The horizon is not so far as we can see, but as far as we can imagine

You don’t always get what you vote for

but you sure don’t get what you don’t vote for.

Fianna Fáil, the party in power for 20 of the past 23 years, faces a drubbing in Ireland’s general election on February 25, with Fine Gael, the other centre-right party, appearing to pick up support rather than the left-of-centre Labour party or more radical alternatives.

Guess the Irish are like Americans, they need to suffer a lot more before they get the point.  Of course, to be fair, the left parties didn’t provide a clear different option, either, so eh, they don’t deserve to win.

Meanwhile a friend just emailed me about Wisconsin.  I’m happy people are protesting, but the governor said, long before he was elected, that he intended to break public sector unions.  He’s just doing what he said he would do.  If you didn’t want it, why did you vote for it?

The Governor has a mandate.  Wisconsin voters gave it to him.


Elites continue to be mad for draining ordinary citizens


Some thoughts on revolutions in the Middle East, China… and the West


  1. anon2525

    He’s just doing what he said he would do.

    Ah, the beauty of the “lesser evil” system. There isn’t a good alternative, so the only choice they allow you in order to voice your discontent is to vote for the “other” guy.

    Official Washington: “What a weirdo! Who ever heard of such a thing as doing what you said you would do? Thank goodness we have Obama.”

    The Governor has a mandate. Wisconsin voters gave it to him.

    “After all, you voted for me. Or the other guy. And neither of us is going to represent your will. Checkmate.”

    In the “lesser-evil” system, protesting, strikes, and civil disobedience are the non-violent methods for getting your will expressed to the politicians. Otherwise, they’ll just keep playing this game where they’ll say that you didn’t say what you said. Time to overthrow the chess board.

  2. anon2525

    Meanwhile a friend just emailed me about Wisconsin. I’m happy people are protesting,…

    I hope that they have learned something from the French and the British protesters failure to bring about change and from the Egyptians success at bringing about change. It’s going to take more than one day or one week.

  3. I’m taken with the idea, FWIW, that the protesters are accumulating social capital. It took the Egyptians awhile to get their networks to the point where January 25 happened. You lose until you win.

  4. Ian Welsh

    Also, note that the protestors in Egypt, in fact, were willing to respond to violent attacks with violence (they didn’t just lie down and let people on horses run them over), and that when Mubarak fell is when they went to his palace and he was scared to give the troops ammo because they might shoot at him.

  5. jcapan

    “He’s just doing what he said he would do. If you didn’t want it, why did you vote for it?”

    There are about 5.7 million people living in WI; 1. 1 voted for this prick and another million chose the other guy (including I’m pretty sure nearly every single public sector union member).

    Other than that, I see your pt. No reason to go qualifying one’s sympathies.

  6. CMike

    I recommend this Vanity Fair article. (It’s nine pages but you don’t miss much if quit on page seven at the heading “Bring Me a Little Ire.” From that point on it’s two drawn out tales recounting the feckless expressions of dissent by two separate individuals.)

    The numbers were breathtaking. A single bank, Anglo Irish, which, two years before, the Irish government had claimed was merely suffering from a “liquidity problem,” faced losses of up to 34 billion euros. To get some sense of how “34 billion euros” sounds to Irish ears [GDP wise], an American thinking in dollars needs to multiply it by roughly one hundred: $3.4 trillion. And that was for a single bank. As the sum total of loans made by Anglo Irish, most of it to Irish property developers, was only 72 billion euros, the bank had lost nearly half of every dollar it invested….

    At the rate money currently flows into the Irish treasury, Irish bank losses alone would absorb every penny of Irish taxes for at least the next three years….

    Yet when I arrived, in early November 2010, Irish politics had a frozen-in-time quality to it. In Iceland, the business-friendly conservative party had been quickly tossed out of power, and the women booted the alpha males out of the banks and government. (Iceland’s new prime minister is a lesbian.) In Greece the business-friendly conservative party was also given the heave-ho, and the new government is attempting to create a sense of collective purpose, or at any rate persuade the citizens to quit cheating on their taxes. (The new Greek prime minister is not merely upstanding, but barely Greek.)

    Ireland was the first European country to watch its entire banking system fail, and yet its business-friendly conservative party, Fianna Fáil (pronounced “Feena Foil”), would remain in office into 2011. There’s been no Tea Party movement, no Glenn Beck, no serious protests of any kind….

    If, even after reading Joe Bageant, you’re still wondering where Scots-Irish Americans come by their willingness to vote Republican and to be reamed, again and again, by their government this article will reveal that location.

  7. Morocco Bama

    It’s a bit premature to be holding Egypt up as the example of successful protests. The verdict in Egypt is far from in. As Celsius said, “we’ll see.” From my vantage, it’s not looking too positive. Meet the new boss, same as the old boss. I’m also trying to wrap my head around the idea that Egypt has been labeled a so-called Social Media Revolution, yet a significant percentage of Egyptians are living on $2 a day, or less. Food versus I-Phone with Facebook and Twitter is not the same as Paper versus Plastic. Egypt, and many of these other uprisings that are occurring, have been public relations boons for the social media such as Facebook and Twitter. Sorry, but I still refuse to subscribe to Facebook and Twitter, even though the message, clearly, is that they will set me free.

  8. Morocco Bama

    Considering my last post as it relates to the thread title, I suppose you could say “You don’t always get what you protest for,” or, “you don’t always get what you revolt for.” If history is any judge, an adequate substitution would be “never” for “don’t always.”

    Is the U.S. today what all those bright-eyed hippies had in mind when they were protesting in the sixties? I would think not, but that conclusion is necessarily falsifiable.

  9. madisolation

    I don’t think the public sector voted for him so much as they didn’t vote for the Democrat. The “lesser of two evils” is the better choice when voting locally, I think.
    However, both parties have the same ultimate goal: to destroy the middle class in order to curry favor with the corporate elite. It’s how they go about it that distinguishes them. Democrats go about it by using a “death by a thousands cuts” strategy. Republicans use a “steamroller.” Maybe it’s just well the Republicans won, though, because the people can take to the streets and block the steamroller. They can’t seem to do much when they’re bleeding to death.

  10. alyosha

    Wisconsin is a bellwhether state in this fight – heavily unionized, deep progressive roots. A lot of other states are watching to see what happens. If Wisconsin goes, many other states will follow – the stakes are high.

    I don’t live there, but from what I’ve heard from the news, I’m not sure the voters clearly knew this was Gov Walker’s intention. He’s only been in office since January. Although it’s possible, I doubt if he openly campaigned on “busting the unions”.

    I’ve also heard that Wisconsin finished 2010 with a budget surplus – and so the claim of necessity due to dire financials sounds bogus.

    His earlier threat to mobilize the National Guard against protesters is especially rich, since many of the Guard are teachers/union members themselves or have family members in unions.

    I’m cheered that the legislature’s Democrats fled the state, to stall the vote. It’s an interesting and strategic situation, to say the least.

  11. Notorious P.A.T.

    “the left parties didn’t provide a clear different option”

    That’s the rub, isn’t it? Unions have been on a long, slow, steady decline. This jerk’s only tactical mistake was moving too fast. On the other hand, what have today’s Democrats done to reverse that decline?

  12. S Brennan


    I don’t know that I would “blame the voters”.

    Yes we have freedom of choice…

    Waiter: Coke or Pepsi? What kind of cola do you drink sir?

    Free citizen: I’ll have water.

    Waiter: I am afraid that is not a choice. What kind of cola do you drink sir? Coke or Pepsi?

    Free citizen: How about some lemon-aid?

    Waiter: What are you…some kinda wise guy? What kind of cola do you drink? Coke or Pepsi? And spare me the teary eyed longing for something other than cola…Coke or Pepsi?

  13. S Brennan

    Hold the phone…it looks like it’s over in WI…Democrats to “help” Unions:

    Obama joins Wisconsin’s budget battle, opposing Republican anti-union bill — MADISON, WIS. – President Obama thrust himself and his political operation this week into Wisconsin’s broiling budget battle, mobilizing


    DNC Expands Role In Labor Protests To Ohio, Indiana … WASHINGTON — Building on the momentum in Wisconsin, where tens of thousands of protesters have turned out to oppose Republican Gov. Scott Walker’s effort to strip collective-bargaining rights from the state’s public-employee unions …

    Remember when Democrats were part of the anti-war movement? Say…prior to winning in 2006? Then meekly until 2008, whereupon they became the party that wanted to expand/extend war until eternity.

    Yep, with the Democrats on your side, the backstabbing brigade has your back and they about to plant a knife in it.

  14. Pepe

    Waiter: Coke or Pepsi? What kind of cola do you drink sir?

    Free citizen: I’ll have water.

    Waiter: I am afraid that is not a choice. What kind of cola do you drink sir? Coke or Pepsi?

    What the hell kind of restaurants do you visit?

  15. Morocco Bama

    What the hell kind of restaurants do you visit?

    The kind that guarantees you a healthy, vigorous bout of Mud Butt.

  16. Ian:
    So what do you do when presented with a situation like Colorado? Where a Democrat, Hickenlooper, clearly hates unions.

  17. Morocco Bama

    Easy, Phil, you write in Jimmie Hoffa c/o The Meadowlands. Who says we don’t have choices?

  18. S Brennan

    From MontanaMaven @

    From MSNBC we get a report noting some Green Bay Packers weighing in:

    Present and former members of the Green Bay Packers…Curtis Fuller, Chris Jackie, Charles Jordan, Bob Long, Steve Okoniewski, Brady Poppinga and Jason Spitz. The statements reads:

    “We know that it is teamwork on and off the field that makes the Packers and Wisconsin great. As a publicly owned team we wouldn’t have been able to win the Super Bowl without the support of our fans.

    “It is the same dedication of our public workers every day that makes Wisconsin run. They are the teachers, nurses and child care workers who take care of us and our families. But now in an unprecedented political attack Governor Walker is trying to take away their right to have a voice and bargain at work.

    “The right to negotiate wages and benefits is a fundamental underpinning of our middle class. When workers join together it serves as a check on corporate power and helps ALL workers by raising community standards. Wisconsin’s long standing tradition of allowing public sector workers to have a voice on the job has worked for the state since the 1930s. It has created greater consistency in the relationship between labor and management and a shared approach to public work.

    “These public workers are Wisconsin’s champions every single day and we urge the Governor and the State Legislature to not take away their rights.”

    …Today, the NFLPA stands in solidarity with its organized labor brothers and sisters in Wisconsin,” the statement said.

  19. dandelion

    Digby has a post up applauding an interview Bernie Sanders recently gave and then she wistfully sighs that she wishes she could vote for him.

    It seemed to completely escape her notice that Bernie Sanders is NOT a Democrat. He’s listed as an Independent, but he’s a declared socialist.

    In California, where Digby resides, she has the opportunity at every election to vote for a socialist on the ballot. She could vote for members of the Socialist Party or she could vote for someone from the Green Party.

    So maybe she can’t vote for Sanders himself but she could vote for someone JUST LIKE him.

    But she can’t seem to grasp that simple fact. It’s complete cognitive failure.

  20. Pepe

    Digby will bemoan the fact that Obama and the Dems are not everything that we hope that they could be, but please vote for them anyway because Sarah Palin and Glenn Beck.

    Turn ratchet rightward.

  21. I live in Wisconsin, and I went the the polls last November, but had nobody to vote for, for Governor anyway. Walker’s a disgusting, submoronic hack, but his Democratic opponent, Barrett? He campaigned on: cutting government spending in a recession (mocking the city of Madison, where I live, by calling that putting Madison ‘on a diet’, btw), cutting health care spending for the poor, cutting health services in prisons, slashing the state workforce, pushing more Ethanol, etc.

    Oh, and he was a serial liar who ran a ludicrously sleazy campaign, caught, along with Walker, repeatedly lying to the electorate about virtually everything. The best article on the campaigns was by an exasperated local alt paper, which ran a front page feature piece on nothing *but* the lies told by the two schmucks.

    Neither man had an ounce of decency or integrity. I couldn’t stomach voting for either. That left some very fringe candidates and cranks on the ballot, so I had to leave it blank.

  22. anon2525

    Neither man had an ounce of decency or integrity. I couldn’t stomach voting for either. That left some very fringe candidates and cranks on the ballot, so I had to leave it blank.

    You lucky bastard. I had three right-wing candidates on my ballot, each one worse than the next. I wrote in Nader’s name so they wouldn’t be able to say, “See? They voted for me.” or “Well, if you don’t vote, you don’t have a say.”

    Maybe I’ll write in Noam Chomsky’s name in 2012. I prefer a living person to someone like, say, Lincoln or Roosevelt.

  23. Ian Welsh:

    [1] Also, note that the protestors in Egypt, in fact, were willing to respond to violent attacks with violence (they didn’t just lie down and let people on horses run them over), and that when [2] Mubarak fell is when they went to his palace and [3] he was scared to give the troops ammo because they might shoot at him.

    On point [2], regarding “they” — The Tahrir Square protesters and the Palace protesters were not the same. The self-organization was inferior, and the demographics were different. “Let’s to the Winter Palace, quickly!” worked in Petrograd, but Cairo isn’t Petrograd. For example, in retrospect, what the protesters ended up doing, waiting to march on the Palace after Mubarak totally pissed off everybody with his last speech, might well have been the wisest thing. Certainly the energy was highest then. Not knowable, of course.

    On point [1], sure. But the Tahrir Square faction (which was the face the revolution presented to the world) didn’t initiate violence — save by burning down the party headquarters and attacking State Television and the Ministry of the Interior, which no self-respecting revolutionary can avoid doing. I think that level of commitment to non-violence, which showed incredible maturity and self-restraint on the global stage, wasn’t just tactical but strategic: It put them in the right with every adversary they faced, and (I would argue) that’s why they retained the initiative from the very start all the way through Mubarak’s fall. I should also say that as I’ve kept writing about these events, I’ve really tried to take the attitude that we need to be the students of the Egyptians, and not presume to give them advice, as if we were the teachers. Given the record of the left on this continent, in which I most definitely include myself, it seems more than a little presumptuous to pontificate on issues where taking our advice could get people killed to no purpose. “Listen and learn.” Of course, as a pundit, I constantly fail at this!

    [3] I’d like evidence on that. Do you have a link?

  24. Ack, unclosed A tag. Sorry.

  25. CMike

    Always copy, paste, and Preview your comment over at Corrente before clicking Submit Comment here.

  26. Celsius 233

    It would appear voting no longer guarantees anything in the USA. Politicians lie to get elected; let’s do a 180 day trial period. Fail that and there’s a new election!
    If that doesn’t work revolt! But you better have a plan!
    Egypt? We’ll see…

  27. Bernard

    the same supermajority that has destroyed California was put in place by the Republicans in Wisconsin. Californification of America. Death by a million cuts. while the Rich/Republicans bleed America dry.

    seems like i have seen this story before.

    America is in for a precipitous decline. Maybe after enough of the Zombies die/thing get “so” bad, people won’t buy the Big Lie being sold by the Republicans and Democrats.

    but i wouldn’t hold my breath. it took 30 years for Egyptians to revolt. 30 years of Republican theft/destruction is just beginning to show up on the radar. as i read somewhere, not a single Democrat has “led” any revolt, or dared to lead.

    This really is the “Weimar” America i had heard about.

    First they came after abortion doctors/clinics, then they went after Gays, Then they went after muslims, immigrants, women, Hispanics, socialist, environmentalists, and so on.

    Rev Niemuller was way ahead of his time.

  28. Lex

    Yeah, that was a pretty close run election in WI. More to the point, WI is now facing a deficit because Walker got in and cut business taxes…so now there is necessary sacrifice to be “shared”.

    But Ian’s right to a degree. Read the comments at the MJS, etc. There’s as much hate for the union protesters (and sympathizers) as there is support. Which has made me wonder why Americans see other Americans get a little something for their labor and resent the hell out of it. I can’t even count the number of comments that go roughly, “I’m not in a union and shit’s been awful for me, so fuck union members that have it better.” Is there such cognitive dissonance that they can’t see a way to achieve what union members have achieved?

    And yet, when corporations and individuals make shit tons of money, these same people cheer for them. I guess because the propaganda that corporate profits = jobs has worked, eh? That’s how the new MI governor is going to sell his 6% corporate tax rate, even though it’s not going to create a significant number of jobs or make sure that those jobs come with reasonable compensation packages.

  29. @Lex:

    And yet, when corporations and individuals make shit tons of money, these same people cheer for them. I guess because the propaganda that corporate profits = jobs has worked, eh?…

    Not so much, I don’t think. As you noted earlier in your comment, Americans in general don’t care about other workers/jobs, as long as they’ve got theirs – and you correctly note the cognitive dissonance in that sort of thinking.

    No, it’s really just the “Lifestyle’s Of The Rich And Famous” syndrome – Americans want to protect the rich because, after all, we’re all going to be rich just like that ourselves someday, right? /s

  30. CMike

    Lex is onto something when he observes:

    And yet, when corporations and individuals make shit tons of money, these same people cheer for them.

    I’m not sure that he’s right when he adds:

    I guess because the propaganda that corporate profits = jobs has worked, eh?

    And I think too much is made of the point Petro and others make:

    Americans want to protect the rich because, after all, we’re all going to be rich just like that ourselves someday, right?

    People on the left have a hard time recognizing some of the fundamentals of human/simian nature. However, your more accomplished business and political people on the right see these characteristics clearly and know how to exploit them.

    Here’s Adam Smith, in his The Theory of Moral Sentiments (1759), having a go at explaining some of this [my emphasis]:

    This disposition to admire, and almost to worship, the rich and the powerful, and to despise, or, at least, to neglect persons of poor and mean condition, though necessary both to establish and to maintain the distinction of ranks and the order of society, is, at the same time, the great and most universal cause of the corruption of our moral sentiments. That wealth and greatness are often regarded with the respect and admiration which are due only to wisdom and virtue; and that the contempt, of which vice and folly are the only proper objects, is often most unjustly bestowed upon poverty and weakness, has been the complaint of moralists in all ages.

    We desire both to be respectable and to be respected. We dread both to be contemptible and to be contemned. But, upon coming into the world, we soon find that wisdom and virtue are by no means the sole objects of respect; nor vice and folly, of contempt. We frequently see the respectful attentions of the world more strongly directed towards the rich and the great, than towards the wise and the virtuous. We see frequently the vices and follies of the powerful much less despised than the poverty and weakness of the innocent….

    The great mob of mankind are the admirers and worshippers, and, what may seem more extraordinary, most frequently the disinterested admirers and worshippers, of wealth and greatness.

    In equal degrees of merit there is scarce any man who does not respect more the rich and the great, than the poor and the humble. With most men the presumption and vanity of the former are much more admired, than the real and solid merit of the latter. It is scarce agreeable to good morals, or even to good language, perhaps, to say, that mere wealth and greatness, abstracted from merit and virtue, deserve our respect. We must acknowledge, however, that they almost constantly obtain it; and that they may, therefore, be considered as, in some respects, the natural objects of it.

    Those exalted stations may, no doubt, be completely degraded by vice and folly. But the vice and folly must be very great, before they can operate this complete degradation. The profligacy of a man of fashion is looked upon with much less contempt and aversion, than that of a man of meaner condition. In the latter, a single transgression of the rules of temperance and propriety, is commonly more resented, than the constant and avowed contempt of them ever is in the former.

  31. atcooper

    I’ve been reading The Theory of the Leisure Class. You can find a web pub version of it here.

    The comment by Smith above reminded me of it. A person over at Corrente recommended it, and it has been very insightful on the possible reasons, and development of rich person veneration. Evidence of the same phenomenon is as close as your grocery store check out lane on the racks, those dreadful things called tabloids.

    I highly recommend Theory of the Leisure Class, at least for the measured sanity it might bring for making some sense out of this crazy culture, here in the west.

    And while I am recommending books, Empire by Negri and Hardt is some wonderfully pertinent neo-Marxist stuff, if you want a little gravel in your diet. Years ago, someone at the Agonist recommended it, I really can’t remember who, and I found it comforting in its way. Helps if you have a little Foucault in your background, but not absolutely necessary. The companion, Multitude, is a bit more accessible, but I don’t think there is a free version of it out there yet.

  32. Formerly T-Bear

    @ atcooper

    Don’t forget to mention the “Discourses on Livy” by Niccolò Machiavelli for sound observations on the workings and source of success of the Roman republic, applicable to all republics, and necessary knowledge to be a fully functioning political citizen of a republic.

  33. The political left spent very little time understanding the motivations of the public compared to the right, possibly even adjusting for the amount of money the latter has available to do it. Why would anyone believe that people would gravitate to a politics of class self-interest on any sort of predictable schedule? But that seems to have been the case and to suggest otherwise is met with cries and accusations of advocating deception in politics.

  34. Formerly T-Bear

    Paraphrasing Shakespeare: Beware, of Obama wearing orange.

    when liberty equates to liberation from life (ask the 1 and a third millions of Iraqi’s dead),

    when freedom equates to being free to want enough to live (ask the Afghanis who don’t have a pot to piss in),

    and when democracy equates to the people being robbed of everything of value they have (ask to look in a mirror, very few will see the robber there).

    For when Obama decks himself with these words, they are not what you know them as, those words have become lies, the destroyers of worlds.

  35. sona

    Morocco Bama

    social media played an important role in egypt from the strategic planning of the demostrations that avoided being kettled and keeping the momentum going but mubarak didn’t cave and the army top brass didn’t ditch him until the labour unions joined in

    it’s not over, there was an army coup and the army has made some important concessions but the protesters who instigated it and planned it, haven’t bought it yet

    composition of the constituent assembly to draw up the new constition remains clouded but it’s unlikely the protesters will get their way to have an elected assembly, rather they may have to live with selected ‘wise men’ but they are unlikely to compromise on parliamentary democracy with a nominal executive presidency

    that is still progress from an unaccountable strong man dictatorship

    protesters also demand trial of ex regime members for corruption, graft and human rights abuses – the army is sliding on that although they have agreed to an independent judiciary – it might get a play when a new parliament is elected under a new constitution approved in a referendum – that’s more than what’s going on in the USA – there’s not much of a cooee demanding the rule of law be applied to all and sundry, just an inchoate noise from nutters

    ian, re your reference that the egyptian protests were not totally non violent, neither was the indian independence movement – gandhi’s salt march, satyagraha, energised the masses and that was totally non violent and lost the british raj its moral authority or legitimacy and garnered political support within the uk political sphere but the independence movement didn’t end with the satyagraha and it wasn’t necessarily all non violent

  36. bill

    “Waiter: What are you…some kinda wise guy? What kind of cola do you drink? Coke or Pepsi? And spare me the teary eyed longing for something other than cola…Coke or Pepsi?”

    I believe this ( is what you’re talking about.

  37. S Brennan

    Bill, It’s actually a take off from Frank Capra’s “It’s a Wonderful Life” which is an Ode to FDR and what he did for this nation.

  38. anon2525

    I’m surprised that no one else has mentioned it (although I wouldn’t expect Lambert Strether to promote himself), but given all the references to restaurants and social media and protests, it must mean something that Ian’s Pizza has been sending pizza to protesters in Madison, Wisconsin from donations that have come from around the country and from other countries. link

  39. Oh, anon2525, I promote Corrente often enough, because there’s no point writing if you don’t plan to be read….. I was actually alerted to the amazing Ian’s story in comments, and my commenter found the idea at Hoyden About Town, which is another one of those blogs that should get more traffic than it does.

  40. Formerly T-Bear

    If you don’t get what you vote for, then, withdraw your consent.

    If the jackass governor of Wisconsin does not resign, withdraw your consent to allow his remaining in office.

    If the legislature considers any measure to curtail collective bargaining, bring the government of the state to a halt until that measure is retracted.

    Collective bargaining is not only fundamental to the middle class wellbeing, it is the basic requirement for economic labour to take place, to arrive at a living wage as the income for labour. Without labour, there is no economy. If your understanding of economics does not account for labour, you need to get an education, the one you have is incomplete.

    If the political and economic powers of the state will not accommodate the interests of labour, bring the state down, destroy the state, bury the state, face down with a wooden stake through the heart. Construct an accountable state in its place, one that is accountable to its citizens, to both majority and minority.

    Put a price on the head of the Koch brothers and their kind, a warrant for their arrest, a bill of indictment for every fraud they have perpetrated upon the public. Neither they (Koch’s) nor their kind have arrived in their wealth without the perpetration of some criminal fraud, it is their Achilles heel, their vulnerable weakness. Destroy these people with the merciless rigor they would likewise destroy you, no quarter, ever, as they are going to treat you.

    An interesting report on power and how to overcome the illusion of power is at BBC:

    and a biography from wikipedia:

    should make for an interesting read.

  41. Rob

    The situation in Ireland isn’t a Democrat/Republican issue. My read on it is that’s a rejection of the EU and the harsh terms they have told the Irish to accept, without asking the voters. Mish has some more here:


  42. Ian Welsh

    Read what’s linked to: the new governing party wants to maintain low tax rates AND renegotiate.

    The Europeans won’t allow that. Nor should they. What they’re saying is “you don’t get to coddle your rich people, have an unsustainable competitive advantage over us AND take our money.”

    A left wing party would understand that taxes must go up on Ireland’s corporations, no matter what you do with this debt.

    As for the EU, certainly they should be told to fuck themselves, but the point is that Ireland can’t have it all ways. If they want the EUs money, they’re going to have to cut a deal. If they don’t, good for them, but they have to be willing to pay that price.

    The new government’s position is incoherent. They can’t have their cake and eat it too.

  43. Rob

    Well said. I’d read that slightly differently.

    With regard to corporate taxes; I’ve always thought that’s just a hidden tax on the people. After all, if you raise corporate taxes, what that just raise the cost of the product? The overlords cannot allow a decrease in the profit margin.

  44. Ian Welsh

    No, corporations can’t always raise prices. It depends on how many other options there are. In the US, oligopolies can usually pass on costs (though not always), in Europe – sometimes, but less often due to more rigorous regulation. In the 50s and 60s you see much higher relative corporate tax rates, and much better economies for ordinary people. You should raise taxes on the corps and the rich, though for full effect various other policies should be instituted at the same time.

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