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Show me the money

category national | worker & community struggles and protests | feature author Monday April 25, 2011 19:24author by ordinary citizen Report this post to the editors

where is the money from the boom gone?

featured image

its time to stop attacking those who are keeping the economy going = the workers and start retracing the whereabouts of the excessive wealth made by a select few during the boom years

Show me the money!

Where has all the money gone? The billions the banks lost went somewhere and would it not be a better course of action to retrace its movements and get most of it back and stop attacking those people who are the life blood of the economy. It seems that the established wisdom in most of the media and right wing parties is that the people who profited during the boom are the victors and let them enjoy their bounty. They may be sitting on a foreign beach living off the interest of their money not contributing to the Irish economy while we are making the workers and once workers on social welfare pay for this money that was foolishly wasted by greedy bankers, replace the b with a w if it helps relieve some of the pressure.

For pressure is what is being felt mostly by the young of Ireland and other nations. We are indoctrinated into institutions of education whose foundations are still mostly based on Victorian models and whose competitiveness weeds out rebellious souls and drains the successful to a level of obedience (ref young doctors). All the while the motivation is that if you play by the rules a level of stability can be attained and you will live happily ever after.

The free market model that has been gradually thrown on us has rocked all foundations of stable incomes which was its real agenda from the start. An economic model that would break the unions was devised and words like ‘competition’ and ‘free market’ were used to hide the agenda of a gradual erosion of once well paid jobs with lower paid worker brought into once closed markets making more money for the middle men and with often poorer quality service for higher prices (ref Eircom, extortionate water charges in the UK)

All the while people like Ray Darcy, who does really seem to care for this nation, are fooled by distractions by people like Michael O Leary about topics like the pubic service. Yes there are things wrong with the public service and Fintan O Tooles idea of a cap of €100,000 a year would appear to solve many of them. The public service and semi state companies are the last place were you can find a secure income. Even then the wages can be terrible at the bottom, one guy messaged Ray that he is 3 years in the public service and is on €404 a week and has lost €50 a week because of the measure that have been introduced and O Leary is worth what €500million? Instability, a population on short term contracts and no pension funds lines the pockets of the bosses while leaving the majority of workers in a constant state of limbo. The old battle for workers rights has begun again and this time it is global with each nationality having its own wars, some nationalities are better than others.

The Scandinavian countries are a model that can shine a light on our predicament. In Norway and Sweden your taxes are available for all to see, this means that you can ask for a rise if you see your boss is earning more and accept a pay cut if you see that they making less; Transparency. The deeper issues that are missed by this debate on the public service are whether the state should actually assist in strengthening the economy as happened with Roosevelt in the 30s in the US and at what point is one persons excessive wealth detrimental to others in society?

“Whoever has the most when they die wins” Will the Bill Cullens and mick O Learys of this world just work until they drop dead continually searching for the next horizon and so busy working that they don’t notice time passing and that they may not be achieving all that their souls’ desire. What if we the people through our politicians encourage them to slow down by closing all tax loop holes and paying 60% as was the case in the booming US in the 60s and maybe taxing even more one you reach lets say the €100 million mark, the money that Bono and the other tax avoiders over the years could be made pay for their greed.

Globally the top 1% increased their wealth from 36% to 38% from 2007 to 2009. The system has been set up to defend them. It sucked the life out of the countries newly freed from Colonial Powers in the Third World and now has its eyes firmly on the workers of the First World. All this to put more digits on the bank balances of those in the Premier World. There are no boundaries in the Premier World, freedom of movement of money is the only true freedom in the free market.

Much of the billions made during the boom have left the country and are relatively safe sitting in German banks. Both by our government paying for Anglo and by the instability in the market that this created, thus making the rich of this land remove their funds from our banks, allowing already huge foreign banks get larger. This would make a wealth tax hard to impose for if it appeared that the far left parties might get in large amounts of the capital that is left would flee the country. This would require draconian measures to get it back but I would not mind a mass sale of properties in Dalkey of homes of people who have removed their money.

A wealth tax would stimulate people to use their money and get the economy going far better than hitting those who are already barely standing. The debate has been twisted by people like IBEC who are a smaller version of the bigger problem of a complete system designed to protect those who need protection the least. A whole level of well paid professionals are employed at all levels to pump out how the top 4% supposedly pay 50% of the tax but is this not because many of them are overpaid and earn many times the average industrial wage and cuts to their income might mean 4 holidays this year instead of 5.

I am optimistic that the well educated people of Ireland who are being battered will increasingly come to the conclusion that the solution to our problems lies in tackling those who can afford it most. The system will have created the backlash that may leave us all comfortably working 3 day weeks. This could be attained if the cost of putting a roof over our heads decreased to a sufficient level. This will not happen if the rich, the people who made all the money in the boom, are not stopped from buying everything at fire sale prices when the market levels, which will be a while yet.

My priority is the environment and all this talk of economic recovery is really detrimental to the environment using our present energy and resource models. As the cracks in the system become ever larger and those disenfranchised become more vocal so hopefully will the technology that is required for a truly sustainable future hopefully catch up and be ready in time. The Republicans appear to be trying to slow any recovery in the US to try and win back the Presidency. Again this is good for the environment and I hope it backfires, while Obama’s investments in eco tech solutions become more and more viable.

A positive aspect of the virtual money, that has been created since the dropping of the Gold Mean Standard in ‘72 and the model of allowing banks give out loans of ten times what they had in their deposits, which came crashing down in 2008, has been the money it made available for advancements in communication. As the tide rolls back and we have to live more simpler lives the amazing systems of communication will still be there and instead of travelling to learn we now have almost all necessary skills available at our fingertips.
Maybe from this chaos we can find order and truly use all the amazing technological innovations for the betterment of humanity rather than for the benefit of the few as is mostly the case at the moment. The self service tills at supermarkets are an example. I would avoid using the self service section to encourage the companies to keep the check out staff. For it is just another way to save money and employ less and is really only going to make the shareholders more. Then I consider the concept that this is monotonous work and I would not like doing it myself, much as I would not like to work for Ryanair and that these initiatives could actually be good in the long run when there is a balancing of wealth and working three days in these horrible places or any job for that matter will be enough to live comfortably, while allowing full employment for there is enough work for us all to work a 3 or 4 day week but the mechanisation of the work force and ever depleting resources means that full employment with most people working 5 day weeks is not viable. Vive la gradual evolution!

author by Jamie - Concerned Citizenpublication date Sat Apr 30, 2011 16:24author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Yes we need to heed the point that the min. wage applies to the masses but somewhere I read that it is the 1% that are responsible for 25% taxes paid on average to government coffers.

The tribunals in their day have resulted in funds in excess of a 1 billion being collected from people willing to shaft their fellow taxpayers and more importantly citizens and no doubt more funds will come from similar sources in the years to come.

However what can we do to shake up our citizens to formulating a vision that will create policies that will favour a more equitable society. We have the Bail-out be it that we are unsure yet as to whether it costs the Irish taxpayer 85 billion / 100 billion or even double that. As yet it may be that we the Irish will have to default and if this is the only way forward then we will be writing off debt and becoming a bad debt to the balance sheets of those senior debtors who took the risk in the first place and provided loans to our Treasury.

This is not the first time we have hit serious economic and political crisis since the foundation of the State and more importantly it will not be the last. The circle dictates the psychology and psychology tells us about the peaks and the troughs within the human being and human beings comprise our society.

Cash is King at present. However, the hoarding of cash due to fear is causing the economy to stagnate. This week the news informed us of the 'plight' of a man admitted to Accident and Emergency and when examined - his body was wrapped with wads of euro cash totalling over 60,000 euros...this is fear in the raw sense that creates a paranoia and fear to trust. There are people out there afraid to deposit money in banks. Why because for nearly three years now the news is bad and the time is coming when the 2008 granted guarantee may be cancelled and the banks are free to party again and who knows we could face another financial crisis. We need the banks to start marketing again. We need them to retrieve the capital flows that left the country over the past 3 years.

What do you do with the Cash? You can stuff it in the mattress, you can buy Gold or Silver, you can take a chance and buy some shares or for that matter you can go a stage further and buy equities. All of this is about some people just keep hard cash in a hidden place. The problem with this is that we deflate the economy, we add to the crises in small to medium businesses because nobody buys anything, we facilitiate unemployment to those who are mainly represented by the unions which in turn creates unrests via strikes in our public services.

We need a little insight: we need to encourage people to start re-investing in our own banks not (foreign banks), we need to get people spending cash in the economy in small ways i.e. like having coffee with a friends in a local cafe, having a pint with a friend in your local pub, buying Irish products where at all possible. Brown coinage - why not collect it and then make the point of re-circulating same in the cash pool - you can pass it on to charities in your local supermarket, or change it in the bank. Take taxis rather than park in expensive carparks in town. Then there is the old Punt. It is said that there is a couple of hundred million still to be presented to Central Bank!! Who has it?

Income tax is one source of revenue but another is where the wealth generates tax and we need to balance in our minds eye who generates most and work from there before we engage in militancy.

Jamie.

author by Clyde - Source Transparency International/Irelandpublication date Tue May 03, 2011 15:07author address author phone Report this post to the editors

What has happened especially to the readers of our newspapers on the Island of Ireland?

We hear that O'Reilly the Independent newspaper earns in excess of 1 million euros p.a., and yes the newspapers today are spun on the US coup d'etat and Osama Bin Laden but what about May 3rd being set aside as the day for World Press Freedom and the safeguarding of free speech and democracy. May 3rd surely is worth mentioning in the light of this extreme paradox of events on this day especially.

Show me the money or follow the money are about the root causes and impact of corruption. Transparency International press release today makes excellent reading. It challenges its readers to review what corruption means and emphasises how it 'ruins lives' and urges people to 'Fight Back'. Here is the challenge for the sinking abyss of the Irish economy. We are aware that the Europeans and the IMF have valued us at rock bottom economically but we must have some investigative journalists out there who can find answers to where the capital flows took flight to back in 2007 (the CAB, fraud squad, the DPP etc. appear to need some assistance). We know that recently as in the last few months 16.5 billion euros approx. left the Bank of Ireland as more people became less certain of being sufficiently nationalistic to keep their monies in our economy. We know that at the time of the Guarantee 2008, Anglo Irish had funds in excess of 100 billion euros. Where did these Euros go to? Logically we know that those who had shares in Anglo saw their holdings devalued to nothing but what about those who had funds in excess of the 100,000 euros guarantee cover - their euros are not devalued, diminished - but they may be overseas in safe havens.

The Financial Times today (front page) is reporting that Billions of Sterling pounds held in Swiss Bank accounts are now to be subject to UK tax at 50%. So what about Ireland? Have we made similar changes to the powers of the Revenue in Ireland that we can access who holds accounts in Switzerland and then charge them tax and note at a higher rate? Maybe our neighbour would negotiate on our part for a similar concession from the Swiss bankers?

Article 19 : Universal Declaration of Human Rights states that "Everyone has the right to freedom of opinion and expression; this right includes freedom to hold opinions without interference and to seek receive and impart information through any media and regardless of frontiers'

Media is essential to maintain a system of Governance.

For Indymedia contributors this may be of significant interest: It talks about Citizen Journalism and Social Media. This is about an interaction between the media and civil society groups with the objective of being a watchdog and working for the Public Good. The theme of this day is about 21st century media. Interestingly, it states:

'The shift towards citizen reporting also brings with it new opportunities. But with the now public crowded space given to citizen reporters and social media users, traditional journalists also play an ESSENTIAL ROLE INVESTIGATING WRONGDOING, MAINTAINING CREDIBILITY AND PROVIDING REPORTS THAT SERVE THE PUBLIC GOOD'

Keep up the good work Indymedia as a source of grassroots citizen journalism but as for the newspapers Ireland could do with more of the philosophy of investigative journalism with particular emphasis relating to the Public Good.

author by Herbert - Citizen Journalism promotionpublication date Thu May 05, 2011 16:35author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Ordinary Citizen - a piece well written. What we need is more open disclosure similar to the Nordic countries and if that means paying higher taxes that is the route to follow.

Equality in society is an essential source of motivation and research now shows that the greater the bipolarity in society, the greater the inequality. We have two tiers presently in Ireland with the middle class being lambasted as the drive globally is those that have versus those who have not. The belief system seems to be to keep the worker bees so busy doing the mundane chores that they have no time to think about using their income/no wealth to create their tax incentive benefit income and derive (income)/wealth from wealth). Sadly we see the excesses of this with Sean Quinn when a man through years of occupation and wealth gathering can make a mis-TAKE which in effect is nothing other than a gamble and lose all. Yes, we can all watch Bloomberg (if we pay for it) but the contracts for difference need caution and some of our 1st generation entrepreneurs got a little too greedy and were caught. Yes it was CFD's on Anglo Irish shares predicted as an upward option that ignited the fire. Let us wait and see the outcome now. What will be the next gamble for the Quinn Empire i.e. if they retained their personal wealth as distinct from their companies and assets. Will they use the legal route to regain acclaim, power and position, if not but in their own minds only.

The momentum is slow to deal with the so called Golden Circle and Anglo Irish Bank. My humble belief is that 'insider trading' must apply to what underlies this major collapse of a Bank that set the competitive advantage for our homegrown AIB and Bank of Ireland.
It comes down to the old equation about abuse of power and anyone is susceptible to that. What is essential though is that the Law of the Land, the media, the journalists are hungry to establish the sense of what is Justice and how it is applied.

Clyde - you lay it right at the feet of the media and journalists in particular and the power of Article 19 and Freedom of expression. Our broad sheets are not making money and yet Indymedia hasn't the profile that is indicative of its archives and open newswire. Journalists in the broad sheets by now should be crediting those of us in citizen journalism and moving forward with their new forensic invetigative capabilities. As Clyde states - 'The shift towards citizen reporting also brings with it new opportunities. But with the now public crowded space given to citizen reporters and social media users, traditional journalists also play an ESSENTIAL ROLE INVESTIGATING WRONGDOING, MAINTAINING CREDIBILITY AND PROVIDING REPORTS THAT SERVE THE PUBLIC GOOD'

Show me the money. The money is somewhere - it just doesn't disappear. It didn't in Nazi Germany because lots of it made its way into Swiss bank accounts and some of the other 20 tax havens around the world. The search is still on for this.

Daily the ordinary punter on the street needs to look around, think a little outside the box, listen to what another person might be saying. People who have small businesses are really suffering. They are putting in long hours and cutting back on prices of the stock they are selling, they are cutting down on staff or cutting back on wages and bonuses are no more. People are waiting for the Minister for Justice to bring in legislation to retract on the Upward Only reviews on leases. This is what is killing small businesses.
Xtravision is one of the latest companies to fall into financial problems. They are seeking examinership which will give them 100 days to re-structure. This means the shops are open for 100 days. If you ask them what is the major problem you will find out that if they have 180 shops, as many as 150 landlords have refused to make any concessions on rent. Rent - they may have the excuse that it is legislation that excuses them from reducing the rent but where is their morality. If they fail to be human in their approach to being a landlord with a conscience then surely they ought to suffer from a taxation system that impedes on their ability to generate wealth.

Journalists need to investigate more and also take chances to report on wrongdoing.

Herbert

 
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