By Olivier Perrin – The Little Economist (France) –
Do not laugh at the title of this letter and read it to the end, it is serious .
It begins rather far from our preoccupation, in a small country, rich and mountainous.
It is well known: the small mountainous rich countries are full of retirees and billionaires who came to hide their money.
They sit on natural resources that they exploit selfishly.
They are tax dumping to attract the head offices of companies that export back to their country of origin, which they betrayed for a few banknotes after taking advantage of the system: aid, health, education, labor …
And it’s very nasty .
All these phenomena are real . And especially microscopic with regard to the stakes .
The balance of Swiss exports – these are indeed Helvetians of which we speak – corresponds to 5% of their GDP.
If you remove this balance, the GDP per capita goes from 80 000 € to 75 000 € … And Switzerland without its exports remains the 4th richest country in the world , it would not even lose a place in the ranking.
Switzerland does not really have any other natural resources than water, wood and cow’s milk.
As for tax dumping, the biggest multinationals that benefit most are … Swiss : Nestlé, Roche, Novartis, Rolex.
And if taxes are much lower in Switzerland, it is simply because the government collects only 30% of GDP against 57% in France .
Yet the Swiss are rich. Very rich.
And there’s a reason.
A HUGE reason to this wealth.
They work much more than we do.
But when I say a lot, it’s HUGE more than we do.
A Swiss works literally twice as much as a Frenchman.
2.03 times to be precise even if such precision does not make much sense.
And there is one major reason: the share of the population employed in Switzerland is 62% against 37% in France .
That is to say that there are 6 people working in Switzerland to make them live 10 whereas in France, 4 people have to trimer to make them live 10.
It would be a big mistake if we did not have the brain so rotten by three lost decades of “battle for jobs”, preservation of “social gains” and reductions in working time.
Add to this 42 hours of weekly work versus 35, 4 weeks of holidays versus 5 and you arrive at a number of hours worked per inhabitant twice as high in Switzerland as in France.
You’re going to tell me that we already have 2.8 million unemployed people-
How would you like us to find 13 million new jobs in France ??
Well it’s very simple.
It is not to look for them.
And I’m not paying for you at all.
What does this work for?
Our ancestors who lived in the early twentieth century were no more unhappy than we were.
If we adopted their way of life, we could live, feed, lodge, move and heat for the equivalent of 2 or 3 hours of work per week.
Our diet would be much less diversified than it is today, no sushi or molecular cuisine, but local agriculture would bring us more of the essential nutrients we need.
It would take a long day to go from Paris to Marseille instead of three hours but there would be no desertification of our campaigns.
Your living room would be furnished with your parents’ wooden chairs instead of Ikea sofas discarded every 5 years … which would be much less comfortable and better for your back.
But we do not live like our parents . Human nature is thus made that we seek to improve our daily life, to understand, to repair, to improve, to invent, to facilitate …
What a satisfaction when you have worked well, dignifiedly and conscientiously ! Whether you have a household or a cure for a serious illness.
That’s the job. And it’s very good!
You take everything that’s wrong with your family, neighborhood, city, region, country … And you try to make it go a little better, each to its measure.
Seen that way, I can guarantee you that there is work for 13 million more people.
The problem is not work is the organization: let people do it with dignity.
Entrepreneurs must be left to undertake and invent the wealth of tomorrow.
And that does not mean more gadgets and leak forward. This also means relearning to produce tomatoes full of taste and vitamins, or clothes of qualities that are not thrown at the end of the season, washing machines that do not break down …
This is what the Swiss have understood.
They do it: the labor market is very flexible . Apart from a few specific areas, the internal economy of Switzerland is free. In any case much more than in France. It’s the comparison that counts.
But this is not all, the Swiss guarantee the dignity of every job, in particular by preventing the dumping of imports .
The Swiss leave their work free and protect their economy. They protect the fabric of their SMEs and industries.
By doing so you end up with supermarket employees who live twice as well as in France . And this is true for the whole economy: Switzerland is the OECD country with the lowest wage gap. And it is not the bosses who are paid less, it is the employees who are better paid … And without minimum wage .
It is not an ideology but an observation.
France in reverse
It so happens that in France we do the opposite.
We open the doors that we should close and close those that should be left open.
We are overprotecting jobs, rigidifying the labor market to excess, but leaving our four-winds open to our economy, which is eroding and destroying itself.
You want to “reverse the unemployment curve” , that’s what we need to do and I can assure you that it will bring work and prosperity:
Liberate the labor market and the economy
Protect our economy where it needs it – especially to rebuild our industrial fabric.
Unfortunately in France for a reason that I do not know, there would be liberals who would liberalize everything and sovereignists who would control everything. But to be liberal inside and protector outside … This does not exist in the political offer.
And we find ourselves caught in a little game of the goatee with on the one hand a globalist elite who refuses to see the borders close against a people who refuse to be deprived of their social gains .
If one loose before the other, it is actually disaster. But to let them go at the same time, the only solution would be a figure of authority , a leader who obtains the adhesion of both parties … What is called the providential man .
It’s not for Sunday. And it is only deserved because a people has only the policies that it gives itself.
It is up to us to bring each of us to measure the solutions and the men to carry them. It is up to us to commit ourselves to politics or elsewhere.
The title of this letter is a nose but it is not a farce.
I could have put each of your names in the place of Olivier Perrin: you and I will reverse the unemployment curve.
The providential man is our collective mirror. The result of our actions, good and petty, their crystallization.
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To your good fortune,