French Protests & Retirement Debates

Turmoil in France over plans to raise the retirement age to 62. We look at the debate there, and America’s own over pushing past 65.

A picture from the recent protests in Paris (Courtesy of Eva Brams,

Wild times in France. The French government wants to raise the retirement age to 62. Millions of French men and women have poured into the streets to say “no.”  There has been tear gas and riots, with the country half shut down. 

Americans grumble and tea party, but this is on a different scale. Britons are slashing all kinds of public spending. 

Today we look at what’s going on in France. Then we turn the spotlight back home, on American Social Security and the debate over raising the age for benefits right here. 

-Tom Ashbrook


Steve Erlanger, Paris Bureau Chief for the New York Times. Read his latest report on the turmoil in France.

Christopher Dickey, Paris bureau chief and Middle East regional editor for Newsweek.

Philippe Aghion, professor of economics at Harvard University. His research focuses on economic growth and development.

James Roosevelt, president and CEO of Tufts Health Plan (HMO). He’s a former associate commissioner for Retirement Policy at the Social Security Administration under President Clinton.

Douglas Holtz-Eakin, director of the Congressional Budget Office from 2003 to 2005 and now president of the American Action Forum, a public policy institute. He served in top roles at the Council of Economic Advisors under Presidents George W. and George H.W. Bush, and he was chief economic advisor to Sen. John McCain’s presidential campaign.


See images of the Paris protests in recent days, taken by New York-based photographer Eva Brams.

View this gallery: France Protests

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