The Big Tech Show: Why are we freaking out about Amazon jobs?
How has it come to a situation where a big tech company announcing 1,000 new jobs is freaking people out?
This week’s Amazon jobs announcement has led to a backlash from people who feel it will put extra pressure on rents and infrastructure in the capital.
“Where will they live?”
“Oh great, even higher rents...”
“Why are these jobs all in Dublin?”
“How many will come from abroad?”
20, 10 or even five years ago, big job announcements were seen as a huge boost to the country.
Today, they’re seen as a threat.
Adrian Weckler and Irish Independent environment editor Paul Melia discuss the origins of the problem and potential solutions.
The resentment appears to come from those trying to buy a home or rent an apartment. The already sparse stock of available accommodation gets thinner and thinner. A two-bedroom terraced ex-council home that sold for €280,000 three years ago now costs €400,000. A 450 square foot one-bed apartment that cost €900 now costs €1,200.
Engineers can afford to pay this. Retail or service industry workers can’t.
At the heart of the problem is the feeling that we haven’t gotten our act together on housing and infrastructure.
So more and more of us are being squeezed out of parts of the city where rents and house prices are rocketing.
But instead of blaming ourselves (planners, politicians, councillors, lawyers and countless Nimby-addled community associations) for the Wild West property market, we’re turning on companies offering new jobs.
If only multinational firms would stop coming in with these jobs, things might be easier for ‘ordinary people’.
Get lost, Google. Feck off, Facebook. Adios, Amazon.
But are we that bad at steering our own country?