Every now and again I ponder giving up blogging. It can be quite time consuming, and repetitive, especially when writing about the Here-we-go-again nature of Irish politics. Then I see something in a paper that outrages me so much that I have to vent my outrage on my keyboard. Two items in the Irish Times today:
This one, about the Claiming Our Future meeting in Galway, fascinated me. The idea of a minimum income has always fascinated me, but I’ve yet to come across Irish advocates of such a scheme who A) openly advocate the massive rise in general taxation on all to fund it, B) know how to prevent it becoming a taxpayer funded hammock for the idle, and C) honestly point out that such a scheme would probably require the abolition of the rest of the social welfare budget. But what really caught my eye was the suggestion that we can have a constitutional right to income equality. In short, we can make it illegal to be poor! I wonder, would such an amendment end up being like the abortion amendment, being twisted by the courts to create surreal outcomes? Who knows, maybe a future government could use such a constitutional imperative to, say, sterilise people from poor backgrounds. Wouldn’t that narrow the income gap? Alright, so it’s from the Heinrich Himmler school of eugenic economics, but still! It’s in the constitution! I was also impressed by the suggestions to “limit” very high incomes. I’m always fascinated by the non-wealth producing sector’s curious view of humanity, where they seem to believe that people who create wealth will just quietly sit, passing over their money to confiscatory taxation. They won’t, they’ll just leave. Which leaves the even more intriguing nugget at the heart of the far left’s thinking: That if Michael O’Leary et al do leave, then suddenly some guy living under a bridge in the dead of winter is richer? I suppose he would be, at least statistically. Good for him. Bet he’d prefer a few quid, all the same.
The other story which had me gnashing at the teeth was Kathleen O’Meara’s proposal here, as part of her bid for the Labour presidential nomination, for a new 1916-style Proclamation. What is it about us as a country that we just love waffle and guff? After all, it’s not like we have “used up” the last one. Anyway, if I was to put money on anything, it would be on the Constitutional Convention spending most of its time on this nonsense once it finishes deciding that there’s nothing wrong with our actual political system save for Fine Gael’s bizarre belief (or classic act of misdirection. You decide) that the country lies awake at night worrying about the length of the president’s term of office.