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France LOWERS retirement age for some (60)
Old 06-12-2012, 06:21 AM   #1
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France LOWERS retirement age for some (60)

France lowers retirement age for some workers | Benefits Canada

Interesting, workers who started working in their teens and women who have had at least three children can retire at 60 in France.
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Old 06-12-2012, 06:42 AM   #2
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Lived in France for several years.

Not only an age 60 retirement, but between the 35 hour work week, a "saint's day" every other week, some civil holiday every alternate week and a rail/taxi/muni/police/carman's strike every third week, plus six weeks of vacation, you end up working a 3 day week year 'round!

Oh yeah, and that 2 hour lunch (paid by law by your company).

But who's to say that WE don't have it wrong?! It's not a bad lifestyle (until the money runs out)
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Old 06-12-2012, 07:09 AM   #3
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But who's to say that WE don't have it wrong?
How about the fact that they're all going bankrupt?

Bailouts already given to Ireland, Greece, Portugal, and now Spain. Who's next? "Place your bets! Will it be Italy or France! Step right up, place your bets!"

I'd say that's a pretty good indication that THEY'VE got it wrong. Turns out if you overpay a population to underproduce and loaf around, the money eventually DOES run out.
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Old 06-12-2012, 07:21 AM   #4
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Turns out if you overpay a population to underproduce and loaf around, the money eventually DOES run out.
Agreed. I did say 'until the money runs out'

"Paying a population to underproduce and loaf around" is rapidly becoming an applicable policy here the US as well, I'd say.

Who is John Galt?
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Old 06-12-2012, 11:25 AM   #5
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Just on a cultural level the French are complex and not easily understood by Americans. Now we throw in economic variables on national and international levels. How to model this and be close to right in our thinking?

It just happens that I'm reading this book: Amazon.com: Sixty Million Frenchmen Can't Be Wrong: Why We Love France but Not the French (9781402200458): Jean-Benoit Nadeau, Julie Barlow: Books

Still puzzling about the French and Europe in general. But then I don't understand the Russians, Chinese, etc. Then there are those bewildering Americans.
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Old 06-12-2012, 11:40 AM   #6
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Just on a cultural level the French are complex and not easily understood by Americans. Now we throw in economic variables on national and international levels. How to model this and be close to right in our thinking?
I'm glad you posted this.

Since I worked for a French company (I was based in the U.S.) but had a French manager (and a French group that I managed, along with folks in the U.S.), I know that on the surface, a lot of the "press" seems strange to us in the U.S.

I won't go into the reasons behind the news article (which discount those who persue higher education - university and beyond, in France which greatly expands their "normal retirement age") nor the assumtions of the 35-hour work week (which in most cases, resulted in 5/hours per week in overtime to bring most folks up to the 40-hour week, as requried due to workloads).

I also won't talk about the less than an hour lunch break (of which I was never "paid") I took with my manager/group, or the idea that my manager required me to report by 8 am and often work to 7 pm (the time that most resturants opened) during my monthly trips to the "home country" of my employment.

Oh, BTW. Since I was responsible for the wages of my French (along with U.S.) employees, I was certainly aware that that the folks who were on the "other side of the pond" were paid much less than the folks that reported to me on the U.S. side for the same job/duties.

Anything that hits the news has to be measured for comparison based upon the knowledge of the local situation.
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Old 06-12-2012, 12:08 PM   #7
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France lowers retirement age for some workers | Benefits Canada

Interesting, workers who started working in their teens and women who have had at least three children can retire at 60 in France.
Gender discrimination and discrimination based on reproductive status. Lovely.
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Old 06-12-2012, 12:11 PM   #8
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I used to work for a Belgian company that was certainly full of Frenchmen. At various times I had Belgiun bosses and always had to deal with them on my work.

The Belgians were definitely paid less than the Americans in similar postions. Americans moved to Belgium quickly learned this because they were paid like they were Belgian. That definitely created problems getting people to go with families. Singles loved it.

It was repeatedly made clear to me that they didn't understand us and we didn't understand them. They did elevate beauracracy to a new level even compared to my prior US mega-corp experience.

I saw one meeting where a Belgian French speaking group and a German German speaking group had a meeting. Everyone worked for the company. I knew all of the Belgians spoke German. I knew that most (probably all) the Germans spoke French. They would rather have died than speak the other groups language. The meeting was done in English.

The cost of living is very high in France. How people buy houses is completely beyond me. It's like California circa 2007 on steroids.
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Old 06-12-2012, 12:14 PM   #9
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Gender discrimination and discrimination based on reproductive status. Lovely.
It's very common and accepted in Europe. When I was reading the want ads in a Belgian paper I found one that said "Attractive woman under 25 years old for customer reception position. Must have good office software skills. Prefer non-married." Imagine what would happen if this ran in a US paper.

They wanted a "babe" to give the clients coming into the office something to look forward to seeing.
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Old 06-12-2012, 01:30 PM   #10
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Gender discrimination and discrimination based on reproductive status. Lovely.
No. French people recognize that women are still the ones bearing kids and most likely raising them as well. What it means is that a woman tends to be penalized by the French retirement system compared to their male counterparts because she may have to time time off work. Therefore, women who have had children get compensated with retirement credits.

Would you be OK if -all else being equal- the woman who bore your kids had to work longer or get a lower pension than you just because you got her pregnant? I wouldn't.
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Old 06-12-2012, 01:38 PM   #11
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No. French people recognize that women are still the ones bearing kids and most likely raising them as well. What it means is that a woman tends to be penalized by the French retirement system compared to their male counterparts because she may have to time time off work. Therefore, women who have had children get compensated with retirement credits.

Would you be OK if -all else being equal- the woman who bore your kids had to work longer or get a lower pension than you just because you got her pregnant? I wouldn't.
There's a big difference between giving "service credits" toward an old age pension system and letting them get out earlier than everyone else. Your argument is speaking toward the "service credits" aspect of it, not the discriminatory difference in eligibility age to retire.

But at the same time, a stay-at-home dad is screwed? Same situation, but reverse the genders and he's SOL? When are we going to get past the "men as breadwinners and wallet" stereotype? Women are far, far ahead of men in terms of being allowed to move past the traditional stereotypes, and this just reinforces it. Base it on personal situation, not gender, then it's not sexism and gender discrimination.

Jeez, I thought this was the 21st Century...
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Old 06-12-2012, 01:43 PM   #12
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There's a big difference between giving "service credits" toward an old age pension system and letting them get out earlier than everyone else.

But at the same time, a stay-at-home dad is screwed? Same situation, but reverse the genders and he's SOL? When are we going to get past the "men as breadwinners and wallet" stereotype? Women are far, far ahead of men in terms of being allowed to move past the stereotypes.
The French retirement system is complex and very different from the US system. People should at least attempt to understand it before making judgements.
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Old 06-12-2012, 01:47 PM   #13
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As a % of GDP, the French budget deficit is lower than the US's. Their public debt is about the same. Their productivity per hour is the same if not better.

American friends who held jobs in France worked 40 hrs/week but received comp time for the extra. This meant an extra 1/2 day of vacation earned each week. Add that to their 4-6 week vacation and it sounds like a job where I wouldn't have to seek ER.
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Old 06-12-2012, 02:03 PM   #14
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Their productivity per hour is the same if not better.
Nope. Link (according to a CBS turn of a UN report in Feb 2009.)
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American workers . . . also get more done per hour than everyone but the Norwegians, according to a U.N. report released Monday, which said the United States "leads the world in labor productivity."
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Old 06-12-2012, 02:04 PM   #15
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But at the same time, a stay-at-home dad is screwed?
BTW, I also w*rked for a company owned by the Swede's. In that country, both parents get paid time off (shared) to care for a young child for 16 months.

Think they are abnormal? Well, here's a list of parental leave, by country (to make it easy):

Parental leave - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Of course, I would not want to pay the taxes my manager (who lived in Sweden) did either, but that's another story.
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Old 06-12-2012, 02:05 PM   #16
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The French retirement system is complex and very different from the US system. People should at least attempt to understand it before making judgements.
It may be complex, but *if* a certain "protected class" gets to retire younger than all the other French taxpayers, it's discriminatory. Especially if it's based on gender (or race or religion or family status, et cetera). I don't need to know more than that to judge that particular aspect of it as sexist, discriminatory and wrong.

There are ways to consider individual circumstances and other criteria without a dividing line based on gender.
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Old 06-12-2012, 02:12 PM   #17
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It may be complex, but *if* a certain "protected class" gets to retire younger than all the other French taxpayers, it's discriminatory.
In this case, the "protected class" is the uneducated (beyond high school).

It works out that everybody puts in the same number of years "on the j*b", but for those in the lower class (who's lifestyle is also much lower, overall) they get a bit more years of lower class retirement, since they enter the w*rkforce at a much younger age.

Is it proper? Not in our eyes. Of course, in France the social system is set up that you generally "are what your father was", be it the head of the government or a street cleaner. There is definitely a class system, which most folks don't understand and the ability to break out of your class is difficult.

Most folk who were raised/lived in this country would not understand nor want such a "system".
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Old 06-12-2012, 02:19 PM   #18
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Let's reserve judgement and see how the increased social spending works out for them. They are free to make their decisions (as they did with their recent election) and enjoy the consequences.

But, I hope those in the US will resist the urge to bail France out "for our own good." Those US workers toiling extra weeks every year and being more productive (on average) each hour they spend on the job might not take it well.
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Old 06-12-2012, 02:32 PM   #19
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Nope. Link (according to a CBS turn of a UN report in Feb 2009.)
Fair enough. They're about 98.5% as productive as Americans, according to that study.

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The U.S. is second at $35.63, about a half-dollar ahead of third-placed France.
(And we should note that this is an inexact "science." Norway's numbers are skewed because of the oil boom, which greatly increases GDP/capita in a smaller country.)
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Old 06-12-2012, 03:01 PM   #20
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It's very common and accepted in Europe. When I was reading the want ads in a Belgian paper I found one that said "Attractive woman under 25 years old for customer reception position. Must have good office software skills. Prefer non-married." Imagine what would happen if this ran in a US paper.

They wanted a "babe" to give the clients coming into the office something to look forward to seeing.
In South America they also would require a recent photo along with the CV. My YW gets offers on the 11 out of six positions she applies for!
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