All the Government contributors to this debate on the Irish economy over the past two days predicated their contributions on the claim that current policies are working, that the Irish economy is turning the corner, and that we will overcome this economic crisis within a few years. That is manifestly false on even the most cursory examination of the key indicators for the Irish economy. If the economy is turning the corner, why were 14,000 fewer people employed in quarter 3 of this year than in quarter 2? Why is gross domestic product crawling ahead at a possible 0.7% this year? Why are 440,000, or 14.8%, of our people unemployed or under-employed? Why was emigration, in the year up to the end of April 2012, at a level of 87,100? One would have to go back to the 1800s to find a comparable level.
The reality is that far from succeeding, the policy of austerity is causing economic disaster on a huge scale. It is destroying the domestic economy and causing huge suffering on a human level for hundreds of thousands of our people. That is inevitable because in the past five years we have seen an unimaginable transfusion of resources from the working class of this country to the bondholders, the speculators and the bankers in the financial markets of Europe and further afield. We have seen, and it is ongoing, a criminal transfer of massive wealth from ordinary people to the capitalist financiers throughout Europe and on a world basis much greater than if we were in a war time period except those who are sucking up those resources out of the pockets of the working class of this country do not need an army of occupation. The political establishment, currently Fine Gael and Labour and previously Fianna Fáil and the Green Party, is managing their affairs and is their agent in this State.
We have a media, itself part of the market system, owned by multimillionaires and billionaires, major capitalists who despite the criticisms they will make occasionally of the Government fundamentally justify and defend this massive transfer of wealth on the basis that there is no alternative except to bend the knee to the dictatorship of the financial markets and that the working class must pay, abusing those who put an alternative viewpoint, especially from a Socialist perspective.
We have broadcasters including, unfortunately and shamefully, the main public broadcaster, RTE, which never question in any fundamental way the morality of a financial dictatorship of the markets that bleed the ordinary working people, the unemployed, the pensioners and the youth of our country to save the capitalist financial system within Europe and further afield. It is a media which refused to contemplate even a partial change that would see an increased demand on the wealthy elite in this country or on major corporations. It refuses to contemplate even a modest raise in corporation tax and the amount of tax big business pays.
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