Ireland after the economic crash

erigena

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After the economic crash, which is well underway, some political and cultural space will paradoxically open up. In general, Ireland tends to be more interesting and diverse when it functions beneath the radar of international capitalism.

One issue to be cleared up; was there ever a real boom? The answer is; probably not. By 1997, serious cutbacks in the health and social services coupled with some genuinely clever initiatives coming from civil society had engineered a situation wherein there was a current accounts surplus and a low cost base for business. It was time to build on one's strengths in the manner of Finland/nokia and Sweden/various. Instead what happened was a property bubble, and an attempt by the government to dominate sectors like software (Medialab) and the music business (IMRO) with disastrous results. The current generation in power have spent their children's and indeed grandchildren's money.

Genuine chaos is about to descend. The sub-prime mortgage area is about to hit the US economy, where leverage is much less than Ireland, which will therefore suffer more. The good news is that there will have to be a re-emphasis on cultural belonging, if only because there will be nowhere else to go. While this is going on, we should think about rebuilding as before, but ring-fencing off the possibility of another property bubble, or further incursion by the state into civil society. The end of social partnership with its danger of corporatism will also be a good thing.

It may be necessary to renegotiate terms of EU and WTO membership, particularly when the IMF “rescue” plan is announced. At a guess, the great majority of the readership here is under 30. How do you see the future?
 


Wolverine

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Should make politics interesting anyhow.

I think any economic slowdown/crash that hits us in the next few years will be small spuds compared to the inpact from Peak Oil and Global warming in the years ahead.
 

hiker

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I'm a big fan of this "Talking up the Crash" routine. The more the talk ,the more jittery the voters get. the more jittery the voters get, the less likely they are to rock the boat and more likely they are to return us to government for five more years.
8)
Keep it up lads. Your doing a great job. :)
 

sackville

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erigena said:
After the economic crash, which is well underway, some political and cultural space will paradoxically open up. In general, Ireland tends to be more interesting and diverse when it functions beneath the radar of international capitalism.

One issue to be cleared up; was there ever a real boom? The answer is; probably not. By 1997, serious cutbacks in the health and social services coupled with some genuinely clever initiatives coming from civil society had engineered a situation wherein there was a current accounts surplus and a low cost base for business. It was time to build on one's strengths in the manner of Finland/nokia and Sweden/various. Instead what happened was a property bubble, and an attempt by the government to dominate sectors like software (Medialab) and the music business (IMRO) with disastrous results. The current generation in power have spent their children's and indeed grandchildren's money.

Genuine chaos is about to descend. The sub-prime mortgage area is about to hit the US economy, where leverage is much less than Ireland, which will therefore suffer more. The good news is that there will have to be a re-emphasis on cultural belonging, if only because there will be nowhere else to go. While this is going on, we should think about rebuilding as before, but ring-fencing off the possibility of another property bubble, or further incursion by the state into civil society. The end of social partnership with its danger of corporatism will also be a good thing.

It may be necessary to renegotiate terms of EU and WTO membership, particularly when the IMF “rescue” plan is announced. At a guess, the great majority of the readership here is under 30. How do you see the future?
The end of social partnership with its danger of corporatism will also be a good thing.
Yes, this much-vaunted 'social partnership' just tied the hands of the many- the unions should take the rap for being acquiescent .
 

Respvblica

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hiker said:
I'm a big fan of this "Talking up the Crash" routine. The more the talk ,the more jittery the voters get. the more jittery the voters get, the less likely they are to rock the boat and more likely they are to return us to government for five more years.
8)
Keep it up lads. Your doing a great job. :)
Just what I was thinking but then there is another current which is taking hold in the public imagination and that is desperation. They know the boom is not going to last forever but after 10 years of apparant boom, there is very llittle evidence that there even was a boom. Ourt cities our falling down, the country's health and infrastructure are a mess. 10 years from now, no one will even have the cash they made from selling property.

Like a man having a midlife crisis, hes going to leave his happily married wife for a young one, just to try something different before he gets old.
 

Dee Four

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Respvblica said:
They know the boom is not going to last forever but after 10 years of apparant boom, there is very llittle evidence that there even was a boom.
Are you seriously taking the piss, like? Very little evidence? How about full employment? Does that not count as evidence? What about the fact that Ireland's young people aren't forced abroad anymore?


Ourt cities our falling down
Have you been to the docklands recently? The whole area is brand spanking new. Ballymun has been regenerated, something that never would have happened without the Tiger. The skyline in Limerick now has two fantastic looking towers, thanks to the new money, and Galway has a new central plaza.

the country's health [is in a mess]
Well, that certainly isn't for lack of money. Spending has risen by over a billion a year in the last ten years, from €3bn to €15bn.

and infrastructure are a mess.
Roads are being built across the country. The luas lines and the Port Tunnel are fully operational. DART and commuter services have been upgraded. Regional trains have been upgraded. Is it perfect? Christ no! But if you're saying the country has gained nothing from the boom, you're talking out your hole.
 

Respvblica

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God, LUAS should have been built years before it was built and its still only got two lines. Yes there has been, but for all the money in the country the progress has been mediocre. We could be doing so much better.
 

chickpea

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Dee Four said:
Respvblica said:
They know the boom is not going to last forever but after 10 years of apparant boom, there is very llittle evidence that there even was a boom.
Are you seriously taking the piss, like? Very little evidence? How about full employment? Does that not count as evidence? What about the fact that Ireland's young people aren't forced abroad anymore?


Ourt cities our falling down
Have you been to the docklands recently? The whole area is brand spanking new. Ballymun has been regenerated, something that never would have happened without the Tiger. The skyline in Limerick now has two fantastic looking towers, thanks to the new money, and Galway has a new central plaza.

[quote:1sqeslkx]the country's health [is in a mess]
Well, that certainly isn't for lack of money. Spending has risen by over a billion a year in the last ten years, from €3bn to €15bn.

and infrastructure are a mess.
Roads are being built across the country. The luas lines and the Port Tunnel are fully operational. DART and commuter services have been upgraded. Regional trains have been upgraded. Is it perfect? Christ no! But if you're saying the country has gained nothing from the boom, you're talking out your hole.[/quote:1sqeslkx]

:lol:
 

daithimac

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Twitter
@daveyawesome
If only Enda Kenny was Taoiseach right!
The boom could have been spent better but all in all I'm happy with where the money has gone. The Biggest problem with health is a lack of qualified people. not a problem you can just throw money at.
This notion that there is a massive crash on the way and another depression to follow there after is total verbal diarrhea. the economy is slowing for sure but were the exact same things not being said by the exact same people in 2000/2001.
 

hiker

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Respvblica said:
Like a man having a midlife crisis, hes going to leave his happily married wife for a young one, just to try something different before he gets old.
Fking brilliant. :lol: :lol:
I'll give a fourth preference in a couple of months just for that one. :lol:
 
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A. We did have a boom- that's how so many people could afford to buy houses. It's also why unemployment is so low- thank you capitalism.
B. We are spending more on public services than we ever have. If they are not improving, blame the unions for eating up the spending with pay increases and blame the government for not having the vision or the balls to insist that they should be correctly managed.
C. We rely on property too much, but still have amassed over 700 billion in assets. Our debts on those assets are less than 200 billion.
D. Social partnership needs to be re-asserted insofar as inflationary public sector wage increases need to be moderated.
E. Money that is being burned up state handouts for rich civil servants needs to be redirected to R&D. R&D pays off- Combilift, based in Monaghan, is one of the top 20 forklift manufacturers globally, and spends 9% of its cash on R&D. They have prospered in spite of wage costs. The same can apply to many other domestic industries. We may not be able to compete on cost, but cost is never trully sustainable. Only differentiation and superior innovation leads to true competitiveness.
F. If there is a crash, it will be global, and like most crashes, it will pass. Most people gunning for a crash are socialists, who would prefer to see the majority suffer in the vain hope that they can then turn around and say, "we told you so".
G. Our national debt is now less than 30% of GDP, which puts us in a better position than most countries to deal with one. Most industrial nations are in a much worse condition.
H. Low wage economies are not in a great position either. For all the ranting on about China, they are not as healthy as one would assume. Their 1 trillion in foreign reserves is mentioned often without also mentioning their alomost 900 billion in bad debts (Ernst and Young) and their 1.2 trillion in unfunded pension liabilites.
I. Intelligent policy now, that contains cost and invests more in R&D and education, will mitiagte the long term fall out from any crash. Counter cyclical policies can help take the edge of the worst of the short-term fall-out.
J. Economies are cyclical, and any slowdown will sooner or later ease. Prices will drop, rates will be cut, and investment will return. When that happens, whingers will still be telling us that it is a false dawn and that we are all doomed. I remember talking to a certain socialist with a double-barrelled name back in 97, and he was telling me back then that we were all screwed and that a recession was just around a corner. The fact is that no matter how well we do, there will always be some malcontent willing us to fail. We should disregard them an relentlessly persue growth. Even the most competitive economies sometimes enter recession, but what pulls them out is the strength of their resolve and their willingness to implement rational policies. Singapore was screwed back in the early 80s but returned to double digit growth within a few years. The entire Asian region was screwed in 97, but likewise, the sensible economies bounced back. Argentina was screwed earlier in this decade, but again growth has returned. Germany and Japan were messed up for a long time, but once sensible policies were implemented, the situation turned itself around. Crashes and slowdowns happen- what matters is how we respond. To whinge just because our success is never fully assured is petulant and childish. There are no guarantees and there are no sure things, but that does not mean that we should throw in the towel and lapse back into clinging to the state and begging for protection. It means that we should adopt to changed circumstances, focus on restroring competitiveness and come out fighting.
 

Akrasia

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hiker said:
I'm a big fan of this "Talking up the Crash" routine. The more the talk ,the more jittery the voters get. the more jittery the voters get, the less likely they are to rock the boat and more likely they are to return us to government for five more years.
8)
Keep it up lads. Your doing a great job. :)
The amount of money that has been spectacularly wasted over the last decade is immense, no, wait, wasted isn't quite the right word, I meant re-distributed from the poor to the rich, from the workers to the banks and developers
When the crash comes home to roost and the capitalists are no longer in denial, are the PDs going to admit that their neo liberal free trade mumbo jumbo ideology has failed, or are you just going to blame 'socialism' for all the problems and claim that we weren't 'free market enough'?
 

easygoing

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Dee Four said:
Respvblica said:
They know the boom is not going to last forever but after 10 years of apparant boom, there is very llittle evidence that there even was a boom.
Are you seriously taking the piss, like? Very little evidence? How about full employment? Does that not count as evidence? What about the fact that Ireland's young people aren't forced abroad anymore?
I too was gobsmacked on reading that comment. Perhaps in order to appreciate the effects of the boom one needs to be old enough to remember the 1980s...

This country is completely different from the one I knew in 1983. Much more optimistic, more confident, more vibrant, much improved towns and cities, more cosmopolitan, less religious. Take holidays. When I was young we went on holidays to Ennis or Trabolgan. Going abroad is not an option. Today I'm in my mid-20s, but my young 10 year old sister has been abroad 6 times, most recently to the US. Toys are the same: she has an IPOD and a 'cool' (pink!) phone. I had to save for months to afford a Masters of the Universe action figure!

Witnessing the transformation was a marvel, a wonder. I never thought so much could change in so short a time. Posters here under the age of 18 I'm sure won't appreciate that; they grew up in a country that was in full flux, rather than the stagnant hole I grew up in some years before.
 

HanleyS

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irishpeoplearewhingers said:
A. We did have a boom- that's how so many people could afford to buy houses. It's also why unemployment is so low- thank you capitalism.
irishpeoplearewhingers said:
C. We rely on property too much, but still have amassed over 700 billion in assets. Our debts on those assets are less than 200 billion.
A and C pretty much cancel each other out. I would be confident that the vast, actually overwhelming, majority of that 700 billion is in property. It's not real money.
 

hiker

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easygoing said:
Dee Four said:
Respvblica said:
They know the boom is not going to last forever but after 10 years of apparant boom, there is very llittle evidence that there even was a boom.
Are you seriously taking the piss, like? Very little evidence? How about full employment? Does that not count as evidence? What about the fact that Ireland's young people aren't forced abroad anymore?
I too was gobsmacked on reading that comment. Perhaps in order to appreciate the effects of the boom one needs to be old enough to remember the 1980s...

This country is completely different from the one I knew in 1983. Much more optimistic, more confident, more vibrant, much improved towns and cities, more cosmopolitan, less religious. Take holidays. When I was young we went on holidays to Ennis or Trabolgan. Going abroad is not an option. Today I'm in my mid-20s, but my young 10 year old sister has been abroad 6 times, most recently to the US. Toys are the same: she has an IPOD and a 'cool' (pink!) phone. I had to save for months to afford a Masters of the Universe action figure!

Witnessing the transformation was a marvel, a wonder. I never thought so much could change in so short a time. Posters here under the age of 18 I'm sure won't appreciate that; they grew up in a country that was in full flux, rather than the stagnant hole I grew up in some years before.

And it aint over yet. 8)
We're only just warming up FFS !!! :)
 
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HanleyS said:
irishpeoplearewhingers said:
A. We did have a boom- that's how so many people could afford to buy houses. It's also why unemployment is so low- thank you capitalism.
irishpeoplearewhingers said:
C. We rely on property too much, but still have amassed over 700 billion in assets. Our debts on those assets are less than 200 billion.
A and C pretty much cancel each other out. I would be confident that the vast, actually overwhelming, majority of that 700 billion is in property. It's not real money.
It isn't? Jasus. So do you reckon I could convince some guy to sell me a house for monopoly money or magic beans? That solves all my problems.
 

Respvblica

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easygoing said:
Dee Four said:
Respvblica said:
They know the boom is not going to last forever but after 10 years of apparant boom, there is very llittle evidence that there even was a boom.
Are you seriously taking the piss, like? Very little evidence? How about full employment? Does that not count as evidence? What about the fact that Ireland's young people aren't forced abroad anymore?
I too was gobsmacked on reading that comment. Perhaps in order to appreciate the effects of the boom one needs to be old enough to remember the 1980s...

This country is completely different from the one I knew in 1983. Much more optimistic, more confident, more vibrant, much improved towns and cities, more cosmopolitan, less religious. Take holidays. When I was young we went on holidays to Ennis or Trabolgan. Going abroad is not an option. Today I'm in my mid-20s, but my young 10 year old sister has been abroad 6 times, most recently to the US. Toys are the same: she has an IPOD and a 'cool' (pink!) phone. I had to save for months to afford a Masters of the Universe action figure!

Witnessing the transformation was a marvel, a wonder. I never thought so much could change in so short a time. Posters here under the age of 18 I'm sure won't appreciate that; they grew up in a country that was in full flux, rather than the stagnant hole I grew up in some years before.
But Ireland isnt special in that regard. Globalisation is reponsible for the huge increase in wealth. Go to Spain for example and you could probably have written that paragraph word for word, just substituting the place names. Look how China and India have advanced. Sure we have skyscrapers in Cork now, but they are everywhere(globally), and mainly a result of private enterprise.
I'm truly sorry if I came across a bit strong that you are gobsmacked but I'm in my mid-30s and have worked 10 years across Europe and the Americas and knew what it was like to look for a job in 1993 after graduating. I dont want to return to that, but if for reasons which are basically out of our hands(Europe, Globalisation, Climate) this World-wide post coldwar boom breaks down, I do not see any evidence of preparation in maintaining the competiveness of our economy, in developing our infrastructure, in caring for our people. Remember this is the country where Microsoft and Google have set up, the silicon valley of Europe, and with the lowest uptake of broadband in Europe. I was involved in Broadband ADSL roll-outs in Holland in 1999-2000. At that time Eircom were still setting up Dialup modem banks and planning the rip off of the century with the govt and sir tony!
 

Fr. Hank Tree

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When it comes to the economy and running the country the current government and especially the Pds are just bluffers...lucky bluffers and wasters. Anyone with a bit of common sense knows that we're headed for an almighty crash when the world economy dips, whether you talk about it or not.
 

hiker

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Fr. Hank Tree said:
When it comes to the economy and running the country the current government and especially the Pds are just bluffers...lucky bluffers and wasters.
Keep taking the tablets Hank. :)
Lucky bluffers?
Is that like pheasent pluckers? :lol:
 

badinage

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Fr. Hank Tree said:
Anyone with a bit of common sense knows that we're headed for an almighty crash when the world economy dips
you mean 15% or more unemployment, or even worse than that?
 


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