Sunday, January 15, 2006

Sinn Fein's Scandinavian love affair.

Sinn Fein released their tax plan there last week. As expected from Sinn Fein it is a million miles away from what they said the year before. One policy was that Northern Ireland should have the Euro. About a month ago Gerry Adams was calling from Ireland to leave the Euro. Why Sinn Fein can get away with this policy jumping is beyond me. They are members of the European United Left -Nordic Green Left Anyway like many people they like going on about the Scandinavian model. Here is a very good article about the Scandinavian model and why it is a myth. Personally I don't think the Scandinavian model could ever work in Ireland. I think the reason why we can never have it. Is due to Irish culture and way of life. Here is a story a good friend of mine told me that explains the difference between the Irish and the Scandinavians and which I think explains why the Scandinavian model can never work here.( I’m not 100% sure the quotes are accurate but its close enough to explain my point) Two friends of mine were asking a girl from Sweden about how long it takes to get to the airport. The girl from Sweden said "65 minutes" So my friend said "oh so about an hour". And the Swedish girl. "No it takes 65 minutes." My friend said “In Ireland we would say it is about an hour”. The Swedish girl said “Why its 65 minutes”. That is why it can never work in Ireland. The parts of our culture that indear us to other countries and to ourselves is the very reason that our economic model is the one that works for us.

4 comments:

phdbird said...

Interesting link to the article - it only measures prosperity however. That isn't the point of the Scandinavian model. What it misses is the ideological successes. While Scandinavian countries may not have the accelerated growth experienced in Ireland, they still remain very wealthy with a high quality of life not experienced here. Do we have an efficient transport system (like the girl mentioned in your story)? Can a woman in Ireland take extended maternity leave and still keep a well paid challenging job? Do we have a passable health system? No. And I dont think it's enough to say that we can't have that here because we are laid-back. We wouldnt have had the Celtic Tiger if we didnt have capable and disciplined workers.

Simon said...

Well the thing is we have only been prosperous for a number of years. They have been a lot longer. Many of the problems (but not all) or due to factors that will take years to fix (buildings, roads and the like).

The thing with the extended maternity leave does need to change.

I think there is a difference between been laid-back and hard workers. Maybe they have more civic pride. More of a social conscience. Look at politics in this country we elect the best person for the area not what party we think would do the job.

Look at other countries they have 2 major parties 1 left 1 right. Our two major parties have the same policies.

Labour is centre not left. Sinn Fein is left but paramilitary. The PD's are right but the BUBA thing shows they are not that right. And the greens are left but small. We in Ireland care about our friends family and neighbours not people in other counties. The swedes would treat someone on the other side of the country the same as their neighbour.

Maybe the GAA is to blame for county boundaries.

Steve said...

"Do we have an efficient transport system (like the girl mentioned in your story)?"

No, will income tax at 50% solve that?

"Can a woman in Ireland take extended maternity leave and still keep a well paid challenging job?"

To what extent should employers be compelled to pay for extended maternity leave. And which country has the higer fertility rate, Ireland or Sweden?

"Do we have a passable health system?"

No, but then it's not for lack of funding.

"And I dont think it's enough to say that we can't have that here because we are laid-back."

Nor should the premise be that we can only have that here with Scandanavian taxes.

phdbird said...

Good points - but I still think that the role of the government is social as well as purely economic.

- There is definately not enough money being put into the transport system. The new transport initiative is promising but the infrastructure is being built under normal working hours so will take forever to finish. I would not mind paying higher tax to see work around the clock.

- About the maternity thing, it shouldnt be the employer who has to pay, but the government. It's for the good of the state and society. Ireland may have a higher birthrate but one third of these are births to single women who are therefore in danger of poverty. It's about quality of life.

- The health service are haemorraging money due to paying for every public patient, whether or not they go to the doctor. Plus, it still needs more money to go beyond basic services.

I agree we dont need taxes as high as Scandinavia here, but I wouldn't mind them slightly raised. That's if the government takes the responsibility to improve public services rather than have us pay for them ourselves. Everything is highly taxindirectly taxed anyway.