Posted by: John McGerr | January 18, 2011

Ireland in decline


I know sod all about high finance.  I read stuff in papers, on the internet, hear it on the news but most of it goes over my head. When I left school in the 1980’s to join the exclusive club known as jobseekers Ireland was in a recession emigration was not only a choice but, by many, highly recommended. Then the country started to boom, or so I was told, and we were the envy of Europe and the world. The visible difference to me was that people were staying in Ireland not leaving. Now we’re back in the sewer again. Worse than ever some say. I have noticed two sets of people have come through all theses times pretty much unscathed. Politicians and banks. Politicians are not individuals they are a production line. Get rid of minister X or party Y and you have someone to tkae their place and very little changes. The oppostion will make flowery speeches about how they would do things, knowing full well that once in power they’d be just like those the replaced, only one big iam in life, to survive, so they will do all they can to achiueve that goal and if the country prospers or declines it’s a matter of forces mostly outside their controls. Sure you can change who’s in with your vote, but the system remains the same.

The second group of people are the banks, like the politicians, not individuals, just a faceless ‘them’. I agree with those who say banks are now to big to fail and to big to save. One bank failing in this country is costing billions to save. I wonder, why bother, let it go. The argument for saving it seems to be, at it’s most basic, if we let it fail it paints a bad picture of Ireland. I have to ask, what kind of picture is it when the bank can’t run it’s own affairs. If I was a big investor looking at this bank would I be saying ‘ Oh yeah, that’s the place to put my money!’ – I don’t think so. Of course our country isn’t unique in having to ‘rescue’ it’s banks, but so far(apart maybe from Greece) we seem to to be the only one that has to collapse the economy to do so. You have to figure that banks, now that they have been rescued will now do all they can to repay that faith? Of course they will, as long as the banks are benefiting. Life carries on as normal for the banks. Hey we screwed up, we f**cked up the economy, bonuses all round for the boys and let’s see if we can’t do the whole f***ing sleigh ride all over again.

But then what do I know. I know I get less money to take home now than I did last year. I pay more for stuff I want. I’m lucky enough to have a job that seems secure so I’m where I have almost always been, hoping the jackasses that run the country and the greedy f***ers who run the banks will leave me enough money retire on. 68 they are saying now – you do know of course they are hoping I will contribute until the last and then die, perfect scenario as far as they’d be concerned.

Cartoons courtesy of Niall O’ Loughlin. See more at his site.

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