French economist launches site to encourage optimism

March 21, 2011 at 2:25 PM ET

A prominent economics professor in France has launched a website dedicated to optimism.

Jean-Hervé Lorenzi, who teaches at the Paris-Dauphine University, said he established the site dubbed “Tous Optimistes” (All Optimists) in order to counteract a group of doomsayers who are preaching that France is heading toward economic and social devastation.

Many foreigners consider France one of the world’s most desirable places to live, but a recent poll of French people found that many are anxious about the future and sentimental about the past (the poll found that a French person is more pessimistic than the average Afghan or Iraqi).

Prof. Lorenzi says his website is an attempt to end French pessimism, which he says is fuelled by a group of “declinologists” -- those who bemoan the demise of the “French model.”