You probably know how much personal debt you have; how much you owe on your mortgage, car loan, credit card and other debts. But do you know how much public debt YOU owe? It’s probably a lot more than you think. Read on to find out how exactly much debt the political establishment have borrowed on your behalf.
During the Celtic Tiger period the debt level of the Twenty-Six County state was relatively stable at about €43,000,000,000 (€43bn). This meant that each worker was carrying a debt of about €22,600.
This all changed dramatically when the property market collapsed and the private banking sector went into freefall. On the night of September 28th, 2008 a small group of gombeen politicians from Fianna Fail and The Green Party met with senior civil servants and top bankers to develop a plan to prevent the private banks from going…..well….bankrupt.
The following morning the nation and the wider world woke to the incredible news that the government had guaranteed all of the debts of the private banks, with a potential liability of €440,000,000,000 (€440bn).
Fianna Fail, Fine Gael, The Green Party and Sinn Féin duly voted to back the bank bailout in Leinster House. The Labour Party voted against the bailout for the most cynical and opportunistic of reasons.
A month later the then Finance Minister, Brian Lenihan, boasted that it was the ‘cheapest bailout in the world’. Fast forward another two years to December 2010 and the entire state needed to be bailed out by the ‘Troika’ of the International Monetary Fund, European Commission and European Central Bank.
The Troika and the gombeens agreed an ‘Economic Adjustment Programme’ - a debt-driven pyramid scheme to protect not only Irish banks, but also the banks of Britain, France, Germany and many other countries.
In the years that followed the gombeens of Fianna Fail, The Green Party, Fine Gael, Labour and a rabble of ‘independents’ borrowed staggering sums of money to protect the capitalist economic order and their own political skins.
Tens of millions of euros borrowed on a daily basis to keep the pyramid scheme going - to hide the true extent of the economic catastrophe that they had created. An unprecedented borrowing binge to head off political instability and civil unrest. Debt piled on debt to keep a tax haven open for hundreds of US corporations to wash their profits.
And they kept borrowing right through the fake economic recovery, right up to the present day. The public debt of the Twenty-Six County state is now 388% higher than it was before the economic crash, before NAMA, before the bank bailout and before the Troika.
Only the United States and Japan, two of the largest industrial powers in the world, are carrying higher levels of per capita public debt than the Twenty-Six County state.
Today the public debt is estimated to be a staggering €210,000,000,000 (€210bn). That’s the equivalent of €91,300 for every worker in the state, or €42,800 for every man, woman and child.
The gombeen politicians, the vast majority of journalists and virtually every economic ‘expert’ in the land supported the bank bailout, the creation of NAMA, the Troika Economic Adjustment Programme and a pyramid scheme based on endless borrowing of money from the private international money markets.
But all pyramid schemes eventually collapse. The greater the scheme, the greater the collapse.
In 2008 when Lenihan was talking about ‘the cheapest bailout in the world’, Éirígí For A New Republic was one of the few voices to predict that the bankout would be disastrous for the people of Ireland. The passage of time has shown that Lenihan was wrong and Éirígí was right.
Today the gombeens and the ‘experts’ are telling the people that the public debts are manageable. They are wrong and will be proven so when the next economic shock hits an economy that they have built on sand.
And when that inevitable shock hits, they won’t be able to borrow their way through the economic and political chaos that will follow because the international money markets will refuse to throw good money after bad.
The alternative to the chaos of gombeen capitalism is a New Republic - a republic based on a radically different political and economic order to the current one - a republic that will replace chaos with order and put the needs of the people at the heart of all decision making.
The groundwork of building support for a New Republic must be done today and not in the midst of a future economic collapse when the people will once again be reeling in shock. Now is the time to expose and highlight the deep and inherent flaws of gombeen capitalism. Now is the time to build the political forces that will be able to offer leadership in the aftermath of the pyramid collapsing.
If you’re ready to join the fight for a New Republic you can do so here.