November 24, 2016

Property porn is back — and it is as big a threat as Trump or Brexit

Posted in Irish Independent · 115 comments ·
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‘Stunning façades are finished in a unique glass cladding by Lithodecor, the reflective finish breaks down visual barriers to deliver a magical interplay between landscape and architecture.’

‘It’s about dissolving the buildings into their surroundings, while walkways suspended over babbling brooks draw the senses to the sounds, sights and benefits of nature.’

‘A Kilkenny Limestone plinth elevates the apartments, improving views and promoting the permeation and reflection of light throughout the development. Full height anodised windows and bespoke glass balcony balustrades channel swathes of light indoors while allowing the great outdoors to become a meaningful extension of living space. Dunluce is an inspiring vision of cosmopolitan apartment living in a world apart.’

‘Dunluce is a utopia of vibrant foliage that dances in shadow, colour and light throughout the day and seasons.’

We’re back! The property bull**** machine is in overdrive yet again. A decade after I devoted an entire chapter of a book, ‘The Pope’s Children’, to the saccharine language of middle-class property porn, we are being bombarded again. Read this stuff above again knowing that Dunluce is a new flat complex in Dublin.

In plain English, when we break down this hyperbole we understand that the silly term “reflective finishes” actually means “see-through”. Glass tends to be transparent. “Breaking down visual barriers” means being able to look out through a window. “Dissolving buildings” is perhaps my favourite bit of this. As for the “utopia of vibrant foliage that dances in shadow, colour and light”, well, I couldn’t have described a back garden more accurately.

The point is that the marketing, the branding and the BS has begun again across the property market, and the objective is to mortgage another generation of Irish people to overly expensive housing that adds no value whatsoever to the economy. In fact, given the billions tied up in property here — billions that could be used in other productive investments — it is obvious that the Irish economy loses out hugely from expensive property.

The housing/accommodation conundrum is a real crisis, not just because of the economic, social and emotional cost of expensive housing but because as Ireland becomes, yet again, fixated with property, the world economy is moving on. The globe is not waiting for Ireland to get over its addiction.

Sometimes, the disconnect between what is happening domestically and what is going on around the world is quite shocking.

If Ireland was North Korea and we were cut off from the rest of the world, this ostrich-in-the-sand approach might be understandable. However, Ireland is the most open economy in the world. We need to be aware of the rest of the world and remain one step ahead.

Although we talk about the “Irish economy”, we are not an autonomous economy in the real sense of the word. We are part of the global supply chain and therefore events abroad have an amplified impact on our incomes. As a result, we can’t afford the luxury of prices and costs here being out of whack with the rest of the world for long.

The disparity between local costs and international norms will destroy Irish prosperity, unless we can make ourselves cheaper through tax scams.

And here is the rub.

It is quite possible that the tax-scam era is coming to an end, which implies that the unique Irish tax subsidy could be over.

This week, Theresa May said she was aiming to bring corporation tax in the UK down to 15pc. We know that Donald Trump is aiming to do the same in the US. The implication of these moves for Ireland would be that our latitude to pay ourselves over the odds and charge over the odds for accommodation is much diminished.

When we were the only jurisdiction with low corporation tax, the low tax could be used as a way of disguising a lack of competitiveness in other areas. So Irish workers could be paid more because the company would get a tax subsidy, so the wage costs could be tolerated. As the rest of the Anglo/American world brings its tax down to the same level, the cost differences between competitor countries will become more and more material.

This means that domestic costs become more crucial. As a result, when the Government gives in to public-sector unions, it may deliver some electoral advantage but it diminishes us all in the medium term. Similarly, when we see nonsense like “utopias of vibrant foliage” to describe trees, we should be very aware that this language is nothing more than code to lever people into more debt for expensive accommodation. The more indebted our people are, the more uncompetitive we will become because debt is a form of economic slavery, particularly when it is wasted on accommodation.

Therefore, the issue for Ireland is to control what we can, not what we can’t. There is little point in complaining about Brexit or Mr Trump’s new policies whether they involve trade or tax.

We can’t control other people’s decisions, but what we can control is domestic costs.

The major domestic costs are public-sector wages and local property. I have no problem in paying people their fair share but I can’t understand why public-sector unions seem to believe any extra tax revenue generated in this economy is automatically their property.

Likewise, when there are so many other housing models rather than the overhyped, overleveraged, overblown ‘ramp it up and flog it off’ model of housing, we should look for alternatives. All over Europe — a continent that rarely experiences housing booms and bust — other models such as co-operative housing work extremely well. Shouldn’t we take a leaf out of their book?

The world around us is changing. We have to change with it to keep up. Otherwise we will flounder and it won’t be just the buildings that will be “dissolving”!

 


  1. Dorothy Jones

    Wow – that description at the beginning of the article really is something else!

  2. Deco

    Wow. That “sell” is shocking. I have heard it said that that advertising is about insulting people’s intelligence. Well property advertising really sdoes seek to promote everybody to stupid. And it achieves it by means of an intellectual dislocation – by making them feel as if they are aspiring to status. In Orwellian terms, if you take this massive loan that will make you poor, you will be able to look rich and sophisticated. Not since participation in the court of Versailles cost a fortune, has improvrishment looked so fantastic. The problem with the Versailles Court is that it dislocated so much wealth, that when one bad year hit, there were no resources to import the food to feed them.

    And now it seems as if the sector that contains the worst excesses of Irish obsession with status, and proper scamming, is about to relaunch itself with a nasty vengeance on the entire society. Based on that quotation, property promotion is back with as much distortion, deceit and arrogance as before. The greed for easy money never went away.

    I sometimes wonder who writes these property porn advertising peices. By any objective measure they are vomit inducing.

    They confirm my belief that advertising is often used a means of information control, that aims to stiffen the demand curve, and make it price insensitive.

    In other words, the real point of advertising is to make people pay more than they need to hand over.

    And this is to drive people into a frenzy that they forget the big nasty cost involved in the purchase.

    Which is exactly what happened in 2005, if the era of Bertie and that borrowing binge that bankrupted the society. It bankrupted society, by ensuring a more comprehensive transfer of large volumes of debt obedience from those that toil, to those that spoil.

    And that is also of relevance, because the regime in 2006 gave it’s full approval to financial unsustainability.

    Where are the lessons from what followed in the policy framework ?

    I don’t see any lessons learned being applied to the policy framework.

    I see many PR stunt policies, like being official serious about financial regulation. All that hard sell about two pillar banks. One of them is barely solvent. The other is a massive welfare parasite. the hard sell about cleaning up the insurance sector. A bath for Sean Quinn and a bailout for the bondholders. Because Quinn functioned as a trust breaker, and the bondholders had a hotline to the policy making monopoly in the EU imperial structure.

    Ponzieconomics is back again. With ultra low interest rates to distort asset prices, and a real estate bottleneck designed to deliver a short term improvement in the state of that massive welfare parasite bank that is costing society more dearly, than even the bank that Seanie and his apprentice broke.

    The Irish establishment did not bother learning the lessons. They did not need to. They got an authority boost from the imperial power centre. They got more credit. And they have returned to doing what they know best. Controlling the rest of us, and making us indebted.

    The dominant political and economic ideology of the day is still Ponzi-economics. Kenny is Bertie 2.0.

  3. Deco

    You, I sometimes thing that the Irish establishment are more modelled on Barry Lyndon than Ross O’Carroll Kelly.

    With O’Kelly, it is obvious that he is an idiot. We see his complex, and no work ethic. Maybe he is analogy for a certain pillar bank. An empty vacuous financial vortex, with a rugby jersey on top, and lots of big talk.

    But with Lyndon, we see one scam after another. A lot of pretence. And a performance “at the heart of Europe” to play with all the other fraudsters, and get a pat on the head. An awful lot of lies. A scam ethic. And the veneer of being a gentleman, whilst living off the largely unseen peasantry.

    For some strange reason, Barry Lyndon is never shown on Irish TV.

    Is it because it is revealing of the deepest mores of Official Ireland ?

  4. jaysus

    Here in Norway where I live they have housing coops. The land is bought by the coop and becomes a common debt to be shared out between the new owners of the apartments or houses built on the land. Rules are enforced to block buy to let investors.
    They are very popular starter homes for new families. The coop also runs its own estate agent to avoid the type of bullshit listed by David. Maintainence is done collectively which reduces costs. They also pay collectively for bin collection, internett, etc at big discounts.
    Why can’t Irish politicians come to Norway to see how it all works? Then they could replicate it at home.
    Too afraid to usurp their “developer” friends no doubt.

    • mike flannelly

      Sounds like a great system. The next step for David is to provide an Irish costed version stating the exact spread sheet costs of the different variables.

      Today you can get a Limited plastering/blocklaying company or carpentry company to provide labour, tools, work vehicles for 25e per hour and pay their own private pension contributions. This is 67% of the 37e per hour Irish school teacher wage that just covers basic labour and partial private prnsion costs.

      The sooner the total costs of a new housing system are measured, the better.

      We are still realing over the charity status of noonans vulture fund landlord friends with their cheap firesale houses that pay 0% tax on rent.

      Bring back the retired tradesman landlord who paid a 350000 mortgage (40% went to irish state)with one rental property used as his private pension and pays 40% tax on rent.

      With landlords you have to measure the monsters properly.

  5. Deco

    David is right.

    Britain wants to get more investment into Britain.

    The US wants to bring back employment to the US.

    And even France, with it’s move towards Fillon, wants to get more investment back into France, to get business working.

    And as far as I can see they are all concerned about productive investment, in traded sectors and manufacturing. Meanwhile in Ireland we are playing monopoly board games with real money.

    Both Trump and May’s Chancellor of the exchequer, want investments that drive up productivity in their societies.

    Meanwhile, here in Ireland we have quangocrats trying to defend their mini-empires, and their entitlement programs. We also have union politicians playing the 70s show, trying to make public services so expensive that they cannot be made more efficient, due to power politics, and the cost of “implementing change”.

    The broad thrust of policy in Ireland is in the wrong direction.

    The “leadership” is useless. Completely useless. Except in maintaining a pretence. The only oppposition consists of various loose ends who are even more useless.

    Ireland is completely deluding itself. The debts are increasing. The cost of living is out of control. And our commitment to a policy making monopoly in the nEU imperial racket is killing us.

  6. Mike Lucey

    I somehow think that the Irish People like the people of the USA and UK may be about to see through the scam.

    The quicker we start looking at ways of building wealth on the natural resources that we have to hand and give up the ‘cute hoor’ tax policies in place the better will be our chances of holding on to our current 20 to 25 year olds and future 25 year olds, the life blood of our country.

    Trump is having an effect as Apple are now looking at the possibility of making the iPhone in the USA. I believe the iPhone is Apple’s cash cow and they more that likely would be paying their corpo tax in the US. I think many other USA MNs will follow suite.

    At one time in the distant past we had a Minister for Fisheries and Forestry, a bit of a makey up Ministry at the time for two of our potentially great natural resources that are well capable of generating national wealth and ongoing sustainable jobs but at the same time CJH realise that these resources deserved their own man.

    Now we have a Minister for Agriculture, Food and (by the way) the Marine. Current and recently past governments clearly have regarded and continue to regard our territory waters as not part of our natural resources. When will we wake up and take back what should never have been foolishly been given away in the first place.

    Worth a read, Fishing for Justice, http://fishingforjustice.eu/wp/?page_id=2 as it shows our oversight and ongoing stupidity.

    • Truthist

      Mike, those numbers quoted are way underscored.
      .
      So, ur grievance for Irish nation is of much more value.
      .
      I have numerous times given u leads of how Irish nation was betrayed Re ; its marine resources.
      U need to up ur curiosity to serious ongoing investigation.

  7. Margaret

    “glass tends to be transparant” ! Brill article David, well done.

  8. It is a great article .
    Why do the administration of the nation refuse to heed proper professional advise and continue to refute common sense.We have seen before the recurring economic treason promulgated by those paid exorbitant salaries so that their legacy conforms to a political fudge and not the vision of the nation .

    I have over many years read so much contributions to this great site and continue to watch the Dept of Finance et al ‘dance to lughnasa’ and bring to the crossroads of trade a madness that is only matched by how much more you can drink .

    My personal opinion is the cause includes the absence of philosophy as a subject in second level education and in business .

    I believe David is a true philosopher where he uses many languages to deliver his message ie economics , football , comedy and travelling by absorbing the nations passing by .

  9. Mike Lucey

    In fairness the description, “reflective finishes” refers to the actual cladding finish (Lithedecor Glass Rainscreen Cladding System) which I like as its practically zero maintenance and does a great job in lessening the visible volumes of the buildings, one block as high a 6 stories.

    What I find a somewhat misleading in the advertising material is the furniture scale (size) in the floor plans, particularly the beds. They appear to me to be well undersized and this gives the impression of the rooms being much larger than they actually are. Anyone interested in looking into this, here, http://dunluced4.ie/floor-plans-2/danu/ can use the door widths as an 850 / 900mm guide.

  10. polomora

    The Economist regularly publishes surveys focusing on overpriced property markets. Ireland is no exception in this regard. In fact, most Northern European countries apart from Germany are more overpriced relative to Ireland, when measured on the basis of the proportion of the average salary spent on either mortgage repayments or rents.

    According to this survey, Ireland compares quite favourable to for example Belgium where I live. And in terms of house price increase in the past year, Ireland is near the bottom of the list. Of course, like everywhere there are large regional fluctuations.
    http://www.imf.org/external/research/housing/

  11. Peter Atkinson

    As you say David, they’re back in style. I’ve noticed over the last eight months the surge in planning applications in the Dublin 3 and 5 areas. The developers are targeting mature housing estates with a view to buying houses in batches of two or more with large gardens, completely demolishing them and constructing apartment blocks.

    Ironically this eight month splurge ties in nicely with a certain political party’s confidence and supply arrangement. I firmly believe the Soldiers of Destiny will be back on top of the pile within the next eighteen months and by that time the die will be cast for the mother of all housing financial meltdowns.

    All we can hope for is your constant mantra on the housing scam will be taken on board by a lot more potential buyers before it’s too late.

  12. Truthist

    Meanwhile, this evil nutcase, Mr. John Bolton, who regularly features as “expert” on Fox News & is highly prized by AIPAC in USA & Satan-yahoo is a very close favorite to be USA Secretary of State under Trump presidency.
    And, he would be very close favorite to be USA Secretary of State under Hillary Clinton presidency also.
    .
    .
    EXCERPT ;
    .
    John Bolton Calls for US to Impose Regime Change on Iran
    Concedes New Govt Wouldn’t Necessarily Be a Democracy
    .
    by Jason Ditz, November 17, 2016
    .
    Still considered among the candidates for President-elect Donald Trump’s Secretary of State, John Bolton is continuing to underscore his longstanding aversion of trying to come up with diplomatic solutions by urging the US to impose a regime change on Iran.
    .
    Bolton has long called for bombing Iran, and long criticized the nuclear deal with Iran. Today he said he thinks Iranians would probably welcome a “new regime,” though he conceded that whoever the US ended up installing might not be particularly democratic.

    Bolton suggested in his comments that the US regime change would mostly involve picking an opposition group to start backing, suggesting it might not even require the direct use of US military force. The opposition factions with Iran are fairly limited. The main rebel groups in Iran are regional, though as with fellow State Dept. candidate Rudolph Giuliani, Bolton is seen as particularly keen on long-time terrorist group the Mujahedin-e Khalq (MeK).
    .
    .
    http://news.antiwar.com/2016/11/17/john-bolton-calls-for-us-to-impose-regime-change-on-iran/

  13. Mike Lucey

    The EU never ceases to amaze me with their stupidity.

    ‘If EU parliament resolution to counter Russian media implemented, retaliation will follow – Moscow’

    https://www.rt.com/news/368045-european-resolution-media-response/

    ‘In the Wednesday vote, 304 MEPs supported the resolution based on the report ‘EU strategic communication to counteract propaganda against it by third parties’, with 179 voting against it and 208 abstaining.”

    It seems the East Europeans in parliament pushed this through. I imagine they have long memories about their past relationships with Russia.

    As regards the 208 abstainers. I don’t think they are being elected and paid to abstain! Even if the 208 abstainers split proportionally between the two sides at least we would know where everyone stands.

    If this goes ahead, it will be the last straw for me. I will not allow any entity to tell me what opinions I can and cannot listen to.

    • Deco

      Strangely enough, I don’t ever recall any of them passing a resolution on the false propaganda that is ECB stress testing on the banks, that deliberately covers up their weaknesses.

      • Grzegorz Kolodziej

        “passing a resolution on the false propaganda that is ECB stress testing on the banks”
        Well, we did not join the euro in first place so we are not subject to ECB rules on stress testing.
        Although, Poland was forced to buy the ECB’s eurobonds to the tune of the EU subsidies it has received (which subsidies are then, in lion’s share, recycled back to Germany in a way I described under the previous article).

        As the new Polish government proved to be very incalcitrant towards the EU Commission, Poland has become the EU’s netto payer as of this year.

        But this has brought some unexpected results (unexpected for the EU Commission): more room to maneuver.

    • We postulated months ago that there is no such thing as a free press anymore.
      The MSM are owned by the same controllers that own the banks and manipulate the economy. They are the war hawks as it profits the bottom line of the military industrial complex also owned by the same cabal.
      Any investigative journalist puts his life on the line these days as strange deaths proliferate.
      100+ and counting surrounds the Clinton activities.

      http://www.whatreallyhappened.com/RANCHO/POLITICS/BODIES.php#axzz4Qx4xTlLe

      RT is one of the better sources for news these days.

    • Alex Jones outlining voter fraud in the US. This is NOT fake news. Millions of dead, millions of non citizens, voted, often many times.
      ‘Vote early and vote often.’

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

    • Grzegorz Kolodziej

      “I will not allow any entity to tell me what opinions I can and cannot listen to.”

      My opinion on that – as everything in the mainstream media is propaganda (RT, BBC, RTE, CNN, etc), personally I would allow everyone to spread their own propaganda.

      I would like to draw attention to the fact that this is only relevant to the dinosaurs like us, who roam the earth despite supermarkets efforts to lower our IQs by selling food containing chemicals that do precisely this: anyone who has any contact with anyone under 24, they know that television plays absolutely no role in their lives, and they do not have attention spam long enough to absorb any news service.

      This US election saw the beginning of the death of mainstream media anyway.

      I have a feeling that, give us 10 more years, improve the indexing, and eliminate some personal attacks, excessive vulgarism and empty-brained one-liners from this blog, and WE will be the political website of reference in Ireland, which the likes of TV3 and RTE will follow and quote. This blog is probably already more influential than Peter Hitchen’s blog in England, which is arguably the most influential conservative blog: if you discount their excellent Spectator (but that’s traditional media).

      But

      One has to distinguish between a propaganda and “sleepers” structures. While I would allow any propaganda to compete, “sleepers” should dealt with counterintelligence and eliminated. Anyone who says otherwise did not think through the concept of independence of his state.

      Last but not least – I have a feeling that the RT thing is a smokescreen for a much bigger danger: Facebook and YouTube’s censorship. In Poland, Facebook is removing the accounts of those who do not toe the leftist line on a massive scale, while allowing anonymous threats, and YouTube has removed the biggest political channel in Poland based on false accusation of breaching the copyrights (they themselves admitted that the accusation was made on false grounds, but although they restored the channel, they are still blocking live reporting).

      Interestingly enough, all of this happened just before the US election, where the Polish lobby played a big role (Trump won Michigan, Wisconsin and perhaps Pennsylviania on Polish-American votes, hence Clinton’s disbelief as to what went wrong in “her” states; the effects are already seen – last week, a very important Senator from Mr Trump’s team who wishes to remain anonymous visited Poland to talk about foreign policy, while the Irish politicians titillating about one phone call they had with Mr Trump – who, btw, phoned the Polish President).

      The dangers related to Facebook and YouTube censorship are immense – as Facebook are pretty much the only source for information for the young generation.

      Take away them two from a 16 year old – and they would literally see no further point of living, as not being on Facebook is for them an equivalent of what going out to the shopping center naked is for us (I assume that most people here are older than 30).

      There was a letter written on that topic, and I have posted a link to it in the past, but it soooooo superbly written that I am taking the liberty of linking to it again:

      http://www.independent.ie/opinion/letters/generation-boring-take-note-life-is-for-living-not-recording-34734412.html

      Ceterum censeo Facebookem delendam esse

  14. Truthist

    Re-submission of opening reminder + important Links, from me to discussion of just previous article, giving tables & maps of Salaries for yee all to consider :
    .

    Contrary to what Bertie Ahern emphatically declared ;
    .
    “Ireland is still a 3rd world country !”
    .
    .
    Irish Civil SERPENTS’ opulent salaries
    .
    .
    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
    REPLY

  15. Truthist

    Final re-submission of comments from me & links per the theme ;
    .
    Irish Civil SEPRENTS’ opulent salaries
    .
    .
    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.
    .
    An Taoiseach is 9th highest paid in the world.
    Probably even more close to being 1st highest paid in the world when teacher’s pension & T.D.’s pension & Senator’s ? pension & Government Minister’s ? pension are included.
    Surely Ireland’s highest paid performer in show-business since Danny la Rue ?
    .
    But, of course, the politicos yee should all be investigating are the Senior Civil SERPENTS
    e.g.
    Secretary General of each Department

  16. Pat Flannery

    David is quite rightly casting around for a workable link that would tend to self-correct property appreciation and thus avoid another bubble. Last week he wrote “there’s an obvious solution: link pay rises to the provision of affordable housing … let one police the other”.

    That is exactly what we need but I cannot personally think of any practical mechanism of creating such a link and unfortunately David did not say how it might be achieved. However I do know of one tried and proven link: property taxation.

    The Irish Government is shying away from creating this perfect link for political not economic reason. The politicians continue to shy away from an “ad valorem” property tax, which is exactly the mechanism David is looking for. Nothing will “police” property appreciation better than “linked” taxation.

    • Grzegorz Kolodziej

      property taxation

      How about removing tax privileges for having properties in Dublin that lie idle, which result in some landlords ripping out the toilets only to fit into the 0% tax category or 50% tax discount? There are some location near Liffey with houses so derelicts that you can see shrubs growing out of them.

      Also, am I the only one here who sees the correlation between rent allowances system and high rents (that is usually availed of by the landlords anyway – the category of people who are outside of it are the genuinely poor, the outsiders among the outsiders)? There has been a study done in three OECD countries that I linked to in the past (and have no time to trace it now) that showed that in all of those countries structures similar to rent allowance (which in Ireland is granted on criteria varying between discretionary and how much you are prepared to cheat as a landlord – I know towns where 100% of DAFT adds to not take rent allowance tenants – forbidding the phrase made the matters worse – while all the add-posters avail of the rent allowance).

      http://www.irishexaminer.com/ireland/rent-supplement-increase-is-good-news-only-for-landlords-407431.html

      http://www.thejournal.ie/rent-allowance-1433157-Apr2014/

      • Grzegorz Kolodziej

        that in all of those countries structures similar to rent allowance led to rent increases from 30% – 80%

      • Grzegorz
        Any interference that increases demand will increase the price. Subsidies are self defeating.

        • Truthist

          Rent Allowance does not increase the demand for home from prospective tenant.
          The demand exists already.
          And, if no rent allowance ;
          ==> most of these tenancies would be rented for current rent minus rent allowance.
          Rent Allowance at this stage of its existence is carefully crafted to facilitate Landlord with private information about prospective, or existing, tenant being a social welfare class person.
          Forms & process from government being cunningly designed to make the landlord privy of prospective, or existing, tenant’s social welfare situation.
          It is none of the landlord’s business.
          But, it is to facilitate profiteering by landlord.
          This is sedition against the Irish State.
          And, it is designed to give tenant & state apparatus control over the prospective, or existing, tenant.
          .
          Deco, is correct about the penultimate end-game ;
          It is about Control.
          .
          The total end-game is about destruction of the virtuous Spirit.
          Ultimately, the war is a war against the Spirit ;
          The ‘Holy Spirit’ actually.
          .
          I shall now give Grzegorz an anecdote about landlordism in general as operating in Irish State which I’m sure that he will not dispute given that he is in the know about how it is on Paddy’s green shamrock shore.

          • Truthist

            Apologies for tautologous sentence.

          • Well if you agree that the subsidy increases the price what is the point of a subsidy. your logic says it is to give extra money to the landlord.

            I suspect that it is intended to help those who could not otherwise afford a rental help to do so. That extra money in the market automatically adds to the demand and puts up the rental costs.

            similar things happened in the housing market. lower interest rates provide the buyer with the ability to borrow more money which in turn increased the demand and thus up went the purchase price.

            The only way to lower prices is to increase supply rather than demand. A policy aimed at reducing the cost of construction would increase the supply and thereby lower the prices. ditto for rentals.

            The only way to lower the costs of housing are to increase the land available, raise the allowable density and reduce the expenses of construction.

            Eliminate random red tape and regulation, speed up the approval process, allow smaller lots and more units per unit of land of property, allow higher high rises, build units with bare furnishing and basic quality.

            You give one anecdote of a landlord and immediately name landlordism crass. You sound perverted in your thinking.

            http://www2.gov.bc.ca/gov/content/housing-tenancy/residential-tenancies

            Review the Residential tenancy act of BC. It has worked well for over 40 years.

            Attached to it is the office of for dispute resolution. A tenant can get a landlord asking for services in lieu would end in jail..

            A similar legislation would solve a lot of problems. BUT it will not provide for cheaper rentals. But it will provide fairness in the rental market.

            http://www.citizensinformation.ie/en/housing/renting_a_home/if_your_landlord_wants_you_to_leave.html

          • Truthist

            This comment is totally unjustified ;
            .
            ‘You sound perverted in your thinking”.

          • I did not mean to imply sexual deviancy but used the word in its other general sense.

            Such as..(of a thing) having been corrupted or distorted from its original course, meaning, or state.
            “this sudden surge of perverted patriotism”

          • Truthist

            For such a highly intelligent man & a hero to all nations reading this blog for ur ongoing investigating & revealing of that “when at a distance it is very safe to fight against” issue, vis. Bankster Scam Bundle, u are grossly unfair when the vice of landlordism is hinted about for what it really is.
            Do not be taking it personally as we acknowledge that u were as righteous as humanly possible relative to the field when u were operating within landlordism, but a crass social model it is, so it is ; Landlordism.
            .
            Landlordism is crass !
            And, within landlordism, the practise of landlordism is a vice ! ;
            Even if some landlords, & their agents, are actually nice people, & most tenants are not nice.
            .
            Landlordism is crass particularly in Ireland.
            And, even more so in urban settings.
            I have not even started to tell of the whole attendant other vices that exist because of Landlordism.
            .
            U, Tony, do not know much about how life is in Ireland.

          • Say what you like, but I continue to disagree with the assertion that the activity of being a landlord is itself “crass”.
            Millions of people voluntarily avail themselves of the services of a landlord.
            Millions of people travel and are hosted by landlords. Millions of landlords are vetted and discussed on line for quality of accommodations and amenities supplied.
            Millions of people require the service of a landlord for temporary and short term accommodation. Even some prefer the option of being a long term tenant rather than ownership.

            Rather than brand the landlord and landlordism as crass therefore condemning with a broad brush a large sector of the population, why not expound on the activity you define as crass and then I might have an understanding of what it is you are so outraged about.

            How would you propose to house the thousands of students that descend on to university campuses for example? How would house the family temporarily transferred to a new work location? How would you house the thousands of transitory workers who appear at the work-sites of major infrastructure projects?
            How would you house the millions of tourists? I suggest the only way is with the use of a landlord who has invested time effort and energy to fill a wanted need. Hotels, Inns, Bnb’s and apartments and houses for rent would otherwise be nonexistent. So would a large part of the economy.

      • Truthist

        Grzegorz,
        .
        Without trying to be uncouth, I feel need to inform u that many rents for homes — bedsit or flat or apartment or condominium — are paid ‘in kind’.
        The most common & expected by the greedy landlord “rental payment in kind” is the B.. J…
        .
        Landlordism is crass !

    • Sideshow Bob

      Pat Flannery,

      I disagree with you strongly when you say “Nothing will “police” property appreciation better than “linked” taxation.´´

      Taxation ( and other charges ) such as tax-breaks in various forms ( such as section 23 relief ) and other demand end incentives were relied on excessively during the boom here, and had many negative effects including the huge increase in amateur landlord-ism, zombie hotel phenomenon, hugely reduced numbers of affordable housing and social housing and worst of all they became the only solution that the Government had for doing anything. They ere applied unthinkingly and nobody has ever stopped stepped back and taken a look at the whole area. The whole mesh of taxation and charges and breaks is a big visible mess, 25 years on from their first promotion, and the only solution the Government has to this mess is yet more is demand size tax-breaks.

      The games surrounding Stamp Duty for housing were the worst of all, and the singularly most debilitating to the State coffers leading up to the bust. Shockingly the Government are still trying to fiddle this to suit the agenda.

      I don´t agree that a full on “ad-valorem´´ tax or the current property tax can will solve anything. The cost will simply (and yet again) be transferred to the end buyer.

      This transference of cost to the final buyer, where it by will be paid for by debt creation, is the classic result of solely neo-liberal economics in action in a property market. It is the more than just the consequence it is true aim of the market shapers ( Government and Banking elites if you like) to push the RISK of the default of that debt over to those farthest from them. BLAME can also be shifted away from them.

      The position of a measure of overall tax design of a State and basic real economics need to come into play for any taxation measure to be effective. Right now there are no decent architects ( so to speak) in charge of that design, or at least none with a social conscience.

      • Pat Flannery

        Sideshow Bob: it is OK that you disagree with me strongly about an “ad valorem” property tax, many people do, but you confused my “linked taxation” with “tax-breaks”, which I never actually mentioned. Therefore much of your counter argument was against something we probably agree upon, namely the misuse of “tax breaks” in the property market.

        I would therefore ask you to reconsider the merits of “ad valorem” property tax as your opposition seems to be based solely on the fact that the financial burden is placed on the buyer, which it is, but not by debt creation.

        The “ad valorem” tax burden impacts the purchase price and tends to make it lower. Every buyer has a maximum household budget. When a buyer does not have to pay an “ad valorem” tax the seller extracts a higher price. Irish sellers are currently achieving higher sales prices because Irish household budgets are free from an “ad valorem property tax.

  17. Mike Lucey

    I’ve just learned about latest UpLift campaign,

    ‘URGENT: Coveney sneaking through Eviction Bill’

    https://my.uplift.ie/petitions/reject-the-eviction-bill?utm_medium=email&utm_source=engagingnetworks&utm_campaign=vulturefunds&utm_content=16.11.24+VultureFunds-MyUpliftEscalation+B

    Its worth reading and then making your own mind up on wether to support or not.

  18. Grzegorz Kolodziej

    I would like to refer to a comment of Pie Squared from the previous article, for I think it is worth discussing and it chimes with what is discussed in this article and the comments below.

    He or she commented on David’s previous article:

    “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.”

    I dare to disagree with some of the above statements.
    1) The housing crisis is about the entire Republic for if it was not, people would not commute from Dundalk or Carlow to Dublin. It affects most of the population, and it probably affects people living in commuter belts even more than Jackeens (the young Jackeens can always temporarily go back to their parents, while the old ones are usually those who benefited from the property boom in first place, like my old manager – who bought a house for 170,000 Irish pounds, sold it for well over a million, bought a house for himself and his daugher in Carlow, and still had spare money to open a small business; there was no wisdom in his choices (in fact he was about the daftest manager I worked with, really low IQ guy) – because he was not making any choices – he just happened to follow the flock at the right time.
    Another fellow born 30 years later might have 10 times his smarts, but be commuting 100k and have no savings. So no, the housing crisis is at least about Leinster, and probably Munster too.

    2) It is not a failure – it deliberate. The Anglo-Saxon’s world’s strategy is to extinguish the fire with petrol by keeping interests low, which creates the property bubble. All Irish (and British) governments agreed with that and made the problem worse by tapping into the indigenous rentier culture. Since around the 1960s, the British Isles stopped manufacturing competitive stuff and their entire populations started to believe that money comes from the magic “safe as houses” box. When it crashes, they say “no one told us”. This is a slave mentality – do what you are told. Everlasting adolescence.

    3). Yes. But who is hold responsible? David knew this was what was going to happen with NAMA and I knew that (we both wrote on that when NAMA was created): that NAMA will buy stuff expensively, and sell it to the vulture funds. But we have not seen the last stage yet. The last stage is: when the bubble pricks, the vulture funds will sell all that property and, if Mr Trump lowers the corporation tax, all we will have left will be – to paraphrase Mr McWilliams – a brutal weather.

    4) Dublin is not overpopulated. The whole country is ridiculously underpopulated, at sub-Saharan levels (now, heaven forfend that this is an argument for taking fake refugees, in reality Jihadists – it is not). With the area that it occupies, Dublin could easily be a city of 10 million. Dublin is o v e r s t r e t c h e d and disconnected, and that’s different than overpopulation. I know Dublin very, very well – better than many Dublin-born taxi drivers who, before GPS, were often completely lost (in terms of topography and housing) and while there are some apartments around Parnell that might be overpopulated, and I can tell you that Dublin is not an overcrowded city.

    Dublin is a city of people living in vast houses they cannot afford, paying rents and mortgages they cannot afford, spending money on heating due to those houses third-world construction (i.e. the first company that introduced the concept of windows insulation to Ireland on a massive scale was Aluglass from Poland), and commuting ridiculous distances due to the choice that is not theirs.

    It is also a city of large property portfolio landlords who cannot spell, have 1,000 words vocabulary at the most, have no cross-reference system in their accounts and yet in the past they would have hold high positions in BOI. For some reason, media think they are economic experts.

    I know that – I won a court case against one of them.

    • Pie Squared

      Hi Me Again,

      Thanks Grzegorz for taking the trouble to chew on my previous post!

      1) The housing crisis is really about Dublin

      Agree. Exactly my point. Commuting from Carlow or Dundalk to Dublin IS about Dublin AND not about Carlow or Dundalk. The work/jobs and wealth is concentrated in Dublin. While we now have better national roads, thanks to the EU, they are congested into Dublin and given our ageing, painfully slow national railway network commuting is torture. Where are the jobs/wealth in Carlow and Dundalk and further afield? Why does Dublin dwarf other counties? It has a population of 1.34m in a country with a population of 4.59m i.e. 30%. This strategy has been questioned before and needs to be questioned again.

      2) The demand for housing in Dublin is really about the failure of Ireland to devise and implement a flourishing regional strategy in Ireland.

      Even if this failure is brought about by a deliberate strategy. Look at the UK – Brexit has happened, so there is an awakening of sorts. Whatever about Britain and the Anglo Saxon way, this is Ireland and we still need a flourishing regional strategy, preferably based on a National strategy that has some understanding of our past, our present and our future. See this article on the failure I’m talking about: Why the National Spatial Strategy failed and prospects for the National Planning Framework https://irelandafternama.wordpress.com/2015/07/24/why-the-national-spatial-strategy-failed-and-prospects-for-the-national-planning-framework/

      3) mostly the REITS are making money on property in Dublin. Agree re lack of responsibility if things go pop.

      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 England).

      Agree Ireland is vastly underpopulated. That’s the country’s biggest problem – for the past 170 odd years. What other countries in the world can boast a population less than in 1841? I concede your point that Dublin could be a city of 10 million (think what it would be if the Famine had not occurred) but it is most definitely overpopulated relative to the rest of Ireland. Your comments are well made, re Dublin being overstretched and disconnected, people living in vast houses – but let’s face it, I know Dublin well too – it’s a coastal city with Victorian roads in the inner city and you’d have to flatten it to introduce world class public transport and to convince Dubliners to live in apartments – big behavioural change required and investment.

      My point is – Ireland would be significantly stronger if there was less focus on Dublin and its housing crisis and more focus on distributed regional wealth and redressing the oppression of our fathers, evident in our brutal history and the travesty this country must still recover from. A real vision for this country, a plan, a set of actions. And some experimentation, On every street in every town, on every lane. An uprising of sorts. 100 years later. ;)

  19. Grzegorz Kolodziej

    It is a small and rather humorous thing, but it bothers me so I thought I’ll share it.

    Mr Farage claims he met Mr Trump recently and has thrown in this picture to prove it. This is all fine, except this does not look like Donald Trump to me.
    Has Nigel gone totally bull and berserk? You judge for yourself:

    http://anmblog.typepad.com/.a/6a00d8341c565553ef01bb0954a8f5970d-pi

    • http://time.com/4569416/donald-trump-nigel-farage-meeting-theresa-may/

      Listen to Farage’s message to the UK and EU

      Disparagement of Trump or Farage is not prudent policy.

      • Grzegorz Kolodziej

        I am not disparaging Trump or Farage, I am merely pointing out that this photo of Mr Trump looks fake.

        Besides, many people have met Trump after the election, i.e. a friend of mine who works for Breitbart.

        We are both Christians, Tony, and we should all be directed by the biblical principle a fructibus eorum cognoscetis eos: by which I mean that even though I was supporting Mr Trump and predicting he would win (and in which state, and why), I will shape my opinion fully when the first year of him in the office is passed.

        We can pretty much say we know who Mr Obama and Clintons are, and we both rejected who they are.

        With Trump – there are some things we can say about him, but he is largely A Big Unknown (particularly because some of his statements were contradictory)…

        • Truthist

          Speaking of Trump & Breitbart News ;
          .
          Stephen Bannon ?
          Will Trump Support Israeli Expansionism and Genocide ?
          .
          EXCERPT
          .
          By Ray Songtree, Nov 22, 2016
          “The only [candidate] that’s going to give real support to Israel is me,” said Donald Drumpf. “The rest of them are all talk, no action. They’re politicians. I’ve been loyal to Israel from the day I was born. My father, Fred Trump, was loyal to Israel before me.” – HenryMakow.com
          Stephen Bannon is now Trump’s new White House chief strategist and senior counselor.
          Bannon had helped produce a documentary movie from the book Clinton Cash, which may yet put Hillary and Bill Clinton in jail for some of their many crimes. However, despite Trump’s call for accountability during his campaign for President, and his rallies where supporters chanted “LOCK HER UP,” he has quickly backed off idea of pursuing prosecution of Hillary. Trump’s daughter Ivanka and Chelsea Clinton are good friends, after all. In fact, Trump has backed off on 8 campaign promises in first 9 days since being elected.
          Before being appointed by Trump, Bannon had been Executive Chairman at Breitbart News, after the mysterious death of founder Andrew Breitbart.
          The sudden death of Breitbart on March 1, 2012, at age 43 was suspicious, especially since a coroner’s assistant, Michael Cormier, died soon after the autopsy report. The autopsy claimed Breitbart had died of “natural causes.” Cormier died from arsenic poisoning, which is not used for suicide, as it causes a very agonizing death. As suicide using arsenic is very unlikely, how did he get poisoned by arsenic? Was Courmier killed to help cover the murder of Andrew Breitbart?
          “Speaking to reporters at Los Angeles’s KABC News, investigators with the LA Police Department say that doctors at the hospital that Cormier died at, have raised suspicions over the coroner’s death.” – RT
          In this writer’s opinion, Andrew Breitbart was knocked off and replaced by CEO Larry Solov and Chairman Stephen Bannon, who is now working for Trump. Though some feel it was Andrew Breitbart’s threat to unveil dirt on Obama that triggered his murder, I personally feel that Andrew Breitbart was too unpredictable as an investment and his expendability quotient had come due. The globalists that made Breitbart News successful, then eliminated him, just as Steve Jobs was removed, just as so many other celebrities and politicians have been removed. Fame and success is funded, and those pulling the strings can also pull out the rug. Control is accomplished with a carrot and a stick.
          Globalists funded (and here) Breitbart News to become so big, so quickly. Robert Mercer and daughter Rebekka Mercer, for example, are top Jewish billionaires supporting both Breitbart News and Trump.
          .
          .
          https://lipstick-and-war-crimes.org/will-trump-support-israeli-expansionism-genocide/

          • Grzegorz Kolodziej

            Of course, as the Jewish lobby is the most powerful lobbies in the US (although one can argue that they are only a part of the liberal lobby – in a modern American vernacular sense, not in the old Lockean sense), every candidate for the US President jas to appear at AIPAC meeting, or else he loses huge chunks of his votes (Sanders did not but that’s only because he grew up in a Kibutz).

            I think that you phrased it quite well when you said that Trump is on a longer leash than Clintons and thus less predictable.

            I think he is as independent as any US candidate can be, and this is not to say that he is totally independent – we have to get real (and who is totally independent? Is Putin independent of KGB? Is the the Chinese Prime Minister independent of the Communist Party?).

            Same goes for Breitbart.

            Having said that, I am refusing to be drawn into long debates under the umbrella “do the Jews rule the world?”, for I think that if we were to focus most of our attention on discussing the obvious, it would only dull our cognitive blades.

            What I mean is that while worth pointing out, this topic (Zionism) cannot replace or obstruct our discussion of more important problems, related to macroeconomics, geopolitics, ethic, metaphysics, theology, military, housing, and so on and so forth.

            So – on the lines of throwing in a teaser rather than willing to engage in discussions on Zionism – I will put down this to you:

            1. Consider that Mr Matthew Tyrmand, a friend of mine, who writes for Breitbart, knows Mr Trump for many years and is a New York Jew of Polish origin (if that makes sense to you), and it rather supportive of Israel, was accused by Mr Henry Foy from the Financial Times and Adam Michnik/George Soros’ Gazeta Wyborcza in Poland of… antisemitism, and forced to resign from his function in the Polish Department for Foreign Affairs (the Department in the current PiS government I am most critical of – I am most positive about the current Department of Defense).

            This clearly contradicts Mr Songtree’s narrative Breibart = Zionism

            2. I wonder why you never mention that pro-Russian, pro-Trump InfoWars are clearly pro-Zionist:

            https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NXjopOSd-as

            (disclaimer: I am not a supporter of Mr David Duke – I am merely using the IPSO’s ruling on freedom of speeach in case of Dr Kevin McCarthy from Kinsale and his historically mendacious, hate-inciting article in the Belfast Telegraph – I am posting this link because a) it is more interesting than “Dr” McCarthy’s racist rants and b) Mr Duke is morally far less deplorable a person than “Dr” Kevin McCarthy from Kinsale (not to be confused with Dr McCarthy from UCC!). I am also hereby warning that anyone who questions posting links to Mr Duke opposes the IPSO rulling on freedom of speech).

            or (on a topic of InfoWars and Zionism):

            https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ktX4viox8zY

            This is not to say that InfoWars are not worth watching. The reality is multi-shady and angular, not black and white.

            3. A topic you do not mention also is PRESIDENT PUTIN AND HIS (and his mentor’s) SUPPORT FOR ZIONISM (bear in mind that his mentor and adviser, Alexander Dugin, has clearly defined himself as an enemy of white western civilization so much so that he even praised in writing the massacres of the whites in Zimbabwe! – “Russia is saved only because we are not pure white. So I am for red, green, yellow, blacks – but not whites. I am wholeheartedly support Zimbabwe”).

            3.1. From Reuters:
            “Putin counts numerous Jewish businessmen and officials as friends, and acknowledges the positive influence of Jews on him during his childhood. Putin also supported the founding of the Jewish Museum and Tolerance Center in Moscow, even donating his own money; stated his “fierce opposition to any manifestation of anti-Semitism and xenophobia”; ensured the return of many synagogues to Russian Jews previously seized by the Soviets and just initiated a law against anti-Semitic Biblical commentary.”

            3.2 President Putin signed an agreement with Israel aimed at punishing people who criticise the Holocaust-industry and question the “liberating” role of the Red Army (there was even a first sentence in Russia).

            3.3 Gazprom closely cooperate with Israeli Levant LNG Marketing Corp, who plays part in Israeli expansionism

            3.4 InfoWars rightly point out that Saudi Arabia is behind islamic terrorism – but they NEVER EVER mention that Putin played a big role in strengheting Saudi Arabia’s attacking capabilities by selling Iskanders to Saudi Arabia.

            P.S. On another topic: I know that Mr Daniel Cohn-Bendit had paedophilic episodes: I was the first person in Ireland to expose it by posting a link in which young Mr Bendit (the leader of the Greens in the EU Parliament) talks about his sexual experiences with creche (!) kids he had while… working with then (this tells you a lot about the moral condition of the Carolingian Europe (France, Germany and Benelux); btw, the 1968 generation wanted to legalise paedophilia and I reckon that having legalised unrestricted abortion and gay adoptions, they will attempt it again:

            http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/europe/germany/10312930/Germanys-Green-Party-leader-regrets-campaign-to-legalise-paedophilia.html

            So I am delighted that Mr Trump will turn off the subsidies tap for the climate change scam green paedophilic lobby and all useful idiots who support them (mostly in good faith!).

            So because I said all I had to say, we can now go back to discussing houses and vulture funds.

          • Truthist

            Gzegorz, ur info on Putin & Dugin is well noted.
            .
            I hope that u refer to my points about Rent Allowance & Landlordism when opportune & relevant in thread of discussion to forthcoming article of Davids.
            Ditto about Freemason info. I gave recently about then Taoiseach Cowen heckling Fine Gael front bench at Dail sitting [ And, such a slur whether justified or not is taboo in Irish public life ; Especially at formal settings ; Also, even in robust live media debates ], & the accusations by Judith Duffy about coup against Cowen by Freemason cabal within Fianna Fail so as to insert Mr. Me-hole Martin.
            Also, I hope that u note the serious implications of there being Freemason Lodges in prestigious private secondary colleges of Irish State.
            Blackrock College has such a Freemason Lodge for sure.

          • Grzegorz Kolodziej

            Truthist,

            I read all posts (sometimes with a few days delay) and this also applies to your post about freemasonery.

            But it’s too time consuming to comment on everything (especially that if one backs up comments with links and sources – I am the exception here inasmuch in some of my comments, i.e. on Keynes, I did a huge favour to economy students readings this blog by giving references to pages and full references of books that are not digitised (and most interesting books are not digitised)).

            What’s more important, you know m u c h more about freemasonary than me (even though purely accidentally in my Kraków halcyon days I have known 2 people who would later become the leader and his deputy leader of the B’nai B’rith lodge), so who am I to comment.

            We should not exaggerate either and go into a paranoid mode by claiming that everything is controlled by secret societies.

            While there is not doubt that the likes of Rotschilds and Rockefellers have more power than what ends up in the media (it’s sufficient to mention the Jaruzelski – Rockefeller meeting in New York 1985, where they talked – among other things – about… GMO), I would not be surprised if the Bilderberg Group was intentionally shrouding themselves in secrecy (by blocking access) to appear more important than they are (after all, Polish members of Bildeberg are important politicians, but not, say, top-10 important).

            All I can say is to repeat once again that Ms Hanna Suchocka, an unknown politician of the third party of the Communist three parties triumvirate, becomes a prime minister of Poland after spending a few days with the Grand Master of Grand Orient de France in castle in Ciazen (Suchocka was arguably the worst prime minister of Poland after Donald Tusk (of course I am not counting the communist ones) – her rule ended up in high taxation, invigilation of the conservative politicians by secret service, and eventual collapse of her government in 1993 which paved the way to the return of the post-communists to power).

            As a Sunday bonus, I am posting a photo of the castle in Poland where Ms Suchocka met the Grand Master. The castle contains the largest collection of masonic books in Poland (80,000):

            https://pl.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pa%C5%82ac_biskupi_w_Ci%C4%85%C5%BCeniu#/media/File:Ci%C4%85%C5%BCe%C5%84_-_pa%C5%82ac_biskup%C3%B3w_pozna%C5%84skich_01.jpg

            It is a palace built for the bishop of Poznan, Czartoryski (from the famous family of Czartoryski), who was a freemason.

            As another bonus and because you are so drawn to mystique and dark (and because I am in a good mood today – won my accu on Trump and Nico Rosberg – I knew that Nico had more engines left than Lewis Hamilton, so I decided to put money on him in May), I am drawing your attention to the name of man you never heard off, a man, who – you’d better sit down – was CONTROLLING ROTSCHILD who was his client):

            https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Stefan_Ossowiecki

            Addendum to the info in wiki: Enigma was eventually cracked by three other mathematicians, who reversed engineered it and gave it to the English in 1939, who brought it to the Bletcheley Park.

            This has shortened the war by what some reckon even up to 2 years.

            The only thanks that Poland has received from England for that was:

            1. London retained the gold Poland has deposited after removing it from Poland via Romania in September 1939.
            2. England was against sending her planes to help the Warsaw Rising in 1944 because it needed the Polish pilots (who were the best trained – Division 303 has the highest killing efficiency) to defend London.
            3. England got more than 50% of ALL their WWII-Europe intelligence information from the Polish underground.
            4. In return, the Poles were the only nation not invited by Churchill to the victory parade in London (even people from Mauritious were invited) and Poland had to pay for… the equipement it used defending England.

            This is an excerpt from the discussion on forum.axishistory.com:

            “Dear PR6 in Surrey… I’m a Sussex man myself.

            I quite agree… but the question I would ask is since when? Before Poland joined NATO there was nothing. Look at “The World at War” the ITV series from the 1970. Count the references to the Poles… sound paranoid but… everyone knows about the Resistance in the West (viz. Secret Army/Allo Allo)… Everyone on this forum knows about the Poles but we are hardly typical. The fact that you are here would exempt you from the epithet of “general public” I am referring to the “man on the Clapham Omnibus”… or for that matter “the chattering classes”. It is a generalisation, but if you ask most people about WW2 and Poland what do you think they will say? You watch historical documentaries… do you thing the Big Brother crowd do?

            For the last 50 years Poland contribution has by minimised both by poor historical reporting and by the wilful policy of governments (British/US and Soviet) for similar and yet opposing reasons. Look at the 40 anniversary of D-Day – the poles were not even invited to attend. An oversight that only one BBC reporter was brave enough to point out. (I think it was John Tusa if memory serves me)

            I agree that the war was a combined effort… but by constantly and systematically omitting Poland from the equation it has led to a public perception that there was no effort from the Poles. Let me take a fatuous example. “The Great Escape”… look it up in Wikipedia and see what it says about StalagLuft III…

            The Americans present were actually serving in either the British or Canadian military (mostly the RAF or RCAF, but John Dodge was in the British army). The POWs were mainly British, Canadian and Australian. (Refer to the prison camp link for more historical details.)

            In terms of numbers this is true. The film did have Charles Bronson playing “the Tunnel King” character who was a Polish Pilot. One pilot from many seem about right…yet…

            Over 10% of the pilots shot by the Gestapo after the “Great Escape” were Poles. Go figure. Where did they come from? I don’t remember them in the film. Try and find that gem on any mainstream source of information. That you have to look for. This is one example from a whole stack. For a variety of reasons the Poles have not figured in popular British history since the end of WW2 (when they became such a thorn in the arse of the Foreign Office.)

            It’s not that the Poles are a particularly sensitive bunch… but it would be nice to get the recognition that is deserved. It has taken a long time for the situation to improve… but starting from zero it could hardly have got worse.

            Regards, M

            by henryk » 21 Jan 2006, 21:56

            I have visited the Royal Air Force Museum, London, about five times. There have been displays of Axis aircraft. However the only mention I ever saw of the Polish Air Force was a remote wall plaque put up by a Polish Organization.
            In the Army Museum there was an exhibit displaying the German flag captured at Monte Cassino. There was no mention that it was captured by the Polish Army.”


            If we look at Soviet historiography, what do they say about the Poles? Lt-Col Zygmunt Duszynski, the second-in-command of the 3rd Infantry Regiment, 1st Division hoisted a Polish flag next to three Soviet ones on Berlin’s victory monument – the Siegessaeule – in the Tiergarten. The next day it had been taken down by order of the Soviet High Command. Nothing would be allowed to impinge on the idea of a Soviet victory. The situation remained much the same for the last 50 years. Looks at a Soviet book on “The Great Patriotic War”… the Red Army’s westward march was a war of liberation by the Soviet people. The Polish 1st and 2nd Armies comprised of ten full infantry divisions, with another four in training, five artillery divisions, a cavalry brigade, an armoured corps and an air corps of fighter, bomber and ground assault aircraft. In effect the Poles made up 13% of the manpower and 25% of the independent armoured corps of Soviet General Zhukov and General Koniev’s drive on the capital of Germany. You would be hard pushed to find that in a pre-glasnost Soviet history book. However, to give the Soviets credit, when they held their victory parade in Red Square, representatives of the 1st and 2nd Polish Armies were invited to attend and marched alongside the victorious Red Army – this is more than can be said for the British response.

            The contraction and disappearance of Soviet influence WAS the catalyst for a new interest in central Europe but, and particularly from the British perspective, it led to an and to the embarrassment of the Polish Armed Forces question that dominated so much of the British Foreign Office’s time from 1944 to1949. Because of many years of indoctrination by the British media, the British public viewed Moscow with a great deal of sympathy – a feeling the Poles under British command did not share. Many elements of the British press called the Poles “fascists” and “reactionaries” because they did not share the official policy of gratitude to “our gallant Soviet ally”. To be fair to the War Office, the Military establishment did what it could to alleviate the problems of the Poles. The Foreign Office was forced by its political masters, a very radical Labour party, to tow a line it did not really want to follow. After the Yalta debate one labour Member of Parliament stood up and said:

            “The first point I want to make on that subject is this. What about the good faith of the USSR? I might have dilated upon that, and hon. Members would not have been surprised if I had given a number of instances of its good faith, but I do not wish to make my speech longer…. Does she [the USSR] want to absorb Poland herself or make a puppet of Poland? [...] I do not see for one moment why she should desire, in the very least, to make the Polish a puppet. It would only lead to endless squabbles with Great Britain and the United States. Further, the Soviet Union has shown very clearly in recent months that she values, at least as much as we do, the vital business of the three Great Powers remaining friends…. One of the amazingly remarkable things demonstrated in this war is that a multinational state like the Soviet Union, with a great variety of races and with a hideous history of repression in Tsarist days of almost all these races by one of them, has remained completely strong and coherent, so that the ordinary observer does not know that it is a multinational state. Remember that every nation within it has the absolute right to secede at any moment, but none has wanted to, because it is perfectly happy where it is.”

            With hindsight of the Cold War that was to come, it is difficult to believe that people actually thought this to be true. But there were many who wanted to hide away the Polish armed Forces under British Command so as not to rock the boat of post-war cordiality.

            So preoccupied with Appeasing Moscow and the de-facto Polish Government in Warsaw was the British government, that in the final victory parade London in 1945 it did not invite the Polish Army in the West to attend. It sent an invitation to Warsaw – which promptly boycotted the ceremony. London Polish pilots were invited but they boycotted since the other military arms had been omitted. Result: there were no poles in the victory parade. The day before the parade Harold McMillan wrote to General Anders, GOC 2 Polish Corps:

            “I tell you this frankly; that with all the legitimate joy and pride in every British heart will be mingled much sorrow and even shame. My thoughts will be with you and your troops.”

            When the Belgian towns of Bevernwaas and St Nicolas proposed to present banners to regiments of the 1st Armoured Division who had liberated them, the idea was vetoed by the Foreign Office:

            “In the circumstances we feel that any public ceremonies of the nature contemplated by the Belgian town would be inappropriate at the present juncture.”

            The Foreign Office tried to persuade the Belgians to stop the presentation ceremonies or at least to tone them down so as not to draw attention to them. The Polish Armed Forces in the West had become a political embarrassment to be hidden away. In any case Foreign Office would not agree to GOC 1st Polish Corps, General Maczek or the Polish Chief of Staff, General Kopanski, attending.

            And so the polish Armed forces slipped into obscurity. From 1947 any reference to “Polishness” were frowned upon. The Foreign Office became obsessive with the desire to obliterate any “foreignness” so that the Poles could slip into Britain without too much attention being drawn to them. Large sections of the British public did not want the “fascist” Poles to settle in Britain so it was easier to demobilise the troops, integrate them into British society, and hope that they would just go away. There were thousands of Polish Soldiers going to be settled in Britain. (Along with thousands more Displaced Persons from other countries; European Volunteer Workers;demobilised SS divisions). The British Government had to appease the left of its party as well as pander to the xenophobia of the right-wing.

            The Poles made a request with the War Office to be allowed to fly Polish flags at Polish Resettlement Corps camps. Given the efforts made today to preserve ethnic and cultural diversity, flying flags would appear a reasonable enough request, the Foreign Office looked at it with horror. As Roper of the FO wrote to Major Roberts at the War Office:

            “Frankly we do not like this. The flying of Polish flags would involve, no doubt, the usual ceremonies, and the whole thing will draw public attention to the foreignness of the men in the Polish Resettlement Corps, which is just what we are trying to get away from. They are a part of the British Army which is going to be absorbed into civilian life alongside British citizens.
            If you agree, perhaps the British Advisory Staff could intimate to General Kopanski that they do not want to hear anymore of this proposal for the reason I have given.”

            – if we don’t mention the Poles, perhaps no one will see us sneek them in.

            Another example: 30 years ago the Poles erected a monument to the Katyn murdered in Gunnersbury Cemetery in north London; the British Government refused to attend the unveiling ceremony on the 18th September, 1976, and forbade any British military representation on the day. This attitude drew angry protests from several quarters. Winston Churchill, grandson of the wartime premier, wrote indignantly in “The Times”:

            “The unveiling which is to be attended by thousands of British and Polish Comrades-in-Arms, as well as by a representative of the Government of the Unites States and many members of the Diplomatic Corps, is apparently to be boycotted by the British Government for fear of annoying the Soviet Union. Indeed the Government has gone further: it has refused a military band and forbidden serving officers from attending in uniform. A sad and shameful tribute to the sacrifice of the valiant ally for which Britain went to war in 1939.”

            Sir John Slessor, Marshal of the RAF, also wrote to “The Times” seething at the British reaction:

            “For gross bad manners and craven ingratitude this is surely unbeatable. It is, alas, only one more example of the sort of thing that makes it difficult nowadays to be proud to be British.”

            Lets take a more modern example. The “World at War” produced by ITV in the 1970s. In the original programme “Genocide” about the liberation of Majdanek – the camp was liberated by the Red Army. In the more updated version “The Final Solution”– with vvery similar commentary by Eric Porter – the camp was liberated by the Poles. The list of these “oversights” is very long. Some might argue that it was from ignorance – others, less charitable, might argue that it was the response of a political establishment trying to play down some unpleasant Cold-War truthes.

            – if we don’t mention the Poles, perhaps no one will ask why our onetime ally is now our enemy.

            In conclusion, yes I agree that many other countries contributions to WW2 have been written out of the history books. My argument remains that of all the allied countries, only Poland (although some Czechs might disagree) was subject to a campaign, for varying and often conflicting reasons, of prolonged omission that is only now being righted.

            Best Regards, Mark Ostrowski

            But do I blame the English? Actually I do not. As Lord Palmerston pointed out, England does not have friends, but only interests, and so should Ireland and Poland.

            But but but

            I am free from any inferiority complex towards the English, and I wonder when the Irish will free themselves from it

        • True enough, Trump is contradictory. Astrologically speaking I noted , in passing, from another article that Trump is a Gemini (wind driven)with Sagittarius (Geniality and competitiveness) as his moon sign. A born salesman with a highly gregarious character. I await results with crossed fingers.
          Many people fear for his safety and suggest that he is in the process of “pacifying ” his enemies prior to actually being sworn in as President. His enemies conspire to change the result by having unwarranted recounts.

          https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/powerpost/wp/2016/11/25/election-recount-underway-in-wisconsin-after-stein-files-petition/

          https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/post-politics/wp/2016/11/24/why-are-people-giving-jill-stein-millions-of-dollars-for-an-election-recount/?tid=a_inl

          It is amazing that the Green party has raised triple the amount they had for the whole campaign just to appeal one vote in Wisconsin. Quote are possible irregularities form electronic voting machines . Look to a Soros funded Campaign here.

  20. McCawber

    Define the “Threat” represents and more importantly to whom?
    Trump should be seen as an opportunity not a threat.
    Brexit is an opportunity or stick with which to change or curb the EU.

  21. Sideshow Bob

    An Economist calling accurate descriptions of Architectural finishes inaccurate and total BS. This takes the cake!

    Where do we start taking apart the “science´´ of economics. Perhaps with a mainly unreferenced piece of raconteuring and with make-it-up-as you-go-along speculation that constitutes a normal David McWilliams book?

    There is not a visual bone in your body, clearly. Allied with no desire to learn a little about it. I presume, for you, every edition of “Room to Improve´´on TV is unmitigated porn designed to drag us senseless and headfirst into another debt driven-crash.Say as opposed to stories about people ( granted with a bit of cash) trying to improve their home in function and in form. Pure evil, it is to you I am sure! Evil!

    Glass is “see through´´,“reflective´´ ,“translucent´´ or “very opaque´´ or even “mirrored´´ depending on how pure it is and if it has a coating or not. There are many possible uses of glass. See the Architects Herzog De Mueron´s work for many outstanding examples, or Gunter Benhnish and there are many others, too, who are too numerous to mention individually.

    But, coming back to this development; This glass CLADDING ( notice the word cladding is the outside layer on a WALL with things like INSULATION and PLASTERBOARD inside it ) is not SEE-THROUGH.

    Petty s*** from you McWilliams. And grossly unfair on the very decent Architects (DTA) behind the work.

    Property porn is a bunch of Auctioneers and Estate Agents telling you your bog standard pre-fabricated timber frame 3 bed house in the a***-end of nowhere ( say Cavan or Roscommon) is worth 250-300K and has gone up in value by 50K since you last looked and you had better get on board with all of this and go down the bank take out that 300k+ mortgage for an identikit home 2 hours from anywhere before you are priced out of the market COMPLETELY. Just like all of the other smart people!

    This IS property porn.

    What you are attempting to attack above here is called decent design, and the reasonable marketing of that. Angelsea Road in Ballsbridge (or is it Donnybrook?) is actually a logical place to be building some new apartments, being close to transport routes, jobs services and loads of amenities. As opposed to Cavan and Roscommon, that is. There is some value to be had. Location, location, location. Looking at it realistically it is the kind of place for those with some cash to splash so yes spending a bit on design and making something nice of it.

    Here in the piece above you show yourself to be nothing but a big ugly begrudger. So, here is a suggestion to even the score here. Put up pictures of your gaff and watch someone with a design sense that can articulate themselves critique it. Then see if the (no doubt!) slights leveled at your pride and joy smart in a personal way. I bet they would!

    Or better still, the RIAI conference is on in the RDS (just off Angelsea Road) from tomorrow, with Ronan Lyons giving the Economists perspective on things ( saturday afternoon), so, why not gate crash the whole event or just that part and learn a thing or two? The main theme is housing and social housing, etc….

    • Truthist

      Technically u are correct Sideshow Bob.
      .
      But, I myself thought the blurb which David quoted is :

      very boring

      not technically helpful

      counter-productive to its purpose ;
      It would actually put me off considering the property ;
      Because, it does come across as trying to gild the lily.
      .
      .
      And, Sideshow Bob, I posit that most architects’ artistic representations of developments are similar.
      .
      .
      Best if the architect profession settles on a common style standard for to “artistically” represent each & all buildings.
      Annotations also to abide by the standard.
      .
      But, I may be wrong 8-)

      • Sideshow Bob

        I don´t understand the second and third parts of the comment. Are you talking about computer generated 3D images?

        There are common standards for normal depiction, there always have been, otherwise the industry couldn´t function.

        These phrases, the “artistic depictions´´ that you are talking about aren´t phrases that have ever been used between architects or any related construction profession. These phrases, which seem to allude to some ridiculous image of the architect as distant mysterious mis-understood type of artist are bandied about by idiot estate agents anxious to semi-mystify their audience, and divert their attention from reality.

  22. StephenKenny

    Property and the stock market were, and are, the two primary methods that the US, Irish, and UK governments have used to create the ‘wealth effect’ since the 2008 hiccup.

    It’s an interesting term, ‘wealth effect’, because it is actually absolutely accurate. A couple of decades ago they gave up any idea of encouraging the creation of actual wealth, preferring to go for the easy to achieve ‘wealth effect’.

    The ‘wealth effect’ is created by encouraging – with tax breaks, low interest rates, and ‘reorganised’ lending rules – a massive increase in consumer and government debt. We were yelling about this 10 years ago on this same site.

    In the UK, combined government and consumer debt has risen by about £1Trn (£1000bn) since the financial events of 2008. Consumer debt is now rising an an annualised £100bn+ per year. Government by about £70bn. This is about 9% of GDP per year.

    The only way a consumer can borrow money is secured against property. The boom of ‘peer-to-peer’ lending is, in the most part, simply borrowing secured against property. If your under about 40 years old, you’ve never known a business environment where property related businesses are anything but the only reliably profitable businesses to go into. Everything is about property, which means everything is about property secured debt.

    You can’t really blame the politicians: They get into power, take one look at the books, and realise that the only thing that can keep them in power is to create some more ‘irrational exuberance’ and hope that the day of reckoning doesn’t happen on their watch. Any effort to actually do anything to improve the economy, beyond a few press releases, would result in reality kicking in, and the whole thing falling down around their ears. Their party would be out of power for a generation.

    So we wait: as debt levels rise; pensions disappear; a generation of increasingly impoverished renters and pensioners withdraw from the retail economy; and the business skills of the country disappear, being replaced by financial and property asset speculation.

    • Absolutely superb post Stephen.

      With your permission I am going to share it via social media.

    • Original-Ed

      Interesting post – on the property wealth mirage thing – way back when I lived in London , a dentist, I think, and his mates started to sell houses to each other at inflated prices and then borrowed against the inflated value – they continued with the scam until they had borrowed enough and then they did a runner.
      They were eventually caught and served a prison sentence for their scheme.

      • Any competent lender would require a competitive market evaluation AKA an appraisal that would have prevented such loans being made as the market value would have been below the artificially inflated inside dealer pricing.

        Interestingly a similar operation is driving up the value of the stock market as cheap loans are used to buy stock on thin trading margins thus putting executive options well ‘in the money’ These are then sold to line the pockets of the insiders. The regulators turn a blind eye as this is another aspect of the desired ‘wealth effect’; high stock prices.

    • Sideshow Bob

      Might be valid as an argument in the UK, where property prices are overheating, but it isn´t here. Nethier

      The bounce back in the USA in property is far from strong one.

      I think it is a poor diagnosis, but a sell-able one because commentators on here like the Economists they seem to worship want to explain the world with simple models. Of course the world is not so simple, so that falls down every time.

      Lots of things can explain the “wealth´´ effect. Not being able no not having hope of buying a property can result in a `spend it´ mentality for the rental generation and being footloose is seen as being better than being tied down and now many things that were once luxuries are relatively commonplace like good cameras, eating ou regularly, holidays abroad, or even extended trips to the other side of the world.

      The effect might be better termed the `keeping up with the Jones´s effect´.

  23. Truthist

    UK is east of us.
    Germany is more east.
    And, Poland is officially eastern Europe.
    And, Russia is as East that u can get.
    .
    So, how about getting Russia’s perspective on those lands west of itself ?
    .
    ‘Western laws now clash with moral nature of man’ – Russian Orthodox Patriarch Kirill (EXCLUSIVE)
    .
    Published on Nov 21, 2016
    .
    In an exclusive interview with RT, the head of the Russian Orthodox Church, Patriarch Kirill, shared his ideas on the difficult situations of Christians in the Middle East, the US presidential election, and European multiculturalism.
    .
    .
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vpe5oOjfgXk

  24. Truthist

    Ivanka Trump is married to Jared Kushner.

    Jared’s father, Charles Kushner, “hired a prostitute to seduce his brother-in-law, secretly recorded the encounter and sent the tape to his sister as part of a blackmail scheme.”

    Charles Kushner “served 16 months after guilty pleas to 18 counts of tax evasion, witness tampering and making illegal campaign donations.”

  25. Truthist

    Grand Daddy Trump in British Columbia, Canada
    .
    Clearly, from what we know :
    .
    Grand Daddy Trump was bad.
    And, Daddy Trump was bad too.
    And, Trump is bad.
    BUT, HITLERY BONHAM CLINTON IS EVIL
    .
    So, the USA President Election was in in effect ;
    Not a choice between the lesser of 2 evils.
    Because, we know of only 1 evil & the other candidate we know as bad.
    Rather, it was a choice Evil or Bad.
    The true popular vote — as vindicated by the mass audiences for his speeches & the trickle for her speeches — was for the bad as against the evil.
    .
    Why Donald Trump’s grandfather was expelled from Bavaria – historic letters reveal all
    After settling in the US at 16, Friedrich Trump was barred from returning to Bavaria.
    .
    Graham Lanktree By Graham Lanktree
    .
    November 23, 2016 10:57 GMT
    .
    Trump had already set up a restaurant and brothel in the Gold Rush region of British Columbia, Canada.

    By 1899, at about age 30, Trump had built the Arctic Restaurant with a business partner in Bennett, B.C.
    .
    That year an advertisement in the Bennett Sun said the establishment was open around the clock with “private boxes for ladies and parties.”
    Each of these had scales to measure gold to pay for the “services” that were on offer.
    .
    .
    http://www.ibtimes.co.uk/why-donald-trumps-grandfather-was-expelled-bavaria-historic-letters-reveal-all-1592997

  26. SMOKEY

    AND what you failed to mention is the shit they will build. Not too many good builders left in the country and many who still reside here are older, wiser, and out of practice. They still feel the sting of 2008. The desperation to try and make a wage, or get paid at all, while building will cause most if not all to “cut corners”, install the shittiest cheapest of everything, hire the bottom of the barrel decoraters to shine it up at the end, and even then it will all require another coat. Most of the work will be done by apprentices who dont know shit from shinola. I wouldnt buy a garden shed from these poor bastards much less a house where the door hits the edge of the toilet when trying to enter the bathroom. A fucking joke is about to be told to the country and its not funny.

    • michaelcoughlan

      I really like this post.

      • Sideshow Bob

        Yeah, you would…and any other begrudgers,too, who aren´t visiting newly constructed buildings in Ireland in 2016…begrudgery is the easiest route!

        • michaelcoughlan

          I think you missed my point. I liked the veracity and honesty of it that is all. The truth it tells is shocking.

          Michael.

          • Sideshow Bob

            Truth?

            All I see is a hysterical rant, which throws completely unwarranted abusive muck at the developers and by implication the various professionals working for them, and all for a job that hasn´t even been built yet?

            Get real about “truth´´ here.

            Premature defamation, if such a legal concept exists, is all that comes to mind.

            If I was the developer I would be chatting to my solicitor. They have them remember.

            This comment from Smokey is shocking. I missed nothing.

          • michaelcoughlan

            You missed the point a second time;

            “Not too many good builders left in the country and many who still reside here are older, wiser, and out of practice”

            The good ones emigrated. The people putting up the shit are all the fucked over immigrants being raped in min. wage jobs.

            It works that way because two categories of professionals want it to;

            Accountants and economists.

            Michael.

        • SMOKEY

          Now little Mr Slideshow Knob, calm down and take your meds. Is that better now, are they kicking in? Fact is, I know more about this subject than you do, one hell of a lot more, and will not get into a pissing match with an unarmed blogger as you would suffer humiliating defeat. Call as many lawyers as you like, I agree with and stand by everything I say, knowing it to be factually true. A hissy fit by a Higgins/Hillary lover wont change the fact that I am correct and you are a misinformed self righteous asshole.

  27. Original-Ed

    It’s very easy to understand why the Public Sector wants wage increases now! now! – they’re no idiots, they see what’s coming down the road and want to get locked in to contracts before the s— hits the fan.

    We must face the fact that we have very little going for us when you strip away the multinational sector.
    The Googles, Paypals and their likes are basically call centres located in a tax haven and when they up and leave,their legacy will be very little except for empty office buildings.

    Even before any new wage increases, we’re not competitive but they can afford to pay “hush money” wages while the tax benefits are there.

    Anyway I’m off to China to outsource as much as is possible before the day of reckoning arrives.

  28. Pat Flannery

    It is so nice to see a polite discussion developing and the name calling disappearing. Property value is a fundamental economic factor and needs to be soberly analyzed. Maybe we can actually do that here as I sense a new restraint on the personal insult stuff. We all have our ideologies but can articulate them without being ideologues.

    StephenKenny wrote “The only way a consumer can borrow money is secured against property” and “You can’t really blame the politicians”. Let’s examine both of these statements in the context of the so-called “wealth effect” in which Stephen made them.

    As I understand it the “wealth effect” is the psychological effect on a person’s spending patterns based on their PERCEIVED wealth, entirely divorced from the reality of their disposable income. That is indeed a strange phenomenon which needs to be fully examined and understood.

    It is true that in the present capitalist paradigm most personal wealth is in real property, therefore Stephen’s statement that most personal borrowing must be secured against real estate is largely correct. The question then is whether politicians are to blame or not, which raises the issue of taxation, a policy matter over which politicians largely have control.

    The current “self-assessed” local property tax (LPT) is not a serious policy attempt by the politicians. It is a tax in name only, an Irish solution to an Irish political problem. It results in a mere €453.3m collected on the self-assessed value of ALL residential properties in Ireland.

    Does anybody doubt that if there had been a real “ad valorem” property tax in operation during the boom years that the property bubble and the crash would have been avoided? The solution was at hand but was rejected by the politicians. It still is.

    The current Irish housing situation is very amenable to a simple policy decision: to tax or not to tax and if yes by how much. The powerful “wealth effect” is very sensitive to direct taxation on a person’s source of “perceived wealth”. Thank you Stephen for introducing the concept into the discussion. Property taxation can be used to curb runaway perceived personal wealth and thus prevent bubbles.

    • Taxes on success as in making a profit ought to equally as well be levied on the stock market, bond market, corporate bonuses, high wages, capital gains of all sorts, dividends, Christmas bonuses, voluntary donations etc. Successfully taxing the bonuses and the “Excess” out of the economy will certainly eliminate the boom and bust cycle, bubbles and the wealth effect..
      It will equalize everyone into abject poverty. Welcome to communist USSR.

      • StephenKenny

        Economic rent is bad for every economy. Every economist since god knows when has repeatedly stated this. It transfers wealth from the many to the few, so squeezing out aggregate demand and the velocity of money in an economy. You end up with an 18th century economy, where people fight just to have a roof, heating, and enough food.

        For what it’s worth, I think we should use modern versions of established financial regulations to remove the excesses of the financial system (modernised Glass Stegal etc), and a combination of suitable laws and the tax system to get rid of all the profit in the property rental and speculation (i.e. second hand property) sectors.

        Property development requirements would then reflect immigration, increasing levels of wealth (i.e. more than one property each), and opportunities to significantly improve the housing stock.

        This isn’t even slightly complicated, being no more than political questions.

        • Pat Flannery

          StephenKenny: again you have introduced a relevant concept, “economic rent”.

          If it were possible to estimate the cost of “bringing into productive use” of any particular Dublin house, absent the present housing shortage, the difference between that “productive use” cost and its current “market price” is economic rent.

          The thing about economic rent is that the extra value is not created by any productive action of the owner, it is entirely passive and unearned.

          The big political question therefore is: who should receive this economic windfall, private individuals or society. When the unearned added value goes to a private individual that person is called a rentier, someone who pockets unearned economic gain without any related contribution to society. There is a lot of that pocketing going on in Dublin today and needs to be remedied.

          Without diminishing capitalism in any way the Irish State can and should collect at least some portion of the economic windfall created by its lack of urban planning since the foundation. This State error generated windfall should be the property of society, not of private individuals. The readily-available policy fix is an ad valorem property tax.

          • StephenKenny

            Far from diminishing capiltalism, getting rid of economic rent was where capitalism came from: It liberated the comparatively poor and in so doing, created a huge new market of consumers.
            Property transaction taxes are fine, but they need to be part of a general policy to get rid of all speculative activity that doesn’t involve wealth creation.
            The goal is pretty simple: Maximise the spending capacity of the 99% without increasing debt levels.

          • Pat Flannery

            StephenKenny: are you sure you didn’t mean “getting rid of economic rent was where communism came from”? Otherwise I don’t understand what you mean.

          • StephenKenny

            I meant getting rid of economic rent was where capitalism came from.

            In the west, until the industrial revolution, the vast majority of the population lived a subsistence life. They spent pretty much everything they earned – directly or indirectly – on a roof, heating, and food. Life, for the majority, hadn’t changed much since the start of the medieval era.

            Then a massive social revolution happened, that brought down the costs of these basics, and increased the disposable income of the 99%.

            And they spent all of it. Retail boomed and boomed, and so production and the whole paraphernalia of the modern world was born, and boomed with it.

            In the UK, things were rather different because the ‘owners of the means of production”, could sell to imperial markets, and thus ignore their own workforce. The Germans, having no empire (of any note) swept past the British, as did the standard of living of the average German.

            As Henry Ford might have said, if you pay your own workers enough, they become your customers. So he produced a cheaper car, and a wealthier workforce. He had a critical role in the creation of modern capitalism.

            Communist governments directed where economic activity should take place, and who should do it, rather than deciding where it should be limited. Imagine putting the HSE in charge of planning who should have what job, doing what, and what materials they should use. A loaf of bread, where available, would require a mortgage.

            We’re currently on a trajectory of lessening the disposable income of the 99% by increasing the costs of a roof, of food, clean water, and heating. It’s suicidal.

          • StephenKenny

            So just to bring things back directly to property, surely, the goal has to be to use the market to minimise the cost of property, and to minimise (i.e. optimise for the macro economy) rents.

            If we decide not to have a free market, i.e. we decide to limit the space available for development in any way, then we need to have forces to counter, and make up for, these restrictions.

            The property tax you recommend is a perfect part of that. I think that there are quite a number ways to skin this cat, but to have a vibrant economy, this cat must be skinned. (not sure about the cat metaphor).

          • Pat Flannery

            StephenKenny: I see, but I’m not sure capitalism can be said to have gotten rid of economic rent, anywhere.

            It could be stated that “mercantilism” was the father of “capitalism” in that it provided successful merchants with a means of investing their local profits into large international trading companies such as the British and Dutch East India Companies, who between them accounted for more than half of the world’s trade and effectively ruled the world during the 17th and 18th centuries.

            Whatever its genesis the bad odor of that period still lingers over the word “capitalism”. Given preferential charters and licenses by the British Monarchy these companies enjoyed militarily-protected monopolies which produced classic “economic rent” bonanzas for their shareholders, of whom the Crown was one. So if mercantilism is in fact the father of capitalism, it enhanced economic rent rather than got rid of it.

            I was unaware that the Germans “having no empire (of any note) swept past the British, as did the standard of living of the average German”. I thought that up until well into the 19th Century the German people were land-bound serfs with few cities and hardly any industry.

            I was unaware that such a capitalism-inspired transformation occurred in Germany. My contrary understanding came from the observation that it was not until the Bismarck era in the late 19th Century that the flood of poor German emigrants to America started to slow.

            I was under the impression that capitalism did not really take hold in Germany until the 19th Century when rent-paying land tenants started to become owners. But I may be wrong.

          • Pat Flannery

            StephenKenny: The fact is that there is no such thing as unfettered capitalism or totally free markets. They are both controlled to some degree by governments. What we actually have is mixed capitalism and semi-free markets. What we are talking about therefore is the DEGREE of government or societal interference.

            A good government regulatory policy will minimize interference in the so-called free market while preventing wealth from accumulating in the hands of a few. The equitable distribution of wealth is a key factor in a healthy economy and therefore a major responsibility of good government.

            The power of taxation, as exercised in fiscal policy, is the number one tool of economic government. It is the best way to skin the Irish housing imbalance cat – a good metaphor.

          • StephenKenny

            Fair enough

          • StephenKenny

            Sorry, I missed your earlier comments.
            I was considering the wealth gap in the pre industrial age, where landowners were recipients of vast economic rent, at the expense of the 99% who were living little more than subsistence lives. Industrialisation destroyed that, and moved the wealth into the hands of the industrialists, their shareholders, and workforces.

            I guess that my take on the 17th and 18th century traders was that their endeavours were a considerable value add in their day.

            I don’t see investment in productive concerns (stocks and shares) as being economic rent per se. The problems come with the nature of the companies they’re investing in. In most cases, you invest money in a company, say Ford, and they use that money to design, build, and sell cars that people do or don’t want.

            The problems we have come from non-producing parts of the economy, parts which add no value but take economic rent as a product of some distortion in the market. With residential property, the problem comes from a mismatch between the availability of land to build on and of transport, forcing larger and larger proportions of the population to fight over the same housing stock.

            If you watch the growth of major cities, over the past 200 years, you see huge amounts of building on what was previously farmland, as a result of new transport technology. If the trains or cars were capable of getting there, new suburbs and towns appeared. Property prices fell, generally.

            Today, that’s all impossible. A whole raft of restrictions, public and private, create a situation of artificial scarcity, creating the ludicrous situation we find ourselves in today, where secondhand property trading and residential letting are ‘major industries’. In reality they are both to a very large extent, valueless rent seeking, in terms of the overall economy.

            My point is that if we allowed the market to work, prices could collapse, we’d stop accumulating ever vaster debts, and we could focus on creating wealth generating activities. Starting off with a new property building boom!

          • StephenKenny

            … with a transport infrastructure to match

          • My point is that if we allowed the market to work, prices could collapse, we’d stop accumulating ever vaster debts, and we could focus on creating wealth generating activities. Starting off with a new property building boom!–Stephen Kenny

            Agreed!!

            The major distortion in the economy is rooted in the central banking system. It starts with the artificial control of the money system. It is monopoly controlled in every country and owned by the banking oligarchy as represented by the creation of the BIS Bank of International Settlements. This results in arbitrary decisions made by the banks to accommodate the desired results of the politicians. Thus the politicians approve of the central banking system which is how the bankers maneuvered themselves into power in the first place.

            The bankers set up the system to pay them a rent for the operation. (a true economic rent here). As they were allowed to issue the money as a debt there is an interest charge. Yes, humanity pays rent (interest) to use the money system, that should be a free system and medium of exchange, that pays nobody for its use.

            Political goals result in bankers providing artificially low interest rates, a huge expansion, and inflation of the money supply, and the resulting distortion is that the debt can never be repaid, it is so large; the interest on the loans, debts, cannot be serviced at the worlds total economic output is insufficient to pay the interest.
            Money can no longer be issued as a loan as the demand has failed, so central bankers now buy bonds and stocks directly as well as national deficits(government budget deficits) directly and do so with freshly printed currencies that continue to drive the national debts ever higher.. The excess money is thus channeled into the financial assets and not the productive process.
            Thus the boom in stocks, bonds and mortgages resulting in the real estate booms. money seeps into the general economy too via financially vulnerable classes such as insurance companies and generally causing rising prices all over.
            previous governmental rules and regs from all sources and kinds of government; national, regional, local, municipal etc have already distorted economic activity and destroyed social cohesion.
            Utilizing yet another form of government control to solve the housing problem is the usual insanity seemingly continually proposed by the Author of the blog. There are only three legitimate functions for government.
            Protection of the individual from aberrant neighbours.(local laws for behavior)
            Protection of the society from foreign attack and abuse.(National defense)
            The adoption of a reasonable mutually agreeable moral code that allows for people to get on together with each other in reasonable harmony. (No gettoization)

            Currently government fails on all three accounts and sticks its nose into many other areas where it is totally unsuited.

            Solutions:
            Disband the central banking system and replace with the oft touted honest private money system. Read Austrian economic policy.
            Reclaim national sovereignty and exercise control over national borders. (Including the off shore 200 mile economic zone)
            Exercise individual trading agreements with other sovereign nations.
            Exercise a ‘least form of government is the best form of government’ attitude, a libertarian attitude.

        • Economic rent appears to be an euphemism for excess profit. When excess profits appear , there generally are a flood of people trying to get a piece of the action. This should result in extra supply which drives down the prices , removing the “excess profit” and there is a return to equilibrium. This action is very useful to society as supply now equals demand.

          Using government to tax Economic rent is arbitrary and capricious. Who decides when there is excess profit and how much a reasonable profit is.
          Interference in the market place by government results in imbalances. The strong probability is that previous government actions caused the imbalance in the first place resulting in the low interest high prices of the real estate and the rental markets.
          Taxing such Economic rent away does nothing to solve the underlying problems and is injurious to society overall.

          http://www.thedailybell.com/news-analysis/elites-plot-to-replace-austrian-free-market-economics/

          • StephenKenny

            “Economic rent appears to be an euphemism for excess profit. ”

            It isn’t, it’s more specific than that. The classic example of economic rent is the excess cost of labour produced as a result of trade guilds, or closed shop trades unions.

            These groups gain an economic benefit as a result of their legal position. Patents are another, you get an economic benefit as a a result of a set of laws.
            It’s not the activity itself, or the fact that A charges B, but the situation that caused A to charge B more than he could in an unfettered open market.

            Now of course all these things – patents, trade guilds etc – have their uses, but nonetheless, the principle applies.

            Residential property is a case in point. When a abnormal profits are made, it might be that this happens because the developer or renter produces an unusually good product. OK, that’s possible. But when everyone is making unusually good profits, it tells us that something is in the way of market forces operating as they should. The higher the cost of the property or the rent, the more money is transferred from the buyer to the seller, and so the more money is drained out of the economy at large. This is a bad thing for the economy. This has been well understood since Adam Smith.

            So something should be done to change it. For smaller countries, just having unfettered building would take us down the Easter Island route, so that isn’t such a good idea. So, because we can’t have market forces operating as they could, we have to intervene.

            The best way to intervene to slow down a booming sector is to tax it, or to legislate to bring down the profits. With property this is especially the case – a thousand years of history has taught us that a few people owning all the property, and, naturally, maximising the rents, tends to result in insurrection and general unpleasantness. This is a result of everyone being too poor to feed the kids properly, because of the rent.

            It also results in a collapse trade because all the money is spent on rent, food, and heating.

            Really, there is no longer term upside to this situation.

            What Jane Austin never mentions is that there were regular famines and riots, and because the 99% were living too close to the edge, when a bad harvest or two occurred, and they were starving, all the surpluses built up during the good years, had been sold to the Dutch, and the proceeds were in the hands of Mr d’Arcy.

            Economic Rent is distant cousin of monopolies.

          • Truthist

            Even before there was private central banking, there was something rotten with the whole landlordism aul caper.
            .
            As said to u previously, u are not sufficiently for “private property” rights.
            “An Englishman’s home is his castle.” makes perfect good & moral sense.
            .
            Immediately upon leaving their place of upbringing, give every citizen an optimum standard private property area for to be a home for them from public property that they can transfer to any vacant similar vacancy at other location in the jurisdiction.
            Such private property home right is never extinguishable unless citizen :
            renounces it with proof of ownership of other home
            dies
            rencounces their citizenship
            is convicted for treason
            inter alia.
            .
            End the tyranny of rent-seeking landlords, & moreover the crassness of landlordism f..king up all of society, thus.
            .
            PRIVATE PROPERTY HOME RIGHTS FOR TRANSFER TO ANY OTHER VACANCY FOR ALL UPBRINGING DEPARTED CITIZENS NOW !

  29. Mike Lucey

    I’d like to fly an idea I’ve had churning around in my grey matter for some time.

    During the so called Celtic Tiger period we saw every Tom, Dick and Harry and their grannies getting involved in housing scheme developments.

    Local building contractors around the country, of which I know many, simply ‘made hay while the sun shined’. This has been their business model for many decades to counter the boom / busts of the past which often left them in the lurch. In the last boom / bust many were caught as they didn’t see the mega tsunami coming.

    The vast majority of these builders are honest and decent people that entered the industry as apprentice carpenters, block / brick layers, plasters, plumbers, electricians and plumbers etc. As they became experienced they set up as sub-contractors and general contractors, mostly with an aim to provide a continuing decent income for themselves and their employees. A ‘quick kill’ was the last thing on their mind.

    The problems, as I see it, started when the ‘profession’ sector saw the potential gravy train and jumped into the game as ‘developers’. Many the these developers didn’t know the difference between a lintel and a latch and to make matters worse didn’t care.

    My question is, should there be some kind of regulation, additional to that which is currently in place, that prohibits the ‘Good Time Charlie Property Developers’ from entering the industry just when there is a boom.

    For the most part, the population of any country grows at a steady pace. Surely the housing supply should do likewise or maybe slightly ahead of the rate to keep competition tight?

    I feel most Builders would be more than willing to settle for a reasonable ‘profit’ that reflects their input and maintains a decent ongoing standard of living for them and their employees.

    Builders, in general, are not the ones that caused the crash but many of them have been devastated financially.

  30. Mike Lucey

    Do we have an Irish ‘Trump’ in the making?

    Just read Sarah Bardon’s Irish Times article, ‘O’Leary calls Dail assembly of half wits and lunatics’.

    Here are a few of Michael Os comments made at a Midlands briefing for business organised by FF TD Robert Troy.

    “We, when given the opportunity, chose to vote in the worst assembly of half-wits and lunatics.”

    “In the worst of the property recession when the property developers had bankrupted us and the banks were bankrupt, who did we elect? Mick Wallace.”

    Re RTE. “All you get is a diatribe coming out of unions that passes for news. If you look at the BBC that don’t have industrial correspondents topping the news.”

    “They are actually dealing with the news so I think the best thing that could happen RTE is the privatise it, break it up and sell it and allow it so compete openly and fairly with Newstalk and other private sector media.”

    “It has been a failed monopoly for years. It has not served the country well.”

    “If Raidio na Gealtachta cannot stand on its own two feet thane it should not exist.”

    Re: Iarnrod Eireann – ‘doomed’ unless privatised. “It needs to bring down rail fairs to really low levels. If I can fly people across Europe for €9.99 why is Irish Rail charging €30 or €40 to get from Dublin to Cork?”

    “Our Government should have said F you Brussels, we are not tolerating this, we are an autonomous country, we have autonomy over our tax, so piss off. We are not going to put up with that.”

    In fairness he has a point about the Dublin to Cork trip loosing money for the supplier but costing much more that the Dublin the London trip which makes money for the supplier.

    Don’t think he is right about Mick Wallace through. Wallace is bringing things to light that otherwise would have been brushed under the rug.

    Yes, RTE should be privatised. And when I see Tubridy’s currently showing promo on the coming LL toy show I have to cringe. Has the man no dignity?

    Paul Craig Roberts makes, what I think may well be, a valid point about Trump.

    Trump the Great — Paul Craig Roberts
    http://www.paulcraigroberts.org/2016/11/25/trump-the-great-paul-craig-roberts/

    What I read basically is that while Trump is far from being an angel he may well be taking on the presidency to better the lot of the people of the USA and go down on the history books as ‘Trump the Great’. He clearly has no need for more money at this stage in his life. But again it could be a ‘power trip’, hope not!

    I’ve noticed that Millionaires tend to try and increase their financial wealth at nearly any cost. Billionaires often seek to be well thought of in history. Trillionaires seem to want total anonymity and ultimate control. Question! How many Trillionaires can we name?

  31. Deco

    Forget Le Pen.

    Fillon will be the next French President. Le Pen will not break through anything. No a glass ceiling, or the middle space in the French electoral spectrum.

    The French Socialists (who are seen as a role model by many aspiring Irish statists) are taking a hammering.

    And Le Pen is proving tougher than anybody expected.

    But the emergence of Fillion is changing the dynamics. Sarkozy versus Le Pen was going to be a victory for Le Pen. Hollande versus Le Pen was going to be a victory for Le Pen. Fillion versus Le Pen is probably going to be a victory for Fillion.

    Now this has an impact on Ireland.

    Because Fillion will attmept do the one thing that France has avoided for decades. Getting back into economic growth. And he will be particularly tough on the institutional state.

    The Brits and the Americans are both trying to become more attractive as destinations for investment.

    Now the French are going to get an offer of the same thing, from within the French centre right by a politician who is more likely to fight corruption, than act as it’s leading advocate.

    The new way forward is to make the public sector and the private sector perform. The new stagnation is to rely on the private sector to fund public sector over-reach, and underperformance.

    Merkel is leading Germany to a competitiveness disaster. She does not see it, but it is coming.

    And Ireland is resting on it’s laurels, with clowns like Michael Martin, Brenda Ogle, Howlin, Jack O’Connor, and Coppinger pushing the political dynamic back in the direction of Bertonomics.

    Ireland is facing the wrong direction by 180 degrees.

    Here is an example.

    London is building not just one cross-rail project but three. There will be a project for a throughway station in Manchester Picadilly (Central) that will effectively ensure the same thing in the North West of England.

    In other words Britain is designing everything with efficiency as a goal.

    The same applies with the NHS. Most British cities have one or more large hospitals located near motor transport arteries. In and out quickly. Because time matters when somebody is in trouble.

    Ireland is spending it’s money building a children’s hospital in the middle of a traffic nightmare. In addition to the sprinkling of hospitals all over the place in Dublin, and across the entire country.

    Ireland is has too much in quantity, and too little in scale. There are at least five hospitals in Dublin that are NOT needed. There at least 10 more hospitals nationwide that are in the same circumstance.

    The transport for commuters situation is another disaster. Dublin Bus need one central hub. The best location that I can see is the current Central Bank site. With Westmoreland Street, College Green, and Dame Street as bus only. This already exists in Warsaw and it works.

    There will be a luas stop on College Green soon. This is as close to linking buses with the Luas that one will ever see in Dublin. The nearest other option would be to have the Heuston Station Car park as a Bus Depot (which is not near as good, in terms of accessibility to anywhere).

    Essentially, I am advocating the Central Bank site to be turned into an urban bus terminus/switching station, like occurs in central Warsaw. With the Luas trams nearby at College Green being closeby for connections. And it is close to the main tourist locations.

    To me this seems like a complete no-brainer.

    The Central Bank is already state owned, and would be idea for an urban central bus switchover station.

    At the moment there is not even one facility to serve this purpose in Dublin.

    London has dozens.

  32. https://www.lewrockwell.com/2016/11/egon-von-greyerz/wealth-destruction/

    “”Stocks have been a massive beneficiary of the biggest monetary expansion that the world has ever experienced. If we look at the Dow since the last major economic cycle started in the early 1980s, we find the most remarkable rise. In early 1980, the Dow was at 850 and today we are 19,000. That is a rise of over 18,000 Dow points in 36 years. This means that the Dow has gone up by 9% per year on average since 1981. A 9% annual increase leads the index doubling every 8 years. What a great investment. You buy stocks in 1980 for $10,000 and today in 2016 you have $220,000 without having to lift a finger. On top of that, there has been a dividend yield of around 2% on average. But this growth in the stock market has not just happened on its own accord. Stocks don’t grow at 9% annually for 36 years without some rocket fuel. And the explanation is very simple. Debt has provided the fuel. Because US debt has also grown by 9% annually since 1981. So the recipe for becoming a successful and loved president is just to print and borrow money. There is an absolute correlation between the increase in US debt and the growth in the stock market.”"

  33. “”A house in the early 1700s did not move much in price for 200 years until the early 1900s. But the creation of the Fed lead to credit growth and money printing of exponential proportions in most of the Western world. And this is why property prices have moved up 1,000s of percent in the last 100 years. But to believe that property now represent real value after the biggest rise in history is very dangerous. In the last few years this bubble has additionally been fuelled by virtually free money with interest rates at zero or even negative.”"

    https://goldswitzerland.com/wealth-destruction-of-90-is-next/

    • Mike Lucey

      Watched Stone’s ‘Edward Snowden’ last night. It was enthralling!

      I imagine many viewers will be masking their laptop cameras and mics after watching the movie.

      Snowden struck a blow for whistleblowers but is paying a high price for this act of bravery.

      Obama comes off as total hypocrite in the movie. It remains to be seen if a President Trump will pardon Snowden. I lot depends of the amount of pressure he gets from the USA public.

      An “Anti-Establishment” Trump Would Pardon Edward Snowden
      http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2016-11-17/anti-establishment-trump-would-pardon-edward-snowden

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