"The credit ratings of most rich industrialised countries will come under intense pressure from borrowing to fund age-related expenditure, unless the countries take decisive measures to cut state provision for old age, Standard & Poor’s says.
In a report published on Thursday the credit ratings agency says the average debt ratio of 25 OECD countries could rise three-fold from a projected 47 per cent of gross domestic product in 2010 to 139 per cent by 2050.
This will pose a particular threat to the credit ratings of countries such as Japan, Germany, France, Poland and the Czech Republic, S&P says. These countries are burdened with one or more of the following factors: a dramatic increase in life expectancy; a low birth rate; and high debt levels."
We are pulling our family off the French welfare system since we’re convinced that past its current sorry state, there’s ultimately bankrupcy or a massive cut in future pensions and health benefits (which in practical terms amounts to the same for people currently working, since it’s a pay-as-you-go system, i.e. you pay for the pension of the previous generation, not to fund your own future benefits).
The "progress" noted by S&P is lackluster, and doesn’t change the fact that people now in their thirties will be totally screwed up by the incoming crunch. French National debt has tribled in the last 20 years (now at above 60% of GNP, from about 20%), while there was no war and only mild economic crisis by historic standards. This has been a relentless drive to ruin the country (year-to-year debt growth has never been less than 6% in the past two decades, a lot more than inflation in any of those years). The net result, as far as I can measure by the public sector output, is by and large waisted money, so it’s not like this debt is put to productive work or into infrastructure that’s going to pay for itself in the future. Thanks but not thanks, I’ll handle my savings myself.