The art of wastefulness

In the past, mothers did not put leftover meals in the trash; they taught their children not to spoil food, nor anything that could be useful one day. With humor, we said, kids, that mom even had a box labeled “little pieces of string that can be used for nothing”! Today, excess has changed meaning: in many cases, we no longer seek to save money, to avoid waste, but on the contrary we organize ourselves (often without realizing it) in a very efficient way to maximize it. . Administrations, companies and individuals cooperate wonderfully in this field.

Fessenheim and Alberta Oil

Some French people certainly remember one of the first decisions of their current President: the closure of a nuclear power station which, from what we know, was perfectly capable of providing good and loyal services for many years to come. many years. The Fessenheim judgment was a political decision, a “gesture” in the direction of anti-nuclear ecologists, to the detriment of the financial health of EDF and, by extension, of France..

Emmanuel Macron must be delighted to see the new American president inaugurate his mandate by taking a similar decision: the abandonment for so-called ecological reasons of a pipeline project capable of bringing Canadian oil, and more precisely of it. ‘Alberta, to the southern United States. Of course, the Americans needing this oil, they will import it, but the transport will be done in a way more expensive and harmful for the environment, by trucks and railroads. As much the ecological concern is laudable, as the ecological ideology is harmful, for the environment as for the economy.

How we unnecessarily increase the price of health insurance

In the Figaro January 22, Marie-Cécile Renault announces that health mutuals, out of 100 euros of contributions, only use 69.4 to reimburse policyholders: a large 30% of their contributions is partly wasted in management costs, unnecessary since Social Security could do the job without increasing its operating costs. But these contributions are subject to a tax: perhaps this explains why the public authorities accept this ridiculous duplication of procedures, and therefore costs, of health insurance.

What need do we have to split the coverage of medical expenses into two cumulative parts? The Social Security could very well bring its support to the level reached today by the superposition of two insurances. The benefits would be considerable: primo, management fees would drop significantly – they would be divided by a coefficient, admittedly less than 2, but by little. Second, the insured would have only one step to accomplish instead of two as is the case when the complementary is not linked with the security. The rate of health contributions (Sécu plus complementary) could decrease slightly, and thousands of people would be made available to carry out additional production – for example, to develop a prevention and maintenance or fitness policy.

Admittedly, this kind of reform presents a difficulty: to achieve professional retraining. But it is something that we do constantly: in the private sector, companies are reducing their activity, even disappearing, while others are created and grow. Let us look at the agricultural revolution which took place in the 20th century: certainly millions of jobs have disappeared in this sector, but at the same time millions of other jobs, first industrial, then tertiary, have been created. Services would never have been able to develop as they did if tremendous productivity gains had not been made in agriculture and then in industry.

Mania for complication: we must get out of it!

France has a sort of preference for duplication, particularly in the area of ​​public authorities. Most French people have at least two pay-as-you-go pension funds – the average is close to three. This multiplies the management fees by a coefficient roughly equal to the number of funds to which, on average, they are affiliated. The unification of the pension system, including in particular the merger of CNAVTS and AGIRC-ARRCO, would divide management costs by 2, or not far. These costs amount to around € 6 billion, which means that the current waste represents almost € 3 billion per year. Removing it would increase pensions by the same amount, or reduce the deficit.

The Court of Auditors regularly denounces the maintenance of small taxes which yield little more than what costs their calculation and their levy, if one adds (as it should be) the expenses of the administration and those of the taxpayers. Why not clean up the taxes by removing all those whose management is too expensive?

The current pandemic has provided an opportunity to see how much our hospitals, weighed down by the administrative supervision weighing on their organization and management, designed to require a maximum of staff in addition to caregivers, need flexibility. Hospital, what you have never been told, cry from the heart and common sense of a hospital doctor, Professor Peyromaure, is a poignant testimony. In tax matters, Taxes, the big mess, analysis carried out by my colleagues Levy-Garboua and Maareck, shows how harmful the complexity and instability of our tax system are – not to mention the heaviness of the overall levy, excessive in view of the achievements. It is time to realize this, and to improve the management of our country.

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