Jim O’Donnell isn’t sure France needs its own Thatcher, while Martin London thinks education is the key to the wealth disparity. Plus David Redshaw writes on how inequality drives boom and bust

Welcome back to the Guardian’s agenda-setting Monday economic analysis page (Fat cats and how the wealth gap has been steadily widening, 28 August). It takes me back 25 years to why I first started to buy the paper. More of this would be most welcome; in particular, more on the sort of fundamental transformation that will be required to pre- and post-income regimes if the situation is to be reversed.

On the opposite page Natalie Nougayrède more or less encourages President Macron (as if he needed it) to show the French a bit of the tough love that was Thatcherism. In fairness, she does acknowledge that “In France, income inequality and poverty rates are lower than in Britain and Germany,” but does not speculate whether that would be the case if they had had a Thatcher or a Hartz IV, the German labour market reforms. Unemployment levels in France are undesirably high, but if you were unemployed in France would you be gasping for access to the conditions of the bottom 25% of the “employed” in the UK or Germany? Of course, it’s not the real choice that the French should have to make but that’s a longer story.
Jim O’Donnell
Brussels

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