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Factor 12. Why Income Should Be Capped (Facteur 12. Pourquoi il faut plafonner les revenus)



Original Language: French | 246 pp. | March 2012

Dutch, Danish, Swedish, Norwegian, Finnish, Icelandic, and English (USA & Canada) Rights.

Depending on the publisher and the quality of the translation, translations from the French can be funded by the Centre national du livre in Paris.



An economist and a philosopher indicate how reducing income disparities could help overcome the crisis and move on to tomorrow’s economy.

Nowadays, wage differences in multinationals can range from 1 to 2000. At the beginning of the 20th century, banker JP Morgan defined the maximum acceptable difference from 1 to 20. In 2011, Apple’s boss Tim Cook earned $ 378,000,000 while in Germany, the unemployed are still forced to accept “one-euro jobs.”

The essential question of remuneration is more relevant than ever and regularly resurfaces in the extremely anxiety-provoking context of these times of global economic crisis—whether we talk about the Greek debt, Spain’s failure, or in general the growth deficit all Western countries are dealing with:

How do we overcome this crisis? How should we handle this debt? What should we do with no perspectives whatsoever? What if we began to address the disparities that have increased like never before in the last thirty years?

Cécile Renouard and Gaël Giraud bring us irrefutable arguments with supporting evidence: disparities are factors of economic inefficiency. Criticizing in passing the “German model,” they blame the increase in economic disparities for the unbearable debt increase—the more a society is unequal, the more health and social costs are significant—and advocate a reduction of these disparities to finance the transition to an economy that is less energy-craving and budget-craving.

The solution is perhaps Factor 12, which is the maximum wage difference (including bonuses) that already exists in the French civil service and could serve as a yardstick for many other countries in search of a solution to the current crisis.

Selling points:
– An extremely topical subject in every country
– An original and accessible approach which, beyond the economic aspect, asks a fundamental question: what society do we want for tomorrow?


FACTOR 12 in the media:

“It is characteristic of important books to start heated discussions.” ~ Alternatives économiques, May 2012

“A well-informed essay.” ~ Technikart, May 2012

“This economics book scans all the arguments that naturally come to mind.” ~ Le Monde supplement, May 2012.