To Fight Deficits, France Plans to Raise Minimum Retirement Age from 60 to 62

5 france 453

With most countries raising their retirement age to 65-70,
France is now only dabbling with raising it to 62

The French government abandoned a sacred totem of its generous welfare system Wednesday to combat mounting deficits, announcing that workers soon will no longer have the right to retire at age 60 but will have to wait until they are 62.
Labor Minister Eric Woerth, who unveiled the long-debated change, said the move was made inevitable by Europeans’ lengthening life expectancy, the global economic crisis and an accumulation of government debt. His ministry has forecast a deficit of nearly $40 billion in the pension program this year as more people take payments and retirement taxes shrink because of the slowed economy.
“All our European partners have [dealt with] this by working longer,” Woerth said at a news conference. “We cannot avoid joining this movement.”
Germany, for instance, has announced plans to raise its retirement age from 65 to 67. Britain and Italy have settled on 65. In comparison, officials pointed out, France will still have one of the earliest retirement ages in the industrialized world.
But the political symbolism of retirement at 60 has remained particularly strong in France. Along with the 35-hour workweek, it was one of the main heritages of the Socialist government headed by President François Mitterrand in the 1980s. Since it was introduced in 1983, retirement at age 60 has come to be seen as an inalienable right, in the same category as paid vacations and health insurance.
The Socialist Party’s current leader, Martine Aubry, said the government’s plan was “irresponsible” and “unworthy of a democracy.” She warned that if Socialists win the next presidential election, in 2012, they will reinstall the right to retire at 60.
Aubry’s predecessor as the party’s general secretary, François Hollande, called the plan “the most unjust reform” and accused President Nicolas Sarkozy of making poor people pay for the economic crisis. Seeking to soften the blow, Woerth announced a 1 percent jump in the tax rate for France’s highest incomes and said taxes will also rise on capital gains from investments.
The plan, which is likely to pass easily in a parliament controlled by Sarkozy’s coalition, calls for the legal retirement age to rise by four months each year, beginning in July 2011, until it reaches 62 by 2018. At that point, the ministry calculates, the pension fund should be balanced.
Those who begin working before age 18 or who hold down particularly taxing jobs will still be able to retire earlier than age 62, the plan stipulates. Nonetheless, French labor unions announced they will fight the changes.

The French government abandoned a sacred totem of its generous welfare system Wednesday to combat mounting deficits, announcing that workers soon will no longer have the right to retire at age 60 but will have to wait until they are 62.

Continue reading… “To Fight Deficits, France Plans to Raise Minimum Retirement Age from 60 to 62”

0

Wave of Labor Unrest in China Signals End of Cheap Labor

labor unrest

A strike in May at Honda Motor’s transmission factory in Foshan, where hundreds of workers walked off the job and shut four assembly plants.

China has been hit with a recent wave of labor unrest, including strikes and partial shutdowns of factories, underscoring what experts call one of the most dramatic effects of three decades of startling growth: A seemingly endless supply of cheap labor is drying up, and workers are no longer willing to endure sweatshop-like conditions.

 

Continue reading… “Wave of Labor Unrest in China Signals End of Cheap Labor”

0

More American’s Moved Last Year But Not Long Distance

moving family

Most American’s are not moving far from home.

More Americans moved last year than in the previous year, but most didn’t go far, a sign that foreclosures and housing costs are still keeping people close to home.  About 37.1 million Americans — 12.5% of the population — changed addresses from 2008 to 2009, the Census Bureau reported Monday.

 

Continue reading… “More American’s Moved Last Year But Not Long Distance”

0

Internet Users in China Reaches 404 Million

chinese online

Internet users in China surpasses 400 million 

The number of Internet users in China, already the largest in the world, has surpassed 400 million and accounts for almost a third of the country’s population, state media reported on Saturday.  The online population in the world’s most populous nation has reached 404 million, the official Xinhua news agency said, citing the State Council Information Office.

Continue reading… “Internet Users in China Reaches 404 Million”

0

Gunkanjima – Once the Most Densely Populated Place on Earth is Now Unihabited

gunkanjima1

Gunkanjima

Gunkanjima is an island in Nagasaki prefecture. The whole island was purchased by Mitsubishi in 1890 because coal was found under the sea in that area. Gunkanjima (軍艦島) could be translated as “battleship island”; that is because the island shape reminds you of a battleship. (Pics and video)

 

Continue reading… “Gunkanjima – Once the Most Densely Populated Place on Earth is Now Unihabited”

0

Demographic Trend: California-Born Residents Regain Majority Status

made_in_california

California-born residents now make up the majority in that state

California has long been the ultimate melting pot, with the majority of its population coming from outside the state.  A USC study finds that immigration has peaked in the state, a longtime melting pot. Border restrictions and the recession are seen as factors.

 

Continue reading… “Demographic Trend: California-Born Residents Regain Majority Status”

0

Gendercide – Where Have All the Girls Gone?

amnesty-international-ad-girls-india

China and northern India have unnaturally large numbers of boys but the problem is rising.

Imagine you are one half of a young couple expecting your first child in a fast-growing, poor country. You are part of the new middle class; your income is rising; you want a small family. But traditional mores hold sway around you, most important in the preference for sons over daughters. Perhaps hard physical labour is still needed for the family to make its living. Perhaps only sons may inherit land. Perhaps a daughter is deemed to join another family on marriage and you want someone to care for you when you are old. Perhaps she needs a dowry.

 

Continue reading… “Gendercide – Where Have All the Girls Gone?”

0

Study Shows a Decline in Dentist Population as Early as 2012

dentist

Dentist population to start declining by 2012

If current trends continue, getting an appointment with a dentist might become more challenging in coming years.  A recent survey by the independent research firm, the Long Group, and sponsored by the not-for-profit Delta Dental Plans Association, found that the dentist population could begin to contract as early as 2012.

Continue reading… “Study Shows a Decline in Dentist Population as Early as 2012”

0

China’s Rural Population Could Drop from 900M to 400M Within 30 Years

elderly man in china

An elderly man from the countryside walks in a street in the Sichuan province, with his granddaughter on his back

China’s rural population may drop to 400 million from the current 900 million in the next three decades because of rising urbanization, a senior official has forecast.  The rural population currently stands at 720 million, the latest population figures have shown. But the number does not include the 180 million rural residents who have left their hometowns to live in cities for more than half a year, Han Jun, a senior official at the State Council Development Research Center, was quoted as saying by Beijing News.

 

Continue reading… “China’s Rural Population Could Drop from 900M to 400M Within 30 Years”

0

South Koreans Told To Go Home And Make Babies

korean baby
Attacking Low Birth Rates In South Korea Is Now Routine
South Korean government workers are being given an unusual instruction – go home and multiply.

At 1900 on Wednesday, officials at the Ministry of Health will turn off all the lights in the building.

They want to encourage staff to go home to their families and, well, make bigger ones. They plan to repeat the experiment every month.

0