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What is the Private Sector : Ireland 2010


CharlieB

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Joined
Apr 28, 2010
Messages
19
Riddle me this ....

Just what exactly is the Private Sector in this country at this point in time ?



Solicitors/Barristers/Accountants and their sundry staff : most would be unemployed or earning far less if it wasn't for the government

Anybody working in a bank : no comment needed

GPs / Dentists : would be earning far less if it wasn't for the government

Developers / Builders / Tradesmen : Have been paid with borrowed money for years and most are now reliant on the government / NAMA / etc

Farmers : Largely reliant on government / EU subsidies

Semi State workers : essentially work for the government

Multinational employees : many owe their jobs to a huge subsidy in the form of our corporate tax rate which is lower than most of our neighbours

Public Sector / Civil Service workers : paid directly by the government

Small business owners : surely rely on all the above for their revenue

Service Sector workers : surely rely on all the above for their wages

Landlords : no comment needed
 


SideysGhost

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Nov 30, 2009
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17,638
I've been banging on about this for years. Pseudo-private, I call them. All reliant in one way or another on sucking off the Govt teat. If it's not direct subsidies and inflated contracts from the State directly, it's rigged markets, legalised cartels, barriers to entry, protection of incumbents.

Now I've spent most of my career in private sector IT SMEs. And most of them genuinely are private sector. Which is why most of them tend to fizzle brightly for a couple of years and then go bust. Most of the bigger established IT firms charge huge amounts for substandard work, because they really aren't interested in private work - their bread and butter and their core revenue comes through the State.

It's a precarious existence constantly on the edge, and 15 years of it has left me with absolutely no sympathy whatsoever for the entitlement/bailout/pork culture. But I wouldn't swap it for a safe job in some pork merchant pseudo-private parasite, not in a million years.

I have come to realise that no such real private sector company is ever likely to really suceed in Ireland though, not without a massive change in the entire political and "business" culture.
 

Pabilito

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Feb 24, 2008
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5,601
Private sector is all hard working everyday individuals just working privately every day to earn a living. Nothing special just everyday people doing everyday things to get by.. and ooh yes.. paying tax to keep the everyday economy going!
 

Skinner

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Oct 6, 2010
Messages
579
The much vaunted 'private sector' does not seem to exist in reality.
The place looks very much like a pre '89 Eastern European commie state arrrrgh!!!

As for 'landlords' :) they depend directly on debtors dole a.k.a. rent allowance, state subsidized tracker mortgages, NAMA bailouts and soon to be announced (and this debtor class will jump to the top of the queue no doubt) negative equity tax payer subsidized bailouts.

We need a revolution here, its 20+ years overdue...
 

firefly123

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Dec 8, 2009
Messages
28,163
Private sector is all hard working everyday individuals just working privately every day to earn a living. Nothing special just everyday people doing everyday things to get by.. and ooh yes.. paying tax to keep the everyday economy going!
Public sector don't I suppose. Last time I checked I worked hard doing everyday things to get by and paying tax that keeps the economy going and spending the rest in shops and on a mortgage.
 

farnaby

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Joined
May 15, 2006
Messages
1,961
Riddle me this ....

Just what exactly is the Private Sector in this country at this point in time ?



Solicitors/Barristers/Accountants and their sundry staff : most would be unemployed or earning far less if it wasn't for the government

Anybody working in a bank : no comment needed

GPs / Dentists : would be earning far less if it wasn't for the government

Developers / Builders / Tradesmen : Have been paid with borrowed money for years and most are now reliant on the government / NAMA / etc

Farmers : Largely reliant on government / EU subsidies

Semi State workers : essentially work for the government

Multinational employees : many owe their jobs to a huge subsidy in the form of our corporate tax rate which is lower than most of our neighbours

Public Sector / Civil Service workers : paid directly by the government

Small business owners : surely rely on all the above for their revenue

Service Sector workers : surely rely on all the above for their wages

Landlords : no comment needed
According to this you have a rather rigid definition of private sector - limiting it to indigenous enterprises exporting the bulk of their products or services. Which should be the backbone of any truly wealthy country's economy but in our case has unfortunately remained undeveloped for years.

It's an interesting question which could go in two directions - is this a discussion about how to develop the indigenous export sector; or a blurring of the public-private sector divide so that "we're all in this together"? These don't have to be mutually exclusive debates...
 

SideysGhost

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Nov 30, 2009
Messages
17,638
It's a discussion about corruption, farnaby.

But we don't call it corruption in Ireland because "everyone is at it, it's the way things are, so it can't be wrong"
 

farnaby

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May 15, 2006
Messages
1,961
It's a discussion about corruption, farnaby.
That's part of it. I just thought the OP was going along the lines of "it would be better if we had geniunely private enterprise in this country" to firstly get out of the hole we're in and secondly get rid of golden circles, crony appointees, corrupt decision-making and the dead weights of state splurging and quick buck consumerism.

But then I thought that could be turned on its head - the OP was trying to tell us that everything in this economy is interlinked with the state with the corollary that the so-called private sector needs the public sector far more than it lets on and should drop the mantra of deep cuts.

Perhaps CharlieB can enlighten us.

But we don't call it corruption in Ireland because "everyone is at it, it's the way things are, so it can't be wrong"
It's worse than that - we do call it corruption but many refuse to condemn, punish or correct it and think it's nothing more than "cute hoorism" that's actually a good quality for our leaders and reps to have. A sick, self-destructive refusal to link an ethical vacuum with its disastrous consequences.
 

myksav

Well-known member
Joined
May 13, 2008
Messages
23,546
Riddle me this ....

Just what exactly is the Private Sector in this country at this point in time ?



Solicitors/Barristers/Accountants and their sundry staff : most would be unemployed or earning far less if it wasn't for the government

Anybody working in a bank : no comment needed

GPs / Dentists : would be earning far less if it wasn't for the government

Developers / Builders / Tradesmen : Have been paid with borrowed money for years and most are now reliant on the government / NAMA / etc

Farmers : Largely reliant on government / EU subsidies

Semi State workers : essentially work for the government

Multinational employees : many owe their jobs to a huge subsidy in the form of our corporate tax rate which is lower than most of our neighbours

Public Sector / Civil Service workers : paid directly by the government

Small business owners : surely rely on all the above for their revenue

Service Sector workers : surely rely on all the above for their wages

Landlords : no comment needed
So, basically you're claiming that we are all public sector? :lol:
Then why don't I have a public sector income, pension scheme, etc?
Do we all have work contracts with the Gov't?

Oh wait, you forgot the self-employed and fishermen. Ah, no, they'd be linked to the EU and Gov't by restrictions in practise.

Bah, if it produces, it's definitely private sector. If it provides services, it might be Public sector.
 

Fides

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Apr 6, 2010
Messages
4,441
It would be pretty unusual to run a business in any country and not have public sector clients/customers either directly or indirectly. Every restaurant, shop, plumber, electrician etc will have customers who receive a public sector salary or pensions/social welfare payments from the state.

Private sector is defined by individuals setting up limited companies or sole traderships and giving it a go without any safety nets. If you go bust you go bust. You have no guarantee of a weekly wage or pension, only what you earn. There are no fixed hours of work for the week, no overtime payments, no guaranteed holidays. You end up doing everything from washing the loos to banking the cash. Why do it? Not working for someone else is great and the rewards can be very good. But remember 50% of new companies fold within 3 years. I'm in year 4!
 

Expatriot

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Dec 7, 2009
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4,325
The pseudo economists that insisted on enforced deflation in certain parts of the economy are now starting to realise that there is no such thing as isolated deflation. If wages drop, rents, sales and everything else drops. It is very hard to stop such a process once it starts, all the more so when you do not have currency policy to play with. We have started a spiral of deflation that the private sector is only beginning to get a handle on. We were constantly told competitiveness was our biggest weakness, yet exports are the only thing that have held up. Confidence is and was our big problem.

At the moment the state is borrowing money and flushing it through the economy, that is about to end. That money will not be available to private companies any more than anyone else. In fact that cash follow to business is about to be replaced by a hefty tax bill.
 

physicist

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Joined
Mar 29, 2010
Messages
6,274
So, basically you're claiming that we are all public sector? :lol:
Then why don't I have a public sector income, pension scheme, etc?
Do we all have work contracts with the Gov't?

Oh wait, you forgot the self-employed and fishermen. Ah, no, they'd be linked to the EU and Gov't by restrictions in practise.

Bah, if it produces, it's definitely private sector. If it provides services, it might be Public sector.
What about Ryanair? :lol:
 
Last edited:

physicist

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Messages
6,274
The pseudo economists that insisted on enforced deflation in certain parts of the economy are now starting to realise that there is no such thing as isolated deflation. If wages drop, rents, sales and everything else drops. It is very hard to stop such a process once it starts, all the more so when you do not have currency policy to play with. We have started a spiral of deflation that the private sector is only beginning to get a handle on. We were constantly told competitiveness was our biggest weakness, yet exports are the only thing that have held up. Confidence is and was our big problem.

At the moment the state is borrowing money and flushing it through the economy, that is about to end. That money will not be available to private companies any more than anyone else. In fact that cash follow to business is about to be replaced by a hefty tax bill.
Indeed enforced deflation could only be offset by trade to richer cunsumers, perhaps the advantage of lower running costs here, but at the cost of a decreased tax revenue from the state.
 

Expatriot

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Indeed enforced deflation could only be offset by trade to richer cunsumers, perhaps the advantage of lower running costs here, but at the cost of a decreased tax revenue from the state.
But there it is a myth that we have lost many jobs abroad because we are over priced. We have lost the vast bulk of jobs in the domestic economy due to a collapse in domestic confidence and demand. Most of the multinationals have not even bothered trying to cut pay. If you are making an expensive device for export you are not trying to get a sweat shop set up here.

Our domestic demand problem is much bigger than our not being a sweat shop problem. If we reduced the minimum wage to 6 euro not one more complex medical device will be exported from Ireland.
 

deiseguy

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But there it is a myth that we have lost many jobs abroad because we are over priced. We have lost the vast bulk of jobs in the domestic economy due to a collapse in domestic confidence and demand. Most of the multinationals have not even bothered trying to cut pay. If you are making an expensive device for export you are not trying to get a sweat shop set up here.

Our domestic demand problem is much bigger than our not being a sweat shop problem. If we reduced the minimum wage to 6 euro not one more complex medical device will be exported from Ireland.
Talking to guys I know working for multi-nationals serving mainly export markets the consensus would seem to be that '08/'09 were scary but stock levels were reduced and order books are now fairly full again. There's no real talk of layoffs and some actually doing a certain amount of hiring. We forget that much of the world seems to be recovering while we are still arguing about where the bottom is.
 

Nemi_

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Joined
Aug 20, 2010
Messages
252
Riddle me this ....

Just what exactly is the Private Sector in this country at this point in time ?
You are essentially right. We've a tiny amount of genuine indigenous private enterprise, actually making stuff or providing a service to the world. This is why we've had to attract in FDI.

An awful lot of our indigenous 'private sector' are actually just selling us stuff that's imported.

Apart from the building industry, which went merrily building away with thinking of who was actually going to occupy that space. Arguable, the problem with Ireland at the moment is not that our public sector is especially ineffective (although it is paid at an unaffordable rate). The real problem in Ireland is that our private sector is utterly inept.

Many of them are so inept that they don't even understand what you're talking about.
 

Fides

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You are essentially right. We've a tiny amount of genuine indigenous private enterprise, actually making stuff or providing a service to the world. This is why we've had to attract in FDI.

An awful lot of our indigenous 'private sector' are actually just selling us stuff that's imported.

Apart from the building industry, which went merrily building away with thinking of who was actually going to occupy that space. Arguable, the problem with Ireland at the moment is not that our public sector is especially ineffective (although it is paid at an unaffordable rate). The real problem in Ireland is that our private sector is utterly inept.

Many of them are so inept that they don't even understand what you're talking about.
In what way exactly? We have a thriving food industry sector that sells all around the world. Ditto drinks and alcohol. Tourism is basically a private sector enterprise though I do agree we could do better here. Culture, music and literature is also private enterprise and Ireland does well here too. Undoubtedly we do import a great deal but the small size of our economy is a big factor here. We are not likely to manufacture cars, white goods etc in Ireland. But we still need to sell them. We were pretty good at the rag trade back in the 50s and 60s but these has gone to low cost economies. A country has to concentrate on its strengths and overall I think we do that pretty well.

Could we do better, I very much believe so but most our job creation seems to concentrate on FDI.

"Utterly inept" - no.
 

Nemi_

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In what way exactly? We have a thriving food industry sector that sells all around the world. Ditto drinks and alcohol.
But that's actually not a large proportion of our total exports. While we are net food exporters, we actually import quite a lot of food at this stage.

About 90% of our exports are generated by FDI firms. In other words, the entrepreneurship is something we've imported.
Could we do better, I very much believe so but most our job creation seems to concentrate on FDI.
But the concentration on FDI is to make up for the massive deficit in domestic enterprise.
"Utterly inept" - no.
Well, when you consider our main area of domestic enterprise was property and everything related to property, utterly inept seems to me to be a perfectly valid description.

If its otherwise, how do you account for the inability of large portions of the private sector to pay their debts?
 

Fides

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But that's actually not a large proportion of our total exports. While we are net food exporters, we actually import quite a lot of food at this stage.

About 90% of our exports are generated by FDI firms. In other words, the entrepreneurship is something we've imported.But the concentration on FDI is to make up for the massive deficit in domestic enterprise.Well, when you consider our main area of domestic enterprise was property and everything related to property, utterly inept seems to me to be a perfectly valid description.

If its otherwise, how do you account for the inability of large portions of the private sector to pay their debts?
The majority of private enterprise can pay their debts. You are judging the entire private sector based on a relatively small number of businesses. Even in the construction sector there are businesses that can pay their debts. I have worked in the private sector all my life, I started my own business 3 years ago. All the businesses I have worked for and all the ones I have dealt with and am dealing with now are still in business. The ones who have got into trouble are those that failed to see the property bubble and got themselves into a mess as a result. This includes retailers, hoteliers, car dealerships but even here only a minority are in trouble. The rest have adapted, cut costs and are hanging in there. I don't believe there is any shortage of Irish entrepreneurs and indeed as you look at how successful Irish people are around the world you have to ask the question - "why not here". I don't have all the answers but I do believe that we have the capability within ourselves to grow strong indigenous businesses. It has to be nurtured and encouraged.
 

Nemi_

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You are judging the entire private sector based on a relatively small number of businesses.
No, I'm judging the indigenous private sector by looking at the activities of its two main sectors - building and banking. The size of the debts they are leaving behind dwarfs the rest of the business. (If it didn't, the banks would need no bailing out.)
I don't have all the answers but I do believe that we have the capability within ourselves to grow strong indigenous businesses. It has to be nurtured and encouraged.
I'm sure there's no genetic reason why Irish people can't have successful businesses. But "nurtured and encouraged" is what we've been doing for decades. It has to actually be there, to be "nurtured and encouraged".

I think my position is clear enough. Most of our indigenous private sector haven't a clue; you might as well ask the cat. That's grand, once we get it out there and recognise that running a car dealership does not develop the kind of skills we need to get out of where we are. The problem at the moment is we tend to use 'private sector' as a catch-all term, as if selling imported cars puts someone into the same category as Warren Buffet.

Now, I don't especially mean this to be negative. I just think we have to stop talking bull to each other (and I'm not directing that comment at you in this thread - its a general comment on our national approach to such matters). We need exporting firms, and most of our private sector have as much potential for developing into that area as Kildare VEC.
 

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