Turning Away From Dirigisme

Dirigisme Under a new regime, France discovers the joys of freer markets

At a popular new Paris restaurant down the street from the bustling French Bourse, or stock exchange, diners play a different sort of market while they eat. The price of each item on the menu rises or falls by as much as 20% according to consumer demand. An IBM personal computer at the bar continuously recalculates the prices, and a printout from the machine provides steady commentary, like the bulletins on a stock ticker: "Relance de haddock" (Haddock on the rebound) or "Pieds de cochon en vif recul" (Pigs' feet dropping fast). The restaurant is a hit, explains one of the...

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