MY wife and I have just returned from a three week stay in New York which we thoroughly enjoyed.
While there, we wined, dined, travelled, partied and everywhere we went, people were courteous, prices were reasonable and service was excellent.
Though it was a pleasant trip, I have returned to this country full of rage. Let me explain.
Most mornings I left the apartment to pick up the Daily News and some fresh coffee. These two items cost me $1.
We travelled the length and breadth of the city on bus and subway for less than $2.
We had breakfast out most mornings cost less than $5.
The "reward for service" system works a treat in N.Y. where the customer is king.
I am sick of being milked at every turn in Ireland.
I am sick of listening to inept and unimaginative politicians blaming our high prices on outside influences.
A gallon of petrol in N.Y. costs $3. The same gallon here costs $7.20. I played in a top golf course in Maryland for $30 which included the buggy.
I could go on and on, but suffice to say that every product bought, every service availed of was accompanied with courtesy and friendliness.
There are just two things that are expensive. Firstly, medical care is expensive but it works a treat. Our medical system is equally expensive but it doesn't work.
Secondly, hotel accommodation is expensive because demand exceeds supply. Is it any wonder?
I have been trying to analyse why this country has got it so wrong.
I offer the following explanation. We have suffered decades of inept and unimaginative government. Such ineptitude has favoured the fat cats and the stroker who have sucked most from the economy to benefit the few.
Workers, in turn, need higher wages to pay higher prices and to pay more taxes, so the Government can squander more money on useless projects.
In spite of all this expenditure, we have a health system that doesn't work, an education system that doesn't work, a public transport system that doesn't work and a roads network that doesn't work.
KEVIN C. MURPHY
FOXROCK WOOD, DUBLIN 18