We apply our Catholic guilt to economics
Bloodsucking banks and hermetic politicians have left us and our towns in a pitiful state of decay, writes Brendan O'Connor
The raft of figures that we were exposed to last week left us punch drunk. At this stage we are used to reading horrific figures every week, if not every day. This many billions and that many billions trip off our tongue like we were born to it. But the last few days have really hammered home the consequences of what we have done to this country.
It has been a form of self-harm, and we did it to ourselves mainly, as the ad says, because we deserved it. We have applied our Catholic guilt and martyrdom complex to economics and it has become an article of faith that prosperity was wicked and we must be punished for it and that this punishment and pain will bring with it rewards. So we are fasting. We are doing Lough Derg. And of course we are self-harming to try and please our German overlords.
But while those who warned about the consequences of self-harm, of flattening the country, have largely been dismissed by the Government, there is now no avoiding it, no denying it. We have nearly the highest level of unemployment in the developed world. While unemployment stabilised in most other economies late last year it continues to grow in this country.