June 3, 2013

The twilight part-time world

Posted in Banks · 115 comments ·

Freelancing. Being your own boss, having a portfolio career, living on your wits, independence, having no one to answer to – this all sounds good, doesn’t it? And it can be. The other side of this world is insecurity, worry, constant fretting about the next gig, undercutting everyone – starting with yourself – to get gigs, spoofing, hustling, not being able to plan and recurring financial anxiety, not to mention fear of tomorrow.

But this freelance world is a world that we are going to have to get used to and it is a world that your children are likely to inhabit. The latest figures from the national household survey, released last week, reveal a rapid change in the Irish labour market.

There has been a massive switch to part-time work. Looking at the figures, the most conspicuous development is that since 2008, full-time employment positions continue to fall quite relentlessly. The jobs that are being created are part-time and as these jobs are on temporary contracts, with them comes a huge element of job insecurity.

You can see in the chart from the newly-released CSO data what is reality in Ireland: more and more people are working at jobs with less and less security. In the main, these are young people.

The precarious nature of being a young worker is central to the change in economic life, which is going on every day in Ireland.
Contrast this with ten years ago when young workers were getting well-paid permanent jobs in a variety of local sectors.
In addition, these young workers were buying houses which were rising in value, giving them the feeling of wealth. Some 50 per cent of Ireland’s total mortgage book was lent out in the Noughties. These two factors drove spending, tax revenue and fed the demand for labour.

Now we have precisely the opposite situation. These same young workers, carrying negative equity, are now faced with the prospect that any new job they pick up is most likely to be temporary or part-time.

This profoundly undermines any foundation for a solid recovery.

Now just imagine that the trends of the past five years are extrapolated out for the next five years. What is the Irish labour market likely to look like then?

Check out the table and graph below:


Here I have just extrapolated the trends and we see that by 2020, the number of part-time workers will have almost doubled from the 2008 figure. In contrast, there will be 10 per cent fewer total full-time positions in 2020 than there were in 2008.

This will have profound implications for everyone.

It means that the recovery will be almost non-existent because insecure workers don’t spend. Why might this be? It is because spending comes out of income and part-time incomes are usually much more volatile that full-time incomes. If your income is dodgy, you don’t spend and equally you are not a good bet for loans.

The implication of the older population having secure employment and the young having insecure employment is that the money saved by the older secure folk does not get circulated in the economy because the banks are terrified about lending it out locally. This will lead the banks to recycle savings into investments that are seen as more secure, even if they provide lower yield.

Now what may such investment look like? Why, government bonds of course. But what will a proportion of the money raised by government bonds finance? Why the salaries of permanent, middle-aged civil servants and the pensions of the already retired! This will exacerbate the security imbalances within the working population – the very imbalances that were forcing the banks to invest deposits in government bonds in the first place. Can you see where all this is going?

It is likely to make the economy more sclerotic, not more dynamic.

The purpose of these statistical updates is to give us a snapshot of the society that we live in. This sort of data should prod the government to act and to base policy on evidence.

Now think of what is happening in Ireland. The labour market is split between insiders and outsiders. The insiders have secure jobs, protected by legislation and legacy.

These people have a stake in society. The outsiders are those who are exiled to the twilight world of part-time work, temporary contracts and the quality of the last job.

These guys can’t come in hungover on a Monday and hide for the day, safe in the knowledge that someone else will foot the bill. They don’t clock in and clock out based on a rigid time clock, calculating exactly how much extra they may have worked over and above some arbitrary minimum and charging the employer accordingly.

They don’t do this because they are their own employer.

The insider/outsider dilemma is very complex in a small country like Ireland. Within families, there will be insiders and outsiders living in the same house.

Parents may be in insider employment and the children may be outsiders. Brothers and sisters may be similarly divided.

Pointing out the insider/outsider dilemma is quite different from pointing the finger.

These outcomes might be nobody’s fault. That said, it is clear that this situation can’t go on. It is obvious that if young workers are being employed casually, they will hardly reach their full potential and will flirt around in the twilight world of quasi-employment.

This may make them keener and better at their chosen pursuit, but it’s not going to be a pretty picture if they, the worker bees, feel that they are working their butts off in a competitive world, while a drone class is sitting around getting well paid, extracting concessions and complaining at the same time.

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  1. Steaf35

    Subscribe…….Made it…haven’t even read the article..!!!

  2. Tom Crowley

    The insider outsider dilemma will be resolved the instant we run out of access to funds. One billion a month to borrow one billion on interest no need for projections to 2020. Enjoy the fine weather the forecast is for a harsh winter in all respects.

  3. 5Fingers

    At last. An article that perfectly states where we are and why we should be wary of all rosy stats on employment. The thing about insider outsider conflicts is when one decides they will not play by the rules. Outsiders have less and less to lose. More importantly theirs is an economy that’ll develop legs quicker than you realise. Paradigm shift is well and truly underway.

  4. Colin

    Great Article David.

    I am an outsider, working in London. It means I must perform well at work everyday, no room for slacking off. This is fine, and I’m happy with it right now as I am well paid, but it means I never have a single drink on a night before work, I’m in bed by 10pm, I arrive at work early to allow for any delays, and I work through my lunch. I work 60 hours a week.

    David, you just have to go one step further and tell us that the Unions are destroying Ireland. The National Cake is getting smaller, and they are arguing for an even bigger slice of the cake, at the expense of others. This is economic apartheid! It’s outrageous. It’s immoral and definately unchristian.

    So many people still thing Ireland is a great wee country including Indakinny. The reality is so much different. The final sacred cow has just been slayed, creche expose shows Ireland is definately not the best country in the world for raising children.

    All young people should get up and leave Ireland as a protest vote, and let the middle aged people fund their own lifestyle and see how long that lasts, and when reality bites, then its time to wield the axe, and only then can Ireland slay the economic perverts who are in control.

    p.s. I won’t be able to meet you in London this week, I’m flying away on holidays later, but the weather here is fine, and London is welcoming and friendly. Enjoy! See you in Kilkenny later in the year.

    • Reality Check

      As usual Colin – absolutely spot on.
      Enjoy your Hols, you deserve them!

    • hibernian56

      It’s not a cake, its a feeding trough.

      Agree 100% with everything. I would prefer a Kalashnikov to an axe though.

    • Andy Y

      Excellent note with regards the Unions Colin. It is truly appalling the manner in which they are abusing the power they have and filling their members heads with nonsense in order to squeeze more non-existent drops from the coffers. It infuriates me that the Irish media won’t hone in on this and point out the inherent fallacies in the unions and how they have basically abandoned their original principals just to protect and justify their own existence.

      At this stage, I would say they are much worse than the suits sitting opposite them at the negotiation tables!

    • 5Fingers

      The thing is you present what looks to be a precarious lifestyle. Temporary, no room to rest or slack off – a rat race basically. And because you can keep the pace, good for you. You are young and currently fit. Etc etc. You get where I coming from. That could be construed negative picture of how to live and one open only to a select few and prone to burnout.

      Then we see the other side. The need to live a healthy lifestyle. Minimal drink, bed early…discipline basically. And I would guess you keep yourself well trained and up to date and you have a routine and daily regimen. And this is I think available to all with what I believe can be spectacular results.

      It is my observation that protected jobs not only stupify and kill people. There is an argument they are killing the economy by encouraging an excessive markdown in the price of risk which translates into 30 40 yr loans that no one can pay back and have caused the damage we see today.

    • Pat Flannery

      Great Comment Colin.

      As an outsider myself (self-employed emigrant like you for most of my life)I agree with you entirely – let the insiders “fund their own lifestyle and see how long that lasts”. But how?

      Unfortunately many young Irish people are doing what I did 36 years ago, getting up and leaving Ireland as a protest vote only to find out that that is exactly what the insiders want.

      The stay-at-home insiders get the farm or the government job and use the money to give themselves pay raises instead. That has been going on for ever. The national cake is finite and the stay-at-home insiders get it all. That is why the national education system caters almost exclusively to them – teachers, civil servants etc.

      The only way the young are going to get their share is by staying home and fighting for it. The jobseeker allowance (dole) will be unsustainable if they. That will mean fighting their own brothers and sisters for their fair share of the farm and of the public sector jobs.

      Emigration has always been the friend of the stay-at-home insider – it is what continues to allow him/her to be an insider and look down on the rest of us.

    • Adam Byrne

      Where you off to Colin? Anywhere nice? Send me a postcard if it’s Mogadishu mate. And take them 2.7 million UK Muslims with you while you’re at it. Just joking pal, have a good time, see you Kilkenomics.

    • I used to be like you. I took my time getting out of poverty and worked for years and was self disciplined. It got me far and it got me here but it also took me to Europe and the Far East. I have been around. I know what that feels like and it feels good. I am glad you are doing well

      If we wait for David to ‘go one step further’ we will be waiting a very long time. As if David has any say in the matter. He doesn’t. That’s the problem. We are always waiting for someone to go one step further but we might as well wait until hell freezes over brother

      Ireland is a great wee country if no-one is bothering you and you have a cushy number where you keep your trap closed but it is not a very nice place if you have the gumption to criticise it in any way

      Of course Enda thinks it a great country. You don’t think he would come out and admit it is priest ridden ultra conservative and socially delinquent crap hole

    • bonbon

      Collective bargaining, long the target of employers, now the target of the self-employers?
      Strange that. A very odd lurch. I wonder where it comes from.

      Remember that the first action undertaken by Hitler after gaining “emergency powers” was to disband unions and collective bargaining. And that from a “workers party”. Sound familiar?

  5. Reality Check

    Another aspect to this is that as an employee, when you go to the Higher rate of Tax (as the threshold is so low) you are effectively A SLAVE FOR THE PARASITES. YES A SLAVE FOR THE ABLE BODIED ON DISABILITY, JUNKIES, SINGLE MOTHERS WITH FIVE BABIES AND THE LIVE-IN PARTNER AND COSSETED PS UNION BENEFACTORS(ESP LAZY TEACHERS). I know of many who are only doing part- time work (and enjoying their free time) as they realise working harder and longer as a private sector employee makes no sense at all.
    God Speed the Day of Reckoning…

    • jaysus

      I notice the glaring omission of the biggest scroungers from your wrath, namely the retired and active politicians on huge pensions, and the multi millionaires like Peter Sutherland who draw a huge pension and having being doing so since they moved on from being Attorney general years ago.
      Or the super rich barristers like Micheal Mc Duabhail getting their pensions while they work the four courts for plunder.
      Or the micro president in the park on his 6 figure salary!!
      Ah but its much easier to target the little people.
      Cop on you one sided right wing extremist.

      • Andy Y

        Steady on there now “Jaysus”. There’s nothing extremist in what “Reality Check” just posted. Just because “Reality Check” doesn’t espouse populist left wing drivel doesn’t mean he/she is right wing. It might be better if we debated points here and not let this site descend into the pits of the other “slag each other off anonymously” sites! Any more of that and people may not engage with you.

        So lets address your points. Why is earning a six figure salary wrong? Why is that so evil? I understand the whole “equal society, equal healthcare, equal education” points but I can never understand the hatred against people who work hard, sacrifice so much to achieve and earn well. Is it jealousy? It must be a little bit! Is it the plain old Irishman begrudging another Irishman’s fortune? Why should somebody who does well in life and earns well be slandered by those that don’t and then punished in the form of increasing taxes which only serve to transfer his/her earnings over to someone who hasn’t worked as hard or who hasn’t achieved as much? And how will that do anything for society other than reduce people’s incentive to work hard and develop our society?

        I have absolutely no problem with Michael D earning a six figure sum. He would probably earn that lecturing or similar (seeing as he’s an academic) and he earned the Presidency democratically!

        • jaysus

          Like you I have no problem with anyone earning momey. Earmimg being the optimum word here. Barristers do not “earn” money, they are overpaid especially Mac Duabhail. He should only get his pension when he is 100 % retired. Thats what I have a big problem with. Same as sleebhin Bertie and co doing the same.

          Michael D doesnt “earn” his ridiculous salary sitting on his arse in the lap of luxury in the park. He would live very well on half that amount given all the additional perks he enjoys.

          I think you should read “reality checks” rant again, if that isnt right wing guff then I dont know what is.

          • Reality Check

            As my posts are prone to do they flare up emotion (secret ingredient truth and reality).
            I know truth and reality have a knack of making people who are living lies get upset because it shows the type of people they really are. NOBODY should be getting rich from the public purse. My Bro’s girlfriend is from “Socialist Denmark”, she is gobsmacked to hear about the outrageous salaries being paid out to the Public sector jet-setters and senior bankers here (nobody in PS Denmark gets paid more than equivalent 150k).
            When you include all the stealth charges at the Higher bracket we have equivalent taxes to Denmark but NO SERVICES.

    • jaysus

      I notice the glaring omission of the biggest scroungers from your wrath, namely the retired and active politicians on huge pensions, and the multi millionaires like Peter Sutherland who draw a huge pension and having being doing so since they moved on from being Attorney general years ago.

      Or the super rich barristers like Micheal Mac Duabhail getting their pensions while they work the four courts for plunder.
      Or the micro president in the park on his 6 figure salary!!

      Ah but its much easier to target the little people.
      Cop on you one sided right wing extremist.

    • bonbon

      The reality here, exposed for all to see is Mises-anthropy, the disdain of mankind.

      Keep at it, we can all see what the Austrian school “nudge-nudge” “wink-wink” really looks like.

    • Senator McCarthy would have sorted em right out RC. Good lad.

      Now why don’t you relax now son and be nice and stop being an asshole?

      Lazy Days of Summer:

      Ah summer of 1972.


  6. hibernian56

    Here I am working on a Bank Holiday Monday. After working yesterday and Saturday, oh now that I think of it I haven’t had a day off in a year or so.

    I am an Architect, but I am classed as being in “NPD”. Thats civil service speak for “New Product Development”. I invent, I patent and I try to get things to the market. All funded by my Architectural work.

    Which before anyone asks, NEVER included any multi housing schemes or “Legoland” developments. I work exclusively on commercial projects, industrial estates, shop fit-outs, bar designs and pro-bona one off houses’s for friends and family. I consider most of the generic housing estates to be semi-open prisons.

    I even designed a couple of creche’s, properly, for decent clients.

    I can assure you that on a recent visit to one of these facilities, they were run in a professional and caring manner. Don’t get me wrong, it is a business, but location is the key. The tabloid sensation crap no doubt focused on the housing estate creche , which is under pressure from day 1 due to their inappropriate capacity which is again a result of civil service regulations. (I don’t read newspapers or watch RTE, it’s all propaganda)

    Any of the creches I designed are flourishing because I did some research in conjunction with my client. I did a spread sheet for them which allowed use to tweak certain factors to see how the bottom line performed. We found the sweet spot to be 130 kids, spread amongst several age groups. Anything less than 130 and you were over staffed with the usual overhead burdens, rent, rates (a killer always), insurance etc. Any more than 130 and the size of the facility became the burden. Another crucial factor is and will always be location.

    They still use a heavily modified version of this spreadsheet today, although it’s now a fancy database with all sorts of colour coding. They even have a thumb print log in for access control. It’s mad Ted.

    Anyway, after we completed a couple of these successful creches the inevitable approaches were made by a developer who wanted me to design a creche to fit in an existing premises that he could “lease out” and get the tax benefits. It was mission impossible from my point of view as the premises was poorly located with regard to access, badly designed with regard to playrooms and out door facilities, it could only cater for 75 kids, so it would not be a sustainable venture. I advised he should make a few alterations, at a minimum the footprint would need to be increased. I didn’t get the gig. Some other Architect did though. The creche lasted two years.

    I’m often called a geek because of my fondness for spread sheets, but often even the simplest cash flow can save a huge amount of pain.

    This was a rather rambling way to getting to my main point, that this state is designed to discourage any form of entrepreneurship, basically because it is run by economic perverts (to paraphrase Colin), these pariah have no understanding of work ethic, no understanding of value. All they understand is their bank balance, status and entitlements.

    I’m having to work like a loon at the moment to pay off my utility bills from the winter, already had the romance letter from the ESB. They sent me a bill recently for €730. But that ok, because the previous ones where only estimates. My bill includes, VAT, PSO and carbon taxes. In other words, they are bleeding me dry. I have 14 days to pay. I’ll struggle but will manage. As always.

    I would ask how many of these perverts can use a spreadsheet?

    • Joe R

      Hib 56,

      “ I am an Architect,…I invent, I patent and I try to get things to the market. All funded by my Architectural work.I invent, I patent and I try to get things to the market. All funded by my Architectural work.´´

      Could you elaborate any here? I know it is a public forum so discretion is yours to exercise. What do you invent and may I ask in what part of Ireland generally do you operate?

  7. crossroads

    Sheesh, ’tis like looking in a mirror! Particularly the tendency to put yourself second… third, fourth… …last! Even when you know you should be prioritising your own interests.

    As a service provider, it used to be that most things trundled along evenly and the odd client would occasionally get hit with a curve ball that kept life interesting.

    Now, it’s just hassle from every direction. Everyone seems to have legal and financial issues in the fallout from the madness.

    • crossroads

      RE: “The other side of this world is insecurity, worry, constant fretting about the next gig, undercutting everyone – starting with yourself – to get gigs, spoofing, hustling, not being able to plan and recurring financial anxiety, not to mention fear of tomorrow.”

  8. ShaneH

    Quote “The implication of the older population having secure employment and the young having insecure employment is that the money saved by the older secure folk does not get circulated in the economy because the banks are terrified about lending it out locally. This will lead the banks to recycle savings into investments that are seen as more secure, even if they provide lower yield”

    What absolute balderdash. Yet again McWilliams willfully ignores the basics of how the modern banking system works. At this stage one can only assume that for some reason he is deliberately misleading the reader. This constant rhetoric of banks acting as intermediaries is factually wrong and is so disingenuous to the people who spend money buying his books and the newspapers that he writes for.
    The importance or lack of, which one places on private banks creating the nation’s money supply, can be debated, what cannot is the fact that private banks create money when they extend credit in the form of a loan, What is utterly reprehensible is the perpetuating of this fallacy that banks are lending out savers money. In David’s world and that of the majority of so called economists, the world is still flat and the Sun revolves around the Earth.


    • McGoo

      I have several times been puzzled by David’s schoolboyish depiction of banks as lending out savers money. That’s simply nonsense. The money that they lend out does not exist until the moment that it is borrowed, then it is simply “imagined” into existence by the act of borrowing.
      To summarise :

      1. The only reason banks seek deposits is to satisfy some pesky laws about lending/deposit ratios. They would prefer not to have any deposits, and could operate perfectly well without them.

      2. The only reason banks lend money is because the act of borrowing is required for them to imagine new money into existence. If they could imagine new money into existence without lending, they wouldn’t lend.

      • Adam Byrne

        I think points 1. and 2. are probably the best description of the philosophy of modern-era banks that I have ever read.

        Something has to change.

        • Mr Happy Dole Dude

          Well it won’t change by saying subscribe to the Misrepresentation of the banking system above.

          • Adam Byrne


          • Mr Happy Dole Dude

            Adam Byrne you are evidentially confused as you subscribe to McWilliams above and his misrepresentation of the banking system and yet you agree with Magoo who agrees with Shane H. I will assume you have a comfortable fence.

          • Adam Byrne

            Absolutely Mr Happy Dole Dude,

            54 years of age, about 6 months from cashing in my juicy tax-payer funded public sector pension and looking forward to the good life. Bit of golf in Portugal in the winter, what more could a man want for?

            Yes, pushing paper around a desk for 30 years was boring and I would have liked a bit more variety but I never was one for taking risks so I’ve settled for my lot in life.


      • ShaneH

        Well said – Shane

      • paddythepig

        What happens to the money once it is lent?

        • ShaneH

          Hi Paddy,
          I am not sure what way to take your question or what exactly you mean by it. Can you clarify?


    • Mr Happy Dole Dude

      The truth is always the first the casualty! maybe McWilliams is is preaching to a particular audience of blind people to accept the status-quo and come here to confirm the bias.


    Young people everywhere always have a hard time in the labour market. The US economy is driven by domestic consumption, yet 90 % of it’s labour force is treated woefully. No holidays, $ 6 an hour unsocial hours jobs dominate. Living with your parents indefinitely is the only way to cover the cost of living in an urban area.

  10. Beaver

    The insiders are in a ponzi scheme that the bottom is falling out of. To get their pensions they are relying on the contributions of the young who are emigrating, unemployed, partially employed and self employed. None of these will contribute much to the pension/health system. They made their bed so let them lie in it. Someone calculate that PS pensions are a 116 billion euro bill waiting for someone in the future. The potential payers have fled. The pensioners will starve.

  11. Adelaide

    “This profoundly undermines any foundation for a solid recovery.”

    I’m optimistic by nature and not a doom&gloomer but the general fixation with ‘recovery’ and ‘turning corners’ is ignoring the very conclusion that which EVERY Data Extrapolation demonstrates, that there will be no recovery. This ‘great recession’ is not a temporary blip on the business cycle but a profound transition to a permanent labour surplus economy. This can either be an opportunity or a disaster for society depending on how it will adapt to the new reality.

    This new reality is beginning to impact the young first. The question is whether they and society at large have the critical thinking to appreciate the nature of what is happening to them and address it.

    • Pat Flannery

      We are in “a profound transition to a permanent labour surplus economy”. I agree. Worldwide. Therefore emigration is not the answer for any country.

      The trouble is that Ireland’s youth is responding in the traditional way to this new reality by providing the traditional cheap labor to the other English-speaking countries, where the Irish are only marginally better off than if they had stayed at home.

      I believe our youth are not leaving for a better life but because they know they are not wanted at home. Has anybody done a survey in Toronto or in Sydney for example? I think its findings would be a revelation. It would put the crèche revelations in the shade.

      It would reveal the true nature of “Insider Ireland”. It would reveal that Enterprise Ireland (EI)is not interested in enterprise otherwise those young people would never have left. EI is merely an adjunct of the hide-bound IDA, totally fixated on inward investment.

      It is interesting that Mexican emigration to the United States is slowing down dramatically due to the U.S. recession and as a result there is an upsurge of indigenous industry in Mexico.

      Rather than wait until emigration to Britain and the Commonwealth countries is similarly no longer an economic option, a true Irish indigenous enterprise authority should be formed because right now “indigenous” is a dirty word in Ireland and Enterprise Ireland (EI) has become, like the IDA, just another insider institution providing soft “jobs for the boys”.

      • hibernian56

        Entrenched Incompetence are a waste of resources. They are staffed by “lifers” whose snouts are firmly rammed into the trough.

        How can a body support any form of start up when it is risk averse at its core? They just don’t get it. I have not received or sought one penny from EI after my first and last meeting.

        That meeting can only be described as jaw dropping. One clown actually offered one of my all time favourite quotes “Enterprise Ireland are not in the business of Field of Dreams, in other words we don’t believe if you build it they will come…”

        I actually laughed, and asked the 20 something (who arrived late for the meeting) had he seen the movie? He looked puzzled. I left shortly afterwards, my partners stayed another 20 minutes.

        To this day I refuse to engage with them. They want you to build a factory, sell 1 million units and then they will give you a €5k innovation voucher to spend on a university of your choice.

        Utterly pointless organisation. Junkets and photo ops.

      • bonbon

        Have you heard of NAFTA? It did to US neighbors what the EU did to Spain. Free-Trade-Agreements, Adam Smith redux. have always destroyed economies, jobs.

  12. Original-Ed

    Insecurity has always been a major factor in the Irish private sector, that’s why most clever people opted for jobs in the public service – clever shouldn’t be confused with hardworking. It’s the primary reason that we don’t have an internationally recognised irish indigenous enterprise other than Guinness. We just trundled along with a given cake size until the multinationals arrived and now, the benefits from that have been wiped out in the great property push under Fianna Fail.

    Bach in the old insecure days, irish employers used insecurity as a management tool – it used to be said that the big industrialised countries had a management style that was based on objectives , while Ireland had one that was based on crisis. Everyday, a new threat was perceived to be on the horizon, some were real but most were fabricated. The real ones , in most cases, weren’t recognised until it was too late and then is was curtains.

    So, insecurity is nothing new to the private sector – in fact, it can lead to great innovation and a leap in prosperity. Of course, the cute clever ones in the puplic service will be the first ones to claim a big slice for themselves. I love the way ComReg paid themselves a big bonus after auctioning off the old tv spectrum for 4g.

    The other day a friend was done for speeding going to a business meeting – what an idiot, rushing to be more productive and pay more tax and fines to prop up the overpaid system that done him.

    The present situation is definitely unsustainable and something will have to give.

    • Adelaide

      “..irish indigenous enterprise.” I know of several Irish home-grown highly-profitable successful IT companies who are on top of their game, and recently for absolutely no other reason than greed are these days recruiting JobBridge interns to do their non-core duties. It really is sickening to see existing salaried positions being displaced and destroyed by that disgusting scheme, all at the behest of our elected reps and greedy short-term blinkered employers, promoting that which David is warning against in today’s article. There is no hope for the young when growing Irish companies have gone down the JobBridge route. None. The Irish are their own worst enemy in so many ways that I suspect we all harbour a national death wish.

    • Reality Check

      That innovation and cleverness you speak of in the Public Sector is no different to the Mafia “taking care of business”.

  13. molly

    Have the self employed become the new part time workers and not buy choice.
    I can remember working 12/14 hour days 6 days per week and even 4/5hours on sunday, now I work maybe 20 hours a week.
    I find it funny people telling me how they took a 14percent pay cut,I have taken a savage pay cut .
    I want to know who’s world do I live in.

  14. cjmurray

    Another dreadfully naive or cynical article from the capitalist useful idiot and fellow-traveller, classic divide-and-rule, setting tuppence against tuppence-halfpenny, the part-timers against the full-timers, low-paid private against low-paid public, the old against the young, etc etc, anything to divert attention from the elephant in the room, the real divide – the enormous gulf between the vast majority of us and the ultimate insiders, the rich and the super-rich, the tiny minority, the 1%, or 0.01%, who own and control such an enormously disproportionate share of the wealth and power, who have destroyed even their own game, and who will destroy the planet if they continue much longer. A sickening, disgraceful article. For a more positive approach, for some ideas about what could be done, see http://www.change.org/petitions/the-european-parliament-help-the-peoples-of-europe-to-introduce-a-maximum-income

    • Andy Y

      Uggh. How many signatures did that petition actually get? Using all the socialist / communist buzz words also I see – the same as the ULA, Sinn Féin, Socialist Workers Party, etc, etc, etc. The usual suspects that garner votes on the premise that they will ensnare some wealthy bogeyman to pay the ordinary person’s bills. It’s nothing new from the Left who are trying to capitalize (excuse the pun) on a dire economic situation in order to further their own political careers! I can say with some certainty that the Irish people do not want to live in a Stalinist country. The vast majority of Irish people want to reside in an economy that allows them to EARN more if they work harder and achieve – not PAY more for the lazy sods walking around with some profound sense of entitlement!!!

      • cjmurray

        Number of signatures – irrelevant. Socialist/communist buzzwords – irrelevant, although democratic socialism and communism have more going for them than parasitical capitalism, even if some worker bees on this site are still too foolish, uneducated or brainwashed by their media masters to see it.

        A fundamental modern capitalist lie is that we can all, with hard work and application, get reasonably rich. It functions to keep the masses quiet. It exploits the lottery mentality, and ignores the hard fact that one person can only win if millions lose. Spending a few euro on a lottery ticket is one thing, but basing an entire economic system on the lotto is lunacy, especially for those towards the bottom.

        Even in a “booming” economy, the vast majority of people never have and never will get rich or anything like it, no matter how well-educated they are, how hard they work, how smart they work, how confident and positive they are etc etc. It’s a delusion, a pipe-dream, a great big lie, that only fools or those already well- heeled can any longer believe. It is a logical impossiblility for us all to be well-off. Riches, and therefore capitalism, REQUIRE poverty, absolute or relative, as an absolute necessity.

        The unspoken deal between the rich and poor – that the poor would tolerate the delusions of grandeur and the sense of entitlement of kings and queens and aristocrats and insider Capitalist elites, and would not rebel if they got enough crumbs from the rich man’s table, if they got some employment and purpose and dignity – has been broken, smashed asunder.

        It is incredible that anyone could ever have believed the capitalist lie, although it was easier to do so when “growth” was providing jobs and some gradual improvement in ordinary people’s lives. It is even more incredible that some can apparently still believe capitalist fairy-tales now that they have become so threadbare. It is utterly incredible that some people on this board seem to believe that, by remarkable coincidence, hundreds of thousands of hard-working Irish people, and 50 million hard-working people globally, suddenly became useless lazy spongers after the 2008 crash.

        And, to top the lot – get this! – one aspiring right-wing “high-achiever” here apparently actually believes that a modest democratic proposal to allow people to vote on the possibility of merely capping elite rewards is …..wait for it …..”Stalinist”!!!!

        • Reality Check

          CJ, Marx was wrong it’s not the zero sum game as you have described. It’s in our DNA to make things better; I just don’t want to be a tax serf that is all.

      • Reality Check

        +1 Andy, Spot on.

    • Reality Check

      Amazing, It’s always the PS who bring up the “don’t turn this into a public v private debate”.
      We all know you lot really mean; “Let the private sector Eat Cake”

      • cjmurray

        Just to put the lazy cartoon stereotypes to rest, I am not interested in, and completely unsuited to, a political career. I’m not public service, although I did once work there. I have also worked in the private sector, been unemployed and self-employed. I have worked hard and honestly, and still do, mostly for relatively low wages, in clerical work, in accounts, in IT, as a gardener, and as a painter, as well as growing my own food, and caring for elderly relatives

        The proposal for a maximum income I put last year would allow for incentive. For every precious “hard-working” “talent” who won’t get out of bed for, say, 100,000 per year (exact amount to be decided by democratic ballot, surely as good a mechanism as the “free” market, and a little more democratic), there are countless thousands who will.

        Nearly five years into the economic disaster, it is simply incredible that the “free” market ideologues that caused it in the first place are not hiding under the beds for shame. It is a sign of the 1984-land, diseased nature of Capitalism that government work schemes to, for example, provide decent insulation for elderly people’s homes are immediately derided by the Uber-Capitalists as “socialism”, as “not creating real jobs”, while some gangster capitalist, already loaded to the gills, is lauded for “creating jobs” in the porn industry, or for creating a new flavor of ice-cream. Capitalists don’t “create jobs”. They would use nothing but robots if they could. Capitalists don’t employ people out of some warm-hearted impulse. Only fools believe that level of PR. Capitalists USE people if and when they have to, pay them as little as possible, and sack them without mercy.

        Big farmers always used little farmers to put on the poor mouth before gobbling up those little farmers. The genuine difficulties of small business, and the sometimes lack of understanding and empathy between the public service and private sector, are no excuse for continuing full steam ahead towards the cliff, on the insane Capitalist train, which will still be babbling its “Growth!” mantra as it plunges to its doom, taking all of us and our children with it.

        I don’t know that much about Marx, but we ARE living in a zero sum game. There is only one, finite planet, and zero prospect of discovering another, never mind getting there. Capitalism could previously escape zero sum constraints by expanding into new markets ie by invading and robbing other countries, by plundering whole continents, murdering those who resisted, by pillaging the rainforests, the land and the seas, or, more recently, by robbing from the future. But the game is almost certainly nearly up now, for ecological reasons as much as any other – THAT is the real “reality check” – and humanity will only survive if it examines what it really wants and needs, what is ENOUGH money, wealth, power etc.

        I share the impulse to create and grow, but acknowledge the rights of others not to be harmed by my energies.
        We need to ask why some people are addicted to money/money-making and/or power, whether such addictions can be rechannelled happily and freely, and, if not, whether the entire world should continue to be in thrall to such people, and how to cap their power and influence.
        Lastly, instead of continually kicking the can down the road with fairy-tales about “growth” or “innovation” or miraculous new technology, we need to finally deal, front and central, democratically and as adults, with the distribution question, of money and power. This is not possible while billionaires control the media, and celebrity millionaire journalists, even in the derided public sector, chair the debates.

        All this is also “in our DNA”, is also “making things better”.

        • Reality Check

          It’s impossible to explain to some people the horrors Socialism creates.
          Ireland = North Korea with a better standard of living.
          The Sun is shining beautifully today, I’m going to go out on my day off.
          At least they haven’t taxed the enjoyment sunshine yet….

  15. lexie

    Great articles. Am touched by the contributions here too. Amazing.

  16. molly

    Hate them love them there will always be rich and poor ,I don’t care about the rich but I do care About the poor.
    Why can’t there be middle to all this ,a common ground .
    There use to be a middle to some degree, we need it back.
    Greed and corruption we where told by kenny would be a thing of the past in his words a new way of doing things,is this a fairy tail or gimmick to con the voting masses

    • I am with you 100% Molly as always. I believe in showing loyalty to someone who has a good heart.

      The glue that holds society together has dried and cracked. There is nothing separating us from the scum at the top who want to golden shower us with their hateful, selfish and deluded poison. It’s time to protest but everyone has retired for the laziness of summer

      They are too stupid and thick to realise that soon they will hated as much as the Nazis and other despicable regimes

      The more they threaten the people the more the rage builds

      Either they are so complacent they bank on the eternal conservatism of the Irish or at heart just a bunch of rotten cold hearted bastards

      It’s only a matter of time before people turn to rage and violence and you know what?

      Quite right

      There is nothing left to lose

      • Reality Check

        Paul, I have lived on Duke st & worked in the GRI. The one thing I’ve observed over the years; All the Socialists are very easy with other peoples’ money but by god when it comes to their own money – they are the tightest assholes you’d ever meet.

  17. bonbon

    While DMcW is again, as posted above, pathetically trying to pit our society against itself. So look at the Daily Telegraph for a contrast, right over in London.

    Liam Halligan: “Over In the Glass-Steagall Debate Is Live”

    Divide the banks, DMcW, not the people. Why are you appearing to protect very well known corruption? It is becoming blatantly obvious.

  18. jeeaaan

    On a beautiful afternoon in Sunny Dublin ,its hard to believe the country is actually in freefall.There is an air of despondency in people as is evident in the comments read here today.In Ireland the cute hoor syndrome is alive and kicking.A Greedy public sector exploiting sick time off,unpaid leave I was told by one,does that mean social welfare benefit as there is no such thing as career break,and the person is needed in the job.It is a survival of the fittest and the fittest appear to be the lot in power clinging to the idea of restoration of a terminally ill patient,THE ECONOMY.There is obviously no real hard drive to create jobs,infrastructure being one.Even in the present slump it is hard to get around.It is all about big job announcements when a few jobs are created by other self serving Multi National looking to trade at the best price paying the least tax aided and abbetted by a govt that do not know the forest from the trees.The whole thing stinks of corruption from top to bottom,meanwhile grads who stay here have little or no hope.Meanwhile the doors are open to all here with evidently little border control.When we need leadership we get a deafening silence where the echoes are only the fittest will survive.

  19. bonbon

    “These outcomes might be nobody’s fault. ”

    What kind of “economics” is this supposed to be? It is deafeningly Hayek’s “unknowable spontaneity”, a most evil anti-human borrowing from Bernard de Mandeville.

    The last theme was basically Keynes’ “animal spirits”, the “spontaneous” lurch to action instead of inaction, now we are told not to know.

    It is painfully obvious how West Brit “economics” is infested with Adam Smith, who decreed exactly this to subjects. This “economics” has caused the “trends” described.

  20. “the money…does not get circulated in the economy because the banks are terrified about lending it out locally.”

    David, this sentence implies that you think banks lend existing money, which comes from other people’s savings? I’m unsure; Do you know that this model of banking hasn’t applied for decades? Or are you simplifying the system (to the point of falsification)?

    Either way, the process by which money is created is quite simple and there’s no reason to simplify it further. If someone gets a loan from a bank the bank types new money into the borrower’s account. That’s it! And it explains why there economy is so overindebted.

    • Mr Happy Dole Dude

      Paul Ferguson, McWilliams is not interested the truth he is selling a product as that is how he makes his living.

    • ShaneH

      Hey Paul,
      I am planning to reach out to some of the Newspaper editors over the next week or so. I think at this stage there is a very strong case for the media in general and newspapers in this case taking a greater responsibility for the information they broadcast and print.

      They can be no excuse for this type of commentary in 2013. The ignorance being exhibited by the so called experts in my opinion is tantamount to intentionally misleading (lying to) the public.

    • paddythepig

      What happens to the money after it is put into borrowers account?

  21. Deco

    Excellent article. And Excellent commentary from the outsider. Let’s face it, the insiders do not get any resonance from anything that comes from David. They don’t want to know the truth of what is going on. Too busy with the veneer. Constructing it, living it, believing in it, selling it to the rest of the population. The veneer level element of society is getting “something for nothing”. And the rest of the population must provide that something. And that section of the population get ….nothing a lot of the time.

    And within the outsider population, there are those who have figured out the game is rigged, and have planned accordingly.

    The greatest for of misery is the fact that official Ireland still advocates and represents to social mores of the insiders. And the outsiders don’t have the resources (in the long term) to participate. The outsiders can participate in the short term, but in the long term, it cannot be justified.

    The insider outsider divide is also dynamic. New insiders take over from displaced outsiders, or else make more room for themselves in the trough.

    The greates joke of all is that the insider “leadership” played the green jersey, until they drove the country into absolute subservience.

    Folks, the best thing that you tell the truth. If you do that you change the intellectual basis and undermine the deceit that is keeping the racket in existence. It really is that simple. It is just that people are accustomed to not doing it.

  22. ENDGAME:: Insider jobs at outsider pay and conditions?

  23. breltub

    I am really disappointed at how David finishes the article, falling into the trap of believing that those on the inside just sit around and complain.
    I am an insider, and I do not see it as complaining, I see it as comforting.
    If all these little outsiders saw us happy and content they might be so much more unhappy. Our comforting and emphasizing and bringing ourselves onto the same level as those who are struggling is what makes us Irish. We are a uniquely social culture.

    And if little Johnny who left school after the Junior Cert and who made it big with his 4×4 and his own company a few years ago wasn’t as smart as he thought he was, sur it’s hardly a bad thing that I give him a few bob for doing a few nixers around the place these days to augment his dole.
    Sur, how else can he keep going if he isn’t cutting my lawn or painting the gate.

    I see no problem with how it is going these days. I played the game, I voted for my party and they rewarded my services to the state as a civil servant.

    Being a tax collector and working part time as a traffic warden is a very stressful job, but the rewards are there and I am really making Ireland a better place to live in.
    Most days I have to walk out there and deal with the public in all it’s unwashed glory and if it is raining or snowing we do not get hazard pay, and for all the complaints about my pension I won’t see that until I have another 17 years service done.
    And by then I will be 54 and won’t it be great that I can use that money to keep a few of the local lads going cleaning the gutters and maybe pay a young lad to mow the lawn.

    I mean isn’t this what David advocates when he speaks of a stimulus package. I am stimulating all around my own locality!

  24. redriversix

    In WW11 American soldiers were in combat an average of 10 days a year..

    In Vietnam U.S soldiers were involved in combat 260 days a year…..

    In Ireland during this financial War Citizen Soldiers are involved in combat with austerity every day of the year………

    • Reality Check

      Austerity = Living within your means.

      • breltub

        I think that is a misunderstanding of Austerity nowadays. When you are forced to pay off others debts you are incurring costs that are not yours.

        My costs I can live with, yours I can’t, nor should I have to!

        Austerity is just more BS, it should be called “theft”

    • Mr Happy Dole Dude

      Yep and the USA gives the impression then won WW2 when in fact it was the hard working on the job people of USSR.

  25. Mr Happy Dole Dude

    David McWilliams wishes to start a revolution he wants some to complain about those who work for the civil or public service but he’s clever not directly say it as he would be biting the hand that feeds him that is to say he works for public service at times he works for RTE he depends on the goodwill of those who work for RTE and those in the on the inside and outside that read newspapers and books.

    Most of the private sector workers work indirectly for government agencies their products are sold to government agencies without these government agencies they would have no business.
    Most private-sector businesses do not have a net income gain to the Irish economy they import goods to sell such as cars, coffee, paper, plastic, clothing, and electrical goods most of which are not manufactured in Ireland, they are effectively exporting money out of Ireland.

    Those in the private sector who wish for cuts in government spending will rue that day and are already going bust as consequence as they are part of the system that we have and are now asking the government – the people of Ireland to borrow money to keep the private sector in business.

    The bankers are on the dole, IBEC is on the dole, these people depend on borrowed money from outside of Ireland they are crippling everybody not the people who go to work as a nurse or a teacher for example useful people for a society to thrive.

    So who are you protesting against McWilliams yourself and in your revolution who would revolt against your neighbour and yourself.

    You’re living in a zero sum game

    We export our valuable goods (people) and import tat.

    • Mr Happy Dole Dude

      Living the happy life of dole banker and the sun is shining.

    • breltub

      Superb trolling, it is always good to see someone fresh on the scene.

    • Welcome to the site Happy

      Just to clarify, I have never worked for RTE in my life. I’ve made programes which have been bought by RTE & other TV companies, but never taken a salary from this organisation. Believe me working for RTE sometimes feels like a much easier option.

      Now after we’ve cleared that up, thanks for your comments. I can see already we will not agree on things but I have always thought that criticism is the only known antidote to making mistakes, so feel free to pull me up on all sorts of things and hopefully we will listen to each other over the din!



      • Mr Happy Dole Dude

        “which have been bought by RTE” your making my point for me – the production company got paid by RTE the production company would then pay you.

        The private sector is laggardly dependent on the states borrowed money as is the guy on the dole the guy on minimum wage is subsidizing the private the public sector.

        Your focusing on this subject is divisive and serves no other purpose.
        why should the yough people of today not have tp work as hard as older gernrates did

        “criticism is the only known antidote to making mistakes”
        Yes and particular constructive criticism if only one was more direct.

        The man that made nothing made no mistakes

        • Mr Happy Dole Dude

          The above auto uploaded ??

          Why should the younger people of today not have to work as hard as older generation did.

  26. Mr Happy Dole Dude

    Privatizing wealth and socializing debt. Life is good when your living as a banker off those on minimum wage, they cook my meal and pay my bills, thanks modern slavery, thanks to the system.

    Don’t you just love capitalism some fools think everyone can be on top I love those guys as they feed me and pay my bills.

  27. bonbon

    The twilight of banking :

    NO LENDING IN EUROPE: Ambrose Evans-Pritchard’s {Daily Telegraph} column June 2 notes that the Bank for International Settlements (BIS) reported (for the fourth quarter of last year) a large further drop in bank lending within the Eurozone. It fell by $284 billion in that quarter, a 20% annual rate of contraction; and also reported that a specific Cameron government program in the U.K. designed to increase bank lending — the Funding for Lending Scheme — had failed to do so. The BIS quarterly report also warned that QE policies were creating asset bubbles for the banks, and thus also actually cutting their ability/willingness to lend.

  28. bonbon

    Freelancers are too busy to post here it seems, no time for a “mumblin’ word” about what’s being done to them. After all time is money, talk is cheap! And the meat-grinder makes it cheaper by the hour, for the bosses.

    Where there used to be marketing dept’s, kept well away from engineering and development, now everyone markets themselves – the cacophony is deafening! And the productivity is catastrophic. This is “competition” so lauded by the magicians of the Mont Pelerin Society, a twilit dead-end if there ever was one, as intended.

    • Freelancing is the way to go but there are freelancers and there are freelancers.

      A person can become a hot shot if they truly know what it takes and they will train themselves so hard they can do it in their sleep.

      Three skills, Five max.

      • Adelaide

        “Freelancing is the way to go” if you are in your 20′s or are living rent/mortgage free or want to take a short career break to salvage your sanity. Otherwise, in my experience, freelancing for a living (as opposed to merely moonlighting) is a mug’s game unless you are extraordinarily lucky with having decent appreciative clients who pay for value. I know lots of genuine ‘hot shot’ freelancers who would sell their leg to get back into fulltime employment. One is competing against the majority of freelancers who are simply inept bluffers going cheap and most clients don’t appreciate genuine talent nor pay its worth, Especially, with a capital ‘E’, in meritocratic Ireland.

  29. Nothing in all the world is more dangerous than sincere ignorance and conscientious stupidity.

    Strength to Love (1963)

  30. Bamboo

    Great article David,
    Is this article a repeat of one you wrote some time ago?

  31. 5Fingers

    If I may be allowed to be gnomic – we are now entering the zettabyte era.

    Ye shall all be ultra specialists contributing to the cloud or you will starve because your generalist working habits have all but been optimized out of existance by cost cutting, targeted marketing and surgical outsourcing. You are witnessing the last days of PAYE no matter where you think you are currently and comfortably ensconced. The regulators/ lawmakers and public institutions of all forms have been left behind in the dust of pixellated data streams which are evaluated trans-nationally and ex-regulatory as they arrive real-time from your Google Glass.

    Prediction: There will be no permanent jobs in 10 years time unless they are patients in long term transitional care…a new name for the unemployed?

  32. pauloriain

    Describes my situation and increasingly I ask, why hand around here to support all the insiders? It doesn’t look like much up side and better not to indulge the bastards…

    • It’s not your fault man.
      Someone fucked it all up and it was not you or me.

      And you are right … they appear to be thick ignorant selfish bastards but rather waste my life hating them I’d rather be an unspoken outsider who gives it to them with both barrels first chance I get. Fuck them!!

      They are bringing the money in every month to keep the lights on and pay the dole. They get to prance around looking important. It’s just a matter of taking stock, finding a perspective that makes sense and thinking what you can do about your life in the next 5 years

      It might even take ten years. That is how long it can take to fix a shattered psyche and rebuild a life

      After rage comes resignation and introspection. That brings all kinds of shit but it is possible to see it through and come out stronger, wiser and happier. That is what austerity really means. Intellectual and mental austerity

      After a few years of mental and spiritual torture and self loathing you emerge like a new warrior who sees the truth and is ready to take on the world

      We will have our Hampden in the Sun moment. Just believe it brother

  33. Feels like yesterday (heaven). June 1983. Off south to a hotel job.
    Ice cream wars in Glasgow and glad to out of the crap hole.

    I’d do it again and live a little. Some very pretty girls on the south coast and the summer nights are long.

    Mother’s Little Helper The Rolling Stones

  34. bonbon

    ILO report on EU jobs

    This is the ILO’s World of Work

    See the ILO paragraphs and graphics about part-timer work.

    More than 2.7 million jobs have disappeared in the EU since 2007, where total unemployment now exceeds 20 million. About 30% of that total (6.2 million) are in Spain alone.

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