Graph of the Day for May 24, 2010

"[Government employees] sit there for years drinking coffee and chatting on the telephone and then retire at 50 with nice fat pensions.  As for us, the way things are going we'll have to work until we're 70."  25-year-old Greek.

"It's going to go belly-up because no one will be around to fill the pension coffers.  It's not just me; this country has no future."  52-year-old Italian.

"The only thing we're told is that we will have to pay for the others."  18-year-old Frenchman.

"It will be a mess.  We'll have to work harder and longer in our jobs."  French waiter.

Source:  Steven Erlanger, The New York Times.

Source:  The New York Times.  HT:  AoSHQ.

Hoven's Index for May 24, 2010

Percentage of French workers who work past age 50:  50%

Workers per retiree in Europe in 1950:  7

By 2050:  1.3

"Public social expenditures" in the EU in 2005 as percent of GDP:  21%

In France:  31%

In the US:  15.9%

Source:  The New York Times.

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