I’m not an expert in economics, I’ve been trying to understand the situation as much as I can in terms of things that I already know.
I watched a documentary on Enron, a company that had a culture of risk taking, that promoted those who were driven to make money, thus who had the hunger for more power, those who knew how to play the game.
What I took away from that film is that the problem isn’t an economic system, it’s a culture that gives power to those who desire power
The people who have power in your country are those that have fought for that power, that have competed for it and have won that competition, this is the system that we rely on in order to allow us to do everything from drive cars, go on holidays and buy houses
The major problem with such a system is that if you haven’t got this drive for power you have no way of changing the community you live in, that power belongs to those who only seek to increase their own personal power
If you want to change the system these are the people who you will have to convince in order to bring about that change, you will have to play their game by their rule.
If too many people increase their power then you threaten those with large amounts of power way beyond their value to society, so they don’t actively encourage you to get involved at this level.
You can see this happening when you walk down any street in Ireland, a homeless man lying in a doorway doesn’t have any power, he has no means with which to change his circumstances, he cannot escape his situation. This is the way it’s setup and we are by in large happy with this system. We aren’t doing as badly as most of the world.
The way we think makes us believe that by working hard we can better ourselves, that when things get bad in the economy this simply removes the fat, those that leached from the economy for too long are cut off, however we must never underestimate the tenacity of a leech, they will hold on because their own survival depends upon it, they have no regard for their host just as our rulers have no interest in anything but our compliance.
In fact when the hard times come it is those who are weaker than you, the reader who is able to afford access to a computer, and less capable of reading this blog post that will suffer the most when they reduce the amount of money going into special needs, homeless shelters, shut down public hospitals and alter tax systems so that everyone pays, even those who cannot afford it and often so that it encourages business and reduces the pressure on job creators. By this I don’t mean small to medium businesses (the engine of our economy) I mean large businesses and people who are actually laying off workers.
You might ask, why would they do this when this just makes Ireland a worse place to live than it was before, but the fact is this isn’t just your Irish elected representatives making these decisions, you may have noticed but there are bigger players involved in the government decisions than the will of the people who live here. If there is not then why was it that there was no referendum on the bank bailout.
As Humphrey Appleby would say in Yes Minister “Government Decisions are far too important to be left up to the public”, this does not imply as you might think that the common person isn’t capable of understanding the factors involved but rather that they are too self involved to make the decisions, if the people began to believe that those in power were there by divine right as was the case in feudalism once again then it would be a lot easier to convince our natural princes to let us decide how we could better serve them.