Awwr! Beautifully written as usual Darling Hannah! Absolutely love the watercoulour " cost me an arm and a leg!" 😂 yes, Kate has a little musical toy with Art mice in Parisian berets with tiny easles and a tiny table with coffee cups on it. It plays " I love Paris in the Springtime and she has it to this day! Little did we all know that Paris in the Soringtime would one day where she would meet you and make her home!

Paris and Springtime is such a marriage that its most dissapointing to learn that the weather has only just decided to behave as it should!

We have literally millions of ravenous midgies up here on the West coast of Scotland . So springtime is a mixed blessing indeed! We spend a lot of time breathing in many lit incense sticks of Citronella and spray ourselves with Deet insecticide if we wish to venture onto the patio for a drink!

So look forward to seeing you and Babs before spring turnd the corner in to summer.

Love your substack. Lots of love X

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May 22Liked by Hannah Meltzer

Dear Hannah

As always your letter is very well written, as befits the journalist you are, but I felt I must respond to some of your points.

As it happens I am in Paris as I write this and, having come from Provence where spring has definitely not arrived (cool, windy and damp), it is nice to be here where it clearly has, judging by the cafes overflowing into sunny streets in Montmartre.

I am not certain the weather changes are as big as is being said or that we should be so alarmed. I don't doubt that we have made the planet a bit warmer but the consequences aren't universally bad. England's burgeoning sparkling wine industry has been helped. More people die of cold than heat.

I am more concerned that are politicians, rushing to 'net zero', will add huge costs to economies which will have to be paid for by all of us ultimately, making everybody poorer. I note that President Macron is uttering some words of caution. I believe we will see some re-thinking of net zero policies in the UK when the cost and practicalities of creating an all electric economy become clear.

Which moves me on to your comments about Thatcher's legacy. I lived in London 1975-79, before she came to power. Nothing worked - rubbish in the street, bodies unburied, electricity blackouts. She tamed the unions whose abuse of power had led to this sorry state. Not everything she did was good and there are social legacies today (lack of social housing, for example) from her actions, but I am certain she was on balance a good leader for the times and generally made most people in the UK feel prouder of their country. Some of her reforms (and particularly Reagan's in the US) contributed to the 2008 crash but the main cause was greedy bankers who failed to judge risks properly in their investment and trading, to benefit themselves primarily (at a cost to society ultimately).

I also feel that Macron is economically right in trying to raise pension ages in France. As people live longer, the State cannot afford to pay pensions for many more years of peoples' lives. We recognised this in the UK 10 years ago and made the retirement higher and there aren't many complaints today. I don't believe it reduces job opportunities for the young, if other economic policies encourage growth and job creation. What does Ha-Joon Chang say about this?

Keep on writing and drawing!


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May 21Liked by Hannah Meltzer

Hey Hannah,

I'm so happy for you that spring seems to be finally springing. I wish I could be walking around Paris' streets and seeing such blooms on terraces and settling in to a terrace cafe or bar and watching the world go by whilst dissolving into a paperback. Ahh, bliss.

Sadly, it is cold and wet here in Melbourne, but such is the turning of the seasons. We had our time and it'll come again later in the year (I hope... the weather sure is f*$%*d).

I have little proper grasp of economics. That book sounds like a good read, so thanks for the rec.

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May 22·edited May 22Liked by Hannah Meltzer

“We can’t even say the word ‘abnormal’ to each other out loud: it reminds us of what came before.” That is so true; rationalizing at its best.

“We ate packed lunches on the green metal chairs that dot the park while they chatted away in franglais (their mother is English and their father French).” What a wonderful mental picture.

“I sometimes feel I lack rigorous knowledge when it comes to the economic aspect of all those things.” Then you are in good company with Ha-Joon Chang and his fellow economists. How we got from there to here is interesting.

However, as a 70 year old, born in the early 1950’s, but still connected to the still fresh memories of the Great Depression and WWWII, by my parents, I’ve been through so many cycles of the up’s and down’s of this amorphous thing we call the economy.

The economy is like the stomach of Louis the XIV, after the nightly Grand Couvert, where a typical meal (and right before bedtime!) consisted of a whopping 20 and 30 dishes. Over 300 people, known as the Service de Bouche (service of the mouth) were employed to prepare the king’s meals.

The point being that when Louis the XIV had an upset stomach, who knew the cause and therefore who knew how to fix it before the next Grand Couvert? So many inputs to consider. The Economy has many, many more inputs to consider when it becomes out of kilter, but the Economy we KNOW about and the underground economy which is mostly hidden, is often not factored into anyone’s economic theory. A butterfly flaps its wings in Africa, and it produces a hurricane in Florida.

If a do-gooder found a magic lamp and got their wish and eliminated, for ONE example, all illegal drug manufacturing and sales overnight, upon the granting of a wish by a genie, for sure the world economy would collapse and one human tragedy would be replaced by another.

So, the study of economics is worthy reading but history has shown there is no perfect economic system, nor is there an immediate cure for economic misery that can be agreed upon by economists in times like these.

I, myself, gravitate (pun intended) towards books on loop quantum theory, such as those by the theoretical physicist Carlo Rovelli, about physics WITHOUT TIME; of course I don’t understand the theories any more than economist’s understand the economy. But at my age, quantum theory provides comfort in the mystery of “what’s next” in a Universe full of infinite mysteries. Books on the economy are too bound to just Earth and time.

The “Arm and a Leg” sketch is fantastic and fun!

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