February 1, 2016

Educating India

Posted in Sunday Business Post · 85 comments ·

The way Donald Trump wants to see the world matches the model of driving in India. Somehow there are codes of individual self-discipline in a system with no obvious collective rules. This is what Trump and ideological right wingers all over the world yearn for. They want an economic system where there is no state control but where individual humans acting in their own interest will thrive. This is the cornerstone of Adam Smith’s 18th-century writings. Driving in India is a prime example of Adam’s Smith’s “invisible hand” at work.

Here in Jaipur, people drive dementedly, often on the wrong side of the road, in tiny, packed streets where cows amble between tuk tuks, buses, trucks, cars and millions of pedestrians. Together with hawkers of all sorts, lads waiting for a “start”, camels and elephants – the whole road is in competition for a spare few centimetres of space. It is pandemonium. With virtually no traffic lights, it isn’t easy for a pedestrian to cross the road. And yet, in this total chaos, in a deafening din of horns hooting, trucks revving and rickshaw drivers roaring, there are few accidents.

Inexplicably, the system works.

Somehow at the very last millisecond, the oncoming bus, whose driver might be texting and smoking, swerves left and you are safe before the next car hurtles headlong towards your bonnet.

My tuk tuk driver, the exotically and implausibly named Sheik Musharraf, is unfazed, weaving his way this way and that, chirping away, pointing out a monkey here or a temple there. Only collective telepathy is keeping us safe.

Despite the melee, everyone is on the ball, watching out for the faintest signal of a sudden stop, an unexpected lurch leftwards or (as this is India) a lazy cow, prone in the middle of the road nonchalantly munching marigolds. No one wants to hit a cow here, believe me. That’s serious trouble.

Few drivers are insured – and maybe that’s the reason for everyone’s excessive alertness. If you do prang anything, no third party is paying the bill!

It works because everyone trusts everyone else to look after his or her own property and life. Trust is crucial because if you trust each other, you don’t need rules: you just need self-interest. This is exactly what Adam Smith outlined in the Wealth of Nations.

So free-market libertarians – Donald Trump types – can point to a successful traffic model of luxuriantly free markets, with no rules, no government intervention, and where no one abides by obvious regulations.

What Trump is peddling to the US electorate could be termed the Jaipur Commuter Approach to Economics. Trump suggests that if the US can just get rid of the government and liberate the free spirits of commerce and entrepreneurial activity, America will be great again.

But here’s the thing: what might work for traffic doesn’t seem to work for the society at large. There is no absence of commerce and entrepreneurial activity here on the streets in India. In fact, the very opposite is the case. Everyone is flogging something. Indian streets are capitalism to the power of 10,000. Yet for all this self-interest and all this entrepreneurialism, people are terribly poor.

Here, where there is no safety net, people buy and sell what they can. The rule is simple. If you don’t succeed, you end up with the beggars. So how do we square the incessant commercial activity on the streets with the lack of any real upward social mobility? How can you have non-stop capitalism without wealth?

There are many possible explanations, but I want to focus on one: without proper institutions of state and the infrastructure of stability, commerce only staves off calamity rather than serving as a springboard to prosperity. Without a welfare state that allows people to stop worrying about survival tomorrow and gives them respite to plan for the future, people are simply on a daily treadmill with no end in sight. People have no savings and are living hand to mouth.

Savings give you the breathing space to stop worrying about the next few hours and perspective to plan a career. Savings allow you to postpone work, giving you the time to invest in your future. This is what happened in Ireland.

This has yet to happen in India, and it will take a long, long time. This absence of a solid welfare state is why you get the busy free market side by side with extreme poverty. Unlike the false narrative peddled by Trump and his mates, who claim poverty is the result of personal laziness, in India the people who work hardest, also seem to die youngest and poorest. Poverty has nothing to do with effort and everything to do with circumstance – as was the case in Europe in the 19th and early 20th century.

This may explain why the Indian middle class, although large in absolute numbers, is still tiny. The Indian middle class is estimated to be 70 million people; this might sound huge, but in a population of over 1.2 billion, it’s miniscule. While these middle class Indians might live in India, they are a race apart and are a bigger population than France. They speak English like us, are online all the time and they work in the international cosmopolitan world. They may watch Bollywood, but they read the Economist. They live in India but they compete in the West.

More than anything they want education, and particularly international education. They are obsessed with studying abroad and gaining academic qualifications outside India. Students here want to go abroad – and their parents, realising that international experience and connections are what middle class Indians lack, will pay for this.

Like South African Indians who have come in large numbers to study medicine at the College of Surgeons, these mobile middle class Indians constitute a huge opportunity for Ireland and Irish universities. Irish education has deep roots in India since the priests and nuns went there in the 1960s and 1970s. These connections are deep. They are already open to us.

This is the market we should compete in. The private education market is just beginning and it will become more and more valuable in the years ahead.

Other small English-speaking countries have opened themselves up with some significant success. One such country is New Zealand. It has had an ‘education as an export’ strategy in place since the 1990s. In 1998, less than 4 per cent of New Zealand students were foreign-born. In Ireland, that figure was 5 per cent.

In 2008, 24.4 per cent of New Zealand students were foreign-born, while in Ireland it was a trifling 7.2 per cent. In Australia, 25 per cent of students are foreign-born and the education export sector is valued at €8.9 billion, making it the third-largest exporting sector in the entire economy.

At the Amber Fort, site of the extraordinary learning of the Mughal Empire, I clamber out of the tuk tuk in one piece. It seems to me that educating India – or a tiny bit of it – is precisely the sort of sustainable export industry that Ireland should consider.

  1. Deco

    David, it might be a good idea to add a footnote/disclaimer concerning your position in TCD, on all articles concerned with Education. It is not done often enough in the media in Ireland.

  2. ciaranmg

    Selling our knowledge and experience to them certainly provides a short-term gain, only for them to return to India and undercut our workforce in the very thing we’re trying to base the rest of the economy on.

    • Deco

      Well, the Irish universities seem to have a short term approach to Medical degrees that is hindering the health sector in this country. Taking students from the Third World who wish to get relatively cheap training to then go to North America and make big money.

      And meanwhile the hospitals here are in a continual crisis, trying to hire professionals, because there simply are not enough Irish people doing studying the required courses in Third Level.

      • Sideshow Bob

        It is not just the Universities. People in high positions in university are usually highly connected with the profession. This profession, and similar ones (law,architecture, many construction or engineering professions…) that have traditionally been dominated by the middle, upper middle and upper class in Ireland. Opening the flood gates and admitting the proles on masse is beyond them. What would their dear ( or perhaps departed ) mothers think ( or have thought ). Can´t be having that!

        • Deco


          Meritocracy is a bad word in the discourse Irish establishment. It is allowed on the rugger fields. But not in business. Can’t have that old boy.

          Actually, Bob, your argument is one of the great unspoken truths about power, wealth and Ireland.

          Thanks for bringing it up. I could write realms about it. And some of it includes an episode in a bank that it highly schitzophrenic behind the public teller, with a virulent snob element in control politically, and high on substance abuse.

          That element got bailed out by PAYE taxpayers earning avering incomes playing it straight and fair.

        • Grzegorz Kolodziej

          Kerryman competes with a TCD graduate for a job:


          • Deco

            The Kerryman is probably a better achiever.

            Never underestimate what comes from the South-West of Ireland (Kerry/Cork/Limerick).

  3. Colm MacDonncha

    Perhaps a little more carefully managed private education sector might benefit the export of education, and put an end to the chancers that seem to be attracted to the sector,particularly in light of the closure of language schools over the last number of years. News of this sort travels extremely quickly among the populations of nations like India and China, and a damaged national reputation can take generations to repair.
    While our medical universities enjoy a very good image abroad, the same cannot alas be said of our private language and business colleges. These are huge sectors and UK towns like Brighton and Torquay have large populations of foreign students, which would be of great benefit to our smaller coastal cities and towns if marketed and structured properly.

  4. Deco

    Actually, I disagree with the entire Trump argument. Trump wants regulation, and he wants more protectionism. He also wants the international engagements that the US engages in to be of benefit to th American worker, and not merely the American wealthy elite.

    Well, this is not good news for the American Wealthy elite. So, you can be certain they are annoyed. We don’t see that annoyance expressed. But we see media operations in America, behaving as if they are under orders to destroy Trump.

    Trump also had interesting experiences with bond holders. He might have been more use to Ireland than the pretender Obama who is completely digingnious.

    Concerning regulation, there was an article in yesterdays Sunday Business Post, outlining the problem of health care costs in the Ireland. Irish health care is hyper-regulated. And completely unaccountable. In fact despite the massive improvement in technologies since the mid-1980s, and the decrease in fat in diets, combined with the decline in smoking, health care costs have exploded, whilst hospitals are becomming increasingly a mess.

    It is not a matter of whether or not to regulate. It is a question of how well you regulate. Irish regulation in the health sector has been an abysmal failure. Irish regulation in banking is another abysmal failure.

    Irish regulation in respect to water taxation is also a failure. There are three different taxation mechanisms. And these are implemented in a draconian manner on the people.

    Likewise Irish regulation of the media, with a TV tax shoved down people’s throats, by politicians who are dependent on the state broadcaster for supportive treatment. And people being jailed for not watching a service that mostly insults everybody’s intelligence.

    The problem in Ireland is that we are rubbish at regulation. We have “soft-touch” regulation. Loads of exemptions. And politicians (even some retired ones) interfering in the process to ensure “soft-touch” regulation. The regulation is heavy, with loads of softness once you find your way through the political power hierarchy.

    The result is failure.

    Just look at the HSE. And the HSE is the model that will be applied to other aspects increasingly. Nobody will reform it. And the unions love it. So do the consultants.

    For the patients it is abysmal. But they are not in anyway influential on matters. They have no political power. They get consulted once ever five years, and ignored the next day.

  5. Deco

    By the way, I hope for the sake of the Indian Middle class that they are not reading the Economist Magazine. It is predictable, dishnoest, and often clicheed. And more often than not it pushes out the same deregulation arguments that we see from the corporatist wing of the GOP. It presses on the problems suffered by the poor, to engineer an argument that will bring a satisfactory outcome for the richest of the rich.

    I suspect that there are already several Indian publishers who produce superior economic commentary.

    On the subject of economics, the Economist Magazine is completely unreliable, and even untrustworthy. The title that it gives itself is a complete misnomer.

    One may as well buy Fortune Magazine in an effort to get rich.

    In fact, one may as well buy Sports Illustrated in an effort to learn about how to become sporty.

    Though, I get your argument, that the Indian Middle Class observe what is international.

  6. cianireland

    India’s roads are the most dangerous in the world. They were in 2008 in any case; ref article attached. And I doubt they are getting safer. When I was there a UN white paper had been issued raising the alarm about the rate of death being so serious that if road traffic accidents were a disease the world’s population would be screaming to get it sorted.

    ”The Geneva-based International Road Federation estimates that India already accounts for about 10% of the million-plus fatal accidents in the world – and the absolute number will continue to rise unless checked as more Indians take to the roads. Figures produced by the Indian government already put the social cost of accidents between 2-3% of the GDP every year.”


    Free markets do not exist anywhere; all countries have some form of law governing them before you even start to consider regulations.

    • Deco

      Maybe…..the Indians should put a former politician, who helped drive a country’s economy off the road, who was a passenger in a car that crashed into a tree on a straight road, and who was a lobbyist, in charge of road safety…..

    • joe sod

      So why is India poor despite the rampant capitalism the question was asked. Is it not simple overpopulation. They cannot afford a European style welfare system for such a huge population. Also protectionism by eu and us companies not allowing Indian companies like Tata come in and under cut them

  7. Deco

    Subprime – slice and dice, and repackage, and remortgage.

    This is the essence of the CDOs that brought down the American financial system in the last decade.

    Well, that is what has been going on in the society of the USA. In fact it has been going on in society since Reagan. And perhaps even since LBJ (who drove increasing militarization in society in the Vietnam War era).

    “slice and dice, and repackage, and remortgage” and you get sub-prime.

    Anyway, the “slice and dice, and repackage, and remortgage” policy making thrust, caused the societal decline of the US. But profits soared on Wall Street. The baby boomer retirement accounts went upwards. The next generation have awoken to a disaster. They were not a political priority. The system where money calls the shots, disinherited them – and is leaving them with a hellhole.

    “slice and dice, and repackage, and remortgage” has resulted in a sub-prime societal inheritance.

    And soft touch regulation of the finance sector (“Wall Street”) was an important part of that mess.

    And Hillary Clinton was Senator for New York State (“Wall Street”) during the years building up to the sub-prime mess.

    So, there is a real problem here for Sanders. The money is backing his rival. Likewise Trump.

    Anyway, I am concerned about the Irish media’s support for Hillary Clinton, given that her track record as US Senator for the state where all the funny business occurred, that cause the subprime mess.

    And also I am concerned that the media is in support of “sub-prime” policy making in many spheres, for the sake of the asset bubbles.

    The problem is that the concept of “sub-prime” is now pervaisive and widespread.

    • michaelcoughlan

      Watched the Movie “The big Drop” last night. Superb.

      • Deco

        Do you mean “The Big Short” ?


        A evry good film about the Finance sector is “The Wolf of Wall Street”. A lot of that behaviour existed in Dublin before Anglo went low. And guess what…it is back in action again.

        Wtach “Wolf of Wall Street” and remember it every time you hear the IFSC chief lobbyist, John Bruton (he of the solemn tones) talking publicly. Or writing nonsense in IT editorials.

        Ireland’s former Taoiseach, who is also a former EU ambassodor doing his best, to press arguments in favour of the most ambitious cocaine addicts in Las Vegas on the Liffey.

        By the way, if want “regulation” just watch the ECB bully entire societies into remortaging themselves so as to keep casinos going.

        There is somethng very rotten in the politics of the so-called “free world”.

        The regulation is really a mechanism of extortion and control. It is contributing to soceital hollowing out.

        It needs to be completely rewritten.

        Jailing people for not paying that stupid TV tax, and giving Patrick Neary a mega pension.


  8. Deco

    Regulation will not change the level of deceit or lying that exists in a society.

    Only freedom of expression, will solve that.

    And that is not going to happen in Ireland, as long as we have billionaires telling elected representatives like Catherine Murphy that they cannot ask questions concerning debt write downs performed by tax payer backed banks. [ the taxpayers might find out ].

    Irish Defamation Law is regulation in favour of crooks, and rule breakers.

    The best disinfectant is sunshine. We need to have more open discussions about the toxicity that exists where the institutional state and business interests meet.

    • michaelcoughlan

      “Only freedom of expression, will solve that.”

      He that must be obeyed bono says something similar in that corruption is reduced by shining sunlight on it as in your gangrenous leg.

    • coldblow

      Good point about freedom of expression. On most, if not all, important matters, our authoritarian political and media elite are una voce and dissent is not tolerated. More than that it is not heard. The water protesters seem to provide genuine, non-ideological, grass-roots dissent and look how they have been treated.

      Meanwhile, at another place along the nonsense ‘continuum’, a woman who slipped on a wet floor in a Dublin nightclub was awarded 90k. I understand she had had a few drinks and was wearing 4 inch heels. I actually wonder if it is allowed to criticize court rulings.

  9. michaelcoughlan

    Smith considered the theory of moral sentiment to be superior than the wealth of nations.


    I wonder what’s whacking the Indians? Any chance its CB policy?


    “Trust is crucial because if you trust each other, you don’t need rules: you just need self-interest”

    Trust is borne of moral sentiment. CB policy causing population reduction to stop derivatives bubbles from exploding are borne of self interest.

    “So how do we square the incessant commercial activity on the streets with the lack of any real upward social mobility? How can you have non-stop capitalism without wealth?”

    Because it is commerce NOT capitalism. No WEALTH is created.

    “in India the people who work hardest, also seem to die youngest and poorest” YES. Same here.

    “Poverty has nothing to do with effort and everything to do with circumstance – as was the case in Europe in the 19th and early 20th century.”

    Yes and we shot our way out of the UK knowing that it was only then we could solve the problem.


    Marketable skills are FAR MORE IMPORTANT. Lack of moral sentiment has landed graduates in the US saddled with worthless degrees acquired by mortgaging the future of the students earnings. These loans will NEVER be repaid which is another sub-prime market;


    • Deco

      American kids have been brainwashed by American Television. Much of the same thrash is routinely pumped out here, when it becomes cheap to buy.

      If you want to advance your society, turn the television off.

      Television is chewing gum for the mind.

  10. Sideshow Bob

    Road traffic deaths by country, WHO estimates (2010):

    Ireland – 212, or 4.7 per 10,000
    India – 231,027 or 18.9 per 10,000

    Other comparisons:

    Finland (similar population to Ireland)- 272 or 5.1 per 10,000

    Portugal (Twice the population of Ireland )- 1,257 or 11.8 per 10,000

    US ( large rich population, strong police force, modern cars )- 35,490 or 11.4 per 10,000 ( about 25 times the murder rate )

    UK (similar conditions to Ireland)- 2,278 or 3.7 per 10,000
    China (similar size to India with irregular road habits)- 275,983 or 20.5 per 10,000 ( if you believe anything that comes out of China!)

    Brazil (other BRIC)- 43,869 or 22.5 per 10,000 ( and about 6 times the murder rate )

    Venezuela (crazy b*****ds, but still only 4 times the murder rate) – 10,791 or 37.2 per 10,000


    Clearly, there is a human cost to lack of regulation (with safety in this case). Cultural factors probably play a very big part. I think where there is a high level of violence or murder, or the possibility of death then the the road traffic environment is more dangerous too. Perhaps it is about the attitude taken to human life and the value of that life for society.

    • SMOKEY

      The US has a completely different reporting procedure. It is honest and takes account of all deaths, even months or years later, so it is representitive of ALL road fatalities. Ireland cant tell you how many people are working much less working full time with permanant jobs so I wouldnt put too much weight into any statistics this thieving little Leprachaun govt. has published.
      Talk to Joe.

  11. Grzegorz Kolodziej

    In his otherwise interesting article, David writes, “This absence of a solid welfare state is why you get the busy free market side by side with extreme poverty”.
    Not quite.

    Like China, which is a mixture of free market zones with socialist state investments, restrictions on capital outflow and rural feudal regions, India is a mixture of sole traders and USRR style socialism, including agriculture.

    Then he links bad results in education with poverty, and attributes poverty to free market not working “for the society at large”.

    Well, let’s have a look at the link between poverty and education.

    Take Bulgaria as an example. Bulgaria is – this will probably come as a shock to all of you – a country which is more than twice as poor as India. A disposable salary after tax in Bulgaria is euro 440.60 a month, while in India it is 435.39 euro – but the purchasing power in Bulgaria is only half of that of India, because everything is twice as cheap in India (i.e., a meal in an inexpensive restaurant cost 5.11 euro in Bulgaria on average, while in India only 1.77 euro – not to mention the Indians do not have to heat their homes).

    So according to David’s view of the world, Bulgaria should score in PISA math tests far worse than India – yet it scored far better. Even though Bulgaria is one of the worse performers in Europe in 2009 PISA tests, it has scored 426 points in maths (48 place), while India has scored 338 (73 place), second last. That’s an enormous difference – that’s a bigger difference between the best performing Western European country in 2012 PISA tests (Liechtenstein – a hereditary monarchy, no abortion, 535 points, 8th place) and the worst performing country (Sweden – years of socialism, multiculturalism and abortions, 478 points, 38th place); for comparison, Ireland was 20th, Poland 13th and Obama’s USA 36th – but what would you expect from a President who claimed that he would stop the rise of the oceans).

    One person who claimed that lazy students have bad results because “”We have a lot of kids who don’t know what work means. They think work is a four-letter word.”, was Mrs. Hillary Clinton, in her June 2006 speech.

    Anyone who proposed the non-stressful education based on the counter-revolution should consider that.

    Mr. Trump is full of himself, but if David supports Mrs. Clinton, then he must be deluded – compared to her, he comes across as courteous.

    Mr. Jerry Oppenheimer released a book that had a detailed account of then-Hillary Rodham calling her then-boyfriend Bill Clinton’s campaign manager, Paul Fray, a “f***ing Jew bastard,” after Bill lost his fight for a congressional seat – not bad for a Sheeny.

    In the same campaign the Sheeny Baroness used a picture showing Mr. Obama in a turban during a visit to Kenya, which was circulated by Clinton’s staffers and quoted one saying: “Wouldn’t we be seeing this on the cover of every magazine if it were Clinton?”

    He certainly is a person of more integrity than Hillary, even allowing for his lies and manipulations. You might as well support Mr. John Gilligan for a Taoiseach, David:


    David seems to find Mr. Donald Trump extreme, abusive perhaps. There is a lot to be said about Mr. Donald Trump, like his use of manipulation techniques during debates (for example, when he claimed that he saw Muslim people cheering during the 9/11 and then he said he did not see them, but he had read about it); but let’s compared it with David’s beloved Gandhi.

    According to Gandhi, the blacks “sole ambition is to collect a certain number of cattle to buy a wife with, and then, pass his life in indolence and nakedness.”, a speech in Mumbai in 1896.

    In response to the White League’s agitation against Indian immigration and the proposed importation of Chinese labour, Gandhi wrote in 1903: “We believe also that the white race in South Africa should be the predominating race.”

    It was the progressive Gandhi who introduced socialism to India, continued by the socialist Indian Prime Minister Dr. Manmohan Singh, thanks to whom India scores so badly in PISA results. Indian agricultural productivity is abysmal, in large part due to legal restrictions (read the book “An Economist Gets Lunch” by Tyler Cowen and check for NREGA, which hampers growth and production); as a result of socialist regulations in agriculture, India is still at the margin where malnutrition and malaria and other negatives matter for IQ.

    By the way, having one of the best educated populations in the world as testified by PISA results and one of the most prominent members of UKiP


    did not help Poland, after 7 years of implementing the EU socialist legislation and transformation from socialism into what the Marxists would have described as compradore capitalism, plunging into a country of nearly 25pc unemployment (measured by Eurostat methods) and 46pc of youth unemployment in 2004; a country with doors closed to those educated people who were not the members of the compradore elite appointed by German cartels, which made sure there was no free market in their Mittel-Europa satelites.


    Without the free market, the education system only gives young people false hopes.

    Some remarks on the Presidential race in the US.

    Bear in mind that 40 years ago more than 50pc of the American lived in counties where either party could win the election; now more than 60pc of them live in one-party counties; as a result, they never hear any arguments coming from the other side. This leads to a situation where their dogmas are never really questioned. On the Republican side, an example of such a dogma is foreign policy designed to suit the interest of Israel (that’s why Mr. Rand Paul will never be nominated), even if it was to result in WWIII (the proposed attack on Iran – Israel asked even Poland to send her overpaid F-16s to aid that nuclear state and Poland kindly obliged – not that it had any choice); on the Democratic side, an example would be forcing equality by rewarding certain loud minorities via benefits (the vast majority of President Obama’s stimulus package went to people who already had jobs, resulting in the 8 richest states being, for the first time in US history, those around Washington D.C., resulting in slowed down exchange and greater structural inequality).

    There is a certain clandestine tactics to the Democratic Party politics, which is to concentrate benefits on well-organised and well-informed – especially in the short run – and disperse the cost on unorganised and uninformed – especially in the long run; which is why you stumble across the Keynesian fiscal gap issue. Since the fiscal gap can no longer be bridged by expanding indigenous population (indigenous populations in Europe has been declining due to post counter-revolutionary changes in Western culture set to actively promote the culture of instant gratification (here the hippie meets the yuppie – they both live by the moment) and selfishness (kids are only an obstacle to self-realisation, so the less kids the better), you can try to increase taxes or spending or both.

    But you can no longer increase taxes, for they have been north off the Laffer Curve for a long time (bear in mind that more than 2/3 of the price of petrol is tax), and you can no longer borrow more money from future generations due to limits of leveraging of the Keynesian pyramid scheme, and the fact that the Chinese have dumped 14pc of the US bonds within the last 3 years and they gave Mrs. Merkel a lukewarm response when she begged them to buy a few trillion worth of ECB bonds; so with the anti-family culture widespread, the only way to close the Keynesian fiscal gap is by explosion in population triggered by import of population, with simultaneous policies directed at limiting the population of the “lesser” countries.

    David rightly points out that investments (include those in education) come from savings (in that he agrees with the Austrian school). But then he jumps to a conclusion that savings come from the state. This is rather like that green activist I have met on the train, who advocated against the coal energy, and proposed to replace it by electricity. Asked if she knew where most of the electricity comes from, she said, “from the socket”.

    For each 100 euro that state gives me, it first has to take 140 euro from my savings (this is a historical average). If I do not have any savings, I have to borrow that 100 euro from myself in the future, and then the state charges me extra 40 euro to lend me that 100 euro.

    That’s why a loaf of bread cost 2 euro in Ireland and not 40 cents, as it cost in countries where the state does not subsidise agriculture (I know, I lived in such a country); that’s why the annual Dublin Bus ticket cost 2,000 and not 200, and that’s why a house cost 300,000 euro and not 30,000.
    That’s why the only manufacturing in Ireland is by tax-exempted corporations, and that’s why the cost of doing business in Ireland was rising even when the real wages were falling.

    That’s why if there is someone to reduce poverty in America, it would be rather Donald Trump with his experience of creating jobs, not Goldman Sachs-paid Mrs. Clinton, who has 5 Bentley’s and yet has not driven for 20 years.

    What does she know about the poverty? It is the “racist” Mr. Trump who pays well his legal immigrant workers, while the main feminist in the US was discovered to ruthlessly exploit the Croatian babysitter she had hired to mind her kids.

    And if you are looking for an extremist, look at Mr. Bernie Sanders’s 37 pc minimum tax on labour.

    • coldblow


      What are the main legal provisions that are hampering and distoring Indian agriculture? I’d like to have a rough idea. Crotty’s view was that the main problem with ex-capitalist colonized countries was the fact that they are ex-capitalist colonized. He also made the point that education is a red herring, just like yourself. I agree with it too. When you think about it it seems pretty obvious.

      • Grzegorz Kolodziej

        I would love to answer, but I am really under time pressure now. Apprehensive of that coming storm too (in terms of crossing the Irish Sea).

        Btw, I cook Indian food at least once a week and I love it.

        I felt really sorry for Pete discussing those complacent, spoiled morons:


        And what bad manners (you would think nellies are more gentle).

        “Modesty, propriety can lead to notoriety
        You could end up as the only one”

        “Englishman In New York”

  12. Grzegorz Kolodziej

    “A disposable salary after tax in Bulgaria is euro 440.60 a month, while in India it is 435.39 euro” – sorry, it’s actually the other way round: 440.60 euro in India, which, allowing for a purchasing power, makes India twice as rich as Bulgaria.

    1 liter of milk is 0.97 euro in Bulgaria, 1kg of skinless chicken breast is 4.3 euro, and renting 1 bedroom Apartment (3 bedrooms) in the city center is 235.41 € – monthly of course;

    same figures for India: 0.57, 2.74 and 147.74,

    for Poland 0.56, 3.53 and 367.46 a month;

    for Germany 0.74, 6.76 and 628.94;

    for Ireland: 1 euro, 9.50 and 1,225.39

    (in Ireland property is not treated as something to live in, but as a horse bet; Fianna Fáil created the biggest property agency in the world that made the worst deal for taxpayers in the world – buy dearly, sell cheaply, let the foreign speculative capital supported by indigenous fools fleece you right, left and centre for living in fungi rooms for Hollywood prices; blame capitalism, weather and China for the crisis).

    On student debt bubble:


    On the best tax plan out of all candidates (David, I am looking forward to your e c o n o m i c analysis of the US candidates tax plans, like I did with Messrs. Rubio and Cruz – convince my uncle he should vote for Hillary ;-):


  13. Grzegorz Kolodziej

    “renting 1 bedroom Apartment (3 bedrooms) in the city center”

    1 bedroom.

    Renting 1 bedroom apartment.

    Btw, meat is more or less the same in Ireland as it is in Monaco: Chicken Breasts, (1kg) 10.57 €, while public transport is cheaper in Monaco.


  14. coldblow

    Until not all that long ago I would have been in favour of regulation in order to keep the chancers in line, in particular the financial chancers.

    I have a better understanding of things now and I oppose further regulation and would like to see much of the existing regulation scrapped.

    I agree with everything, or nearly everything, Deco says above. Regulation nowadays is a different thing to what it was a few decades ago, when it at least appeared to be fairly sensible. Now it is anything but sensible. For example, there is a Teaching Council to which all teacher have to join. The cost has dropped in the last year or two to about 40 or 50 euro a year, but it was 100 euro before that, and that isn’t peanuts for a young teacher living from one short contract to another or just subbing. I think the idea was to prevent child abuse and of course it is the usual hammer to crack a peanut story. The list of certs and references you have to send in is ridiculous and if you miss a year it starts all over again.

    Then if you go to the hospital outpatients you wait for ages, then you are quizzed by a nurse who writes everything down carefully. An hour later someone else asks the same questions and it is all written down again. Finally, when you see the doctor it is the same thing yet again. And you hope it is one who can speak English and who knows the difference between a knee and an ankle.

    This kind of regulation is bad enough. You can call it ‘neutral regulation’. But what is worse is the ideological agenda behind more recent regulation. A prime example would be what we have and can expect because of illusory global warming.

    • Deco

      A teacher has to join a Teacher Council. This is nonsense.

      It might also be unconstitutional, according to the “right of association”.

      Because the right to free association (with whomever we like) also implies a right to be free from having to associate (with whomever we wish to be away from).

      In other words we should not be forced to associate with anything that we do not with to associate.

      Anyway, there is a way to solve this – throw out the Constitution. That way the institutional state can get back to commanding us what we should be in, and not in.

    • Bamboo

      fyi from Irish TImes

      “Astonishingly it appears that registered teachers who were appointed prior to 2004 were not obliged to pay the Teaching Council registration fee until 2014, when it was legislated for. That did not stop the council billing teachers from 2008 to 2013. The vast majority of teachers paid, as we were under the impression that payment was mandatory and that salary would be stopped if we did not. At no point did the council or the teacher unions tell us that payment was voluntary during that time and that information did not appear on renewal notices. The council is refusing to refund the money paid.”

  15. nkane

    Not really true to say the traffic in India works and that there are few accidents.

    The World Health Organisation estimates fatalities from road accidents in India at 207,551 (16.6 per 100,000 people) compared to only 4.1 per 100,000 in Ireland.

  16. Grzegorz Kolodziej

    Mr. Donald Trump’s tax plan:


    (whether it balances out, is another issue).

    Under Mr. Trump’s tax plan, the girl working in Centra from 6am so that you get get your cuppa coffee and a croissant, the bartender you are shouting at that he is too slow and the man washing your car at Topaz pay 3 euro 40 cents from their weekly wage of 340 (or 238 if they are interns).

    Mr. Bernie Sanders tax plan:

    They would pay 125 euro and 80 cents. Plus all other taxes.
    The wages of the girl in Centra would go down to 214 euro and 20 cents with President Bernie Sanders.

    To have “free” education.

    Their ain’t no free dinner lads.

    Like I said, to give you a 100 euro, the state has to take 140 from you.

    Have a nice election.

    None of the parties convinced me they deserve my vote (I have always struggled to explain to my friends in Poland what the differences between the main parties are), but I am curious of your choices.

    Do not listen to what they will do, look at how they have voted so far.

    List of TDs who voted AGAINST the establishment of an independent anti-corruption agency

    Bannon, James
    Barry, Tom
    Breen, Pat
    Bruton, Richard
    Butler, Ray
    Buttimer, Jerry
    Byrne, Catherine
    Byrne, Eric
    Carey, Joe
    Coffey, Paudie
    Collins, Áine
    Conaghan, Michael
    Connaughton, Paul J.
    Coonan, Noel
    Corcoran Kennedy, Marcella
    Creed, Michael
    Daly, Jim
    Deenihan, Jimmy
    Deering, Pat
    Doherty, Regina
    Dowds, Robert
    Doyle, Andrew
    Durkan, Bernard J.
    English, Damien
    Farrell, Alan
    Feighan, Frank
    Fitzgerald, Frances
    Fitzpatrick, Peter
    Harrington, Noel
    Harris, Simon
    Hayes, Tom
    Heydon, Martin
    Howlin, Brendan
    Humphreys, Heather
    Humphreys, Kevin
    Keating, Derek
    Kyne, Seán
    Lawlor, Anthony
    Lyons, John
    McCarthy, Michael
    McEntee, Helen
    McFadden, Gabrielle
    McGinley, Dinny
    McHugh, Joe
    McLoughlin, Tony
    Mitchell, Olivia
    Mitchell O’Connor, Mary
    Mulherin, Michelle
    Murphy, Dara
    Murphy, Eoghan
    Neville, Dan
    Nolan, Derek
    Noonan, Michael
    O’Donovan, Patrick
    O’Dowd, Fergus
    O’Reilly, Joe
    O’Sullivan, Jan
    Perry, John
    Phelan, Ann
    Phelan, John Paul
    Ring, Michael
    Ryan, Brendan
    Shatter, Alan
    Spring, Arthur
    Stagg, Emmet
    Stanton, David
    Tuffy, Joanna
    Twomey, Liam
    Varadkar, Leo
    Wall, Jack
    Walsh, Brian
    White, Alex

    16 TDs who voted against giving themselves a pay rise:


    Some people will think this bill is just for the nurses, Gardaí and teachers but the people who benefited most were top paid public servants: TDs, Consultants, senior civil servants on already high salaries.

    • Grzegorz Kolodziej

      16 TDs who voted against giving themselves a pay rise:

      It’s a “Wanted” picture below on this dude’s blog – could not find any better link.

      He thinks it was despicable they voted against giving themselves a pay rise.

    • Deco

      We need to replace as many of those names as possible. Many of them are overpaid local authority councillors, who are simply too efficient for the local authorities in which they reside.

      I am sure you heard the expression “politics is showbusiness for ugly people”.

    • McCawber

      You have a democratic right NOT to vote.
      You have a democratic duty to vote.

      I would vote for what I would hope will be the government but always try to replace old with new. Aka Deco.

      I always vote by the way.


    Per capita, Ireland produces the most doctors, and has the highest levels of doctor emigration and immigration, Almost every nurse based in Ireland has worked in the UK and Oz. Insane. The health service is the costliest, considering the relatively young population . More foreign students means higher housing costs.

    • Deco

      Thanks Mick.

      That is a measure of sheer institutional incompetence. A lot of nurses trained in Ireland have left.

      20:00 on a Friday night, meeting Paddy 14 pints is not good for one’s emotional well being. It seems that the only nurses who stay in the Irish health service are those on a work permit who are not adventurous enough to try somewhere ele.

      Sheer madness.

      The previous Minister for health is on stubbs gazette as having a credit rating problem. Our former subprime Minister for Health and current FG number 2 in command. The heavyweight behind Enda the lightweight. We have had smokers, alcoholics, and several obese people in charge of the Health Ministry.

      The fish rots from the head.

  18. survivalist

    It is encouraging to see the degree to which readers are now habitually “fact checking” that which is put out by the mainstream media. And how often the facts flatly contradict what is being s/told to the people.

    In this instance facts show that “Inexplicably, the system works” is likely false or at least an assertion in desperate need of clarification, where per 1000 road fatalities are among the highest in the world it seems like an abject failure of the system, unless that was in fact the goal?!

    The following are simply my opinions but other facts work checking are those in relation to personal savings and the more complex situation as to the relationship between “the welfare state” and “the state”.

    On savings: https://data.oecd.org/natincome/saving-rate.htm

    It appears that hard earned(?) savings in Ireland were wiped out during 1998-2008 from 14% to 4 % of GDP and this during the ‘boom’ time-perhaps this was the desired goal of the ‘boom’ or at least a bonus someone picked up along the way?

    As to the relationship between the ‘the welfare state and ‘the state’ it is in my mind, VERY important to bear in mind that “the welfare state ‘is a metaphorical description while ‘the state’ is the actual institutions and their inter-relational workings and policies.
    [I recognize the theoretical position of some libertarians whose philosophy will contend that “the state” is also metaphorical or illusory in a certain sense]

    However my main point is that “the welfare state “is primarily the collection of gains, etc. that unions(collections of workers) have secured from industrial relations and not very much else besides.

    These gains are constantly being eroded or ‘taken back’ by business’ interests and now that the state has sided or been absorbed by corporations we see rampant drives towards ‘outsourcing’ and its corollaries which is in my opinion has become an adopted hallmark for modern culture under the guise of individualization and perhaps on of the driving forces behind the rise of various ‘libertarianisms’.

    The welfare state is not ‘state awarded welfare’ but the state (miss)managing the peoples intent.

    Your pension, as an example, was not devised as a necessary condition by Government technocrats for a better quality of life, but is in fact an additional form of compensation won by workers from employers who were aware that “the sate” had been for years already providing such compensation to its most important servants – aka the military, who secured its assets for it through (aggressive) negotiations.

    And thanks to Grzegorz Kolodziej for that list-powerful information to make known!

  19. McCawber

    Savings. Debt is the other side of the coin.
    On average, Americans have 8 times more credit card debt than Irish people.
    No doubt there is a bit more to it than that stark ratio but it’s a huge disparity nonetheless.
    Something that puzzles me.
    It’s claimed that the US dealt with the problems in their bank much more rapidly and effectively that the EU did.
    So why is the US economy still in the manure?
    Lies, damn lies and statistics.

  20. michaelcoughlan

    Hi david,

    Do you think by any chance the psychos in charge of the worlds CB’s will soon start “Educating” people that cash is a bad idea?


    I really and truly believe that 2 plus 2 equals 5 you know;


    Freedom is the right to say 4. If the central says that my 4 100 euro notes today are the same as my 100 euro note next year then it is. Isnt it?



    • michaelcoughlan

      Error should read;

      “If the central bank says that my 4 100 euro notes today are the same as my 4 100 euro notes next year then they are. Arent they?

      • McCawber

        Harold Wilson knew what he was talking about then?

        • michaelcoughlan

          I don’t understand your cryptic response. Perhaps you could elaborate?


          • McCawber

            Harold Wilson – UK Prime Minister.
            The pound in your pocket comments after devaluing the pound.

          • michaelcoughlan

            Thanks for that.

            Yes but not in the way you think let me explain;

            Negative interest rates is bank theft. You put 1k on deposit you get back 980. The banks call the reduction a “fee”.

            The banks have the same mentality as a Paed&phile;

            They screw you and subsequently blame you for what has occurred. In the case of central banks your failure to spend your money to help them stimulate the economy entitles them to steal your cash to use as they see fit.

    • michaelcoughlan

      When the fuck is the madness going to stop. I am feeling that I live in a matrix like world. I am watching the nutters in the CB’s about to unleash havoc on the place and no one gets it. I am wondering would one of these sort out my predicament?


      The Central banks are everywhere Neo!

  21. McCawber

    The AGE time bomb, you are all familiar with the concept.
    Today there are six employed people to every retired person.
    In 50 years time that ratio will be 2:1.
    Based on current way we do business that is unsustainable.
    Something has got to give.
    The way we think about “things” has to change.
    The real crisis today is not debt, it is demand or specifically lack of demand.
    More and more debt is simply an effect of that lack of demand (allied to ever more efficient manufacturing practices)
    Demand (increasing demand) is what keeps the whole system going.
    There is no way to fix the demand crisis using conventional solutions.
    I’m not a financial guru but I suggest some serious lateral thinking is required. In fact a whole new branch of “don’t know what to call it”

    An example. Before the bust in 2008 I remember going into Power City to buy a TV. The TV I bought was of superior design, more options etc tan my previous TV. My new TV cost about €800, the old one had cost me about €1100.
    I remarked to the salesman that it was great the way things were much cheaper etc etc.
    He said the only problem for them was that they had to sell a lot more goods just to maintain their turnover from one year to the next.
    On that basis ultimately demand reaches saturation and that’s where we are at now.
    Services will solve the problem surely – What do you thing?
    Solutions on the back of a stamp even would be a start because we need to start to think about this.
    I call it Utopia where nobody “works” Remember the 6:1 ratio today will be 2:1 in fifty years time. That is a serious trend.

    • The real crisis today is not debt, it is demand or specifically lack of demand.*”

      Demand is curtailed precisely because the is debt saturation.
      You can offer all the loans you want at negative interest rates too and there are few takers. They can not afford to repay a free loan.

      Debt saturation is reached and interest suffocation with it.

      The great reset is coming , stimulated by the great depression.
      A 20 year special edition is on its way. We, the boomers have already consumed the future earnings of the next generation. We borrowed our wealth and prosperity from the tomorrow’s. It is settle the books time.

  22. Educating India from an economic point of view is presumptuous given the Indian desire to save in gold and silver.
    The Indians rely on honest money and not counterfeit, ponzi, fiat cash.
    Moves by the Indian government to ask the people to lend their gold to the government in exchange for cash, fell on deaf ears and was rejected by the people.

    Duties on imported gold created a black market and so duties were dropped.

    The Indian people do not rely on government central bank money to preserve wealth. They trust in honest money of the ages.

    We need to learn from them, not they from us.

    cash fell up

    • michaelcoughlan

      It will be interesting to see if India confiscate the gold.

    • cooldude

      Interesting that you should comment that Indian people could educate westerners in regards to how to preserve their savings rather then the other way around because it was my first thought on reading this article. Also the idea that Donald Trump is somehow a libertarian is way off the mark. The first and foremost principle of libertarianism is non violence to others and he has shown absolutely no comprehension of this in anything I have read from him. On the contrary he wants to keep interfering in other sovereign nations and to continue the policy of never ending war. Just another stooge sponsored by Wall Street if you ask me just like his so called opponents.

      The central banks and their compliant politicians are now actively pursuing the negative interest rate policy which on the face of it is just more Keynesian lunacy. But the one thing it does do is to open the door for the cashless society the elites seem intent on imposing on us. Otherwise people would just hold on to their cash.

      I expect an article from David soon extolling the virtues of a cash free society as he seems to be very on trend with the banking elites. This will be resisted by all freedom loving people because it will give the banksters and their puppet politicians total control of our choice of what we want to use as money. Any move in this direction will be resisted.

      • The day we have a cashless decree is the day millions of silver coin go back in to circulation.

          • Not dreaming Adam. Millions of pre 1964 part silver coins are sold as a hedge against the day cash fiat crashes. We will see if it returns as currency or used to barter. It is hiding in wait.

        • A bunch of scammers ripping off vulnerable pensioners by having them spend their hard earned cash on useless metal that will be fuck all use to them if the shit hits the fan in any case because they’ll be robbed blind of their food first, then their gold/silver trinkets, then murdered.

          “I’m going to vote, and I’m going to buy gold from Rosyln Capital’.

          Odious snake oil salesmen. You shouldn’t be promoting these mountebanks Tony.

          • Sometimes you say the sweetest things, Adam

          • Sideshow Bob

            I just had to look this up -

            Mountebank (noun)

            Pronounced ?ma?nt?ba?k

            plural noun: mountebanks

            Definition: a person who deceives others, especially in order to trick them out of their money; a charlatan.

            Synonyms: swindler, charlatan, confidence trickster, confidence man, fraud, fraudster, impostor, trickster, racketeer, hoaxer, sharper, quack, rogue, villain, scoundrel;

            More informal: conman, shark, flimflammer, sharp;

            Informal: twister; grifter, bunco artist, chiseller; shicer, magsman, illywhacker; raredefalcator

            Historical:a person who sold patent medicines in public places.

            I am just surprised I didn´t hear mountebank first in Blackadder!

            Raredefalcator – there is another good one!

  23. In other words, proving, unequivocally, what I have said all along. I.e., the only thing Central banks care about are financial markets – and propping up the historically over leveraged, “too big to fail” banks that live and dies by them. Not to mention, the confidence that stable markets supposedly brings – despite not a shred of spillover to actual economic activity. To the contrary, the “Great Deformation” caused by propping financial markets up with unprecedented money printing, market manipulation, and propaganda has not only catalyzed the greatest economic collapse in history; but, as the historical record will eventually describe, the destruction of hundreds of millions, if not billions, of lives
    __,Andy Hoffman


  24. My friends, we are on the cusp of an historic event of financial infamy – the likes of which has never been witnessed; and likely, never again will. Its arrival is all but
    guaranteed, with only the timing and scope remaining in question. And the fact that events as trivial as “0.1%” interest rate changes – either up or down – may well be the catalyst, shows you that history’s largest fiat Ponzi scheme, now in its deadly terminal phase, is being held up by a handful of snowflakes on a mountain on the cusp of an avalanche. Frankly, how anyone can NOT consider protecting their life’s savings with at least a modicum of the only asset class proven to survive such epochal storms – i.e, physical Precious Metals – is beyond me. But hey, if there’s one thing I’ve learned, it’s that the “sheep” are always slaughtered. Always, every time.

    Andy Hoffman


  25. As the fractional reserve/Ponzi scheme matured it hit an inflection point around 1980 as interest rates spiked. Rates have come down ever since as a means to allowing more and more debt to build up. The next inflection point was 2008 when we reached debt saturation levels and interest rates have basically been zeroed out since then. Any nominal interest rate level since that point would have blown up the game. Now, in order to keep the game going, we must have negative rates because there is nowhere else to go.

    Bill Holter .

    ..else to go.

  26. China has the exact same problem with too much leverage as does the West. No doubt whether immediately or in the near future, China will also be forced to go the devaluation route. This will send 1 billion+ trying to exit yuan ahead of devaluation. But where will they run? Certainly we will see some funds moving into the dollar (and out as official reserves are sold) but China is a culture that understands “money”. Just as they have officially accumulated gold and urged their citizens to accumulate, a big “exit door” will be into gold. I am of the belief that this accumulated gold will be their trump card …used only after the current currency game has no more breath.

  27. The coming global financial crash will be greater than anything ever before seen in history. The time for REAL INSURANCE has never before been this great!

    Standing watch,
    Bill Holter,
    Holter-Sinclair collaboration

    It seems to me that India with its huge reserves of private gold are educated to the results of paper,ponzi fiat that will bankrupt everyone else.

  28. Indian silver demand in 2016 is expected to grow on the back of increased investor interest and growth in jewelry, decorative items and silverware fabrication. India, long a mainstay of global silver demand, imported a record high 228 Moz of silver bullion in 2015. Imports rose largely due to a decrease in scrap flows, necessitating new supply to meet annual fabrication requirements, a trend projected to continue.

    In today at lemetropolecafe.com

  29. http://mobile.reuters.com/article/idUSKCN0VB0J0

    Indian gold consumption surges despite government rules. Black market rages.

  30. http://wap.business-standard.com/article/opinion/the-eternal-gold-rush-116020201375_1.html

    Why gold will always remain the eternal and enduring investment

    Nanda Menon

  31. President Higgins critical of ECB’s treatment of Ireland during crisis: In an interview with the Irish Times, Irish President Higgins criticized the ECB’s treatment of Ireland during the crisis, saying the central bank did not behave in a satisfactory way. Higgins added that “if you have as one guiding principle, the keeping of inflation below 2%, any serious economic planner would ask you the question ‘has any central bank in the history of the world reduced unemployment or addressed poverty with a single instrument?’

    . The answer is of course no.”

    • michaelcoughlan

      If Higgins wasn’t such a hypocrite he might see the duality in his own position. If as commander in chief of the army he felt the CB was fucking the people of Ireland he should have acted.

  32. Bank share prices are down 20% into bear territory.

    Is it time to worry yet?


  33. mcsean2163

    I think you are extrapolating a bit too much fro a visit to Jaipur. HAve you been to the countryside where people till the land? Not that different to the city.

    We were in Kerala and went to the beach, three girls and me. The local men were practically queuing up to watch the girls sunbathing from a distnace of about 20 metres, they had plenty of time.

    India has had a big population for longer than Europe.

    Maybe like Kipling it might be worth noting that there are things to learn from India too.

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