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Plan B needs a more imaginative approach

DAVID McWilliams's recent article is refreshing, but it does not go far enough. He continues to ignore the prime mover of the disaster that engulfs this and many other countries. Economic philosophy that grapples with the difficulties is unable to cope with a totally transformed world of technological marvels.

Three great pillars of economic certainty are changed forever. The old constant of demand always exceeding supply has been reversed causing market collapse and the reduction of profit margins to unsustainable levels. Work and the requirement for human labour has greatly diminished. Growth, which has always been the catchall for displaced jobs as technology improved is no longer an option in most "mature economies".

This is not bad news. It reveals a world where sufficient luxuries as well as necessities can be produced with much less work. The downside is when we try to administer this transformation with a philosophy of ever-increasing production, job creation based on human labour being always necessary and growth never-ending. Not any more. Technology has changed the face of economics. By refusing to accept it we are turning the best time in social or economic history into a nightmare of desperation and despair.

The cause of our trauma is the inability to cope with technological success. Mr McWilliams appears not to understand this. We desperately need a plan 'B' but it must be more imaginative, more far-reaching and much more fundamental than Mr McWilliams proposes.

Padraic Neary
Tubbercurry, Co Sligo

Irish Independent