The solution to this crisis is in our hands Eamonn Blaney, son of former Fianna Fail minister Neil Blaney, has been out of work for two years. He believes the State should not support the banks, and the unemployed need to take control of their own destinies
HAVE you noticed the endless stream of economic experts telling us about things we don’t understand, in a language we have never heard? For example, you may have heard the term ‘quantitative easing’ mentioned, which actually means ‘printing more paper money’. What it does not tell you is that this is effectively money borrowed today from our taxes tomorrow. There are 100’s of similar examples.
These so-called economic experts are the very people who could not forecast the largest economic collapse in the history of the State. These are the same people who told you that house prices would continue to rise. These are the people who talk about “green shoots of recovery”. These are the people who have consistently lied to you — whether maliciously or through incompetence, you can decide yourself.
The harsh reality is that banks are effectively broke and the Government has decided that every citizen in the State will contribute towards the financial well-being of these companies. Remember, these are public limited companies. This means that any member of the public may buy or sell shares in them, and that the liabilities of that company are limited to the value of the assets that it holds. In the case of the Irish banks, they are effectively broke. This means that they have gambled and lost their shareholders’ money. If normal businesses, such as ones you and I would set up, were in a similar state we would be wound up and our creditors and the Revenue would hunt us down to get what they were owed.
But the Government, in the interests of “financial stability”, has decided along with our European neighbours that it would be inconceivable to allow a bank to close its doors, even if this were due to reckless trading or insolvency. Interesting, isn’t it, how there is one law for individuals and small companies and another for those who control the supply of money?
We have constantly been told how absolutely disastrous it would be if the banks were let go to the wall. I have heard this repeated with sickening regularity by the so-called experts, but not one of them has once explained to me exactly what they mean. It is all hype and conjecture.
How disastrous would it be? How much more impact could it possibly have on your life and the present crisis? Free market economics, how are you?
The reality is that the only people who would be adversely affected by the banks being subject to the rules of the free market economy under which we are supposed to operate are the wealthy and the very wealthy. Obviously this would be “absolutely disastrous”.
On a personal level, I would be delighted to see the keys of both AIB and Bank of Ireland handed to a foreign bank which could continue operating the banks as it does itself — ie, in a profitable, professional and prudent manner.
While the Government controls the sound bites regarding the economy and talks in a language which is practically incomprehensible, ministers constantly reiterate that they are the only qualified custodians of the country and know what is best. Who, I ask, is this country being run for, and what is the duty of care to the individual and society as a whole? Personally, I think
the Government is running to Europe to get a gold star in its ‘financial stability, copybook even though it has failed every exam. Ministers want Europe to be seen to make the hard decisions, not them; they want us to believe that we as citizens can do nothing. But what we completely fail to realise is that, collectively, we can change anything and everything if we so choose.
The fact is that a huge number of people, possibly a majority of the population, are living in economic slavery. By this I mean that they do not have choices regarding where they live or where they work or what they earn. We have 453,000 people effectively unemployed who must realise that we cannot depend on the State to take us out of the economic circumstances in which we find ourselves as individuals. The continued waste of this human resource is unforgivable. It is only by coming together as individuals, communities and country that we can make significant progress towards real change.
What you need to do is take action. The secret to effectiveness in changing/influencing the present Government and your financial situation is simple. We just need a large number of people, carrying out small tasks, on a regular basis.
Before you think, “I have no interest in politics — and besides, I don’t have the time,” I would like you to consider this. Have you, for example, watched a soccer match recently? Have you watched three episodes of Coronation Street or EastEnders? Have you sat on the high stool for more than an hour- and-a-half in the last week?
Can you spare 10 minutes a week? I’m sure you can, if you decide that it is in your own personal interest and that of your country. So find out who your local TDs are and castigate them by email and phone on any and all matters that you are unhappy about. Write to the papers and call radio stations. If there is a march organised, get off your ass and attend. Educate yourself by reading articles online. A ‘Ladybird’ book of economics would tell you more than enough, and probably more than the people who lecture down to you.
This crisis is our personal responsibility. The cause may not have been of your doing, but the solution certainly is.
To change your own personal economic and financial situation, you are going to need to be as mentally and physically fit as you can. Think very carefully about what and how much you’re consuming. When you feel good about yourself you will be an awful lot more effective in finding work or solutions to your problems. You will also have a competitive advantage over a person who is not healthy. Keeping healthy will give you a massive return for a tiny investment.
Since graduating with a Masters in Business Administration from Trinity College, Dublin, in 2008, I have been out of paid employment and living on social welfare. Not by choice, but necessity. I gave up looking for a suitable position in Ireland a year ago and have since started two businesses that, unfortunately, simply didn’t pay the bills.
The internet-based business which I am setting up now is beginning to show real promise. None of the Government agencies is in a position to help because of the ‘matching funds’ rule, and I hardly need more education on a Fas course. Therefore, my only choice has been to get up and get at it, my own way.