Jason OMahony - Irish political blogger, Irish politics, EU politics

Are the Irish economically challenged?

Posted by Jason O on Apr 28, 2010 in Irish Politics

People before money. Unless it's my money, of course!

People before money. Unless it's my money, of course!

If there is one political fact that you would like every student to know leaving school, it would be that every euro promised by a politician in increased welfare or grants or spending on local facilities has to be taken from someone’s pocket. It really is quite remarkable how Irish people, as a rule, do not seem to make the instinctive connection, as Americans do, between spending and taxation. I say this because I was recently listening to one of the cultural elite on the radio repeating that “criticism” about someone (normally on the right) that they know “the cost of everything and the value of nothing.”  This phrase has always intrigued me, because I have yet to met a single person for whom it does not apply to. The arts subsidy crowd tend to utter it, but try and trim their subsidies and watch them suddenly battle for every cent with all the vigour of a Goldman Sachs banker clutching his bonus. Perhaps we need a new phrase, to sum up the Irish approach to sneering at someone who questions tax and spending: “He is someone who knows the cost of something to himself, but not the value of it to me!”  

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