Business as usual - Trends-Tendances sur PC

Business as usual – Trends-Tendances sur PC

The long term has never been a concern for our democratic societies. For more than 20 years, we have all seen the challenge of pensions for 2050 coming. But who is really ready to change their habits to prepare for 2050? Everyone always finds someone better off than themselves, someone richer or a beneficiary of a more favorable pension plan to justify the status quo on their own fate. In a completely different register, we all see, from Cop meetings to IPCC reports, the climate perils to come for 2030 and beyond. But who is ready to cut corners on their comfort to preserve 2030? We all see a more polluting or a more energy-consuming one to justify our…

The long term has never been a concern for our democratic societies. For more than 20 years, we have all seen the challenge of pensions for 2050 coming. But who is really ready to change their habits to prepare for 2050? Everyone always finds someone better off than themselves, someone richer or a beneficiary of a more favorable pension plan to justify the status quo on their own fate. In a completely different register, we all see, from Cop meetings to IPCC reports, the climate perils to come for 2030 and beyond. But who is ready to cut corners on their comfort to preserve 2030? We all see a more polluting or a more energy-consuming one to justify our status quo. Today, emergencies are there, before our eyes. They will materialize in a few months and not in a decade or more. They are of very diverse orders but, alas, they come up against the same resistance. Urgency alone is not enough to unblock the locks and overcome the routine of business as usual. One might think, for example, that when inflation explodes to the point of leading us to up to six salary indexations in one year (this is the estimate of the Bureau du Plan), the debate on automatic indexation would be a bit more nuanced. But no, reviewing the modus operandi of this Belgian specificity with, for example, a cap on indexation remains a taboo for the union bench. And too bad if, as the managing director of the Federation of Belgian Enterprises Pieter Timmermans declares, such wage increases in a few months would constitute “a tragedy for the competitiveness of companies” and could create heavy damage in our convalescing economy. In a completely different register, we see a threat dawning on our gas supply. This winter, we may no longer be able to heat the buildings as we are used to. The deadline is getting dangerously close. And do you think that changes anything? When the bosses of the three largest French energy companies call for sobriety and affirm that “every gesture counts” to reduce our consumption, they only receive snickers and shrugs. Like the International Energy Agency when it advocated, last spring, measures such as the reduction of authorized speeds on our roads or the return of car-free Sundays. Business as usual. To try to find solutions, our leaders willingly turn to the experts. The academics then get wet for an explosive tax reform or for purchasing power as others got wet yesterday for the pension reform (this goes back to the Di Rupo government…). To see how the proposals are then swept away, one has the painful impression that these expert reports serve above all to save time, even outright to justify inaction. The parties quickly set themselves up as ramparts against such and such a suggestion: “Look at these horrors that you have avoided thanks to us!”. This will serve as a balance sheet for them at the only time that matters in the political world, that of the next elections. In the meantime, the Belgian car is heading towards the wall, towards several walls even, and no one has the courage to turn the wheel, for fear of displeasing their electorate.

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