Letters: Technology has completely transformed the global economy
Published 11/08/2014 | 02:30
I refer to your editorial (Irish Independent, August 9) 'Planning for the end of the 'Emergency".
I quote the essence of the message conveyed. "Eventually, the 'Emergency' will have to be declared to be over. The bailout has ended, the Troika have departed, economic growth is rising, unemployment is dropping - albeit never at a fast enough rate.
"The country won't go back to the largesse of the Celtic Tiger era, but a sustainable economic model is the goal. Therefore, 'Emergency' measures come up for discussion."
How can such a statement be made without taking account of the transformation of the whole economic model by extraordinary technological advance? It is what caused the economic upheaval, but it has never been addressed - it has never even been discussed.
The "bailout" has not ended; we just changed the name to "bond sales", a much more innocuous term for borrowing.
How can economic growth be sustained? Economic growth is producing more - and one of the great problems of the 21st century is that the world already produces way too much.
It is what causes business failure all over the world. Restraint is needed, not growth.
How can unemployment drop? Automation is rampant: work is being eliminated on an unprecedented scale yet we talk of job creation as if work was as vital to production of goods and services as ever. Work is dead; we should rejoice and generate employment from the little that remains.
The present 'Emergency' is the failure to recognise the huge transformation at the core of economics - from shortage to abundance and from work to leisure. There will be no end to or escape from the "Emergency" until we realistically discuss these things and adapt to them.
◊ If you were to check the DNA of all involved in the Israeli and Palestinian conflict, you will find that they are all cousins, related to Abraham and his sons, Isaac and Ishmael, and his grandsons, Esau and Jacob.
This whole Middle East conflict was caused by family rivalries about land. Sound familiar?
◊ I wish to congratulate your writer Gerard O'Regan for his very balanced article (Irish Independent, August 9) on the Palestinian question and the current carnage of the Israel-Gaza conflict.
He is right that a state of denial exists at the very heart of Israeli life.
Furthermore, many of us in the Western world are in denial too over the fact that had the British not left the Middle East in a mess in the late '40s, and had the Palestinians' case been resolved once and for all with the help of the ever-reluctant USA, we would possibly not have had the likes of Osama bin Laden, 9/11, Hamas and all the rest which proliferate from the persistent marginalisation of people entitled to their own state.
With due respect for the historical plight of the Jews as victims of the Nazi Holocaust, it seems that Israelis have now gone beyond their right to the so-called promised land, with over four million Palestinians living under their thumb.
Concetto La Malfa
◊ The world doesn't seem to give a damn about the pain of the unfortunate people of Gaza.
The Israeli Prime Minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, should be charged with war crimes and crimes against humanity.
What makes it all the more shocking is that the behaviour of Mr Netanyahu's bellicose, right-wing government has not been condemned by US President Barack Obama and by Britain.
There is no condemnation from the US, or from Europe. Ban Ki-moon is less than useless. The UN is merely a talking shop devoid of morality.
I have no difficulty in understanding Hamas. They are fighting for rights for their people. Gaza is an open-air prison. The people are trapped there. They cannot leave. They have no hope, no dignity, no future for their children.
This carnage and slaughter perpetrated by Israel has taught me so much. It brings home to me just how indifferent the world is to the suffering of the poor people of Gaza.
How many little children have been killed in Gaza? Will the horrible carnage ever end? Will the blockade ever end? Will the unfortunate people of Gaza ever be able to live a life of dignity and self-respect?
Bruton owes debt to 1916 leaders
◊ May I remind John Bruton that the position he held as Taoiseach was due wholly to the sacrifice of the men and women of the 1916 Rising.
Don't reverse pay cuts
◊ It is alarming to hear ministers liberally using words such as "reversing", "restoring" or "recovering" in relation to pay cuts.
One of the lessons we learnt from the troika was that we were largely overpaying ourselves.
Having absorbed that lesson, we should move on. Salaries should be considered mainly in terms of productivity and what is affordable, rather than structural adjustments which took place in the past.
John F Jordan.
Being true to yourself
◊ I found the 'Words of advice' letter from Brian McDevitt (Irish Independent, August 6) quite insightful.
Living a life true to oneself is something we all struggle with to a greater or lesser extent, as we balance personal and professional commitments and relationships in our lives.
Bronnie Ware, an Australian nurse who spent several years working in palliative care, recorded the regrets people had in their dying days. The number one regret was,"I wish I'd had the courage to live a life true to myself, not the life others expected of me."
For people struggling with being true to themselves, I say, be the person you are meant to be and the only person you can be.
What a precious gift you will bring to the many people you encounter on this wonderful journey called life.
Legalising surrogacy a mistake
◊ I am shocked to learn that Ireland is about to legalise surrogacy. France, Germany, Italy, Spain and Portugal have banned all forms of surrogacy, so why is Ireland entering this legal minefield?
Our airwaves have been saturated in recent years with stories of adopted children searching for their roots - will the children of surrogates be given the information that they have been created perhaps by donor sperm or donor eggs and developed in the body of a stranger?
These children will have problems identifying who they really are.
I have watched couples on television trying to normalise surrogacy and I noted their sense of entitlement, which is a big feature of our present society.
I sincerely hope that there are enough TDs with a backbone to object strenuously and demand an outright ban on surrogacy.