COUNTRY ON DOOMED COURSE: (DMcW Dec 16 2009)
Hi David, a lot of people are complaining now, but how many of them were actual participants in the bubble, participating in the one-upmanship?
Loads of them.
We had a ponzi scheme. Such a scheme needs participants at all layers. It is not accurate to lay the blame totally at the guys at the top. Those in the middle layers are often just as guilty, and to point the finger of blame at a figurehead at the top of the pile suits their agenda. They fail to point the finger at themselves.
The ubiquitous availability of credit ensured that the middle-men of the ponzi scheme were not isolated within vested or insider interests. At the height of the madness, anyone with a bit of neck could get onto the ladder, and the earlier they got in the better for them.
very true but that fails to address the fact that the rules of the game have been changed to disadvantage those who are (and were) at the bottom and also those who were contrarian and stayed out of the fray til there was a suitable incision point.
That incision point has been taken away by socialisation of private debt. Inexcusable.
Yes many mid-ladder folk should feel the burn (not morally should, just naturally should).
Thats rubbish. Lots of people COULD have got a foot onto various ladders were they willing to collude, be dishonest, be unethical or blatantly cheat. We did have an incentive based system which encouraged and rewarded cheaters (I’m reminded of the first chapter of “Freakonomics” here) but as with all systems where cheated brings rewards it also brought risks.
A good chunk of people DID decide not to play into that risk. There is a significant proportion of people living modest lives in small houses, or renting and waiting for something they like, people who didn’t take huge loans out on ridiculous 4×4s or silly wedding splurges. Lots of them. And a lot of them are not doing so badly now, but sitting bemusedly and wondering how the hell we will ever remove this totalitarian one-party system without an outright revolution.
Those who looted the country know who they are and know it was wrong and know their are those who did not loot the country and know outing the truth must be stopped as far as the scammers and gallery of rogues and schemers are concerned so as they can escape with the lolly and enjoy their swag bag ’till the next scam comes along.
What international investors want is to extract a profit – nothing else, same with bankers, foreign or domestic.
The problem is the profit motive, our system is designed to serve this cause, it is not designed to satisify the needs of people living in Ireland.
So, what we need is to change the basis for organising our economy/society; it needs to start with the perspective of satisffying the needs of our people, everything should come from that rule.
We need new thinking, move outside the box in which we were all placed the day we were born.
Exactly. And to elaborate on this theme, it seems to me the root cause of the problem is the basis of our constitution which is namely the priority given to the interests of an institution, that being the church, and through which a seedy little oligarchy operates to rest control of the state from the ‘outsider’ plebisite. What is needed is an overhaul of our constitution such that it be based on principles which reflect natural law and the rights of man.
Pandering to the “profit motive” has most often turned out to satisfy the needs of the greatest number of people. That is the basis of the capitalist system. Let’s not throw the baby out with the bathwater. Most people believe that laissez-faire capitalism is a step too far and favour regulation. In this case, lack of regulation is squarely to blame. Let’s fix that problem first. Then we can let the banking insiders, wherever they come from or however appointed, get on with being capitalist pigs, just as we need.
The capitalism today is a million light years away from ‘laissez-faire capitalism’.
Norway, Europe’s most economically-disciplined and most prosperous state. Displaying such an extraordinary level of fiscal discipline in the political arena would have set a positive example for us all and created an overwhelmingly-positive reaction in financial markets.
Our politicians’ continuing lack of resolve to take DIFFICULT decisions and self-inflict real substantial cuts in their own salaries and allowances is helping to inflate the cost of State borrowing.
Most people don’t respond to information stimuli, they are simply led by the carrot and the stick.
Even with their pay cut, made for external effect, those with decent jobs in the public service will have been given the nod and the wink, enough to keep them at FF’s beck and call until the election. They will be fed the occasional well-concealed carrot in the meantime to retain their votes.
The stick affects everyone, but FF cunningly depends on the Stockholm Syndrome to retain the ‘outsider’ voter’s allegiance. Because those sheeple earlier formed a deep emotional attachment to their persecutors, they embrace the chance offered to share the blame for their predicament. They may actually welcome their penance as an opportunity to cleanse their souls, just as they were carefully trained to do at confession.
Aha! The “daily divisor”! Just another method by which the Irish Banks are ripping-off joe-Public.
Seemingly, the divisor changed to a standard Eurzone dne of 360, when we joined the euro. Our banks immediately applied the new divisor to “corporate” or “large business” deposits, but left all personal-retail deposits on the old divisor of 365.
So, what does it mean? The example given was this:
€8,000 on deposit for 30 days at 3% interest, will yield €20 for the corporate client, but only €19. 72 for the personal-retail depositor.
Not much of a loss per month for the individual, but when extrapolated over the personal-retail deposits in Ireland of €80 billion, the banks are pocketing over €33 million.
I think it is a link that deserves re-reading, anyway.
What is your take on the “daily divisor” at 11.?
I think it reveals the true pettiness of the criminal activity of the bankers in this country, where from the top down, even the data-entry deposit-interest calculators and the IT programmers and spreadsheet makers are “in on it”.
They all know that there is one daily divisor for the rich and another for the ordinary Joe; but since the ordinary Joes are more numerous, they “penny-pinch” a little and often from the many, leading to an annual windfall.
I reckon ‘revolution’ ends in the cycle of ‘power’ corrupting.
I think D’s article is more slanted towards a narrative than an actual overthrow of government through revolt.
Changing the political will take a spirit of learning moving through the population and awakening a yearning for a return of values that hold true.
Now lets go that route and we will be guaranteed success and a bright future and break from the past.
A business run society.
People marginalised, not involved in decision making process.
‘Functional’ democracy with ‘election events’ every 3-4 years, with a narrow range of candidates with an even narrower political agenda.
‘Mindless consumers’ making irrational choices bombared by PR and advertising propaganda which fuel unrealistic and destructive ambitions.
A massive government-business appartus which makes debt slaves of the many, others with job insecurity (called ‘market flexibility’ in neoliberal parlance) and unemployment (30% of those under 25 unemployed), real State wide unemployment at 20%.
The French had 4-5 Republics, we definitely need a social revolt to uproot the old order which, backed by a Church which has historically backed the rich and the status quo, has repressed those stayed at home and forced the rest to take the plane or boat (this budget is designed to do exactly the same, forcing the youth out thus releasing the social pressures which may have lead to an all-out-revolt ala Greece style).
Cowen wouldn’t give green light for inquiry into the economic debacle, because he knows well the finger will come back to him and his cohort.
We live in a dictatorship, scratch the surface of this so called democracy and feel the policeman’s baton!
The banks were responsible for the lending choices they took. The banks were responsible for flooding the economy with cheap credit. The government was responsible for building an economy of ‘growth’ based on house prices. There were many that had opposing views but they were easily sidelined as they are today.
Alf, You are of course totally correct that we were NOT all “in on it”. Deceptions are continuing and we are not meant to know.
Example: When the Report of the Higher Remuneration Review Body was released in mid-October last, Brian Lenihan had it locked away immediately, placed a gagging order on those who had compiled it, and refused representatives of the media the opportunity to examine its findings prior to the Budget.
The Report in its “revised” version contains items of misinformation, some of which I have already highlighted. More “information” has come to my attention as indicated below.
The INDEPENDENT carries a report on the findings of the REVIEW BODY on Higher Remuneration in the Public Service at the following link:
Quote from Independent: “Mr Cowen’s official pre-Budget salary of €285,583 was found to be “significantly ahead” of the pay of Mr Brown, Ms Merkel and the prime ministers of Belgium, Finland and the Netherlands. The only leader in the study to have a higher salary was the Austrian chancellor.”
The Report’s finding in relation to the Austrian Chancellor is incorrect. I have obtained all the relevant facts and figures from the Austrian Embassy. (Again, as in the case of Finland, the information is not readily available on the internet. Go, figure.)
The annual salary for the Austrian Chancellor from 1 July 2009 is 237,144 euros; so Brian Cowen’s official pre-Budget salary is 20.4% greater than his Austrian counterpart’s. This is all the more extraordinary when you reflect on the fact that Austria with a population of over 8 million has more than twice as many taxpayers as the Irish Republic.
People have to fight for change, power doesn’t give it up willingly, people have given their lives for better pay and conditions, time we woke up to this historical truism, we are talking about fighting an entire system, possibility of defeat and betrayal high, positive outcome uncertain, therein lies the risk for people, if you are prepared to face trouble, injury etc then so be it, but I think it does put the decision of those in 1916 like Connolly in a greater reality.
‘Workers/Employees democratic control of the workplace where profits are distributed in an equal and fair manner is the way to go, anything else is a form of fascism, decisions top-down from ‘management’ or ‘ceo’, firing people willy nilly, cutting peoples pay, let workers committees be setup and let the workers run the businesses, they will be run more efficiently because people will have an actual stake in the work they do as oppose to turning up like drones for a wage packet.
People should have a greater say in the decisions that will dramatically alter their lives, get rid of the boss structure, end the vertical role, make it horizontal….
A fair, functioning society is what we seek, with better distribution of resources, where the vulnerable are protected (the sick, the blind, the disabled, the carers, the socially disadvantaged) where people are entitled to a home and a job without have to prositiute themselves or ’serve’ as wage slaves – to have people on anti-depressants or worse committing suicide because of debt or business failure disgusts all thinking people – we can do better than this.
It is the crisis that runs at the heart of the capitalism system which IS the problem, cycles of booms and bust (which run in 20 year cycles) which has led us to this dark place, we must develop another way or face economic or environmental destruction.
I know it’s something that Noam Chomsky likes to say (and, yes, I’ve read all his books), but it’s not really usefully true.
TCP/IP was created to provide a fault tolerant comms systems for a huge number of disaggregated nodes (US strategic nuclear forces), but it was a development of an earlier group of comms protocols. The World Wide Web (the http:// and URL stuff) was developed at CERN (Tim Berners Lee etc) using ideas and components from other systems and companies.
The great thing about something developed by a state organisation isn’t necessarily that it’s much good (the WWW protocols aren’t, actually, much good) but that it’s a standard that comes from a non-competitor, so everyone feels safe to adopt it. They are also generally free, and there’re none of those appalling patent gridlock problems.
The relationship between the state and private sectors is always changing, and a matter of degree, and balance.
The system is so well oiled that any change would mean a massive and nationwide effort by everyone to adjust their moral compass to commit to realistic objectives (tall order). It would also take a significant group of people to define a program (raising the bar) and campaign on the ground to explain it to the voters (higher still), who, in turn would miss the days when campaigns were just about shaking a hand and getting the road fixed in exchange for a vote. Even at that, chances are the old boys would be voted in (as per family tradition).
As a French person, you will be aware of the levels of corruption prior to 1798, the well oiled court, the business interests backed up the Royal Army, but still people stormed the Bastille and risked it all.
Today’s certainty can be washed away by the people, ancien regimes thought impregnable are now footnotes of history.
I suspect the current system would crumble faster than most as it is rotten to the core and has little to no mass support, plus the French Revolution evolved over many years, eventually exploding, it subsequently turned into an absolute bloodbath but other more peaceful, socially democratic revolutions have occurred and not in the distant past.
If people in even key industries withdrew their labour, as threatened by the Unions and the Guards, the government would be faced with a no confidence vote, Cowen would be sacrificed from within, and an election would have to be called, he is only hanging on out of self-interest and the desire not to see a full investigation into his role as Minister for Finance.
Do all revolutions end in failure? I am not so sure, people primarily want a change of government because of its overly close business interests and central role in our economic debacle, the Icelandic example is an interesting one (and not because of its extensive waters full of fish) the
government was forced out, the banks are being investigated – Ireland could begin there.
“The banks still have the main guys at the top and the union leaders, who were part of the “nod and wink” status quo of the past 10 years, are still at the helm.”
Public servants have their union leaders to blame. I believe that unions, from the outset should have accepted the inevitability of cutbacks. The unions would then have been freer to exact a fair price from politicians. The unions could have explored other avenues. The one-day strike was a waste of time. Consider the following:
I am not aware of any union’s general secretary calling for pay caps to be implemented as a part-solution to the crisis. I would suggest a pay cap of €150,000 for the most highly-paid public servants and employees of semi-state organisations, including banks, to be implemented immediately and to have a retrospective effect if there is any delay.
The arbiters, in the discussions between union leaders and senior civil servants, were people earning six-figure salaries – union members, have been failing to question the wisdom of this in the context of our economic emergency.
No union leader, to my knowledge, has called for the immediate reversal of ALL measures which facilitate Irish millionaires and billionaires to live as tax exiles, especially legislation pushed through by Bertie, as Minister for Finance, in the 90s. (They need to use some imagination and novel forms of action: How about a “Come back to Erin – Billionaire Wall of Shame” with mug shots of O’Brien, O’Reilly, et al, at ALL “Ports of Entry” for these most brazen of our tax exiles?) DAVID: This latter suggestion would never appear in the IRISH INDEPENDENT, unless perhaps you report that some LUNATIC came up with the idea in your FORUM.
No union, to my knowledge, has called for a referendum to remove the constitutional discrimination in favour of the judiciary where matters of remuneration are concerned.
Congress has failed to indicate any possibility of entering into negotiations with an international body, eg, IMF representatives or ECB, to seek justice in resolving the worsening plight of trade unionists and explore the possibility of a government of national unity. Do they really have so much confidence in our political leadership?
No representative of a trade union has, to my knowledge, highlighted the continuing vast discrepancy between pay levels for Irish politicians – too high – and their peers in even Europe’s richest economy, Norway. With regard to the latter point, public service unions are failing many of their own lower-paid members. (If Scandinavian standards were adopted throughout the public service, many lower-paid trade union members would be offered a better deal than they already had before the Budget.)
For every future 1% cut in pay average earners in the public service there should be an immediate 10% pay cut for TDs, senators, and other public representatives. I believe that they bear ultimate responsibility for the economic catastrophe.
The unions should insist, on behalf of their members, that public representatives who are already highly remunerated by virtue of conducting another profession or business will no longer be able to claim expenses and will ultimately – within 3 years – receive no remuneration whatsoever from the State. Only full-time public representatives will be entitled to a State salary. This situation will continue until NAMA, or its replacement, expires.
Long-service increments, dual pensions and benefits-in-kind will cease PERMANENTLY AND WITH IMMEDIATE EFFECT for all public representatives, former ministers, and former taoisigh. This measure will be made retrospective to Budget 2010. All monies outstanding under this measure must be recovered before any further pay cuts, tax increases (direct or indirect), or increases in duties or other levies are imposed on the general public or any section thereof.
Pay cuts for general workers in the public service will be implemented only after a 6-month time interval has elapsed from the full implementation of proposed cuts for the judiciary and public representatives as listed above. The principle of the time lapse will apply for all future pay cuts and will operate in reverse when there are increases in pay.
The banking executives who led our country to the verge of economic oblivion should be forced to repay all bonuses earned from the year 2000 onwards. They were essentially less than second-rate performers and I realise that the repayment of bonus money may not be sufficient recompense, but it would at least indicate – along with new limits on politicians – to the rest of the world that in Ireland you cannot expect reward for failure.
ALL THE ABOVE SHOULD BE MINIMUM DEMANDS AND BE NON-NEGOTIABLE
LACK OF RESPONSE = ALL-OUT, INDEFINITE STRIKE ACTION
PRESIDENT EVO MORALES: [translated] Capitalism is the worst enemy of humanity. Capitalism—and I’m speaking about irrational development—policies of unlimited industrialization are what destroys the environment. And that irrational industrialization is capitalism. So as long as we don’t review or revise those policies, it’s impossible to attend to humanity and life.
AMY GOODMAN: How would you do that? How would you end capitalism?
PRESIDENT EVO MORALES: [translated] It’s changing economic policies, ending luxury, consumerism. It’s ending the struggle to—or this searching for living better. Living better is to exploit human beings. It’s plundering natural resources. It’s egoism and individualism. Therefore, in those promises of capitalism, there is no solidarity or complementarity. There’s no reciprocity. So that’s why we’re trying to think about other ways of living lives and living well, not living better. Not living better. Living better is always at someone else’s expense. Living better is at the expense of destroying the environment.
PRESIDENT EVO MORALES: [translated] The best thing would be that all war spending be directed towards climate change, instead of spending it on troops in Iraq, in Afghanistan or the military bases in Latin America. This money would be better directed to attending to the damages that were created by the United States. And, of course, this isn’t just $100 billion; this is probably trillions and trillions of dollars. How are we going to spend money to kill and not save lives? We have to spend money to save lives, not to kill. These are our differences with capitalism.
The only reason we have an insider/outsider system is because half the workforce is denied their right to collective bargaining, a system which is colluded with by the pampered elite of the trade union movement, who are happy to leave out half the workforce in order to get a bigger piece of pie for their greedy obese bellies, while those on the outside have endured job cuts and pay freezes back as far as the late 1990s. Engageed on its first round of redundancies as far back as 2000 – it was inevitable that this small start would escalate to a cacophony of closures (by the way, EMF3 was not the first Dell factory to close in Limerick – EMF2 quietly shut its doors long ago, to little media attention and office shuffling in their Cherrywood/Bray facilities managed to conceal many rounds of job cuts there).
The collective bargaining denial issue wouldn’t be such a problem if it were not for the so-called “partnership” process. In the absence of compsulsory union recognition mechanisms it effectively means that a large body of workers will be denied representation at both local, macro AND national level whilst creating the illusion that “partnership” is both meaningful and inclusive, which we now realise, it is neither.
The Scandinavians, by the way, have a particularly interesting way of doing business with unions. For a start, shop stewards are not paid more than those they represent and their conditions are adjusted to be the same. That is certainly the case for Norway anyway. They are also heavility accountable to their members, and the unions in turn have collective societal responsibility, which in this country they cannot, since they can pick and choose whom they wish to represent, just as employers can pick and choose who they want to consult with. Such a system inevitably going to crerate an insider/outsider system.
We could start with this foundation and move from there??
* Justice and charity must inform national institutions.
* The free market and private property must be regulated in the interests of the common good.
* The state must prevent a destructive concentration of essential commodities in the hands of a few.
* The state should ensure efficiency in private industry and protect the public against economic exploitation.
* Everyone has the right to an adequate occupation.
* The state must supplement private industry where necessary.
* The state must protect the vulnerable, such as orphans and the aged.
* No one may be forced into an occupation unsuited to their age, sex or strength.
Otherwise known as Article 45 of the Irish Constitution.
The problem with socialism, democracy, dictatorships and everyother form of social control; the human factor, our frailties, weakness,opinion,bigotry,sexism and all points in between.
I would agree with the premis of Bank nationalisation, but also the nationalisation of of all the states resources and taking back semi-state status from others ie; bord gais esb cie the list goes on. These can be used as developemental tools to accelerate economic growth, by forward loading infrastructure, creating growth hubs linked with a road, rail, telecom/broadband, making this country attractive to knoledge based industry. Its all well and good having brilliant graduates but if theres no tools for them to work with whats the point.
Capitalism is not perfect and has many flaws, but socialism had just as many flaws and is not the solution to our problems. Despite every thing that has happened there is still a lot going for this country. What we really need is strong leadership. A leader that will take on the vested interests, and change Ireland into a proper functioning republic where ever citizen is valued. We need an end to the clientist model we have at the moment
As we know, it is a bit more complex than that, given world systems, power imbalance, control of propagandist media.
Its appropriate because I was leafing through J. J. Lee’s slightly self-conscious Ireland 1912-1985, he points out that in the aftermath the media (primarily the Irish Independent) called for the executions of the leaders of the 1916 rising, most notably the red threat as embodied in the person of James Connolly. The socialist/German plot of which he and others were supposed to be a part of was also bitterly condemned by the Catholic Hierarchy and papers in the provinces (see also treatment of Larkin and strikers during the Great Lockout of 1913).
But I digress.
I think we are seeing some interesting movements in Latin America, some ’socialist’ others ’socially democratic’ operating to the best of their abilities within a world system which was established over many centuries, enforced by the exploitation of developing countries vis a vis Imperial-Colonial-Post-Colonial practices. And still it goes on, $25,000 per minute comes out of Sub-Saharan Africa, billions of dollars which subsidises the ‘rich’ Northern economies.
Let us be clear, (I am pre-empting the next comment in the sequence) what occurred in the Soviet Union, China and Eastern Europe was neither socialist nor Marxist but a brutal one party dictatorships, with Lenin/Stalin/Mao hijacking a process, indeed Lenin fought the idea of ‘All Power to the Soviets’, where democratic control of State economic processes was beginning to bring results for the ‘people’.
It was felt that socialism would emerge out of an industrialised and educated country i.e. Germany but again as we know, huge efforts were put into crushing such a democratic move in the post-world war 1 period in Germany – see killing of Rosa Luxemburg and putting down of the Spartacus uprising.
Throughout history we have seen the efforts of those in power to crush moves towards social democracy/socialism.
Red Scare in Ireland during the 30s, the crushing of the Spanish Civil War which is one of the best examples of a society which was displaying a form of libertarian socialism, which had it been allowed to flourish could arguably have led to it influencing developments in other countries.
And this is the fundamental point, Western countries in particular have done everything in their power to crush similar developments because they recognise the threat from a system which directly challenges capitalism or State Capitalism and all that such a system entails.
We saw that in Italy and Greece where massive efforts were made (largely successful) by the ‘allies’ to crush socialist and communist movements leading to the deaths of many hundreds of thousands of people, and a return to the fascist style, authoritarian states.
We saw similar efforts to crush independent development in Latin America – Jacobo Arbenz was making major inroads in Guatemala with the re-distribution of land and resources, only to be overthrown in a CIA back coup in 1954, we saw something similar with Salvador Allende, who again had nationalised his countries industries, was implementing socially democratic programmes only to be overthrown in a violent coup, resulting in the bombing of the presidential palace and his death. The story is the same across Latin America and Africa, where popular leaders like Patrice Lumumba were assassinated along with countless other labour leaders, organisers and activists. Operation Condor is worth checking out.
Indeed the principal reason for the longest economic embargo in history is precisely because Cuba (after successfully deposing the brutal Batista) chose to development independently (outside the US sphere of influence) and has suffered ever since – the loss of earnings over the 48 year embargo, consistently condemned by the UN General Assembly, is in the tens of billions of dollars, the loss of Cuban life has been considerable. This excludes the ruthless covert war launched by JFK on Cuba and which continued for several decades, with hundreds of assassination attempts on the life of Fidel Castro.
Similar story in Nicaragua, a country bombed back to the stone-age, actions which the World Court condemned and requested the US pay war reparations – in response the US intensified its illegal operations.
So instead of asking where has socialism succeeded, I think we should ask why hasn’t socialism/social democracy succeeded? Indeed, people talk of the failure of socialism, I wonder about the ‘great capitalist successes’, the current period certainly doesn’t feel too wonderful.
The reasons, outlined in brief above, go some way to explaining why, and still people are still prepared to risk life and limb.
Look at Bolivia, far worse situation than Ireland. Poorest country in Latin America, violent elite backed by well equipped military, and still people were able to overcome the privatisation of their resources (water) and eventually elect an indigenous President, an event unparalleled in their history.
I could go on but think I will stop there.
As one socialist leader said as he faced execution: “You can’t kill an idea” – people will always seek liberty and freedom and eventually capitalism will crumble and people will look back in horror at such a cruel, feudal system with debt slavery, economic exploitation, environmental degradation and violence on an unprecedented global level.
The current world system – neoliberalism – is built on the exploitation of billions and the deaths of millions of unknown, the ‘wretched of the earth’ as Franz Fanon memorably stated in his book of the same name.
Money issuance and credit issuance under the control of private interests in central too fixing the insider / outsider system perpetuating debt slavery.
Return credit issuance into the hands of the people.
This in my POV is the bulls eye demanding gouging.
“The Pull” ruled Ireland. We’ve now reached a point where the sons of sons of Pull rule by a quasi divine right and that is monumentally difficult to shift.
nsider / outsider dynamic is a reality originating in a cultural malfunction.
Central banking facilitates an insider / outsider ’set up’ to exist and function successfully in the insider classes interests.
The insiders prosper by controlling the ‘market making function’ through the control of credit and paper money issuance / central banking system / banking for the public good in private hands which is the driving engine which make s the system work lopsidedly towards an insiders class.
The ‘credit / monies’ flow circulate defying market making functionality gravity back too the insiders, the class of negative self interested whom are positioned just in the right place to benefit from the over all economic system been run through a central banking system. It produces a dynamic situation where using this form of banking opens up the endless possibilities for gleaming off market rigging through making it possible too have an insider / outsider class.
Its like having a magic money making machine and there is only so many places around it and behind it and further back again concentric circling back. And the interests closest stay closest passing their position down to their kid’s and they continue robbing the money making machine set up / central banking system infrastructure constantly self re generating itself with proliferating new technologies.
The insider s interests are fixed on keeping their position in place cos its right next to the magic money making machine.
So, they will do what it takes too preserve their position going forward. Will do whatever is needed to preserve their insider position next to the magic money making machine.
So, they will buy off politicians for example. Or dumb down the outsiders / masses who they know would elbow them out of the insider position first chance they’d get.
The insiders class are all interconnected across national boundaries sending intel back and forth at all times looking over each others shoulder keeping watch on the outsiders getting sussed on the nature of the flow of wealth, ownership of means of production and usurption of market making function and storming the insiders castle walls.
Castle walls / institutional control over the masses are constantly under construction over the decades and centuries reinforcing and growing in sophistication as the sands of time shift onwards.
The ‘insider’ classes are moreso competing against the changing forces of time and ebb and flow of history like the force s of hegalism than the masses surging forward in awakening.
Thus, the group, closest to the ‘magic money making machine’, they are prepared too carry out whatever must be done to maintain their position standing next to the magic money making machine.
So, this means they must keep the magic money making machine going and keep their position next too it, keep it secure against any invaders.
So, they end up inventing all strange and pinky and the brains stuff into existence that on the ‘outside’ defies common sense and invokes disbelief but on the inside makes complete sense to them. So we get stuff like NAMA which is a pinky and the brain scam function of which too keep the money making machine making money going forward for them, not for the outsiders, for them, and in the recent credit crunch what has become all too visible is that there is a plutocratic class who can get endless sums of money made available too them snapping their fingers cos they are the ‘insiders’ who are stationed closest too the magic money making machine.
n the past the ‘money making machine’ ticked over in the economy engine room and the ‘insiders’ at its switch ensured it did not go ballistic pumping out magic money in deference probably too a sense of not getting out of ones box too far sotospeak.
Then, 2oth century comes along and technology and the insiders at the switch get greedier and the machines are pumping out more products and more ideas providing new things and the insiders decide too cook up a scam too squeeze more out of the magic money making machine so they installed fiat paper money and then more goodies and gadgets produced and they invented financial instruments too squeeze more monies out of the magic money making machine and do it in such a way as to maintain a hold on their power point proximity too the magic money making machine as the numbers of outsiders increased and access too more intel opened up viz a viz new technologies catching the ‘insiders’ on the hop
…….which brings us up too 2007 when the three card financial trick collapsed as does a house built of playing cards due to stress dynamics as it collapsed the ‘insiders’ quickly moved into operation to preserve their now dynastic right of ownership over the magic money making machine now under threat from the post modern scam erected too squeeze more monies off the magic money making press and fullfill all of their widest end of the century and millenium fantasies one could possibly manage to do, under threat from the lack of real wealth underpinning their financial instrument scam, and what did they do, the insiders concocted a new scam to shore up the stress faults in the infrastructure constructed around the magic money making machine, they wheeled out their contingency plan too re secure their magic money making machine by generating enough uncertainty in the system that the sheeple clung to paper money now more than ever and the money making machine insiders safe from questions and in time people would forget and the ‘insiders’ would preserve their power point proximity to the magic money making machine going forward.
…overtime the ‘insiders’ closed off more and more from the outsiders and disconnect by degree from functioning reality.
In the process of turning inward and becoming nefariously adrift and turning more identified with the elitist sheen of insider priviledge a pathology kicks in and lord of the flies events become more and more prevalent.
Governments were recognising two important points. The crisis of the 1930s had shown that many capitalist firms needed the protection of the national state if they were to thrive in an anarchic world system populated by capitals more powerful than themselves. And there were many examples in the historical record of ruling classes who had been highly successful, not on the basis of individual private property but through collectively exploiting the mass of people via their hold over the state.Tories like the former prime minister Harold Macmillan were recognising these facts when they argued in the mid 1980s against Thatcher’s privatisation drive.
Now the assorted enthusiasts for privatisation, whether veteran Thatcherites, born again Blairites or refugees from Stalinism, all claim privatisation is the answer because it introduces great efficiencies and cuts costs. State industries, they claim, are almost by definition ‘bloated’, ‘featherbedded’, ‘costly’ and ‘inefficient’.It goes further and suggests that when there are big improvements in productivity and efficiency, they occur in the pre-privatisation period when managements prepare for sell offs (and aim to build up their own potential salaries and share options) by forcing through massive cuts in the workforce. There is evidence of this: ‘an initial shakeout effect, with relative value added growth improving following the announcement of an intention to privatise, was found in seven of the 11 firms.’ But after privatisation the picture is very mixed, so although in five of the 11 firms ‘relative value added growth increased in the four years immediately after privatisation’, in the other six it stagnated or fell. And privatisation certainly did not give new zest to the rest of industry, since ‘value added growth in seven of the 11 firms was less than in the economy as a whole’.
In any case, privatisation certainly does not do more than slightly ameliorate the downward trend in profitability which Marx insisted was one of capitalism’s biggest headaches. But this leads us back to the question we started with: why the enthusiasm for a measure that has such little long term effect?
The answer lies in the ’short termism’, which, far from being some peculiarity of British capitalism as people like Will Hutton would have us believe, has always been the response of ruling classes as they become engulfed by a long term crisis of their mode of production.
The fall in returns of private capital lead its bosses to look for quick takings from the former state owned sector. A host of Tory small businessmen and New Labour local authority managers and councillors see they can get in on the act. Big companies believe a fragmented workforce must be a weaker workforce. And governments see a magical way of getting the cash to balance their books as economic slowdown hits tax revenues – a modern equivalent of the desperate resort to tax farming that characterised European absolutism in its period of crisis.
Finally, drawing all these strands together is the question of ideology. No ruling class in history has ever been able to admit that its system is going nowhere. It always has to have some scapegoat to blame for what has gone wrong and some magic remedy to return it to its golden age.
Not only does privatisation provide the fat cats with cream. It also has the intoxicating effect of making them ignore symptoms of sickness in the system. But that, of course, can be disastrous for them.”
The bond issuance has been trashed before and will be trashed again until we remove the tyranny of a central banking model to run the economy.
All of us will be better served by a banking system run on credit provision worked as a utility.
The working as credit in a usury fashion will always spell disaster for all of us one way or the other.
Mind you it all holds together by a simple confidence trick, which is the paper money confidence trick pulled on the serfs.
Put simply, its conditioning the serf into believing paper money is invested with value.
Break the spell on the sheeple and the central banking tyranny will fall.
The ‘controlling interests’ understand that national debt is an illusion of sorts. They do not perceive the debt in the terms the meeja trained masses do.
The ‘controlling interests’ realize that debt manufacturing is a means to power and control and the bigger the debts they can get away with making without undermining the central banking schemata over all the better as far as they are concerned in relation to their controlling interests.
While the ‘controlling interests’ are cooking up the next POnzi scam to pull they have arranged for the masses to be loosing sleep in their beds with worry over a debt which is merely something built on paper for god sakes.
I have a theory that our economy and the people have not chnged sufficiently to solve the problem.
Until ANIB went down, Ireland was living beyond it’s means in an unsustainable manner, by borrowing into the private sector.
Then as a result of the banking crisis, credit to the private sector stopped. And the political establishment decided that it was best not to disturb the citizenry from their sofas and TV viewing.
Led by Gordon Brown (Mr.Bean) policymakers decided to switch to public sector borrowing to keep the entire party in full swing.
The problem is that there is something very seriously wrong with all of the English speaking countries except Singapore – which is cluturally Confucianist. And the establishment across all of the English speaking world is in firm and complete denial that there is something wrong.
For me the quango’s are all pre determined by not by a declared function but a pay off.
The pay off / monthly salary is predetermined by well laid out proxy all who desire quango employment must sign on to.
The proxy itself is simple. Keep government big. Pretend one is carrying out a stand up 40 hour a week job and one is merely pushing paper in a circle.
……….you could also create ‘idiot citizens’ too Deco!!!
To what ‘pinky and the brain brain brain’ schemes could the ruling elites put the idiot citizens slaving away in confiscating the wealth of their labours under the fabricated ideaolgy this is the new knowledge intensive future economy. See malcolms link above on that one,!!
Wills – it all goes back to the “Manufacturing of consent” documentary of Adam Curtis”.
Bascally, corporate power requires mind share of the population to control consumption and profits. Advertising is not about informing consumers. Advertising is propaganda in consumerist societies. Advertising is about indoctrinating people who think that they are free. And the advertising gimicks of Paddy Power and the other gambling institutions is a clear example of this. Paddy Power is not that different really in terms of valeus from the rest of the Irish financial sector.
I think we should realize that it has always been easy in Ireland to tell a lie, easy to fool people on a grand and small scale and also get away with it. An announcement of the train running three minutes late which in fact is half an hour late or not running at all is generally acceptable. Some tourists may see that as “the endearing Irish system”.
On a Grand scale: Ridiculously high sums of money to pay for sites located in a dirty city placed in a nation that glorifies alcohol. We are to believe that is the actual price paid. This price was only fantasized by developers to prepare us for the big prices one have to pay for the apartments. Same with other sites around the country.
The McNama investment of 400 Million on a small site in Dublin 4, Jurys/Berkeley Court site at Ballsbridge. Same story.
We even invited Jean Claude Trichet to give a talk (http://www.rte.ie/news/2009/0226/economy.html) to calm down the troops speaking most likely on behalf of the government. What a great relief to hear Trichet saying that “It wasn’t so bad after all.”
No one in this country can find anywhere what the real price is paid for their neighbors property. Reason: that is the way it is.
The values put on these properties are secret and any price you hear is most likely a fantasy. I am not surprised at all if developers and builders rented a crowd to stand there and cue up all night to get the property that they wanted. How many schemes were promised by the government like the O’Devaney Gardens, broadband, etc, etc, etc. Does anyone really think this was going to materialize at all? Even at the height of the boom
CELAND SHOWS IMPORTANCE OF PUTTING PEOPLE BEFORE BANKS: (DMcW Jan 6 2010)
Original-Ed: Ideology has nothing to do with collective responsibility. As long as Irish people continue to look around for someone to blame, whether Politicians, Bankers or Developers, we will continue to wallow in a state of denial.
Whether or not we voted for any of the crew in the Dail, whether we were wise or foolish in our investments and whether we were too busy making a living to notice that the economy was over-heating, none of these absolve us from collective responsibility for what was being done in our name.
As well as sins of commission, there are sins of omission. You can’t just stick your head in the sand with a sign on your back: ‘Not my fault, Gov!’
Until we overcome our characteristic silent denial of individual responsibility: ‘Hear no evil, See no evil, Speak no Evil’, the excesses of the State, the Law, the Church, the Banks and the Developers will continue unabated.
That’s all fine and dandy Malcolm McClure if it was actually held up to child like scrutiny.
This isn’t as clear cut as you make out, we are being forced to pick up the tab for something we had no say in and (including myself) had no involvement in property or making the money off the backs of others.
What’s more the money we have been forced to cough up is paying Banksters bonuses and the banks are back to their profit making ways (see US and Britain), this is also a far from equitable deal, we have seen how the budget has been implemented and who it is hitting. We also see that those involved in wrecking the State have not been held accountable, indeed, an enquiry has been rejected, very democratic.
People don’t have their heads in the sand, in fact, people have never been more aware of the injustices in this society.
Time we nationalised the banks, end their rackeetering, elect a new government, re-implement regulation and get our house (pardon the pun) in order.
Writing a blank cheque for delinquents without any strings attached certainly strikes me as inappropriate. People are rightly outraged, people who exercised correct judgement and who in a properly functioning democracy might actually be running the country.
G: “making money off the backs of others’ is what commerce is about, the world over, and always has been. The customer can always vote with his feet and take his custom elsewhere. When I buy something I sometimes wonder whether I am the customer or whether my custom has been bought by the shopkeeper though his situation, advertising, ambience etc. Who is exploiting who?
Bonuses are the slush that is left after we have all had fun in the snow. They are mostly earned by clever drudges who’d rather be doing something interesting and need a lot of incentive to stick with it.
Most of us still have our heads in the sand to judge from the demeanor of FF backbenchers. If they had any spine they could soon put the house in order. They remain flaccid as they know that their voters are supine sheeple.
In a properly functioning democracy, people who exercised correct judgement would soon realize that the way to fix matters is to get themselves elected.
We already have a tax system that is there to ensure that the complexities of fair distribution of burden are well teased out and then implemented. Together with checks and balances in the system such as benefits and means testing. But instead, we have blunt instruments in use all over the place!
Malcom, we are all collectively responsible for our country and its direction. we are not all collectively responsible for whatever remits are handed down to us from above; democratically elected government or not. There are suh things as ‘mores, there is such a thing as natural justice. Just because a law is enacted by our legislative bodies, does not mean it is a just law. In fact, it does not even mean it is constitutional. It merely means, at that point in time, it got past the Dail and then past the President. I am sure we all know of laws that have subsequently been found to be in question and unconstitutional.
‘who is exploiting who’.
Simple. The individual with the greater ability to exercise sado masochism with minimal consequent self damage and to be able to exercise sado masochism rationally i submit is the exploiter in any given trade where exploitation is afoot.
The Irish people have a culture of owning their own homes. It was the banks that decided to create a business model that only worked in a high inflation property market and worked tirelessly to keep it so. Indeed the whole Dublin property market was effectively run by cartels.
Ownership means having a stake in the community, and requires an equivalence of responsibility with the other stake-holders. It means having something to lose, and prevents fecklessness. That is why a previous era required that only 40 shilling freeholders would be allowed to vote.
I don’t think the present mess would have been allowed to happen by 40 shilling freeholders.
Malcolm: I felt it was OK to make a point about Irish culture that doesn’t go back to the inception of the free state 🙂 I understand that the approx 80% home ownership figure we have now is the result of policies and laws that actually predate the existence of the free state in terms of rural land reallocation. The various housing acts have played their part. Nevertheless, the culture of home ownership is one I’ve grown up with. Me being but a lad!
I’m not sure that’s why a previous era only permitted those with sufficient assets to vote. Do you not think it stems from the feudal system of governance? Legacy and desire for control rather than insight. You’re also including centuries of such qualified voting rights in the case of the UK where bad laws were passed and stupid wars were fought. Whether people of “quality” 🙂 are voting or not they’ll do dumb things. The laws and regulations are needed to keep them in check. The people of Ireland would not have gotten so indebted so quickly if the laws had limited their mortgages to a reasonable multiple of their disposable income.
Our incompetent and corrupt government through the secretive operations of NAMA and their opposition to a public inquiry are hell bent on keeping our prying eyes out of it.
Germany were outraged with our regulatory faux-pas, firstly in regards to Depfa and secondly with regards to domestic and inter-bank activity.
Are you clinging so strongly to your invalid position that you would rather pass out disinformation than stand over truth? Our light touch banking regulations, and lack of enforcement thereof also, have caused fury in Europe, both in ECB and political circles.
Explain your absurd take on this situation. Are you unaware of political and regulatory responsibilty? Or are you a contrarian who actually instead blindly accepts concensus realities foisted on him by the latest powerbroker to take the newsworthiness reins.
Outside of simple categories it’s much harder to morally distinguish between bondholders and depositors. The problem lies in who holds the bonds and the impact of default on consumers of retail banking services. Burning bond holders ends up burning pension funds. It may be a few levels removed from the “high street” but the problem will still exist. Morally it’s not a simple case of “screw bond holders” but “protect depositors”. It’s a deep moral dilemma for any government to decide how to deal with this. I’d argue that they need to look to imperatives in the face of choices that appear untenable and morally grey. Governments are responsible to their own citizens, however they need good international relations for finance, trade etc. Accepting the EEA deposit guarantee agreement (min 20K Euro) the Icelandic government have argued from the outset that they put in place a deposit guarantee scheme in line with best-practice and acted responsibly in doing so. The relevant EEA directive states “Whereas this Directive may not result in the Member States’ or their competent authorities’ being made liable in respect of depositors if they have ensured that one or more schemes guaranteeing deposits or credit institutions themselves and ensuring the compensation or protection of depositors under the conditions prescribed in this Directive have been introduced and officially recognized;” i.e. should the government of a state put in place a deposit guarantee scheme their citizens SHOULDN’T be liable for deposit debts beyond the ability of that scheme to pay. That’s my interpretation but it would be ultimately up to the European Free Trade Association Court to make that decision. Neither the UK nor the Netherlands want this to happen. Instead the UK fired ahead with using anti-terror laws. Straightforward strong arm bullying or what some businesspersons call “rough and tumble”. This is surely a terrible situation but moral outrage directed against Iceland isn’t any greater in my opinion than the moral outrage that could be directed against the financial regulatory systems throughout the EU that allowed this to happen or indeed the UK government for strong arm tactics. ICESAVE depositors were offered a contract for investment with a notably lucrative upside. The fine print makes it clear that these accounts are not guaranteed under the UK scheme. If it’s a bad precedent not to pay depositors then I’m every bit as concerned with the precedent that a nation like Iceland (which is tiny) should have to take on a crippling national debt to pay for, at best, gross mismanagement by its bankers. Especially when on the face of it it does not appear that they’re legally compelled to do so no matter how much they’re threatened.
The EEA regulations and the ECB were not geared to handle a systemic banking failure but one has being brewing for a while. So many hypocrites. The UK really needs to sort out the HBOS fraud investigation (and here)
and we need to stop pretending that an investigation into our banking sector will damage the credibility we no longer have.
Somehow over the last 20 odd years USA and UK seemed to think that consumer spending would drive their economies (I think Alan Greenspan has much to answer for) rather than manufacturing – we are humans; we have hands; and we need to make things.
To add further mischief somehow these countries (particularly the States) compomised its property market by allowing banks to embark upon schemes linked to properties which no-one fully understood – hence the sub-prime crisis which not only threatened the worlds entire banking system; but also undermined the prime property markets – which in turn undermined confidence.
Ireland as we are all very painfully aware embarked on its own little property cameo and didnt even bother trying to dress it up.
We need to stabilise the property markets and get them back to being strong so that people feel secure. NAMA may actually help in achieving this because it will provide some kind of regulation – if it is not politically interferred with.
Unless the property market returns to the dizzying heights of a few years ago, it’ll turn out to be another case of socialising private debt. Very bad for the economy, and morally wrong, in my view.
but you do have a clear interest (like the pig in the breakfast) in seeing NAMA and LTEVs work at the expense of other citizens.
You expect your capitalistic innocence to be subsidised by other citizens.
So, NAMA for example if put too referendum if not rigged maybe passed by a majority cos i aht to think this out loud but i think the majority in Ireland are ‘insiders’ one way or the other.
This is why living in Ireland is so treachorous if one is putting head above outsider or insider parapet.
Can’t be much of a crisis if the pay of senior civil servants will remain untouched (cleaners and the low paid taking the hit – socialism of risk/debt, privatisation of profit).
Can’t be much of a crisis if the Taoiseach is making over 200k a year.
Can’t be much of a crisis if the Heads of the semi-state companies are making in excess of 300-400k.
Can’t be much of a crisis if Prof. Drumm is awarded €80,000 performance bonus on top of €400k salary.
Can’t be much of a crisis if the President of UCC (a parochial, mid-size university) continues to make €250k a year.
Can’t be much of a crisis if the banks will be continually bailed out to the tune of billions (but refuse to inject credit into the system – deliberately creating monopoloistic State capitalism and the greatest transfer of wealth from the taxpayer to private banking institutions).
Can’t be mich of a crisis when NAMA is being setup to basically keep the property market/prices inflated (despite consumers generally refusing to get back into the game despite the massive PR efforts to hoodwink them a second time).
Can’t be much of a crisis, certainly plenty of money in the country.
Don’t buy the lie that there is no other way, no other game in town, there are always options, these lies come from the same deviant minds that have led us to where we are, the application of the most elementary logic indicates they are without any credibility.
As Chomsky once said to me: “The best recommendation is still Gramsci’s: pessimism of the intelligence, optimism of the will. Things have looked very bad before, worse than now, but it’s been possible to reinvigorate popular struggle and commitment the decent ideals that most people have buried within, even if they are concealed.
COLIN IN EXILE:
Here’s my theory; Most Irish people are homeowners, NAMA is perceived by most Irish people as a mechanism to maintain property at an artificially high level, most Irish people only care about themselves and their immediate family, meaning supporting NAMA is supporting their investment in their house regardless of its effect on the rest of society. Its more me feinism than apathy.
traumatic abuse from early age at the hand of sado masochistic culture threaded through all institutions of the state and deeply embedded into family units as a value system holding aloft the individuals with greatest ability to do ultra violence, holding them aloft in adoration and reverence.
My other half ran for the local council once. She visited a few hundred houses in a rural constituency. She said that without exception she was asked “what party are you with?” (she was an independent which took some explaining) and “if you’re elected what will you do for me?” (not generalizing to mean the community). Helpful suggestions were made about getting medical cards, planning permission for extensions, resurfacing a road. High-minded stuff like that. Nobody asked about values, ideologies or anything “intellectual”. That’s Ireland. When you wonder why Irish politics is corrupt and stagnant there’s your reason. It’s not that everyone in the country is like that but our political system puts the focus on the parish pump. Irish politicians don’t want anybody looking or thinking about bigger issues. Almost all of our politicians have spent years mired in local politics. They understand the flow of the parish pump but economics, science+technology, knowledge economy and other complex issues leaving them flapping around and mouthing platitudes.
Banks are merely a utility. They are not fundamental. to running an economy. It is people. FULL STOP. People need energy (which we sadly lack) and a social contract – which is why people bother to obey laws and act as communities – something which is also sadly lacking.
Investors are gamblers. Caveat Emptor. No guarantees. If you get involved in a startup or any other venture, there are no guarantees. What is unfortunate about depositors is the fact that depositors had their funds incompetently managed and those involved are not before the courts. The system is broken and the icelandic president has called it I think it will precipitate a run on sovereign debt. If the latter happens, then only ones left standing are those with productive capital and energy – their currency will be the strongest. Not good for Ireland…
On the matter of social contract – I believe this connects well to the Economist’s note on social unrest. The government here has demonstrated a complete disconnect in relation to many social and economic aspects of this country. The childlike censoring of media is but another example. They lack visionary leadership and worse – discourage community involvement by maintaining a closed shop in the civil service and their so-called partnership deals.
Any sovereign debt crisis materializing merely means that the gov cannot sell bonds. But central banks will but bonds at all times once the regional gov is on message with the controlling elites agenda.
Hence why Ireland had no difficulty securing such a massive bond swap too ECB cos Ireland s elites are fully in submission to the hidden agenda so they get un fettered access too the magic money printing machine.
Ireland s society is a cabal of special interests interlocked with similar boyo’s in other countries and the sets of special interests are all corralled around the levers of power preserving the ‘insider’ zone at all cost, whatever it takes, the ‘insider’ zone must always be preserved, top down, monopolistic capitalism / economic rent seeking system held together by a debt based money system and an education factory system dumbing down the sheeple.
As I have said several times before, Ireland does not mean business. Ireland means nonsense, deceit, pretence, official versions of the truth, coverups, pride protection, low levels of accountability, crooked cliques, cronyism, market rigging, management incompentence, authority, and dishonesty.
The major point is that all these jokers ‘are elected representatives’ – I personally think there should be legislation preventing any and all these people from having side businesses and interests, they are paid public servants but seem to spend the majority of their time serving themselves.
They go on about constituency work, outside hours etc but many have other jobs including directorships, major company interests and of course old ‘40 gaffs’ – surely this is inappropriate especially at a time of ‘national crisis’.
Lets take a look at market capitalism in Ireland in relation too property.
– wholesale dealers buy and sell properties based on bribing councillors to secure land re zoning using wedges of illicit cash thereby pushing land values from zero too gold.
– builders buy the land which is now selling for a rigged price.
– builders build house and put it on market for sale at a rigged price to re coup paying out rigged price to wholesale land middle man.
– House now on market for triple whammy rigged price must hold fake price too keep builder sweet so to keep wholesale land middle man sweet so too be able to bribe for re zoning.
– To hold triple whammy rigged price the supply of housing stock must be controlled and the circle closes back too the councillors who rule over zoning rights to build.
– Then just to add insult to injury, the buyer of the house itself will toddle along to bank for the monies to give to builder for house and the bank will of course the original lenders out for the whole saler to buy the land and original lenders to builder to build house will lend out to joey bloggs to buy house and lend it all out out of thin air and be paid handsomely for lending paper and be protected by the taxpayer if the bank becomes bonkers on greed and splurges all savers monies at monaco.
and willie we are all told by the pillars of society that the above ‘triple whammy price rigging’ is free market capitalism.
We, the general chisler public, will be told, the ‘triple whammy price rigging’ is normal.
Willie, we will be told, sure this is the way they do it in the UK and the good ‘ol US of A so if its good for them its good for us too.
We will be told it s the way the free market works and there is no other way and sure it benefits everyone in the end anyway so whats the proooblem…..!!!
We will be told, willie, told that, sure we ought to be glad that we are getting a roof over our heads and sure back in the day we all lived in damp thatched cottage with a pig in the parlour.
We will be told that the ‘triple whammy price rigging’ is all part of life and sure this is the best system there is and sure we’re all in this together we’re all on the take and sure we’re all at it and at least houses are getting built begob.
And i say willie, i say, NO, this is not the system only available. I say there is a system which can provide a roof over evryones head, everyone, every poor dog and divil out on the streets tonight even if they are a drunk, i say willie there is a free market system there for us all too enjoy and prosper from.
But what do people like me know, i’m not one of the boys flashing around the halls of power with access and power and cock of the walk gait.
I used to work for a property developing branch of the bank the biggest bank in Holland.
Phase 1: In the late 70’s and early 80’s this bank started by buying land and building enormous shopping centers. Then they thought they might as well build apartments on top of these shopping areas. Then they build single houses surrounding the areas, etc. There was no separate property developer involved in this setup at all.
Phase 2: Then after a while the general public got suspicious about this big bank generating all that property. That is when this same bank decided to separate the two entities to look it less obvious.
It created an entity in property developer format. It had a separate name, logo, etc. But still, I was a bank employee an payed by the bank.
Phase 3: It created more separate entities in “house builder” format. So this time the general public thought they were dealing with innocent home builders. (Not sure but I think this formula is a widely used all over the world. )
Phase 4: Separate the whole setup altogether. However, it took sometime for the public to see (believe) that banks and property developers are actually two different entities.
Phase 5: When new developments are on the way, the existing and finished developments are downgraded. The media is to look after this downgrading. In addition, The media tried to hike the property market up but not really successfully simply because there was a not a house ownership culture in Holland.
Then the crises of the 80’s started and …
Phase 6: The government took control of this and it developed a scheme that property can only be priced according to ones income. A so called premium scheme whereby the government was in control of the pricing structure. This is not to be compared to the affordable housing and first time buyers schemes we have.
In parallel to this scheme there is the free sector area. In essence these were existing properties in sought after area whereby the owners of properties can decide their own price.
I think when Ireland started the property boom the banks skipped phased 1 and 2. The banks started looking for men who was willing to take the whole project on and in return they get funding from the bank for whatever they need. So they are not employed by the bank. While these houses and shopping centers are being build the banks will make sure the public is prepared for these mass products coming on the market. The early 90’s is when I moved to Ireland and the first thing I noticed was that phase 4 and 5 is has been implemented and in (beginning to bloom). Not sure if there is a phase 6 but certainly it is brought to a next level in Ireland as we all know. A level of mass manipulation that is probably not seen since the creation of consumerism by Edward Bernays.
I do think there is one good thing from this culture of home ownership. Just imagine if there is a culture in Ireland of renting instead of buying like in many European countries. Just imagine if Irish landlords had a bigger stake in the property market. The gap between the abused and abuser will be so big that serious human rights issues are at risks and Ireland would never got into any boom.
The production of massive amounts of debt too provide the ‘people’ with the funds to consume the year after year increase in production across the world.
The ‘debt honey trap.’
A parlour game of the super class gentlemen thieves and clever clog tricksters.
Open the ‘debt’ valves and flood the system with debt.
What is this parlour game i speak on the ruling classes are up too?
I amy say also, NAMA is like a mop soaking up debt.
What are the owners of production actually up too?
Entrepreneur is – a person who buys at a known or certain price and sells at an unknown or uncertain price .If his assessment is true he makes a profit .
The following is FF doctrine :
NAMA is – a Corrupt Slave Trader that buys at an unknown and uncertain price and sells us all down the tube.There is no assessment only conspiricy to corrupt the public interest.
Who’s to blame? That question should be the basis for any inquiry into the mess.
I would say its a relatively small cartel of politicians, bankers (Seanie/Fingers et al) , in cahoots with developers and with a major role played by DoF, who led the charge into our Waterloo.
Bankers’ greed attracted by free availability of money, bonuses and an absent regulatory environment played another huge role in this.
Also plain lack of professional expertise and smart wisdom at the political and banking levels.
Most of all though, again, just my opinion, and subject to an inquiry we badly need, is the DoF mandarins who should ultimately be responsible for a correctly functioning regulatory system given the extent of their knowledge of our economic environment.
The PD’s are not gone, they just gave themselves cushy jobs in the public sector and then disbanded. Noam Chomsky called the PD’s “wolves in sheeps clothing”. Ireland has 19th century politics and 20th century infrastructure. FG and FF are the same, the play off one another, while screwing the taxpayer. Over the last decade Ireland became dependent on construction, MNCs and the public sector. Yeah thank god FF were in power !!, construction is dead, MNC’s, well, how long more will they stay, and the public sector has become a BEAST, consuming all before it and sucking this country dry. They create over 800 quangos in order to remove themselves from any blame while creating jobs for the boys.
The politicians are low level puppets distracting the good people of any given society away from seen the ‘real architecture of enslavement’ example of which one will find at John ALLENs link too FF website.
NAMA is part of an ‘architecture of enslavement’.
And NI and Rep of I are all part of the same monopolistic capitalist system.
“it has taken 80 years for people on this windswept shithole to realise that we never had independence, just a change of landlord.”
[The bonus system in the banks is completely absurd —
it grossly rewards dangerously risky behavior on the part of bankers, and as such it is a huge moral hazard, in effect a theft by the banks against the rest of the economy.
The best way of dealing with this is not to tax the bonuses themselves but rather to discourage unproductive bank activity by stiffening the collateral requirements for banks themselves and taxing transactions.
A disproportionately large share of the bonuses are from reinsurance activities such as derivatives, which are not productive for the general economy and have failed even to do what they were supposed to do, namely manage risk, but which involve hundreds of transactions as assets are reinsured over and over again in the pursuit of a winning bet.
Productive activities like commercial lending, on the other hand, do good things for the economy but involve maybe only one transaction, so the bankers who handle that don’t make nearly the bonus. So, instead of nailing the bonuses directly, tax the transactions and regulate the leverage, and banks will find much more productive uses for that bonus money — commercial lending that does not involve heavy leverage on the part of the bank itself and only involves a small number of transactions per deal.]
Morgan Kelly conclusions:
In the last decade, the Irish economy has experienced an unusually large credit bubble.
Lending as a fraction of GNP increased from 60% in 1997, to over 200% in 2008, twice the
level of other industrialized economies.
In the aftermath of this bubble, the Irish banking system faces three inter-related problems.
The first is that it has made large losses on loans to property developers. The second
is that it has large wholesale liabilities to international bond holders and, increasingly, to
the European Central Bank. The final problem is that it faces likely further large losses on
mortgages and business loans.
The Irish government’s policy response has been solely to address the first problem of
losses on developer loans by establishing a state institution to buy these loans. However, by
ignoring the second problem of the large wholesale liabilities of the Irish banks, this project
will inevitably end in expensive failure.
As Irish banks are forced to repay this wholesale borrowing and to shrink their balance
sheets to normal international levels, the sharply diminished supply of credit will lead inevitably
to continued sharp falls in property prices. These falls in property prices will result
in severe losses for the Irish taxpayer on the ill-conceived NAMA project.
Despite having pushed the Irish state close to, and quite possibly beyond, the limits of
its fiscal capacity with the NAMA scheme, the Irish banks remain as zombies whose only
priority is to reduce their debt, and who face complete destruction from mortgage losses.
The issue therefore is not whether the Irish bank bailout will restore the Irish banks so
that they can function as independent commercial entities: it cannot. Rather it is whether
the Irish government’s commitments to bank bond holders when added to its existing spending
commitments, will overwhelm the fiscal capacity of the Irish state, forcing outside entities
such as the IMF and EU to intervene and impose a resolution on the Irish banking system.
An example of a ‘daisy chain of bankruptcy’ linking back back back into our pockets thieving us.
It is not as black and white as you make out. Keep the suggestions going alright, but this is not going to happen and not the solution.
Look at the experience of sterling, in the early 90s – Norman Lamont was singing in the bath when sterling fell out of ERM and floated freely ; thereafter the UK economy started to grow based on a lower more competitive exchange rate. One of the worse days for the UK economy, turned out to be the best result. Inflation was not an issue and could be kept under control by being able to control its own interest rates. Without an improvement in economic conditions ( based on export growth ) Ireland will take years and years to pay its debt ( and maybe it should renegotiate this debt anyway). I agree with David – joining the euro was a big mistake and became the source of cheap credit which fuelled the boom, hardly likely to be the best option to stick with it now the results are plain to see.
Our national debt is not astronomical. It is manageable if we change our tack completely on NAMA, LTEVs and socialisation of private debt.
However, the private debt and mortgage mountain would be affected greatly. But the improvement in competitive capacity would aid in the maintenance of jobs, hence repayment of debt by those who owe it; not by the State, i.e. all of us and our kids and their kids.
I am sceptical about the Euro being the problem….I reckon “we is the problem”….or more specifically the modern Irish tendency to throw money around like a collection of drunken sailors.
And anyway, the time for getting out of the Euro was before we joined. The real problem was the behaviour of our bankers in using the Euro as a means of getting cheap borrowing….
You avoid considering how a country that has a history of mismanagement of big projects, could exit the euro while avoiding economic chaos; huge capital flight and companies like CRH moving their listings and hqs from Ireland.
You also avoid addressing the impact of a higher interest rate on mortgages and pressure for wage compensation; debt issues on the sovereign and corporate side.
Most exports are made by MNCs and the majority of trade is intra-company.
Ireland is one of the most profitable locations for US companies because of zero patent income tax etc. The negative reputation from the chaos that would follow the launch of a new currency would hardly help to promote R&D.
As regards, the impact of devaluation on competitiveness on locally owned exporters, it would likely have dissipated before the opportunities to open new markets were grasped.
The Irish cost base was ratchetted up by the media who persistently peddled the ‘boom’ myth, while people borrowed endlessly beyond their means. Now Ireland will have to be more restrained. When the Irish consumer adopts a more restrained behaviour and lifestyle, costs will start to decrease. Unfortunately we have a colleciton of clowns in IBEC, the ICTU political establishment, and in Kildare Street who regard this as bad news for them personally. They would rather if the crisis was dealt with via emigration, like in previous eras. Because that is a proven method to control social pressures for reform of the financial and economic system.
It is debt and lack of wherewithal that has sent you down the gurgler, so you’ve got to ensure that labour and capital start to get their FAIR SHARE of GDP in order to to get out of the deep rut. (I was going to say deep something else!)
I tried to explain this point in my blog today in connection with the US.
Other countries are similar to the US: the big boys have been stealing the public’s rent and robbing us blind with taxation from our hard-earned incomes.
If workers get to retain what’s legitimately theirs, all will be well. None of this stuff about taking another hit for the big end of town!
It would also mean admitting that the social partnership of the past fifteen years was a con job because it caused unsustainable inflation. The government were driving up prices by cutting taxes, the unions were doing the same by pushing for increased wages and businesses were doing the same by charging the maximum amount that people were prepared to pay.
We have no manufacturing base, agriculture is being wound down so that the EU will import cheap products from developing countries, our ‘economy’ was inflated and talked up, based primarily on short term construction/property ‘boom’ (catching up with centuries of underdevelopment) and financial services both of which are bust flushes.
We kept the corporate tax rate at 12.5% in a desperate attempt to hold the other unreliable pillar of the economy, MNC’s, in the country, corporations who have demonstrated in DELL and elsewhere that they are prepared to move to lower wage economies at the drop of the proverbial hat.
Fact of the matter is with rising unemployment, a crippled banking sector which is sucking any life out of the economy, deflationary government policies (15-20% shrinkage of the economy) a massively indebted population and absurdly low government revenues, Ireland is tittering on the worst depression of any OECD/Western country – it is the perfect economic storm that was predicted with people committing suicide but not the ones Bertie was on about. The rest who can will do what has always been done, they will bugger off! So much for the old diaspora David, this people will be embittered, family rejects!
The end of ‘the pain’ is not over, it is only beginning, to think otherwise is flying in the face of the most basic facts. Those who can read the signs are preparing for the inevitable ’siege’, saving and cutting back, which will exacerbate unemployment as consumption shrinks – so more small businesses close especially when the banks refuse to release liquidity into the system.
We are wrestling with an alligator with both hands tied behind our back.
ireland’s big problem is funnily enough not export performance or indeed cost based competitiveness. Figures in that regard suggest we are doing well. The problem is margin. We churn a lot of cash, but keep little of it. And this is across the board…take milk exports…on one hand we are near the top in volume but on the other we are bottom of the league in margin becuase we work in the low value end of the market – Google it. The same goes for Pharma, Electronics you name it.
We simply are work hard to achieve little. Value add is not there. The Euro may drop like a stone anyway. Even then, it make no difference to Ireland.
I think GDP numbers tell us little. I am more interested in the margin performance and how it can be bumped up. We need to grow the top line – we cannot cut the bottom line expenses any more without turning our the lights. This needs brains and vision and a positive attitude to industry and innovation we as a nation seriously lack.
Fact: The evidence is all around us that the island of Ireland has suffered almost continuous conflict since partition in 1922.
Fact: The evidence is all around us that Irish Constitution, introduced in 1937 has never really worked for the people.
Fact: The evidence is all around us that The Republic of ireland, as established by Dev in 1948 is a failure.
Fact: The evidence is all around us that our membership of the EU, beginning in 1973, has been a success.
Fact: The evidence is all around us that our adoption of the Euro, beginning in 2000, has been an abject failure.
This is not a fact at all. We became a Republic in 1948 under John A. Costello’s Fine Gael led Inter Party Govt, quite probably due to pressure exerted by Sean McBride’s Clann na Poblachta.
Other than that, the country has largely been a failure due to the “national question”, an emotional issue that has allowed FF to claim the mantle of the natural party of government while destroying our econonmy and society in the process. Suggesting that we open a debate about rejoining the UK would allow them to once again step into the breach and save us from all the “west Brits” who would sell our souls……and thus getting back into office in a jiffy and re-appointing all their mates to State boards.
The question I ask is when we look back at Ireland is – where would we have been had we stayed part of Great Britain – which we may well have they showed a molecule of sense and interned those involved in 1916 rather than execution.
We would more than likely by have had a fully devolved 32 county Ireland.
We would have had war memorial parks commemorating the 55,000 (rather than them being airbrushed from history for 70 years) Irish soldiers killed in WW1 and the estimated 30,000 soldiers and civilians killed in WW2.
We would have had large immigration of American GIs returning to their roots – having being based here in WW2.
We would have had a culturally explosive 60’s (and probably a nuclear power station – hopefully not explosive!);
We would have had a boom in the 80’s – with full infrastructure giving us road rail and plane services far superior to those of today.
We would have had a 0′ies boom without the bust – which would have paved the way for our final parting of the ways from GB – all 32 Counties.
We would have had a class structure capable of wearing new wealth in a less vulgar manner than the Celtic Tiger Nouveau Riche.
We would not have exported out problems – employment; no brain drain; no sports drain.
And we would not have had the hand of God touching his children through his foot soldiers – covered up by the State and Church.
Maybe I am just totally crackers and beyond self loathing……….
Perhaps it would have been more fruitful to have examined history of Ireland and its currency post 1979 when we broke from Sterling.
Apart from a honeymoon period lasting a few months in 79 – the punt / Euro has consistently lagged (and at times massively so) sterling until February 2008.
Surely we can recall the kicking the punt got in the early 90’s as it was booted around by the currency speculators (they were bigger than us).
As mentioned by MH facts – Germany has been consistently a top world wide exporter – granted China has taken top position this year – but my youngest made in China Christmas presents are already contributing to the re-cycling industry – they are broken because they are cheap (like our electorate…. ).
Euro was never envisaged as a strong currency – and is only stronger now because the dollar and sterling have been deliberately weakened by their respective governments in their efforts to re-flate their economies.
Straight honest hard work. For some strange reason this has dropped out of the social mores in recent years. Coughlan and her Smart Economy talk is typical of the sort of arrogant nonsense that seems to think that Ireland can get out of this mess without working hard. We need to drop that lazy pretenscious mindset. And get honest in our dealings with ourselves.
Because Ireland is rotten with lying deceit. You cannot operate a knowledge society when deceit is rampant. It will end up in all sorts of ponzi debacles like ANIB shares, property booms, tribunals, rezoning scandals, etc….
Every industry has to be knowledge focused – leveraging the latest state of art while adding your own twist – or you are just another labourer and churner of other people’s cash.
And yes, the gombeens in charge want to make the system is continually rigged against anybody who works honest in this country. The market riggers in IBEC want to make sure that those who work hard get suckered with extortionist prices….
But we will unravel the rug that is beneath them, through active discussion. And by supporting David McW, Eddie Hobbs, Shane Ross, Matt Cooper and anybody else who is makin an honest, objective and consistent critique of the system.
Fair points there. Our state quangos who have various modus operandi to bring about the knowledge economy are themselves operating a bit like the Military Industrial Complex that Eisenhower warned the American people about. They seem to have incompetence built into the institutional framework in such a manner as to create the sort of problems which they are mandated to solve.
I don’t see how sending a bunch of middle aged alcoholics to NASA for a group pissup in the sunshine state had anything to do with the knowledge economy. The economy part of it consists of a bunch of institutional insiders chasing gargantuan pension schemes like those of Rody Molloy or Ed Walsh in UL
In Ireland, we don’t have a military as such, we do have the industrial-Dail nexus, the features of which have been well outlined on this website, plus the semi-state sector, and agencies like FAS that squandered massive State resources (€1 billion annual budget), money we badly need now (apparently).
The question remains however, where has all the money gone? Where has the 13 billion overspend on the roads gone? Where has all the revenue generated by the boom gone?
Money doesn’t vanish like some magic trick.
I sense the nation is being doubly duped – not only is the war chest empty, now you people must fill it up!
We have arrived at a similar moment, pay for the banksters recklessness for fear the economic sky will fall on our heads, expect to be indebted for generations, expect to be financially raped by the same people in the same institutions in quick time, expect no support/redress from the government, no indication as to how we got here because an inquiry has been blocked (so good chance we will repeat all this), and oh yeah, and this NAMA/Special Vehicle thing (not a Martian space craft by chance), will have the taxpayer cough up for over the rate odds for worthless land and just in case I forgot to mention, the Irish government gave guarantees so generous that it potentially covers foreign depositors, and your natural resources, yes, 80-20 in favour of a private corporation with questionable.
While leaving the Euro now might be “a way out”, joining the Euro in the first place was one of the best things we did. It has meant stability and a strong currency for savers.
It’s not the fault of the Euro that some people, egged on by the government binged on “cheap” (ha! not so cheap now it seems) credit.
It’s not the fault of the Euro that the public sector mainlined on “benchmarking” to such an extent that they became the highest paid in Europe.
What’s clear is that the government and some part of the population were behaving as if they still had a banana currency. The fact was that they didn’t. This is their fault, not the Euro’s.
Ireland’s Euro membership exposed the fact that the Irish concepts of management and authority were deeply flawed. Belgium, another country with a history of unaccountability and corruption, did not get caught up in a property boom as a result of Euro membership.
We need to reform the Irish concepts of management and authority. It is that simple. The complex bit is the bit of making sure that those who created the problem are removed. In politics, in the partnership program, in the trade union movement, in vested interest lobby groups (like IBEC, RGDATA, SFA, etc), in the media, and in the banks, heads must roll. This is not happening. Therefore Ireland will get kicked out of the Euro.
Many years ago – nearly 2 decades now – I worked with a group on the deployment of smart cards. These things are not much different from what is used for ATMs etc. One of the strangest situations I came across was when the then telecoms operators was issuing smart cards which held value to make calls from public phones (before the mobile era). They sold loads of cards, but could could not pay back vat on what they collected until the service was consumed (people made calls on the card credit) . What made things awkward was that 30% of the value was never consumed and the company was sitting on this pile of cash that in vat limboland. I remember at the time, they were looking at allowing use in other countries and effectively allowing telecom operators act as banks. Also these cards were capable of being used for things ranging from bus services to car parking and buying goods and services. The mobile phone and roaming tariff model was but a variation of the same thing. Anyway, I believe there were a few words in from bankers and politicians which put paid to a new type of money/ value transfer system – and that was that!
If there was political will tomorrow, we could implement such a system on mobile phones – where people pay one another in credits using this technology. The Euro could either come or go. Effectively we are talking about a variation of 2nd Life where the webspace is Ireland. The resulting innovations from encouraging such a system would be world leading. But again…would it be allowed to happen?
For me, I think we are on the verge of a limewire/ paypal/ebay hybrid service that’ll undermine existing modes of monetary exchange. Except there’ll be a lot more than MP3 flyng over it. Call it barter with an infinite memory and a referral system to boot.
Whatever happened to paying for your roadside parking by mobile phone? I think when a phones are internet / broadband enabled, Google or similar may have a currency of their own.
Ireland s ‘controlling interests’ knew the euro offered them ‘untold’ access into the wholesale money markets.
They knew the euro was a TREASURE CHEST.
And it has proven to be so for the ‘controlling interests’.
The concentric circles moving outward from the ‘controlling interests’ shared in the spoils in proportion too their proximity to the magic money making machine access / ECB.
Al of them knew the euro was one motha fu2ka treasure chest and they jumped head first in and plundered and pillaged and plundered and pillaged and plundered and pillaged some more until the MMMM stress points came under pressure from some white swan event.
All one has to do is look back through the newspaper archives over the last 10 years and see the ‘controlling interests’ were sponging the dosh up like it was no tomorrow.
Most people were unsure as to what really was going on and led to believe it was something other than a bank robbery on an untold scale never before seen here, ever.
There appears to be an attitude among the ruling elite that it’s beyond their capability and they are now intent on getting a much as they possibly can from the system by way of excessive salaries/expenses before it collapses – it’s an everyman/woman for themselves approach.
This is my first time to post on DMcW’s blog.
I found his last blog entry – the one comparing the flood of cheap credit into Ireland with the flood of silver and gold into C16 Imperial Spain. I thought it was instructive. What he didn’t mention was how the Dutch sold products to the Imperial Spanish and became a world power USING Imperial Spain’s gold (they sold them fur pelts from the Baltic Hanseatic League countries, sold them state-of-the-art sail ships and invented the government bond markets and the joint stock company).
However, I don’t see the point of this blog, that Ireland should leave the euro, since we all know that it’s not going to happen. The ECB is going to recapitalize the Irish banks in exchange for Irish government bonds.
Looking back in history, when the UK was indebted to the USA after WW2, the US was holding the cards in that relationship and became the dominant superpower. Now the US is indebted to the Gulf Arabs, Japan but especially China. So these countries are rising in relative power, being savers and hence creditor nations. Now, within the EU, the PIGS and Ireland are going into debt to the ECB, so in fact this means the ECB is the new great power centre in the EU.
The centripetal forces of European economic integration are now in the ascendant, the centrifugal hubris of each nation doing things ‘it’s own way’ has run out of road.
Just as individuals were hubristic and irrationally exuberant, so were nations. We now know who they were – Ireland, Iceland, Latvia, Hungary, PIGS. It’s ‘payback’ time for the spendthrift party people – after all they were gearing up with other people’s money.
Being stuck in the euro will force Ireland to change. But first the ordinary people of Ireland need to find themselves in such a financial nightmare maze that they actually bother to understand the system which has succeeded in enslaving them. Leaving the euro just postpones this ‘growing up’ process which is so essential for the future welfare of Ireland.
Make no mistake, the Irish would never bother understanding the ECB system, they’d just keep plundering it if their Hubris didn’t meet it’s Nemesis.
2010 – Nemesis is here. Each one of us is ‘accountable’ to the last penny.
I’m from Dublin and I currently live in Dublin. When I say Ireland is continental I mean that now, post-Lisbon, the main centres of power that govern our civic life are the Commission in Brussels, the ECB in Frankfurt, the Parliament in Strasbourg and the Oireachtas.
2 of these are French-speaking, 1 German-speaking and 1 English-speaking. We need to reconfigure our identity around this new reality. I’m always annoyed when DMcW indulges in twee Oirish digressions about Christy Moore, macroom bars, choc ices and so on. We don’t need nostalgia at a time like this. We need a compass pointing to Brussels and Frankfurt that tells us ‘due North’ as far as our future is concerned.
Britain is entering a period of deep crisis because it is dawning on the public that Brussels and Frankfurt are these emerging power centres ‘that will rule over them’. The public are still atavistically pulled backwards to British Empire conditioning where the continental powers were rivals in a great game. Yet after decades of British comedy being based on sniggering at continentals, they now sense that something world-historical is emerging RE: the EU and the ECB.
Wills, you will of course have noted that the ECB building is 100 metres from the original office of the Rothschild family dynasty. Check out Niall Ferguson’s excellent BBC documentary ‘the Ascent of Money’ for an account of the Rothschild domination of the government bond market.
If bond traders don’t want Ireland to leave the eurozone, then we simply can’t without being made an example of and as Morgan Kelly points out, we’d have a run on bank deposits too.
So it’s not going to happen. So learning European languages now has to happen to afford mobility in our ‘new home’ called the EU. But as always, Ireland is Paddy-last to concede that the eurozone is a world historical merger by the central bankers. It’s not going to stop because some libertarian Irish who still live with a British Empire/American delusion of ‘independence’ or ’sovereignty’ or ‘freedom to choose’ or whatever word you want.
We’ve been signing Treaties in Europe for decades. Better to read their provisions that dream of returning to the British Empire days of clipper ships and ‘independence’. We are all interdependent now.
No we are most certainly not on an equal footing with France and/or Germany. This is what a corporate merger is all about, the big share holder calls the shots. There are deeply held world-historical reasons why the international bankers and political and corporate elites are forming a continent-wide merger. We need to orient from the starting point of a realization that this is not a process we can stop, as the second Lisbon Treaty referendum demonstrated.
FYI I voted no to the Lisbon Treaty, but that was then, this is now. Lisbon is law. It is done.
We are now past the point where the Irish voter matters to the European project. It will indeed be a kind of scientific ‘directorate-ship’ rather than dictatorship. Many EU directives already exist and are binding for member states. The most profound is a 20% reduction in CO2 emissions by 2020.
Social systems under environmental stresses and strains tend to emphasize the common good over individualism. Individualism, as I mentioned, belongs to John Locke and the British Enlightenment, and like Athenian individualism, was built on an underclass of subaltern slaves.
We Europeans have lost this army of slaves working on our behalf. We will witness a big drop in our incomes and living standards. But we can freely educate ourselves to be healthier, maybe even happier, with a lower GNP, as is the case in much of the world.
This process is world historical. I don’t rate my own ego enough to have a ‘view’ or ‘opinion’ of it, it’s much deeper than that. What I can say, though, is spoiled brat Europeans who ‘don’t agree with it’ or whatever are wasting valuable time to adjust to this new emerging reality that we will all be living in. Some of us will thrive and some fail, as with every world historical change in the past.
The entire EU project has been characterized by ‘creative destruction’ of national economic sectors and even ‘destructive creation’ like the insane building crazes of Ireland and Spain.
However, Lisbon is law. We have arrived. The centripetal forces pushing for a federal Europe are truly titanic – central banks, corporations, bureaucracies. Private sector powers AND public sector powers.
If we are going to make a fairer society with more employment opportunities it will be within the EU frame of reference. We could have local currencies in the future, but the euro will remain the unit of account.
No power on Earth – not the US, not Russia, not China, not the UN – will stop the European business and bureaucratic elites from creating the merger that is the EU.
We are not slaves to anyone in this country. Most people are just more curious about this week’s English Soccer Premiership results than they are about politics. which they find ‘boring’.
If you want to save ordinary people from the international bankers, then you better convince ordinary people not to take money from bankers when it’s offered to them.
Good luck with that Wills! The majority of the population will always take the money, many will screw up, and the banks will seize their assets, and become even more powerful.
The key is to awaken the people. If the people are awake the bankers have no power over them. But if the people are asleep, you can’t help them.
That’s why I say we’re staying in the eurozone for a long time to come, and we need to adapt to that reality and not fantasize about being ‘free’ from bankers. We can launch local currencies that run in tandem to the euro, we can use credit unions, etc.
We have options Wills. The problem is the inertia of the public. For the bankers, it’s just business.
This is the choice. This is what it boils down to, how we spend our time, how we orient ourselves, in which direction we develop ourselves.
Irish people are choosing an anglo identity whether they admit it or not. The logical extension of that should be to seek closer ties with the United Kingdom and the Commonwealth but that would bee too much like admitting that leaving the UK was a mistake so instead we have the limbo situation where we are committed to being European but many people are not really engaged with this decision.
The problem with closer ties to the UK is that we are in the eurozone. We are deeply involved in Europe, we we don’t understand just how much. That is why we squandered the money the continentals lent us so spectacularly.
The choice HAS ALREADY BEEN MADE. This is what I’m trying to get across here, we are in the eurozone and we will not be leaving it so we have to reorient ourselves to the continent. Until we do, we’ll remain eurozone provincials, eurozone boggers if I may say so.
Being stuck in the euro will force Ireland to change. But first the ordinary people of Ireland need to find themselves in such a financial nightmare maze that they actually bother to understand the system which has succeeded in enslaving them. Leaving the euro just postpones this ‘growing up’ process which is so essential for the future welfare of Ireland.
Make no mistake, the Irish would never bother understanding the ECB system, they’d just keep plundering it if their Hubris didn’t meet it’s Nemesis.
NOW READ BACK THIS BEARING IN MIND THE ECB IS A MODEL OF BANKING BASED ON THE BRITISH MODEL OF CENTRAL BANKING.
2010 – Nemesis is here. Each one of us is ‘accountable’ to the last penny.