In one trial, Seven Liberal Ideas for Fixing Our EconomyL’Harmattan editions, 2022, activist for a “real” liberal economy for France, the author and economist presents some original and iconoclastic ideas that are easy to implement.
Marc Alpozzo: Saying about Macron that he is a “liberal”, in my opinion is wrong. In a column on FigaroVox, you rightly said that “his obsession with debt betrayed that he was never liberal”. Can you enlighten our readers?
François de Coincy: Freedom is the concern for independence and it applies especially to economic matters. At the national level, with each increase in debt, we become more dependent on our lenders and the choice of options diminishes.
Emmanuel Macron is one of those people who believes that money solves everything and he doesn’t care how you get it.
How lucrative is indebtedness when it finances projects whose impact it will be making it possible to pay off maturities, it becomes an unbearable corset when it allows for the public deficit.
How much tax pays for public spending is a clear process between the State and the citizens, so debt is an anti-democratic subsistence that allows spending to be done without apparent consequences for the citizens. .
Emmanuel Macron is really not a liberal: He takes the lead in saying “don’t worry, I’ll take care of everything” and that’s what he does: in debt. This would explain his apparent obsession with magic money, which saves him all the inconveniences of harsh reality, the one that will force him to ask citizens to make efforts.
MA: Your essay is called Seven Liberal Ideas for Fixing Our Economy (The Harmattan, 2021). It’s too long to list everything here, but what would be the main idea that would get us out of the current economic crisis, in your opinion?
FC: The economic crisis is not present, it has been permanent for decades and unfortunately I do not think that even one measure will get us out of the crisis other than implementing the liberal principle of individual responsibility. . .
The main dimension of the ideas I suggest seems to me to be the free financial system for two reasons:
On the one hand, it is the outflow of free money from the ECB that allows budgetary laxity to bring us before a wall of debt.
On the other hand, the currently managed financial system generates financial crises that weaken the economy. The inflation observed today is only a result of the mountainous liquidities released by the Central Bank.
There is a double mistake in the mission entrusted to the ECB
On the one hand, the duty is given to the regulation of inflation: In inflation there are two elements, the monetary depreciation and the right increase in prices. If monetary depreciation does not exist, only its own rise in the price of products will remain futile to try to fight: It is difficult to see how the Central Bank will resist the decidedly rise in oil prices. by exporting countries. As for the actual devaluation of money, it usually results from manipulations carried out by the Central Bank itself by weighing the money supply or interest rate.
On the other hand, it is required to promote growth. It is also an impossible mission, the monetary system is only an accounting system of debts and credit entries and only the real economy can have an impact on growth.
The central bank should no longer arbitrarily determine interest rates or the money supply, but it should create and regulate a free market in debts and claims where interest rates arise.
The sole mission of the ECB should be to guarantee the integrity of the financial system. If this idea is adopted, it will avoid financial crises, some unfair enrichment of the private financial system, but above all excessive state deficits.
So our country can only solve its problems by acting in the real economy, that is, only by working.
MA: Your ideas for a more liberal program are simple but also iconoclastic. For example, for National Education, whose PISA results are somewhat troubling, you recommend “entrust National Education to the regions”. You explore Jacobin-Girondin up front, which is part of an old French story. However, you yourself acknowledge that what is wrong with school is not the centralization of the school, but the socialist ideology of “bac for all”. How can this “true decentralization”, as you call it, raise the level?
FC: National Education is in the situation of a monopolistic company that becomes more efficient over time because there is no question. You can’t challenge a decision, you can’t take initiatives, everything comes from above, from a management itself that relies on its own agents.
If each Region governs all Education policy in its territory, its elected representatives will be keen to have the best results as compared to the others. The competition will play out not in money but in terms of reputation. Regions may have different approaches in terms of programs, teaching characteristics or organizations but they always keep in mind that they will be compared to others. In such emulation, there will be dynamics to promote the best teachers and the best teaching methods. Ideologies will be abandoned as parents and students prioritize excellence by asking less successful schools to use methods best.
It is from the diversity of different initiatives that efficiency can be developed from one or two regions and then communicated to others. I am not promoting any education system, I am suggesting the freedom that allows the best education system to emerge and gradually take over the others.
MA: You’re addressing pension reform, which will be a big issue of Macron’s new five -year term, and which is already causing a lot of social ills. What do you think is retirement at 65, and what do you recommend instead?
FC: We fix the retirement age which should not be the subject of debate, but a parameter left to everyone’s decision. To do this, the subject must be clarified between what is under individual responsibility, pension contributions, and what is under collective cohesion, tax funding at the minimum age.
The balance of the pay-as-you-go pension contribution system should not be calculated over a year, but in the long run so that deficits or surpluses of a year are just debts or claims of the system that should be killed. natural. It is clearly absurd to make the distribution according to the annual balance and not according to the amounts contributed in the past. On average, when you retire, the amount of pensions you receive, taking into account life expectancy, should be equal to the contributions paid in previous years. This is not the case today: the contributions paid are less than the pensions to be collected.
Once this principle has been established, it is up to each individual to determine when they want to retire, when they have reached the minimum age. Professions that cause premature physical or intellectual damage should be subject to excessive cost contributions by companies.
There is also national solidarity among those who cannot build an adequate pension that is not subject to the pension contribution and must be ensured through taxation.
Therefore, there is clarification that needs to be made on what is under the contributions to leave everyone responsible for the terms of their retirement and what is under the consensus that national representation must define.
MA: Actually the economic liberalism in your book is like liberalism mixed with state interventionism, isn’t it? At the same time there is a liberalization of the money market, a regionalization of National Education, and a more statistical than ideological, even apocalyptic regulation of ecology. So why do you think liberalism is so scary in France?
FC: Public intervention is important to implement policies that allow or promote freedom, especially economic freedom, but the State must remain on this mission and let actors function independently. Remarkably, this clearly intervenes in the event of a system failure.
Liberalism is not understood by the French who mistakenly liken it to laissez-faire. Many “liberals” themselves do not understand that freedom is not a natural state and on the contrary is a man -made one that requires rules.
Democratic demagoguery is driving candidates for power to offer greater help to their voters. We reached heights in previous elections when President Macron multiplied debt -paid election checks, forcing his opponents to overtake each other.
After all this populist gift, the liberal excuse asking everyone to take their fate into their own hands is clearly unheard.
The question will arise when the end of magic money comes: will Emmanuel Macron be able to extend his monetary martingale for five years or will he have to eat his hat as when, forty years ago, François Mitterrand had to leave socialist mirages?
Interview with Marc Alpozzo
Author of Alone. Compliments on the rendezvous, Les Belles Lettres
Francois de Coincy, Seven Liberal Ideas for Fixing Our EconomyL’Harmattan edition, 2022.
François de Coincy, born 1945 (75 years old): 2020-author of the book economics: “Was Mozart content to be born? »; 1977 – 2018 CEO of Compagnie de Chemins de Fer Départementaux. Company recovery and transformation into a stable and diversified holding company; 1976 – 2000 Creating and building a real estate group with a friend; 1970 – 1976 Hachette Group (various financial management roles); 1970 Graduated from ESC.
 “Emmanuel Macron’s obsession with debt betrays the fact that he has never been liberal”: 30): https://www.lefigaro.fr/vox/economie/la-fascination-d-emmanuel-macron-pour-la- dette- trahit-le-fait-qu-il-na-jamais-ete-un -liberal-20201130? fbclid = IwAR0gcmKw1sJ5FVqCXqYHtjS8cKqDpKSArrFT6T1NYEdQgA-HC9Pl6GX5LT0