November 21, 2016

The public sector strikes are really about housing

Posted in Sunday Business Post · 130 comments ·
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Make no mistake about it: the series of public sector strikes that we have experienced — and are about to see more of — are entirely linked to housing. The fact that middle-ranking public sector workers can’t, or at least don’t feel that they can, afford to live in this country is at the root of the latest industrial unrest. For the state, the message should be clear: fix housing and you more or less fix most of the grievance. In contrast, allow the continuation of the dysfunctional market for housing and accommodation in general, and you have a recipe for industrial relations war.

So if the main reason the public sector unions are on strike is the price of housing, there’s an obvious solution: link pay rises to the provision of affordable housing. If the main driver of wage demands, particularly for younger workers, is the cost of accommodation, then the obvious thing to do is link the two. Let one police the other.

At the moment, we have the ludicrous situation where all workers are seeing their take-home pay eroded by the high cost of accommodation. This leads to strikes (in the public sector) for more wages, as workers try to maintain their after-rent standard of living. It is not hard to see how this leads to a hamster-on-a-wheel scenario where higher accommodation costs lead to higher wages, which in turn lead to higher house prices, and so on.

The way to stop this is to give the state an incentive to keep house prices and rental costs down. At the moment, there is no real incentive for the state to get housing costs under control. However, if we were to link wages to housing costs, we could force the state to take the housing crisis seriously.

The original partnership model was based on traded economy-wide wage moderation for tax cuts. The state undertook to cut taxes — and in turn the unions undertook to keep wage demands moderate.

If we swap tax cuts for housing costs, we would have a mutually dependent framework for linking wages to housing. If the state can’t get housing costs under control, then wages rise across the board, the budget deficit rises, taxes rise and the government will get booted out.

Thus, the government’s entire economic strategy would become dependent on keeping housing costs down. With such a framework, the state must act to keep costs down — rather than the situation now, where it really has no skin in the game. It bears no responsibility because it doesn’t have anything to lose. It can blame developers or builders or banks or vulture funds and simply throw its hands up ineffectually as if it’s not the state’s problem.

By linking wages to housing, we break this cycle of mutually assured irresponsibility.

Maybe it is because I am in Italy, the home of Mussolini’s corporatism – the biological father of social partnership – that this idea seems to jump off the page at me.

If the public sector unions want to reinstate social partnership à la Bertie Ahern and if employers want to do something similar, then this new partnership approach can be modified to benefit everyone, not just the unions with a stake in the talks.

Such an all-inclusive approach was Mussolini’s model, after all — corporatism per tutti!

So let’s think about an arrangement where everyone gains.

Linking future wage demands to the price of accommodation would build into the housing market a massive incentive for the state and employers’ groups, as well as the unions, to actively bring the cost of accommodation under control.

When you stand back and look at the domestic economy, it’s hard not to conclude that if we sort out housing, we’d begin to sort out lots of things.

If the state — either itself, or via collaboration with private developers — could accelerate cheap house and apartment building, much of the upward pressure on costs in this country would dissipate.

By linking national competitiveness directly with accommodation costs, we would focus the minds of everyone.

This would also impact on the disruptive part-time landlord business. The one-off landlord racket sucks cash into the housing market in a haphazard way, leading to all sorts of conflicts of interests, whereby citizens are landlords and workers and voters at the same time.

In future, because individual investors would know that housing costs are now capped, there would be less incentive for the marginal investment to go into property.

In time, the provision of accommodation would become a utility, like the provision of electricity. This would be a low-yield business. The state could easily set up investment funds – as it does for renewable energy projects – to build new houses.

The national pension fund could do this, so that we have a cooperative system which sees pensions invested into housing associations that administer the building of affordable houses.

One obvious drawback of such a plan is the assumption that the state can deliver on its housing targets. If it doesn’t, we would be hostage to a wage/price inflationary spiral driven by housing costs. However, at least in this case, the source of the problem would be unambiguous, and governments would be judged on this one narrow criterion.

A country where housing anchors domestic economic policy would be one where huge innovations in building techniques would flourish. Obviously, innovation in building materials and cost controls would become much more urgent.

In fact, the only sector that would lose out is the sector that finances houses: the banking sector. But reversing the financialisation of the economy can only be a good thing, because without the destabilising impact of speculative capital, we would rule out future booms and bust.

What’s not to like?

Any takers?


  1. jjsalmo

    Interesting article.
    However, the Government has purposely encouraged house price inflation for no other reason than to rebuild bank balance sheets.
    In turn the banks have shown they have learned nothing, and why should they, as the taxpayer absolved them completely of their mistakes.
    Moral hazard only applies to the ordinary punter!
    Moreover, even a cursory glance at the accounts of BoI and AIB, to name but two, show the extent they are parochial asset financing outfits and not particularly good ones either.
    The recent performance of the BoI CEO, in front of a toothless Dail Committee, was an excellent example of arrogant hubris. If your own stock in either of these cowboy outfits, sell.
    Little will change and when the next bust arrives, as it will, Ireland will be in an even darker place than it is now. Because there is no recovery, just a hiatus in our continued inability to manage our own affairs.

    • Mike Lucey

      @jjsalmo

      You have put some holes in David’s proposals with your observations on the status quo.

      For David’s solution to work it seems to me that Ireland would need a ‘People’s Bank’ and if they go that route they may as well look into the Central Banking scam and get rid of that also even if it means renegotiation of our EU membership back to our EEC membership levels minus the throwing away of our fisheries.

      House prices / rents in many other parts of the country are well within the reach of the ‘middle-ranking public sector workers’ and also I imagine the lower ranking public sector workers.

      The cause of this housing crisis is in my opinion simply the population imbalance in our little green isle.

      Greater Dublin Area also know as the Pale to us culchie class.
      https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Greater_Dublin_Area

      ‘The population of the Dublin City, suburbs (Dublin City, Fingal, South Dublin & Dún Laoghaire-Rathdown) and Outer Greater Dublin (Meath, Kildare and Wicklow) as of Census 2016 was 1,904,806 persons.[2] This equates to 40.03% of Ireland’s population’.

      Instead of cramming more people into the Pale surely it would make some sense to fully upgrade the road and rail interconnectors between Galway, Limerick and Cork and provide express high speed rail connectors between these areas with Dublin. With high speed rail it should be feasible to work in the pale during the day and be home in Limerick an hour after work, relaxed and bright eyed. The same goes for after breakfast.

      What other Western country has the situation whereby 40% of its population is stuck into a small corner of the country. Its obvious there is something seriously amiss in Ireland.

      I think building houses is really not the job of Government. Anytime they have tried it in the past they made a mess of it, just look around at cities and towns with large local authority housing schemes.

      What middle or lower-ranking public sector worker wants to live in such schemes. Aside from the Governments good intentions with regard to building thousands of houses, in the Pale, they seem to have forgotten that the workforce required to get this job done have moved to Oz, USA, Canada, UK and many other countries and have no intention of coming back to be forced to leave again in 5-10 years when the burst of activity is over and they are left high and dry.

      The one thing the Government could do quickly is to upgrade the road / rail interconnectors instead of letting them fall into disrepair and is the case with many of the rail links in the West now earmarked for closure.

      Mike

      • Deco

        The proportion of the working population based in Dublin/East region is even higher, than the overall proportion. One only has to visit the depopulation belt in Donegal/Sligo/Leitrim/Mayo to see this in action.

        It is another indication of failure.

        Not only is the workforce crammed into one part of one county (plus the spillover into neighbouring districts), but it is crammed inefficiently into one county.

        We really is a disaster in planning.

        The workforce has moved, because after tax income has collapsed, thanks to the power and largesse requirements of the institutional state, added to it’s deliberate determination to tax working people.

        Maybe we should outsource the running of Ireland to Denmark, or Singapore for a few years, so that the overpaid local authority councillors in the Dail, and the rejected overpaid local authority councillors in the Seanad, can blame other people for applying common sense to the situation.

        Because the state needs to stop behaving like an entitlement program for the well connected.

        If it doesn’t there will be chaos, insolvency, backruptcy, etc..

        • Mike Lucey

          @Deco

          I don’t think we need to outsource the running of Ireland Inc to anyone other than ourselves via Direct Democracy and a good start would be to reinstate Article 48 of the Free State Constitution as Michael Collins intended in his chairmanship of the board that penned same.

          There is now clearly very little need for political parties as they stand in this age of instant Internet communications. While an elected, limited term / non re-electable steering committee would be required to implement the sound policies that ‘We The People’ would by nature decide on for the overall good of the nation, I see no need for the career politicians and their party systems. They appear to me to be simply to easy to corrupt.

          Civil Servants could do most of the needful provided they were answerable to the public on an ongoing basis.

          Of course there is no possibility of this situation / system ever having a chance because turkeys don’t vote for Christmas.

          The only way I can see this system of practical democratic self governance having a chance to become the norm is via supporting and pushing hard for the reinstatement of Article 48. Once thats in place all the great ideas aired here on this forum of brilliant thinkers might stand a chance of becoming a reality.

          As a side note, I emailed a local sitting TD and asked if they would be willing to pledge their support for the reinstatement of Article 48. Its been 5 days and not even an acknowledgement let alone the possibility of a pledge of support.

          I’m wondering how many here have pledged their support or is it to be just a ‘talking shop’! http://www.reinstate48.ie

      • jjsalmo

        Spot on!
        Outside of the commercial banks, we have the asset purchase program of the ECB, which is essentially one large Ponzi scheme.

      • mixtwitch

        “With high speed rail it should be feasible to work in the pale during the day and be home in Limerick an hour after work, relaxed and bright eyed. The same goes for after breakfast.”

        Fully agree. Ireland is quite small, geographically speaking. Living in Germany and the UK for a few years has really driven home what a better rail infrastructure and some ‘park & ride’ facilities can offer. It takes 2 hours to drive from Dublin to Limerick, so you should be able to get there faster on a train.

        Not only would it permit commutes into Dublin from outside, but also the reverse – companies that can hire from Dublin without the need for relocation from over-mortgaged homes or the need for both adults in a relationship to have a job in the same county.

        • Sideshow Bob

          Here is an example of a country with lots of high speed rail and where it is now finding itself in the societal stakes…https://www.theguardian.com/world/2016/nov/20/japan-stranded-singles-virtual-love

          Actually Germany´s birth rate has been pretty awful for a long time too. Isn´t the populatiuon basically facing a nasty decline?

          Maybe high speed rail isn´t so good for a country…

          • Mike Lucey

            @Sideshow Bob

            Looks like the Germans have got the finger out!

            ‘Fertility rate in Germany rises to 33-year high’

            https://www.theguardian.com/world/2016/oct/17/fertility-rate-germany-rises-33-year-high-births-children-population

          • Grzegorz Kolodziej

            But is Japan’s excellent high speed rail network (and btw, few people know that unlike Ireland, Japan never had the monopoly Dublin Bus has – JNR faced stiff competition from vast private network) a reason for Japanese troubles with falling in love?

            I do not see this as a cause and effect… What might be responsible for high rates of singles in Japan is the fact that the Keynesian stimuli did not work in Japan, and they are responsible for 25 years of stagnation. What’s the point of having kids if the country is in debt, you are in debt, property is expensive (despite their slump) and there is no hope; and, on the top of it, the US defensive capability of their ally Japan is in decline, and you have an increasingly powerful China who wants a revenge?

            A few times, I expressed a view that one of the major reasons why Japan is not going Greece-way is (apart from having a by far more disciplined culture) is because the world uses its negative interest rates as a money recycling mechanism to keep the bond/stock/property market bubble going.

            Take away Asia and the property in London goes down by half…

            Also, if we look at Europe’s map of singles, we will see that Dublin is one of the most “singles-populated” regions in Europe.

            So what we are having is that Japan is full of singles but has an excellent railway/metro network and Dublin is full of singles and has no metro, two tram lines (it should have at least 50) and 100 years obsolete railway network (I struggle to remember any country in Europe including Romania with a railway that is not fully electrified – the poisonous fumes of the combustion engines at Connolly station, which again, is probably the only capital-station in Europe not railway connected to the other station (Heuston)).

            Tokyo = single with excellent connection with the rest of the country
            Dublin = single people with a third world connections with the rest of the country (i.e., to get from Tullow to Derry takes longer than from… Dublin to New York!).

            And coming back to singles rates, by far the highest rate of singles (measured for a country as a whole) is in Sweden – 47% compared to Japan’s 31% (singles rates are also higher in Britain than in Japan).

            A place in Europe with extremely well developed railway and a low percentage of singles in Franken (a region in Bavaria). Also Sicily (probably for cultural reasons).

            For a record, a place in the UK where it is easiest to find a woman is Merseyside. A curious fact – in Ireland, the percentage of singles in Ireland fell during the recession (despite of what David calls “mancession” and a dramatic drop in going out). And despite of all that cry of the poor farmers fate (it cannot be that bad if 82% of their income are subsidies, meaning their income is boosted by a factor of 5), you have 10% bigger chance to be single in Ireland in a city than in rural areas.

          • E. Kavanagh

            Grzegorz: regarding singles, I’m not clear from your information that rural areas are causal in terms of having higher mating populations than cities. Couldn’t it be that singles move to cities whereas some married couples move back home from the cities?
            And what is the definition of mating populations?

          • Sideshow Bob

            Right there Mike.

            I don´t know what was said to you when you were been spoken to about the birds and the bees but it ain´t `the getting of fingers out´ that is responsible for an increase in the birth-rate!

            Take a longer look at the article you will find it is the immigrants that are `leading the charge´.

          • Sideshow Bob

            Grzegorz,

            Yes – tight underwear would in fact be a more likely candidate than high-speed trains in terms of cause and effect for declining birth-rates!

            Perhaps the highly developed almost perfect train system and the lack of kids are both symptoms of the similar societal bents though. Both were bad damaged populations driven to rebuild their previously militaristic and aggressive societies from the ashes of WW2 and both focused on creating almost perfect highly technological and globally dominant economies ( transferring energy previously directed into military victory into a type of industrial-economic victory – to labour the point). However both took this to a self-destructive level where they have forgotten about the need to reproduce as a society?

          • Grzegorz Kolodziej

            “Couldn’t it be that singles move to cities whereas some married couples move back home from the cities?”

            It is an interesting hypothesis. This is a problem which often occurs in social science when statistics is used and it is an offspring of the old induction problem. Statistics gives us fascinating data that a single person would not be able to gather in million lifetimes; however, it does not give us tools to interpret that data. True – a statistical sample rich enough shows some strong correlations, yet we cannot be certain whether our explanations of these correlations are the best (and in science sometimes the most common sense explanations are not the best – come to think of that, the whole quantum physics goes contrary to common sense).

            Let me illustrate this with a thought experiment: it is “proven” that smoking cigarettes causes lung cancer. To be clear about that – I would be strongly inclined to believe that too. Why do we think that? Well, because there is a strong correlation between those who died from a lung cancer and those who smoke (and I would not wish even to my enemies to die from that – my mum died from a lung cancer and it is one of the worst ways to go – you basically suffocate, but it goes on for a week).

            But…

            What if it one day turns out that that smoking does not cause the lung cancer, but that those who are more genetically predestined to die from a lung cancer are more genetically predestined to smoke? Stranger things had happened in science – even though I personally think that as unlikely, even though I abhor smokers (ever kissed a girl who smokes?) – while not being in favour of the “anti-smokers” fascism New York style (they were also close to ban salt in the restaurants).

            So why is Dublin is the most singles-ridden area in Ireland? This is very counterintuitive – one would think that city = more choice = more platforms to meet = more promiscuousness.

            Perhaps it is the singles moving in to the Big Smoke, as mentioned in the comment above?

            Or perhaps it is more income stability related to owning the land?

            Or maybe there is more cultural pressure to marry early in rural Ireland (hopefully not with cousins)?

            Or perhaps there is a different working culture in Dublin (corporations do not want you to marry and have kids because that means a loss of a female worker – they want you to have random sex with your colleagues to have an extra motivation to turn up at work – hence the integrations weekends)?

            Or perhaps there is not a strong family safety net among blow-ins (which prevail in Dublin’s populations, as in any capital city population) to raise kids?

            Who knows. One thing I am sure is that social media actually disconnects people by moving their activity to a virtual realm, shallowing their interactions and preventing them from developing social skills.

            “Take a longer look at the article you will find it is the immigrants that are `leading the charge´.”

            I do not want to be cynical, but Germany is country where:

            1. CDU (Adenaurer) introduced a state pension system to prevent SPD from winning the elections. They knew that their demography will collapse around 2010 (one can calculate these things quite precisely, but for some reasons one does not any longer publish prognoses for more than 20 years).

            2. Collapsing it did. Intitially the German pension system was rescued that way:
            2.1 Germany avails of the cheap labour in the east and consumers in the west buying their good via incurring consumer debt. It pays the biggest EU membership fee, but it also diversifies the financial risks of their institutions via exporting it to countries like Ireland or Poland.
            2.2 At the same time, German exports are not being taxed in countries on whom German boom is dependent (Visegrad Group is the biggest importer of their goods in the world) thanks to loopholes in their law, described by me in great details twice, and of which they keep shtum; which loopholes make Germany and Luxembourg prime destinations of money laundering in Europe.
            2.3. Then there is this issue of their enormous EU contributions. This issue is resolved by making sure that more than 90% of all the subsidies that countries like Poland (and Greece after the second bailout) returns to Germany, plus making sure that all communication in Poland develops east-west, not north-south (bypassing Germany).

            How does it work in practice? Poland gets a subsidy to build a motorway. Germany bribes the politicians who design the tender so that only a German company would meet its conditions (or French, like it happened with telecoms). Now, Germany does not have to do that in a primitive way of actually going to Sejm with a case full of euros (although CDU did that with Donald Tusk in the early 90s).

            Germany does it by grooming politicians for 20-30 years: German Foundations make them dependent on their money (I am talking of those who shape the public opinion, from lecturers to ministers: Polish Foreign Minister Bartoszewski once did not get the award from a German foundation he was getting twice a year, and went publically about it, saying “it no longer pays to be decent” – I also want to remind the readers who I had written before that at the time of the famous missing CDU-money scandal, Donald Tusk changes from the old second-hand Toyota Corolla he b bought for money he earned picking strawberries in Sweden into a new V12 BMW), while BND makes sure they have enough interesting material to blackmail them (this is why Minister Skubiszewski did not insist that Germany sings a Peace Treaty with Poland, which Thatcher insisted on, as a Polish condition for German re-unification; that’s how Minister for Defense, Bogdan Klich, bought obsolete German weapons while effectively disarming his army).

            Now, we know nothing about Germany grooming Irish politicians for 20-30 years (at least I know nothing about it). But that does not mean they do not – perhaps BND has to do it more discreetly in Ireland, due to a large presence of American multinationals? The fact is, their budget shows BND has a whopping 3700 people working abroad, and I am sure they are not confined to running language courses.

            So a German company wins a tender for building a motorway thanks to a brible. They use the money to build that motorway from the EU subsidy Poland gets. But they do not actually build the motorway – they hire a Polish subcontractor to build it (because its cheaper, and the work ethic is higher – i.e. they were producing Opel Zafira in Germany, Hungary and Poland, and German TUV showed that Polish-built Zafiras had the least defects after years).

            And then something r e a l l y interesting happens (and it does not happen once or twice – it happends AS A RULE): when the motorway is half-built, the German company – who has already pocketed the difference between the money they charged and they money they promised to pay to the Polish subcontractor – DOES NOT PAY THE LOCAL SUBCONTRACTOR, or it procrastrinates with payment until he goes bankrupt (this is much easier in Poland because the German-paid politicians implemented a VAT system whereby you are liable for 22% VAT BEFORE YOU GET ANY MONEY FROM YOUR CONTRACTOR.

            Then the Polish subcontractor gets bankrupt, his employees emigrate, the motorway is not yet finished, another competitor to the German export is eliminated, the German company hires another subcontractor, and the whole cycle repeats itself.

            This also explains why there are so few motorways in Poland (well, maybe not compared to Ireland, but compared to, say, Spain), even though there is both cheap labour and high technology in abundance – after all, the Poles invented and built the first entirely welded road bridge in the world:

            https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Maurzyce_Bridge#/media/File:Maurzyce_most_2009.jpg

            and the highest railway in the world:

            http://culture.pl/en/article/ernest-malinowski-the-19th-century-engineer-who-defended-peru).

            2.4 But cheap labour also has its limitations, and Germany suffered greatly from the slow down in China. They opened their job market to the Poles and the Estonians, but much fewer came than they thought they would – for many reasons (i.e. Germany is not as liked now as it was in the early 90s, when it was admired for being a well-organised, technologically superior state who was helping Solidarnosc in the 80s – it difficult to be like if you enter a country like Poland, get exempted from paying an income tax thanks to bribes, eliminate small local business, and employ people for half of the wages they would have got with that small business or as self-employed).

            “Perhaps the highly developed almost perfect train system and the lack of kids are both symptoms of the similar societal bents though.”

            It’s very likely that this has played a role too.

            Also, I would not underestimate the “let’s have another abortion” culture, which was intitially introduced in occupied countries by the Germans, then embraced voluntarily in the US and the UK without being actually occupied, and then it came to Germany as something “progressive” and fashionable.

            I venture a guess that a relation between a man and a woman is more enduring if they have a child.

            Then, given that many Dub girls tend to be well educated and financially independent, there is a bigger chance a lassie would think: ok, once I am sexually satisfied this weekend (even more if she is not – and remember: the entire pop culture tells is based on the plonk of raising unrealistic expectations, then telling you are unsatisfied, and promising that you will be if you use one of their products), why do I actually need this guy as a husband (which would result in financially costly abortion and me not eating in that oh-so-yummy new restaurant every day; South Dublin girls – and I am talking from my own experience – usually cannot cook (one I lived with in Rathfarnham, Loretto Abbey, could not even cut bread or anything else for that matter, neither did she have a cutting board in their kitchen; in a fascinating case of “where did we go wrong?”, she had a whopping income of 35,000 – working as a psychoterapist – but was struggling to survive till the end of the month: her entire income was spent on eating out and entertainment; she was single before I had met her, we lived for 3 months, and she was single after; because I am not naming any names, I won’t hurt anyone’s feelings if I say that as for a psychotherapist, it’s gas that basically did not read any books apart from a few work-related, and that she was diagnosed with being clinically depressed), neither they think they should learn to: although I have got to say the recession changed things for good in a way that people started learning new skills).

            So last but not least, here is a map of single and married people in Europe:

            http://www.citylab.com/housing/2015/10/where-europeans-are-most-likely-to-be-single-vs-married/410527/

          • Grzegorz Kolodziej

            “Take a longer look at the article you will find it is the immigrants that are `leading the charge´.”

            As it is often the case with me and speed typing, I did not finish my train of thought.

            So I ended up with German boom availing of the pool of cheap labour and EU subsidies recycled back to Germany, while dodging on paying taxes in those countries to which they export the most.

            So, they demographic cliff becomes a really acute problem when years of QE result in asset-bubbles that, coupled with trobles of Deutsche Bank, may come to an end.

            They have to do something.

            They come up with a plan: let’s invite immigrants from Africa, cherrypick those who will keep the German locomotive going, and throw out the rest to the likes of Hungary.

            Then…

            1. A bit more arrive than the 800,000 they had invited.
            2. Working in Germany is not their first objective, neither is second or third.
            3. They turned out to be largely illeterate and lazy (so far Germany saw Yugoslavian, Italian, Irish, or Polish gastarbeiters – they weren’t prepared for Jihadists who think that women are only roaming the world to be raped or beaten up, and that children benefit does not come from a German taxpayers, but from Allah).
            4. Once they establish their rights to remain in Germany as refugees (and – perhaps not many know that – after the EU enlargement it is MUCH easier for an Arab to gain a right to child benefit for 15 kids than was for a Pole to have a legal employment (it was cheaper for Germans to employ them illegally, and that included doctors)), they use the EU law to join their families by importing their 4 wives and 20 kids.

            Then we find out that – boohoo! – in Germany, “it is the immigrants that are `leading the charge´.

      • Sideshow Bob

        Hi Mike,

        I agree strongly with you that some form of People´s Bank or other financial not for profit state backed bulwark would be essential for any mass-housing efforts at this point and to guarantee continuing provision in the future.

        The neo-liberal EU will oppose any such move and would need to be resisted as the Dutch did when they made a major move to permanently safe-guarded their huge Housing Association Network from EU led privatization efforts 25 years ago or so.

      • Pie Squared

        Agree 100%. Well said Mike!

    • mtp

      why are people talking about bail out the banks in the PAST TENCE ..

      We are still bailing out the bank and that was the deal never approved by dail eireann .. that if banks in programme don’t pass cap test then we pay .

      The government desperate to inflate house prices no anor generation of people being burnt .. to try and keep bank of state balance sheet .

      But they are on it and doesn’t matter who shareholders are and R B Hayes know it. The dail never approve that deal.

  2. Deco

    Wonderful. Can we all go on strike because we are not happy with the cost of living in a bottleneck, market rigging, oligopoly pleasing, EU dictat run economic racket ?

    What do the rest of us do when we find housing expensive ?

    The role of militant trade union politicians like Ogle, and vote-buying politicians like Martin is also a feature.

    I think we have bigger problems than public sector strikes.

    We have a problem with a private sector that is losing it’s most capable people to the UK and the US due to income tax, and a high cost of living.

    We have a housing policy that is designed to maintain political party machinces, and a housing market that is designed to encourage people to avoid the labour market.

    We have a series of oligopolies that are sucking far too much of the national income. The dominant brewer in particular gets a continual bailout from the HSE. The dominant banking duopoly are screwing the people’s finances.

    We have a pensions crisis that is unfundable.

    We have seen the progressive elimination of a performance ethic from the public sector, thanks to FF and the “Labour” party. This is exemplified by the national propaganda quango declaring that all faiures in the public sector are due to “lack of resources” and avoiding the mismanagement issue.

    We have seen the progressive extension of the institutional state, to the point of extreme inefficiency, and absurdity. But then, the political machines need to be fed with optimism that there is a quangocrat handy number for every activist in the audience.

    We have seen Irish Third level descend to even more sublime levels of absurdity. Now exemplified by the provision of questions to students who pay for degrees from outside Ireland. And also by the vast number of unemployable arts graduates, who are no longer gaining entry into the mnc sector.

    And of course, we are now almost 5 months on from Brexit, and nobody in the Irish government has a plan for Brexit. The Brits have 500 planning elements, that they have not yet project managed into an overall plan. But a very different scenario from that is the predicament of Ireland. Britain is starting with the details. Ireland is starting with the pretence.

    [ if you fail to plan, then you plan to fail ].

    We have a wagon wheel model of public transport, in Dublin, when everybody else has straight lines meeting each other.

    We have massive concentration of economic development into the middle section of one (small) county, with a spillover into neighbouring counties.

    We have no single urban bus centre in Dublin city centre, (excluding the mess that is BusAras). I propose the location of the old Central Bank for this. Just hand it over to Dublin Bus, and have neighbouring streets as bus only. It would serve the people better, in a manner similar to what exists in central Warsaw.

    Undoubtedly the failure of the local authorities in Dublin, to build upwards, is a serious impediment to the endire economic system. Why the problem ? It is possible to build well serviced, well designed architecturally beautiful apartment blocks within two miles of the Silicon coast. We can build above four floors for offices, but not often enough for people. apartment complexes can have gyms, pools, super markets, car parks, and bus stops right outside. We even have investors from Canada willing to build these complexes, and the gombeens in Dublin City Council and it’s three ugly sister cannot get the finger out. Because the current arrangement has people begging tin pot emperors from aspiring political party machines, for housing.

    I think we have a systemic problem with resource management in in the public sector. Union politicians looking for a bigger slice of the pie, is a symptom of it.

  3. Deco

    Here is a prediction. And it will shock you.

    Within 5 years Ireland will experience another financial crisis. There will be money flooding into England, and Eastern European currencies, to avoid it. Perhaps even into a resurgent Spain.

    The quangocrats and ar5eholes on Irish radio, making wise pronouncements will once again be looking for scapegoats. They will probably blame Trump. Maybe Farage. Perhaps Putin. But they will find a scapegoat. They will never admit that they are the problem. Perhaps the RCC can once again be used for the job. The Catholic hierarchy have proven a handy resource, for this since the 1990s. Let’s try it once again.

    And thoughout this unfolding disaster, there will be even more bread and circuses. More than ever. For those in power, a good show is always a useful distraction from the rising debt (which is real) and pretence-loaded GDP figures.

    A surging People Before Common Sense political movement, plus the Trots in the Soc Party will be ranging 30%. Throw in Adams and chums. And all three will be making promises that will make Michael Martin look like an economics professor.

    Pravda will tell us that it is lack of resources (sorry, but how much of the people’s money needs to be wasted on Ray Darcy and Tubridy ??? ). Let’s borrow more and fix that. Because at this point in time, the vast majority of participants in the economy have their vey own lack of resources problem. And unlike many of the knowitalls in the Irish media, they are not trying to feed a cocaine habit. As Luke Ming Flanagan commented once, the Irish media contains people who take stuff that Ming would not dare touch.

    The crime situation will be worse, as a result of a complete lack of leadership at ministerial level. There will be more PR stunts, whilst society continues to rot from within.

    The whole thing will be in a mess.

    That is where we are heading. It will not work. But there will be loads of celebrity endorsements coming in from fulltime pretenders in the US media. A regime based on pretence, getting the backing of the professional pretenders in LA.

    Ireland, needs to cut out the BS, stop what David called the Potemkim routine, and get a grip on reality.

    • Sideshow Bob

      The S & L crisis reached its peak in 1988 after building up slowly across the 1980s.

      Long Term Capital Management (the Wizards of Wall Street) needed a major bail-out in 1998 after convincing everybody for several years that they had the game all worked out and couldn´t lose.

      Lehmans being let hit the wall, while AIG was saved and Merrill Lynch being sold for a song all occured in 2008. CDOs etc, etc. I won´t go into that one, it is too recent.

      So, we are now 13 months out from 2018 and Deutsche Bank, to mention the obvious one, is an insolvent shell of a bank with a 47 trillion dollar derivative book. The Italian banks are tethering on the brink, and the Irish and Spanish banks aren´t that much healthier.

      I would say you are out by at least 3 years there in your estimate, Deco.

      2018 is the year to mention.

  4. Onda

    The social housing model has been broken for years. The private sector housing model is also broken. The banks are exploiting the situation and are lending to those who are already wealthy (and don’t need the money), reinforcing the unprecedented transfer of wealth.

    If the middleclass aspiration of home ownership is eliminated, you undermine the basic foundation of a financial interest in and commitment to a stable society. A future middle class with no in-vested financial interest will not feel obligated to conform and is much more likely to rebel.

    A viable option is cooperative housing along the lines of the German – Singapore models, which straddle and balance both long term rental, security of tenure and home ownership. Cooperative housing is not a silver bullet solution but it is a real and viable alternative option, particularly for those whose incomes are above social housing eligibility and at the same time too low for entrance to private housing. Ironically the same people who are being gouged by an opportunistic private rental market. Classic Catch 22, where for many, rents are higher than mortgage repayments yet mortgages are not accessible. Its every which way we loose.

    It’s also time to realise that, it is necessary to have a highly regulated rental market to provide stability and security. A free for all, opportunistic highly exploitive private rental market undermines the very fabric of society ie current wage demands. High rents remove disposable income and only benefit a tiny section of the economy. Almost all developed societies know and recognise this. That is why they have very highly regulated rental sectors, ie America, Germany, Singapore and most developed countries, with the notable exceptions of the UK and Ireland who continue with the current unsustainable model. We have to sort this out now while we still can.

    • Deco

      The social housing project is broken ? au contraire, for the political party machines it is better than ever, because people need useless politicians promising them free stuff to escape the cruelty of a housing market that the same political party machine turned into a dysfunctional mess.

      It is only broken for the people who need a roof over their heads.

      For the political parasitical party machines, with their “something for nothing” mantra, it is working perfect.

      Just look at the desperation of the peopel asking the politicians to “do something” (to help the people get aroudn the mess that the politicians created, and keep in place).

      The party political machines have NO INTENTION of allowing a functional housing market.

      Neither does the duopoly AIB/BOI.

      And neither does the ECB.

    • Sideshow Bob

      Well said, Onda.

    • Mike Lucey

      @Onda

      “Cooperative housing is not a silver bullet solution but it is a real and viable alternative option, particularly for those whose incomes are above social housing eligibility and at the same time too low for entrance to private housing. Ironically the same people who are being gouged by an opportunistic private rental market. Classic Catch 22, where for many, rents are higher than mortgage repayments yet mortgages are not accessible. Its every which way we loose.” Onda

      Yes, indeed the Cooperative movement could be a great solution to Ireland’s housing problem as you have outlined.

      The problem as I see it is that the individual that would gladly row into this option doesn’t have a clue where to turn for help.

      The answer is under our noses …….. Credit Unions! Credit Unions already are the ‘bankers’ for many of the people stuck between the rent / mortgage options.

      It would be good to see David do an article on this very subject and possibly scatter some seeds in the hope that such a movement might gain a foothold.

      I would also imagine that if such a movement were to get under way in strength, it could well lead to the beginnings of a People’s Bank.

      • Sideshow Bob

        He mentioned it on Agenda on TV3 on Sunday.

        We used to have building societies which were converted over into banks. Why not re-establish those?

  5. Reality Check

    Landlords just can’t be arsed with the 40% tax, registering with PRTB, and problem tenants who have no sense of responsibility.
    This is why Airbnb is crowding out long-term renters from the market.
    The system is broken because there is no TRUST between Landlords and the rental system.

    To help get the ball rolling with a fix;
    Immediately do the following;

    1.Lower the Tax rate to 20% on rental income; supply would improve enormously overnight.

    2. Quickly set up an independent body that represents landlords and threshold equally. Introduce the concept of Co-responsibility; e.g. Problem tenants that make excessive noise are punished and problem Landlords are punished for not keeping their side of the contract. I believe a system like this exists in Germany.

  6. Pat Flannery

    The problem with today’s Ireland is that it has no moral flag around which its citizens can rally. It is not just that it does not have a housing policy, it has no fundamental beliefs of any kind, nothing to build on, no guiding principal, neither nationalism nor religion.

    It used to be a nationalist theocracy, based on hatred of England and the fear of Hell. But few believe in either any more. For a long time Catholic theism was the dominant force in Ireland. Unfortunately it crowded out humanism and its demise has left nothing to replace it. It will be a long and difficult struggle to build a humanist state on the dying embers of a once all-pervasive Catholic theism. Meanwhile membership of the EU and the so-called “peace process” killed off nationalism.

    Of course there is always the possibility of a Western fundamentalist Catholic/Christian revival, mirroring ISIS. Christian fundamentalism is on the rise in America. Trump’s anti-Muslimism partially reflects this. Perhaps he will lead a new Christian Crusade against Islam to which the warrior Irish will flock. He is ominously choosing a disproportionate number of hawkish Irish-Americans for his core “security” team.

    Whatever happens in Ireland itself it is difficult to see a healthy, vibrant, progressive, humanist society emerging from the post-Catholic wasteland of Ireland today. It is difficult to see the present self-destructive generation of young Irish people suddenly finding a replacement for the outmoded theist beliefs of their parents. At least not peacefully.

    Even those who go away have a tough time adjusting because it is difficult to embrace a new reality other than the one you were born into. I see it everywhere I meet young Irish people abroad. They are confused and rudderless, which is how Ireland ejected them into the outside world. Unless Ireland quickly finds an Irish rudder for its Irish young people they will become ever more self-destructive, both at home and abroad.

    Few Irish opinion leaders seem aware of this national moral-hazard crisis. They seem trapped in their own parochial thinking, self-absorbed by the economics of selling a few column inches, leaving a dangerous void throughout Irish life.

    The world may be entering a dangerous age of serial Donald Trumps. I hope not because Trump-style totalitarianism is the result of failed democracy. Rather than join a crude “Trump Crusade” we Irish need to find our own way in the world, as we have done in so many past centuries.

    To paraphrase David, “Any takers?”

    • Deco

      It is hard to say there are shared values, when a significant the prevalent dominant behavior alternates between private interests gorging themselves, and political interests chasing something for nothing.

      The state is too corrupt to tackle either. And both have reached an accomodation to enable them to live off the populace at large.

      In fact the one moral code that does seem to exist in policy making in Ireland is that those who work for a living need to be sucked dry. No cause, or dumb idea can be discarded for reasons of it’s expense alone. Not when a coalition can be built to sell it to a skint public, and to then shove it through. There is a moral code. the politically well connected can indulge their fantasies, and shove the bill to the working stiffs pay.

      It is now becomming unsustainable.

    • We may be entering a new age of Trump style renewal as the mistreated electorate stir to exercise their latent power.

      http://www.hollywoodreporter.com/news/steve-bannon-trump-tower-interview-trumps-strategist-plots-new-political-movement-948747

      • OR there may be a 2nd US civil war.

        “The linear thinking ruling class has been in denial since this Crisis catalyzed in September 2008. Their looting, pillaging and ransacking campaign, designed to enrich and empower a small cadre of shadowy, powerful, wealthy men, had been successful for decades. When you control the currency and interest rates; rig the financial markets; buy the politicians; write the laws and regulations; own the corporate propaganda machines known as the mainstream media; operate a high tech surveillance state; create a dumbed down populace through government school indoctrination; and distract the masses with iGadgets, reality TV, hero worship, professional sports, social media, irrelevant cultural issues, and literally thousands of other modern day bread and circuses; you become arrogant and careless.”

        http://www.marketslant.com/articles/are-we-beginning-fourth-turning

        • “All signs point toward this Fourth Turning being a life or death struggle between the ruling class of sociopathic bankers, corporate elites, and sleazy politicians versus the oppressed and infuriated middle class. The lying, deceit, rigging, deception, theft and other crimes perpetrated by the ruling elites will be atoned for. The heroic patriotic revelations from Edward Snowden, Julian Assange, and Bradley (Chelsea) Manning proving the government and politicians to be lying, corrupt, immoral, sociopathic traitors to the Constitution have undermined the last vestiges of trust in the system and the establishment. The alignment of generational dynamics will provoke the responses to events moving forward. We have been badly led. A silent coup by Deep State perpetrators has led to the complete capture of our economic, financial, judicial and political systems.”

          http://www.marketslant.com/articles/are-we-beginning-fourth-turning

        • Onda

          @ Tony ..Hear Hear

    • Sideshow Bob

      “Meanwhile membership of the EU and the so-called “peace process” killed off nationalism.´´

      Pat, you forgot to mention “Ireland´s Call´´.

    • Sideshow Bob

      Pat, reading this I think you have spent far too much time driving around the wilds of Roscommon of late!

      Glib comments aside though – I don´t think Ireland and Irish society is as morally bleak nowadays as you say. It is a bit rudderless, I will give you that.

      I do think there is a third element to the Irish psyche that you haven´t mentioned above. I would describe this third traditional element side as combination of the `beal bocht´, the classic inferiority complex allied with the victim complex and general sense of being behind and much less confident than practically all of our English speaking brethren – I mean in the US, in Canada, in Australia and in the UK. It provided us with a hunger to move on and change, all be it a relatively quiet one.

      I think, now, we have caught up in terms of wealth and living standards now with those nations but some of that older cultural memory remains telling us we should still feel at least a bit uncomfortable with our new station and we are experiencing as a people what a psychologist might describe as a type of collective `cognitive dissonance´.

      Basically I am saying we have lost, or come to see our main role models as equal or equivalent and not very much better than us. they are no longer demi-Gods to us and we don´t quite know what to think.

      • Pat Flannery

        Sideshow Bob: most nationalities around the world can answer the question “what makes you American, German, Japanese, British, etc. I don’t think the Irish can. As you point out with regard to “Ireland’s Call” they don’t even know what their National Anthem is!

        I was in an Irish Community Center in the English Midlands recently and they sang “Faith of our Fathers” at the end of the night as their National Anthem. The truth is that 4.5 million Irish people have not yet formed a cohesive State. They have not yet found a social or community glue.

        On the other hand in the United States, with a current population of 325 million people, every one of those people can tell you why they are Americans. They will proudly repeat for you their Pledge of Allegiance, which, with hand on heart, they have repeated every day of their lives at school and elswhere: “I pledge allegiance to the Flag of the United States of America and to the Republic for which it stands, one nation, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all.”

        There are a million things that divide those 325 million people, geography, ethnicity, color, belief, but they are all united under their Flag and their Constitution. Ireland has nothing like that.

      • Impostor Syndrome. Although justified in many cases in Ireland.

    • Mike Lucey

      @Pat

      I’m slow to knock the “Trump Crusade”. While I will remain suspicious of ‘The Donald’ I feel I can identify many of his weaknesses, and there would appear to be many, so I will not be easily lead by him.

      This was not the case with Barack Obama. I had high hopes for him which remained very much unfulfilled.

      Mike

      • E. Kavanagh

        I never had high hopes for Obama after he voted (as a senator) to give telephone companies immunity from civil suits after they were complicity in invading the privacy of hundreds of millions of Americans. It was obvious what was to come later. And sure enough he appointed Geithner Sec of Treasury and just about every banker walked while millions lost all the money they saved up to purchase a house and millions were evicted.

        But he was probably better than the other morons.

      • Pat Flannery

        Mike Lucey: so long as the “Trump Crusade” is not against the world’s second-largest religion, Islam, with 23% of the world’s population. That would start a religious world war.

        I am delighted that he wants to “clean the Washington (lobbying) swamp”, but his isolationism, racism and global warming denial must be vigorously resisted. He is already showing signs of accepting the realities of office (as Obama pointed out to him), that no President can fulfill all his election promises. As with you and Obama there will be disappointed Trump supporters.

        • Mike Lucey

          @Pat Flannery

          No doubt I’ll be disappointed with Trump’s performance in 4 years time if he lasts that long.

          At he appears to be talking to Putin and that must be an improvement on calling the man ‘Hitler’.

  7. McCawber

    I disagree with the headline on this article.
    In fact I totally disagree.

    The early 2000s bench marking awards, were about the unaffordable cost of housing.
    The value of housing crashed as we all know in 2008 onwards.
    The only people, no matter what section of the economy, that need a pay rise (because of the cost of housing) are those caught in the -ve equity trap.
    Put another way not all animals are equal but the public sector unions would have us believe different.
    What % of civil servants are trying to buy houses today and what % of civil servants are trapped in -ve equity.

    I’ve made this statement to keep things simple but this is the core problem.
    The only people, no matter what section of the economy that need a pay rise are those caught in the -ve equity trap.

    Housing is now affordable or a lot more affordable than when I and many like me were buying their first house.

    The issue of supply is the real issue.- I agree with that at least.
    Taxes too but you can’t tax it if you don’t build it.

    And prices will go up if supply doesn’t increase. Law of supply and demand anyone.

    The bottom line here is once again the banks.
    Imagine what the trend line for the banks would be if house prices stalled.
    The government don’t want house prices to fall.
    That’s the elephant in the room.

    • Deco

      Well, fo course the banks don’t want the prices to decline.

      And neither does the state, because of it’s NAMA bet.

      And now we must discuss a new concept SYMBIOSIS.

      The level at which the parasite becomes too big for the underlying host.

      This is what happens when you have oligopoly, duopoly or near monopoly situations in individual markets. They get greedy to the point that they have to suck the system dry.

      Forget GDP. It is a pretence.

      Cashflow is contracting. You will not see it in Grafton Street, D2. Because there is not contraction there.

      But you will see it in places like Athlone and Limerick.

  8. [...] “Make no mistake about it: the series of public sector strikes that we have experienced — and are about to see more of — are entirely linked to housing. The fact that middle-ranking public sector workers can’t, or at least don’t feel that they can, afford to live in this country is at the root of the latest industrial unrest …” (more) [...]

  9. Deco

    The latest “news” is that some of Silcon Valley’s finest are concerned about “Fake news”. Therefore they will stop linking to “fake news”.

    Will they therefore close down urls to
    - Irish GDP revisions
    - US unemployment statistics
    - ECB bank stress tests for the “too well connected to fail”
    - AIB’s overall situation
    - FF’s policy on brown envelopes
    etc….

    Fake news – there is a way to avoid it. Switch off the TV.

  10. mcsean2163

    Good idea. Add in non recourse house loans and it’s a winner.

  11. Sideshow Bob

    “But reversing the financialisation of the economy can only be a good thing, because without the destabilising impact of speculative capital, we would rule out future booms and bust.´´

    Great line David McWilliams.

    Now take all the of preceding article and mentally (if not physically) rip it up because it is a load of meandering rubbish and start a new article with the sole idea quoted above, but expand and develop and explore in a rigorous fashion, referencing the actual history of Irish State policies with relation to social housing and financing of other housing ( i.e. direct and indirect provision) since 1922, and then compare with relevant equivalent and accessible European examples, say Holland and the UK. Then you will be getting somewhere on this topic.

    ( and as a sideways contribution to this I will throw something interesting at you from the Guardian from today https://www.theguardian.com/world/2016/nov/21/vancouver-mayor-gregor-robertson-interview-housing-crisis )

    • It is a factor of 2 basic things.
      The growth of urban centers and congregation of population.
      The growth in the money supply form central/commercial bankers all around the world.
      The second is the inflation apparently hidden from government statistics manifesting itself in financial assets and now fixed assets in this case called real estate. There is a boom in financial assets around the world(stocks and bonds) and antiques, valuables and realestate, soon to be followed by everything else on earth.
      Inevitably there will be an increase in interest rates (already showing early signs) that will devastate first bonds and money markets, then real estate and stocks.
      Top quality real estate not needing to be financed will retain more value than that requiring finance.

      The solution to the city real estate problems lies in the long run with a reduced population = a reduced demand. The only way for a government to solve that problem is to limit who can live in the city and to repopulate the areas of low population.

      As the poor are on social assistance and effectively a ward of the state they can be forcefully moved by only providing benefits to those who relocate. This will benefit the dying cities, small towns, in the hinterland. The populations will increase. Income to the small towns will increase as the government support to these people will be spent locally.

      Transferring these people is the cost of busfare and their maintenance by government largess will cost no more than it does already.

      A change of philosophy toward the rentier class is required. It needs to be recognised that an owner of property has deployed capital and resources the tenant does not possess which provides a place for the tenant to reside. These people should be encouraged to provide housing rather than vilified and despised. Tennants should be encouraged to respect the property they occupy or it will cease to exist.

      As the proposal to solve the major city housing shortage is to involve ever more government it should be done in a fashion that is neutral to taxpayer expenses.

      Cities, and even Pricinces, create a major problem for locals when they go around the world touting the advantages of a particular location for living of visiting as a tourist. There should be no surprise that people decide , who can afford to do so, to move in.

      This is particularly true of BC and Vancouver.

      Add the fact that Canada had for a long time accepted wealthy immigrants who can pay their own way. Many times this involved people buying an expensive residence in the best location, and then disappearing to from whence they came leaving the new unoccupied residence as a bolt hole to escape to if things turn bad at home. While there was a trickle down so called wealth effect as all housing became more expensive it only benefited those already on the ladder.
      The firstime buyer was needing greater income to pay bigger mortgages and needing bigger down payments.

      This was alieviated by falling interest rates, lower requirements to qualify for a mortgage such as , reduced down payment, allowing rental income to count as income re qualifying, total income of both spouses rather than 1.5, and lower down payment. All these provisions added to demand and increasing prices.

      All good things come to an end, government meddling or not. Interest rates will rise. Banks become more stringent on terms of borrowing, taxes are places on empty houses, illegal rental suites in houses are shut down, conditions at home for the foreign investor improve or they move to a more amenable location. house prices fall. The perceived wealth effect is wiped out, the supply of affordable housing is not increased as peoples incomes are static or falling.

      So the problem cannot be solved without moving the people out of the cities back to the countryside. It is not just a local problem but international.

      I wait with baited breath for the solution to arrive before I run out of breath.

      Of course eventually we will have to remove the source of the boom and bust of the bond, stocks and real estate markets. The production of central bank and commercial bank money out of the ether and loaned into existence at interest and as a debt.

      None of the economic/social problems of the world can be solved until we opt for an honest money system to replace the corrupt fiat, Ponzi scheme we all are forced to use presently.

      “When will we ever learn, when will we ever learn?

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZgXNVA9ngx8

      • Sideshow Bob

        The Vancouver story looks interesting to me because the laws and climate there are similar to Ireland and it merits a bit of further study for those interested in these things. Could be instructive, if used as a comparator I am sure.

        The article says that the mayor was first elected 8 years ago on a platform of dealing with a housing crisis and despite some attempts to alleviate it it is still very much to the fore. I think Ireland will take 10 years plus to emerge from it´s current problems, at very best. I do not think anyone should underestimate how long this story is going to remain with us.

        As for your comments on social welfare recipients; you clearly don´t understand how that works here so there is little point in engaging in a reply. among other things provision of housing/housing supports are effectively controlled by local authorities and at best you only have rights in the one you live in and possibly adjoining areas. cross country movement is almost impossible. That is all aside from the fact that many would regard your comments as being just a bit on the wrong side of authoritarian.

        While fiat currency in no doubt a major issue it is really only a major issue in housing markets that abandon all notions of income stratification try to throw everybody into some huge free market speculatively driven rat-race. Then you get hugely accelerated boom and bust and market instability.

  12. mike flannelly

    The housing crisis is not exclusive to the public service employees.

    The housing crisis stifles the domestic economy for all 4.8 million stake holders. Sons, daughters and ability to save for retirement.

    Public service employees earn 30% more than the private sector employees and have access to 30% higher mortgages for their shelter needs.

    For the last 30 yrs RTE sound bites tell us that public servants are victims and have exclusive hardships in paying their bills.

    In 2008 the national debt was 50bn and cost 1.5bn a year in interest.
    It is now 200bn and costs 7bn a year in interest.
    Dan O Brien tells us that we have an average number of public servants in the EU/OECD but have a higher than average wage bill.

    Rather than using the housing crisis as an excuse for hiking up public service costs David should measure our public services, plus costs including transparent pension costs with that of the UK, Spain, Portugal, France and Poland.

    Liam Doran told RTE tonight that nurses were the hardest working public service workers. The health SERVICE is important and needs to MEASURED against UK, Spain, Portugal, France and Poland to ensure that we have enough nurses and that they are paid enough.

    The Labour Court “people” have told us that the average garda pay should be double the Irish average income.

    What measurement was used in this decision?

  13. [...] The public sector strikes are really about housing (DavidMCWilliams.com) [...]

  14. E. Kavanagh

    McWilliam’s suggestion has merit.

    One aspect that I do question is the continual bashing, by McWilliams, of small landlords; and his desire to eliminate them from the group of people who supply housing. Without such landlords the current situation would obviously be much worse. Would anyone suggest that every main-street and corner shop should be closed to facilitate Tescos and a government run grocery business? How about eliminating all chemist shops so one has to purchase medicine in a hospital; or preventing all doctors or solicitors from having a private practice?

    It isn’t the job of landlords to provide cheap or affordable housing. If the government wants that as a goal then they ought to incentivise it. Landlords provide market rate housing.

    • Pat Flannery

      E. Kavanagh: drawing an analogy between income from a local chemist or grocery shop and that of a local small landlord is flawed. Income from renting a house is passive while income from maintaining a shop is active. There is a big economic difference. Private landlords are classic “rentiers”.

      Unfortunately current Irish capitalism encourages “rentiers”. Curbing them is a necessary first step in solving the housing crisis because “rentiers” have a built-in monopoly interest in restricting the housing supply, which in Ireland is controlled by such speculative investors not by the Government.

      • E. Kavanagh

        Pat you write the word “rentier” as if by itself it would win an argument. I recall years ago a cousin of mine, after a year of Political Science at UCG, denouncing one of my arguments as “pluralism” and therefore game over. What exactly should small landlords do with their money but live off it?

        Your argument is all over the map. You want to curb investment in real estate by people who are providing extra property. If my argument were that only landlords should provide housing, then your position would have merit. But your position that housing is restricted and so we should further restrict suppliers seems bizarre. If we’re short of housing we want more players not fewer.

        Landlords are obviously not a monopoly as there are piles of them; and to suggest they are restricting housing supply makes no sense. What landlords do is supply housing if it is financially sensible. The problem with your argument is that if someone becomes a landlord and supplies further housing, they you accuse them of being a rentier and therefore bad and part of the monopoly, when actually they are increasing the supply.

        No one is suggesting that the government not be involved in providing housing.

        And would everything be better if some big corporation came in and provided housing and apartment complexes? Wouldn’t they want market rent? What would the difference be between a corporate builder with ex-landlords now investing in it and living off the dividends, and landlords having their own properties?

        • Pat Flannery

          E. Kavanagh: Whatever about “pluralism” you have just provided a good definition of property “rentiers”: those who “live off” their money invested in real estate. The question then becomes whether people with money to invest in real estate should be allowed to “live off” those who haven’t.

          • E. Kavanagh

            Surely in a society we want to ban as little as possible. Why would we ban property investment? Everyone is living off others. And why would putting a big corporation between a renter and an ex-landlord-now-REIT-investor make any difference? Taking out the middle-man might in some cases make things more efficient, and it would provide competition which is clearly what is missing.

            If we want more affordable housing we should be encouraging rentiers, REITs, corporate housing, student housing and government social housing.

          • Pat Flannery

            E. Kavanagh: we have battled with housing shortages in Southern California for decades and have tried many things. One of the most successful has been “impact fees”. They have been strongly resisted by the developers and their Republican lobbyists but they have proved resilient because they work.

            One of the major “impacts” of any large industrial or office development anywhere is an increased need for housing and transport infrastructure. That impact should be quantified and borne by the developer not by the taxpayer through the general fund as happens in Ireland.

            Over the last few decades Ireland has become the international Mecca for cutthroat capitalism. The housing shambles that is Dublin is its direct result. While we were having some success with “impact fees” in Southern California, Irish Government after Irish Government allowed Irish property investors free rein to “live off” the housing deficit.

            You want to “ban as little as possible” and let everyone “live off others”? Well congratulations, you have created your ideal country, Ireland.

          • E. Kavanagh

            Pat: I’m not particularly familiar with SoCal other than a trip to Legoland, Universal Studios and the Getty Centre. I do have some familiarity with Northern California though. The problems with Prop 13 (limiting property tax to 1% of the purchase price and 2% increases) is what has driven solutions such as developer contributions. Obviously Ireland has no such restrictions.

            But you are mixing up two completely different things. It makes sense to have impact fees, on commercial and industrial developments, which are used to build infrastructure and subsidized housing; it is part of the package. Just like disposal fees being included in product pricing. However, the problem we are looking at is the shortage of housing, and someone providing housing is a positive not a negative in this situation. I see all sorts of fees put on residential developers, when in fact we should be encouraging such behaviour and reducing obstacles and encouraging profit in that area so more people move to solve the problem.

            It seems that the great irony is people complaining about a lack of housing, and charging developers all sorts of fees, and lambasting landlords; when in fact property developers and landlords are the ones actually contributing to the solution. The moaners and whiners aren’t putting a roof over anyones’ head.

            And what is the problem with someone who saves like hell, buys a run down 2-bd apt, does it up and put in a flat mate, and then builds up another nest egg, gets married, withdraws equity and buys a house and then rents out the apt. And over the years gets a few places. Are you suggesting the people should only be allowed to invest in property through REITs? Or that people have to put their money in equities, bonds or the bank? Or maybe you’d allow some investment in gold or antiques?

            Do you also think there should be no reward for intellectual property? If I work hard on writing a song, and it’s popular, how is that different to me working hard and using my earnings to buy a rental? In either case I’m living off work done in the past. And what of a songwriter who wants to cash in on their composition now rather than over the years, should that be illegal as a non-songwriter would be living off someone else’s work (although they paid for it)?

            And lastly, everyone does live everyone else, in SoCal and elsewhere: isn’t that what society is.

          • E. Kavanagh
            You make good sense to me.
            Every due and fee and tax charged a developer goes to the cost of the development. Increased costs mean higher prices or no action. One or the other.
            Development is a risky business.The rules are always changing. Rules and regs add to delays. Delays can lead to changing economics and market places. This can result in bankruptcy or extra profit. It is high risk with potentially high rewards.
            The more the rules and regulations the greater the impediments and the greater the profit margins demanded. That equals shortage of supply and high, high prices.

            The people always get the governance they deserve.

          • Pat Flannery

            E. Kavanagh: You correctly state the problem as a “shortage of housing” but sidestep the cause of that shortage, which is irresponsible job-creation without prior regard to housing availability.

            Praising private landlords who profit from the irresponsibility of developers who create a housing shortage is like praising a private ambulance crew who profit from the irresponsibility of a car driver who causes a road accident.

            Building factories, office buildings or any other centers of employment where there is already a housing shortage is indefensible. Yet that is exactly what you are defending in the name of so-called freedom.

            That kind of thinking is what accounts for the difference between Tijuana and San Diego, between Mexico and the United States, between a well-ordered society and social chaos.

            Dublin is not far behind TJ. Is that what you want for all of Ireland?

  15. E. Kavanagh

    In terms of affordability: Daft.ie has 14 residential units for €100K or less (1 and 2 bed units) in County Dublin.

    And the Jackeens can take their pick of 151 properties in the €100K to €200K range (although a few of these are auction reserves prices).

    That seems pretty affordable.

  16. McCawber

    Observation.
    This article has generated the most fractious comment/debate of any article I have read here
    I’m trying to understand why but the emotions I’m sensing are frustration, desperation and some anger too.
    Frustration first – It doesn’t seem to matter what happens, “The System” just carries on doing the same things.
    Desparation -At the inability of the “The System” unwillingness to recognise that people are desparate and need help.
    Anger – At the GREED make that SELF RIGHTEOUS GREED of the public unions.
    Deco – Five years is very optimistic.
    A lot of damage could be done in the next and we are already badly damaged.
    We have learned nothing from the noughties.

    • McCawber

      next = next year.
      The banks are playing tiddly winks with the citizens of this country and even the suggestion of legislation brings a verbal frown from the ECB.
      In Trump We Trust because there is no alternative.

  17. Truthist

    Melania is going to stay in New York.
    .
    Ivania — one of Trump’s daughters — is going to base herself in Washington.
    .
    So, the specualtion is that Ivania will feature as the new 1st Lady of USA for next 4 years at least.
    Yee may as well consider this handle on the beautiful Ivania as early as … now.
    But, it is her husband “Mr. Kushner” who yee should really consider.
    .
    http://henrymakow.com/2016/11/ivanka.html

  18. E. Kavanagh

    My suggestion for some easing of the housing market is for 3rd level institutions to provide sufficient housing for their students directly or through partnerships with business. As a student in Dublin and Galway it was a problem to find decent housing. Limerick was so bad, but that was a while ago.

    I always thought it was a shame they didn’t turn the Ballymun Towers into student housing for DCU.

    While this wouldn’t be a cure-all it would relieve some of the pressure, shouldn’t be too controversial, and should pay for itself and more. It could also be used as holiday rentals during the summer; UCG used to this with Corribe Village.

  19. Truthist

    Institutional State of the Irish State “institutionalised” the private debt of the Irish Nomenklaturum-Landlords / Landlord-Nomenklatura of which the following are among the main players traditionally here in the Land of Rogues & Robbers :
    Garda-Landlords / Landlord-Gardai
    Garda-Teachers / Teacher-Landlords
    other Civil SERPENT-Landlords / other Landlord-Civil SERPENTS
    .
    And, now the Civil SERPENTS are bullying the nation present & future to give them even more opulent salaries & extras than they currently steal from these generations.
    .
    At this stage, the government should build top-class condominium villages as outlined by me in previous discussions to David’s articles ;
    Dwellers “buy outright ahead of residing” or “rent-to-buy”.
    Either way, it is “purchase ONLY”
    Specialists like Tony Brogan & Sideshow Bob should be approached for to ensure that this over-riding project is successfully achieved.
    .
    Landlordism is crass.
    Ditto is Usury.
    Ban them along with private Central Banking.

    • Truthist

      Typo ;
      .
      Teacher-Landlords / Landlord-Teachers

    • .
      “Landlordism is crass.”

      Totally wrong. Without rental property nearly half the people would have no place to live. It is forgotten that a lot of tenants are transitory and cannot make a commitment to buying and do not want to.

      The so called rent to buy option is a scam of the worse sort. Who is going to rent a property to a tenant who alegedly pays rent only in order for the landlord to give back all the rent payments pretending it is a tenants savings account.

      The myth that a landlord earns passive income without working for it is also extolled. People who save and receive interest on their account are passive investors but are seen as prudent people looking after them selves.
      A landlord has to pay a mortgage. A landlord has to pay taxes. A landlord has to maintain the premises and pay for the maintenance in wages or personal time. A landlord has to interview tenants, make bank deposits, have maintenance staff available, keep books, etc.

      A landlords income is not at all passive (as if that was a bad thing anyway). A landlord puts a perfect stranger into a valuable asset and hopes and prays that the choice is good and that it is not a deadbeat tenant who trashes the place, does not pay the rent, and refuses to leave, and has to be evicted. Such a tenant is the road to bankruptcy for the landlord.

      The anti landlord attitude astounds me. I know not every landlord is of exemplary character but then neither are the tenants, the politicians or the pundits, economists and MSM commentators.

      No wonder rents are high. The risks are too great. A mean spirit wanders the land!!

      • Truthist

        U just supported the case that “Landlordism is crass !” for the decent Landlord too.
        Socrates would be proud of me for what I have just accomplished without even asking questions.

        • Your expression reads as a condemnation of landlords. Period. As is often the case I find it difficult to know what you actually mean to say.
          You now, seem to, imply that you meant to say that being a landlord is difficult, but still I am unsure!!

          • Truthist

            I am very clear always in what I mean to say.
            U are just being capricious.

            There is no “now, seem to, imply … that u meant to say that being a landlord is difficult” aul barney.
            For u twist what I have said numerous times, & in above post is caprice.
            I could not be more clear in what I said ;
            Just in most recent post, I said :
            .
            1.
            “Landlordism is crass.”
            Likewise, I would say that prostitution is crass ;
            Even if u could point out to me that many children have come into the world thus, & that many pimps — male & especially female — are cherished as mother figures by the captive players that are the prostitutes & who often also are “tenants” of the pimps too.
            Heck, there is no getting away from how crass Landlordism is.
            It is on par with :
            A]
            usury
            especially
            fractional reserve banking
            B]
            private central banking

            A], & B], both being rent-seeking rent-seeking practises ;
            Just like landlordism.
            .
            2.
            “Landlordism is crass !” for the decent Landlord …”
            .
            .
            Please do not be childish in twisting an argument that counters ur paradigm.
            Tony an Irish man u are ;
            But, u are not native to the shore.
            U have made the bold assertion many times on this blog that Irish people are anti-landlord.
            They are not.
            The only landlord that the Irish people have been “anti” is the agricultural landlord of British rule.
            And, that is the only narrative against landlords that the Institutional State of the Irish State — with its public broadcasting arm RTE, & licensed private broadcasting proxy arms, & the official history syllabus, & the policy of the Gardai & the Deputy for Public Prosecutions, … inter alia sanction.
            .
            There is so much more to reveal about what a filthy blight on society that landlordism is even if some landlords are decent & most tenants are not decent.
            Ditto usury — especially fractional reserve banking — & private central banking, even if some bank managers are decent & most borrowers are not decent.
            The core of the filthy outcomes is the practise of landlordism.
            Landlordism must be banned as soon as we as a nation — the State specifically — construct condominium villages of high-rise blocks [ as enthused by Deco ; 20 storey or so ] which I have outlined in previous discussions.
            Then we should ban Landlordism forthwith.
            We need a return to PRIVATE PROPERTY entitlements for each & every citizen.

          • Then please explain in short simple sentence what you mean when you say,Landlordism is Crass.

            I take that you mean the act of being a landlord is crass. If that is so I disagree with you 100%. If that is not what you mean then be my guest to explain. Stick to the subject matter, landlordism.

            https://en.oxforddictionaries.com/definition/landlordism

          • Truthist

            No need to get narky or wrongfully accuse me of not sticking to the subject.
            .
            Strictly speaking, “landlordism” refers to the whole scene attached to letting a person private or public property as their home.
            .
            U are clearly a defender of the role for landlordism.
            I am against landlordism.

            Alltogether, I am more for Private Property Rights than u.

            Every citizen, upon officially leaving their place of upbringing — e.g. parents home — is to be automatically given an area of public property by the state to be their home AND private property.
            Facility is always there for them to relocate to another home.
            But, they cannot dispense with a home other than for another home.
            .
            Landlordism is old testament.
            It is a rather nasty narrative all told.
            .
            Public Property to Private Property Homeism is the new testament.
            It’s the good news !

  20. [...] The public sector strikes are really about housing (DavidMCWilliams.com) [...]

  21. Patrick

    David
    They are not listening.
    Just like Donald they will do their own thing

  22. [...] The public sector strikes are really about housing (DavidMCWilliams.com) [...]

  23. [...] The public sector strikes are really about housing (DavidMCWilliams.com) [...]

  24. [...] The public sector strikes are really about housing (DavidMCWilliams.com) [...]

  25. [...] The public sector strikes are really about housing (DavidMCWilliams.com) [...]

  26. [...] The public sector strikes are really about housing (DavidMCWilliams.com) [...]

  27. a_tech_hed

    I’m in Argentina right now where wages are very closely linked to inflation through strong unionization. People claim they’re always 5-10% behind inflation so always losing out. So this idea is in use but the people here still feel it’s not working, bear in mind that inflation was around 30-40% until recently. I like this idea because I left Ireland as a result of runaway rental increases.

    While this idea is great for renters, most home owners and European governments want high inflation. Surely that’s the easiest way out of this massive debt that both have taken on.

  28. [...] The public sector strikes are really about housing (DavidMCWilliams.com) [...]

    • Mike Lucey

      It would be good for Trump if Ben Carson takes up the post of Surgeon General. He did hint that ‘they are working on him’.

  29. “The mainstream media is up in arms over “fake news” but the reality is that almost everything the mainstream reports is in a sense fake. Global warming is fake. Vaccines do not work as advertised. Central banking is fake too.”

    http://www.thedailybell.com/news-analysis/the-fake-news-about-central-banking/

  30. http://news.goldseek.com/GoldSeek/1479827640.php

    By Darryl Robert Schoon

    Today’s rising interest rates and trillion-dollar losses in global bond markets are prelude to what is to come, i.e. rising inflation with higher interest rates ending in the bursting of the global government bond bubble……..

  31. Nepotism rules, and always has. Who else would you Trust. Only the loyalists with you from the beginning. Not the turncoats and backslappers , that’s for sure.

    https://spectator.org/the-importance-of-jared-kushner/

  32. [...] The public sector strikes are really about housing (DavidMCWilliams.com) [...]

  33. Truthist

    Of course, the figures submitted by the Irish State’s Civil Service to the OECD would not be ethical,
    vis.,
    No mention of the abundant Freebies
    No mention of scams pulled on the general public visiting hospitals whereby they are charged monies — & massively too — for using the car park of hospital whereby the monies secretly go to top-up the already opulent salaries of the Bitches & Bastards of hospital management.
    No mention of the fact that Garda-Landlords / Landlord-Gardai can receive full salary of Garda when they retire after 20 years of “corruption” & be employed in another Civil Service positon.
    I am informed that the ESB is replete with many such Garda-Landlords / Landlord-Gardai acting as Meter Inspectors.
    And, Garda-Landlords / Landlord-Gardai also secure cosy income in that very sensitive role of Census Enumeration.
    No mention of …
    .
    .
    Anyways, … anyways, … anyways, … have a gander at the following from OECD reports :
    I recommend that yee copy & paste into word-processing documents.
    Redact accordingly, & show / hand-out to ur fellow citizens, & to foreigners also at home & abroad.
    .
    .
    Contrary to what Bertie Ahern emphatically declared ;
    .
    “Ireland is still a 3rd world country !”
    .
    .
    Doctors’ & nurses’ salaries
    .
    http://www.oecd-ilibrary.org/docserver/download/4211011ec032.pdf?expires=1479881839&id=id&accname=guest&checksum=045FF5F9B3AC9FDD8C4AD8F075F99AC8
    .
    .
    Compensation of senior management in central government
    .
    http://www.oecd-ilibrary.org/docserver/download/4211011ec033.pdf?expires=1479881855&id=id&accname=guest&checksum=AB1FB25A05A0097514595A90F9CCE921

    • Pat Flannery

      Truthist: can you document specific instances of retired Gardaí employed in “other Civil Service positions” e.g. Census Enumeration or in semi-state bodies such as the ESB? I would like to look into that.

      • Truthist

        Retired Gardai employed by ESB as Meter Readers & other was exposed some years ago on local radio.
        .
        Retired — or serving Gardai ? — employed in the very sensitive role of Census Enumerators ;
        I can confirm this personally.
        Retired — or serving Gardai ? — employed in the very sensitive role of Census Enumerators is feasible because Irish State IS STILL a 3rd world country ;
        Contrary to what Mr. Bertie Ahern as Taoiseach saying that we no longer are.
        Retired — or serving Gardai ? — employed in the very sensitive role of Census Enumerators should also mean that Census Office can physically assault citizen, & break & enter into Citizen’s home, & harass afterwards citizen for to conduct Census with IMPUNITY.
        .
        Other highly paid Civil SERPENTS — then SERPING or retired ? — also gleaning highly sought after cosy shillings for Census Enumeration is also common.
        .
        The CIVIL SERVICE is a RACKET !
        .
        Are u studying the OECD statistics with bar charts that I gave in links above Pat ?
        As I believe, the reality is much worse than the OECD statistics show.
        If only because the OECD is partial to the Civil Service ;
        The OECD is part of the RACKET too.

        • Pat Flannery

          Truthist: yes I studied them. Which local radio station exposed the “Retired Gardai employed by ESB as Meter Readers” story?

        • Truthist

          I just did a quick search for generic info on those 2 phenomena of Garda-Landlords / Landlord-Gardai being employed as Civil SERPENTS again AND whilst they also receiving the extremely lucrative Garda Pension [ Garda Pension = whatever is current Salary of Rank they retired on ].

          Phenomenon # 1
          “Retired” Garda-Landlords / Landlord-Gardai employed as ESB Meter-Readers & other

          This phenomenon may have been strictly true prior to ESB cunningly delegating this part of their functions to ESB Networks.
          I looked for result on Google alluding to a local radio station exposing the practise of employing retired Garda-Landlords / Landlord-Gardai as ESB meter-readers.
          As u can well imagine, the Garda-Landlords / Landlord-Gardai would be adept at breaking & entering & intimidation & rendition of BS [ Nay, not "Bankster Scam" ; But, B.ll Sh..t ] laws & regulations with impunity for to enable effective & efficient meter-reading & disconnections especially at multiple-occupied tenements when we all know that Tenants have in reality no constitutional rights vis-a-vis criminal landlords & / or criminal neighboring tenants & / or criminal Civil Servants [ especially Garda-Landlords / Landlord-Gardai ].
          To no avail in the 1st few pages of results.
          But, as u no doubt are aware, Google is not impervious to being wiped clean of incriminating evidence.
          Give me some time for to personally uncover the whole situation.
          .
          .
          Phenomenon #2
          Garda-Landlords / Landlord-Gardai employed as Census Enumerators
          .
          I got some interesting results on 1st page of results with search terms ;
          .
          guards AND garda AND gardai working as census enumerators
          .
          https://www.google.com/?gws_rd=cr&ei=xIs1WK42h_W-BPfmloAM&fg=1#q=+guards+AND+garda+AND+gardai+working+as+census+enumerators
          .
          I will post interesting extracts in subsequent post as part of the noble task of revealing blood-sucking of the decent Irish citizens by the Nomenclature Apparatus of Institutional State of Irish State [ I.S.I.S. ].
          Oh for an actual society with robust indigenous & sustainable enterprise & a Civil Service that is staffed by true Civil SERVANTS instead of us Citizens having to suffer the 3rd world racket in this the Land of Rogues & Robbers.

          • Truthist

            Pat, I was reliably informed verbally about a local radio station in the country revealing “retired” Garda-Landlords / Landlord-Gardai as ESB Meter-Readers.
            If I recall correctly, it was a local radio station in Cork.
            And, I think it was of that presenter who got himself in a spot of bother on an Aer Lingus flight.
            As far as I know, that presenter since moved to a new radio station.
            Thus, one will have to refer to his previous station.
            And, come to think of it, this very same presenter featured on David’s home page with interview of David.
            I will have a look now for his name, & previous Station which would have the discussion about the ESB Meter-Readers controversy.

          • Truthist

            http://www.davidmcwilliams.ie/2015/10/30/my-interview-on-corks-red-fm-with-neil-prendevilleh

            Previous radio station of Neil Prenderville ;

            Cork 96-FM

            And, I know about this radio station’s discussion on Garda-Landlords / Landlord-Gardai from conversation with folk.
            Very important to talk & listen to a vast variety of intelligent people if u want to get a good handle on what’s happening.

          • Pat Flannery

            Truthist: thanks for all your effort. I will work on it too but not today as I have an appointment. I am a “document-based” guy as you will see if you visit my old blog site http://www.blogofsandiego.com/ which I discontinued in 2010 but sometimes think of starting an Irish version, until I wake up and get sense. It would be a nightmare and probably drive me insane.

      • Truthist

        Pat, I know for certain of Garda-Landlords / Landlord-Gardai being employed as Census Enumerators.
        .
        I did not find any info. on Google so far attesting that they can or cannot nor that they do or do not do so.
        However, I found some interesting info..
        Gives handle on the devious police-state we live in.

        e.g.’s
        .
        Where direct contact is not made with the homeless person and information is accepted from a nun, Garda, etc. the Household form should be marked ‘Living rough-constructed’ in the address section.
        As homeless persons will have considerable confidence in the members of voluntary bodies with which they meet, it may therefore be sometimes better to allow such members to elicit the details from the homeless who are ‘living rough’ (in preference to being asked for details from a ‘stranger’, i.e. the official enumerator).
        .
        https://www.unece.org/fileadmin/DAM/stats/census/2000/files/Ireland/Regional%20and%20Field%20Supervisors%20Manual.pdf
        .
        .
        3. You should complete the „Estimated Persons Present? section on Page 2 with the sex, age and nationality details of persons residing in the dwelling. The householder may provide this information, but if not you should make discreet inquiries locally. The Regional Office may have involved the Gardai in the refusal so they may be able to provide this information
        .
        https://international.ipums.org/international/resources/enum_materials_pdf/enum_instruct_ie2011a.pdf
        .
        .
        The RIC, some 10,660 strong in 1900, had an intimate knowledge of the communities in which they were stationed, and the contemporary description of the force as the `eyes and ears’ of the Dublin Castle authorities was well merited.

        In addition to suppressing agrarian disturbances and sectarian riots, roles for which their military-style training made them well suited, the RIC also performed a myriad of more mundane tasks such as daily patrols, combating the illicit distillation of spirits and dealing with a wide variety of petty offences, as well as making enquiries on behalf of various departments of state. This latter duty involved the force performing such unlikely tasks as collecting agricultural statistics, and even acting as census enumerators
        .
        https://www.questia.com/magazine/1G1-56459772/a-force-divided-policing-ireland-1900-60

  34. “They don’t yet appreciate that Brexit marked the beginning of a major anti-globalization movement that was seconded by the Trump victory. More importantly: Italy is the “death knell.” ”

    http://economyandmarkets.com/markets/foreign-markets/harry-dent-unpredictable-will-crack-heads-italy/

  35. Pie Squared

    David the only statement I agree with in your article is the headline – the public sector strikes are really about Housing.

    You forgot the corollaries:
    1) the housing crisis is really about Dublin
    2) the demand for housing in Dublin is really about the failure of Ireland to devise and implement a flourishing regional strategy in Ireland (and will become about the failure of Europe to devise an intelligent strategy re immigration)
    3) mostly the REITS are making money on property in Dublin
    4) while Dublin is an overpopulated city, Ireland is an underpopulated country and has been since the Famine (when it’s population was half that of the UK).

    The lumping of regional and rural development into the Department of Arts, Heritage, Regional, Rural and Gaeltacht Affairs illustrates under a harsh bare light bulb our priorities.
    The Republic of Dublin is not Ireland.
    We need to address our underpopulation and lack of strategic thinking on this island.
    We need ways to create wealth throughout the country, clustered near principal cities.
    The Swiss model is a potential model to review.

    Unfortunately we’ll never have a Brexit vote or a Trump vote because we export on the hoof.

    • Mike Lucey

      @Pie Squared

      “Unfortunately we’ll never have a Brexit vote or a Trump vote because we export on the hoof.”

      Never a truer word said. The thought of 50,000+ Irish men and women coming back to base from the USA must put the shivers up the backs of the political parties.

  36. [...] The public sector strikes are really about housing (DavidMCWilliams.com) [...]

  37. Mike Lucey

    Paul Craig Roberts proves an assessment of how Trump is formulating his government. He makes some reasonable observations.

    It Is Up To Us — Paul Craig Roberts
    http://www.paulcraigroberts.org/2016/11/23/it-is-up-to-us-paul-craig-roberts/

    In many ways I feel Trump’s government will be more important to Ireland that our own government or the pseudo government we answer to in Brussels.

  38. http://www.plata.com.mx/mplata/articulos/articlesFilt.asp?fiidarticulo=301

    Of all countries, India is best placed to be able to use a gold based money system. In fact it is basically what they have done for thousands of years.
    It is especially being used today as the Indian government tries to limit the use of cash, the fiat currency.

  39. Pat Flannery

    “Economic success depends on tax revenues that go into public investments, and regulations that protect the environment and public health. And true economic success results in high wages.”

    http://www.newsweek.com/robert-reich-california-trumpland-nemesis-524127

  40. Truthist

    Particularly for Pat Flannery ;
    A poster who is a true Detective Colombo investigating the Civil Service RACKET in post-colonial Irish State.
    .
    More useful statistics ;
    And, with figures superimposed onto map of individual countries of Europe.
    Again, I recommend that readers copy & paste into word-processing document & redact accordingly for to help inform the public of how the Civil SERPENTS are going to bleed the nation even more than they do presently with current opulent salaries for in most cases useless job performance & oft-times mendacious activity against the citizens, & with the bail-out of “their ostentatious lifestyles [ houses & cocaine habits inter alia ]“, & “their investments gone sour”, whereby the Irish nation was betrayed with institutionalizing of private debt for this generation & subsequent generations to pay to the Rothschilds.
    .
    .
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_European_countries_by_average_wage
    .
    .
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_European_countries_by_median_wage
    .
    .
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_salaries_of_heads_of_state_and_government
    .
    I recommend that u click on “Head of Government” heading of table ;
    U then get to view the salaries in order of amounts.
    .
    Taoiseach is 9th highest in the world.
    Probably even more close to 1st in the world when teacher’s pension & T.D.’s pension & Senator’s ? pension & Government Minister’s pension ? are included.
    .
    But, of course, the politicos yee should all be investigating are the Senior Civil SERPENTS
    e.g.
    Secretary General of each Department

  41. http://www.lemetropolecafe.com/Img2016/Midas/11/23/A.jpg

    US Gross (heavy on Gross) national debt up 150% in last 10 years

  42. http://investmentresearchdynamics.com/gold-and-monetary-populism-the-oligarchs-mortal-enemies-the-peoples-salvation/

    Will the people awake in time to use the powerful weapon of private money to defeat the oligarchs. If not there is a rapid slide into economic servitude followed by physical enslavement already taking place. In India the government is so determined to control people it has demonitized its large banknotes. It is contemplating banning the importation of gold or even ownership of gold in a nation with a multi century tradition of wealth accumulation using gold.

    • Truthist

      So, what is a citizen to do when the State bans :
      1.
      importation of Gold
      2.
      [ exportation of Gold ? ; As part of an economy using actual Money -- i.e. Gold or Silver -- as the Currency for foreign trade ]
      3.
      ownership of Gold ?

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