From today’s Financial Times($$$ link):
Disillusioned France hungers for reform without revolution
France’s students are in revolt. Its urban ghettoes are sporadically aflame. Its trades unions are planning national strikes on Tuesday. Its discredited 73-year-old president, Jacques Chirac, is serving out his time. An opinion poll, published by Le Figaro newspaper on Saturday, showed that 50 per cent of French people did not have faith in the market economy â€“ compared with 20 per cent in communist China. One of history’s eternal questions resounds around Paris once again: can France reform itself without revolution?
What a tragedy for France, and what a leading indicator for China considering most of the population of China is still outside the city centers, with little or no exposure to a vibrant market economy.
Schumpeter was right – as capitalist societies advance their tolerance for risk and disorder declines, ultimately resulting in a repudiation of capitalism. 100 years ago France was at the vanguard of science, engineering, and risk capital. Since their massive nationalist and financial failure with the Panama Canal, their national intolerance for bold financial, military, and scientific risk has been the primary result of their decline as a relevant world power.
My son starts preschool in the fall. When the teacher informed us the children learn French the first word out of my mouth was –
There is a weekend Chinese school where I live. I think it is time to look into enrollment options for children of a non-native speaking family.