November 28, 2017

Want to fix the housing crisis? Tax land

Posted in Irish Times · 137 comments ·

In June 1858, during the second Opium War, Britain and France, in cahoots with the other major European powers and the United States, forced China to sign the Treaty of Tianjin. Britain waged the Opium War so its merchants could flood China with cheap heroin, cultivated by other British merchants in India.


The treaty allowed western trading powers to annex China commercially, emasculate the emperor and carve up the vast wealth of the Middle Kingdom. The Europeans colonised the mainland from the east, while the resurgent US navy, fresh from annexing California from Mexico, moved across the Pacific from the west.


These events were watched with distress in Edo, as Tokyo was then known. In 1860 Japan was isolated, feudal and weak. It was an obvious next commercial target for avaricious westerners. If India and China could be enfeebled by imperialists, what chance had remote Japan?


But Japan didn’t go the way of China. By 1900 Japan had become the most advanced independent nation in Asia. By 1905 it was trouncing the Russians on the battlefield.


Economic Renaissance


In 1868, the Japanese responded to the threat of the West with the Meiji Restoration, a cultural, political and economic revolution that was intellectually and socially on a par with the French Revolution.


At its core was an economic renaissance aimed at moving Japan from a feudal, land-based system, where wealth and power were vested in landowners, to a modern, industrial power based on innovation and trade, where wealth was vested in commerce.


Much has been made of the Japanese strategy of imitating western technology, but central to that extraordinary turnaround was this internal reform. Alone among major countries, the Japanese introduced a substantial land tax.


Planners in Tokyo realised the country couldn’t compete with the West as long as wealth was tied up in land. They also knew their rising population demanded the efficient use of land to fix Japan’s housing crisis.


Irish Tax Revenue 2016

The land tax reduced the incentive for feudal landlords to “hoard” land. It encouraged owners to either use land more efficiently or sell it to others who would do so. Tax focuses the commercial mind like nothing else.


The Japanese concluded that to get the economy working properly for as many people as possible they had to dramatically reduce the wealth tied up in land. They were right.


Feudal land-based economies, where land, rather than innovation and hard work, is the source of wealth simply enrich a drone class. The drones live off land, push its price up and drive down the quality of life for others, such as renters and first-time buyers.


This week, a report suggested that the top 1 per cent in Ireland owns 33 per cent of the country’s wealth and that 90 per cent of the country’s wealth is held in land and property. Reading this, I couldn’t help thinking of the Japanese and their land tax.


Ireland needs its own Meiji Restoration.


Significant Land Tax


If we really want to fix the housing crisis, to address in a meaningful way wealth inequality in Ireland, to arrest the growth of sprawling suburbia and to create an innovative economy, Ireland needs to introduce a significant land tax.


Such a land tax, levied on land, not property, would eliminate land hoarding and dramatically increase the incentive to use land efficiently. This would make more land available for development and substantially reverse the dereliction that afflicts our cities.


At the moment, Ireland hardly taxes land at all. We raise huge sums from income tax and consumption taxes, but we hardly touch wealth and land.


And, although it sounds paradoxical, to make land use productive you have to tax it. Otherwise there is no incentive to use it efficiently. Land hoarders just sit on land, gouging a growing population that needs a place to live.


Implicit in the Irish societal contract is a huge transfer of wealth from working people to a quasi-feudal land-owning class, increasing wealth inequality. Irish inheritance – still the easiest way to get rich – is based on this.


As wealth inequality rises and the very wealthy get yet wealthier, more and more people feel their stake in society is diminishing, which drives political extremism. Massive wealth inequality and democracy don’t mix.


Land-based inequality and modern capitalism don’t mix either. The Meiji Japanese understood this.


Four Inputs


Ultimately, everything that the capitalist economy produces comes from four inputs: labour, enterprise, capital and land.


Labour and capital are highly productive, while enterprise is the human alchemy – innovation – that makes everything tick. The more you work, the more money you commit to a project or the more human ingenuity you devote to an idea, the more they all grow. You get more wages, products and initiatives. Therefore, society is better off.


Land is different.


When a landlord buys a site for €200,000, does nothing to it, sits back and sells it on for €400, 000, nothing has happened to make society better off. The landlord is better off, but that’s it. Worse still, the costs of the higher land price are passed on to those who will eventually pay more in higher house prices. This applies as much to publicly-held land as it does to private landlords.


A substantial tax on unimproved land held by both the public and private sectors would fix this. If we do nothing to the tax system we will facilitate more money flowing into this most useless of assets, starving the productive economy of liquidity and investment.


It will also enrich a drone class at the expense of working people and keep house prices rising by leaving large sections of essential building land lying fallow. (I’m not joking. For example, if you drive along the M50 northbound, you will see horses grazing within the M50 as if you were on 19th-century American prairies. This is in a country with an acute housing crisis.)


Ultimately the more tax we raise from land the less tax we must levy on income, which will in turn increase the incentive to work. This is how we can regenerate the economy, driven by an ancient concept called the public good.



  1. Sideshow Bob

    There is no evidence backing the claim linking land tax in Japan to their policies on planning which facilitated their population growth by building high-density cities on the coast, all linked with high-quality infrastructure. The Meiji tax reforms facilitated the birth of capitalism in Japan in the 19th century. Their population only moved the cities in high number in the latter half of the 2oth century. There is simply no relationship there.

    If you what a relationship with high-density residential zones in old cities check-out which ones were bombed extensively during ww2 – there is a big correlation there.

    Land tax is a cost that will not be absorbed by the intermediaries, it will be passed on the end consumers i.e. the general public to fork out on. The other possible outcome I see is that it could cause an increased level of price gauging as intermediaries seek to claw back losses on an un fair tax system ( i.e. even more land hoarding).

    • Deco

      Thank you Bob. Well put.

      Real Estate is taxed when you buy it. It is also taxed when you use it to run your business. And it is taxed via local authority rates.

      The idea that real estate is NOT taxed, is fiction.

      Likewise the proposal that real estate is unproductive is also completely incorrect. In fact it is already taxed based on it’s productivity. Only only has to see a retail unit being taxed to see this.

      Real Estate IS a productive asset.

      Bureacracy is an inherent liability.

      Taking money from real estate, and directing it to the Institutional state IS not a productive economic activity. It drives down labour productivity, and facilitates corruption and malinvestment.

      The proposal in the article is based on a series of inaccuracies, and on an economic model that assumes that state power is the ultimate conduit for economic success. That is simply not the case in an advanced economy.

    • Grzegorz Kolodziej

      1. “no evidence backing the claim linking land tax in Japan” – however, it’s a fact that in the same width as greater Dublin (with commuting belts) the Japanese managed to 32m people – and that 32m people not only enjoy a far better infrastructure, but none of them lives in such low-quality accommodation as some Dublin tenants (64 people in one house, rats, mice, fungi, no insulation, monumentally ugly and homogenous architecture – when RTE radio went with Martin McGuinness to Citywest, their crew got lost because all houses look the same, and hours of commuting).

      2. “There is simply no relationship there.” – yet the question “why they can and we can’t?” has to be asked, especially when Ireland is one of the lowest density countries – less populated than Kenya, Ethiopia and Lesotho.

      3. “If you what a relationship with high-density residential zones in old cities check-out which ones were bombed extensively during ww2 – there is a big correlation there.”

      - New York, Chicago, Shanghai and Dubai weren’t bombed. The area where La Défense in Paris was built had not been bombed. I shortly lived in Frankfurt in the 1990s and its skyscrapers are not in the areas that were bombed (btw – Frankfurt was one of the least bombed German cities of WWII – only 5,500 people died there from bombing (that’s less than Germans would bomb in Poland in one day), and only the old city was destroyed (in comparison, Warsaw was destroyed more than Nagasaki).

      2. “Land tax is a cost that will not be absorbed by the intermediaries, it will be passed on the end consumers i.e. the general public to fork out on” – not necessarily. In the long run, rents are related to incomes. We have a situation whereby rents are rising astronomically but tenants’/first time buyer incomes are rising very slowly or not at all. This situation can only last because the interest rates are low, which encourages property speculation and land hoarding.

      Let’s conduct a thought experiment: your land is worth a 200, your tax on it is 0 and you could build a house that you sell me for 500. However, you prefer to wait until your land would be worth 400 and you can sell me a house for 1,000. Supposing now that the market hit that ceilling whereby the tenants/first-time buyers have no more disposable income/possibility to borrow to pay more for renting/buying, and that you cannot find anyone who is able to pay more than 400. You are not going to wait 5 years until tenants/buyers incomes match your prices, and people will be able to pay 1,000 for your house – you will have to lower your margin (or take losses, if you overpaid for the land in the first place); because if people are not able to meet your demands, your option will not be: sell it for 400 or sell it for 1,000; your option will be: get 400 for it or get 0.
      That even doesn’t take into account a situation when interest rates go to 5% or 10%, which would make property speculation much less profitable, if at all (many speculators would go bust in that situation).

      These are economic theories that were developed in the past regarding the question whether the taxes on land would/could/should be tranferrd onto landlords or the consumers:

      They pointed out that imposing taxes even on tenants, traders or business owners would, at the end of the day, affect the landlords. They believed that all taxes can be shifted from their targeted payers onto the landowners, who they believed to be the only class disposing of what they called the “pure income”. Their solution was to impose one tax on the landlords, who they thought to be an “idle class” (since in their opinion the landlords were the only ones paying them anyway, as only they enjoyed the “pure income”).

      b) ADAM SMITH
      according to Smith, income can be derived not only from owning land, but also from capital gains or wages; therefore taxes could be paid from those three sources. However, in cases of all these three sources of income taxes can be shifted. He agreed with Physiocrats that the land tax burdens the landlord and not the tenant for if the income from farming is constant, the land tax would decrease the rent paid to the landlord and if the income from farming increases, it increases because of the entrepreneurial spirit of the tenant and therefore the increased income should not result in an increased land tax.

      David Ricardo in his work on the principles of political economy and taxation arrives at different conclusions than Adam Smith. He pointed out that land tax does not burden the landlord or the tenant, but food consumers because it is shifted to food prices. This sounds trivial, but Ricardo made an interesting observation that only part of that tax can be shifted onto the consumer because if each salesman and producer were to put up the price of their products by the value of the tax, this would lead to the infinite regress. Of course, they would try to shift as much as they can, but is that calculated, he did not explain.

      d) JEAN-BAPTISTE SAY agreed with his predecessors that taxes can be transferred but pointed out that among all producers of a given product some can shift the tax burden more easily than the others, depending on the products they sell and their position in the production-selling chain.

      e) ROMAN RYBARSKI (the foremost economist of the right-wing National Democracy political camp and creator of its economic program, who took part in the Paris Peace Conference as an economic expert of the Polish delegation; after the German invasion of Poland in 1939, Rybarski worked in the Polish underground, and was later transferred to the Nazi German Auschwitz concentration camp where he was eventually executed for organising the resistance movement in the camp) disagreed with that.
      He wrote,
      “The problem of shifting taxes depends on the nature of the tax, but on the nature of economic relations”.
      He came up a few rules governing shifting taxes: shifting taxes is easier in monopoly conditions, more difficult in free market conditions; easier during the boom, more difficult during depressions when prices and demand are falling; easier for direct taxes, etc., etc. Furthermore, taxes can be shifted forwards (wholesalers increasing prices for retailers) or backwards (wholesalers demanding more discounts from their suppliers).

      In his ”Power and Market: Government and the Economy”, Rothbard claimed that physiocratic-Smithian-Ricardian approach is primitive because it overlooks the so-called sovereignty of the consumer, so important for the Austrian School.
      His argument was that even though taxes increase costs of production, prices are not determined by cost of production, but by the demand curve, on which taxes have no influence:

      “It should be quite evident that if businesses were able to pass
      tax increases along to the consumer in the form of higher prices,
      they would have raised these prices already without waiting for
      the spur of a tax increase. Businesses do not deliberately peg
      along at the lowest selling prices they can find. If the state of
      demand had permitted higher prices, firms would have taken
      advantage of this fact long before. It might be objected that a
      sales tax increase is general and therefore that all the firms
      together can shift the tax. Each firm, however, follows the state
      of the demand curve for its own product, and none of these
      demand curves has changed. A tax increase does nothing to
      make higher prices more profitable”

      Rothbard made a distinction between prices increased by tax shifting and prices increased by tax itself. He admitted that in a way the tax can be shifted forward if a new tax being imposed results in reduced supply and thus increased prices on the market, but this is not shifting, he argues, because shifting occurs when the manufacturer (or seller) can easily transfer his increased cost onto the consumer; however, in some drastic cases some manufacturers or retailers would go bust so it cannot be argued that they can shift their taxes. Take the sales tax, says Rothbard. If we want to argue that a 20pc tax increase would result in a 20pc increase in prices, then we forget that the prices are already set on the level that enables to maximise profits and the same time the demand curve would not change, so transferring taxes onto the consumer would just lower profits.

      • Sideshow Bob

        Jaysus Grzegorz, this is all over the gaff! Am I supposed to reply to all of this?

        • Grzegorz Kolodziej

          No, of course not – only the density thing (greater Tokyo put 32m ppl in the same area in better living conditions than greater Dublin and commuting towns), the “in the long run rents/house prices are connected to incomes and these are not rising so exorbitant prices are unsustainable” thing + all examples of skyscrapers are (and these are the highest) are in areas not bombed.

          The economic history review of the question
          “what the greatest economists thought on whether the land tax can be transferred to landlords, or would it be “passed on the end consumers i.e. the general public to fork out on? – as you claim”

          is more for readers, as David has a manner of writing good, I admit, columns in which however he almost never presents two (or more) schools of thought, as if it was almost always the case of: “the Government claims… while The Real and True Keynesian Economy Which I Represent claims…” (one of his exceptions was when he shortly presented the views of Rand Paul, to immediately contrast them with what the Real and True Economy says);
          however, my historical review of different schools of thought does show that there has been disagreements among the economists as to whether that tax shift would really happen, which necessitates that you should give arguments as to why you think that the said shift will happen rather than state it as obvious – while it is neither obvious nor it is – in current bubble conditions – likely (as my thought experiments demonstrates).
          For instance, what counterarguments would you advance against Rothbard, who disagrees with you on that shift?

          • Sideshow Bob

            To answer you, as best I see it;

            For an increase in density, we would need a big relaxation in key aspects of planning regulations which stifle high-density development – overlooking and right to light would be very significant. Also, this ridulous requirement to not exceed the height of the building beside you. You would need to maximise public services on public sites – the state owns so much underused land it is hard to believe. You would need to couple these with a strong masterplan that included strong provisions for public transport ( e.g. a proper metro or light rail system & cycle lanes) and relaxations on car-parking requirements to counterbalance this provision and encourage use of public transportation.

            Probably you would need CPOs (compulsory purchase orders), I would think some kind of not for profit transparent intermediary semi-state development agency to manage it all, and a lot of political will to face down the NIMBY brigade. Not to mind a determined political vision and direction over consecutive decades to see the whole thing through!

            So – not going to happen!

          • Grzegorz Kolodziej

            Well, what will happen in Dublin then in the next 10 years?

          • Sideshow Bob

            I think the skyscraper debate lost direction here – I am saying that areas that were bombed to the ground presented the option of being rebuilt in a new way, because of various reasons. These reasons were technological, social and economic as well as architectural. In London, this would have manesfested itself as city-center high-rise social housing, for example.

            Skyscrapers have their own economics. Ground conditions are important too. same for Metros. Old cities frequently have complicated ground conditions at their cores. Those Skyscrapers being built in the middle east are vanity projects financed by oil/gas income and have the purpose of attracting attention for one reason or another usually greater than themselves ( i.e. they are iconic ).

          • Grzegorz Kolodziej

            In Dublin and its 80k long commuter belts with Les Misérables forced to live there?

          • Grzegorz Kolodziej

            I gave skyscrapers as an example because it is very obvious and very evocative. You would agree though that skyscrapers aside, most Europe was not bombed and yet nowhere else people pay so much for properties so bad (and when I say nowhere else, I mean it – in the latest Expats rating, Dublin was ranked lower in terms of quality of life for expats than any other EU city other than Paris).

          • Sideshow Bob

            “You would agree though that skyscrapers aside, most Europe was not bombed and yet nowhere else people pay so much for properties so bad´´

            For the parts of Europe I have visited I would agree I have rarely seen such a disparity in price vs quality / location.

          • Sideshow Bob

            ´´In Dublin and its 80k long commuter belts with Les Misérables forced to live there?´´

            I can´t see any major changes, perhaps everybody will become more French-like and go on strike a lot more!

          • Grzegorz Kolodziej

            “Dublin Bus fares for mid-range journeys are to increase by 5.6%.”
            Very recently DB announced on their website that there’ll be no new money extortions.

            “The NTA has said the price hikes are part of a restructuring plan.” – the only restructuring palpable to customers is price hikes. Why do we need NTA anyway? Some of the world’s finest public transport project were created without such quangos.

            “On Dublin Bus there is an increase on the second fare – part of a long-term plan to simplify fares going forward.” – of course it would not occur to them to simplify it downwards.

            “The city centre fare is being scrapped.” – one more reason not to invest in Dublin.

            “commuters in certain counties, such as Cork, will see a reduction of 25% in some fares” – how is that fair or reasonable? It’s been calculated that an average worker in Cork is, due to lower costs of rent and commuting, 8-10k better off per annum than an average worker in Dublin.
            From my personal point of view, all I can say is that my moving to Dublin in 2006 from rural Ireland – with a promotion and, on paper, wage hike by a 100 euro, began – due to Dublin’s cost of living – a period of transitioning from “working to live and save” to “working just to live”.

          • Sideshow Bob

            A lot of points here Grzeg.

            Re: fare reduction.

            It is for some “fares´´ only. They were being overcharged more than likely because Bus Eireann classified a location as being outside the city, that was more correctly adoining.

            Yes – transport in Ireland needs to be opened up to real competition.

          • Grzegorz Kolodziej

            Dublin Bus announced on their website on Friday, October 27, 2017, that “There is no change to fares for shorter journeys or for longer journeys. Fares for mid-range journeys are to increase by approximately 5%”.
            Then on Dec 1 I’m hearing from my bus driver that it’s 2.10 now instead of 2 euro on short journey, that the Xpresso long journey fare is also gone up, and that the City Fare will soon be gone (I assume replaced by short journey fare, which means an increase in price by 250%).

            Meanwhile, a few years ago in Vienna the annual integrated ticket price is 1/5 (one fifth) of what it is in Dublin.
            It amazes me that no one in this country puts a pressure on the Government to end their monopoly (you’ll get single people moaning about DB on forums, but that’s about it) – after all, their overcharging due to their monopoly position is in multiples of what the water charges were supposed to be – and compare the reaction of the Irish public to both. Go figure…

        • Sideshow Bob

          “Well, what will happen in Dublin then in the next 10 years?´´

          I can´t see a lot being let happen Grzeg!

          Maybe some changes in a few already designated outer urban sites like Cherrywood and Adamstown and perhaps the Development of Grangegorman for DIT but that is about it.

      • Sideshow Bob

        1 & 2) The point is clear here and the essay listed above supports and covers the topic. The percentage of the Japanese population that was urbanized was something like 30% post-WW1, 60% in the late 1960s and stands at 78% at present. No correlation with Meiji-era tax reforms from a century before. I don´t know what D McW is on about when he expounds on his version of the grand economic wisdom of the Meiji-era imperial advisors with relation to this matter.

        “They can why can´t we?´´ – A pertinent question! It is physically possible, so the obstacles are all other ones. NIMBY-ism and a lack of political will are the two biggest reasons, I would guess. This two are guided by the pervading pretense in Ireland that we can get a modern cities to look like a town of 200 hundred years ago but function perfectly well as modern cities, despite all evidence to the contrary ( e.g. traffic and housing problems).

        Tokyo, like all Japanese cities prior to WW2, was made of mainly timber structures and were purposely firebombed (with incendiary bombs) by the Americans during the later stages of WW2. The USAF was pretty merciless in its actions in this regard, then and later in Korea and Vietnam, too. In the case of an old city it is a bit easier to rebuild to a high density where this has occurred. This occurred in the UK, too, to a lesser degree (-Luftwaffe had bombers with lesser payloads-) and in many old European cities to varying degrees. New areas can be developed from scratch to higher densities political will, and perhaps culture, have the dominant role to play here.

        As for the cities you mentioned Grzeg, most aren´t old.
        I am explicitly taking about the challenges of building where there are established residents, ownerships and land uses. Building in empty desert like in Dubai is a different animal.

        And Shanghai was laid to ruin in 1937, as part of the same conflict, as far as Japan was concerned at least.

        I don´t mean to be lecturing here Grzeg – I realize the Poles suffered hugely and I know a bit of poor Warsaw´s fate. I think we spoke about it before here.

        I am saying it is far easier to do this kind of thing with a clean slate…which is a legacy of heavy bombing in the case of Tokyo.

        • Grzegorz Kolodziej

          Well, yes, but Tokyo wasn’t among the examples of towns with skyscrapers:

          “- New York, Chicago, Shanghai and Dubai weren’t bombed. The area where La Défense in Paris was built had not been bombed. I shortly lived in Frankfurt in the 1990s and its skyscrapers are not in the areas that were bombed”

          “And Shanghai was laid to ruin in 1937″ – but the skyscrapers building didn’t start until 60 years later, so no connection there…

          “No correlation with Meiji-era tax reforms from a century before.” – Meiji-era tax reforms and bullet trains it’s a tenuous link, all right :-)

          Btw, it never ceases to amaze me that in countries like Japan, South Korea, Taiwan, Israel – David never manages to spot a link between their IT sectors and technology transfers from the US army. I don’t know if that’s somehow connected with the fact that when he once demanded that we should begin a serious discussion on guns, and I gave him a dozen or so good arguments in favour of gun ownership, he abandoned the guns discussion and he never came back to it.

          “Building in empty desert like in Dubai is a different animal.” – actually, a lot of areas in Ireland also look a desert – only green and nicer looking. One of my best friends lives in a cottage in rural Sligo so I am just telling you what I see. Even along the Liffey you can find some abandoned buildings; I cannot pinpoint them exactly and you probably know Dublin even better than me, but I swear that a few years ago I saw some huge derelict building towards Smithfield close to Liffey with grass growing out of it. Can you imagine that in Manhattan?! Or Krakow’s old city even?

          • Sideshow Bob

            “– actually, a lot of areas in Ireland also look a desert – only green and nicer looking.´´

            ha ha and point taken!

        • Grzegorz Kolodziej

          “Meiji-era tax reforms and bullet trains it’s a tenuous link, all right :-)” – although David is right when he writes:

          “Feudal land-based economies, where land, rather than innovation and hard work, is the source of wealth simply enrich a drone class. The drones live off land, push its price up and drive down the quality of life for others, such as renters and first-time buyers.

          “In 1860 Japan was isolated, feudal and weak. It was an obvious next commercial target for avaricious westerners. If India and China could be enfeebled by imperialists, what chance had remote Japan?

          But Japan didn’t go the way of China. By 1900 Japan had become the most advanced independent nation in Asia. By 1905 it was trouncing the Russians on the battlefield.”

          That civilisational leap forward didn’t happen by accident.

          • Truthist

            DMW going all Japanezzy ?
            Nonetheless, Truthist is against any person being victimised.
            Although, Irish State has no default moral obligation to house foreigners ;
            Certainly not on permanent basis.
            HEADING ;
            Japan Forces Sterilization on Transgender People
            SUB-HEADING ;
            Government Shouldn’t Require Surgery for Rights Protection
            Kanae Doi
            THE ARTICLE ;
            The Japanese government has taken some positive steps to improve the rights of lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) people. But the country’s legal gender recognition procedure – the law that allows transgender people to be recognized according to their gender identity – remains a stain on Japan’s record.
            Participants March during the Tokyo Rainbow Parade. On October 22, hundreds of activist groups throughout the world will gather to mark the 8th annual International Day for Trans Depathologization.

            Participants March during the Tokyo Rainbow Parade. On October 22, hundreds of activist groups throughout the world will gather to mark the 8th annual International Day for Trans Depathologization. Despite progress, governments around the world, including the Japanese government, propagate medical and policy paradigms that deem trans people “mentally ill.” ©2015 Reuters/Thomas Peter

            In Japan, transgender people who seek legal gender change must appeal to a family court under Law 111 of 2003 that, when passed, represented a watershed moment in Japan, opening up public discussion on sexual and gender minority issues.

            However, the procedure is discriminatory, requiring applicants to be single and without children under 20, undergo a psychiatric evaluation to receive a diagnosis of “Gender Identity Disorder” (GID), and be sterilized.

            The law requires applicants to “permanently lack functioning gonads” before they can be legally recognized, which amounts to forced sterilization, a practise condemned by health and rights bodies across the globe, including the United Nations World Health Organization. In 2013, the UN special rapporteur on torture noted that transgender people being “required to undergo often unwanted sterilization surgeries as a prerequisite to enjoy legal recognition of their preferred gender” was a human rights violation, and called on governments to prohibit the practise.

            In 2016, a bipartisan group of members of the Diet, Japan’s parliament, planned to consider revisions to Law 111 to relax the requirements for legal gender recognition – but the discussion never took place. That same year, in response to a letter from the UN special rapporteurs on health and on torture about Law 111, Japan’s Ministry of Health wrote that it was proud of the country’s progress on LGBT rights. But the government defended the medical model and hid behind its stated need for “objectivity and certainty” in determining whether people were actually transgender – and therefore deserving of legal recognition or not.
            Forcing people to undergo unwanted surgeries to obtain documentation is contrary both to Japan’s human rights obligations and its reputation as a champion of LGBT rights. The government should urgently revise Law 111 to end forced sterilization.

        • Sideshow Bob

          In China, the State owns all the land they can do as they please.

        • Sideshow Bob

          “But Japan didn’t go the way of China. By 1900 Japan had become the most advanced independent nation in Asia. By 1905 it was trouncing the Russians on the battlefield.”

          When D McW puts it like this it sounds like a game of cricket does it not?

          It does not sound like the aggressive violent Imperialistic expansion that it was – just like the Nazi one in Europe 30 years later. Is this civilizing leap forward?

          Morals aside, they did adapt to the technology and tactics very quickly and very well.

          Economically speaking, I don´t think this (naval) trouncing of Russia was just a side product of being economically opened up 50 years before. It was the main objective of all Japanese efforts in those 50 years. National success in war the main aim of the new Japanese economy. The Japanese economy was a war economy, which needed resources and imperial expansion to feed it. From when it started in the 1870s it didn´t stop until it ran headlong into the economic juggernaut that was America on a full war footing in the 1940s.

          I am really starting to get annoyed with the crassness of this article by D McW, the more that I consider it.

          • Grzegorz Kolodziej

            I had to laugh out loud when I read the cricket comparison.
            However, a lot of other countries engaged in “aggressive violent Imperialistic expansion” where “war the main aim” – the post-1917-1939 USSR is a good example – and far from enjoying the civilising leap of Japan, they actually made a giant leap backwards in standards of living – to an extent that Dublin slums of 1913 looked like luxury accommodation compared to Moscow slums.

            So imperialistic expansion or not, perhaps the Meiji-era Japan deserves a closer look in terms of the transition from the feudal society to a capitalist society?

            Because let’s be frank – Dublin is, to a large extent, a feudal economy/property market (in that it is similar to Warsaw, minus good planning).

            It reminds me of the times when we were small kids aged 9 and our history teacher told us that Mongolia was the only country in the world that succeeded in transitioning from feudalism to socialism without having to go through the capitalist stage. The kids looked at her in disbelief and they all burst into laughter, including the son of a militiaman, who was inconsolable any day he wouldn’t start a fist fight with someone; later on – in a “free” Poland – was thrown out of the secondary school for throwing someone colleague of the closed window (on the ground floor through).

          • Sideshow Bob


            I think the Irish obsession with property is a bad thing but I think maybe looking at a western European trading nation, as D McW tells us we are, say Holland or Denmark would be a better example of a comparator.

          • Grzegorz Kolodziej

            Comparing the feudal character of Dublin/Warsaw economies/property markets, what I had in mind was:

            1. Cushty jobs in local administration inherited from families, not necessarily based on skills (it strikes me now as I’m writing that the cushty public jobs sector in both capitals is accompanied by an ultracompetitive corporate sector – two opposites of the spectrum).


            2. Very dodgy way some people got themselves in a situation whereby they own large portfolios of property – in Warsaw, as they bombed the bejaysus out of it during the 1944 Uprising, there was f…k all original Varsavions left


            , so Warsaw was and up till this day is populated mainly by people from negative selection – in 1945-1956 the bigger lengths you were prepared to jump into bed with the commis and rat on your colleagues, the higher you ended up on the communist echelon – these people got lovely properties from the Communist Party, and in “free” Poland they could buy it with 93% discount and then sell it for hundreds of thousands, if not millions.

            In Dublin, some folks connection with the governing party/parties ensured that they could get a handy loan, often with no real collateral as their pals would have been in the bank giving them.
            David is an expert on the latter, he was touring with a show on that.

            So it is in this respect that I find both local economies of tow capital cities feudal. Holland and Denmark, the two examples you revoked, might have a healthier structure but they have different problems that Warsaw does not have and Dublin certainly does not have to that extent – Netherlands and Denmaker are turning into Caliphates, so much so that this year Denmark applied to army on its border with Germany to stop the illegal inflow of “refugees”.
            Considering the above, I’d say I’d rather prefer Dublin’s problems with infrastructure.
            P.S. Knowing the mentality of Irish politicians and voters, what would bombing of Dublin do is that instead of building modern city and underground in place of debris, they would leave all the debris, and vote themselves into a system in which they would charge you gazillion euro to rent caravans in debri, and then spend another gazillion euro to build quality corridors in Dublin to link – via debris – Kildare St with Avivia Stadium and Patrick Guilbaud Restaurant. To the bewildered tourists asking a question “What’s all this then?”, the Dubs would say with a touch of asperity “did yous not hear about da 800 years of occupation AND da bombin’, ya dorty Aytalians?”, rolling their eyes.
            Dublin is lucky it didn’t have to go through the communist occupation (apart from Michael D., the Red Dwarf) – can you imagine Dublin pubs only with red lemonade? ;-)

            where there’s a will there’s a way:


          • Grzegorz Kolodziej

            examples you revoked = examples you revoked.

            Btw, in Dublin, a 1,200 euro rents you:


            In Warsaw, it rents you 140 m² apartment in the city centre, super-safe to walk at night (embassies district), 21st-century public transport, lots of places with excellent food open till late.
            While the apartments you can tent for that kind of money in San Francisco and Edinburgh are not as big and opulent as those in Warsaw, they would still be classed as luxury apartments and in city centre (modernised luxury studio in a Georgian building in Edinburg for that money – kingsize bed, balcony).

            And some people are surprised why Dublin has been systematically losing international events (like the Web Summit – the evaluators took on DB trip around town, got lost, and reported that nowhere in Europe have they seen public transport this bad – and thus how Ireland lost the right to host that summit to Lisbon).

          • Grzegorz Kolodziej

            examples you revoked = examples you evoked.

            Due to the late time, wine and time spent in court I just simply cannot get this legal terminology out of my head – I write it before I think of it.

          • Grzegorz Kolodziej

            I would have said “Freudian slip” but I don’t believe in Freud (or in his student Jung).
            P.S. “I dreamt of Freud – what does it mean?” ;-)

          • Grzegorz Kolodziej

            examples you revoked. Evoked. I would have said “Freudian slip” but I don’t.
            examples you revoked. Evoked.
            you revoked.
            ;-) :


            What does it mean?
            Examples you… LOL

          • Sideshow Bob

            ´Pod´ is likely to be a breach of planning, as far as I can see. Lots of substandard development going on in the Country. Local Authorities are not lifting a finger.

            I will come back to why I say Denmark and the Netherlands as comparators another time. As for Poland / Ireland comparisons I will defer to you.

          • Sideshow Bob


            This is my last post on this topic here I have lots to do today and will have to leave it here I have two points for you, to explain what I meant earlier in some of my posts:

            1) The Netherlands is an example of a country has has always been a trading nation ( since its establishment as the United Provinces) and made a distinct decision as a country over a hundred yeers ago not to tie up its wealth in inter-generational games of housing speculation. Still though, it has possibly the best built environment in western Europe, upto 50 percent of its cities are social and affordable housing, and it has a superb transport system to boot. It has defended this national policy decision in a smart and robust way from the neo-con marauders who threatened their sensible national stance from deep within the veils of EU free trade policies, which were to be imposed by the EU Superstate. If you want to buy property and hold it as an asset you can, but there is no national rat race occurring on the subject.

            Denmark, I am guessing have managed to do something very similar but I don´t know the details of it ( unlike my knowledge of the Dutch scenario).

            If Ireland wants to change direction nothing short of a wholesale national policy and attitude change would be required. Ireland did manage this before with education, though it is not perfect and complete yet it was a massive jump for a relatively poor country.

            2) Small and medium property developers / speculators are the main ones who could fill up the kind of sites that appear in the vacancy maps of Dublin that you have so kindly help to out here. And similarly across the country. No big developer will touch most of these. These small to medium companies are the seeds of the future bigger developers, as well. They provide competition for prices and prevent destructive monopolies from existing in the construction market. This would be the same as for any type of market.

            Without a solid base of these functioning,healthy and normally, in the construction industry in Ireland there will be no solution to the housing crisis nationally. It is as simple as that!

      • Sideshow Bob

        4) (your second 2) Like D McW you are conflating terms here – landowner, landlord, etc, and your example falls down badly as a result. I am talking about smaller speculative developers, whose business is development, ones that borrow from a bank in order to buy a property to develop at a profit. They don´t get favorable rates from the banks, they have to complete and sell the work before the cost of financing kills off the profit. Banks demand excessively high margins before handing over any money. McWilliam´s recent TV3 show on the topic of housing had a developer on talking about it, so you could get some infor from the horses mouth there. This program would be worth a look Grzeg, for an inquisitive mind like yours, because it would shed a contextual light on the various economic theories and theorists you have mentioned up above in connection to this theme.

        PS Please throw out anything on demand curves ´cause that stuff might well work for many simple products but it does not work for real estate, and particularly where there is a speculative bubble occuring.

  2. Sideshow Bob

    apogolies typo – 2nd para – If you want…

  3. Sideshow Bob

    ´´When a landlord buys a site for €200,000, does nothing to it, sits back and sells it on for €400, 000, nothing has happened to make society better off.´´

    Landlords don´t buy sites to profit from them. Speculative developers do. However, speculative developers on the medium to small-scale were wiped out in the crash and so this does not occur anymore. Small-scale speculative developers were often also builders i.e. they were generating work for themselves while filling in a need in the market. These are gone.

    What depresses me about this discussion that D McW is trying to have ( – I am referring to his TV show, and this article too, ) is that the base presumptions are so, so far away from reality. I appreciate he is trying to get a conversation going, to get people of all ilks and interests around a big debating table and have at it, but I think so far it has been very weak and is only scratching the surface in the most superficial way on this huge topic.

    • george

      I totally agree with you! Farmers want land to produce better and more, and they take a big risk doing it. They not only create real wealth, but also essential products for our subsistence. On top of it, they work from dawn to sunset seven days a week. And don’t get midterm breaks, or three months holidays… if you know what I mean! Is bad enough that we’ve to pay Residential Property Tax, that is the most unfair tax in existence. The Romans started to tax land when they expanded towards the East, and found out that a local chieftain over there was doing so. And it signal the beginning of the end of the Empire, for some of the reasons (and other ones) you give. Of course we should tax land of Property Developers who are sitting on it, and acquiring even more to speculate. But foolish we’ll be, if we tax land to farmers.

      • Sideshow Bob

        Hi George,

        I think our wires got a bit crossed here, so to speak.

        Basically, I can´t see where there are many Property Developers sitting on land banks and I think a such a policy to tax prospective developers can only backfire.
        When a smaller developer buys land with an intention to develop that turnaround from start to finish usually lasts 2-4 years, at a minimum. It could easily take more. Unless this activity is not only supported now, but actually encouraged, there is no hope of an end to the housing crisis.

        On you other point on taxing agricultural land, I wholeheartedly agree. In this scenario, presented here in this article, it would be daft. Taxing it from the moment of rezoning to residential land would also be daft and, grossly unfair, as any such rezoned land would likely be in the ownership of a farmer who could ill afford to pay such taxes. The majority of land developed in the state over the past 50 years has been agricultural prior to redevelopment. I can´t see this changing and I can´t see how this could be handled equitably in the future. And aside from this there are the excellent reasons you very correctly outlined, too. I feel it simply could not be justified in any way.

        • george

          Sideshow Bob Hi!
          I’m sure you know better than me, about the Property Developer’s situation. But I was only thinking in hypothetical cases, when somebody speculate about it, and use loopholes in the law for pure greed, with no regards for other peoples basic needs.

          I’m glad we agree about farmers (and I’m not one of them), but anyone with a bit of commonsense should realize that they are one of the basic pillars of this Country (and I wasn’t born here).

          And of top of everything I said before, I just want to add something else about it. Within the social fabric of any society, small and medium size farmers, not big landowners, are the ones that are more in tune with peoples needs, with nature,and with sound farming products.

          If we would tax land to farmers, probably a big percentage of the small farmers will be pushed to the side, and will end up selling their land to bigger farmers. I think it in turn, will lead us into a more intensive and industrialized type of agriculture, and genetically modified food. And in the other hand, a very powerful and dangerous lobby group, with closer links to big Corporations. Cheers!

        • Grzegorz Kolodziej

          “I can´t see where there are many Property Developers sitting on land banks” – so why did NAMA announce that only 6pc of the land they sold is built in?

        • Grzegorz Kolodziej

          “speculative developers on the medium to small-scale were wiped out in the crash and so this does not occur anymore” – it does occur but on the big scale (REIT). For a prospective tenant/buyer, the fact that the medium to small-scale speculative developers were wiped out in the crash and replaced by big vulture funds doesn’t change anything (and is perhaps even worse).

          • Grzegorz Kolodziej

            Btw – both NAMA and REIT blame private equity and private owners for hoarding sites…

          • Sideshow Bob


            Re: Indo article by REIT CEO – the evidence mentioned is not presented at any point.

            It does mention lands that are not serviced being a problem but the areas aren´t included. The extent of the two difficulties is not measurable as a result.

          • Grzegorz Kolodziej

            “Re: Indo article by REIT CEO – the evidence mentioned is not presented at any point” – it doesn’t, hence my observation that NAMA and REIT blame smaller land hoarders – though I find it hard to believe that they would not have been interested in pumping the bubble.

            And of course, like you say, the evidence is not presented in the short article – however, knowing the draconian defamation laws in Ireland when it comes to printed word (even the Chief Justice of Ireland agreed with me, in a private conversation, that they should be amended because they can be used to stifle journalism), I cannot imagine that the REIT boss would have just made that up, and that “The Irish Independent” would have then printed that made-up claim (it’s true that “The Irish Times” often does such things, but that’s only because they’ve been getting away with that so far, and it pertains to covering thins from abroad).

            Like I said – those 35,000 vacant homes in Dublin must be somewhere…

            And, in another article, the REIT CEO does give specific example:

            “Ires Reit is currently appealing the decision of planners at Dun Laoghaire Rathdown County Council to reject its application for the development of 467 apartments at Rockbrook in Sandyford to An Bord Pleanala.”?

            But whether it is a case of a pot calling the kettle black, it’s for you to judge:

            “Commenting on the position occupied by Ires Reit in the Irish residential rental market, Ehrlich rejected the suggestion that it is stretching tenants in terms of the rents it charges”

          • Truthist

            “…even the Chief Justice of Ireland agreed with me…”
            Daughter of former boss of Anti-Irish Times [ Now ; Anti-Irish Times CUM Anti-Polish Times ] & whom is credited with giving it the claim to being “The Newspaper of Record for Irish State” ?

          • Grzegorz Kolodziej

            Yes, I’ve noticed this interesting family connection when you brought it up the first time.
            I had the opportunity to speak with the Chief Justice of Ireland for about 15 min during the break of the conference about the freedom of speech and she was intrigued and enthusiastic about what I was telling her (I compared the Irish strict defamation laws to strict Polish defamation laws, and how Adam Michnik’s lawyers used them to stifle the free speech; I’ve also asked her whether she thought that the overly strict defamation laws in Ireland might have contributed to death of the late Veronica Guerin, and I gave my arguments for it – at first, she nodded, but then (perhaps due to time constraints, and perhaps because the crowd of journalists started to gather around us) she introduced me to her legal adivisor to answer that difficult question.

            On a personal level, she came across as approachable and a good listener; then again, I usually dominate every discussion I am in – so maybe this impression is not shared by everyone – I am aware of that vice, so I’m working on being less intimidating by not saying anything until the very end (my ex-girlfriend advised me that).

            That she agreed with me is one thing; that nothing has been done about the quasi-totalitarian defamation laws in Irish press is another thing – so make of it what you want, Truthist.

            Btw – with the level of slander and plain lying that’s been going on in “The Irish Times” (and they are never willing to correct their lies), you would expect that “The Irish Times” should be in favour of having as liberal defamation laws as possible (particularly that there has been hardly any article by Mr Derek Scally about Poland where she wouldn’t have lied about something)?

            P.S. I.e., Mr Fintan O’Fool wrote a number of articles in November 1994 following false allegations that Cardinal Cahal Daly had written to the Attorney General with a view to preventing the extradition of Father Brendan Smyth to Northern Ireland.
            In March 1996, O’Fool was spreading false allegations that a Sister of Mercy had poured boiling water over a resident of Goldenbridge school and had beaten her so badly that she needed 100 stitches.
            In 1999 he was the only journalist to defend Mr John Cooney’s allegation in his biography of John Charles McQuaid, that the Archbishop had been a homosexual paedophile.
            All other journalists (and historians) – including those who otherwise praised the book – said that this claim was nonsense and that Mr Cooney should have omitted it – but not Mr O’Fool, who sustained his lies.

            Unlike in the Soviet criminology, the golden rule of the western criminology is that he who first reports a crime is the first suspect…

          • Truthist

            Daddy was a Spook ;
            And, a rather mysterious one at that.

            Spook –> Daughter becomes a so-called “liberal” 8-) / “creative” senior Judge [ Indeed, eventually the Chief Injustice ] ;
            Spook Family with Hidden Agenda would be very proud of that sequence.
            Most unjust to not attend to injustice when it has been personally brought to her attention
            HINT … HINT … HINT !
            And, upon retiring I note that she seeking protection from ramifications to her that would otherwise apply to an everyone is equal AND NONE is more equal than any other CITIZEN.
            I homeless, & at other times “homeless + roofless” for all of my adult life AND always aiming to be as much a paragon of virtue as possible as would Caesar’s wife also strive AND always subject to victimisation by the Irish State & / or Irish State + Private Persons & ALSO Private Person[s] arguably alone initially at least AND most serious matters brought to her attention AND her response Sin of Omission AND victimisation unabated & indeed continuing ==> her ladyship G-U-I-L-T-Y of … !
            IRONIC TOO ;
            ==> OF ANY METROPOLIS IN EU.
            Of course, one’s adversaries always seek to skilfully disparage with lies.
            I keylogged too.

        • Sideshow Bob

          Jaysus Grzeg, I can´t say nuthin´ without you jumping on me, can I?

          So well done to you and Daithi7 for raising and arriving at this.

          I went on to the 4 dublin council´s websites to see what they have up on their vacant site registers and I took a look at the act itself. Dun Laoghaire and Fingal which by my estimates should have the most in the way of vacant sites have nothing listed so far. south County Dublin have afew but mainly out at Newcastle. Dublin City has a 4 page listing of 100 odd sites which the biggest contingent belong to themselves and the second biggest are in recievership or examinership. Honestly, there aren´t a lot of sites of substance vacant on it that would be easy to develop. However, the definition is limited. The curent DCC listing is here -

          A siimilar google search for any local authority area should bring you to what they have for a register in that area, should anybody be curious about where they live.

          • Grzegorz Kolodziej

            “Jaysus Grzeg, I can´t say nuthin´ without you jumping on me, can I?” – by no mean have I meant to be jumping on you as you are one of the most reasonable and “to the point” people out there.
            I just want this Dublin homelessness/living in gory-movies-like-settings horror of the conditions of Dublin housing to end in another way than forced euthanasia. And I am primarily interested in solutions to that debacle (but proper solutions will not be found if proper questions are not asked).

            “Dun Laoghaire and Fingal which by my estimates should have the most in the way of vacant sites have nothing listed so far. south County Dublin have afew but mainly out at Newcastle.” – forgive if me I am wrong as I might be totally wrong on that particular issue as this is just my wild guess – but would that “not listing” not signal a potential corruption between some of the vacant site owners and the council (you’ll find further arguments for that scenario in my third link)?

            Dun Laoghaire and Fingal which by my estimates should have the most in the way of vacant sites have nothing listed so far. south County Dublin have afew but mainly out at Newcastle.

            Those 35,000 vacant houses in Dublin must be
            s o m e w h e r e…


            On underreporting of vacant sites in Dublin:
            “The map includes 389 sites, which is probably not all of the vacant or derelict sites in the city but all that we could gather and map in the last six months. (Some Dublin City Council sites are not included on the map, as the addresses we had for them were not specific enough, for example.)”

            Also, please bear in mind, Bob, that if a house is a rental house for Airbnb, it’d be listed as an empty holiday home but wouldn’t count to empty homes numbers.
            Last but not least:

            “It appears that either the Councils underreported the real level of long term vacancy when reporting to NOAC for the 2016 report or that the Department of Housing are not only including Council units that have been brought back into use after a long period of vacancy but also those that are just being relet from one tenant to another.
            “No matter what the explanation is, this looks suspiciously like a case of cooking the books to make the figures look better.”

            Many thanks for your replies.

          • Sideshow Bob


            Thank you for the compliment and given your attention to this blog over many years, it is keenly felt.

            I adopted Dublinese as a jokey `accent´, or register if you like, I was not serious at all when I mentioned your jumping on me.

            On the subject of the unofficial vacant site map – well done again. I think the definitions are different – the legal one in the act for the official register is very specific with a few causes to apply to it before.Properties on this register will be taxed as of 2019.

            Then there would be the question of compiling it. The local authorities are still doing this and they have a bit more time to finish that work.

            Corruption is a dangerous word to use incorrectly, Grzeg even on forums.

            Got to run!

          • Grzegorz Kolodziej

            If they were cooking the books, regardless whether it is corruption or something else – it would be a criminal offence. The allegation that the Department of Housing is “cooking the books” was used in the Dail debate – and frankly speaking, if the Department is not cooking the books, then what stops them from suing the TD – Eoin Broin – who is accusing them of doing so (based on mismatched figures)?

            The Department’s reply to his parliamentary question claims that “8,512 Council voids were returned to stock between 2014 and 2017″ while “a 2016 report by the National Oversight and Audit Commission indicated that there was a total of 4,202 council voids in the system in 2014.”

            Personally, I have no opinion why vacant houses in Dublin would be underreported – corruption would be one of the explanations; negligence would be another.

            “Corruption is a dangerous word to use incorrectly, Grzeg even on forums.” – so far, forums turned out to be dangerous for politicians :-)
            When I first (before it became newspapers headlines a year later) started to reveal the deliberate illegal phone tapping and the deliberate lack of proper auditing thereof (I even named the Judge who was negligent in that area, and this was even printed in the newspaper), it eventually led to the resignation of St Frances, and it nearly toppled the Government ;-)

            The unreported vacant homes is a side topic anyway – f i r s t we should deal with what’s more tangible, that is reported vacant homes – and there is a plethora of them; in some areas of Dublin, more than 20% of homes are vacant (and this doesn’t even include holiday homes) – primarily in the city centre!:

            “NINE PERCENT of the housing stock in Dublin city was VACANT at the 2016 census, according to the CSO; that meant there were 20,844 vacant homes (plus 937 vacant holiday homes). In some parts of the city, the vacancy rate topped TWENTY PERCENT.”


            On March 10, 2016 at 2:48 pm, I wrote:

            “A habitable unoccupied property is subject to 50% of commercial rates. An uninhabitable, unoccupied property is not liable for rates at all, though I wonder how this:


            will change it (but that won’t enter into force until 2018, by which time we can have a property market collapse anyway).
            An 18-month audit carried out by Dublin City Council has found more than 61 hectares of vacant or derelict land, spread over 282 sites in central Dublin (in total it has identified 151 vacant plots of land and 131 sites with derelict buildings, which are zoned for development but are left unused; some of them, buildings look like Poland in around 1947).”

            and I noticed:

            “Shocking as it may sound, up to about 1975, there was little or no premium on house prices in the Dublin. Contrary to what most people falsely believe (that there are too many people coming to live in Dublin), Dublin has one of the lowest-density urban areas in Europe; I therefore strongly support David’s statement that “We need a zone for 40-storey, top-of-the-range apartments which would be made available” (but is not the case that there is a law prohibiting buildings from going over certain height?).

            There is no shortage of land, but there is a shortage of planning permission. The first thing that one of my ex-colleagues from Labour said to me (I mean he is from Labour, not me of course) after being elected a councillor was to ask me if know someone who badly needs a planning permission – a nod’s as good as a wink.

            Before land zoning came along, house builders extended the city by buying up farms on the city’s edge and building at whatever densities the market would support.

            LAND ZONING (from 1963) AND CREDIT BUBBLE (from the late 90s) meant that from the mid-70s onwards, houses in Dublin had more than 50 per cent of premium over comparable homes outside Dublin.
            Same thing has happened in London.”

            and I demanded:

            But hay, where would then be an opportunity for corruption for our local councillors? It would not be any, so onerous regulations were kept up, zoning and very few streets were included – and so the take-up of the scheme was abysmal, but BMW sales in Dublin went up.”

            and I also demanded:

            “8. ABOLISH THE RENT ALLOWANCE SYSTEM (or, at the very least, perhaps incorporate it into an integrated welfare system, but income based, not luck-based?). IT IS PUSHING THE PRICES UP, AND IT PUSHES THE LOW-INCOME WORKING TENANTS AND UNLUCKY OTHER TENANTS OUT OF THE MARKET (you have to be relatively well off to find a house and pay a deposit where the landlord pays taxes and agrees on rent allowance).

            “The “rent allowance transfer to landlords” phenomena concerns small fishes, but there are extreme examples which make my hair curl:


            And as long the rent allowance is 1) in operation and 2) as random as it is, there will be more cases like that.”

          • Grzegorz Kolodziej

            P.S. Remember those alarming articles that it will take us 43 years to fill the empty houses?


            Mr McWilliams was also very worried about that…:

            “it is crystal clear that the opposite is the case. It is not that we don’t have enough houses – we have too many.”


            while some reader (Glen Quinn) noticed:

            find London much easier to live in than Dublin because wages are much higher and prices are cheaper.”

            while the reader Holger said:

            “A few days ago I got offered “affordable housing” for a 2 bed in Navan at a price of 227000 Euro currently you can buy a proper 2 bed in Berlin for 70000 Euro or and Berlin is one of the main capitals in Europe.”

            There is also this bizarre comment under this article:

            October 29, 2008 at 7:25 am
            Viagra. Buying overnight viagra. Generic viagra. Viagra 6 free samples….”


            And a year later, Mr McWilliams was saying – perhaps sarcastically – “82 percent of every single Euro that is borrowed today in this country is going to go into property. What else is going on here? Can someone please tell me? If we take out our multinational sector, what else is going on in this country, that isn’t property?
            The answer is very, very little. Therefore it is entirely justified to focus on the property market.”


            One of the commentators have proposed an alternative to taxing, that is higher interest rates (something which I have been banging on for years is necessary) plus U-turn from owning houses by people who cannot really afford to own them to allocating those financial resources to better destinations (which I also have been in favour of):

            June 10, 2008 at 4:20 am
            I found this article by accident, but what a great one it is! I left Ireland in 1988, never to return. I’m currently living in New Zealand and, interestingly enough, we have just been through a very similar phase of property growth and equity funded consumer excess. Thankfully, interest rates here are relatively high (about 9%), but they were hovering around 6% for a year or so – enough time for some to mistakenly think it was going to last forever.
            The reserve bank here is pretty ruthless about controlling inflation, which accounts for the higher interest rates, I think. This meant that things didn’t get as bad as they could have.
            Anyway, since the liquidity crisis (AKA the “credit crunch) late last year, property prices have come back and are reliably predicted to fall a total of 30% from the highs of late 2007.
            I would like to address Konrad’s question about whether property or land tax is the answer. I have to say, I really don’t agree with taxation being used as an instrument of economic policy. Isn’t there already a massive capital gains tax in Ireland? (BTW – there’s no capital gains tax in NZ).
            Taxation of property, in order to work properly, would have to be on existing property value, which I think would disadvantage the less well-off who bought property when it was affordable.
            The combined approach of a reserve bank keeping interest rates high in order to keep inflationary pressure low and a government building program of low-cost housing stock, would probably be best. That would also answer some of the issues raised about the lack of infrastructure.
            Here’s my own question – Do we really need to own houses at all? Surely the idea of investing so much into a single investment type is anathema to any investor anyway. If less property were owned by more people (a la stocks and shares), I think we would all be better off.”

          • Truthist

            Rent Allowance / Rent Subsidy, & HOW PROSPECTIVE, OR EXISTING, TENANT IS REQUIRED TO PROCEED WITH IT — fulfills many agenda for the various tiers of the establishment,
            Profiteering for Landlords ;
            Distortion of market price to be > than it should be
            Control of Tenant ==> Manipulation of Tenant
            Threshold of rents to be > than Rent Allowance ;
            Distortion of market price to be > than it should be
            Social Engineering of society away from home ownership to home tenancy

          • Truthist

            CLARIFICATION ;
            e.g.’s 1. not actually tautologous with 3.
            BECAUSE ;
            1. refers to narrow prospective Rent Allowance Landlord, & thus R.A. Tenancies Market
            3. refers to impact on ALL Tenancies Market.
            BY THE BY ;

          • Sideshow Bob


            There are a number of defences to an accusation of actionable defamation/slander of character. The most obvious is that what is said is the truth, another is parliamentary privilege which any TD speaking in the Dail can claim.

        • Sideshow Bob


          Re NAMA and 6% completion rate – two possible reasons -

          Completion of large schemes takes years from inception 4-5 frequently.

          Land that is not serviced cannot gain planning permission.It is up to the local authorites to do that.

        • Grzegorz Kolodziej


          “There are a number of defences to an accusation of actionable defamation/slander of character. The most obvious is that what is said is the truth” – that’s my defence against the potential accusations from some of “The Irish Times” journalists all right :-); the same cannot be said in reverse scenario (they cannot use that defence regarding some of their defaming articles, of which there are many).

          “another is parliamentary privilege which any TD speaking in the Dail can claim.” – that’s, of course, true, as the Article 15.13 of the Constitution says that members of the Oireachtas “shall not, in respect of any utterance in either House, be amenable to any court or any authority other than the House itself.”, which is confirmed by the Section 92 of the Houses of the Oireachtas (Inquiries, Privileges and Procedures) Act 2013. The Irish text says ‘táid soar ar chúrsaí dlí’ – the utterances are ‘free from legal proceedings.’

          However, there is a dispute among the experts – some argue that the privilege is attached to the documents or to the person: while Article 15 s. 12 is dealing with the privilege attaching to documents, whereas Article 15, s.13 is concerned with the privilege attaching to persons; while others, referring to the judgment of O’Flaherty J, point out that O’Flaherty J did not expressly approve or disapprove of the distinction between Article 15, ss. 12 and 13, as
          being a distinction between documents and persons.

          You should also bear in mind that this does not leave us without a remedy or with a denial of our constitutional rights as the Oireachtas itself is required to uphold the Constitution and to respect the rights of citizens, as it was confirmed in the latest Kerins v PAC High Court Case (while robustly reaffirming the reach of parliamentary privilege and immunity).

          Thus with regard to the provisions of Article 15, s. 13, here are cases in which a member of either House could be made amenable to a court:
          (1) as a defendant in a claim for defamation;
          (2) as an accused on a charge of criminal libel;
          (3) as a person charged with contempt of court, consisting of having made
          (a) a statement scandalising a court, or
          (b) a statement prejudicing pending proceedings in a court;
          (4) as a person charged with a criminal offence in respect of which it was
          alleged that the utterance could be adduced in evidence as proof of an
          (5) as a person sued for a civil remedy not arising from the utterance, but in
          respect of which the plaintiff sought to tender the utterance as relevant
          (6) as a person charged with some criminal offence of which the necessary
          constituents are the making of the utterance concerned; and
          (7) as a person compellable by a court or other authority, such as a tribunal, to explain or expand the utterance, including indicating the sources of information upon which it was based, for the purpose of an issue to be tried by
          the court or tribunal concerned.

          Hence the prohibition in Article 15, s. 13 as a basis for grounding a legal liability on the part of a deputy does not in any way preclude the granting of a declaration against the Clerk of the Oireachtas that certain utterances interfered with the administration of justice.

          As Chief Justice of Ireland said:

          “The Constitution does not envisage total and absolute immunity in any circumstances for anybody. Thus deputies who make utterances in the House are liable to the House, and deputies who utter words outside the House are
          subject to the courts or any authority other than the House itself.”

  4. As usual I always enjoy these articles . The story makes a lot of sense and timely too .

    A few points :

    Hugh Gough was the Limerick born British army general to Queen Victoria and who was the precursor to the success of the Opium Wars in China that created Hong Kong as a separate identity .He retired to his private residence now known as the Radison Hotel in South Dublin; and

    ‘ Unimproved Land’ – this is a new terminology in a new context that needs to be defined to become effective;

    Meiji Restoration was simply a system to centralise power in Japan .

  5. Mike Lucey

    The key to a fairer system has to be related to and built around Planning Permissions. This consent is granted by Planning Authorities which in effect are ‘We the People’ as represented by Councillors.

    The land David is referring to, which shoots from €200K to €400K, I imagine in a short period of time, only becomes a justifiable spend at the new price because it enjoys a planning permission or potential permission of some sort. Current agri land is valued on average at approx.€10K per acre.

    Surely, it would make far more sense for the public’s interest to be taken care off at the planning application stage. Currently, it costs €65 per unit (house/apartment) which works out to approx. 6.5 cents per sq.ft. taking an average unit size of 1000 sq.ft. Commercial units cost 36 cents per sq.ft., still very low. These costs are a joke! Of course where appropriate service charges come into play but again these costs are normally much lower than they would be if provided by the developer.

    I think fees of at least €1 per sq.ft. should be in place for domestic builds and €5 per sq. ft. for commercials at a minimum.

    Landowners that sell land should be taxed at either of two rates. If land sold at average agri land rates. little or no tax. If sold at higher than agri land rates, the difference should be heavily taxed in the public interest as its the public in general by a demand that has increased the selling price.

    What’s sauce for the goose is sauce for the gander!

    • Grzegorz Kolodziej

      “The key to a fairer system has to be related to and built around Planning Permissions. This consent is granted by Planning Authorities which in effect are ‘We the People’ as represented by Councillors.” – it’s about time to lift the veil of secrecy as to how these planning decisions are really made in Dublin City Council: this is a secret tape from one of the Dublin City Council sessions – warning for DMW blog’s readers: please do not have drink while watching this video lest you choke on your hot tea like I did:

  6. Deco

    Well, I have already given reasons why I think this is a stupid idea.
    In fact it is completely counterproductive.

    However, if one takes the TASC viewpoint – the more that is sucked off the populace for the institutional state, the better for the populace – then this is going to be lauded.

    Apart from the fact that land already IS taxed rather onerously, via local authority rates. Something that was conveniently left out. Again.

    I said already, that before one considers increasing tax on what is a necessary asset, and which generates value, one need to consider the impact on the overall society, of having yet another stealth tax that would affect the economic system.

    And in that regard, more economic distortion will occur.

    A taxation on real estate is NOT the answer. In fact for much of the country it will be an expensive exercise in bureaucracy. Where it will prove capable of pulling in more money than the cost, it will result in all sorts of negative effects on homeowners, and businesses – whilst doing very little for the public. Which will result in malinvestment.

    And it will also enable local authority power magnate blocks to waste a fortune on vote buying gimicks. And that is what local authority councillors love – a ready supply of money to burn.

    And now, we have the same argument again.

    The one thing that is never considered is less taxation.

    There is never any consideration given to the argument of less largesse being provided to the institutional state.

    The entire system is bottlenecking housing supply, and the welfare system is encouraging people to avoid the labour market.

    Yet, nobody in TASC ever seems to think this is a problem. On the contrary, they regard these structural impediments as entirely necessary.

    If we are to operate effectively, we need to have an end to local authority housing, an end to inflationary stiumuls spending, a retraint on state burearcracy and interventionism, a reduction on taxation, and less waste.

    The argument provided in the article is a promise to continue all of the above.

    And David – the Japanese real estate market is not a role model for success. Though there are some aspects that the Japanese do understand about the real estate market. But in that respect, we are 180 degrees away. Mainly because our largesse ridden parasitic institutional state wants more.

    Real Estate IS a productive asset.

    Bureacracy is an inherent liability.

    Taking money from real estate, and directing it to the Institutional state IS not a productive economic activity. It drives down labour productivity, and facilitates corruption and malinvestment.

  7. Deco

    There would be no problem with regard to real estate in Dublin, were it not for the ridiculous planning laws, the slow transport ( luas being a prime example), the over centralization of investment, the restrictions on height, and the scelping down by locaul authorities and the state when land is being redeveloped.


  8. Antaine

    I believe the land where the horses are grazing inside the M50 going northbound is just past junction 5 which would be the old Dunsink Dump. Not much going to be built on that in the near future but there are plenty of lands close by which could be utilised. No political will to build though from teh2 power brokers in FF and FG. Their buddies in Development and Finance sectors will give them the nod when the time is right, maybe?

  9. Daithi7

    Good Article,

    Topical, articulate and provocative… typical of the author.

    I see what Deco is saying about it, and I’d be inclined to agree with those principles I.e. Taxing productive assets to increase the largesse of the state is gubu stuff.

    However, the aspect of this proposed policy that I’m inclined to like is the taxing of public land. I.e. Why do we think that public land banks are a good idea?! they’re not. Use it or pay for the luxury of hoarding it back to general taxation.

    This would then put a spotlight on planning, infrastructure and other hindering elements inherent in our system…..

    And it would force the sale of public land for development by others if the local authorities can’t get out of their own way to develop it themselves.

    I think the affect of introducing this policy would be to giddy up the local authorities & others public sector hoarders to put their land to productive use, it could increase the supply of land and it would get the public sector to address the bottlenecks it can control in y the system e.g. planning & infrastructure development.

    All good things imho.

    • Sideshow Bob

      What hoarders Daithi? Can you name them?

        • Sideshow Bob

          Non specific answer Daithi7.

          And you think just the local authorities are responsible for this?

          I just would like to know the scope of this. I am curious as to where one could find out. I would love to see a map as per the NAMA maps that existed. I am not sure there is that much, but I happy to be proved wrong.

          I think inefficient land use is the problem, hence why Greater Dublin is the same size as Greater Tokyo with 1/30th of the population.

          In addition to the local Authorities there are lots of other bodies – the old VECs, ESB, CIE for example that could have this inefficiency ( or hoarding?) tag applied to them I think.

          • Daithi7

            I actually agree with you Sb. I think semi states and other ‘ public’ bodies are also woefully guilty of hoarding land. Not to mention some of the various religious orders who owe the state a fortune (and should owe an absolute fortune) for their crimes against humanity here and the systematic covering up of those crimes, who really should be coerced into coughing up lands in lieue imho.

            But back to economics and housing delivery for a second, my firm opinion is that 90% of the issues we have in housing provision lie at the door of the local authorities. They are the ones who control the zoning, planning and infrastructure for their own lands and (nearly) all other developments, and they do not serve Irish society well at all imho.

            They are slow, inefficient, over unionised bunkers of inertia, and a real scourge on progress.

    • Antaine


      Should LAs sell off their land to Develops and reap the massive 10% Part 5 contributions? Don’t we have approx. 100k on housing lists. We’d need a million homes to be built to deal with the current problem let alone future proofing.
      As Sideshow Bob said, its not only LAs that have land in their possession. Its other public bodies also. What will be the Public Housing dividend from RTEs sale of its land?

  10. coldblow

    I would have gone along with a land tax in Ireland up to a couple of years ago. After all it was one of Crotty’s proposals for addressing the country’s ‘undevelopment’. But I have changed my mind. There is already too much tax going to a useless state that squanders it with little to show. I notice that Deco has written much same further up.

    I can’t imagine any project that they could ever come up with that I would want taxes towards. Even if it were a good one because they would only take the good out of it. But that is hypothetical because it wouldn’t happen anyway.

    The ancient concept known as the public good. Here’s another ancient concept: ask people what they think. You would then have two very different ideas of what is the public good: one good and the other, er, not good. Guess which is which. We won’t be asked though, there will be no ‘mature debate’.

    Here is another, not so ancient, idea seeing as I have just thought of it. Based on Desmond Fennell what we really need is two countries. One called Ireland the other Non-Ireland. (Fennell in the 80s said that the liberals’ dream was essentially a shiny pluralist modern Ireland which was free of all those embarrassing things that made up old Ireland and made them feel so ashamed when standing before World Opinion.) Then the media and government can have Non-Ireland, tax whatever they like and talk whatever nonsense they like. They can have RTE and Michael D Higgins. The rest of us can live in Ireland.

  11. coldblow

    Why is so little of the tax take from property tax (1%)? I am paying over €600 p.a. and that is a large slice of my income and I don’t even live in Dublin. Well at least they haven’t got a water tax in there (yet).

  12. terence patrick hewett

    Going through my archives I came upon this from an English commenter called “Howard” and it seems to trump all the bollocks written about Brexit.

    “The only thing I’m grateful for, Polly, is the chance to have lived through the 60s and 70s. Come to that, any period up to 1997.

    We could drive a motorbike on the beach.

    We could walk down the street without being spied on

    Social life revolved around a wide choice of pubs, each unique, where you could have a riotous evening with your mates, smoking and drinking yourself silly, free of trouble.

    Friends got into Oxbridge from a bog-standard comp which today can’t even rustle up a 30% pass rate at GCSE.

    Hanging out in a King’s Road adorned with Union Jacks, we were immensely proud of Great Britain. Yet racial conflict was minimal.

    We could park in the High Street – no meters, no wardens.
    We had a tea lady with a trolley and urn.

    We’d take two-hour lunch breaks while the boss wasn’t looking but work like bees to make up for it.

    The thought that we will never again see the weird and wonderful Britain I so loved chokes me with tears.

    And you know what, Polly? Its destruction has nothing to do with inequality, greedy bankers, troughing MPs or proportional representation. It’s all down to your despicable efforts to “normalise” us by social engineering.”

  13. Mike Lucey

    @ terence patrick hewett

    Yep, It looks like Social Engineering is the aim of the elites.

    Just read this article,

    ‘The Real Reason Zuckerberg Supports A Universal Basic Income’ here, as a link from,
    ‘The Problem Isn’t Robots, The Problem is Attitude’ here, and think this is the game at hand.

  14. Not so long ago, even politicians understood that savings were the engine of the economy. People stored their extra money in banks, which then lent that money out – often to those same customers – to start businesses and buy houses. Now governments are asking small savers to bail out them out by buying growth stocks – at the peak of a multi-year bull market that’s due to end with a bang fairly shortly.

  15. Ireland’s government dept per capita is send in the world to Japan. That’s what happens when government and inefficiencies rule the roost.

  16. Truthist

    I still trying to catch up on the posts ;
    Thus far, I have been reading from the start until somewhere in the 1st thread of discussion featuring Grzegorz & Sideshow Bob.
    Ahead of attending to some private matters, I rush to add the following Article + Link from yesterday’s Irish Independent ;
    And, this I have not had the chance to read yet.
    Still, the subject matter is very relevant here in that it is it deals particularly with the situation in Irish State currently.
    As to how correct or wrong the author’s argument[s] is/are is open for debate.
    Thursday 30 November 2017

    The right moves: Taller buildings won’t solve our chronic affordability problems

    Paul McNeive

    The desirability, or not, of tall buildings is a hot topic at the moment and there are architectural and planning arguments, both for and against.

    But from an economic perspective, there is new evidence that cities must prepare to spread outwards, rather than upwards, if rents are to be kept affordable.

    The Center for Economic Policy Research has completed an analysis of 1,750 tall buildings built over 140 years and tracked the relationship between building heights, construction cost and land values.

    Not surprisingly, the report finds that land values and building heights are “positively correlated”, as in the taller the building one can get on a site, the more the site is worth.

    However, the analysis highlights that building costs rise exponentially as height increases, despite vast improvements in construction technology. For example, it finds that the “height elasticity” of construction cost with respect to height is 25pc, for buildings up to five storeys, and that elasticity increases with height until it exceeds 100pc for “super-tall” structures.

    This I interpret as showing that it costs dramatically more to build an extra floor on top of a tall building, than a sixth floor on top of a five-storey building.

    Another interesting finding is that “the elasticity of height with respect to the land price at the time of construction, is 45pc for commercial buildings”, which means that a 100pc increase in height leads to a 45pc increase in a commercial site’s value, which is less than I would have expected.

    The comparable figure for residential towers is 30pc.

    The cost of height is higher for residential than for commercial buildings, largely due to loss of usable floor space as height increases, smaller floor-plates, more exterior walls and more complex facades.

    The report points out that the number of skyscrapers being built worldwide is accelerating fast.

    The past decade has seen 650 buildings taller than 200 metres completed, including 106 in 2015 and 135 last year. However, alongside that, the economically successful cities where these towers are being built, are seeing steadily increasing rents and housing prices, with workers being priced out of cities.

    There are local factors to consider here. Dublin docklands, for example, home to most of our taller buildings, is largely reclaimed land, with higher building costs.

    And whilst apartment values increase, the higher they are in a building, it is only in this development cycle that we are seeing the emergence of a premium for the higher floors in office buildings.

    Depending on the size of the floorplate and the aspect, that premium could range from €20-€80 psm per annum.

    The message for our planners is that they must both reduce the restrictions on tall buildings, and zone more land for development on the edge of the cities, to give the market a chance to solve our supply and affordability crisis.

    ? Central Bank of Ireland Headquarters Is Worthy Winner Of ‘Design Project of the Year’

    It was an honour to present the KPMG Irish Independent Property Awards last week at the Convention Centre, Dublin, and the event was attended by 850 people from all sectors of the property industry.

    I was delighted to see that the award for ‘Design Project of the Year’ was won by Henry J Lyons, for the new Central Bank of Ireland building on North Wall Quay, Dublin 1. Coincidentally, earlier this month I spoke at a function at the Central Bank and I was lucky enough to be given a tour of the building.

    Internally, it is stunning, with beautiful use made of light, colour and the aspects over the river, and with a lovely blend of open plan ‘collaborative’ working areas, meeting rooms and individual work stations.

    It’s certainly the most beautiful interior I have seen in a modern building. At the awards event I chatted with Paul Molumby, Director of Currency and Facilities Management at the Central Bank, and he and his team deserve great credit for their work alongside Henry J Lyons in bringing this project to fruition.

    It was interesting to take in the view, northwards, from the top floor of the Bank building, and to fully appreciate the scale of redevelopment in the area.

    Swathes of land have been cleared on all sides and have been dug out for the foundations of various office and apartment blocks.

    Sheriff Street, as anyone remembers it, has disappeared. The transformation of the docklands continues apace.

    Indo Business

    • Sideshow Bob

      Tall Buildings – what are they now?

      Tall relative to what? A garden wall, a 2-storey house, a large church, a 20-storey office block, a mid-rise 50-storey Manhattan Residential block, or the 163 storey Burj Khalifa?

      Guy is clueless on the topic but it has to be said the Indo is a blueshirt rag which is only fit for lighting the fire with.

      The story here is that he went to a wine or champagne reception for an awards ceremony and is repeating back some of the chat he listened into, or even joined in with. This is just silly pub-talk for the (pseudo) chattering classes. Should be in the social columns, such it is relationship to objective fact.

      Seriously though – see how he is glad that the lower class have been swept out of the place ( re: sheriff street )?

      I bet he has never lived around buildings taller than 4-storeys.
      His comments about `collaborative´ working spaces are 30 years behind the times. And wow – he has never seen “a more beautiful interior in a modern building´´, and it is right here in Dublin where we all live too. And he formed this opinion while having a few gargles of Moet in Dublin probably? Super!

      I don´t know about you but there is a serious Celtic Tiger flashback going on here for me.

      The Central Bank has been moved from a vibrant center city location where its office staff contributed to the economic make up of the area to this BS gentrified socially cleansed finanical zone. It has been built on the carcass of what was to be the Anglo´s HQ. Irony overload for me – can´t take anymore!

    • Grzegorz Kolodziej

      “the economically successful cities where these towers are being built, are seeing steadily increasing rents and housing prices, with workers being priced out of cities” – increasing rents and housing prices relative to what? I’m not aware of any city where the prices would have increased so much relative to real incomes as Dublin, and in the latest Expat rating, Dublin was ranked as the second worst city for housing opportunities in the w o r l d – photo-comparison of what you can rent in Dublin and Edinburgh or Frisco throw a light on that – but this link didn’t post here in the past, so it probably won’t post now:

      Who knows how high the rents would have been in those cities if it wasn’t for skyscrapers? Because as things are, Dublin fares a lot worse in terms of “value for money” than the skyscrapers town.

      “I bet he has never lived around buildings taller than 4-storeys.” – Donald Trump did, and I don’t think he complains.

      Show me the over-4-storeys residential building anywhere in the world that would have 40 or 60 people in one flat, as some houses in Dublin have (that are not much bigger than most family flats anyway)…

      “The Central Bank has been moved from a vibrant center city location where its office staff contributed to the economic make up of the area to this BS gentrified socially cleansed finanical zone. It has been built on the carcass of what was to be the Anglo´s HQ.” – this is one of the finest writing here on this blog.

      I like it so much that I decided to reciprocate by finding something that would equal your description (please wait 30 sec until Flann O’Brien appears after the poem for it’s the juxtaposition of these photos of Dublin and what he says about Dublin that made it sooooooooo funny for me – it’s also the w a y he looks and says it that makes it hillarious; if you are aware of something equally as funny about Dublin please link it):

      You know, humour is the best remedy defusing the anger that might arrive when one thinks of the state of this (I used to get angry about it, I don’t anymore) – on paper – one of the richest places on earth – that doesn’t look rich AT ALL when one travels out of Dalkey (I just remember the conditions of the extraordinarily expensive house – there was no other quickly available – that we were renting in D6w).
      Ireland, Switzerland and Norway – three different ways of utilising the boom.

      Ireland has by far the nicest people though, and I mean it (if we discount “Dr” Kevin McCarthy from Kinsale – the pseudo-historian – and I mean it too ;-).

  17. Truthist


    BUT … BUT … BUT
    Worth mentioning ;
    Because, valuable sources for truth from the WWW are being blown to smithereens on pretext that they are sources of Fake News ;
    YET … YET … YET
    The champions of this onslaught are the broadcasters of actual fake news
    Euro News / France 24
    New York Times
    Guardian Newspaper
    Irish Newspapers ; incl. “The Anti-Irish-CUM-Anti-Polish Times”
    Murdoch Media

    In fact, all of the Main-Stream Media [ MSM ]
    And, some of WWW ; Even though they also broadcast some useful truth ; Yet, this is but strategic by them that they do so ; Their real intent is that the Fake News that they broadcast is effective.

    The targets of this onslaught are the broadcasters of actual true news


    On Guardian
    censored on CiF?
    other media
    media fakery?
    Events in the Empire
    The Wider World
    questions of free speech


    ABOUT ;

    OffGuardian is the creation of people from different parts of the world committed to the original vision which drew us together on The Guardian‘s CiF pages. We followed with dismay and disappointment the increasingly distorted and tendentious news reporting on Libya, the proxy-war in Syria, and the Ukraine Crisis. Tired of being censored by our beloved, once-upon-a-time left-of-centre newspaper, in February 2015 we decided to create our own platform for airing our unacceptable opinions.

    Our small group is dispersed globally, with representatives from North America, Britain, and Southern and Eastern Europe. The site is our own work, and is not supported by any governments, institutions or pressure groups.

    We believe in the concept of truth itself — not merely in that of competing narratives — and in the sanctity of facts themselves. For that reason, we shall try to track them down, present them to the public, and preserve them as best we can. We believe in a true free press that (consistently) speaks truth to power. And we’ll be doing our little best to remind our mainstream media, including The Guardian itself, that this is supposed to be their duty. They probably won’t listen, but we’ll keep saying it anyway.

    If you’re also sick of being stifled, moderated, abused or slandered as Putinbots or worse, and censored to oblivion on any of the Readers’ Comments sections of our mainstream press, come and tell us about it. We operate a completely open comment policy, and all shades of opinion are welcome.


    Update April 2015. is the successor citizen-media organization created by the three founding members of the original OffGuardian site. As you may know, our original site suffered an act of internal sabotage on April 13-14, 2015, when it was summarily closed down on us. Fortunately, we had a back-up copy of the whole site made only a couple of days before this took place and have been able to reconstitute Off-Guardian immediately. While we might never be able to determine with any finality whether this was an act of a mentally unstable person or of someone with an undisclosed agenda, the attempt to silence us failed. On here, neither the powers that be nor saboteurs can take us down, slander, or shut us up.

  18. Truthist

    WOW !
    Putin calls on Israel to end occupation of Arab lands, proclaims solidarity with Palestine
    Russian president Vladimir Putin made the statement in a congratulatory letter marking the International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian People
    OWW !
    BY THE WAY ;
    Harvard settled 2 sex harassment complaints against Obama
    . … looks like Michael

    • Grzegorz Kolodziej

      “Putin calls on Israel to end occupation of Arab lands, proclaims solidarity with Palestine” – so what did he sign a giant contract with the Israeli company Levant, that finances the Israeli West Bank settlements?
      So much for what Putin’s words are worth…
      It’s a bit like that bullshit story about Putin allegedly condemning the Anti-Pope Francis, that turned out to be completely untrue.

      • Truthist

        Highlighter against Operation Talipot [ Russia-Israel / Putin-Nathanyahoo / Mafia of Russia-Mafia of Israel ( Cousins R-Cousins I ) — Mr. Brandon O’Connell — is now imprisoned in New Zealand upon his arrival there.

      • Truthist

        This page of results from Mshd-Google ever dubious now should still have u engrossed ;
        Hallett makes shocking accusations against Putin.
        Perhaps it was Putin’s double ?
        Then again, Hallett was a friend of Wright ;
        Wright of Spycatcher fame ;
        A very famous Spook + Scientist + Technologist ;
        And, apparently involved in some way in Kincora ;
        Also, insisted that UK Prime Minister was KGB plant.
        By the way, Le Carre ( pen-name ) & obviously a Spook himself & whose father was a crook + spook + close clandestine associate of the Kray Brothers, & they themselves may have been a Tavistock project, never really includes Ireland in his novels ;
        Now, that is significo ain’t it ?

        • Truthist

          My logistics — so-to-speak — render it difficult for I to assure perfect copy [ incl. absence of typos ] at any time.
          I meant to insert the name of alleged KGB plant as UK PM ;
          Mr. Howard Wilson ; “U never had it so good.”
          e.g. from above Mshd-Google dubious choice of results ;

        • Truthist

          Further to Kincora “housing” for Catholic Boys by UFF UDA + MI5 + MI6 + CIA + MSHD, this is very recent entry in
          And, I presume that it in turn is sourced from recent Village [ magazine birthed by Vincent Browne ] article.
          Anonymous27 November 2017 at 10:58

          “The once-cherished legacy of Lord Louis Mountbatten, mentor and godfather to Prince Charles, is gradually being revised as allegations persist about his possible links to the Kincora Boys Home scandal and paedophilia.

          “His bizarre friendship with predatory sex offender Jimmy Saville, whom Mountbatten introduced to the inner circle of the British royal family, has added fuel to the claims.

          “Belfast writer Robin Bryans was considered at length in an article by Joseph De Búrca last month in Village. His family connections to the Orange Order gave him access to the secret lives of some members of the British aristocracy. In 1990, he claimed that Mountbatten was involved in an old-boys’ network that held gay orgies in country houses.

          “There is growing disquiet about what really went on behind the austere walls of Mountbatten’s Sligo castle, ‘Classiebawn’, where he employed young boys to work for him.

          “One of them, Paul Maxwell from Enniskillen, Fermanagh, was his waiter and ‘boat-boy’.

          “He was just 15 when he died alongside Mountbatten (79) in an IRA bomb attack during a fishing trip in August 1979.

          “Maxwell attended Portora Royal College in Enniskillen, Northern Ireland’s most hallowed school, about which allegations have been made that vice rings were able to procure some of its well-bred students.

          “On summer trips to his imposing Victorian castle, Mountbatten got to know locals with influence and similar interests.

          “Sean McEniff was one of the first on the scene in Mullaghmore harbour on the day of the explosion. Eyebrows were raised when the Donegal councillor later called for the erection of a memorial to Mountbatten in Sligo, generating consternation in some quarters as to why a Fianna Fáil politician from outside the area would take such a stance, and questions were asked as to who exactly he was trying to impress.

          “Fianna Fail’s connections with Mountbatten’s close friend Jimmy Saville are well documented. The ‘Top of the Pops’ host who sexually abused hundreds of children at the height of his fame in the 1970s was a regular visitor to Charles Haughey’s Dublin home ‘Abbeville’ in Kinsealy.

          “Another close associate of Mceniff, Bundoran beef baron Hugh Tunney, became an unlikely friend of Mountbatten during his stays in Sligo.

          “The former butcher’s apprentice, who went on to own the Gresham Hotel in Dublin, came to his aid when he could no longer fund the running of Classiebawn.

          “In 1976, a leasing agreement was put in place between the pair which allowed the British royal to visit the 3000-acre estate every August.

          “Reported to be a devout Catholic, Tunney was said to be present in the castle saying his rosary on the day the explosion struck.

          “Local affection for Tunney, who died in 2011, is thin on the ground.

          “Within the castle grounds, a graveyard containing the remains of dozens of unbaptised infants has become the subject of controversy in recent years. In 2006, a group of locals asked Tunney if they could erect a memorial to the children in the burial ground known as Cill na mBochtan, but he turned them down.

          “They were forced to place it on the roadside outside the estate instead, leaving a sour taste in the community for the millionaire cattle-dealer. Questions linger as to why he would not grant permission for it.
          Anonymous27 November 2017 at 10:59


          “Earlier this month, Mountbatten’s murder again came under scrutiny when it emerged that a former British military police officer who worked as his security guard in Sligo had warned superiors several times that his old fishing boat was vulnerable to a bomb attack. The officer, Graham Yuill, said his concerns met deaf ears.

          “He was removed from his post shortly before the bombing and was told that Gardai would be looking after Mountbatten from then on, an unusual decision given his status in the royal family.

          “These revelations add credence to theories that his IRA killers may not have acted alone and that he may have been killed for reasons that went deeper than the conflict in Northern Ireland.

          “Was a darker side to Mountbatten’s life in Sligo about to be revealed? Did others, apart from the Provisionals, want him dead? Why was security around him so lax given the fact that he was such an obvious target?

          “There’s little doubt that powerful forces were involved in Mary Boyle’s disappearance and the cover-up that followed. Is it possible that the sordid world of Anglo-Irish child abuse trafficking networks in London and Belfast, and of associated secret-service blackmailings, outlined in recent months by Joseph De Burca in Village, had tentacles that reached into Cashelard in Donegal? This might explain the baffling failure by so many Garda commissioners, justice ministers and Irish governments to deal with a case that many believe could easily be solved. It could also provide an insight into why the British authorities have turned their backs on Mary Boyle, even though she was one of their own who went missing, abroad.”

          Village Magazine 21/11

          Welcome to the family, Meghan Markle.
          Anonymous27 November 2017 at 11:07

          Kincora Survivor: The stolen life of Richard Kerr, including his account of how Ian Paisley strove to cover up child abuse


        • Truthist

          Typo ;

          HAROLD Wilson

  19. Truthist









  20. Truthist

    And, because we are all subject to being judged agreeable Yes or No or Middling with Hollywood’s dictums Re ;
    the positions we take
    how we project ourselves vis-a-vis particular positions
    Including of course, the very issue of fulfilling our housing needs in our own bloody country.

  21. KryptoK9

    ‘Bitcoin, Blockchain, and Land Reform: Can an “Incorruptible” Technology Cure Corruption?’

    Jeanne Jeong

  22. Truthist

    A society is so much easy to fix into being increasingly broken when ewe have it riddled with particular organisation #14 highligthed in the following link ;
    And, the links within this article are very interesting too.

  23. “If we really want to fix the housing crisis, to address in a meaningful way wealth inequality in Ireland, to arrest the growth of sprawling suburbia and to create an innovative economy, Ireland needs to introduce a significant land tax.”

    The ultimate in land taxes is to seize the property in the name of the state. So why quit fooling around with rules and regulations to control what can or cannot be done and just take it. Government knows best and the individual interests are too greedy to be relied upon.

    I’d rather live in a society where the government owns the means of production and all policy is for the common good. That is the only way we can ensure that everyone gets an equal share in the benefits of the state.

    There are many capitalist countries around the world where the rich get richer and the poor get poorer. It is time we followed the examples of USSR, MAO’s China, and more recently Venezuela, and Zimbabwe etc. to ensure an equitable distribution of wealth.

    Tax all property and if they cannot pay seize it for the good of the people. All property means just that. Not just land but everything under the surface and above the surface of the land too. Anyone who has hoarded anything is not acting in the public interest. No savings are to be allowed. It is unproductive, and unnecessary and not in the public interest.

    Paradise. The state will provide an equal share of the wealth to all people who will live in peace and harmony henceforth. Amen.

    • Truthist

      Tongue in cheek from u of course because u know that Communism is a nightmare in reality.
      But, u do make a penetrating true point with sentence 1 of paragraph 2.

        • Truthist

          U are welcome 8-)
          And, one must be mindful to never overestimate the intelligence of the Irish Nation ;
          Especially in an era where we have succumbed to being a coarse & vulgar people as properly & helpfully declared by hibernophile German Ambassador to Irish State when addressing German Industrialists in Dublin some time ahead of his retirement which is now the circumstance.
          Also, a newbie to the blog may pick u up wrongly.
          Still, I found ur piece rather witty. 8-)

        • Truthist

          Not taking away that in the despair which is financialism — especially Private Central Banking + Non-100% Gold Reserves Banking — that particular Socialists, who are honest workers in their jobs & / or homesteads & / or jobless circumstances, are understandably tempted to view Socialism & even its more extreme cousin Communism as “the fairest & most reasonable economic systems” ;

  24. Truthist

    “Gimme a house ;
    And, I’ll be ur “beard”
    Here is a site housing many luminaries,
    Nicola Sturgeon
    Theresa May
    Prince Harry

  25. Truthist

    Still, I presently have some mind blocks with understanding some of his point.
    America’s Monetary Imperialism
    By Michael Hudson
    December 02, 2017 “Information Clearing House” –
    INTRO ;
    In theory, the global financial system is supposed to help every country gain. Mainstream teaching of international finance, trade and “foreign aid” (defined simply as any government credit) depicts an almost utopian system uplifting all countries, not stripping their assets and imposing austerity. The reality since World War I is that the United States has taken the lead in shaping the international financial system to promote gains for its own bankers, farm exporters, its oil and gas sector, and buyers of foreign resources – and most of all, to collect on debts owed to it.

    Each time this global system has broken down over the past century, the major destabilizing force has been American over-reach and the drive by its bankers and bondholders for short-term gains. The dollar-centered financial system is leaving more industrial as well as Third World countries debt-strapped. Its three institutional pillars – the International Monetary Fund (IMF), World Bank and World Trade Organization – have imposed monetary, fiscal and financial dependency, most recently by the post-Soviet Baltics, Greece and the rest of southern Europe. The resulting strains are now reaching the point where they are breaking apart the arrangements put in place after World War II.

    The most destructive fiction of international finance is that all debts can be paid, and indeed should be paid, even when this tears economies apart by forcing them into austerity – to save bondholders, not labor and industry. Yet European countries, and especially Germany, have shied from pressing for a more balanced global economy that would foster growth for all countries and avoid the current economic slowdown and debt deflation.

  26. Truthist

    @ Sideshow Bob … mainly & logically so ;
    Also, expect Terry Hewitt to have specialist knowledge such that his opinion is also especially valuable, & welcome.

    Surely the most urgent challenge to overcome with total “effective” & “efficient” & “economic” ablomb is that of multiple storey constructions being totally “off-grid” in terms of the likes of the following ? :
    For then, one can more than justifiably greatly diminish necessity & / or justification for involvement of the Government in one’s homesteading arrangements.
    Electricity Supply to ; e.g.s Wind, Solar,
    Cooling & Ventilation ; Passive
    Warmth & Ventilation ; Passive
    Effluent Discharge from
    Sewage Treatment to
    complete harmless substance
    complete benign substance
    Water supply to
    Drinking only
    Washing only

    inter alia

    • Sideshow Bob

      For energy it is incoming, for public buildings first -

      Look up the term towards nZEB if you want to know more.

      The Passive Haus system is the best, but we don´t acknowledge it properly – maybe with nZEB implementation we will.

      Water isn´t something we take seriously, the Irish water debacle wouldn´t have helped that or the prospects of it changing. I think grey-water use should be mandatory for all structures. Otherwise than that we have enough of the stuff to not worry about it.

      • Truthist

        I hope to return to u with pithy posts on housing
        architecture & engineering
        And, perhaps some on the social engineering — constructive or avoidance or prevention — aspects.
        Whence, my aim will be to obtain just ur briefest useful replies.
        I believe that some folks here are well ripe to produce slim ground-braking books on international market from the core of the topics frequently discussed here.
        Certainly, this how we should be approaching these subjects.
        We are discussing them long enough & thus the situation more than begs that we grab the bull by the horns to produce a school of bright & novel explanations & profferings of solutions.

  27. The forces put into play by the bakers creating a monopoly in the supply of the nations, or supra national (EURO), money supply is designed to control the economic and the political outcomes. This system put into place has created organic growth as described in this article and will naturally try to take ove all the functions of statehood, thereby extinguishing individual rights and freedoms. Thus it is pure evil.
    DMW’s refusal to debate, discuss or even mention this issue is aiding and abetting. It is said that for evil to triumph it is sufficient that good people do nothing and say nothing. Our leaders are letting us down either through ignorance or personal greed!!

    “”Bush’s speech about the New World Order deflected and misdirected the people’s attention to the left, and prevented them from seeing the real action that was taking place to the right: the imposition of a New World Central Banking Order throughout the west. This multi-country, supranational, autonomous, all-powerful, privately-controlled, for profit, non-auditable, monopolized, collusive, monetary leviathan has become what we call the Western Central Banking Dictatorship (WCBD).

    One of the seven core principles of Inferential Analytics, the forecasting method we have developed and use, is that all phenomena represent Life Forces, and that all Life Forces ceaselessly work to expand, evolve, empower themselves, and conquer new terrain.

    Some of the most powerful Life Forces on earth are the “isms.” One of today’s most rapidly evolving “isms’ is crony communism, the national operating system now metastasizing throughout western nations to replace its dying predecessor, crony capitalism. In this expanding system of crony communism, the cronies loot the capital that was produced by the dying capitalistic system, while the masses descend into communistic impoverishment, entrapment and despair. Crony communism is a system in which the forces of diabolism, greed and evil usurp and exploit state power for their own enrichment, empowerment and dominance, at the direct expense of the communized masses.

    Relentlessly increasing wealth concentration combined with spreading impoverishment and paycheck to paycheck living are two glaring signs among many others that the Life Force of crony communism has entrenched itself throughout the west, and that it is evolving and advancing.

    The surge in wealth inequality is not natural, and not an accident.”"

  28. McCawber

    A bit late into this debate on property however, a few questions.
    1. Why is it so difficult to get a handle on the problem.
    2. Why is it so difficult to get a clear and definitive picture as to what groupings own what and what favourable T&Cs have they received so that they are under no pressure to develop undeveloped lands that they own.
    3. Re item 2 – How long is this going to go on.
    4. Why isn’t the government developing infrastructure elsewhere to lessen the pressure on Dublin.
    In simplistic term why isn’t the whole property market being made simple so that everyone can understand what is going on.
    EG of developing problems.
    The growth in datavase centres over the next few years us simply going to be exponential.
    The ability to add any more capacity in Dublin to cater for this growth has almost being reached.
    The IDA are aware of the problem and are trying to address it.
    There is an opportunity here.
    Who will grasp it and how
    Governments and government departments have to get rid of there biased and myopic view of the various bodies involved.
    They have to get up off their arses and start doing the jobs they are very well paid to do and get rid of their prejudices.
    Planning for the future requires planning everything for the future not just the number of housing units.

  29. McCawber

    Bitcoin et al are a load cobblers.
    That doesn’t mean you can’t make money speculating in them.
    The big risks for these products are evident.
    I read somewhere that for every physical Euro in circulation there are 9 virtual Euros.
    Bitcoin et al have 10 virtual and 0 bitetc.
    Were the ECB to decide to create Biteuros the game would be up for the et als.
    I’m sure some of you are wondering what is a cryptocurrency.
    A prine number is a number that can only be divided by itself and 1.
    EG 1, 3, 11, 23, 29.
    No even number can be a prime number.
    I’m guessing here but.
    Crypto currencied are based on the use of prime numbers.
    Very large prime numbers.
    Mining is about finding the next undiscovered very large prime number.
    Hence the need for all the computing power.
    The size of the prime number determines how secure the currency is
    So what.
    As soon as the first quantum computer becomes a reality then all encryption will be crackable abd poof goes your cryptocurrencies.
    That’s why cash is so important and gold etc etc etc.
    How near is that first quantum computer to becoming a reality?
    I don’t know however it’s a lot closer than you might think.
    It is becoming a reality.
    Blockchain is just a nice name.
    It’s a marketing gimmick in a sense
    To be continued.

    • Truthist

      US moves to criminalize non-disclosure of virtual currency ownership
      Published time: 4 Dec, 2017 13:35
      US moves to criminalize non-disclosure of virtual currency ownership
      © Alex Edelman / Global Look Press
      The US Senate is reportedly considering a bill to outlaw the concealment of ownership of digital currency accounts by American citizens domestically and abroad.

      The Senate Judiciary Committee says existing anti-money laundering (AML) laws need to be modernized.

      The bill will amend the definition of ‘financial account’ and ‘financial institution’ to include cryptocurrencies and digital exchanges.

      Experts warn that if the law is passed, it will likely have far-reaching effects for digital currencies’ users both in the US and abroad.

      “It’s bad… I think it’s going to end in a very confrontational way between bitcoin—even bitcoin holders and users—and the US Government,” said Tone Vays, the head of research at BraveNewCoin and a 10-year Wall Street veteran.

      The issue of virtual currencies is interesting, according to John A. Cassara, board member of the Foundation for Defense of Democracies.
      Read more
      © David Gray China defends cryptocurrency crackdown as fight against capital flight

      “I’m just glad I had my career when I did because I don’t know what I’d do trying to follow the money when it comes to digital currencies, it’s extremely, extremely challenging…I think if you look at the metrics, the metrics suggest today [that] digital currencies are a small fraction of the threat that we face…,” he said in his testimony during the bill hearing.

      “We’re right at a crossroads, and it’s going to be very, very interesting to see what goes forward,” Cassara added.

      According to media reports, the White House has been actively monitoring cryptocurrencies and ramping up regulatory policies toward them. In June, New York Representative Kathleen Rice asked the government to research the role of virtual currencies in terrorism.

      The US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has ruled that digital coins and tokens from ICOs are considered securities and must be subject to federal securities laws. That means it will be not as easy for US companies to hold an ICO or for US citizens to participate as they have to be registered and comply with securities laws.

  30. Truthist

    THAN FOR … ”

  31. Truthist

    “..The Greek economy is flatlined at the moment. It cannot be revived. Why? Because the major statistical fact most people have underestimated or ignored is the fact that Greek households are showing a negative savings rate of between 15 and 20 percent. This means that they’re consuming or paying out 20 percent more than they earn, which in turn means that there is really no domestic capital available for investment.

    In fact, the major impediment to growth and recovery is not a lack of investment, but the fact that every single sector of the Greek economy — the state, the banks, and private household — is over-indebted. Households are over-indebted to the state; the state is over-indebted to its suppliers; the banks are indebted to the ECB. They’re stuck with non-performing loans to the rate of 60 percent of their assets — which is an enormous amount when considering that, before the crisis, non-performing loans in Greece were among the lowest in Europe, around 7 to 8 percent. Now they’re at 60 percent, and people are still saying “Oh, we spent so much in previous years and we should pay for this and be punished for this,” but nothing of that is true!

    In fact, the Greek banking sector and household savings, and consumption as well as investment have plummeted, and this has had an effect of long-term stagnation that we are facing now — since 2013, a stagnation against which a growth rate of 0.5 or 1 percent is nothing. It’s a growth rate that will not even pay for the replacement of existing or remaining equipment in the Greek economy.

    Quite frankly, I believe that unless there is a radical solution to the Greek debt problem — the Greek over-indebtedness problem which starts, of course, from the foreign debt, which is mostly in the hands of the ECB, the EU and the IMF at the moment — unless there is a very drastic cut or write-off of a very big portion of this debt — and this write-off would have to trickle down to the remaining sectors of the economy, so that there is some breathing space for genuine recovery — nothing is going to improve.

    In fact, most Greek people don’t see improvement. Why? Because they are under a constant persecution from the tax authorities. Recently, the deputy minister of finance, Katerina Papanatsiou, said that they are going to “hunt down” 25,000 to 30,000 companies that have fled into the other Balkan countries. She said they fled for tax evasion reasons and their books have to be looked at, et cetera. Basically, the Greek state has become a predator of the Greek people.

    The Greek state used to be an oppressive state, a largely undemocratic, corrupt and clientelist state. Now it’s become a predatory state, one that does not allow any kind of economic respite to Greek households. I’m not talking only about households that are now living in poverty; I’m talking about middle-class households that don’t know how to make ends meet from one day to the other, exactly because they don’t know what kind of taxes they will have to pay next month.

    The latest news for Greek households is that the “ENFIA” — that barbaric tax against private property in Greece — is going to be due next year in March, rather than in July as it was this year. This means that once you stop paying installments for this year’s tax, you’re going to have to start paying next year’s tax. There’s no end to this, precisely because whatever the government does, there’s always a reduction of its tax revenues, as is happening now. Right now, I think even though there is a surplus of which the government is bragging, tax revenue is still below the target set by the troika in the second evaluation.

    MPN: You have said that the economic crisis that has stricken several European countries — including Greece of course, and countries like Portugal and Ireland — is a crisis that has been constructed. How do you support this view, and how would you characterize the role of Germany and the major central banking institutions in creating this artificial, as you call it, crisis?

    DY: I would say that, once the Greek and Irish situations were taken into account by the major European economic and political centers of power, it appeared useful to shift attention from the crisis of the banking sector that had erupted in 2008 to a so-called “European public-debt crisis.” The reason I mention Ireland is that Ireland was forced by the ECB, blackmailed by the ECB, to take over and recapitalize its bankrupt banks. That had the result of pushing the deficit of the Irish state up to 15.5 percent in 2009 and 31 percent in 2010. Now how, from that year on, the deficit has disappeared is another matter. It has disappeared somewhere under the table of the ECB, the Bank of England, and the Irish central bank.

    The point is that in order to not draw attention to the problem of Ireland — because Ireland had already suffered a couple of years of very drastic austerity and there was no point in making it an example — they shifted the attention to Greece, and that was the main reason why the Greek public deficit of 2009 had to be blown up to something like 30 or 40 percent above its real level. That was done initially by the first finance minister under George Papandreou, George Papakonstantinou, who initially demanded that the Greek statistical office report back to him a deficit of 15 percent, when the statistical service said that was impossible, it’s nowhere near 15 percent. He said okay, then do it 12 percent. That’s when the game of pushing up, inflating the Greek deficit started. That was really the situation.

    Of course, behind that there was political wheeling and dealing — George Papandreou with ex-IMF head Dominique Strauss-Kahn and the IMF and requests for help from the EU — and the funny thing was that in late 2009, the EU had already decided to reinstate a regime of supervision that it had done before with Greece. But what happened in early 2010 was that the European Central Bank again — Jean-Claude Trichet was president of the ECB at the time — made a statement saying that Greece should not be confident that the ECB will accept Greek bonds forever as collateral, because its evaluation by the agencies was not going well.

    Now, from that statement onward, of course, that’s when the real debt crisis in Greece started. Why? Because, of course, there was negative speculation, the CDS (credit default swaps) started rising, the Greek bonds’ cost skyrocketed, and of course, the country came near bankruptcy.

    What I’m saying is that there were specific economic decisions that created the Greek crisis. It needn’t have happened if it weren’t deemed useful by the powers-that-be in Europe. I’m not saying it’s artificial, because from the moment the markets turned against Greece, of course, Greek debt servicing capacity would collapse. The crisis was real, but it was largely prodded and manufactured by people who were interested in shifting the blame or the attention of public opinion against Greece — and away from Ireland and the banking sector in Europe, which remains over-indebted, of course, but nobody talks about it in the past eight years.

    For the past eight years, the major banks — Deutsche Bank, Commerzbank, Credit Lyonnais, Credit Agricole, etc. — the major banking concerns are steeped in debt and liabilities, they’re over-leveraged by 30 to 40 times their capital. But because the ECB can fund them, finance them indefinitely, and by keeping their records or their accounts nominally in balance, nobody is talking about the real problem.

    That problem is over-indebtedness in the European banking system, which is creating all this backlog of debt, especially in the weaker countries: Greece, Portugal, Spain, Italy, and even France at this time. Of course, the rest of Europe may be going through some kind of a recovery, a very tenuous and low-level recovery, but that doesn’t mean that the problems have gone away. They’re constantly reappearing in different forms, as we see in Catalonia, in Eastern Europe, and with the problem of migration.

    Really the situation is not very positive, and there are forces that have manufactured the crisis and transformed it from what it was originally — an international banking crisis — into a political, social, and even an environmental crisis. …”

    • “It is not a negotiation when an economy is in dire straits; is constantly strangulated through the lack of funds because it has no control over monetary policy and cannot finance banks to finance the market; cannot borrow short-term in order to pay dues; and has to draw funds from the public purse and effectively freeze payments to the private sector. The state stopped paying its arrears to the private sector. That was all the result of being unable to counter the main framework of the situation that the new government had faced, which is a situation of economic blackmail.”

      The above quote sums up the situation when one is involved with the central bankster crooks. The monopoly of the production of our currency is based on debt as recounted here too many times . The result is financial bondage. They that control the money control all else. It as ‘plain as the nose on your face’.

      All the information presented above is very interesting and very thoughtful but avoids the principal reason for the problems transparent all over the world and not just in Ireland.

      High prices housing costs and lack of income is a transnational, world wide problem for which there is a singular reason.

      until we get rid of the international bankers throttle on the economy and politics of the world there will be NO CHANGE.

      Read this attachment fully, it is also pasted above thanks to Truthist.

      Not until the people are prepared to seize control of their government, claim national sovereignty, and exercise their rights, will their be any positive changes.

      Varoufakis sold out the Greeks as did DMW sell out the Irish!! Both are feted in their own countries. Mistake. It is time to get real. Lift the blinds, remove the shades.

      “there are none so blind as those who refuse to see!”

      • Truthist

        “…until we get rid of the international bankers throttle on the economy and politics of the world there will be NO CHANGE.

        Not until the people are prepared to seize control of their government, claim national sovereignty, and exercise their rights, will their be any positive changes. …”
        Alas, there is not yet even a critical mass of the regular posters here properly aware.
        Although, finally, Deco is showing some signs of understanding the Private Central Banking & also the Fractional [ Now actually even worse ; "Zero" ] Reserve Banking” parts of the Bankster Scam Bundle ;
        But, the Currency to be once again Gold & Silver / Money he seemingly still does not dig.

        THE BANKSTERS OF BANKSTERS’, i.e. The Rothschilds [ Loose term for lineage of original Mr. Bauer who erected Red Shield / Roth Schild above his Usury House in 18th Century Frankfurt [ I lazy to recall with certainty which German city ] :



        & ALSO


    • “”that barbaric tax against private property in Greece “”

      • Truthist

        I glad u spotted that.

        Sometimes for various reasons I forgo telegraphing the gems.

        David steering us towards the rocks again methinks 8-)

    • “”The real danger in Europe is a clear and present danger, the danger of an imperial regime that has different tiers or layers of oppression — with Greece being its most suppressed member, so to speak, but also the other countries facing one form or another of arbitrary rule by Brussels.”"

    • “”The Greek economy is flatlined at the moment. It cannot be revived. Why? Because the major statistical fact most people have underestimated or ignored is the fact that Greek households are showing a negative savings rate of between 15 and 20 percent. This means that they’re consuming or paying out 20 percent more than they earn, which in turn means that there is really no domestic capital available for investment.”"

      A negative savings rate is baffle gab for going into debt. well it could be that there are huge piles of savings that are being spent in order to survive. In one way or another the world’s populations are being pauperized.

  32. Why do people hoard?
    A question I have not seen addressed.

    Mostly it is to save for a rainy day. OR to save for a future time . It could be to have a private pension.
    Will you still need me, will you still feed me, when I’m 64? is still a valid question.

    Consider what is required to fund a retirement. For arguments case we suggest the an income of 60% of ones working life is adequate to survive. Say a modest 45,000 times 60% = 27,000.

    In the olden days it was reasonable to think one could buy bonds and interest bearing certificates showing a 6-8% return so 27,000 divided by 7%= 643,000.
    That is to get a paltry 27,000 income required an investment of over 600,000.

    But it gets worse. Now in the low or no interest environment one needs exponentially more. At 2% interest, it requires an investment of 1.35 million.

    At zero interest and a life expectancy of 25 years retired life and willing to time it right and die broke it still requires 27,000 time 25 = 675,000.

    Another effect of Zero Interest rate policy (ZIRP) is that compared to cash in the bank it costs nothing to own property. There is a little opportunity cost as interest rates are low and it costs little to borrow. There are risks but if there is no return on ‘safe’ investments then people are forced into greater risks. Those of property ownership. Stocks and real estate are the easiest and so there you have the cause of high prices in the aforementioned.

    Simply put taxing property be it cash in the bank, land or corporate stocks is taxing prudence and savings, a tax on capital assets. It is an assault on people.
    Likewise a tax on capital gains is a tax on inflation. That is a tax on the increase in the supply of money that is in the full control of the non elected banksters. When banks issue more money as interest paying debt the government will tax it back again on the myth of increased property values. Net result is that the banksters gain more debt and interest and the politicians have an involuntary tax to to provide funds bribe the taxpayer with each time someone has to sell property for funds on which to live.

    The real solution to most of the problems we have and especially land hoarding is the need to have natural interest rates. Let us revert from 2-3% to historical norms of 6-7% for mortgages. Central bank manipulations have reduced interest rates to unprecedented low rates while the low cost on borrowing has also provide historically unprecedented high debt levels. Immediately demand for real estate will drop and not just for housing. Commercial property will also drop in value.

    Will more property be developed? maybe not, at least until the economics change. Will the bond market drop? yes. Will the stock market drop? Yes. Will the wealth effect be reduced? yes? Will people be happier? no. Will pensioners be happier? Yes and no. Yes, if they cash in before the financial drops and are able to get a return on cash. No, if their capital investments lose value before they are cashed in.
    There will be capital savings in the banks and less debt to be issued as people save more and borrow less.

    Breaking the banksters stronghold and allowing the economy to function will be painful but the longer we wait the worse it will be. A catastrophic crash is baked into the cake if there are no banking reforms. Inertia reigns and so a catastrophe will be. Who will seize control when that planned event occurs?

    The police/military state is who. Paid by the same banksters engineering the crash. All wars in the last 300 years have been funded by those same banksters. It is time we threw the ????????’s out for good.

    It does not appear to have succeeded very well in the past but there is always a first time!!.{:-)

  33. Truthist



    Michigan State University economics professor Mark Skidmore made an astounding discovery about the finances and budgets of the U.S. federal government earlier this year. He and a team of graduate students discovered $21 trillion missing in the federal budget going back to 1998. Dr. Skidmore, who specializes in public finance, explains, “We know from official government sources that indicate $21 trillion is, in some way, unaccounted for. Furthermore, if we come back to the Constitution, all spending needs to be authorized by Congress. It looks to me, and I think I can conclude with a high degree of certainty, there is money flowing in, as well as out, that is unaccounted for. . . . That’s the one thing we know from these documents, that there is $21 trillion in unaccounted funds.”

    Good question. Is the US now lawless society? are the governing agencies beyond the law?

  35. Politicalization of the FBI. It is no longer a dispassionate agency. Bias is for the Clintons and anti Trump.

  36. Truthist


  37. Truthist

    Trudeau’s feminist social agenda gets bum’s rush from China who demands Canada send over an adult.
    5:29 pm – 4 Dec 2017

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