Economy

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Organise workplaces where we are strong rather than where we are weak

In the aftermath of the summit protests many on the libertarian left followed a set of tactics which concentrated on marginal workers in insecure employment. From the strategic point of view, it would seem to make more sense to imagine a wave of organization that starts with workers who are concentrated into larger workplaces and whose strikes have some real social power.

ACTA and Intellectual Property

ACT won't go after your iPodsThe ACTA (Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement) is a trade agreement being negotiated by the Obama administration through the United States Office of the Trade Representative. The trade agreement is particularly interesting on a number of points.

The neo-liberal medicine is still not working…

With the current crisis, many on the right are proclaiming their usual mantras on the need to attack working class pay and conditions to solve the economic problems. The idea is that by cutting wages and breaking unions the crisis will be ended and the conditions made favourable for economic growth to return. With increasing growth, so wealth will trickle down and everyone will benefit.

The "science" of class warfare

Since the 1970s, capitalist economic policy has been rooted in “fighting inflation,” an euphemism for “crushing the workers.” This policy is rooted in the notion of the “Non-Accelerating Inflation Rate of Unemployment” (or NAIRU) and, like most of the silly and/or nasty ideas in modern economics, has its roots in the works of the late and unlamented Milton Friedman.

Ireland’s offshore oil & gas worth at least €420,000,000,000

Royal Dutch Shell, Statoil, Exxon Mobil and other global corporations will be taking billions of euro out of the country in the next couple of decades. In other countries they would have to give the majority of this money to the State, but not in Ireland. In 1987, then Minister Ray Burke, later jailed for corruption, abolished the State’s 50% share and all royalties.

Three wards in Crumlin children’s hospital were closed recently because of a €9.6 million deficit. The value of our offshore fields is 43,750 times the cost of keeping those wards open. It is 300 times the money that will be raised from the public sector ‘pensions levy’.

The Economics of Anarchy

To quote someone who sums up the intellectual times in which we live, Sarah Palin: “now is not the time to experiment with socialism” This, during the worse crisis since the 1930s! Anarchists would say that is precisely the time – but only as long as we are talking about libertarian socialism!

When the middle is the top

In the highly unequal society produced by 30 years of Thatcherism, earning over £50,000 does not make you “middle-class” or a “middle-income” family. It puts you squarely in the top 5% of the population in terms of income. Yes, really, according to the Daily Mail the bottom-end of the top 5% is the middle!

The origins and early years of the Celtic Tiger

Article from 1998 looking at where the Celtic Tiger came from.  This bit is obviously relevent today "Lower taxes would be great if they were funded by higher taxes on the rich but in the last budget the rich gained the most from tax cuts. This means that in a future slump money will not be available to maintain or improve social welfare, or public health/education without again raising PAYE taxes".

The housing crisis: Finding a scapegoat

The real cause of the housing crisis is neither the tens of thousands of returning Irish born migrants nor the 15,000 or so asylum seekers. The reason housing is in short supply and expensive is because of the hoarding of land and super profits of a handful of speculators.

The housing crisis in Dublin

After six years of massive house price increases it is now (2000) almost impossible for the average worker to buy a house in Ireland. Average house prices in Ireland rose from 11.3 times the average income in 1989 to 18.2 times income in 1999. The increases in rent and house prices have, for many workers, completely wiped out any gain made from tax cuts in our take home pay. And for the poorest and most vulnerable sections of the working class the housing crisis is becoming a disaster as the rapidly growing number of young people sleeping on the streets demonstrates

  


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