October 21, 2013

Where is the sense of urgency?

Posted in Celtic Tiger · 145 comments ·
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We have a grainy photo in our house of my Dad and his friends walking down George’s Street, Dun Laoghaire, in the 1960s. The street is absolutely jammed, bustling with shoppers, strolling four abreast under huge, confident shop awnings. Loads of pedestrians are out walking on the street because the pavement is so full. It is the picture of a vibrant commercial town, a place people came for a day out, a town that was going places.

On Budget Day, I walked down George’s Street, retracing their steps, 45-odd years later. The place is a ghost town. The street is full of boarded-up buildings, and the sense of dilapidation and degeneration oozes out from each shabby doorway. Those places that are open are the usual dreary combination of fast-food outfits, charity shops and the odd retailer trying to keep above water.

The Dun Laoghaire of my youth was a going concern, if not quite the bustling centre of my Dad’s day. Today, many landlords couldn’t even be bothered keeping up appearances. As shop after shop closes, the rot sets in. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve heard local people shrug and moan that ”there is nothing in Dun Laoghaire”. In time, footfall dries up further, causing another wave of closures.

Dun Laoghaire is representative of so much of Ireland. The commercial heart is being ripped out of our towns, and the small businesses and retailers that used to make up the core of these places are suffering badly.

Small businesses are the soul of an economy. Think of what makes Germany tick: it is small-to-medium-sized businesses – mainly private family concerns. From an economist’s perspective, all the small transactions going on in small businesses and shops increase the amount of time each €circulates in the economy. This fuels spending and acts as a multiplier where every spending decision begets another one and another one.

From a business point of view, not only do small businesses amplify changes in demand, small businesses create big ones. The entrepreneurial skills learnt in small business are what produce the individual entrepreneurs who build big businesses.

Last Tuesday, strolling through the commercial wasteland of Dun Laoghaire, I considered the budget and its impact on small businesses. The minister spoke of leaving the bailout and talked about start-up companies as if leaving the bailout was shorthand for ”job done”, and as if starting-up was in some way a compensation for closing down.

Neither is the case.

Leaving the bailout simply means borrowing from someone else. As we will still be running a deficit, we will still not be able to pay for ourselves. How can you regain your sovereignty if you can’t pay your bills?

All this means that Ireland’s prosperity is still rented, not earned. More worrying, nothing has really changed. The economy is still characterised by vested interests – insiders, who want things to remain just as they were before the crash.

These vested interests can be on the left – the trade unions with their restrictive practices – or on the right – the various professional guilds protecting estate agents, solicitors, barristers, consultants, bankers and the like. They are both designed to extract as much rent as possible from the rest of the economy for their members. These closed shops aim to keep fees and remuneration as high as possible, even when the income of the small businesses of the country is squeezed.

The Irish establishment never misses an opportunity to miss an opportunity, and not using the crisis to change the economy fundamentally is another example. The Taoiseach declaring economic victory in December on the day we exit the bailout will be the financial equivalent of George W Bush’s premature declaration of victory in Iraq on that aircraft carrier just before the Iraqi insurgency.

Ireland will leave the bailout without having increased the growth potential of the country. The growth rate of a country is driven by the productivity of the country and productivity is helped by clearing the areas of the economy where bottlenecks have arisen.

It goes like this. The insiders’ – those with a stake in the society – are left largely unscathed.

Meanwhile the outsiders’ – those without a stake, such as the unemployed and emigrants – pick up the tab.

Martin Luther King warned against what he called the ”tranquilising drug of gradualism”. (He was referring, of course, to the lack of urgency he saw in bringing forward civil rights legislation.)

By signalling that leaving the bailout is tantamount to economic success, we are in danger of injecting ourselves with the tranquilising drug of gradualism. Anyone who travels abroad will appreciate the sense of urgency in other countries and understand how gradualism, or a lack of urgency, can lead to degeneration. Gradualism in Ireland comes in the shape of complacency based on a notion that if Ireland just holds everything together and follows the troika’s dictum, all will be okay. It’s as if the world is waiting for us to get our act together; it is not. In addition, gradualism only works if you are on the inside, if you are protected. In contrast, if you are on the outside, you have a sense of urgency.

The very lack of urgency in economic policy is killing small businesses in Ireland. Small businesses employ eight times more people than multinationals, yet multinationals operating in Ireland pay on average 2.4 per cent corporation tax on profits, have no problem getting access to capital and get massive inducement grants from the IDA.

Small businesses pay taxes at full whack and if they tried to involve themselves in the same offshore tax jiggery-pokery the Revenue would be all over them. They face a continuing credit crunch in search of working capital and have to put up with all sorts of impediments such as ever-soaring commercial rates while their neighbours pack up, leaving them to pay for the local public services, including the large local public payroll.

Small businesses survive on domestic demand. Domestic demand is strangled by high debts. These debts in Ireland are so big that they will never be paid and the banks are simply delaying and praying when it comes to debt collection. The problem for an indebted nation is that gradualism in an era of high debt and low inflation makes things worse for the debtor, not better. Time erodes debt only if you have inflation. In contrast, deflation amplifies the debt burden over time. Ireland is stuck in deflation.

So you see how gradualism and not wanting to rock the boat protects the status quo but erodes the economic capacity of the country. In this context, domestic demand continues to falter. As domestic demand falters, small companies can’t grow and without small local companies you never get big local companies.

Ultimately, this means that Ireland may emerge from the crisis unreformed. Do you know what an unreformed Ireland looks like? It looks like a massively profitable exporting multinational sector, an inflated public sector and a tiny, squeezed commercial local business sector.

As I walked through the hollow heart of Dun Laoghaire last Tuesday – the town in which I spent my youth and which I want to succeed – the poisonous effect of economic gradualism was all around me. And it’s not pretty.

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  1. michaelcoughlan

    Howdy

  2. michaelcoughlan

    Hi David,

    Unreformed Ireland you describe as;

    “Do you know what an unreformed Ireland looks like? It looks like a massively profitable exporting multinational sector, an inflated public sector and a tiny, squeezed commercial local business sector”

    Do you know how I would describe Cuba before the collapse of the Berlin wall;

    Do you know what an unreformed Cuba looks like? It looks like a massively profitable exporting sector (USSR paying 4times world market prices for sugar cane) an inflated public sector and a non existent commercial local business sector.

    Now David isn’t Max Keiser right when he says that the people in charrge in the US don’t need the taxes of the middle and working class because when the need more money they print it, when the Saudis need more money the pump oil and don’t need a local economy either so ordinary Saudis live in poverty, and consequently that the Irish govt don’t need a local sector either because when they need money they beg Europe for it and Europe lends as they don’t want the euro to fail?

    We have only ourselves David.

  3. hibernian56

    Howdy Michael.

    David, I would love you to do a piece on the piece of useless bureaucracy known as Enterprise Ireland.

    6 Months and all we get is pointless chat after chat. They never take notes at meetings so have to revisit the previous meetings just to get up to speed.

    Most of them appear to be lifer civil service, no experience, no worries and no urgency.

    Why would they? They’re paid either way.

    • silverbullet

      But you do get a glossy pamphlet every year around funding time.

    • EMMETTOR

      Look at our Public Servants, most of them left school with a good Leaving Cert and went straight into the job. They’ve never lived in the real world, have no idea whatsoever about anything that exists outside their institutionalized work-life. They spend their lives counting beans, ticking boxes and dreaming up new quangos to impose on the rest of us. Look at the Dept of the Environment, recipient of the Home Tax bonanza, it’s full of hundreds of semi-state mini empires, each with a CEO on 100k plus. Until we start by making Civil Servants redundant, in the same ratios being experienced in the Private sector, nothing will change, in other words, nothing will change. Sitting in a FAS office last week, it occurred to me that FAS’s job is not to retrain workers, it’s to keep the instructors and support staff employed. We’re doomed.

  4. David, you are so on the money. I wrote the following for a newspaper nearly three years ago…. the epilogue is that we have indeed missed an enormous opportunity to force change.
    Stephen

    Ten gifts SMEs need from Santa by Christmas 2011
    19 December 2010

    Small to medium enterprises (SMEs) are the driving force of our economy.

    They employ more people than any other sector, are responsible for the majority of our transactions and, hence, are the cornerstone for the real Irish economy.

    SME survival and development will be central to our recovery.

    So, with the budget behind us and Santa on his merry way, what further steps would give us the best chance of pulling ourselves out of the current debacle?

    1. Appoint experts to key ministerial posts and state boards
    We need to operate key posts on the basis of merit, not political nepotism. Roles must be aligned with deliverables and skills should be aligned with roles.

    2. Convene a council of economic advisers
    We have very difficult and painful decisions to make. It is essential that the very best advice, domestically and internationally, be canvassed as we proceed on our path to recovery.

    3. Launch president’s awards for excellence
    We have a tendency to accept mediocrity with the “sure, it’ll be grand’’ mentality.

    We need to celebrate excellence in everything we do.

    From charity and education to social sciences, business and public services, we need to identify the very best practices, understand them, share them and learn from them.

    4. Reduce corporation tax for start-ups
    The early years of any startup are the toughest and the government should reduce corporation tax to 0 per cent on the first €50,000 of SMEs’ profits. The next €100,000 and €200,000 in profit could be taxed in a tiered manner.

    5. Reduce employers’ PRSI
    Companies that wish to expand should be given every possible opportunity. A reduction in PRSI for new hires would give great impetus to those companies seeking to hire from the army of skilled, yet unemployed, people.

    6. Reduce the overall regulatory burden on business
    It may seem counterproductive, but creating more rules to tackle the causes for our current debacle is utterly regressive. It is akin to closing the stable door after the horse has bolted.

    We need to reduce bureaucracy and even oversight, so businesses are given every chance to develop.

    When the economy gathers strength, measures could then be introduced to manage the stability of the economy. A good starting point should be labour market deregulation.

    7. Create a national credit insurance scheme
    The credit markets have dried up for many viable businesses. It is critical that the government insure a percentage of small business loans given out by banks.

    This may be the survival margin for many businesses. Such a scheme would allow the banks to price loans more keenly. If done correctly, it could even be self-funding.

    8. Incentivise management excellence
    Ten years of easy credit created artificial trading conditions, so natural economic cycles were replaced by perpetual, artificial growth.

    The management expertise of companies suffered to such an extent that the necessary skills needed to manage current conditions is now lacking.

    Government and representative industries need to upskill SME management by providing mentoring and educational support programmes. Tax incentives could be used to encourage participation.

    9. Establish a weekly leader’s radio address
    The first task of government is to convey confidence in the future.

    We, the people, need to hear first-hand from our leaders that they have a firm understanding of the issues affecting the country, and that they also have a plan for tackling them. It is only then that we can truly plan for our future. This no time for coyness.

    10. Be positive
    Although the task ahead seems difficult, we have many reasons to be hopeful for the future.

    We have a young and well-educated population, we are English-speaking and remain a successful conduit of American and international business going into Europe. We have good infrastructure in terms of electricity, water, motorways and airports.

    The modern globalised economy is relatively young and there are massive opportunities today, particularly from the new industrial powers in India, China and other increasingly important markets which have emerged, such as those in Brazil and Russia.

    Never has a generation of Irish people been so educated, had access to better healthcare and had such high living standards.

    There is so much opportunity available to us that our forefathers, who battled famine, pestilence and wars, would turn in their graves if they saw our reaction to our current crisis.

    We are now entering the knowledge age, and we need to give our country and ourselves the very best chances if we are to secure the future for our children. We have to believe in our ability to make a better future.

    That work starts here and now.
    Stephen Flood is a director of gold investment group Goldcore (www.goldcore.com)

    • michaelcoughlan

      Hi Stephen,

      “A good starting point should be labour market deregulation”

      I presume you mean every one else’s job and employment prospects should be deregulated except your own?

      Your post is mostly inconsequential because the people in charge will do the opposite. The young people and middle aged people will have to look to themselves and their neighbours to progress and give the people in fail eireann the two fingers.

      • Hi Michael,
        Thank you or your comment. I think the tone of the article suggest that I was speaking as a concerned citizen. I believe that a flexible labour market is a prerequisite for flexible economy, one that can scale up in times of demand and scale down in times of contraction. In business one should be prepared to not only fail but fail fast (which means face up and learn), so you can get on with your life and find the next opportunity which may just be the best opportunity for you. This goes for business as well as personal careers.

        I hope for change, perhaps naively so. I do believe that there exists(and will exist) policy makers with the power to challenge and to change the status quo. I believe that society is progressive and it is every citizens duty to question, probe and fight for positive changes. So post I will…

        Regards
        Stephen

        • michaelcoughlan

          Hi Stephen,

          Thanks for your response. I’m delighted you responded. You say;

          “I do believe that there exists(and will exist) policy makers with the power to challenge and to change the status quo”

          It’s people like you etc who are in fact such persons. I’m sorry if my original post needled a bit. I’m trying and have been to cajole people all around me including those on this forum to take personal responsibilty and lead by example. Your treatise is very well thought out and I would support you in any small way I can if you were to try and implement some of the very pertinent suggestions made. We simply can’t wait for the people in the dail. The degradation of dun laoighre stands testament to their wanton and abject failure.

          Very respectfully,

          Michael.

    • Hi Stephen

      Excellent post. Where was that published?

      Best

      D

      • Thank you David. It was published in the Sunday Business Post on the 19th of December 2011.

        Regards
        S

      • michaelcoughlan

        Hi,

        I’m just curious why you believe a post like this which demonstrates intelligence, capability, ethic, vision, talent, enterprise, etc is excellent when part of the post includes;

        “Ten gifts SMEs need from Santa by Christmas 2011
        19 December 2010″

        NONE of which happened in the time frame suggested or indeed since?

        Wasn’t it you David who said that when you worked for neutron Jack one of his favourite sayings was “we must define the circumstances as they are, not as we would like them to be”.

        Stephen’s post does not suggest an understanding of welch’s observation.

        Wouldn’t it be a lot more productive for such a talented individual as Stephen to put in place suggestions that will succeed and prosper in the environment we have rather than thd one we would like especially an individual who understands the merits of investing in “worthless unproductive assets” like gold?

    • Patrick

      Great, someone with ideas, not moans. let’s start with No.9.
      we need to make it “our” government so that “they” become “us” and “we” can all sort out “our” problems together.

      • Tom Crowley

        Thats exactly ” The People’s Contract”
        I invite you to get involved in reclaiming democracy from the political parties or “insiders” as David Mc Williams refers to them.I have had enough of it and decided to do something other than what I am doing now typing my frustration here or twitter land.
        The People’s Contract is a response to rid the country of the stranglehold that all political parties have over the citizens of Ireland.
        The Constitution of the People of Ireland states that we elect people to “represent constituencies” there is no right of representation for any political party. Our Constitution provides for the “democratic representation of local communities”
        Candidates will be selected by communities to run in local elections to represent the communities.It is hoped that intelligent competent articulate individuals will go forward against the parties in European Elections.
        I will never again vote for parties so I am going to do something about it. I will no longer rage at the incompetence of “they”. I will not just vote and wait five years to replace tweedledum with tweedledee. I will help organise this movement of Empowerment of the People. Its NOT a new party its ANTI- PARTY. Read the contract, its a social contract to represent the people and ensure broad public consultation on all issues so true representative democracy is achieved.
        This is open to all to get involved, it is not centralised, it only requires the People’s Canditates to sign and abide by the contract.The people have the right to remove the representative who fails in the duty to carry the mandate of the Constituency.
        It is time to reclaim Democracy in accordance with the Constitution.
        There is an alternative, like most things in the real world you are going to have to stand up and do it yourself.

        http://www.cppc.ie/the-peoples-contract/

        • michaelcoughlan

          Absolutely brilliant. Exactly what I have been suggesting. Person leading bh example. Where can I assemble and march with you Tom? You never know we may even establish the 2nd Irish Republic.

          Michael.

          • Tom Crowley

            Go on here http://www.cppc.ie/register/
            A new website “PeoplesCandidtate.ie” will be up in November. Organise a local meeting,if there is a better way people will listen and act. You need to be a grassroots movement to succeed, by doing things locally you rebuild communities and empower people to control their destiny. Anyone can do this, it will succeed if the people adopt it and reject the promises of the whipped politicians. Cork being the obvious place this started will have People’s Candidates selected by the people of Cork to run in local elections next May.
            Every town and council seat in the country is available to people who have had enough of Political Parties. All you do is organise in your area to nominate a local person to be a “People’s Candidate” and go out and canvass enough votes to get them elected . The work has started you are all invited to join in and help make it a success.

    • Gearoid O Dubhain

      Launch President’s Awards for excellence ? In other words start up another useless quango, presided over by the same old faces and paid for by the tax payer ? What happened to reducing bureaucracy ?
      Reduce Corporation tax for start ups ? Reduce tax from 12.5% ?? And as matters stand, there already is an averaging procedure for start ups, if my memory is right.

      • Dear Gearoid,

        I was thinking along the lines of the UK’s Queens Award for Excellence (https://www.gov.uk/queens-awards-for-enterprise/overview). It is greatly valued by business and I would bet it has a great overall return on investment. I am not sure i would classify it as a Quango.

        Stephen

        • Gearoid O Dubhain

          Take a good idea from some other country, introduce it to Ireland and Irish politicans and it becomes a quango. You only have to look at the history of ANCO, its successor FAS and now whatever quango has taken over some if the functions of FAS. If the ESRI had been listened to, the property bubble would not have been as severe as it became.
          However I would appreciate your comments on the system of unemployment apartheid where by some formerly self employed, now unemployed are barred from registering on the Live Register and are barred from the major retraining schemes and from incentives to to employ long term unemployed.

          • EMMETTOR

            The Formerly Self-Employed should count themselves lucky to be excluded from these cack-handed initiatives, Gearoid. They are just an excuse to punish the unemployed for the sin of being here, while keeping the more sociopathic elements of the dept Of Social Protection from going around bullying their fellow employees.

    • joe hack

      Here is another free plug for http://www.goldcore.com right here on DMW radio.

      Morass Platitudes! – we the people crap – from a company called ‘goldcore.com’ (another plug slipped in there so that you would not notice; subtle eh!)

      Get a grip readers.

    • good post Stephen saying It For Years but Is It Time to stress test university’s The Insiders DMW writes about do exist. we have 166 TDs nearly all collage educated and you wouldn’t put em In charge of a Flock of sheep. thousands upon thousands paid out by HSE to PWC Only to issued with disclaimers ?
      we haven’t had a real govt since Sean Lemass,

      • Hi Michael,

        Well said. I think a great start would to appoint 1 in 3 departmental secretaries from abroad (Mathew Elederfield as the Financial Regulator was a great step). I suspect our population (size of greater Manchester) is just too small to have full accountability by sourcing talent from within our borders.

        We have probably just three degrees of separation within our general population; at the higher echelons the separation is probably more like two. Thus the implied understanding is to prosecute just enough so as to keep your mandate and not attract attention. Holding people to account is secondary to one’s own professional preservation. This is not necessarily the fault of those in the job today; I suspect it is normal given the size of our population its societal structures.

        By hiring within the commonwealth group of nations we have access to a bounty of human talent, schooled in English law with no local affiliations. Simply hand the manual to them and have them prosecute it judiciously. I think the benefits of single this single would be manifold.

        Stephen
        (Comments are by own.)

        • michaelcoughlan

          Hi Stephen,

          Elderfield went home to England before his contract ended and gave up a 6 figure bonus too!

          Says it all doesn’t it?

          We only have ourselves and part of that is precious metals.

          Best regards,

          Michael.

    • bonbon

      A quick check :
      Goldcore Limited is regulated by the Central Bank of Ireland. Please note however the provision of precious metal product or service does not require licensing, authorisation, or registration with the Irish Central Bank and, as a result, it is not covered by the Irish Central Bank’s requirements designed to protect consumers or by a statutory compensation scheme. GoldCore Limited trading as GoldCore is registered in the Companies Registration Office under Company number 377252. Registered for VAT under number 6397252A. © 2013

      Further :

      https://news.goldcore.com/commentary/when-roosevelt-ditched-gold-standard
      which links to :
      http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2013-04-22/when-roosevelt-ditched-the-gold-standard.html

      So we have simply an Austrian School metal outlet. FDR’s method of Glass-Steagall and the New Deal, now urgently needed, does give them an itch, what?

      • michaelcoughlan

        Non gratum anus rodentum

        • whatamess

          i had a look at goldcore recently and an advertisment of the website’s special offers appeared,from which i had NO choice but to read.( no X button??)And ‘forced’ to read it,it was a really pooor layout and general architecture…just amateurish and not confidence inspiring,which is what was top of my list

          i have to say days later i checked again and that special offer was no longer there,so in fairness someone pulled it!And the site now is looking well!

          ( except for the “it’s really easy” bit)…i’m not 11 yrs old and on TRADING sites like this “it’s only a small thing that’ll dirty a white stocking’ !” :)
          Choice on net is waaay too large to even make small boo boos.Paul Divers here has given us insightful examples of same in the past

          Hey,the site’s owner probably hires a few people which is grrrreat and is just doin’ his best to make a buck…can’t really fault that

          it wouldn’t be my choice of business profile

  5. michaelcoughlan

    Hi David,

    The one observation I’d add to a decent article like this one is that the decay prevalent in Dun Laoghaire is secondary in nature. What I mean is it’s a retailing town where wealth which has been created elsewhere would be spent in normal circumstances. Since small workshops producing all kinds of goods no longer exist in the suburbs then the decay and Rot started their first and backed up into the town centres. Added to that the large multiples on the m50 draw people to the outskirts plus exorbitant rates and rents etc.

  6. woodsey

    Ireland’s sad little effort to imitate grown-up countries is at the heart of this debacle. Listening to the children trying to debate the budget in the Dáil is a disheartening experience. A civil service, staffed by lads and lassies tasked to instruct the children on what to say, tends to lead towards the belief that someone, somewhere is administering to the overall health of a tiny island whose turnover is less than some large multinationals.

    Dún Laoghaire, unfortunately, suffered from the ministrations of the bicycling boy-scout whose efforts are geared around banning any form of motorised transport.

    As a people, the Irish are geared towards suffering. Sure there’d be nothing to complain about, otherwise!

  7. Gearoid O Dubhain

    You referred to the importance of small businesses and we know how many small business collapsed due to the recession. Many of the owners are now unemployed and some after being means tested are refused JobSeekers Allownce and Jobseekers credits and as a result are barred from registering as unemployed on the Live Register and barred from most re-training schemes such as the Monmentum Programme and JobBridge internships and from the financial incentives given to employers to employ long term employees – worth up to € 10,000 over two years in some cases. Politicians won’t talk about what is an Apartheid Unemployment Policy. perhaps you might highlight the situation ?

  8. 5Fingers

    Excellent article and an illustration of the result of Winner Take All sickness that will continue to debilitate for years to come. The internet and media are reinforcing the trend because of the massive air time they devote to the Winners Opinions (yes, you know them, “the various professional guilds protecting estate agents, solicitors, barristers, consultants, bankers and the like”).

    Media and its predilection for sound bites and summaries and easy to consume wisdom creates a “same everywhere” feel that drowns out diversity or indeed the need for diversity. Big money likes big players. Small players need not apply. The Government and lobbyists and other insiders love this. It creates a brown-tonguing culture that everyone want to be a part of.

    Now before you think I am all anti-current establishment etc, I also get a bit weary too when I see campaigns to make small business employers get better tax breaks, less PRSI, lower minimum wage etc etc. It is more of the same BS to allow a select few to arise to brown tonguing fame with the insider set I described above. It is the usual horse$h1t re: a tide rising all boats etc. disguised with the prudence and sensibility of small business entrepreneurship. Basically small minded cornershopitis.

    We have a profound imbalance in our thinking which has dogged this country. We seem to be bandwagoners to a destructive level and our media has made it worse. We seem to be afraid of diversity – pure and simple. It explains our famine, our idiotic industrial policies and our predilection with property. We cannot stop putting all our eggs in one basket.

    How about a policy that says…if anything which can be put under one homogenous occupies more than 10% of business activity which could be eliminated by an “event”/ “disruption”, we should tax it to hell and back – otherwise, do not over regulate except those companies that dominate more than 25% of that sector. This stimulates small business and retail and allows big operations to come in on a proper level playing field and it educates a population about possibilities of genuine diversity.

  9. joe hack

    Misdirection:

    The logic of the above article if taken on to a deeper level would mean a return to the potency of the unions as they were in the sixties i.e. they were stronger and in percentage terms the unions of the sixties had at least twice the numbers of members than there are today.

    If the lessons of the past (1929 etc.) are not used now or in the recent past and the lessons of the present are manipulated then the issues lies not with teacher but with lectures – misdirection is mastered by magicians but others use it more skilfully to set agendas….

    You cannot logically compare the shopping habits of people today with the shopping habits of the people in the sixties; in fact it would be a shaggy dog story to suggest such a comparison – Misdirection…

  10. McGoo

    “Ireland is stuck in deflation.”

    With the price of almost everything rising fast as far as I can see, and central banks around the world “easing” at a record rate, we might not be stuck for long. Instead of “delay and pray”, perhaps their plan is “delay and print”?

    • michaelcoughlan

      I know.

      But as usual there is more to this deflation than meets the eye. Salaries and wages are deflating no question. Some hopelessly located property is in freefall. Most property deflated.

      Stock markets are hyperinflating. Input costs are inflating. I’m not an economist but it looks like to me we have stagflation which will soon become a period of controlled hyperinflation.

      Michael.

  11. joe hack

    Sorry I could not let this pass!..

    “Small businesses are the soul of an economy. Think of what makes Germany tick:”
    Small businesses are the soul of an economy. Think of what makes Ireland Thick

  12. joe hack

    David Mc Williams suggest that the the prosperity of the sixties was due to the strength of unions in the sixties… he deduced this from an old photo???

  13. pauloriain

    Hi David,

    Good article or I should say very good analysis. Unfortunately, it’s nothing new, but I suppose you have to beat the drum continuously.

    The political parties currently to the fore, represent in the main the insiders, so of course nothing was going to change. The troika were looking for reforms of the insider sectors, like the legal professions and medical professions and various other vested interests, but of course chance would be a fine thing to think anything meaningful would happen.
    All these sectors had to do was ensure that the status quo was maintained until exiting the bailout and then they are completely safe.

    In the context of my own future in Ireland folks, I emailed Morgan Kelly during the summer, he did respond and his response mirrors the above article, I hope he won’t mind me sharing it, so here it is;

    Paul

    yes, I have pretty much retired as a pundit and gone back to my regular research. However what really worries me right now is the indebtedness of the SMEs who will gradually all sink over the next few years. The problem is that Ireland is unusual in having very few large companies so the disappearance of the SMEs is equivalent, in employment terms, to the disappearance of the entire private sector. On top of the falling standards in secondary schools and effective collapse of the university sector, I am not too optimistic about the prospects for the Irish economy

    mk

    I’m in France now, hoping to make a future there, cos I can’t stomach what’s happening in Ireland. I hope we are all wrong, but the truth is prior to the crisis hitting, it was evident that Ireland was doing it all wrong and now it looks like there is not even the cop on to learn from past mistakes and finally take action to create a proper republic with opportunities for all. Begrudgery & stupidity…….. some in Ireland can’t accept it’s an island with a small population on the western peripheral of Europe. It can never be and America, it can never even be a UK or a France or Germany, but it could be so much more than it is right now, pity really.

    • michaelcoughlan

      Hi Paul,

      “In the context of my own future in Ireland folks”

      Just curious what you decided? It looks like Kelly voted with his feet. Kelly’s response corroborates what I’v been saying all along that trying to convince the people in charge of the futility of their ways is a waste of time.

  14. Original-Ed

    David, the Dun Laoghaire of your dad’s time and of your youth is now history – no amount of wishful thinking, or even stimulus, will bring it back to life in its present form. Shopping centres and superstores are now the norm and are set to destroy all small retail in every town and village.
    Look at the origins of retail shops on our high streets, they evolved from workshops on site – the butcher, baker, brewer, tailor, seamstress, watchmaker and the candlestick maker. When the industrial revolution intervened, the work element moved out to production centres. The resulting retail model where everything is produced off site, is the high street that we’re accustomed to. But, now that scale and purchasing power is king, its demise, in its that form is inevitable.

    All this could change in the not too distant future with the advent of 3D printing and advances in robotics.
    The high street shop of the future will be back to its origins, producing bespoke products on site from cheap sources of raw materials – they’ll be no expensive or obsolete inventory to worry about. Clothing designs will exist in software form and a customer will simply be scanned for size, chose the material and design and then the shop’s robot will produce a perfect fitting piece in next to no time.

    This in turn will spell disaster for the superstore, with its huge inventory and massive premises – remember, every dog has it’s day.

    • Original Ed

      I work out of a small office in Dalkey where my father’s five siblings were born in the 1920s. The shop below me was my grandad’s and the family lived upstairs but the interesting thing is the family had a piant “factory” out the back, where they made everything.

      Yes you read it right a “factory” with machines, blenders, colouring, chemicals etc. This wasn’t unusual and I suppose what I am saying is that these were industrious people – imigrants to Ireland – who could do things and could earn a modest living from the local demand for their wares.

      This is the type of sovereignty that I have always valued and it is the only economic sovereignty worth talking about.

      Best

      David

      • westbrit

        Ireland should encourage the SME sector. Business rates linked to profits not rateable value would help. Tax and PRSI free mini-jobs as in Hartz IV in Germany would help too. Full exemption of all small enterprises employing less than 10 people from all health and safety concerns would help as well. One large problem – in the Euro and using other people’s money.

        • michaelcoughlan

          Hi willie,

          I was in construction and building too. I’m involved in a new start up coop
          Limerick community grocery. I agree with you completely.

          Michael.

      • Adam Byrne

        Definitely David,

        It’s not about pulling on the green jersey (vomit).

        It’s about pulling on your overalls and getting your hands dirty like your forefathers, or in your case, picking up your pen, travelling and spreading your ideas.

        That’s the only thing that will bring any kind of ‘sovereignty’ back to this country but unfortunately, the insiders (or whatever you want to call them) have no intention of allowing that to happen.

        They’d rather scuttle the whole ship than give up the helm.

        • Agreed Adam,

          Sovereignty begins at home!

          Best

          D

          • willie

            WE WERE A SMALL COMPANY IN CONSTRUCTION EMPLOYING 40,THE COST OF DOING BUSINESS IN CENTRAL DUBLIN TO CENTRAL AND LOCAL GOVERNMENT WAS AROUNT 35% ,NEVER AGAIN WILL I PUT CAPITAL ON THE LINE IN THIS COUNTRY,IT SEEMS THE WAY FORWARD IN BUSINESS IN SME SECTOR IS THE COOP APROACH BYPASSING THE BANKS MYBEE I AM WRONG ANYWAY BACK TO LONDON,

          • michaelcoughlan

            Hi willie,

            I was in construction and building too. I’m involved in a new start up coop
            Limerick community grocery. I agree with you completely.

            Michael.

          • Ryu Hayabusa

            Hello Willie,

            There is a lot of Merit in your suggestion. These Shysters need to be faced down before they wreak yet more havoc!

            All the best in London.

          • Colin

            Good luck in London Willie, but mind the CAPS (and the Gap if you use the tube), or people in London will think you are angry and shouting at them.

        • Ryu Hayabusa

          Hi,

          The principle reason Dun Laoghaire and so many similar hubs are morphing into veritable ghost towns boils down to the evisceration of SME credit.

          80% reduction in SME lending under the current and previous administrations, unparalleled in the known world!

          Sure there are changes in the way retail works with new innovations and business practices, the passage of time… and this explains partly the shrinkage in local business and trade.

          Over regulation, lack of any political will to tackle ‘tiger leases’,etc, also factors.

          But the loss of credit is what’s really slashing the Small and Medium Business jugular.

          The current FG/Lab cabal have shown they are patently unable/unwilling to address this problem. F

          People need to tackle this Economic Sabotage head on, their livelihoods &very existence are on the line!

          A concerted concentration of minds to run credible, unaffiliated, decent people in the local and european elections is warranted.

          THERE IS NO MORE TIME TO WASTE!!!

      • bonbon

        I just wonder if something is lost in the photo, the modern one, with Eire saddled with the highest illegitimate debt worldwide? How in the name of all that’s reason, to propose “small is beautiful” with that gargantuan millstone? Either the factory weighing scales is broken, or there is complicity in the transatlantic drive now for “small” – reduced population. Hayek like to tout “we will start small” after the crash before he would die.

        Exactly, small! Now we had all that before in 1846 !!

  15. Dorothy Jones

    SMEs in peripheral eurozone face far steeper borrowing rates FT 10 October 2013 by Patrick Jenkins

    Small and medium-sized businesses in the peripheral eurozone are being “starved” of credit, paying interest rates on bank loans up to three times higher than German SMEs, according to a new report.

    New lending is down by a half in five years, according to the study, jointly authored by the Institute of International Finance, the global banking industry body, and Bain & Co, the consultancy. It found that smaller businesses in Ireland, Italy, Spain and Portugal were being offered credit at rates that were 4 to 6 percentage points higher than for counterparts in Germany.

    http://www.ft.com/intl/cms/s/0/3c9843d0-31a1-11e3-817c-00144feab7de.html#axzz2iMp81T6n

  16. Gearoid O Dubhain

    All those people perambulating around Dun Laoghaire in the photo in the sixties were most likely not spending very much and their successors today would probably hop in the car and head for the Dublin Hills or some other leisure location. In fact the people of Dun Laoghaire today are probably spending far more money on retail purchases, taking all retails spending into account, be it in shops or online, than in the sixties.
    They are also living in far better homes, have more cars and are generally living longer and in with better health. And most probably have better pension provision than in the sixties. We have to be careful about comparisons. All will have access to the kind of communications that were simply unheard of in the sixties.

    • pauloriain

      I’d have to go with this analysis vis a vis Dun Laoghaire as an example. Essentially the shopping experience is superior for most by going to out of town places, like the retail park in Kilternan. Loads of parking, big shops, with loads of choice.

      What strikes me about places like Dun Laoghaire and say small villages, is they haven’t fundamentally changed the set up while out of town shopping parks have grown.

      For example in Dun Laoghaire’s case, where’s the free parking. Why not create vast under ground car parks, pedestrianise the street, put a cover over it possibly and do something imaginative to make if more attractive.

      • EMMETTOR

        I remember several years ago driving into downtown Kansas City and straight into a multi-storey car-park, then spending several minutes looking for a pay-point, only to realise, open-mouthed, that it was FREE (and open 24 hours). Over here we’re too busy extracting the pennies to ever get to the pounds…

  17. Brollachain

    re. Dun Laoghaire.
    The south Dublin retail centre is now Dundrum Shopping centre. This exists because of a decisions by the Dun Laoghaire Rathdown CC to increase their rates base by granting planning permission for a new centre within their patch.

    re. Insiders maintaining the status quo – outsiders picking up the tab.

    This was well described by the late Mancur Olson. His insight was recently very well summarised – in an article on climate change – as follows:

    “Olsen argues that small distributional coalitions tend to form over time in countries to influence policies in their favor. These policies will generally generate selective benefits concentrated amongst the few members of the coalition, while the costs are diffused through¬out the whole population; the “Logic” therefore dictates that there will be little public resistance to them. Hence as time goes on, and these distributional coalitions accumulate in greater and greater numbers, the nation burdened by them will fall into economic decline.” See: Olson. M. (1971) [1965]. The Logic of Collective Action: Public Goods and the Theory of Groups (Revised edition ed.). Harvard, Harvard University Press.
    Curtin, Joseph & Hanrahan, Gina. Why Legislate? Designing a Climate Law for Ireland, Dublin: Institute of International and European Affairs, February 2012.

    • 33square

      sounds like tragedy of the commons…

      “depletion of a shared resource by individuals, acting independently and rationally according to each one’s self-interest, despite their understanding that depleting the common resource is contrary to the group’s long-term best interests”

      it’s possible that the “distributional coalitions” are so abstracted from the shared resource that they are unaware of the burden they are creating, though i’m certain many are aware and couldn’t care less. that’s what correct & fair taxation could defend against, depletion of the shared resource. what is the shared resource in this instance? potential profit?

      unfortunately correct and fair taxation doesn’t happen (everyone is equal, but some are more equal than others!) because coalitions exist at all levels from the micro to the macro. big players can influence policy and derive “selective benefits” at the macro scale. like mentioned by david, the googles and apples of the world can perform taxation miracles (jiggery pokery i think it was), but the little guy will never get away with the same because the “benefit” has been squandered.

  18. redriversix

    I grew up around Dun Laoghaire..

    I remember the Shopping Center being built.I was in it the the other day ,on the third floor and it was positively eerie.
    90% of units to rent..60 shops closed on the main street.

    Business people I have spoken to in the past would always refer to Dun Laoghaire as a high risk town for new business,don’t really know why as far as I can remember that opinion was always quite “popular”

    As as I can see we S.M.Es should be given the same treatment as Corporation or remove special treatment for Corporations….

    But this is all really academic as the Country wallows in debt.. maybe we should have filled for bankruptcy in 2008..?

    Government does not & will not face up to the Domestic,Foreign & Banking & personal debt that this Country & its people are drowning in.
    False figures from fictitious budgets..spinning “good news stories that they treat as a facade to proof to the world we are on the mind..!

    If they don’t face up to the real truth ..how can they say they are fixing the problem ?…

    So..I am afraid it goes back to my old bugbear..you,me.our Families and making sure we put us & them first.

    if all the S.M.Es who are losing money or barely breaking even..made a consicous decision to cast a cold eye over their business , half of all S.M.Es would close down with immediate effect.

    As a S.M.E owner ,you should be able to stand back,Audit your business[es] if its not making money shut it down..if its a black hole all you are doing is pouring good money after bad….

    How many have two “shops” one doing well,one losing money..yet they take money from the good shop to prop up the bad shop..?

    Tough times

    tough decisions

    Make the real one…the truth is out there…!!

    Stay well

    Barry

    • michaelcoughlan

      “So..I am afraid it goes back to my old bugbear..you,me.our Families and making sure we put us & them first”

      I hear you loud and clear Barry.

      Stay sane in the four courts.

      Michael,

  19. redriversix

    “A facade to prove to the world we are on the mend”

    flipin spelin is burtal…..!

  20. DB4545

    David the family photo to which you refer would probably be taken in the Dundrum shopping centre today over a restaurant meal. That option was strictly for a social elite when the photo was taken. Retailing has moved on. The people of Northern Europe(when not browsing the internet) now have their shopping experience air-conditioned and people conditioned. Who wants to walk around a rainy Irish town or city tripping over dogs**t and junkies in winter? Dundrum, Liffey Valley and Blanchardstown hit their particular social niches in the Dublin area. It’s a controlled environment in every sense and undesirables are not part of the retail experience. A few traditional areas remain such as Grafton St. & Henry Street in Dublin for tourists and the odd niche purchase but that’s it.
    Moving on to urgency. There can be no sense of urgency if the people we elect don’t see a risk or problem which will downgrade their living standards. Do these people think their salaries or pensions are at risk from any stupid or reckless decisions they may make? They can simply look at the previous Office holders quietly trousering their pensions and know the answer. Just like shopping it’s a controlled environment in every sense and undesirables are not part of the political experience. There’s a complete disconnect between public representation and the private reality for many of our Citizens.

  21. michaelcoughlan

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0v–fTVAWE8

    At the end of the above video tommy tiernan suggest we could solve our problems by knocking off the scumbags causing all the damage. He mightn’t be far wrong;

    http://www.irishtimes.com/business/sectors/financial-services/jp-morgan-agrees-to-pay-13bn-fine-1.1567076

    http://www.sec.gov/news/press/2010/2010-123.htm

  22. SMOKEY

    In Decamber the Taoiseach’s premature declaration, er, eh ejaculation,….you get the picture.
    Noonan could barley contain his erect member while kicking the crutches out from under the needy.
    Bet youll see the sense of urgency as they head to the Dail Bar to pay their overdue tabs. NOT!

  23. SMOKEY

    December!!, I am like the guy above who couldn’t spell college.
    Remember the shirts that said, “I is a college student” Or David spelling paint, piant. We’re all doomed.

  24. Gearoid O Dubhain

    ” Many of the owners are now unemployed and some after being means tested are refused JobSeekers Allownce and Jobseekers credits and as a result are barred from registering as unemployed on the Live Register and barred from most re-training schemes such as the Monmentum Programme and JobBridge internships and from the financial incentives given to employers to employ long term employees – worth up to € 10,000 over two years in some cases. Politicians won’t talk about what is an Apartheid Unemployment Policy. perhaps you might highlight the situation ?”

    I somehow though the above situation with regard to the exclusion of some unemployed from the live register, benefits and retaining schemes would attract some comment but it received none. Are the people who post here really so indifferent to their fellow citizens ? Is there any sense of morality or justice on the site ? Mr MC Williams, what about yourself ? Any comment ?

    • Adelaide

      So, you’re asking a country who votes in FG and FF on a permanent basis where’s its sense of moral obligation to its fellow citizens. The People have demonstrated time and again they don’t give two hoots about the other People. We’re a tea Party country, conservative and insular and ‘to hell with you, buddy, your problem is your problem’. The Irish People would gladly scrap the entire social welfare system in the morning where it given a choice. FG are simply doing it piece meal and will be handsomely rewarded for it in their next election victory. You’re in the wrong country asking such questions. The proof is in the pudding.

      • Gearoid O Dubhain

        Adelaide, thank you very much for replying, the only person to show an interest in this ! I should point out that Minister Burton of the Dept of Social Protection is a Labour minister and I know quite a few labour politicans have been approached and asked to highlight this apartheed, but to date all Labour TDs and Senators have stayed silent.
        I cant help but notice that people who have made multiple posts on this thread have also remained silent; does this mean they also don’t care ? At this stage, I see not difference between FF, FG and Labour.
        Much as i dislike him, at least Ahern didnt find his wife a new PS job in the PS, unlike Gilmore.

        • Adam Byrne

          You are all wasting your time. No matter what sort of party you form it won’t make a difference. Either you’ll get squashed by the big boys or some little upstart (or more than one) from your own group will start abusing his position and colleagues in time. That’s human nature.

          The trick is to stay away from large groupings of people and fend for yourself, family and friends. That’s the way of the jungle and that the way of now and we are far from evolving into anything higher. We probably never will.

          • Gearoid O Dubhain

            Well the unemployed I am talking about who are legally barred from being on the Live Register and training schemes have no choice but to fend for themselves. Let make a comparision; every member of Aosdana, the Artist, and writers Union, get tax free € 17,180 each year plus tax credit of € 40,000 plus access to tax subsidised pension scheme…and these are people who ARE working !

          • Adelaide

            Gerard. “I see no difference between FF, FG and Labour.”
            Why is that? Because they all come from the pool of Irish citizenry. Berating politicians is akin to berating the reflection in your mirror. That is why there have been no mass protests. We’d be protesting against ourselves and we know it. Our history of treatment to the vulnerable shows that we are a callous people, I could reel of the scandals from the last 100 years, but the point is, the Irish don’t care so why should the politicians.

            It amazes me that people are amazed at the callousness of our society. To answer your question, Gerard, yes, nobody cares, and haven’t cared from dot zero year. NOBODY in Ireland cares until it happens to them, God Forbid.

          • whatamess

            @ Lady Adelaide

            +1

            very little empathy in Ireland now.

            It was there 20 years ago, but vanished with the arrival of The Celtic Tiger….

            so much lost ground !

      • Colin

        I thought the Tea Party stood for open free market low debt economy, not what we have in Ireland which is more like a communist wet dream with highest childrens allowance rates, highest OAP Pensions, highest insurance claim payouts, and borrowing billions of Euro every year to continue paying our overpaid teachers, lecturers, nurses, gardai, fire fighters, ambulance drivers, bus drivers, train drivers, hospital consulatants, legal aid lawyers, NAMA account managers, RTE talented presenters, Quango blue sky thinkers, talented artists, judges, council managers et al………

      • redriversix

        “A conservative is someone who supports reform…but not just yet” !!!

        • Colin

          In London, Conservative Mayor Boris wants to build, build, build, keep construction thriving, keeping people in jobs, keeping people’s dignity intact and the Tories are supposed to be the uncaring crowd!!!???.
          In Ireland, Conservatives want to do … ahem, wait, let me think…., oh yeah, that’s it, na’in as they say in Limerick, also known as Nada, Zilch, Sweet FA, Diddly Squat and nothing. But Honest Tom Parlon is probably earning more in his role as chief of CIF than his counterpart in the UK. Great to know Tom is working long hours, taking no holidays, going the extra mile, fighting for you to get a job and your dignity back…Good man Tom, where would we be without you?

    • Tom Crowley

      Perhaps the answer lies in what Barry outlines above in relation the SME family self employed in current financial plight

      “if all the S.M.Es who are losing money or barely breaking even..made a consicous decision to cast a cold eye over their business , half of all S.M.Es would close down with immediate effect.”
      Cascade effect versus slow death is all you are looking at
      Those 50 % would be better off on the dole they cannot access.
      All the employees would not get paid every week and join the owner in the Post Office. The suppliers would probably get stung and be under more pressure. The rent, the rates,the insurance, the list goes on.
      The insanity of the growth / jobs mantra is you are chopping down a forest to plant a new type of tree.

      I have spent a long time seeking solutions and in this respect I see the introduction of Unconditional Basic Income as a proposal that might work better than the current system.
      There is a petition to the EU. http://basicincome2013.eu/
      Basic Income Irish website
      http://www.basicincomeireland.com/

      • michaelcoughlan

        If you tried to so this in reality how would you pay for it? Taxing people who are working? What your suggesting is tantamount to communism. You no chance of this ever getting off the ground. It might be better to say that a basic income should be provided to any citizen prepared to put in 40 honest hrs per week.

        Regards and respectfully,

        Michael.

        • whatamess

          “If you tried to so this in reality how would you pay for it? Taxing people who are working? What your suggesting is tantamount to communism. You no chance of this ever getting off the ground.”

          Michael,if an idea doesn’t pass you unique criterion of being self financing and not costing the taxpayer, you choose to REJECT it?sounds like “a pacifier” again my man?

          Won’t there will be an inherent cost to overcome marketplace inertia?
          However, it’s contribution to company ( i.e. Ire Inc) is what needs to be assessed,right?

          i’m still looking at Tom’s website trying to see what’s right about it but u are looking for the pitfalls of failure,from the starter’s gun?sorry,it appears so to me?

          This Tom guy has burst his balls creating this,appears here and you ‘double tap’ his vision with shots to centre mass and a kill shot to the medulla oblongata??

          i just don’t get you i think…u open up with a grrrreat 2nd offering and then hari Kari yourself ( in my eyes anyway)

          divine wind

          • Ryu Hayabusa

            medulla oblongata whatamess??

            Classic, haven’t heard that nugget in a while.

            Mama says that… :D

            http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UfC4u5GCy3I

            “Well Mama is wrronnnng..”

            “No Colonel Sanders youuuuu wrronnnngg!”

            There’s somethin wronng with that boyyy Enda’s medulla oblongata!!!

          • whatamess

            hey Hayabusa,

            yea,medulla oblonfuckin’gata !!

            ive been waiting SO long to use that bad boy ! ;)lol

            it’s a tough one to work into chat yunno;)lol

            check this out Ryu

            50 Cal!!!

            “say halllo to mi littull fwiend”;)

            3mins

            http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TWJp14tkBlU

            cheers

            its a new article now….a single paragraph would cover the entirety of this new article

            yaaaaaawwwwwn

            the world is burning Hayabusa

            ( even rickets back in the UK…)

            surely as a lobbyist for something like GS,these months must be crucial in terms of timing.I would throw the kitchen sink at it if i were L.Larouche…now or never yunno

            21century GS,even used as a ‘bargaining chip’ of sorts,to meet a compromised middle ground..i dunno…..But if they don’t split the banks,history will repeat itself

            hey,no one said closing down Wall St would be easy,what? ;)

            i had a 98 Honda Blackbird many moooons ago

            the Hayabusa is a dream machine!!

          • whatamess

            did you see Vincent Browne

            http://www.tv3.ie/3player/show/41/70733/1/Tonight-with-Vincent-Browne

            Enda is such a FAKE

            astounding to think that as the country’s leader won’t debate on tv…his PR people are instructing him so no doubt

            quod erat demonstrandum

            it screams of FEAR

            we have a fearful leader

            Gift Grub would have enuf material for a year if he came on VB …i dont blame him for not committing hari kari…VB wud “ATE hem!” ;)

            ..”yellow man,he makes a stand,in the auditorium”….

            2 mins
            http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7Qn3tel9FWU

          • whatamess

            that’s resonance!

          • Ryu Hayabusa

            Aloha whatamess,

            50 cal indeed.. Pheee-uwww that puppy gonna do some damáiste!, it’s a bit of a step up from the ol’ Russian Dragunov rifle!

            “Are those live rounds Leonard?”

            http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_u-d0BEo2CQ

            “Leonard, Wo bist du?”

            Sieben Sechs Zwei mm… Vollmantelgeschoss

            7.. 6.. 2.. mm Full Metal Jacket.

            Totally badass in German.

            Would make a good date movie for Enda and Angie!

            Gullllp?

          • Ryu Hayabusa

            I did see new article, just read it.

            Vinny Browne, missed that episode but someone was telling me he kept playing a clip over and over to make a hare of Enda… like that’s a stretch.

            He’s whipping the shit out of him every week, geezer’s running scared, hasn’t the gonads to come on &have it out with him!

            ‘Leader’ he wouldn’t lead a church sale at a church fete!

            It’s seriously damaging our cred abroad, being represented by a pushover lapdog/poodle!

            You are indeed correct, the world’s burning and it’s happening in slow motion.

            Taking down Wall Street, they’re doing a bang up job of it themselves.

            “The barbarian’s are at the gate!”
            G. Gecco :O

          • Ryu Hayabusa

            Rickets in the UK? …that’s Boer War stuff.

            Osborne musta got cut price deal on the Monsanto milk!

            It doesn’t sound very 21st century, what next bouts of Scurvy in Surrey!?

            By the way… you got fine taste in motor-cicles thar boyyy!!! ;)

            Hayabusa a fine machine.

            I had a Honda RC30 VFR400 once with the single sided swingarm in the back!
            preceded by TZR250

            Lurve that japanese engineering.

            Drank oil like a mudda-furka, which apparently was not unusual?

            At least that’s what i kept telling myself!

            Cheers. See you on the other thread.

          • Ryu Hayabusa

            That boy’s yella…

            What’s the matter McFly Enda… Chicken?

            Nobody calls me yell-low Vinny!

            http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VTDCEiBeVAY

    • michaelcoughlan

      McWilliams won’t answer direct questions usually which is his prerogative since ge owns the site.

      As it so happens I’m one of the people you are highlighting. I refuse to think act or feel like a victim however.

      I hope this helps. There’s way worse coming down the track to stop and fight with the scumbags over this one.

      Michael.

    • Colin

      Gearoid,

      Did you not get the memo from RR6 or Barry as he is sometimes known? Well, if you didn’t, it states – look after your family and no one else. That’s what people are doing, isn’t that right Barry? Good man yourself.

      • redriversix

        Hi Colin

        glad you haven’t changed..

        It is very important once one realizes he is a dickhead that they should embrace their persona…..

        you some very comfortable with your persona…

        your ability to read is still deplorable…..

        Fuck you very much

        Barry

        • Colin

          ‘you some very comfortable’ you a speaka the english proberly?

          yes, it is quite important that one should speak to another one in quite a polite manner as one should expect one to.

          I won’t call you names. It doesn’t matter to me what someone like you thinks.

          • redriversix

            Colin

            It seems it does matter to you what I think or say as I was responding to your dig & sarcasm at me in your post..do you want to lie down for a while before you respond ?

            Take your time..

          • Colin

            Wrong again Barry. Just clarifying it for you. Over and out!

    • Colin

      Eoghan Harris has been writing about Employment Apartheid for the last 5 years. But no one listens to him because he’s too friendly with the Orangemen you see. We had people here before, I think his name was Tim, a teacher who was working hard for FF in the past in his spare time, and then began working hard at agitating for no pay cuts for teachers. He told us it was a divide and conquer technique being implemented upon us by our rulers, but anyone with any sense told him to feck off. In the meantime, Tim and his mates have been getting payrises, and redundancies and getting re-employed, leaving young graduates out in the cold without any jobs, or if they are lucky to get a job, its on far worse conditions. Good man Tim, look after yourself and your family.

      • Ryu Hayabusa

        Eoghan Harris.
        No one listens to him because he’s an insufferable blowhard plus, and more shamefully… That guy is still deifying the Bert!

        • Colin

          Not even the Japanese?

          • Ryu Hayabusa

            No one from Yamaguchi prefecture.

          • Colin

            Well, I guess the Japanese don’t have the problem of an overpaid cossetted public sector then? Lucky them!

          • Ryu Hayabusa

            Samurai Swords addressed the issue.

            Nipped it in the bud. Chop the unnecessary fat, streamline the buggers.

            If one was to trim the oirish fat one could start on the ample throttles of Gilmore, Joe Costelloe, Rabbitte.

            Each has a neck diameter varying from 22″ to 25″

            Rabbitte’s one at this point may have exceeded 25 come to thinkofit.

        • whatamess

          Colin,

          what’s your major malfunction? just here to stirr??

          that’s so sad and i’m in no fuckin mood

          Va fancull ah !

          • Colin

            No, I’m here to point out the f**king obvious, which a lot of people here can’t / refuse to see.

            What is sad is the way Ireland has responded to this Crisis going on 6 years now. It is being run by economic perverts. The insiders continue act like parasites.

            You all need a good stir to wake up to see that.

          • Ryu Hayabusa

            Hi,

            The point of the bloated areas in the public sector is quite valid.

            It’s just a bit rich coming from Eoghan Harris’s mouth. His Overlord Bertie was one of the main chieftains in the bloating of said quagmire to its present obese status. When Bertie took a sidewinder, Harris must have had an epiphany… ‘I see the light! Praise be Jesus! Hallelujah..’

            Then they just rotated the table to the clown circus in situ at the mo.

            Anyway, as the crisis intensifies and deepens Insiders will be pitted against each other invariably.

            Akin to a starving rat trapped in a barrel that begins to gnaw on its own stomach lining!

      • paddythepig

        Colin, you and I both know the loonies and the me-feiners masquerading as men of the people will call you every name under the sun, just because you tell the truth.

        Let’s keep at it! (Wink wink)

        • Colin

          Yes, they have no shame paddythepig. I will keep at it. I won’t rest until teachers are forced to sell their foreign owned properties in the Med.

    • DB4545

      Gearoid are you really serious? This is the State that will fight you all the way to the Supreme Court rather than provide decent education and services for your child with special needs. This is the State that privatised and contracted out its social responsibilities to religious orders and placed the most vulnerable of its Citizens in slave labour Gulags without a whimper from the electorate. This is the State that gave tax exemptions to its “Artists and Writers” and quietly silenced the people capable of speaking out. This is the State that will dissolve the people rather than let the people dissolve the Parliament.

      • Gearoid O Dubhain

        I and a few others continue to highlight the hypocrisy of the Arts tax exemption refuse to accept letters from Aras an Uabtaran saying ‘no interest, cant comment, refuse to accept no from TDs and Senators, from the Minister Mz Burton and from the Department of Social protection. The days are gone when ordianry people are afraid to speak out Now if a few of the people who pontificate on sites like this actually focussed on real issues, then I am sure some progress would be made. However I appreciate you commenting on this issue.Every little counts.

    • Ryu Hayabusa

      Hello,

      What you assert is very true. There is a large swathe of people who have fallen through the cracks so to speak because of the inactivity and basically couldn’t give a damn about them attitude of the current administration.

      I don’t use the term ‘government’ in referring to them because currently there is none. Was it John Drennan? ..or someone anyway who noted earlier in the year There is no government, a dead hand guides the tiller!

      These are people who contributed to the country and by a contrivance of events find themselves abandoned and dis-enfranchised.

      As for FG they are without doubt the most cynical shower of wasters who ever sought a mandate in this place.
      They tried to throw Labour a bone in this current Budget purely to keep this ramshackle cabal on the rickety road.
      (Road to Perdition in effect.)
      Notwithstanding the callous attacks they initiated on the very young and old in particular.
      In an FG mindset it was ‘probably their turn to get a good kicking’

      Eamonn Gilmore is an honorary blueshirt right down to his coattails. There isn’t an actual Labour party at the moment, it’s a sick joke. Gilmore, Rabbitte, Howlin, etc have betrayed their so called ideals for 30 pieces of silver.

      And they call themselves progressive! One need only look at the way they treat the women in their party… Roisin Shortall, Joan Burton being the most glaring examples!!

      Joan is probably sharpening her turkish dagger for Gilmore when time comes… she’s guilty by association.

      Any normal person would empathise with the cohort of people you refer to. Problem is folk are too disjointed in their dissent.

      Then again, that’s all part of the game of obfuscation.. pit one faction against the next while you pull the wool over all their eyes.

      Irish people need to grow a pair of collective cajones, throw down the gauntlet and boot these miscreants to touch!
      The situation will undoubtedly worsen a great deal before the touchpaper gets lit.
      All the while they crank the sufferometer firmly into the red zone.

      I think it’s well worth your while raising the issue regardless. Hope you are feeling the solidarity??

      • Ryu Hayabusa

        The above is in response to Gearoid.

        And yes the Arts tax exemption is laughable in the present scenario.
        Michael D might get squirrelly about messing with that though! It might offend his cultural sensibilities.

        • whatamess

          but in terms of the big picture,this arts tax exemption is just mickey mouse.Resolving this inequality won’t help,at least not to the degree needed,on a macro level.I’m all for equality Hayabusa and Gearoid ,but in terms of effort needed to make that change,at THIS time, and the difference it will reeeally make to the grand scheme of things,is less than negligible.choose your battles,right?

          When i hear people’s wasted frustrated energies on bankers salaries and bonuses,i feel the very same.If these issue were resolved tomorrow,what’s the big picture impact?zero!We might feel better and that’s important too,but we have much bigger worries !!!!

          hey life’s a game of inches ,but to resolve the catastrophe of THE NOW,these are peripheral measures and surely not our focus!

          THE US of A almost defaulted !!!!!!!!!!!!!
          the countdown has begun,again …..this can won’t be kicked down the road for long…

          it’s macro strategy now , not micro

          • whatamess

            Where’s the sense of urgency our host asks…

            To boil a frog:

            If you place a frog in a pot of boiling water, he’ll immediately just jump out,right?
            But if you place it in a pot of water and slowly boil it, he doesn’t budge ….

            anyone hot under the collar ??

            Where’s the sense of urgency,as our host asks ???

          • whatamess

            “Though wise men at their end know dark is right,Because their words had forked no lightning they,
            Do not go gentle into that good night
            …..
            Rage ,rage against the dying of the light”

          • Ryu Hayabusa

            The perimeter of my collar is reddening as we speak!! :O

            Must channel my inner Zen…
            Must channel my inner Zen…
            Must channel my inner Zen…

          • Ryu Hayabusa

            “He who is prudent and lies in wait for an enemy who is not, will be victorious.”

            Sun Tzu

          • whatamess

            expanding the inner Zen takes time

            we won’t reach the Omega point any time soon

            chooosing our battles wisely and conserving energy for the battles that’ll deliver the greatest progress

            and a good defence, is a good offence!

            REGULATE these banks before their “instruments” destroy us

            Don’t fear god’s wrath

            FEAR the financial sector

            Only the strong will survive the next tsunami of devastation

            wanna fight….ask your local political representative why a budget of 35 Million euros for mental health was SLASHED to 20 million!!!!!!!! I could not believe my eyes when i read it !!!40+% SLASHED!

            A hugely underfunded sector health already and in a fu**ing recession,they almost halve it ???!!!

            NOW that’s worth writing a letter to your local politician and showing some empathy !!!!!!!!!!!!!!1

            empathy in Ireland …Ha !

            what a sham !!!!

          • Ryu Hayabusa

            whatamess,
            When you’re unleashing your rage… Just don’t send an email to ‘Septic’ Hogan about it.. He’d probably jump through the window with the fright of it, the poor ickle lambkins!

        • Gearoid O Dubhain

          Ryu. Joan Burton is the Minister operating this system of Aparthied and she has made it worse than when FF were doing it ! She is one of the most appalling Minsters !
          As for Higgins, his family has benefited from all the arts subidisation so of course she will defend ti ot the hilt – I understand one of his kids is involved in a video production company.
          Wealthy movie investors are still getting big tax breaks because of legislation he introduced as a Minister of the Arts.

          • Ryu Hayabusa

            Indeed, as was said of the Vicar Elton in Jane Austen’s ‘Emma’
            “He may speak sentimentally, but he will act rationally”
            at least according to his take on rationality!

            Me-feiners anyone?

          • Ryu Hayabusa

            Gearoid,

            By the way, i’m no fan of Joan the Moan either.

            She is only slightly less nefarious than Gilmore, Stagg, Rabbitte, and the rest of that nest of jackals.
            Just by a squeak.

  25. redriversix

    “Ireland’s EU/IMF bailout programmes has,this morning been officially extended till next year”

    What about the Recovery,what about our strong Banks ? what about the 3000 jobs your creating each month ?

    and breaking news here & now ….I have been threatened by T.Ds and advised to be more supportive of Government in the past..as recent as 3 weeks ago, reminding me to take care of my family,particularly my wife who is on a invalid pension since she was 27.

    Well T.D[s]..fuck you..lying scum..call me again….

    Go ahead

    My family will be just fine

    Stay strong

    RR6

    • michaelcoughlan

      Jesus Christ Barry.

      If you need help I’ll stand shoulder to shoulder with you. I mean it.

    • whatamess

      RR6,

      I only wish i could make your event Barry!

      Friday 17 January 2014 The Stillorgan Park Hotel
      “An Evening with me”…
      A talk about surviving debt,loss & the Court’s system….
      Life after debt…living without stress,anxiety or
      worry,one day at a time.

      I don’t need to say RR6 but the devastation and TRAUMA is REAL.i know! all too well.I lost everything!my own fault!now in UK digging myself out of the deeep hole.
      to recover from that takes time and advice from experienced people,like yourself,is invaluable! A Very admirable act ! every day !all those inbound calls of stress from the caller,looking for a magic wand to end the pain.

      Al Pacino says it best ” there is no sight like the sight of an amputated spirit,there is no prosthetic for that !

      4mins short
      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=v0nnEWgC7Rg

  26. conorE

    David

    Fantastic piece.

    One quibble I’d have is your continued support of debt “forgiveness”. It seems to me that it is in the Irish unreformed context a recipe for more benefits to the insiders. Banks are doing deals with people as we speak, with NDA’s being signed by all parties to the agreements – does anyone doubt that the usual insiders will have access to the best deals in these circumstances?

    I’d also like if you could explain in economic terms how it can possibly make sense to transfer debts from one part of society to another. In the case of Irish mortgage debt the vast majority of any debt ‘forgiveness’ is going to land on the shoulders of the taxpayer, so surely it’s a zero sum game? Increase the spending power of one member of society, but diminish the spending power of another. There is no free money, as you point out. If we want to write off people’s mortgage debt we have to cut services, increase taxes, or borrow more from the EU to pay for it all.

  27. 5Fingers

    For the sake of argument, let’s try not take left or right wing sides or indeed worry too much about banks or silly government.

    The main reason you need small businesses and lots of them is that a lot fail but enough survive generally to keep everything rolling along.

    Using a policy that has a bias that benefits big business or any one industrial sector invites catastrophic, “winner (which becomes loser eventually) takes all” collapse. That is Ireland’s plight in a nutshell – the inability to understand we need to manage risk and more importantly, spread it.

    The idea that all we need is some kind of national enema to force a work ethic tough get tougher macho brigade pushed to the fore is not very helpful as it fails to recognize that risk can never be eliminated and remains all through our private, working and commercial lives. People are the same the world over – stop being so elitist.

    Countries like Germany manage risk better and deservedly get better rates for loans for their businesses – their sme diversity and spread is massive. Risk tends to be naturally lower for higher population sovereigns than lower ones. Risk is what determines whether you get a loan or not. Reality is Ireland is still a bad bet and will remain so until we wise up.

    Let me put it another way, Germany, possibly the US and China etc own the casino. Ireland are just bit players stupidly following past trends (not realising past performance does not guarantee future income – something get rich quick idiots always fail to understand) and the banks?? Well the Bank’s are the croupiers.

    We need to start growing up and stop imitating every stupid fad. That’s all I see going on here (and the media and our infection by anglosheric media has a role to play here). For example, if you are thinking Info Tech will remain on a upward growth spurt for the future – just look at recent history on the Dells and Gateways. Do not for one second believe Intel or Apple cannot be hit the same way. Same with Pharma and so on…

  28. whatamess

    3 mins short…

    ending of “The Grey”

    L.Neeson , after a plane crash, alone on a mountain, frightened, ‘almost’ defenceless and finds himself,unwittingly, in the den of a pack of wild gray wolves that are actively hunting him

    We always ,always have a choice…

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2Z2bgph-e34

    too melodramatic for you ?

    let’s sample south park’s take on American economics

    30 seconds
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wz-PtEJEaqY

    nite all

  29. DB4545

    I know we can all do the doom & gloom routine and I’m guilty of it myself. I had some business to do in Dublin today and was driving around Fitzwilliam square. I couldn’t believe the amount of “to let” signs on Georgian buildings within a mile radius of Leinster house. I last worked in this area in the early 1980′s during that recession. I remember it as a hive of industry back then and certainly don’t remember so many estate agent signs. I hope I’m not viewing the past through rose tinted glasses. Maybe there’s some other explanation for so many vacant premises but I thought this area was the prime commercial centre for Dublin?

  30. Like the central banks and the governments have told us,—money does grow on trees.

    http://www.cnn.com/2013/10/22/world/gold-growing-on-trees/index.html?hpt=hp_c3

  31. debt strangulation and interest payment suffocation leads to stagflation.

    nothing improves until the debt is purged or paid.

    The money system is a Ponzi scheme that enslaves all with the aforementioned debts and interest.

    The only effective solution is to destroy the central banking system, ban fractional reserve banking and repeal the legal tender laws.

    McWilliams has commentary but no solutions and no comments on suggestions.

    http://www.thedailybell.com/news-analysis/34688/Stagflation-of-the-2000s/

    • whatamess

      How’s Tony?

      where’ve you been ?

      Sailing eh….i’m jealous !

      you were missed here!!

      “The only effective solution is to destroy the central banking system, ban fractional reserve banking and repeal the legal tender laws.

      +1

      That would be my wish list too !!!!

      maybe after the revolution ,but revolution first unfortunately

      i’m behind the curve in what makes sound money etc but i have several of your links and reading them when i can….

      all makes perfect sense

      achievable ? i worry Tony

  32. http://www.davidmcwilliams.ie/2013/10/23/6585

    In the latest punk economics as in the above link David describes the inevitable coming crisis and the resulting clamour for more integration and the eventual destruction of the nation state on the way to European integration and to (he does not state this part) one world governance.

    What he does not state is whether this is a desirable result or not. Where is the clamour for more action by the nation state to regain sovereignty and prosperity thrown away over the last 50 years.

    Where is your urgency for a solution David?

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