Le Vieil âge n’est plus si sûr

C’est presque une illusion d’optique : la crise des retraites menace à l’horizon au Japon, et en Europe et en Amérique. Le problème est réel, mais exagéré. L’illusion se situe au niveau des plans en cours de préparation pour traiter la question.

La principale question est de savoir si la privatisation des systèmes de retraite, comme le propose le président George W. Bush pour la sécurité sociale aux États-Unis, résoudrait le problème ou ne ferait que l’aggraver. Vu le nombre de pays qui se demandent s’ils doivent adopter une variante du plan Bush, la question doit être sérieusement examinée.

En elle-même, la privatisation n’est évidemment pas la solution. Le système de retraite privé américain connaît des problèmes, avec une dette de plusieurs centaines de milliards de dollars, et semble se diriger vers un renflouement de ses caisses par le gouvernement. Il fut un temps où la privatisation, permettant aux individus d’ouvrir plusieurs comptes d’épargne individuels, semblait mieux adaptée que la sécurité sociale, qui investit dans des bons du Trésor à faible rapport. Les défenseurs de la privatisation faisaient valoir que les fonds étaient mieux investis sur le marché boursier et prévoyait un intérêt de 9 %.

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