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

Five Things I have learnt so far in Election 2011.

Posted by Jason O on Feb 4, 2011 in Election 2011, Irish Politics |

1. Judging by the strong Independent performance in the polls, and discounting the small number of “national” independents (Shane Ross, etc), it seems that a sizable number of our voters believe that we would have had better banking regulation if only we had more Jackie Healy-Raes in the Dail.

2. The single most important issue facing the next government is when (not if) will we partiallly default on the senior bond holders? We all know this, they know this, Berlin and Paris know this. But unfortunately, we can’t talk about it until we can show the people we have our sovereign debt with that we’re not messers, and that their money is safe.

3. Talking about creating jobs is a waste of time unless we can boost domestic demand, which needs consumers to feel confident enough to save less and start spending. I’ve yet to hear a candidate articulate a well thought through position on this.

4. The media, and self appointed big mouths like me, will have to admit that if Enda survives the debates without exploding/declaring war on Lesotho/having his trousers fall down, and FG continue to poll well, that he is actually quite a good party leader. Cue deployment of brand spanking new back-pedalling machines. I have mine assembled already.

5. We’re still three weeks out, and the debate could play a role, as could any number of game changing bananas, but the glimmer of fear must be in Labour’s eyes, as they look at less than spectacular poll figures and think: “If not now, when?”

7 Comments

Michael
Feb 4, 2011 at 10:42 am

In fairness number 3 is nonsense. But it is the sort of economic illiterate stuff we heard from FF Ministers in the last year. From a domestic point of view saving more equates to paying off our debts and hopefully in the longer term building up some semi-respectable pension assets.

Domestic consumption will need to rise, but only after strong economic growth driven by exports and after we have made some inroads into our massive levels of private debt.

We just had a domestic consumption bubble based on credit- it was overshadowed by our property bubble. We don’t need another! We have crippling levels of private debt in Ireland and we have a huge pension deficit. Saving is not a bad thing right now!


 
Jason O
Feb 4, 2011 at 10:48 am

Tell me Michael, what sector of the economy do you work in?


 
Michael
Feb 4, 2011 at 11:18 am

I work for an NGO. Before my move to this sector I worked in an accountancy firm advising Irish owner managed businesses including exporters, property development & construction and companies relying in domestic consumption.


 
Michael
Feb 4, 2011 at 11:20 am

You?


 
Jason O
Feb 4, 2011 at 11:43 am

I work in construction retail. We sell building, home improvement and DIY products. By our nature, we’re labour intensive. It’ll be us in the retail and services sector that will employ at a faster rate than the skilled export sector, because that’s where most Irish employment is, and that needs domestic demand. Exports are important but not the key to short term job creation.


 
Michael
Feb 4, 2011 at 11:56 am

Oh, I agree with you about the level of job creation potential of domestic consumption vs the export sector. We have an employment crisis, but we also have a debt crisis. The “spend more” solutions to the employment crisis are only short-term solutions and they will exacerbate the debt crisis.

Of course J M Keynes and the paradox of thrift agree with you, but I think we are too open an economy with too much debt for that to apply at this time.


 
david morris
Feb 4, 2011 at 2:18 pm

(Clears throat)

No 2 : suggest you take a look at

http://ftalphaville.ft.com/blog/2011/02/04/479746/gaelic-talf-and-other-bizarre-irish-bank-fixes/

The VF link to Mikes’ article is also worth a gander. As always, he’s on the money (IMO)

Kind regards


 

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