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(en) Ireland, Organise! Working Class Resistance #8 -Embarassment of Riches

From Worker <a-infos-en@ainfos.ca>
Date Thu, 24 Feb 2005 10:03:06 +0200 (IST)

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Republic of Ireland the fourth richest country in the world? Paul
Michael looks at the fact that working class won’t be getting any of
the wealth produced that has been produced by their labour.
According to reports published in the press recently, Ireland is rapidly
becoming one of the world’s leading economies. Stories appeared
in the Irish Independent and the Belfast Telegraph in January quoting
Dan McLaughlin, economic advisor to the Bank of Ireland, who boasts
that by using the yardstick of ‘economic wealth per head of
population’ (the Republic of) Ireland now leapfrogs both Germany
and the US. And the Organisation of Co-operation and Development in
Europe used Gross Domestic Product figures from 2002 to conclude
that Ireland is now the fourth wealthiest economy in the world.

Although Fine Gael Finance spokesman Richard Bruton agreed that
the economy had been growing at a "phenomenal pace", he warned
that "we are pricing ourselves out of the market", urging caution
against anti-competitive practices that lead to high cost margins. He
clumsily points out that this is "not just down to workers getting too
much (!), it is also down to people who own businesses taking too

In their efforts to persuade us that life is good, those who profess to be
our leaders often tell us we’ve never had it better because GDP is
going up.

But this economic measurement is a greedy capitalist smokescreen - it
tells us nothing about how our country’s wealth is concentrated in
the grubby hands of the rich few, while the gap between haves and
have-nots widens ever further. In Britain as well as Ireland, working
class people chained to a poverty-level minimum wage are arrogantly
told they ask for too much. We are fed the lie that to pay us more
would hurt the economy, and that when the economy suffers, we all
do. But it should be obvious to everyone now that free-market
capitalism’s primary function (if not its stated intention) is to
exploit the poor, and rape the world, just so the rich can get richer.

The World Resources Institute has stated: "A country could exhaust
its mineral resources, cut down its forests, erode its soils, poison all its
rivers, and hunt its wildlife and fisheries to extinction, but measured
income would not be affected as these assets disappear."

There is a revolution being sought in the world of economics by those
who are able to see that neo-liberalism’s favourite toy, GDP, is an
autistic and outdated danger to our future well-being. But corporate big
business, and their puppet politician pals cling blindly to their sinking
ship, grabbing as much of this selfish hollow wealth as they can before
they or the world finally goes under.
We need to shatter the foundations of an economic system which
favours only the few and deals with some fantasy reality instead of the
real world. Capitalist pseudo-democracy, far from the being the
‘end of history’, is only a brick in the road of progress.
Don’t believe their hype, or be seduced by the lies - we are capable
of organising ourselves so that the needs of everyone can be fulfilled -
that is true prosperity.
[Ed. Note: Organise! is an anarchist group]

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