Sunday, July 02, 2006


Impending doom in Ireland

Here's David McWilliams' weekly jeremiad about the impending doom that awaits what Tommy Tiernan has called "our Celtic-Tiger-golden-calf-bullshit-economy where everyone has fourteen jobs, twelve mobile phones and no fucking personality". McWilliams' thesis (which seems fairly solid to my untutored eyes) is that conspicuous consumption in Ireland is being funded not by "real" economic activity but by massive private debt, which is itself encouraged by and predicated on the property boom. But the boom won't last. He also refers (characteristically smartly) to the "under-30s Stakhanovites" who are squeezed by the rising property prices so welcome to those who got in before the boom. To wit, he closes his article thusly:

Our political class (the vast majority of them over 50) doesn’t seem to care. Is it any wonder that the under-30s don’t vote?

But I would suggest he gets cause and effect exactly the wrong way around here: what are the chances, given low levels of voting and other input into the political process among any particular group, that the "political class" will take their interests fully into account?

Some previous posts relate to this: one on voting rates by class in America, and a couple of more recent reflections on depoliticisation.

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