1. If we tax the rich, they’ll stop investing.
They’re not investing anyway! That’s why there’s a recession. Private investment has fallen by tens of billions of euros in a few short years.
But you have a point- just taxing the rich is not enough. We need to stop regarding them as “investors” altogether, since they’re not doing that, and take over the large businesses and assets they own. Then we can plan for a recovery based on massive public investment.
2. We need to honour our debts as a nation.
The debts of millionaire gamblers have nothing to do with most of us.
We need to take over the banks, open their books and guarantee the savings of ordinary people while writing off the toxic debt of speculators. They can go look for a real job like the rest of us.
3. We need to balance the books, we’ve been living beyond our means.
The crisis didn’t happen just because the government spent too much. It happened because that spending was based on taxes off a massive crazy bubble.
The solution is not to cut spending, but to create a real, sustainable economy to replace that bubble and fund the public services and the rights that we need.
Your plan demands that we sacrifice everything- pay, jobs, services, most means of wealth creation in the country- just to suck up to the same gamblers and politicians who caused this crisis in the first place.
And obviously it’s not working- austerity has blown up the deficit to a huge size and crippled the economy. We need to stop this insanity at once.
4. We need to cut the public sector- it’s wasteful. Only the private sector creates wealth.
Bullshit. The public sector provides vital services for the majority of people. Transport, healthcare, education- are these not wealth?
Even beyond that, public sector workers spend money in society and sustain loads of small businesses.
5. The innate entrepreneurial spirit of this great country is going to fix this crisis. Just take the pain and don’t rock the boat or you’ll make it worse.
The economy’s fucked. We’ve got pharmaceutical factories that only employ a small number of people, we’ve got farms like we’ve always had farms, and we have a huge debt hangover from the building boom that was the only motor force in our economy for years. That’s it.
6. But a recovery in the world economy…
The world economy’s fucked too. In the US and Europe there’s little wealth creation and lots of debt. These are the world’s biggest markets, so as our crisis deepens the strain is showing in a massive way in China, Brazil and the main exporters.
Like the Irish economy, the world economy was running for years on unsustainable debt. Like in Ireland, austerity is making it worse. Like in Ireland, the rich aren’t going to fix it for us.
7. But we’re on the road to recovery! The statistics for the first quarter say that X is Y per cent and Z is rising steadily and…
Yeah, yeah, we’ve heard in all before. Every month ye ministers have a few nice statistics to point to, and a few weeks later a new statistic, a report, a ratings downgrade or a bailout blows ye out of the water and reveals to us all that ye were bluffing.
“We’ve turned a corner.” –Brian Lenihan Jr, 2010
What we need for economic recovery- massive investment of the wealth hoarded by the rich- just isn’t happening. If there is a sustained recovery, it will just be a feeble pick-up from a terrifyingly low level, after irreparable damage is done.
8. You’re trying to drive people to despair with your fearmongering about the economy!
Actually we have a lot of good news to tell.
Developing our farms and fisheries, investing in wind and wave energy, retrofitting every home for sustainability, building loads of new tram and rail lines, developing an industrial manufacturing base in Ireland for the first time- all these things would help the economy massively, and they are possible.
The only obstacle is that the lion’s share of the wealth of society is in a tiny number of hands, and it is invested only for the sake of short-term profit for individuals. That means, right now, that a huge part of it is not invested at all.
If we could democratically plan the economy; if elected, recallable councils on the average worker’s wage controlled every large business and natural resource, then the economy would work according to the long-term profit of all, not the short-term greed of the few.
9. We need to do what the EU and the IMF tell us. We need to stay at the heart of Europe.
The fact that the EU and the IMF are blackmailing us shows that they don’t have our best interests at heart- and if you need further proof, look at the insane austerity measures they want us to take.
They just want us to pay back the European and American banks that lent stupidly and stand to lose if we stop bailing them out.
It’s a classic debt trap, it’s happened to scores of countries in the past and it’s never ended well.
10. We need the international markets to start lending to us again.
“The markets” are super-rich gamblers who control the money supply and use this control to blackmail peoples and governments. I never voted for them and I’m fu**ed if I’m going to do what they say.
We need to stop relying on private lenders, who will always lend with strings attached, and don’t lend at all if you really need it. Money is a social necessity and the money supply should be controlled democratically, not by these gamblers.
11. But if we don’t do as they say, they will cut off funding and there will be no money in the ATMs!
Any government can print money- what matters is wealth. Workers in our country create hundreds of billions of euros worth of wealth every year.
Under a planned economy, free of the debt and taking over the wealth and the industries currently owned by the rich, we could create a real recovery.
Of course it would not be possible for one country, especially small, unindustrialized Ireland, to “go it alone” on this basis for very long. But all over the world workers face the same crisis and if we succeed in one country, it will be an inspiration to all.
12.This is a lot of utopian rubbish! Me and the people who elected me live in the real world not in cloud cuckoo land.
While you’re running around looking for entrepreneurial spirits and confidence fairies, thinking with the same attitudes that caused this crisis, the rest of us are being hammered by cuts and taxes and charges and layoffs, by attacks on our schools and hospitals.
That’s what the real world looks like. What you’re doing is ruining the economy, not saving it.
You think we can fix the economy without investing the massive wealth that’s currently controlled by the privileged few who you play golf with.
You think obeying people who threaten you is a way to remove the threat, not reinforce it.
You think “we’re all in it together”, even though some of us are living on the street while others own dozens of houses.
Even though the richest in Ireland have gotten fabulously richer over the last few years, while the bottom 90% have suffered, and the bottom 10% have been absolutely smashed.
You’re the utopian. In fact, you’re f***ing crazy.