The problem of how we finance the welfare state should not obscure a separate issue: if each person thinks he has an inalienable right to welfare, no matter what happens to the world, that's not equity, it's just creating a society where you can't ask anything of people.
For me, socialism has always been about liberty and solidarity, but also about responsibility.
I would not be opposed to devising a new system of pensions, in which one part was based on collective provision, but which also gave incentives for people to take out an additional, personal plan.
Fundamentally, American society is composed of individuals who don't go out of their way to do each other favours.
This desire for equity must not lead to an excess of welfare, where nobody is responsible for anything.
I had to think whether, after 50 years of hard slog, I was still lucid and fresh enough for the job.
The European model is in danger if we obliterate the principle of personal responsibility.
I cannot resign myself to the decline of Europe, and of France.
My presidential victory, if it had happened, would have been artificial in relation to the Socialist party. It may be that on my deathbed, I will come to regret my decision, but for the moment, I live at peace with it.
Therefore one should speak at the same time of national citizenship and wider European citizenship.
We have to struggle against the conservatives from all sides, not only the right-wingers, but also the left-wing conservatives who don't want to change anything.
If you don't have collective agreements between unions and employers, governments have to legislate more.
This weakening is worsened by the widening distance between the governed and their governments.
Yes, the European model remains superior to that of America and Japan.
The countries that share this conception should be able to go further together, without excluding the others, since they can still live in a greater community of exchange and co-operation.
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