Reading some of the criticisms of the government’s Job Bridge programme I’m always surprised that the critics don’t follow the criticisms to their logical conclusions. They argue that Job Bridge is used by unscrupulous employers to profit from “slave labour”. Presumably, therefore, it is relatively straightforward for companies to fund good wages and employee terms and conditions and still be economically viable. So why don’t socialists cut out the middleman?
Oh, they say that they want to, through semi-state companies, but that means having a socialist government. Why wait? They criticise private companies for not implementing social goals they believe are achievable. So why don’t they? Why don’t the United Left Alliance open businesses themselves, offering fairly priced products and fair wages? What’s there to lose? After all, they have seven TDs taking in €100k a year each plus expenses. Surely they could afford to open and sustain a profitable socially responsible supermarket, a model socialist example to all? In fact, if it was a success, they could open a chain of them in communities (and constituencies) across the country.
Imagine what a campaigning tool that would be, showing the country that the socialist model delivers fair jobs and fair prices. Of course, that assumes that the model actually works and isn’t just a collection of slogans and exclamation marks. I promise one thing: I’ll be among their first customers.