There are protests currently going on in France because government officials want to raise the retirement age. Of course, nobody seems to ask why the government determines the retirement age in the first place. Shouldn't it be up to each individual to determine at what age they will retire? The problem, once again, is government. In this case, it is government involved in the retirement/pension business.
It is actually kind of amusing watching these protests, as long as they aren't too violent. These people don't understand TANSTAAFL - there ain't no such thing as a free lunch. They have been deceived into thinking that the government would take care of them and now the system is blowing up in their face. They simply want to repeal the laws of economics.
It is comforting to know that there are no signs of protests like these in the U.S. I would rather see tea party protests (even if some are uninformed) than protests asking for more government. Maybe we'll see protests when discussions get more serious about raising the age for Social Security and Medicare. Still, let's hope it isn't anything like the welfare mentality in France and other parts of Europe.
It is not to say that we shouldn't feel a little bit sorry for some of these people. They have been forced to pay into the horrible system and they have continually been told, probably their whole life, that government would take care of them in their old age. It is naive of people to believe this and perhaps irresponsible, but it is a shame.
It is fun to watch these struggling governments in some ways. It is particularly fun when you have some leftist/socialist in power, whether in Europe or in a state like New York or California. In California, why not hope that the Democrat will win. That way, when budget cuts are the only choice left, it will have to be done by a leftist. There is nothing better to see the unions, government workers, and welfare slugs out there protesting against a leftist governor that they put into office. The governor is left with no choice (since there is no Federal Reserve at the state level), but the protesters expect him or her to repeal the laws of economics.
Enjoy the scenes over the next few years. Governments will continue to be forced to cut back. The day of reckoning has finally arrived. Politicians can no longer promise the moon and the sun to everyone.