Thursday, June 10, 2010

French Leave

They smoke, drink, have loads of sex, yet still live forever.
Well, some of them do anyway.

Mr and Mrs T are off to France for a spot of R'n'R.

Always been a bit of a mystery, France. I mean, they smoke more than us, they drink more than us, and according to the Major, they have a load more sex than us. And yet their life expectancy is higher than ours, infant mortality is lower, and far fewer of them are clinically obese (don't take my word for it - here are the official OECD stats).

And more than that,  how does that economy of theirs actually work? Everybody knows they knock off for four hour lunches, spend most of the summer en vacance, and clock up 20% fewer working hours than us. Add in the fact that they have even bigger government than we do, great dollops of covert industrial subsidies and state support, and by rights their economy should be a wreck. Yet when it comes down to it, their per capita income is only a bit lower than ours (8% on the latest count). How can that possibly be?

OK, they've always done a bit better than us from the EU, but surely that can't be the explanation.

It's a complete mystery.

A mystery we will once again attempt to unravel over coming days.

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