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.
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.
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?