FIGAROVOX / MAINTENANCE – For François de Closets, author of boomer arcThe policies were implemented at the expense of the youth. The individual reasoning of this generation must be replaced by a new social cohesion that makes it possible to respond to the challenge of aging, says the journalist.
François de Closets is a journalist and essayist. He has about twenty books Always more!, so. Grass, 1982, France to withdraw or double, so. Fayar, 2015, and boomer arcEd Fayard, 2022.
FIGAROVOX: In your book, you criticize the policy pursued by the baby boomers between the end of the 1970s and 2020, which, in your opinion, led to the decline of France. Why do you want to make this review?
Francois de Closets. – France went through a period that I call the “Arc of the Boom,” during which it experienced no war, famine, epidemic, catastrophe or major economic crisis. This arc in which the boomers ruled France is unique in the history of France. History is usually tragic, cut short from one disaster to the next, and peace is never anything other than the interwar period. During the “Boom Arc,” the French believed they had a birthright to live on this hibernation date and in this news subject to the risk of small fluctuations. They believed they had a birthright to growth, a birthright to peace. But what happened during this happy period? France has accumulated nearly three trillion debts. These debts on the backs of our sons do not correspond to investments, because the rate of public investment has fallen because France has a deficit, but it is only an expenditure of comfort and consumption. I have decried this scandal in my books for decades, and I repeat it again today. France was not burdened with debts in its history except in times of war. That this indebtedness in the absence of any specific restriction is abhorrent, and silence on this issue is intolerable.
While it was enough to maintain this status, the boom generation succumbed to the comfort of credit and deficit.
Francois de Closets
How do you explain this historical transformation after the post-war reconstruction and Gaullist years?
There are setbacks caused by disasters. This historical upheaval was caused by the absence of a catastrophe. This generation of spoiled children has fallen into the trap of this very favorable period. Everything seemed earned, and everything seemed deserved. In 1970, France was the most dynamic and prestigious country in Europe. While it was enough to maintain this status, the boom generation succumbed to the comfort of credit and deficit. Gaullist France had the most powerful financial resources in the world, which prompted the bankers to extend credit. Under these conditions, the French lived on credit, unwilling to make the slightest effort to perpetuate what was offered to them.
You criticize Boomer’s ideology of individualism and selfishness. In order to implement a policy in the interest of the state, is it necessary to rediscover the concept of the common good?
General de Gaulle had imposed civil liberty in the service of society. Thus, he put the French at the service of France. The state came before individual and immediate satisfaction. The French were hesitant but followed the Gaullist policy. In 1968, young people who took perpetual growth for granted revolted and smashed this system. Society then had the paramount goal of respecting individual freedom and instant gratification, no longer ensuring continuity. We must return to the concept of civil liberty and put an end to this supremacy of individual liberty. The only absolute must be the common good.
Our society is being turned upside down by a major change we didn’t want to see, and that is aging. No society has witnessed this phenomenon in history. Previously, existence extended to three generations: children, adults and the elderly who barely existed. In 1945, the average life expectancy of the French was just over 60 years. Suddenly, we have to introduce another 25 years into our society. The baby boomers have decided to make these years the best time of their lives where their kids stay idle. If retirement at age 60 for workers is necessary, then retirement at age 60 for everyone is a scandal. At the age of sixty, a person has an average of fifteen years of healthy life ahead of him and has no good reason to put himself entirely at the expense of the next generation. It is shocking to see today, Marine Le Pen and Jean-Luc Mélenchon propose returning to retirement at the age of 60, that is, adding two years of pension to the payment. And this represents tens of billions at their expense, while our country is the only country where retired old people live better than working people who pay pensions. It is the first time that taking from those who have the least, to give them the most, has been depicted as social progress.
The problem that arises is the organization of twenty years of additional life, which in the coming years will lead to an exponential increase in people in a state of dependence.
Francois de Closets
You mentioned in your book the issue of aging that leads to dependency. To respond to this growing challenge, must we redefine the bonds of solidarity?
We must rethink the balance between generations, believing that each generation has a duty to prepare the next. In the family world, everything is done so that young people can take their place in society. Parents see it as their duty to help their children integrate into society. In the same way, generations have a duty to those who follow them to help them advance and find their place.
The problem that arises is the organization of twenty years of additional life, which in the coming years will lead to a huge increase in the number of people over 80, and a very large increase in people in dependency. Boomers have given themselves a happy period on the backs of their kids, the seniors’ 60-75-year period, but they have no blueprint for the future and can’t handle it. So we have to rethink everything.
Cohesion is the mutual assistance of generations, each in his role. There are five ages in life today: children, teens, adults, seniors and the elderly. The elderly and the elderly are not in the same category or in the same condition. The former need money to live, while the latter need help. This help cannot come from the staff only because neither the staff nor adequate resources will be found. Older persons shall be obligated to perform this social activity in addition to their pension.
Every Frenchie and every French woman from the age of 50 must prepare for old age, as a child prepares for adulthood.
Francois de Closets
At the end of your book, you provide prediction-specific advice. How will it work?
In this book, I suggest concrete things. Today there are scientific studies on aging, and we have the example of societies that have faced this problem. From this we know what we have to do. Boomers braces It is a book of proposals for the reconciliation of generations, not a book of denunciation that leads to the war of generations.
I suggest a regimen that every French and every French woman from the age of 50 should prepare for old age, as the child prepares for adulthood. He must be informed, have a personal diagnosis according to heredity and way of life. From the age of 60 he must choose between continuing to work or undertaking social activity in order to receive a full pension. People who want to stop working in their 60s will have to have a supervised activity with responsibilities and services to be provided. This activity should be more than just voluntary work and allow for the care of an aging generation who needs help. It is not up to workers who already pay pensions to do this work outside the family. It’s up to 60-80 year olds to go into the 80-100 age so as not to leave them alone. This system operates in Scandinavia and in Denmark.