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

The Four Irish Economic Classes: A Primer.

Posted by Jason O on Aug 30, 2010 in Irish Politics |

Who creates it, and who wants to spend it?

Who creates it, and who wants to spend it?

Let’s be honest with ourselves. Most political disputes, indeed most social disputes, come down to money. Yes, we can have issues over gay rights and what flag who flies where and who apologises to whom, but when it comes down to it, it’s cash that dominates. Curiously, as a society, we don’t debate that reality much, preferring to debate how we would like to spend it (more Resources!) and being pretty uncomfortable as to how it is created.
We have in our society, more or less, four economic classes, and it would do us no harm to pay a bit more attention to their roles in how we live our lives.

The Creators.
These are the people who create wealth. Whether it is writing a song that others buy, or inventing a product or service that others will pay for. It’s true, they need the framework of a state about them which protects their investment and their right to benefit from it, but broadly speaking, they create more wealth than they use up. Some are crooks, and use corrupt practices, but broadly, they bring more Euro to society’s table then was there beforehand. They’re not all millionaires either. Some own corner shops and drive taxis and write chick lit novels. The important thing is that the create money out of pretty much nothing.  

The Value Adders.
This would be the biggest group, covering most of us. We work for someone else, taking their wealth and adding value to it, whether as lawyers drafting contracts or putting cans of beans into cardboard boxes. We don’t create wealth, but add a bit on. Again, our key attribute is that we bring more to the table than we take. 

The Takers.
This is, ironically, the most socially diverse group, from big farmers receiving CAP payments to dodgy bankers to guys making millions merely by rezoning land, to people permanently on the state payroll or social welfare. They bring little to the table, in that most of them pay taxes but take more money from society (and the state) than they bring to it. The key is that their wealth is primarily as a result of the tangible efforts of others.

The Utilised.
These are the weak, and again, not necessarily the poorest in society. They are the exploited, underpaid workers or consumers, the people big business and the unions and the state roll over. The difference between them and The Takers on welfare is that they can actually add value, and bring more to the collective pot, if only they were helped.  

Here’s the problem: In Ireland, only The Value Adders and The Takers are regarded as legitimate. The Creators are despised by the jealous, and The Utilised are just ignored, with what might help them instead going to the better organised Takers.

 

3 Comments

Wan
Aug 30, 2010 at 4:52 pm

“people permanently on the state payroll” – Would you include all civil and public servants as “Takers” then?


 
Jason O
Aug 30, 2010 at 5:27 pm

No, just the ones who cost more than the measurable benefit they bring to our society.


 
Wan
Aug 30, 2010 at 6:42 pm

Fair enough… the tone of the original article really didn’t suggest that.


 

Reply

Copyright © 2017 Jason O Mahony All rights reserved. Email: Jason@JasonOMahony.ie.