Posted by: John McGerr | April 12, 2009

Where did the money go?

It’s hard to believe that a country that was booming so much could decline so fast. I have never been a student of high finances or all the intricacies of shares and stocks so I’m not to most qualified person to comment on the collapse in our economy but I’m reasonably intelligent and a voting taxpayer so I think that gives me the right to speak a bit on the subject. I have read some interesting articles on the Net about our economy. Like any subject you get on the Net you have to be wary of treating it as gospel, but they do raise some interesting points. I will post the links at the bottom of this piece. So this is a personal view. Over the past four years or so there have been several hundred houses built in my hometown. The majority of these are empty, some that were lived in are up for sale, just where did the developers think the people were going to come from to buy these houses? I kn ow I wasn’t alone in asking the question. In most cases I know of a surplus of product usually leads to a fall in prices – not for these houses, the prices seemed to go up by the week. When the fire happened in C&D in early 2006 and some 300 people were directly laid off and other business’ effected, our local politicians spent days telling everyone all they were going to do to help these people out. Of course, as per usual, they did sweet f*** all and if not for the drive of the owners and management the business might have completely folded. Countrywide it was one big developer party, and the economy spiralled upwards, built on foundations of sand – roads and houses were built, hospitals were closed. I come from an agricultural background and it’s fashionable to mock the farmers, yet no one seems to think it strange to buy their food from the other side of the world, or to ask why this is? In the end it’s the ordinary folk that keep things going. When times were good money wasn’t spent on education and healthcare, why waste it on that when you needed more roads for the gas guzzlers, or extra houses for the uber-rich. When times get bad tell the saps to tighten their belts and pay up, while the specualtors and developers and the bankers take their money and run. At the next election the smarmy gits will be back at the door, telliing you how much better they’d run it/how they’re going to bring back the good times, and they wonder why people aren’t voting.

Aaach! Enough ranting – this is just too depressing

Further reading

The Economist – a look at some of the causes and possible cures

Finfacts – Some things just don’t changeA rather scathing view of the Irish government’s performance(some good links low down on the page)

Helen Johnston – 2005 item on poverty in Ireland(a PDF file, you need a reader)

Al Jazeera – just to show it’s not just local news



  1. IMHO, if you spend a while and study some of the detail on the photos on yer site you will be reminded of where we came from. I well remember those times, and not particularly fondly I might add. I think we lost sight of who we were there for a few magnificent years in the late 90s, and now we need to re-evaluate or ranking in the world. As in all such crashes, people tend to overcompensate on the down side, and believe things will never be good again……..then spend the subsequent 20 years kicking themselves for having missed out on the upturn. Even now things are still a hell of a lot better than they were in the 70s/80/s, and immeasurably better than the 50s/60s.

  2. I remember the 70’s and 80s and how scarce jobs were and how many of my peers emigrated. The difference now, I think, is that there doesn’t seem to be anywhere to emigrate to – they all seem to be in the same boat. One thing hasn’t changed – greedy politicians – sacking the half of them might not make much of a dent in the deficit, but the feelgood factor would be immense!!


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