Sunday, May 15, 2005

Straws in the wind about the day when taxes will have to go up a lot to finance Social Security and Medicare.

Some lessons from the highway trust fund for the Social Security trust fund, via John Tierney.

Meanwhile, over in France, where workers work fewer days per year than just about anywhere else in the developed world, you may remember how an estimated 15,000 elderly and handicapped died during a heat wave in 2003 due to lack or resources and programs to care for them.

In response the government passed a law revoking one work holiday -- Pentecost (it is supposed to be secular government, after all) -- with the value of the work day being being captured by a 0.3% tax on all employers and contributed to a fund created to benefit the elderly and handicapped, to finance programs to prevent such a societal disaster from ever happening again.

And what's been the reaction of French workers and unions to this call to work one day more to provide resources to help the elderly? "Non! Non! Strike!" [NY Times]

This while here in the US we keep on being told there'll be "no problem" with increasing income taxes by a mere 63% by 2030 to fund Social Security and Medicare, with the tax bill rising indefinitely thereafter.

Well, good for us, US workers are much more generous than French workers towards the elderly. No doubt.