovation, have been misused. They are used for tax optimization or other purposes (employment of other staff, etc.). (The unknown reacts positively). The administration needs to better control the destination of public funds, but (he adds) to avoid such behaviour, she needs to understand why. Introducing tax incentives when companies are drowning in taxes can only encourage them to use them to lighten the tax burden. This report demonstrates the perverse effect of too much tax that we want to correct by maintaining the cause! The sprinkler is sprinkled by its majority. The government decided, once again, not to make this new parliamentary report public. Ordinary people can read in it the consequences of a disastrous policy that pushes large fortunes to flee the country, executives to leave the country, large apartments and mansions to be emptied ... Less capital, less talent, fewer jobs. Hell - the real one - is paved with good intentions... The living forces leave it.[26]
 
Worse: tax hell is pushing those who stay behind to cheat. In The Spirit of the LawsMontesquieu pointed out that bad laws destroy morals. Here we go. We're creating stowaways by the bucketful. Everyone thinks it's in their best interest to avoid the tax evasion tax. Why put your money in the common piggy bank that's so mismanaged or cracked on the side? Paying what is owed, which becomes undue, leads to closure. What is flowing in this country is not the sap of life, but the expenditure of the State and local authorities as well as that of public institutions. What! Shouldn't we pay, in certain communes, departments, regions, schools or hospitals, for staff who are more on leave than at work? (Work stoppages naturally count towards working hours). For those who work too fast (I mean normally), beware of dismissal or ostracism! [27]
 
- Examples!
 
- The previous note refers to this. If you don't have time to read, simply walk or drive through villages. You sometimes wonder if the roadmender's trade has been abandoned. Of course, we are not in a neighbouring country where respect for nature rivals the care of houses, woods and fields. Mad grasses grow everywhere, here and there, strewn with papers, cinder blocks, empty or broken bottles ... Everything is mixed together for the greatest joy of the inhabitant and the visitor. (The spectacle is hardly different in the heart of Paris). Tourism does not explain everything. Slackness is obvious. In one of these villages, I am told, there are more than a dozen roadmenders at work, but excessive rest condemns them to bed. Nothing to say: the local taxes pay their salaries, but they can't be blamed for everything: dog droppings depend, in town, on the training of the townspeople ...
 
Extend your trip to a ministry. Noblesse oblige: mismanagement reaches the top. The new Minister or the new Directors want brand new offices. The new carpet is changed (his lordship does not like the colour, nor does he like to walk on a floor soiled by his predecessor). Each time, the paintings are redone, and one demands furniture worthy of one's rank (if certain cartels disappear, one must accuse the sense of the State which demands meticulousness at home). This kind of waltz is frequent. We are at the level of big egos, which are less big than small. Everyone has made hands and feet to get to the Prince and be appointed. Political affiliations, comradeship of promotion, service rendered, not to the fatherland but to the leader we helped to get on the dais. (At the municipal level, the sharing of the booty is the same: under the town hall on the right, one makes a bombardment with fine wines and pays one's friends salaries for fictitious work; under the town hall on the left, one feeds one's militants under the back of cultural associations forced to underpay music teachers or to thank them). Some of those promoted don't have an office? Don't worry! We'll make you Prefect at large or ambassador. You can take care of law and order at home or exercise diplomacy without moving.... Belonging to a state body, that's a must. You'll get paid, well paid..
 
Hello! Hello!Some of the unassigned nominees have the nerve to call for activity bonuses. - But you didn't work. – So what's the big deal? I have the right, no but! (sic).
 
Good administration never spends on spending, and ensures that the benefit to the public of a need being met outweighs the extent of the sacrifice the public has had to make for it.[28] What a wise word so little heard! Even taxes no longer follow; we borrow on international markets to pay for operating expenses. Investment can wait. Violent thunderclaps erupt at times: interest rates rise against borrowing countries whose situation is similar to ours. They erupt, but do not enlighten those at the helm. Our finance minister keeps saying that the situation is improving. Is he not well? The Prime Minister is flouting his good will to govern differently by going to a football match abroad. On his own dime? No, of course not on his own money. By chartering a government plane free of charge.[29] Only the Minister of the Economy has a sense of reality and wants to straighten things out, frankly.[30] Emmanuel Macron doesn't know SMEs, but he knows finance. That's something. His itinerary is reminiscent of that of Georges Pompidou, a banker and normalien. He opens a door, but the party hierarchs don't like individuals who clearly distinguish things.
 
In the meantime, the evil is getting worse ... The inconsistencies of political power in economic matters date not from today (with the left), nor from yesterday (with the right), but from several centuries of history. On many occasions, France has been within reach of reaching the high point of prosperity to which its soil, its position and the genius of its inhabitants call it. Unfortunately, like a ship sailing without a compass and without a chart, at the whim of the winds and the folly of the pilots, not knowing where it is going or where it wants to arrive, the country moves forward at random because there was no settled opinion in the nation about the causes of public prosperity..[31] The ship is drifting, zigzagging like a Brownian motion. There's no captain or compass.
 
On the boat, I see myself at the bottom of the water. I thought I was living in a rational state, - a Leviathanstrong and in the service of society. Alas, sighed passenger Rimbaud already,
I've seen huge swamps fermenting, nests.
Where a whole Leviathan rots in the rushes.
Collapses of water in the middle of the bonaces,
And the distant to the cataracting chasms!
 
(The drunken ship, "bonasse"= calm, talking about the sea)
 

Three recommendations

 
- Criticism is easy, art is hard! - Exactly, here are three recommendations for throwing overboard anything that weighs down the boat too much. - We won't throw anything overboard, but we'll throw your recommendations in the bin! - Presumably, but the liner France is just as likely to end up being sold to a scrap dealer and dismantled. Let's throw a bottle into the sea... - A good bottle? - Yes, bitter enough to awaken our torpor and sclerosis!
 
- What is the message on the piece of paper? - Wait, my neighbor's putting on his glasses to try to decipher it. Ah! It's in French. Chances are we'll understand it! (our compatriot reads the missive, before letting it go with the currents.)
 
In order for the country to recover health (and not taxes), it would be necessary at the constitutional level: 1/ a German-style federalism; 2/ a reform of the President's term of office; 3/ a reform of the freedom of enterprise, too timidly sketched out by the Constitutional Council.
 
German federalism. Wait for the announced reform and amend it if necessary.
 
Reform of the President's term of officewould reduce the President's power and extend his term of office by two years. As in England, the Prime Minister, accountable to Parliament, would have control over foreign policy and nuclear deterrence until these two competences are shared with his counterparts in the European Union. On the other hand, the President's term of office would again be seven years, as has been the tradition.
 
Motives:
The French are accustomed to looking for the "great man" who would come to their rescue on any occasion. Their confidence in institutions is limited. It would therefore be appropriate to reform them so that they are less deficient and avoid the misdeeds of their leaders. On the Elysée's website, one is surprised to see the President's office cluttered with files. It is said that the man who works in the office has not understood his function. His task is not to meddle in everything, right down to the details of stewardship. The country is not asking him to have his head in the papers, but to represent France with dignity in its constants. To represent it outwardly and inwardly, and to represent it inwardly.
 
The reform, aimed at liberating the freedom of enterprise, should result in a slimming down of too much state for the benefit of the economic development of citizens. Foreign experiences (Sweden, Canada, New Zealand, ...) have shown the way. The reasons for the reform and its statement are very well set out in Jean-Pierre Peyrelevade's book on French neurosis. The author proposes to introduce a chapter in the Constitution devoted to freedom of enterprise, given its importance. Articles 1 and 5 are as follows:
 
Article 1. The freedom to engage in business is one of the human rights. Every citizen may engage in the activity of his or her choice. […
Article 5. The law shall impose limitations on the freedom of enterprise and contractual freedom that are justified by constitutional requirements or reasons of general interest. Limitations must remain in proportion to the objectives pursued.
 
 
[1] Molière, Tartuffe [1664], Act I, scene 5. Heaven's interest is all that drives him (Act I, sc.1).

[2] Molière, Dom Juan [1665], Act V, scene 2.

[3] Molière, First Placet au Roi on Tartuffe's comedy [June 1669]. Placet means I like it, it sounds good in Latin. Written request, concise, which was made to obtain a grace, a favor. (Larousse Dictionary). Louis XIV, who had applauded the play at Versailles, had to resolve to forbid Molière to give public performances of it. The Church and the devotees accused Molière of ungodliness and reproached him for giving a bad image of devotion and believers. Hence Molière's Placet, which will be followed by a second one. The play was finally authorized to be performed in 1669. Molière would write a third Placet that was laudatory and triumphant. V. Club français du livre, Théâtre classique, Molière, Paris, 1959, pp.503-508.

[4] Molière, Preface to the Tartuffe, French Book Club, pp.495-501.

[5] The Economist, France's chance, 12 April 2007, and the inside article: After a quarter-centry of drift Niclas Sarkosy offers the best hope of reform,; see also Hugh Schofield, They are two small men in a hurry, who each believes in his personal destiny to drag France out of chaos and decline., onBBC One-minute World news, 15 January 2009.

[6] It concerns the case of Jacques Méhéas, Senator-Mayor of Neuilly-sur-Marne. He was convicted in 2004. Taking the case to appeal, the mayor had chartered several buses from the commune to support his personal cause before the Paris Court of Appeal. In 2009, the Court of Appeal upheld the judgment, converting the prison sentence into a fine. The judgment was enforceable from that time, notwithstanding the appeal in cassation lodged by the appellant. The Court dismissed the appeal in 2010. It was not until another sexual assault case - the arrest of Strauss-Kahn in New York - broke out that the Socialist Party decided to exclude the indelicate.

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[7] Alfred de Musset, The Confession of a Child of the Century [1836], Ve partie, chap.1, Paris, Garnier, 1968, p.237.

[8] Le Point, Argent des syndicats : l'intégralité du Rapport Perruchot, 17 Feb. 2012. Le Point.fr puts the report online at http://www.lepoint.fr/economie/argent-des-syndicats-le-rapport-interdit-16-0220121431943_28.php.

[9] Libération, Le rapport sur les syndicats mis au pilon, 9 December 2011. According to a figure taken from the Report mentioned by Le Figaro Magazine (leaked a few days before the report was buried), the State would pay 17,000 civil servants seconded full time to trade union organisations. (ibid.).

[10] Le Parisien, Rapport parlementaire enterré: " Un déni de démocratie ", 13 Dec. 2011.

[11] Ibid.

[12] Molière, Tartuffe, Act III, sc.2.

[13] Jean Peyrelevade, Histoire d'une névrose. La France et son économie, Paris, Albin Michel, 2014, p.70. The quotation is taken from a speech to the Council of Commerce, 3 August 1664.

[14] N.A.M. Rodgers, Nelson and Napoleon, edit. by M. Lincoln, London, National Maritime Museum, 2005, p.6.

[15] Jean-Baptiste Say, Traité d'économie politique [1803], Paris, FB éditions, Liv. I, chap.15, p.96 (ed. of 1841).

[16] Yves Renouard, The cities of Italy at the end of Xe siècle au début du XIVe siècle, Paris, Société d'édition d'enseignement supérieur, 1969; Fernand Braudel, La dynamique du capitalisme, Paris, Flammarion, 2014.

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[17] J.-B. Say, Treatise on Political Economy, Preliminary Speech, p.13.

[18] Richard Feynman, Nobel Laureate in Physics. Do you understand any of this, Mr Feynman? Paris, edited. Odile Jacob, 1998.

[19] The Parisien of Sept. 21, 2015 makes it clear that not all employees of public companies are in the same boat. In some of these companies, we defend the rights of good French people, not those of the North African workers we went looking for. The salaries of French railway workers were increasing every year, not mine," says Mohamed Aarab, a former Moroccan contract worker for the SNCF. The hardest part is that I was training the railway workers who passed over me. They kept telling me that you had to be French to be on the statute. And when I was naturalised, the SNCF told me I was too old. "And the Parisian added: "But for this contract agent of the SNCF, the biggest slap in the face will come when he retires. "I'm going to get three times less than a railway worker with the status. That's 874€ against 2379€, even though we will have worked the same number of years". In this affair, the unions [except one, which is not in the majority] shone for their absence. »

[20] J.-B. Say, Treatise on Political Economy, Preliminary Speech, p.20.

[21] Ibid, p.30.

[22] Molière, Le misanthrope [1666], Act V, sc.1.

[23] J.-B. Say, Treatise on Political Economy, Liv. II, chap.6, §3, p.259.

[24] J. Peyrelevade, Histoire d'une névrose. La France et son économie, op. cit. pp.97-98. Etienne Clavière was to be a little later (1792) appointed Minister of Finance in a Gironde government. Impeached by the mountain people in 1793, he committed suicide to escape the guillotine. As if, in France, the dual status of Huguenot and Girondin predisposed one to understand the economy and have one's neck cut off... (ibid.)

[25]We're making progress. According to a latest report from the Direction générale des entreprises (DGE), less than 10% of independent commercial catering establishments now indicate the mention "home-made" (Sud-Ouest.fr, 07/04/2015).

[26] Le Parisien, 10 August 2015, "Crédit impôt recherche: le grand détournement", p. 7; "De plus en plus en plus d'exilés fiscaux", 8 August 2015, p.7

[27] Zoe Shepard, Absolutely de-bor-da-da-da-da-da-da-da-da-da-da-da-da-da-da-da-da-da-da-da-da-da-da-da-da-da-da-da-da-da-da-da-da-da-da-da-da-da-da-da-da-da-da-da-da-da-da-da-da-da-da-da-da-da-da-da-da-da-da-da-da-da-da-da-da-da-da-da-da-da-da-da-da-da-da-da-da-da-da-da-da-da-da-da-da-da-da-da-da-da-da-da-da-da-da-da-da-da-da-da-da-da-da-da-da-da-da-da-da-da-da-da-da-da! The civil servant paradox. Comment faire les 35 heures ...en un mois, Paris, Albin Michel, 2010; Jérôme Morin, On ne réveiller pas un fonctionnaire qui dort, Paris, L'Archipel,2014.

[28] J.-B. Say, Treatise on Political Economy, Liv. III, chap.7, p.335.

[29]The French pay more tax than almost anybody, the economy is in the dumps and attitudes are shifting against abuses, yet they remain remarkably tolerant of the privileges of the governing caste (Charles Bremmer, The Times, 9 June 2015). The Socialist party has been hit by a number of corruption and spending scandals since taking power in 2012.A former budget minister was forced to quit after being found to have stashed millions of euros in a Swiss account and a senior presidential advisor had to step aside after being accused of conflict of interest and overspending, including spending a small fortune to keep his shoes shined. (The Guardian, 9 June 2015).

[30] The left may have believed at one time, a long time ago, that politics was against business, or at least without it. ...] That France could get better by working less. These were false ideas. (Emmanuel Macron. Le Figaro, August 30, 2015, p.2.

[31] J.-B. Say, Treatise on Political Economy, Preliminary Speech, p.31.
 
 

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