Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Axe about to Fall

It feels almost as though we are all waiting for an axe fall on us. Everyone you speak to is feeling the pinch. Even though, some are no less well off than they were and even though they tell us the price of things are coming down. (Personally I don't see it. Especially as I've just paid a WHOPPING gas bill!)

As a non-economist I have to confess that I am totally confused. There are so many contradicting opinions out there as to whether we should flog the rich, fleece the poor, make the workers pay or decimate public services. All bad things.

Everybody seems wedded to their own particular ideology - depending almost entirely on their own point of view - and perhaps what they think might hurt them the least although that is certainly not how they sell it.

All of the above have pain for all of us in one way or another. Every pebble thrown ripples out to affect the whole pond.

I am a great believer in making your own path rather than following one. And I suspect that the answer lies not in any particular ideology, but rather - in all of them. I hope the Government is in listening mode, not something they are renowned for, because there are some good ideas out there.

We cannot hope to get out of this by taxing people excessively. That will only ensure they hold on ever tighter to their money - meaning there will be less spending and so less taxes and so less to pay for services etc. etc. etc.

There is an old fable about the wind and the frost and the sun each trying to prove they were the strongest. They decided that whoever could get the coat from a man would be the winner. So the wind blew as hard as he could. But the harder he blew, the tighter the man held his coat. Same for the frost. The colder he made it, the more the man pulled his coat around him. But the sun just shined and the more he shined, the looser the man held his coat until eventually, forgetting about the cold an the frost he dropped it altogether.

Sometimes it's not the harsh, painful route that gets you what you want. Sometimes it's the less obvious path. Give a man a job and he pays taxes. Take his wage (by whatever means, be that too much in taxes, levies, charges, prices) and he becomes a burden.

I personally think what we need, is to stimulate employment as the number one issue. It's the only route whereby we can all help in getting ourselves out of this mess. That's why I think it's so important for the Government to do everything they can to protect whatever jobs we have (which they're not doing) and to support in a very visible 'on the ground and non 'high-faluting' way, the creation of new jobs. Irish jobs. Indigenous jobs which won't be migrating to Lithuania or Indonesia at the drop of a cent in profits ar the smell of a cent saved on workers.

The rules have changed and we should change with them. We should have held the Waterford Crsytal brand. That had the potential to deliver for Ireland plc. (See earlier blogs on this issue.)

We should celebrate entrepeneurship - and not be looking for Saints. People are human and I often wonder just how perfect the journalists writing some stories are and how, if we turned a bright light into their lives, they might look in that cold light? Not any better than those they are 'exposing' is my guess. Not any holier or less greedy. I detest witch-hunts of the type that greeted the newly appointed and now resigned Chairman of the Dublin Port Company who did absolutley nothing illegal. Although he was greedy, he never purported to be a Saint as far as I know. And there are no greedy journalists?

It's high time we stopped tearing down people and things as a kind of national sport with our holier than thou attitude. We are not better than anybody else; but nobody is better than us either. We need intelligent minds who can - and have proven that they can - unstick us from this economic molasses. At this rate, Jesus Christ himself wouldn't touch an invitation to serve in the cause of the Irish economy because God only knows what they'd end up printing about Him!

We need to cop on because we have bigger fish to fry and we're all on the same side, aren't we? We all want us to succeed......don't we? If half of us are pushing the wheel up the hill and the other half are pushing it down, then we're never going anywhere. And those perfect journalists with no skeletons in their own cobwebbed cupboards are going there with us.

Picture shows my 1 (almost 2) year old, Carein, as her pretty self, to counteract the weird printing in the News & Star this week which made her look like something out of the Muntsers!!! LOL

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