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The budget Tol's (According to Richard)


Pat Gill

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I know I have a reputation on P.ie for constantly poking fun at economists, some of it is richly deserved, particularly when they take themselves too seriously and pronounce weird and wonderful economic theories which have no practical use or which require the complete reorganisation of our monetary and financial system in order for their implementation to be even contemplated.

But sometimes they talk some sense, even Richard Tol (when he's not talking about climate change and wind turbines)

Before the bail-out, some hoped that the technocrats of the IMF would sort the country out. Instead, we got the Troika, led by the ECB with its narrow focus on the banks of Europe. Irish politicians are distracted from genuine reform by hitherto unsuccessful attempts in renegotiating the terms of the bail-out. There is less pressure to structurally reform economic policy now that Ireland is tentatively returning to the capital market, Europe is focussed on its south while praising Ireland, and there is a possible oil bonanza. But Ireland did not go (almost) bankrupt by accident. Unless it changes itself, Ireland will run into similar problems again, maybe before the decade is over.


There are many theories about the causes of the crisis. To me, the root cause is the electoral system, which favours generalists and populists. No TD has a national mandate, and few TDs have the experience and skills to design and implement a successful economic and fiscal policy. The Cabinet has an economist and an accountant, but the Cabinet’s Economic Council has three teachers and a lawyer. Political change is not on the agenda.


Richard Tol: A crisis wasted

Are we fixing the systems rather than the problems ?
 

wombat

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Are we fixing the systems rather than the problems ?
What annoys most of us is that there is no evidence that either is being fixed.
 

Analyzer

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Feb 14, 2011
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Needless to say Richard Tol's opinion above is present in any Irish media commentary, for the dat that is in it. Instead, comments from IBEC, ICTU, the CIF, etc.... plus loads of academics who are in the state trough in one form or another, plus overpaid quango-crats.
 

EvotingMachine0197

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If I were restoring a 1949 Chevy Fastback, I'd make sure all the rusty bits were cut out and re-fitted before I went fiddling with the upholstery.

I think we've been re-upholstering for the last 5 years.
 
B

birthday

I know I have a reputation on P.ie for constantly poking fun at economists, some of it is richly deserved, particularly when they take themselves too seriously and pronounce weird and wonderful economic theories which have no practical use or which require the complete reorganisation of our monetary and financial system in order for their implementation to be even contemplated.

But sometimes they talk some sense, even Richard Tol (when he's not talking about climate change and wind turbines)



Are we fixing the systems rather than the problems ?
What is so disappointing is that the constitutional convention is not addressing the propensity for repeated failure of our system almost every decade since independence.
This was an opportunity to see how our constitution and the electoral system defined by it relates in any way to our repeated economic failure since independence.
JJ Lee in his 1985 'Politics and Society' partially dealt with some of the often trotted out excuses and an updated version of this, reflecting on the Celtic Tiger and its aftermath would be a useful basis for a proper consitutional convention.

Instead we have 'gay marriage' 'vote for 17 year-olds' etc, no doubt important for some, but avoiding the main issue.
-Our flawed system.
Quite sad really.
 
D

Dylan2010

To counter his point, institutions like the FED are stuffed to the gills with PHD's. So I'm not sure how important raw talent is. Most of the big decisions have been moral ones and they have all failed
 

clearmurk

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I heard Stephen Donnelly TD on the radio a few days back refer to systems that are institutionally corrupt (I hope I quote accurately).

I think there is a lot to this. If you have politicians whose apparent objective is to line their pockets to the maximum they can get away with, then little substantial reform will occur.

As already referred, this most definitely should be a Constitutional Convention issue, and I for one would be very interested in understanding how this might be pursued in this forum.

I previously touched on the subject here http://www.politics.ie/forum/political-reform/191839-we-need-referendum-election-promises.html
 

owedtojoy

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I know I have a reputation on P.ie for constantly poking fun at economists, some of it is richly deserved, particularly when they take themselves too seriously and pronounce weird and wonderful economic theories which have no practical use or which require the complete reorganisation of our monetary and financial system in order for their implementation to be even contemplated.

But sometimes they talk some sense, even Richard Tol (when he's not talking about climate change and wind turbines)



Are we fixing the systems rather than the problems ?
I don;t have a high opinion of Tol, but here he is summarising my own disappointment with the current government.
 
M

MrFunkyBoogaloo

I know I have a reputation on P.ie for constantly poking fun at economists, some of it is richly deserved, particularly when they take themselves too seriously and pronounce weird and wonderful economic theories which have no practical use or which require the complete reorganisation of our monetary and financial system in order for their implementation to be even contemplated.

But sometimes they talk some sense, even Richard Tol (when he's not talking about climate change and wind turbines)



Are we fixing the systems rather than the problems ?
For whom the Budget Tol's...
 

Ryan Tubbs

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Sep 20, 2012
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After Tol's gross incompetence was exposed by the ESRI report fiasco earlier this year, is he in any position to make further pronouncements on the economy?
 

Howya

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Feb 29, 2012
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I know I have a reputation on P.ie for constantly poking fun at economists, some of it is richly deserved, particularly when they take themselves too seriously and pronounce weird and wonderful economic theories which have no practical use or which require the complete reorganisation of our monetary and financial system in order for their implementation to be even contemplated.

But sometimes they talk some sense, even Richard Tol (when he's not talking about climate change and wind turbines)



Are we fixing the systems rather than the problems ?
We are trying to cure the symptoms rather than cure the disease.
 

Howya

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Joined
Feb 29, 2012
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I heard Stephen Donnelly TD on the radio a few days back refer to systems that are institutionally corrupt (I hope I quote accurately).

I think there is a lot to this. If you have politicians whose apparent objective is to line their pockets to the maximum they can get away with, then little substantial reform will occur.

As already referred, this most definitely should be a Constitutional Convention issue, and I for one would be very interested in understanding how this might be pursued in this forum.

I previously touched on the subject here http://www.politics.ie/forum/political-reform/191839-we-need-referendum-election-promises.html
Is there a thread on constitutional convention because I couldn't find one?
 

Shpake

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Oct 17, 2012
Messages
5,374
What is so disappointing is that the constitutional convention is not addressing the propensity for repeated failure of our system almost every decade since independence.
This was an opportunity to see how our constitution and the electoral system defined by it relates in any way to our repeated economic failure since independence.
JJ Lee in his 1985 'Politics and Society' partially dealt with some of the often trotted out excuses and an updated version of this, reflecting on the Celtic Tiger and its aftermath would be a useful basis for a proper consitutional convention.

Instead we have 'gay marriage' 'vote for 17 year-olds' etc, no doubt important for some, but avoiding the main issue.
-Our flawed system.
Quite sad really.
At a stretch I might describe myself as an economist :|and Economics is mostly just applied common sense. But it might have all to do with leadership and yes, it has to do with risk too.
Compare the performance of the Economy under Lemass/Whitaker with that under Ahern/Cowen/Lenihan along with that Galway economist Ahern (is that his name?). But I think the damage was done in the early noughties with Bertie as teeshok and Cowen as FinMin. Obvious but noteworthy is that when we do well, it is usually catching up with the Joneses in the outside world: sixties Ireland, late eighties and nineties Ireland. Just have to have the right concept and get organized and then try to realize it. A shame we keep falling back into the Chit every ten years. How would changing the constitution propel those few people who have clarity, vision, luck and the ability to realize it all into the hot-seat?
 

southwestkerry

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Aug 20, 2008
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4,230
We are trying to cure the symptoms rather than cure the disease.
We do not do symptoms nor disease, we do do non the less, nuffing at all. Rather good at it too so we are.
SWK
 
B

birthday

At a stretch I might describe myself as an economist :|and Economics is mostly just applied common sense. But it might have all to do with leadership and yes, it has to do with risk too.
Compare the performance of the Economy under Lemass/Whitaker with that under Ahern/Cowen/Lenihan along with that Galway economist Ahern (is that his name?). But I think the damage was done in the early noughties with Bertie as teeshok and Cowen as FinMin. Obvious but noteworthy is that when we do well, it is usually catching up with the Joneses in the outside world: sixties Ireland, late eighties and nineties Ireland. Just have to have the right concept and get organized and then try to realize it. A shame we keep falling back into the Chit every ten years. How would changing the constitution propel those few people who have clarity, vision, luck and the ability to realize it all into the hot-seat?
From Article 16
5° The members shall be elected on the system of proportional representation by means of the single transferable vote.

6° No law shall be enacted whereby the number of members to be returned for any constituency shall be less than three.

Many of our problems lie with PR and the current constituency system.
I would argue that this system singularly ensures that we do not elect people with clarity , vision and common sense.
Such people will not get elected in the current system when their fellow candidates are campaigning on potholes, telegraph poles, medical cards etc.
It should be an offence for a TD to interfere or attempt to interfere in any way in the system that administers grants, medical cards etc.
That should be the role of county councillors and an independent appeals system
Our parliament is in essence a glorified county council. Is it any wonder that we are where we are.


Article 15
3. 1° The Oireachtas may provide for the establishment or recognition of functional or vocational councils representing branches of the social and economic life of the people.

This reflects the deference that we have to special interest groups that have conspired, especially in the Bertie years to slice up the national cake amongst themselves to the exclusion of the common good and medium term interest

I would therefore remove the above section from Article 15 to ensure that trade unions, lawyers, university academics, bankers never come together again under [social partnership or anything similar} to repeat the damage that they did from 2000 onwards.


Stephen Donnelly has many interesting comments on the workings of the Dail.
 

clearmurk

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How would changing the constitution propel those few people who have clarity, vision, luck and the ability to realize it all into the hot-seat?
It might not.

But what it would do would be to define the general principles within which the actions/behaviour of politicians need to be framed. Accountability then might be easier to pursue.
 

Shpake

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Unfortunately I've never been part of an enterprise like Apple or IBM or Ryan where they upset the applecart and spearhead the market with innovative ideas. On one occasion I have had the weird experience of being in the department of a big company (outside of Ireland) where this lady took over and proposed something that was an absolute disaster. All the old experienced hands told her beforehand that it would be a disaster. Didn't help. She stuck to her vision thing and in the end, it was not a disaster, it was a catastrophe. Many of the old hands lost their jobs or were axed. She managed to find a corner to hide in, protected by her job contract. The impression it made on me was that when someone is strong on rhetoric and can persuade people to give them the chance of power, but are low on common sense and blinded by theory to the advice of experienced people on the ground the bus ends up in the ditch. And it happens outside Ireland too! Look at Hewlett Packard. I dream or fancy that Mary Harney and Brian Cowen and Bertie Ahearn were all reading American Economic texbooks in the nineties and learning them off by heart.
 
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Shpake

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So the proposal would to choose our TDs on some other basis rather than local popularity. I get the impression that it would be how well they perform at the national/international level, say for instance in promoting Industry, finding markets, staying alert to the competition abroad. The constitution can only provide the broad framework. I don't think that we can produce TK whitakers/ lemasses on tap, and much as we might need one now it just doesn't happen like that.
A list system might up the level of expertise and ability of the TD's... much room for discussion here.
 
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The Dail is full of generalists and populists. That is the logical result of the electoral system, which is essentially a number of local elections rather than a national one.

In the UK, the big parties put technocrats forward for their safe constituencies.

In the Netherlands and Germany, the system is based on party lists. The people at the top of the list are typical politicians, but lower down you find people who are quietly competent.

In the UK, the government is in parliament, but the backbenches are so large that ministers are kept on their toes by competition from within the party. The Dail is too small for that.

In the Netherlands and Germany, government ministers are not in parliament. Ministers are kept on their toes by the parliamentary spokespeople of their own party.
 
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