Marc Coleman: The ESRI's impartiality must now be questioned
The withdrawal of Richard Tol's paper is a serious matter and damages the ERSI's credibility, writes Marc Coleman
'Doctor, cure thyself." Doctors love healing others. But when it comes to healing themselves, it can be a different affair. This week the spotlight was on doctors of the dismal science, economics.
Dominating RTE panels and Tonight with Vincent Browne, economists from the likes of the Congress Economic Research Unit, TASC, and Public Policy are treated like gods. These left-leaning think tanks (or "group-think" tanks?) are funded by trade unions and by the left-leaning Atlantic Philanthropies. Whether such vested interests and billionaire foundations should be advocating higher taxes on taxpayers is questionable. But at least these groups aren't funded from our taxes.
The Economic and Social Research Institute is. And serious questions arose last week about its impartiality. With a Mary Poppins good-to-the-bone quality about them, ESRI folk are a decent sort. But their silence on the Croke Park deal and the huge academic salaries protected by it is deafening. And its cheerleading for a property tax on the basis that "we are the only country not to have a property tax" is laughable. We are also the only country with high academic salaries and a vehicle registration tax. Where is the ESRI line on that? And why do papers advocating left-wing policies -- more taxes and politically correct analysis of "family structures" -- abound on its website?