December 21, 2011

Our children won't be able to pay cost of our debt folly

Posted in Irish Independent · 87 comments ·
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If any country embodies the notion that demographics are destiny, it is Israel. So it seems appropriate to be writing about how demographics will shape the world in the next few years from a small terrace overlooking Deizengoff Street in central Tel Aviv. The street is teeming with life, the liberal, tolerant life that has made this city almost a state within a state.

While much of the rest of Israel has become increasingly religious, zealous, intolerant and atavistic, Tel Aviv remains open and tolerant. The headlines in the paper today are condemning religious Jewish settler youths for terrorising Arabs in the West Bank. But the tone of the article is admonishing ordinary concerned Israelis for only paying attention to these youths when they injure a member of the Israeli army, as happened on Monday, rather than when they attack defenceless Arabs, which is a daily occurrence. The debate rages with most in this city embarrassed by, and fed up with, the settlers.

In the street, the shops and malls, you regularly hear Arabic but you also hear Russian, French and English — evidence of the extraordinary diversity in this city. Far from being a dull uni-dimensional, conformist place, the city is full of all sorts — Jews who have come from as diverse places as Yemen and Somalia, Lublin and Dublin.

And each wave of immigration gave Israel an economic boost, changing the nature of the place. Without immigration there would be no Israel, but when there is not a huge wave of immigrants — whether into this place or indeed Ireland — it is easy to forget that the population is always changing.

While it is obvious that demographics are destiny — because without demographics you have no destiny — sometimes population changes happen slowly so we don’t realise things have changed until it is far too late.

On the other hand, sudden changes in population have immediate effects on the future growth rate of an economy and the society. For example, our mass immigration from 1998-2008 has changed Ireland profoundly and the effects will manifest themselves for a generation to come.

Worldwide, the key long-term determinant of economic performance is population, both in terms of the numbers of the people and the productivity of these people.

This is why thinking, secular Israelis are worried. A recent OECD report told them the message they least want to hear, which is that this year, for the first time ever, 50pc of all schoolgoing children are either Israeli Arabs or ultra-orthodox Jews. This means that the secular Israelis are witnessing what they have always feared, which is that they will be out-bred on one flank by the local Arabs and by the religious Jews on the other flank. They conclude that these trends mean the country will become politically more right-wing and more isolated while their ability to defend the place will diminish because the orthodox Jews don’t go to the army. All the while, the Arab population will rise which will obviously mean that the very Jewish nature of the Jewish homeland will diminish.

This is their conundrum and one for which there is no obvious way out. For many here, the conclusion would be do an honourable deal now with the Palestinians because if the Arabs just wait, they will ultimately win by sheer force of numbers. So even though many Israelis feel more secure now then they did in the intifada, the Israelis are at their most powerful and yet their most vulnerable at the same time.

As there is unlikely to be another wave of huge Jewish immigration such as there was when the Soviet Union collapsed, people argue that the best thing to do is to cut a deal now.

Others have suggested that if the crisis in Europe becomes really chaotic with a messy break-up of the euro and then the EU, the subsequent depression, which could ensue, will lead to anti-Semitism and result in a mass flight of French Jewry to Israel. This view seems fanciful, but not impossible. However, whatever probability you put on that outcome, you are still playing the numbers and, ultimately, the demographic game.

In Europe too, the numbers game matters. Just think about why there is a debt crisis in Europe. It is because the governments and people have chosen not to live within their means. If you think of debt through a demographic prism, it’s nothing more than borrowing from tomorrow to enjoy stuff today. So one generation is actually stealing from the next, particularly if the debt is incurred for silly things such as to pay bank debt which itself was incurred to buy plasma screens. It is one thing to owe money yet have hospitals to show for the debt; it is quite another thing to have huge debt and have Anglo to show for it.

Obviously, as the population changes and gets older, the chances that those coming next will be able to pay for the bloated excess of those who came before diminishes. This is the nub of the European problem. It is yet again a demographic issue.

Globalisation accelerates this demographic dilemma because if a computer programmer from Brazil is prepared to work for 30pc of the salary given to a programmer in Bray, then the ability of the programmer from Bray to pay the inherited debts and compete in the international market falls. Why should the programmer from Bray be “entitled” to or expect to earn more than the guy from Brazil indefinitely? Global demographics which lead to debts being unsustainable also force the wages of the next generation downwards.

So we have a problem, the irresistible force of increased globalisation will smash into the unmovable object of stagnant populations.

Here in Israel you would expect that, at the very least, knowledge of changing demographics should be bringing forward a peace deal, but it is not. Similarly, in Europe, knowledge of debt dynamics and demographics should be bringing forward a debt deal, but it is not. This is because humans, including leaders and decision-makers, tend to wait until a major crisis to react in panic rather than sort out issues when we have the time and the capability to do so.


  1. CitizenWhy

    Thanks for this. I have Arabic-Irish Jewish first cousins.

    Time to consider an alternative to “we live on debt” financial capitalism.

    Getting away from debt-multiplying capitalism will involve a lot of developments. Certainly worker-owned cooperatives are part of the solution.

    The US Federation of Worker Owned Cooperatives is promoting this YouTube Channel and will be encouraging its many and growing members to upload videos.

    http://www.youtube.com/user/WorkerOwned/featured

    • whirmark

      I do not understand why it is the people seem to think that the Western debt issue is purely a product of Capitalist tenets. All you have to do is look at what Government expenditure is on (this expenditure is financed by the very debt Govt bonds you’re speaking of) to understand that the debt equally props up the welfare state and the other socialist elements of our mixed economy. Our system (especially in Europe) is not outright Capitalism but is a mixture, this is just a simple fact – criticism and analysis needs to be more objective.

  2. Adam Byrne

    Happy Christmas David and all contributors.

    Adam Byrne.

    • Deco

      +1 Adam.
      Happy Christmas to everyone of you.
      And may you survive, and keep the important things in your life afloat in the coming 12 months.

    • Julia

      Happy Christmas to you too Adam and David and all other contributors. Let’s hope something positive happens next year.

  3. Deco

    We, in future will be poleaxed by the worst combination prossible.
    A mediocre state that throws money at every problem, and underperforms on a persistent basis – at even the most basic tasks – and which refuses to act in the people’s interests, as it requires a change in mindset.
    A corrupt, cronyist private sector that is used to bailouts, state competition policy ignored, lobbyism being useful, and rampant cronyism.
    EU bureacracy that in some cases is getting absurd – like the EU deciding on nobbly carrots, and bent bananas.
    A massive debt mountain which is the property of a corrupt private sector – being shafted onto the public.
    A “tax diaspora” that continues to lecture us indirectly on how to run our affairs as taxpaying citizens, while dodging it’s responsibilities.
    And our best people getting out of the country, and taking their skills and training with them to countries that are not landing them with public debt loads/massive taxes/nonsense.

    Basically, we are being engineered for a massive decline.

    But the Gombeen element will survive, and get stronger. Amazingly, if we flushed Anglo, and kicked the incompetent idiots in the state system who facilitated the Anglos and the Quinn Insurance sagas, we might be turning the tide on the Gombeen element. But, no – we cannot do that. That would represent real change.

    Sorry for being despondent, but people should be aware of that which needs to be remedied.

    • Deco

      Maybe 2012 might the year, that the BS’ing will stop, and we might see serious efforts to fix out problems.

      A good place to start would be with respect to the bank bondholders. That is gambler debt. Flush it, and be done with it.

      A second starting point, might be in respect to the entire organization of the state sector. People use Denmark as an example of an approach to running the state system. Well, from my experience with those in the Danish state system, with regard to local authorities, it is also highly organized and efficient.

      The muppets in ICTU (and various lobbyists representing the ICTU agenda, including TASC), seem to think it is all about increasing levies and taxes, and then feeding these into quangoes like the HSE. No it is not. It is about reforming and eliminating useless quangoes, and about cutting down on the level of over-duplication of effort in the state system. Nobody in the Irish state system, in any position of influence cares about this.

    • molly66

      Why should our children pay !
      Why should we pay !
      I live in county Louth and maybe I watch to much tv my wife thinks I do.
      I keep thinking should I stock pile wood and grow my own food and get a shot gun build a big high wall around my house,I feel like we are going to be robbed, I feel as if we my family are cut of .
      I feel like this because what the last and the current government are doing to the country,they are making a bolls of running the country.
      I don’t feel safe,i don’t feel secure , i don’t smile anymore
      I keep waiting for the people to rise up against this government there’s a he’ll of a lot more poor ,low to middle people as against the so called well of /rich surly there is strength in numbers.

  4. Deco

    Well, the Israelis will fight in a corner, regardless of which side you may take concerning that fight. Basically, Israel does not dither when face with a crux decision.

    Our “leadership” tells us “it’s not your fault”, “we all partied”, “it is our responsibility”, “we have commitments to keep” (when we are about to shoot ourselves in the foot).

    Our leadership seems to reckon that dithering is the first responsibility of management of a situation. It was a FF/GP core capability. But now the new government are going down the same route – even if it is rarely as bad as the previous lot.

    • redriversix

      2012 is going to be one helluva year Deco….. and not in a good way.

      We need to put ourselves first,our Government works for Bankers and European paymasters.People need to do what is right for their own circumstances and not seek permission.

      The social fabric we grew up with and respected has been torn to shred’s,work hard,pay your way , show respect,raise a family,get a home,contribute to family and your neighborhood,all gone……

      If we as employee’s or employer’s made a mistake or lost our business we accepted the consequences of our action.s both good and bad and tried to get on with life as best we could and honor our commitment’s.

      Then the Bank Bail-out happened and everything turned on its head,these are Capitalist Companies with shareholder’s…How can they look for a bail-out in the middle of the night and still be Democratic.???

      Did we ask for a share of their massive profit’s..? NO,we did not..

      So,after losing several million euro and selling everything my family and I owned to honor my debt’s and still falling short and running around like a headless chicken,going to court,trying to negotiate with Bank’s ,stressed out and scared to death about what would become of me and my Family.

      I woke up one morning and asked myself “what the hell am I doing “?

      Unfortunately, I was broke by this stage and my house was gone to pay debt’s.

      So,from that morning on,I said “No more”

      I finally put my family first,I told Banks and whoever else I was broke and could do no more for them and Goodbye and I discovered the world did not stop spinning , I did not turn to a pillar of salt and Life still goes on……..

      This is why I say put your self and your family first,pay yourself first,Do not worry,fear is useless and not a fact.Do the best you can,if it is not good enough,it doesn’t matter , your doing your best !!

      So don’t wait for Government to give you permission to do the right thing by your family,do the right thing now…….”your worth it”!!!!

      Unless you think you or your Family is worth less than a Bank………

      Forget about property Tax,just don’t pay it…

      Have a safe,peaceful and Happy Christmas to David and all contributors to this site and your family and friends.

      Merry Christmas to Dwalsh,where ever you are………..

      Financial Strike now

      Families First

      Ho Ho Ho
      RR6

      • molly66

        Well said I agree 100 percent you know what they say owe the bank a lot and the bankers can’t sleep.
        This use to be a great country not anymore ,on till we the people retake what is ours not the bankers the developers and the government.
        1930s here we come.

  5. Paris75013

    In most countries, it’s the same. There is no long-term vision and thought for the next generation. The vision only relates to the government’s term in office.

    On the subject of demographics and the debt for future generations, the picture becomes even more depressing when we think about retirement. Debt can be wiped out, but a lot of us know we will be working until we’re almost 70 (that is if we manage to be one of those lucky enough to have a job). My great aunt is almost 80 and retired from the Army when she was in her forties. Just think about that! For my generation and the next, one thing is for sure, life is getting harder.

    • Deco

      That post frightens me, though it sounds about correct.

      It concerns me that the rich have now seized control of the system to an extent never before seen in the guts of 1000 years – where they are making themselves exempt from their failures. “Marxism for multimillionaires” is going to cause untold misery, or else unseen level of protests in 2012. These protected and well connected people do not fear the people’s anger enough.

      • Desert Life

        I am reminded of older cultures originating from Africa where everyone old and young are eating from the same bowl and only with their own hands . No knives or forks .No napkins or glasses to drink from .No TV or soaps .

        Now project the national pensions scheme into their lives !

      • redriversix

        Deco…

        If enough people stop / seriously reduce paying their mortgage’s and property tax or whatever bills they can no longer afford and realize that Court is nothing to be afraid of and they put themselves and their families first….
        Those who think they can enslave Nations in debt will get a serious wake up call.They will fear us then…….

        People are worth far more than Banks and Criminal Corporations.

        That will get their attention.

        Criminal Bankers or politicians did not go to jail for the reckless running of Banks and our Country so we have nothing to worry about.

        Fine Gael continuing feathering their nests and those of their cronies.

        Do your best and don’t worry………

        Financial Strike now

        Families First.

        Best

        RR6

        • whirmark

          What exactly is a “Financial Strike” and what is it trying to achieve?

          • redriversix

            Evening whirmark,

            A financial strike is when a person is under pressure from debt and is running around trying to pay it off while seeing their paycheck get smaller and smaller while their workload gets larger and larger.

            Now,perhaps this was fine for year’s as we worked towards a better future and accepted our responsibilities in and to society.

            This was the social fabric we grew up in and as a democratic society we took our chances to better ourselves as employees or we took a chance to work for ourselves to better ourselves and to grow a better future for our families.

            We were well aware of all the risks involved, be it meeting monthly targets as a employee or trying to build a fledgling business from scratch.

            We knew our Government[s] were elected representatives of the people and would look after our society in a fair way and sometimes have to make the difficult decision,s.

            But then the World crashed under the weight of Bank debt and Banks ran to their perspective Governments asking for a bailout because they were going to collapse if they did not get it.

            Then they supplied their accounts,which turned out to be false/untrue/or not painting the full picture………and they got a handout from the state and then the state went to the IMF/ECB/EU/WORLD BANK ETC ETC..and got money to bail out Companies that are plc registered with shareholder’s who get paid dividend’s.

            But hold on…..this is democracy,business fails all the time,if a Bank fails..they wind up and a new Bank is set up and future regulators tighten up the laws relating to Finance Companies and their Board……..

            But that did,nt happen as you know and now Europe the U.S and most of the World is swamped under a tusanmi of debt.

            So how can we have Capitalism and Democracy for the working/middle class and Socialism for the rich.?

            I believe you can,t..it is unfair and unjust to land a country and its people with Bank Debt that was not our fault to begin with.

            So instead of people living in fear everyday as to how they are going to get by..you have a financial strike which does not abdicate us from our commitments but we do our accounts as families or individuals , work out a budget and pay what we can,not what we were contracted to.

            If this is good enough for Governments , it is good enough for families…….families are worth far more than faceless Banking Corporations who cannot accept it when they fail.

            Add up your Banking debt,divide by say,5 and that is your new monthly outgoings and use the savings to protect your family…. as Government has made it clear that we as a people are last on their list of priorities…

            Governments are sacrificing our health care,Education , policing , natural resources and our supports for community services and the poor and the elderly to enrich bondholders and investors who knew the risks when investing their money.

            What will a financial strike achieve…?

            Perhaps when the money stops flowing from the people and the Banks realize that we are no longer afraid..or that no more people will take their own lives because of failure and debt..then we may get a level playing field and not a two tier system.i.e “I can fail,but they can,t”

            The truth is finished,all we here every day is lies,spin and bullshit.

            Now I put my Family first,they are worth far more as human beings than some faceless corporations who couldn’t tell the truth to save their own skin.

            So my family is my Nation and I am no longer afraid to put them first.

            So ,whirmark..I hope that makes it more clear for you.

            Things are going to get a lot worse before they get better so prepare yourself and Have a Wonderful Christmas and a peaceful New year.

            Financial strike NOW

            Look after your Families

            Best

            RR6

          • paddythepig

            Redriversix uses the plural ‘families’ when really he should substitute ‘my family’.

            He tells us the shareholders of these banks were bailed out ; they were not, in Ireland they were wiped out. What about the families of those shareholders? If we take the slogan ‘families first’, should we bail out those families? I don’t think so. So in that case, it’s ‘families last’, and rightly so. They took their chances.

            What about all the families who now have to knuckle down to pay his debts? If the bank is state owned, it’s the families of the taxpayers. If the bank is privately owned, it’s the families who pay the fees to that bank in higher charges and higher lending rates.
            What about the families behind the famous bondholders ; after all, aren’t they just proxies for millions of families somewhere else on the planet.

            I’ve no problem with someone doing their best for their family, but to present it as fighting for everyone elses family when patently it is the opposite, is a bit rich.

          • cameronTT

            I agree with the principal of many of your points and you should indeed only pay what you reasonably can towards any debts you have. I would call this common sense as much as a “Financial Strike”, but sadly the system is tilted towards the political ambitions on the few (Merkel, Sarkozy) in securing re-election even if that means guaranteeing the interest of German creditor banks at the expense of Irish taxpayers subsidising the debts of debtor Irish banks. In my view democracy has a lot to answer for here (not that I’m proposing an alternative as the others are even worse) where the interests certain parties get an unjust foothold which undermines our economy. These are the much touted “elites” of corporations but also trade-unions who myopic mandate is to increase public sector wages and job security to a ludicrous point (private sector are paid less for less job security!!!) which totally undermines the competitiveness of our economy. The Croke Park agreement was a joke and a sell-out of all common-sense, as was the Bank Guarantee (with the benefit of hindsight) and a long line of decisions by populist politicians who frankly, are “professional speakers” and no more – not qualified to be running anything, let alone a country … but we vote for these guys so everyone shares this blame I think. Where from here though is the question!!?

  6. Colin

    Liberal lefty Israelis can’t have it both ways. If they want to live in a free Jewish Majority Israel, then they’ll have to have more children and that means having less money for nice cars and nice clothes etc…At the moment, they are relying on the more religious Jews to keep Israel jewish. So, in effect, the liberals are giving out about the people (the only people) who will protect their way of life.

    I’m sure the Israelis have looked at deomgraphics of muslims in non muslim majority countries. Yugoslavia comes to mind, with Bosnia in particular. Shortly after WW1, muslims were the smallest group of the three large groups there, Serbs and Croats being first and second. Now Muslims are the largest group due to a deliberate act of out breeding the other groups. This is in fact one reason the War kicked off there. And now Bosnia is a failed state, with the two federations unable to agree on anything and deep mistrust between the Croats and the Muslims in one federation.

    On a lighter note, Merry Christmas everyone, and keep hoping things will get better.

  7. Lyndon Jones

    At last some responsible thinking on Davids part.
    we have 2 major problems 1. The deficit 2 . sovereign debt. We must first sort out the deficit by austerity thats more tax and more cuts. The Germans have concentrated on deficits as a starting point and will impose a 0.5% deficit target of GDP . In our case that means a deficit of 1 billion currently its 18 billion next year it will have to be 13 billion or 8.6% of GDP of 150 billion.
    Expect our GDP to shrink next year leading to a budget in June 2012 .
    Why expect our children to bear the cost of our overspending , politicians just dont care do they ?

  8. Philip

    David, maybe it is easy to train up an economist. but take it from me as an experienced manager and hirer, a good programmer is the same price everywhere. Ditto for engineers, doctors. u name it. The last 2 years trying to get low cost quality work done showed me that the low cost play is hype by those who completely misunderstsnd educational and apprentice infrastructure. This infrastructure takes 3-5 decades to ramp and it remains slow. It takes time to build the lecturer count to a level needed to maintain consistant quality. U want a good brazilian or indian specialist in any field? Globalisation ensures their skills go to the highest bidder. What u and similar continually confuse is exported monkey do process with real design. The developed world have found the outsourced human robots are getting expensive and are now heading for true machine automation.

    This financial con game has nothing to do with people buying plasma

  9. Philip

    cont`d. . . plasmas for hospitals. Please show some level of consistancy. one week u say its bankers next u say consumers? This is a bunch of tranaction managers screwing around with with our money and collecting big handling fees and if thay are paying 30% below the odds for programmers or mathematicians then it may very well explain the mess we are in.

  10. CorkPlasticPaddy

    Never mind our children not being able to pay the cost of our debt folly, we’re not going to be able to pay the cost of it either and why should we have to pay for the debt of private companies?? As many more contributors to this blog have stated the Irish people rarely take to the streets unless they really have to, but the time has now come for this laid back attitude to end. The ‘grey haired army’ came out on to the streets a few years ago and changed the government of the day’s tune in relation to medical cards. Why can’t we do the same in relation to the banks and the ‘insiders’? Merkel and Sarkozy along with the other ‘wasters’ in Europe should be told where to go in no uncertain terms, as well.
    If we do get the chance to vote on this latest treaty change then we should get out in our droves and vote it down, and if they keep coming back to us to vote on it time and time again we should just continue on voting it down until those idiots in Europe, finally, get the message that you don’t mess with the Irish and then once they get that message we stick our two fingers up to Europe and then we do exactly the same thing as they did in Argentina by giving the bondholders a 75% or even more of a hair cut and before you’d know it things would get a whole lot better than they are now. To hell with Christine Lagarde and her ilk and to hell with Merkel and Sarkozy, as well.It’s time to ‘stand up and be counted’ instead of us ‘lying down and being mounted’.

    • There probably won’t be a referendum for the above reasons you state but if there should be one it will be sold with a little sweeter and plenty of tried and trusted FEAR!!!!!

      1. 2. 3. Scare the people into the desired direction…easy peasy.

    • molly66

      People are already worrying about what’s coming in the next budget to he’ll with the next budget,we need to stand up to the current budget there’s a lot of reversing to be done with the current budget.THIS GOVERNMENT Is DISTORYING THIS COUNTRY.

      • dorn

        The previous government already destroyed the country. This one just isn’t helping. You don’t destroy a country overnight – it takes years of bad planning, bad decisions and corruption. It also takes years to fix a country, and unfortunately the current bunch of teachers and lawyers that we the people voted in are completely lost. To mis-quote Walter Sobchak from The Big Lebowski: “Forget it, Enda, you’re out of your element!”

        • molly66

          How right you are but there must be something we the people can do.

          • That’s right…. since…. wait….

            Since 2008 they could have done a lot, not?

            We the people? Scratch that!

            It is nothing but wishful thinking.

            The people are the real best here! The grey and silent mass that is supporting the establishment with their ignorance, consumerism and outright reactionary views.

            This is Ireland 2011 and this will be Ireland 2012, no doubts!

          • … the real beast I meant to say

          • coldblow

            Hi George

            With their ignorance, consumerism and reactionary views?

            Don’t you know we have one of the best educatted populations in the world?

            Consumerism. How do you define that? Your ‘consumerism’ may be another man’s simple pleasures while in turn your own lifestyle choices may look like luxuries.

            Reactionary? Are we back in the late 60s here shouting slogans and throwing marbles under police horses at Grosvenor Square?

            What ever happened to Laughing Bear?

            Ha ha, only joshing.

          • dorn

            you’re only fooling yourself georg. the irish people are powerless. teachers are driven into the irish psyche as people of power that you must respect above all else. breaking this unspoken rule will get you into trouble more perilous than is contemplatable. and of course, arguing with lawyers is tantamount to breaking the law, so theres no point in that now either is there? lets all be good pets and comment at least 20 times on each and every one of dear davids blog posts with same old nonsense regurgitated each and every time – as if by rote perhaps? or maybe its like an unspoken law …

  11. paddythepig

    “So one generation is actually stealing from the next, particularly if the debt is incurred for silly things such as to pay bank debt which itself was incurred to buy plasma screens. It is one thing to owe money yet have hospitals to show for the debt; it is quite another thing to have huge debt and have Anglo to show for it.”

    could just as easily be re-written as

    “So one generation is actually stealing from the next, particularly if the debt is incurred for silly things such as to pay public debt. It is one thing to owe money yet have hospitals or roads or infastructure to show for the debt ; it is quite another thing to have huge debt and have quangos, FAS, increments, overstaffing, waste, absenteeism, and the Croke Park Deal”

    Bertie Ahern and Sean Fitzpatrick are two sides of the same coin. And yet the moral outrage is generally directed only at the latter.

    I think this is because so many of the population are themselves part of the public debt problem, and don’t want to admit their own culpability in the situation.

    • Spotswood

      …or maybe the public debt problem has something to do with the 80% loss ratio on property developper debt. Property developper debt accounts for over 90% of the bank losses (and therefore rise in public sector debt). The submissive auto-flagellation that you encourage is also fed and supported by the current and past governments. Why are so few demanding a debate on the necessity to repay bank bondholders?…a public debate on pros and cons should be demanded. People automatically assume that we need to leave the Euro…legally, this is not the case and politically, I dont know but I dont think many in Ireland have an informed opinion on the link between bondholder burning/Euro exit. A nationwide debate should be demanded…perhaps, deteriorating conditions will force people to assume responsability and stop pretending that schoolteachers and gombeen men will protect their hide….here’s to hoping. Merry Xmas

      • paddythepig

        http://budget.gov.ie/budgets/2011/Documents/Economic%20and%20Fiscal%20Outlook.pdf

        Here are the accounts for public spending out to 2014. Have a look at 2011, and tell us what percentage of the public deficit has to do with current expenditure over-runs, and how much has to do with repaying bank bondholders.

        • Harper66

          The concern in Brussels about Ireland intensified almost immediately. At a meeting in the commission on September 24th, officials reviewed data from Dublin on the new plan for the banks, which was to be published on September 30th.

          As the cost of attempting to rescue Anglo Irish Bank ballooned, the total bill for bank bailouts would rise €17 billion to €45 billion and possibly as high as €50 billion. In the new worst-case scenario, Ireland was looking at a budget deficit of 32 per cent of gross domestic product. This was almost 11 times the EU limit. No one could remember a deficit like it.

          “That was the first time that everything or close to everything was revealed to us from the regulators in Ireland. After that the world changed for us and probably changed for the rest of the euro zone,” says a commission source.

          http://www.irishtimes.com/newspaper/weekend/2011/1119/1224307810593.html

          Bank debt bankrupted Ireland.

          Fair play to you paddy at least your consistant.

          What is in it for you push this spin?

          • paddythepig

            Why don’t you answer the question I posed? It’s a simple question, so come on, read the document and tell us the answer.

            What are you afraid of?

    • redriversix

      Thanks for the reply above,Paddythepig…….

      All debt should be cancelled paddy,because their is simple no way to pay it back.

      Austerity has never worked,except during the English industrial revolution.

      I use the term Families because I have learned that they are all that is important , you have read my posts,you know my experience so I know what I know and I try to keep it simple.

      A family can be whatever is relevant to people,be it an elderly person with two cats and a dog or a single person,living alone trying to get on…..

      All debt needs to be wiped out now and start over because this crisis is only going to end badly for everybody.History teaches us that.

      I am afraid none of us are going to be exempt from trouble when things get worse,It does not matter who we agree with or disagree with.We will all suffer more……..

      Have a wonderful Christmas, Paddythepig
      and I wish you and yours all that is good for 2012.

      Best

      RR6

  12. mrlennyman

    The issue here for me is that you claim that the people amd Govs choose to live in this way, citing a facetious example of everyone gobbling up plasma TV’s as some kind of morbid example of how the people have fallen.

    Nobody CHOSE this. People wake up and live and work and borrow and pay back. This is life. This is the majorities choice.

    I still find it fascinating that you still fail to attack the mechanations of the whole central banking system. Central banking will continue to cause excess and depression, boom boom and bust bust.

    This crisis is being created from the top down and while I like to read your thoughts, it is depressing that you don’t want to look at the bigger picture. Our history is being created for us and we don’t realize or have the balls to change.

    What about the €500bn “lent” to banks for 3 year loans the other day? Any thoughts on that? The euro gets devalued, the average Joes money is worth less and banks get to gamble more on sovereign debt rates. That happened just this week!

    If every citizen of Europe was given€1,000 each instead would that not have made a better impact on the economy? Sarkozy and the rest of the elites cronies tell us it’s a good thing and the economy needs it. Bullshit of the highest degree.

    David please do a story sometime on the alternatives to having privately owned central banks running the world.

    • bonbon

      Very good point.

      By the way Mr. Blair was in Jerusalem on 14-Dec, ostensibly on a peace mission. On Dec 1 he addressed with Sen. Kerry at Yale’s “Faith and Globalization” course, titled “Debating Religion’s Place in Liberal Democracy.”
      Globalization is now the Religion to replace the Patriarch’s? I wonder how the Israeli fundies view that?

      Here is something about The ECB Printing a Cool Half-Trillion in Three-Year Loans

      The ECB has launched the first of its two tenders for three-year unlimited loans to the banks. The ECB claims not to be the lender of last resort, but in reality is functioning as this — but only for banks, not for states. According to financial media, while the great experts expected that demands would reach EU250-300 billion, there has been a request for EU489 billion, coming from 523 banks.
      The ECB move has been named the “Sarko trade,” after President Sarkozy said that the liquidity will allow states to “turn to their banks” to sell their bonds. Whether banks will buy them remains to be seen. The banks are themselves in a squeeze. Together, EMU states and banks must raise EU720 billion over the first quarter of 2012.
      In order to get the money, banks must offer collateral, so either they have it, or they… PRINT it!
      Take the case of Italian banks: Thanks to an emergency law issued by the EU puppet Monti government, banks are allowed to issue new bonds with unlimited government guarantee. According to {Il Sole 24 Ore}, Italian banks have already produced EU50 billion worth of such new bonds. In the future, they could produce up to EU228 billion. Such a figure would guarantee a refinancing for the entirety of 2012, at a final cost of 2% (including costs for government guarantees).

      “Here is the new medicine, as artificial as the credit crunch,” wrote {Il Sole}’s Morya Longo. The most outrageous thing is that such government guarantees are not counted in the public debt figures.

      Thus, we have a two-tier system upside down: investment expenses are counted as debt, while bank bailout is not!

      With this first three-year tender, the ECB has expanded its exposure to EMU bonds and banks to over EU1 trillion. A second tender is scheduled for Feb. 29, 2012.

  13. AndrewGMooney

    Hi David,

    ‘Demography is Destiny’ is an ideological nostrum within the cornucopian ideology of capitalist economics. It has been exposed by the collision of exponential ‘hockey-stick’ increases in human population colliding with Peak Everything. All Malthus got wrong was the dates.

    Israel is fcuk’d. Everywhere is, but Israel is especially doomed.

    Israel will be the epicentre of the downfall of Abrahamic patriarchal cornucopian arrogance. It will soon be riven with new resource wars over water and energy (the newly discovered gas basin in the Eastern Med)

    These new resource wars will join the old wars of racial and religious tribes to provide a final cacophany of destruction. The US will provide the Apocalypse, the Rapture, the Jihad.

    The cosmopolitanism of Tel Aviv will not sustain against the various flags of fundamentalism.

    From the darkest pages of the Bible, the Koran and the Torah, I read how the patriarchs went forth, multiplying their kith, kin, tribes: Only so they could wage war for land, energy. ‘Go Forth and Multiply’ ‘Demography Is Destiny’ ‘Arbeit Mach Frei’. Same underlying ideology of demographic dominion by economic and/or physical warfare. Just read the underlying models of economics behind the atrocities of the Abrahamic foundational texts. These memes control our leaders to this day.

    In pursuit of Darwinian ‘inclusive fitness’, the Patriarchs proceeded to scorch the planet of wood. Consider the denuded landscapes of the islands of Britain and Ireland, Greece, Iceland, Australia. Clueless ‘tourists’ gawp at the destroyed ecosystem and think it’s evidence of historical ‘culture’ and ‘progress’. Good luck trying to find any of the ‘cedars of Lebanon’ today. How many forests are there left in Israel?

    Israel can import as many people as it likes. I’m not sure what they intend them to drink. The Palestinians face the same crises, only much worse. The energy costs of desalination projects will soon become prohibitive. Game over.Cue war over the waters of the River Jordan.

    Leonard Cohen was asked recently what he thought as he criss-crossed the planet on his comeback tour. He said something like “looks like a butcher’s shop. probably always did. probably always will.”

    Israel is a permanent siege ‘war economy’. Stuxnet. Vaccines (bioweapons).

    Isreal is the past, the present and the future. It is also the end of the line of exponential growth on a finite spherical planet.

    “I have seen the future, brother: it is Murder” Leonard Cohen ‘The Future’

    Solstice greetings to you David, and to all on this site who co-write and provide such insight.

    • Mooney me old shagosha,

      Good to hear from you and your thesis re Israel is unfortunately increasingly shared by many of my friends there. I visit the place about twice a year and this time I was struck by a changed mood of usually irrepressible people. This mood has altered dramatically even this year.

      Best,

      David

    • bonbon

      As you say Malthus got it wrong. (He plagiarized the stuff from Venetian Giammaria Ortes).

      So wrong about everything in fact, that it is simply amazing anyone pays attention to the rubbish.

      And you have got it right? Where did Malthus go wrong? Identifying that might be a good idea, else you likely have also got it wrong.

      • coldblow

        Polanyi would agree with you about Malthus.

        Polanyi says it started with Townsends’s fable of the island of goats and dogs.

        “Lack of antiquarian authenticity can detract nothing from the fact that Malthus and Darwin owed their inspiration to this source – Malthus learned of it from Condorcet, Darwin from Malthus. Yet neither Darwin’s theory of natural selected nor Malthus’s population laws might have exerted any appreciable influence on modern society but for the following maxims which Townsend deduced from his goats and dogs and wished to have applied to the reform of the Poor Law: “Hunger will tame the fiercest animals, it will teach decency and civility, obedience and subjection, to the most perverse. In general it is only hunger which can spur and goad them [the poor] on to labour, yet our laws have said they shall never hunger…”

        “Here was a new starting point for political science. By approaching human community from the animal side, Townsend bypassed the supposedly unavoidable question as to the foundations of government and in doing so introduced a new concept of law into human affairs, that of the laws of Nature…

        “As gradually the laws governing a market economy were apprehended, these laws were put under the authority of Nature herself. The law of diminishing returns was a law of plant physiology. The Malthusian law of population reflected the relationship between the fertility of man and that of the soil… The true significance of the tormenting problem of poverty now stood revealed: economic society was subject to laws which were NOT human laws…”

        • Sounds like you’ve read Charles Galton Darwin’s “next million years”….eugenics anyone?

        • bonbon

          I think there is a mixture of Malthus and Mandeville intoxicating this blog. I will post more but for the moment this:
          Giammaria Ortes, Piflessione sulla Popolazione delle nazioni per rapporto all’Economia nazionale, 1790.

        • bonbon

          Giammaria Ortes (1713-1790), influential Venetian economist, whose works were plagarized by various of the British school of political economy following the consolidation of Venetian control over England. His “Calculus of the Pleasures and Pains of Life” (1757) formed the basis for the Benthamite hedonistic calculus; the economic models he based upon this philosophy of “man as beast” are developed in the works of “Free Traders” from Adam Smith to Milton Friedman, including today’s illiterate Jeffrey Sachs. His Reflessioni sulla popolazione delle nazioni per rapporto all’economia nazionale (Reflections on the Population of Nations in respect to National Economy) (Venice: 1790) was plagarized and popularized by Parson Thomas Malthus in his “On Population.” Ortes was the only Italian economist cited by Karl Marx in his Capital (Vol. I). See Scrittori classici italiani di economia politica, ed. by P. Custodi (Milan: 1802-16).

        • AndrewGMooney

          Thanks Coldblow, not aware of this.

          Justifications for slavery and subjugation range from the subtle to the brazen. There’s always some data-set in ‘nature’ that precludes compassionate civilisation.

          When the energy runs out, slavery will break out from its’ current hideaways.

          Merry Xmas!

      • AndrewGMooney

        @bonbon

        Malthus did not forsee the brief interlude of petro-chemical fuelled industrial civilisation. Energy is the basis of all economic growth. Not ‘money’. Money is only an ‘energy container’.

        The Cornucopian Capitalists, Socialists, Communists and ‘Singularitarians’ fetishise technology above the laws of thermondynamics. Earth is a sphere, all spheres are contained within their boundary, exponential growth is not possible. The ‘energy cost of energy’ (EROEI) will rise to a point when it will become economically futile to continue. IMHO, no one has sucessfully refuted Jay Hanson or Richard Duncan.

        http://dieoff.org/synopsis.htm

        http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Olduvai_theory

        Sadly, the supposed ‘game-changer’ of shale gas/oil is no such thing.

        http://bit.ly/mercg3

        Industrial civilisation and capitalist economies can only continue with abundant and cheap energy. We have reached ‘Peak Cheap Oil’. Eric Janszen forsees war. So do I.

        I read widely and my considered conclusion is that 90% of the current human population will die within decades.

        • bonbon

          So you base all on Boltzmann’s 2nd Law of Thermodynamics. Even a slightest check shows this “law” is not valid in General Relativity, foe example. It is only valid in a simply-connected Euclidean geometry. It is valid in Carnot heat engines. To claim the universe is a heat engine is, well playing god.

          Malthus’s error is geometry. The universe is finite and unbounded, as Einstein showed most clearly. Malthus is self-bounded, blinkered and simply incompetent. He even could not invent an idea of his own – stole it from Giammaria Ortes. Marx quoted Ortes as an “economist”. Enough said.

          • AndrewGMooney

            Did you mean to say the universe if ‘infinite and unbounded’ or ‘finite and unbounded’?

            I believe the Universe is part of a fractal Multiverse of ever-expanding dimensions.

            I believe that the Earth has vast amounts fo unmined oil, gas and minerals. But that will not help us if the ‘capitalist-debt-money-cost’ of retrieving resources rises exponentially. You have not addressed Olduvai or Jay Hanson. You have not addressed the energy crisis which will collapse industrial civilisation.

            neo-Malthusians cannot be discredited or debunked by magical thinking. You need to point to current scienctific break-throughs in energy production which are scalable to replace liquid fueld within 15-20 years. I do not believe such breakthroughs have been made.

            Julian Simon and the rest of the ‘endless human ingenuity’ folk need to explain how these ‘ingensious’ humans will replace the vanishing topsoils, fossil acquifiers, ocean fish stocks, etc.

            Economics is fatally flawed. It disregards ‘externalities’ which are the energy-commodity base of production for the whole ‘story of stuff’ that is modern industrial civilisation. The end of cheap, abundant fossil fuel energy (particularly liquid fuels) is the trigger for the coming collapse.

            regards

    • Actually Mooney,
      Malthus was wrong and so are his adepts of malthusianism.

      The world population will increase for a while but that rate is slowing and will fall back beyond 2050.

      We in europe are experiencing a demographic crisis, Ireland is the only european country having a birthrate at replacement levels all others are in decline hence their erroneous policy of immigration.

      They encourage people not to have children through contra-ception / abortion and a hedonistic lifestyle while at the same time saying they need to import 3rd world workers to pay off the national debt because of a declining working population.

      This is population replacement/ ethnic cleansing of europeans without the gun.

      • bonbon

        There is more to it. I post here briefly about Relative Potential Population Density, the Club of Rome, Sir Henry Kissinger’s NSSM 200 and Schellnhuber’s WBGU.

      • AndrewGMooney

        Josey, When you say ‘they encourage people not to have chidren’ who do you mean?

        Capitalist corporations advertising a ‘hedonistic lifestyle’? Politicians?

        Contraception and abortion are choices available to women in democratic, pluralist societies.

        In China, it is enforced. In many other countries it is forbidden/unavailable.

        Are you suggesting that European women be ‘nudged’, coaxed, cajoled or forced into childbirth? How would that work?

  14. Conundrum in Mindset

    David : Great article.

    Tel Aviv and Belfast have similar destinies .The DUP must now embrace the traditional Catholic voters to maintain their influence not only in Belfast but throughout NI .

    There is a big difference between Israel and Ireland and that is the Irish live on an island surrounded by water and fish and suffer more rain than anywhere else .This influences evolving cultures on the island .Thus the reason for the expression ‘ more Irish than the Irish themselves’.

    Have you seen the various high concrete walls erected around Israel segregating the population ? Cement Roadstone own the local subsidiary that produce that concrete .Enough said .

  15. Kevbarring

    I think Israel’s future can perhaps be summed up in one word: Israelia.

    http://www.villagemagazine.ie/index.php/2011/10/israel-cedes-modernity-to-arab-spring/

  16. Mark Walsh

    The plight of Israel? Woe is Israel? Give me a break.

    Zero to negative sympathy.

    The very people that were corralled by the the Germans, before and during WW2, are doing the exact same thing to fellow human beings within their land.

    It was wrong to corral, impoverish, starve and kill in Germany. What makes it right when done in Israel?

    They say imitation is the greatest form of flattery, Adolf….take a bow.

  17. gizzy

    You are missing the point Dorn. People are disagreeing wt the establishment. Deco 20/% of mortgages are now in arrears. The system faces a major problem it is set up for a few who won’t pay not thousands who can’t and the system will implode without some deliberate decisions not to pay but because Fianna Fail brought us to our knees and this government is making us give blow jo##. We have the property prices of 99/ 2000, the new house bulds of 1979, the car sales of the 80s. What a shower of plonkers. Happy Christmas all, change is coming because the status quo is not possible by any measure.

  18. bonbon

    In a U.N. Security Council session Dec. 20, chaired by Russian Ambassador Vitaly Churkin, who heads the Council this month, Israel was condemned by 14 out of 15 members — all but the United States — for Israeli practices of building settlements on Palestinian lands, allowing settlers to attack Palestinians and other acts of violence.
    Churkin “opened the mike” for members to speak out. Ambassadors spoke on behalf of whole groups, including spokesmen for the Non-Aligned Movement (120 nations), the Arab group (Lebanon Ambassador Nawaf Alam as spokesman), BRIC (Brazil, India and South Africa spokesmen), the EU (with four nations on the Council — Britain, France, Portugal and Germany).
    For example, the “disturbing escalation of violence by settlers,” including the burning of mosques, was denounced in the EU statement, read by Amb. Mark Lyall Grant, from the UK.
    Churkin then said, “Because there is one delegation which would not want to hear anything about it, any kind of a statement, which believes that somehow things will sort of settle themselves somehow micraculously out of their own.”
    The next day, the Security Council’s statements were denounced by agencies of the U.S. and Israel. Israel’s Foreign Ministry called the criticisms “interfering with Israel’s domestic affairs.” U.S. State Department spokesperson Victoria Nuland said on Dec. 21, that, “Shouting from the rooftops of the Security Council is not going to change the situation on the ground,” where, she said, there is work to do. Then, she responded directly to Churkin’s comment, by saying, we must do work, because “there are no miracles to be had here.”

    Note : This takes place in the context of war buildup. A RUSSIAN NAVAL TASK FORCE APPROACHES MEDITERRANEAN, led by the carrier Adm. Kuznetsov; the deployment is strategic, not part of a pre-planned exercise.

  19. Just a thought that struck me this morning.

    Transferring private banking debts to government debts is similar to promoting unelected bankers into government.

    Sic transit gloria mundi

    • AndrewGMooney

      The ‘technocrats’ replace the pseudo-democrats:

      ‘The question now, in both Italy and Greece, is whether the technocrats can succeed where elected leaders failed – whether pressure from the European Union backed by the whip of the financial markets will be enough to dislodge the entrenched cultures of political patronage that experts largely blame for the slow growth and financial crises that plague both countries.

      http://nyti.ms/uo3rxv

      I wonder which technocrat economist Ireland will turn to when Enda gets the boot? Morgan Kelly? Constantin Gurdgiev? Or DMcW? Well, he is an ex-central banker, isn’t he?

      • Ah well, Wikipedia on McWilliams:

        Between 1990 and 1993 he worked as an economist at the Central Bank of Ireland.[6] At 27, McWilliams moved to London to work at UBS in emerging markets analysis.[7] [8] At the ages of 30-31, still in London, McWilliams worked for Banque Nationale de Paris.[9] From 1999 to 2002, he was an emerging markets strategist with a New York-based hedge fund, Rockwest Capital.[10]

        Bit of a joke if you ask me!

        Pretending someone at the tender age of 24 to be in any way capable to undertake a serious position in a central bank strike me as idiotic as the quasi zionist proposals he frequently comes up with.

        • AndrewGMooney

          hmmn, i was being ironic or satirical or something…..

          Your ageism is noted.

          ‘the quasi zionist proposals he frequently comes up with.’

          What proposals has DMcW ‘frequently’ made about ‘zionism’?

          What do you mean by ‘zionism’?

          What proposals do you have for ending the conflicts in the Middle-East?

        • redriversix

          Georg,

          Some people at 24 had quite a lot of responsibility due to their abilities and talent.

          Best
          RR6

          • Yeah? Who was that, Jack Bauer?

            ;)

          • AndrewGMooney

            24 or 48. Experience is not always a guide to competence, as the example of Scotland’s John Law shows. A cursory glance at his C.V should have warned TPTB, but no, in his late forties he was promoted beyond his abilities. Disaster to put it mildly!

            http://bit.ly/uqfKm

            PS: Merry Xmas to John Hurley and Bertie Ahern! *rollseyes*

            http://bit.ly/3qETEj

          • Of course, 24 or 48 is no ticket to competence alone. Then again, come on, when do you finish your economics degree? Anything wrong with the idea that someone at 24 did not have a chance yet to gain a bucket of experience?

            After all, McW is not an economist in my view, at best, he is an “economic journalist” who writes for an Irish, well, rather tabloid level newspaper.

            The level of this journalism can be described as the cult of reheated Pizzas, it certainly is no investigative journalism at all, and the quality of articles matches the level of this tabloid tree waster, The Independence. It is the endless drivel of self promotion and poorly written analogies drawn on a regular basis from the pool of ….surprise, surprise….Sports.

            When faced with the breakdown of this nation, many people where calling for people like Fintan, David and others to step up to the plate and do what Vaclav Havel described as an ethical duty for intellectuals like Fintan or Insiders like McWilliams, Intellectuals and Insiders of such scope are required to take up political responsibility!

            They all disappeared in a heart beat, not willing to leave their cosy corner of paid for pseudo dissent and take up the task. That alone is enough for me to know what the words written are worth! Your mileage may differ.

  20. bonbon

    The Oasis Plan for Israel is the way to go – Peace via Development, especially water.

    Ireland has also a plan, for a very different location and from Irish Engineers :

    http://www.iae.ie/site_media/pressroom/documents/2009/Jun/09/Vision_of_Transport_2050.pdf

    To summarize :
    The object of this exercise was not to predict, plan or project forward the trends that are evident today, It was to cast a vision, essentially an optimistic vision, of transport in Ireland in the middle of this twenty-first century

    This is from :
    The Irish Academy of Engineering
    46 Merrion Square, Dublin 2.
    Tel No: 00 353 1 6425588 Fax: 00 353 1 6425590
    Email: info@acei.ie

  21. Malcolm McClure

    I wonder when David was in Israel did he see a bloke with a beard, who looked a bit like a young Tim Maloney, overturning the tables of the money changers and the seats of those who were selling doves?

  22. redriversix

    Morning GeorgR

    That’s very good,Jack Bauer….like that , very funny

    They say a good laugh helps start the day.that was a good laugh…Georg,glad to see you still have razor sharp sense of humor..

    Have a very merry Christmas Georg R and I wish you and yours all that is good for 2012..

    Jack Bauer !…..”God,that was funny”

  23. redriversix

    AndrewGMooney..

    So sorry for my reply,hope I did not offend to much.

    I will pay more attention in future.

    Iran
    Iraq
    Saudi Arabia
    Syria
    Palestine
    Israel
    Lebanon
    Kurdistan
    Jordan
    Egypt
    etc etc etc

    Be back shortly with a conflict resolution…………after this commercial Break !

    Merry Christmas AndrewGmooney.

  24. AndrewGMooney

    Hey, RR6. Chill man, no offence taken!

    Didn’t intend to be curt or smart-alec.

    The people on the island of Ireland have set a very inspiring example regarding conflict resolution. At radom, here’s INCORE:

    http://www.incore.ulst.ac.uk/

    Merry Christmas to you RR6!

    John McCormack ‘Adeste Fideles’:

    http://bit.ly/szk64T

  25. lff12

    Your point about the Brazilian programmer on 30% of the wages is moot, because as a quasi socialist country, wages are contolled nationally. The government decides on a 6% pay rise annually, and companies quiese. If the cost of wages alone rises by nearly 20% in just 3 years, the chances are that companies who do business in Brazil will remove their business in panic.

    You might not think thats happening but a large multinational is moving nearly 30 jobs “onshore” to Cork for that very reason. The wages they are paying are huge by Cork standards, ineed, even by Dublin standards. But a key problem is that in the mindset that exists in Brazil, the workforce won’t answer the phone at 20 past 5 when home time is 5.30pm, so the work doesn’t get done. I had the displeasure of working alongside Mexican colleagues: we had a problem with shift handovers because they frequently didn’t come in on time.

    The cultures that exist in these countries often are counterproductive to the kind of initiative taking and sheer aggression that makes western countries (including Ireland, with our sheer audacity and neck) a success. Many projects are now happening to onshore previously offshored services and businesses, for the simple reason that if you cannot find skilled staff, or need to hire 4 times the number to do the same work, the savings vanish.

  26. jbourke

    So how do we generate organic indigenous growth ?

    A long time ago Dr Ed Walsh was castigated on the Late Late Show for suggesting that Irish graduates should emigrate and then bring the skills they have learnt home. Even the Wolfe Tones saw the sense in this

    “And sure maybe there’s something you’ll learn or you’ll see
    And you can bring it back home make it easy on me”

    As a small island, largely fed with information from Politicians, and Businesses who consider Ireland a dumping ground for products which did not sell elsewhere, 1980′s Ireland had no concept of what the world wanted.

    To be clear :- Ireland had no idea what foreign markets required, no idea how to come up with products to fulfil these requirements (let alone fulfil the requirements with flair), little idea how to manufacture them, and maybe a tad more of idea how to sell them.

    In the bleak environment anyone who had any sense of what would be a creative export product could not get any traction. Anyone who had any notion about the way the world was evolving was considered mad.

    As someone who was laughed out of Ireland in 1992 for having Internet skills but no degree, this obvious contradiction still makes me angry.

    So the multinational technology companies started settling in Ireland. Why wouldn’t you, you could get a graduate with a Business Degree who costed you £500 per year + commission for the first year to work on a tele-sales desk selling PCs to British consumers.

    Thankfully there was more interesting work than that, and as these technology companies grew and started sending staff out into the world to engage with, sell to, and support technology products for international customers, the understanding of foreign customers and their needs started flowing back.

    Here is where fun really started. Paddy, 31, unmarried, renting, tired of waiting for seven layers of management approval for his product idea decides to set up on his own in Dublin and do it himself.

    This is organic indigenous growth.

    Now it is 2012, Ireland’s survival is in the hands of large technology firms, they are bemoaning the lack of skilled labour and most likely sending work elsewhere.

    So here is a thought. Create a Marshall Plan to train 2000 more skilled technology workers, each year.

    Run plan this on a war footing, throw the normal rules of education out the window and create a training regime which is like a full-time job, teaching practice and not theory, with the integrated support and funding of the technology companies.

    Let them feed into the skills gap which is driving work to India. A rising tide of skills should also lift the prospects of the staff within the technology companies.

    Then create some incentives to allow staff with ideas to leave these firms and start up on their own. Again incentives can mean with the support of these companies, and for the mutual benefit of the company and the staff.

    This is probably a small band aid for a bigger problem, but it is my perspective from the industry I work in.

    John Bourke

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