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Our economy - right key, wrong keyhole


Malbekh

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Joined
Apr 30, 2009
Messages
3,032


Good evening. Those of you who know me well, will be aware that I am an occasional poster of worthwhile topics, mostly by good chance of course, with the occasional brain spasm of inappropriate or arrogant thread manufacture. People will also be aware that I am a shameless populist, and one to make grand sweeping statements, backed by little in the way of facts or logic.

Please allow me to let you in with a secret. Well not so much a secret, more of a grand sweeping statement...



Here's the thing. There is no difference between Fianna Fail and Fine Gael. None whatsoever. I will give Fine Gael some slack, in that the Celtic Tiger would have been different under their leadership. But only by about 10%. They too would have allowed the country to become one big property bubble, whilst spending vast amounts on a bloated public sector. They also would have engineered a blanket guarantee, after all, they sure as hell voted for it when in opposition. In fact, FG budgets in opposition are just mini-me versions of the real ones.

Furthermore, everything that FG has implemented since getting into power, well, FF would have done exactly the same from a drop-down menu of Troika policies. Let's not forget that it was FF's pathetic 'leadership' of numpties that got us into this mess in the first place, but please don't pretend that the FG version have done anything constructive in getting us out of it.



Here's two damning facts for you....

FF and their green puppets had a once in a century opportunity to make this country into something really special. I mean, with all the loot available to the country, and with a pacified voting public entranced with their ability to flip houses with each other, they could, and should, have used this financial leverage to implement prudent, wise, innovative and far-reaching policies.

Oh well.

FG and their red puppets had a once in a century opportunity to radically change it for the better. After all, that's what people voted for in their droves. Change. Oh yeah, you all voted for the Troika stuff as well, but you kind of hoped that they would use the opportunity provided as the worst financial crisis ever hit the nation, to make the radical and innovative changes required to our political, social, economic and judicial sectors.

Oh well.




So. Is this just an exercise of whataboutery? Well no. This country is completely screwed and has no chance of recovery as long as the fools in government continue on with their failed policy. That's right, policy. That policy is to implement the diktats of the Troika and put all their roulette money on red number 32. This Red32 is also known as export growth. Let me tell you another not-so-secret. There is and will be no export growth that is going to a) generate growth in our economy and b) generate jobs.

So. What does this leave us with? Well, the only option available to us is the old three-card-trick.



Trick 1. This involves a radical overhaul of the public sector and public spending. Unfortunately, it's probably too late to do anything practical here. Damage has already been done. Instead of focussing on streamlining the public sector by getting rid of the dross, the government just concentrated on getting rid of people. Didn't matter if the people were highly skilled with experience of previous recessions, if they cost too much out they went. There's a simple solution to the public sector, make it a meritocracy, pay them well, and give them bonuses on performance. Sadly, what we have are public sector employees who are too stressed and scared to do their jobs properly. That have seen management teams disappear in their entirety. That are working harder than they ever have, with less hours and a larger workload. And that's just the responsible ones.

Trick 2. Taxation. You can't tax your way out of a recession and that is true. Because taxation on the working and middle classes only puts them in their spending shells like turtles, and you end up destroying the domestic economy. Oh, and don't think about the fact that people on a higher tax band are wealthy. The top tax band of 52% comes in at €33,000. Compare that with the UK, where the equivalent comes in at €175,000. The middle class are now the working class. As for the super rich, well, those that reside in the country will skip Dodge as soon as any wealth tax is implemented. Furthermore, the amount of revenue generated would be very small indeed. So I'm sorry, the only way that we can generate taxes is to raise either the corporate rate of tax, or stop allowing the likes of tech companies massive tax avoidance advantages. After all, they create feck-all jobs. So either they pay more tax, or they create more jobs. Alas, if you remember the failed policy this government follows from before, you know that this government far prefers to see the country implode rather than tackling big business.

Trick 3. Eurozone. This government can negotiate whatever loan stretching exercises they want to. It makes a difference on a year2year basis, but the principle still needs to be paid off, as does the interest. We must, and have, to get a deal through the ESM where we can offload the remnants of our banking system and get paid a fair price, both for the banks and for the trauma we've had to go though. This will require balls. Unfortunately, the government are little fairies and there's no chance of them getting tough even though the IMF want them to.



So there you have it. It's not Einstein is it? this government is as economically and politically incompetent as the last one. Worse, the next government will be as equally incompetent as this one. Where are the heroes, where are the patriots, where are the statesmen? Have they all emigrated I wonder?

 
Last edited:


Niall996

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Joined
Dec 5, 2011
Messages
12,127
they could, and should, have used this financial leverage to implement prudent, wise, innovative and far-reaching policies
such as?
 

Malbekh

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Joined
Apr 30, 2009
Messages
3,032
Ooh, I was hoping we could have a discussion about that sometime. I'm sure we can all think of something.

How about a property tax to cool down a property boom where the money is partitioned specifically to the county councils? Thus reducing their dependency on central government and making councillors relevant and important.


Yes, indeed, that is what the government is currently doing but with two flaws. First, they are only implementing it because they were told to do so by the Troika, and secondly, they are doing it without taking into account people's ability to pay. Thus they take more money from the domestic economy and continue to drive failed businesses, higher unemployment and more emigration.

Hence the thread title. Right key, wrong keyhole. See what I did there?
 

shiel

Well-known member
Joined
Feb 14, 2011
Messages
16,999
We needed powerful arguments made by those in our media and academia to take on the hubris of the Celtic tiger.

But not enough did that job.

That does not stop all the bods on this and other fora making an effort to sound sensible

I am afraid it is 10 years too late.
 

drummed

Well-known member
Joined
Oct 22, 2010
Messages
37,436
Correct about the current lots failure to bring radical change, there was a mood for it. Abolish half the councils, merge departments, etc, etc. Chance lost and may never return. The present goverments biggest failure. Once you get into power the civil service take over and seem to just carry on as if nothing happened.
 

drummed

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Joined
Oct 22, 2010
Messages
37,436
And while i'm here (been stuck here for 18 minutes at this stage) why only FF/FG. I hope your not implying any of the other numpty cults would be any better?
 

Malbekh

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Joined
Apr 30, 2009
Messages
3,032
And while i'm here (been stuck here for 18 minutes at this stage) why only FF/FG. I hope your not implying any of the other numpty cults would be any better?
By numpty cults do you mean Labour and The Greens? I'm sorry you got trapped by let's do the Piewarp again, but yeah, it's unlikely any other party would have done better, or worse.
 

drummed

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Joined
Oct 22, 2010
Messages
37,436
By numpty cults do you mean Labour and The Greens? I'm sorry you got trapped by let's do the Piewarp again, but yeah, it's unlikely any other party would have done better, or worse.
Still here if you see the exit be sure to mention it. "Do you wish to leave this page?" and "Do you wish to stay on this page?"
Trick question, no matter which you choose your still here.
 

Niall996

Well-known member
Joined
Dec 5, 2011
Messages
12,127
Ooh, I was hoping we could have a discussion about that sometime. I'm sure we can all think of something.

How about a property tax to cool down a property boom where the money is partitioned specifically to the county councils? Thus reducing their dependency on central government and making councillors relevant and important.


Yes, indeed, that is what the government is currently doing but with two flaws. First, they are only implementing it because they were told to do so by the Troika, and secondly, they are doing it without taking into account people's ability to pay. Thus they take more money from the domestic economy and continue to drive failed businesses, higher unemployment and more emigration.

Hence the thread title. Right key, wrong keyhole. See what I did there?
So I've worked my ass off, I've paid huge taxes. I've taken a loan out to buy a home that will cost me three times the capital in repayments and impact on every single pay packet I earn for the rest of my life before I can own it so that I have a bit of peace of mind, some sort of retirement to aspire to. A place I can hang photographs on the wall without permission from some landlord. A place I can put up a Christmas tree and give my kids a bit of joy and magic in this world. All I ask is to be able to have a little tiny fragment of this earth to call my own, one particle of this piece of earth I am meant to call my country to live in and die in and you want to charge me an annual tax on this? For what? Services? An Post? Shove it, I use email. Electricity, gas, TV, are all charged individually. And that's your far reaching innovative idea?
 

firefly123

Well-known member
Joined
Dec 8, 2009
Messages
28,165
Nice OP . Sums things up pretty well. We have a nation of TDs with one eye constantly on reelection. I'm PS and see the waste. It's not intentional or malicious. It just happens. I'm in one of the most streamlined and efficient branches and I see it so I can imagine what goes on elsewhere. In saying that our private sector is not immune to the same thing and despite what some say it happens and it continued to happen with other private workers taking up the slack.
I think we need a big reset button to be pressed on everything. We all need to bite our lips and Accept some form of cut though. I'd be happy with a 50% cut in pay if someone cut my mortgage down to a manageable level for example. But you will find those who are in the same Job as me objecting to the paycut and someone outside objecting to the mortgage cut. At the end of the day I will fight tooth and nail to maintain my wage as long As my mortgage is the same.
We are in a death spiral but I will pay my debts before everything else until it affects my family and then I will do my utmost to avoid paying .
I'm sure this is miltiplied times 1000 across the state.
 

Raketemensch

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Joined
Apr 11, 2009
Messages
3,128
-Improve the health service
-Improve the broadband infrastructure
-Create a proper energy grid that anyone could easily sell back into
-Help the indigenous tech sector to compete with the US companies who use us as a tax shelter
-Create real incentives for the unemployed to rejoin the workforce

Just off the top of my head. I'll come up with some more if you like.
 

gatsbygirl20

Well-known member
Joined
Dec 1, 2008
Messages
22,773
Good evening. Those of you who know me well, will be aware that I am an occasional poster of worthwhile topics, mostly by good chance of course, with the occasional brain spasm of inappropriate or arrogant thread manufacture. People will also be aware that I am a shameless populist, and one to make grand sweeping statements, backed by little in the way of facts or logic.




Here's two damning facts for you....

FF and their green puppets had a once in a century opportunity to make this country into something really special. I mean, with all the loot available to the country, and with a pacified voting public entranced with their ability to flip houses with each other, they could, and should, have used this financial leverage to implement prudent, wise, innovative and far-reaching policies.

Oh well.

FG and their red puppets had a once in a century opportunity to radically change it for the better. After all, that's what people voted for in their droves. Change. Oh yeah, you all voted for the Troika stuff as well, but you kind of hoped that they would use the opportunity provided as the worst financial crisis ever hit the nation, to make the radical and innovative changes required to our political, social, economic and judicial sectors.

Oh well.




So. Is this just an exercise of whataboutery? Well no. This country is completely screwed and has no chance of recovery as long as the fools in government continue on with their failed policy. That's right, policy. That policy is to implement the diktats of the Troika and put all their roulette money on red number 32. This Red32 is also known as export growth. Let me tell you another not-so-secret. There is and will be no export growth that is going to a) generate growth in our economy and b) generate jobs.

So. What does this leave us with? Well, the only option available to us is the old three-card-trick.



Trick 1. This involves a radical overhaul of the public sector and public spending. Unfortunately, it's probably too late to do anything practical here. Damage has already been done. Instead of focussing on streamlining the public sector by getting rid of the dross, the government just concentrated on getting rid of people. Didn't matter if the people were highly skilled with experience of previous recessions, if they cost too much out they went. There's a simple solution to the public sector, make it a meritocracy, pay them well, and give them bonuses on performance. Sadly, what we have are public sector employees who are too stressed and scared to do their jobs properly. That have seen management teams disappear in their entirety. That are working harder than they ever have, with less hours and a larger workload. And that's just the responsible ones.

Trick 2. Taxation. You can't tax your way out of a recession and that is true. Because taxation on the working and middle classes only puts them in their spending shells like turtles, and you end up destroying the domestic economy. Oh, and don't think about the fact that people on a higher tax band are wealthy. The top tax band of 52% comes in at €33,000. Compare that with the UK, where the equivalent comes in at €175,000. The middle class are now the working class. As for the super rich, well, those that reside in the country will skip Dodge as soon as any wealth tax is implemented. Furthermore, the amount of revenue generated would be very small indeed. So I'm sorry, the only way that we can generate taxes is to raise either the corporate rate of tax, or stop allowing the likes of tech companies massive tax avoidance advantages. After all, they create feck-all jobs. So either they pay more tax, or they create more jobs. Alas, if you remember the failed policy this government follows from before, you know that this government far prefers to see the country implode rather than tackling big business.

Trick 3. Eurozone. This government can negotiate whatever loan stretching exercises they want to. It makes a difference on a year2year basis, but the principle still needs to be paid off, as does the interest. We must, and have, to get a deal through the ESM where we can offload the remnants of our banking system and get paid a fair price, both for the banks and for the trauma we've had to go though. This will require balls. Unfortunately, the government are little fairies and there's no chance of them getting tough even though the IMF want them to.



So there you have it. It's not Einstein is it? this government is as economically and politically incompetent as the last one. Worse, the next government will be as equally incompetent as this one. Where are the heroes, where are the patriots, where are the statesmen? Have they all emigrated I wonder?

It might not be Einstein, but it is not that radical either..."You can't tax your way out of a recession", and other original, innovative statements....the rich will up and leave...anyway, there is "no pot of gold"...Where have we heard all that before..?

Let's give it a try why don't we, before we go back to the PS workers for a third time? There is no pot of gold in the PS either....only 2% of them earn over 100K, but that does not stop us...

If all this was simple it would be done. But "making the tough decisions" usually means slashing someone else's pay or hours. Slashing someone else always looks simple and easy and obvious...What's the problem? Just do it...That's what "we" voted for, after all...

Getting rid of the PS "dross" is not as simple as it looks either. One man's dross is another's solid gold. You would need another quango--like the School Inspectorate--with clear criteria measuring and evaluating what was base metal, what was dross, what was gold...

People may indeed have voted for "change"..."in their droves"

Except they voted for the kind of change that would not impact adversely on themselves, hoping someone else could be made to take the hit.....

Many FG voters voted for the kind of "change" that would see FG "making the hard decisions"--that is, slashing the pay of PS workers, but under no circumstances imposing any extra taxes on themselves...

Many PS workers voted for the kind of "change" that would have the Labour Party curbing the PS slashing instincts of FG....

So there is no "we" who voted for a kind of monolithic change...

Just the same bunch of jostling, competing sectoral interests that you get in any democracy...
 

Devil Eire

Well-known member
Joined
Jun 15, 2011
Messages
707
So I've worked my ass off, I've paid huge taxes. I've taken a loan out to buy a home that will cost me three times the capital in repayments and impact on every single pay packet I earn for the rest of my life before I can own it so that I have a bit of peace of mind, some sort of retirement to aspire to. A place I can hang photographs on the wall without permission from some landlord. A place I can put up a Christmas tree and give my kids a bit of joy and magic in this world. All I ask is to be able to have a little tiny fragment of this earth to call my own, one particle of this piece of earth I am meant to call my country to live in and die in and you want to charge me an annual tax on this? For what? Services? An Post? Shove it, I use email. Electricity, gas, TV, are all charged individually. And that's your far reaching innovative idea?
There is a very good argument that a property based tax is far more preferable to an income based tax, or at least a taxation system weighted in favour of the former, on the basis that it would have a less detrimental effect on the job creating environment. This appears to be a sound enough argument, and is gleefully repeated by Michael Noonan to justify their introduction of that very thing.

The glaring unmentioned in this argument, and the great fallacy, is that this proposed property tax is not replacing income taxes in any percentage at all. It is wholly additional to them. So rather than gradually changing the weighting from income based tax to property based tax, it is simply adding a whole new burden upon an already creaking income tax system. Doubling up on the punitive tax grab from strangled and starved families. There has been no reduction at all in income tax, in order to weigh in behind a property tax.

This to me is simply daylight robbery by a dishonest and unfair government regime, who purport to be public representatives, but who represent nobody other than the most crooked and corrupt elements of the financial and banking worlds. Minister Noonan has a cheek to state that property tax is a fairer tax, when he simply intends to hit people with TWO main taxes, a property tax, ontop of an unchanged income tax, without any change to the latter.

Is it any wonder ordinary people are up in arms? Perhaps people are finally discovering that their public representatives, voted in by them on a purportedly democratic basis, have no intention of 'representing' them at all, only blindly robbing them.
 
S

Science Ninja

So I'm sorry, the only way that we can generate taxes is to raise either the corporate rate of tax, or stop allowing the likes of tech companies massive tax avoidance advantages. After all, they create feck-all jobs. So either they pay more tax, or they create more jobs. Alas, if you remember the failed policy this government follows from before, you know that this government far prefers to see the country implode rather than tackling big business.[/QUOTE]

What is the cost to the nation of having FDI tech firms here? They take minimal infrastructure, and provide incomes and (some) tax revenue that would not otherwise be located here. There's some opportunity cost in having the focus on FDI rather than indigenous equivalents, but that boat has sailed, the policy is entrenched and it is what it is.

I think that our facilitation of tax avoidance is wrong, but you are equally wrong if you think that the firms owe Ireland a living beyond a slice of what profits the Irish employees actually generated. They might be making huge profits, but they are are not making them off the backs of the Irish people such that we are owed a percentage of their global operations. They should be taxed where they make their profits, not where they send them to be laundered.
 

Malbekh

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Joined
Apr 30, 2009
Messages
3,032
So I've worked my ass off, I've paid huge taxes. I've taken a loan out to buy a home that will cost me three times the capital in repayments and impact on every single pay packet I earn for the rest of my life before I can own it so that I have a bit of peace of mind, some sort of retirement to aspire to. A place I can hang photographs on the wall without permission from some landlord. A place I can put up a Christmas tree and give my kids a bit of joy and magic in this world. All I ask is to be able to have a little tiny fragment of this earth to call my own, one particle of this piece of earth I am meant to call my country to live in and die in and you want to charge me an annual tax on this? For what? Services? An Post? Shove it, I use email. Electricity, gas, TV, are all charged individually. And that's your far reaching innovative idea?
*Pause* No, I don't think you get this fully. We are talking about past issues mixed up with current issues. A property tax when the country was booming is a good idea, because the extra payment slows down people's enthusiasm for upgrading their houses or moving across the road and acquiring a D4 address. Thus it should have been done when the economy was in 'robust health' and people could afford it.

In return, you could easily reduce the tax rate for example, so the implementation of a property tax could be cost neutral to everyone. But what you are most definitely doing is moving the tax away from big government and disappear into their slush funds into the local councils where who your local councillor is starts to become relevant. In theory, and of course I have to laugh at this, it would mean that with the responsibility that the councillors are under would make them better politicians and thus more able for the family-led trip to the Dáil for their inheritance.

This is just one example. We can give more. A property tax that does not take into account what a person can afford to pay, in the worst recession ever is completely bonkers. A mild suggestion is that rather than jumping up and down and foaming you actualy contribute to the thread in act of community.

This is supposed to be a discussion site
 

Malbekh

Well-known member
Joined
Apr 30, 2009
Messages
3,032
It might not be Einstein, but it is not that radical either..."You can't tax your way out of a recession", and other original, innovative statements....the rich will up and leave...anyway, there is "no pot of gold"...Where have we heard all that before..?

Let's give it a try why don't we, before we go back to the PS workers for a third time? There is no pot of gold in the PS either....only 2% of them earn over 100K, but that does not stop us...

If all this was simple it would be done. But "making the tough decisions" usually means slashing someone else's pay or hours. Slashing someone else always looks simple and easy and obvious...What's the problem? Just do it...That's what "we" voted for, after all...

Getting rid of the PS "dross" is not as simple as it looks either. One man's dross is another's solid gold. You would need another quango--like the School Inspectorate--with clear criteria measuring and evaluating what was base metal, what was dross, what was gold...

People may indeed have voted for "change"..."in their droves"

Except they voted for the kind of change that would not impact adversely on themselves, hoping someone else could be made to take the hit.....

Many FG voters voted for the kind of "change" that would see FG "making the hard decisions"--that is, slashing the pay of PS workers, but under no circumstances imposing any extra taxes on themselves...

Many PS workers voted for the kind of "change" that would have the Labour Party curbing the PS slashing instincts of FG....

So there is no "we" who voted for a kind of monolithic change...

Just the same bunch of jostling, competing sectoral interests that you get in any democracy...
It doesn't have to be like that GG20. In a recession, private industry gets butchered. Staff who can be carried in the good times get fired in the bad times. Managers and companies that don't rationalise, are built on a fairytale of a business model, or don't fire useless staff go out of business. For all the bleating I do on the annihilation of the retail industry, it's still something that has to happen.

As far as the PS is concerned, the issue is that the butchering of the employees and budgets takes no account of the quality of the staff who have left the PS on early retirement. The people who have been left behind are those that are younger and/or cost less. So quality and ability make no difference. As I said in the OP, radical overhaul of the PS is already too late, because the measures implemented are all about cost savings and not on merit/ability/importance.

We are of course, all in this together. I would like to see a well paid and remunerated PS, with bonuses on targets achieved rather than entitlements. But that's not going to happen under this government. As for the wealthy, well, if you are earning over €33,000 this government considers you wealthy. Enough said.
 

Malbekh

Well-known member
Joined
Apr 30, 2009
Messages
3,032
What is the cost to the nation of having FDI tech firms here? They take minimal infrastructure, and provide incomes and (some) tax revenue that would not otherwise be located here. There's some opportunity cost in having the focus on FDI rather than indigenous equivalents, but that boat has sailed, the policy is entrenched and it is what it is.

I think that our facilitation of tax avoidance is wrong, but you are equally wrong if you think that the firms owe Ireland a living beyond a slice of what profits the Irish employees actually generated. They might be making huge profits, but they are are not making them off the backs of the Irish people such that we are owed a percentage of their global operations. They should be taxed where they make their profits, not where they send them to be laundered.
Ah no. If companies declare their let's face it, massive profits in Ireland so that they can take advantage of tax concessions here rather than in other countries, then for saving them a few hundred million I think we should get a percentage more. How on earth could you decide how Google should be taxed based on internet traffic? Should it be done on a population basis perhaps? I don't think that works, so no, tax them at the source of their declared revenue.

Your comments on minimal infrastructure is exactly the concern I have. In the Pharma days it would take years to set up a factory plant employing hundreds of people on site to put it into place. Then, because you're manufacturing something you would in turn generate a huge influx of jobs based on support services. Not to mention the hundreds of jobs you create in the factory itself. Decommissioning these factories takes years and is a fixed cost that must be accepted before you push the button.

Now things have changed and pharma is no longer the breadwinner it used to be. What we need is a replacement that generates the same economies of scale in employment and investment. That is not the tech services sector, who create little in the way of employment, hire nobody of the dole queue, use no secondary services worth talking about. More galling, then can leave at the flick of a switch and start up again anywhere they like.

You say 'don't tax them because them because it will force them to leave the country'
I say 'tax them fairly and we'll see, they might leave anyway'
 

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