Can Cowen save us from Bertienomics?
- It seems to me that we are not having a great debate about where the economy is going.
It still seems to be two camps: the "statistically, according to so and so, we're doing quite well" side, and those who worry that we are circling the drain.
Personally, I hope we are somewhere between the two. After all, the kind of market we had was hardly good for us ordinary consumers.
I think the main underlying issue is mismanagement. Bad mismanagement
We were sold a pup, and it had a lot to do with Bertie Ahern.
I seem to recall not so long ago the unfortunate slip regarding naysayers who according to Bertie "should go and commit suicide".
I am quite sure it was not meant as a slight on people's misfortune, but it did clearly show how he was thinking.
Contrast our situation with Albania in 1999. The economy collapsed. It collapsed because the government encouraged people to sink their life savings in a 'pyramid' savings scheme, which collapsed leaving ordinary people desperately poor (while the government did alright).
What is the difference between this and Bertie effectively saying "there's no time like now" to buy property before a crash, whilst slagging off economic analysts who urged caution?
Property has been our pyramid scheme, promoted enthusiastically by the Government.
I hope Brian Cowen does well, and that his praise of Bertie is empty. If he's a true believer in Bertienomics, we are in deep trouble.
The patriotic inaugural speech from Mr Cowen had a whiff of misty-eyed nationalism about it, but I'll give him the benefit of the doubt.
So, Mr Cowen, try to put a better deal in front of the next couple of teenagers that end up selling ideas outside the country for €3m and who end up going cap-in-hand or moving to the US to do business because we can't keep them or back their ideas here.
They are the "real" employers of tomorrow.
Screwing the PAYE sector at the slightest whiff of a downturn is not the answer; having faith in your people and their abilities is.
HERBERT ROAD, BRAY, CO WICKLOW