Neoliberalism On The Rocks

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From top: IMF chief Christine Lagarde and Michael Noonan at an IMF conference in Dublin, January 2015; Dr Rory Hearne

Ireland is a study in failure of the neoliberal financial capitalist model.

Rory Hearne writes:

The mainstream economic theory and policy being followed by governments around the world has failed to produce economic growth and worsens inequality.

So say the International Monetary Fund (IMF) in a sensational new report entitled, ‘Neoliberalism Oversold?

The report is written by three of the IMF’s top economists. For the first time it accepts that the main economic policies of neoliberalism and austerity that the organisation has been forcing governments around the world since the 1970s to implement (including Ireland as part of our recent Troika bailout) do not actually work.

The IMF is not some insignificant organisation. It is one of the central international organisations in global capitalism and it oversees the international monetary system.

The report finds that core aspects of neoliberal policies have resulted in increased inequality and have failed to increase economic growth, and that increased inequality in turn hurts the level and sustainability of growth.

Neoliberal policies, known as “the neoliberal agenda” or the “Washington Consensus” are essentially policies that promote a free market or laissez faire form of capitalism.

Neoliberalism was first implemented in Chile in the 1970s through the brutal regime of General Pinochet (which the IMF conveniently fails to mention) and then advocated for by free market economists such as Milton Friedman and was implemented savagely in other developing world countries under the Structural Adjustment Programmes of the World Bank and IMF, Reagan and Thatcher.

Neoliberal policies include introducing free market competition into all aspects of the economy and society (such as de-regulating the financial sector and opening up economies to foreign investment and capital flows, reducing the role and size of the state by privatisation, public spending cuts, and limiting borrowing), and reducing worker and environmental protections (seen as a barrier to profit and enterprise).

It also includes the commodification of natural and public resources like water, housing, education, health care, that is, opening them up to private companies to convert everything into a commercial product that can be bought and sold for profit.

The Report highlights that two aspects of the neoliberal agenda (removing restrictions on the movement of capital across a country’s borders and austerity (public spending cuts and repaying debt) are the policies that have caused the most problems.

In particular, they are critical of capital flows such as “portfolio investment and banking and especially hot, or speculative, debt inflows” as “Surges of foreign capital infl­ows increased the chance of a financial crisis, and such in­flows worsen inequality in a crisis”.

This has significant implications for Ireland. Ireland has one of the most globalised economies that is built around an openness to foreign capital and financial flows.

Ireland experienced this through the flow of investment from across the world (and particularly from European banks) that inflated our housing boom in the 2000s and we are now again experiencing it through the flow of speculative finance into housing through NAMA and financial capital flows through the IFSC, one of the largest hubs for financial flows in the world.

Ireland is, in fact, a study in failure of the neoliberal financial capitalist model. The Celtic Tiger was built on belief in the private market and in complete integration with globalised markets and this has continued after the crash. The Irish economic model is thus still built on the strong potential of crises and inequality.

Underneath the glow of the economic recovery, therefore, lies these dark clouds of potential financial crisis and growing inequality that suggest major problems lie ahead.

And yet no Irish media outlet (as far as I can ascertain) has covered the findings of the IMF report in any way.

This reflects a major failing in the Irish media to provide any serious analysis or critique of mainstream economic policy, despite the central role that neoliberal economic policies played in causing our crash and the devastating impact of austerity on Ireland.

The IMF report is very important because these mainstream economists have actually used the term neoliberalism to describe these policies.

Up to this point those of us who used the term neoliberalism to describe the phase of global capitalism post 1980s were dismissed as simply being overly ideological or political.

The IMF article gives important legitimacy to the critique of this policy.

It is highlighting that there is in fact an ideology underlying mainstream neoliberal economic policy – it is not an objective science but based around a belief and perspective that free market capitalism is the best way to organise the economy and that this ideology benefits the wealthy social classes and therefore represents their interests.

The problem is, as the IMF paper explains, neoliberal economic policies are not even working to reach their own narrow goals of increasing economic growth.

Global growth is sluggish (Ireland is an outlier and our economic growth has a lot to do with profit shifting by multinationals rather than real economic activity).

In the 2000s, critics demonstrated the unprecedented rise in inequality in countries that had most intensely implemented neoliberalism and that neoliberalism was actually a political project using the guise of free market ideology to redistributing wealth away from the welfare state and worker’s and back to the wealthy.

In my book on neoliberalism in Ireland published in 2011 () I highlighted how neoliberalism was pursued through the use of privatisation policies such as Public Private Partnerships (PPPs) in Ireland.

I found, in contrast to the IMF claims, the danger of these policies which profit corporations and financial investors, but result in rising costs and ineffective services for public service users, and the erosion of workers’ rights.

The IMF do point out that many neoliberal policies have worked well. This shows that they remain blinded by their adherence to free market ideology and the interests of the global wealthy 1%.

Neoliberalism has worked perfectly for the bondholders, banks, the wealthy 1%, big corporations, financial markets financial firms, global wealth funds etc.

It has worked for the corporations and private firms profiting from the commodification and commercialisation of water, housing, education, health etc.

It has certainly not worked for the poor and middle classes of Europe and the US who have lost wages, working conditions, public services and face increased insecurity and poverty.

By the 1990s neoliberalism had achieved global hegemonic status as the dominant political and economic policy and ideology. Francis Fukuyama wrote in 1992 that:

“…what we may be witnessing is not just the end of the Cold War…but the end of history as such: that is, the end point of mankind’s ideological evolution and the universalisation of Western liberal democracy as the final form of human government”

Thus neoliberal capitalism had apparently triumphed. Now, even the IMF are beginning to realise that it doesn’t work.

It’s now time for alternative equality and sustainability based economic models.

Dr Rory Hearne is a policy analyst, academc, social justice campaigner. He writes here in a personal capacity. Follow Rory on Twitter: @roryhearne

127 thoughts on “Neoliberalism On The Rocks

  1. Joni2015

    The same policies that have dragged us up from being or of Europe’s poorest to now having the 11th highest gdp per capita in the world and the fastest growing economy in Europe.
    How are you employed?

      1. Joni2015

        Would you rather we had the same Gdp per capita of Portugal if it’s so meaningless?

        Rory and his ilk desperately want Ireland to be urine poor and they will deny every economic indicator that contradicts them.

        1. jambon

          Why would they want us to be poor? That’s not really a rational, or believable, explanation. maybe they want the rich to be slightly less rich and the very poor to be slightly less so. I don’t see that as a bad aim.

    1. BarryK

      We were the fastest growing economy before and that fell apart. These polices are for short term gain built on foundations of sand. I don’t know if you were affected by the recession but those who were and those who seen the heartache and still feel its affects can see past these arbitrary statistics to see the bigger picture of the social structure and class issues that these polices give rise to. Economics is not rarely a science and more an ideology. As activist and author Susan George says the initial choice of ‘whats labelled a cost and whats a benefit is purely arbitrary’ that is, these choices will be tailored to suit the needs of a particular system or of particular interests (private interests). If I were to make an assumption here that we look at economics from a zero sum, where the very minimum entitlements it allows for people are: free healthcare, free education, and housing for all and if the choices been made took these in to consideration as the calculate the costs and benefits, we would see a very different model of economics. As such there is a choice, an ideological choice, to prioritise profit over people’s interests and we all have our part to play.

  2. They Tried To Make Me Go To Rehab

    economists are really insufferable boring idiots irrespective of political leanings

    1. Jordofthejungle

      Lol. I suspect my tax Euros sustain your Herculean intellect & online escapes.

  3. Rob_G

    “Ireland is, in fact, a study in failure of the neoliberal financial capitalist model. ”

    – this is demonstrably untrue

    (if one accepts that Ireland is a ‘neo-liberal’ economy, which many would not – Ireland spends a third of GDP on social protection)

    1. ethereal

      is that the same social protection that has our health services and homelessness at crisis levels, also poverty levels on the rise?

      1. Rob_G

        Yes (just because we spend lots of money on something doesn’t necessarily mean we are spending it efficiently, of course); a ‘neo-liberal’ economy we ain’t.

        1. MoyestWithExcitement

          We very much are a neoliberal economy. I can’t believe anyone would actually dispute that.

          1. Methyl Orange Order

            What you can’t believe would fill a barn. You should really leave this stuff to those who actually went to third level education, it’s clearly beyond your limited intellect.

          2. Rob_G

            By some metrics we are; by others we most certainly aren’t.

            I think that the idea of a ‘neo-liberal economy’ is kind of a misnomer; aside from maybe Chile in the 1970s, its more of a theoretical framework than an actual thing. All economies have a mix of liberal/socialist policies; the only thing in question is the degree of each.

          3. MoyestWithExcitement

            And the degree in this country, which has seen child pretty double and the middle class shrink whilst folks at the very very top get even wealthier, is far more neo-liberal/supply side/right wing than anything else. If I shan’t know any better (and I don’t actually) I’d swwar you had something to do with Renua changing their name to Liberal Democrats.

          4. newsjustin

            Has the middle class reduced in size? Where’s the evidence for that?

            On the article itself, it’s good the the IMF can question itself and interrogate what it’s doing. Doesn’t mean neoliberalism doesn’t work, just that it (or its results) are not perfect.

          5. MoyestWithExcitement

            “Where’s the evidence for that?”

            Rising poverty, homelessness, zero hour contracts, mergers, prohibitive tuition fees, half of the country earning less than 28k a year, etc.

            “Doesn’t mean neoliberalism doesn’t work,”

            It transfers wealth from the majority to a tiny elite class. It doesn’t work.

          6. newsjustin

            So you don’t have stats to back up your claim that the middle class is shrinking?

          7. MoyestWithExcitement

            “Half of the country earning less than 28k”. Did you not read that bit?

          8. Rob_G

            “Rising poverty, homelessness, zero hour contracts, mergers, prohibitive tuition fees, half of the country earning less than 28k a year, etc.”

            Rising poverty – poverty rates are largely static – http://www.cso.ie/en/statistics/socialconditions/atriskofpovertyratebydemographiccharacteristicsandyear/

            homelessness – here you have a point

            zero-hours contracts – I have never seen a any figures to indicate that these are particularly prevalent in Ireland.

            tuition fees – there are no tuition fees in Ireland for Irish residents; I guess you mean the ‘student contribution’. These are only paid by people who have means; poorer students pay nothing, so can be seen as a progressive measure, if anything.

            half the country earn less than 28k – this is before taxes and income transfers; once these are applied, much of the income inequality is addressed.

          9. ethereal

            there are a lot of people who earn just above the threshold for student grants but not enough to afford the registration fee so their children are excluded from 3rd level education

          10. MoyestWithExcitement

            “Over 376,000 people are living in consistent poverty in Ireland, double the figure in 2008, according to the latest CSO statistics published today.
            1.4 million people are experiencing deprivation, an increase of 128% since 2008.
            Overall, nearly 700,000 people are still at risk of poverty, of which 211,000 are children.
            Approximately, one in 6 children and one in 10 people aged over 65 are at risk of poverty, a new study shows.”
            http://www.socialjustice.ie/content/policy-issues/number-people-consistent-poverty-ireland-doubles-2008

            “These are only paid by people who have means; poorer students pay nothing, so can be seen as a progressive measure, if anything.”

            Any links showing poor people can get university education for fee?

            “half the country earn less than 28k – this is before taxes and income transfers;”

            It just means that half the country earning less than 28k a year gross. You’re defending this situation?

          11. Rob_G

            Child poverty rates – this is bad. Does this make Ireland a neo-liberal economy? We spend a full one-third of GDP on welfare.

            People from low-income backgrounds get grants, etc. to go to third-level.

            “It just means that half the country earning less than 28k a year gross. You’re defending this situation?” – how much/little should they earn(?)

        2. dan

          You can call it something else if you like. Arguing that we spend X on something so we’re not neoliberal is facile, our government has been doing everything they can to cut public spending and privatise public resources without reference to the societal impact of doing so.
          Everyone else calls that neoliberalism tho.

      2. DubLoony

        Yes, the same one where €3.5bn was allocated to housing 2 budgets ago.
        In Dublin City Council, €292 million allocated to social housing but the SF controlled council still hasn’t managed to spend it.

        1. Howard Schultz

          Moyest

          “And the degree in this country, which has seen child pretty double ”
          ” I’d swwar you had something”
          “I just have you a list.”

          On the buckfast this early?

  4. Donal

    IMF: “neoliberal policies don’t work”
    Rory Hearne: “see, the IMF says neoliberal policies don’t work and this needs to be talked about”
    Joni2015: “I know better than the IMF”

    1. Rob_G

      It’s more

      IMF: “we need to look at some aspects of the implementation of ‘neo-liberal’ policies”
      Rory Hearne: “See? The IMF has come out against neo-liberalism; we need to question if capitalism is really the right way to go”.

          1. Dόn 'The Unstoppable Force' Pídgéόní

            It’s the uniforms. Throw in a beret and I’m lost to the cause

      1. Kieran NYC

        “The IMF do point out that many neoliberal policies have worked well. This shows that they remain blinded by their adherence to free market ideology and the interests of the global wealthy 1%.”

        …what?

        No wonder the hard left in Ireland have such a childish, intolerant reputation. ‘Agreeing with me anything less than 100% is unacceptable!’

    2. Dόn 'The Unstoppable Force' Pídgéόní

      The IMF doesn’t have 3 international rugby caps though does it?

      1. Joni2015

        You’ve genuinely posted those same words about ten times now. You’re a complete lightweight.

          1. Howard Schultz

            It’s as funny as you thinking that there’s one person behind multiple accounts, with the sole purpose of rebutting your vacuous arguments.

            I see you take pleasure in other people being trolled, that makes us equals.

            Yours, etc

            Tony / The Key of Gee / etc

          2. Dόn 'The Unstoppable Force' Pídgéόní

            Well if it was a joke then it’s meant to be funny right? Great!

          3. Dόn 'The Unstoppable Force' Pídgéόní

            Oh oh Howard whoever you are, I’m just starting to find the same old posts with the same old arguments by the same old commentators and their same old multiple logons to be boring as fupp. What’s a woman to do? Work, I suppose!

  5. Stuey Ungar

    IMF: “neoliberal policies don’t work”
    Rory Hearne: “see, the IMF says neoliberal policies don’t work and this needs to be talked about”
    Joni2015: “I know better than the IMF”

    Donal: I am a lefty zombie

    Reality: Ireland 6th in world in Human Development Index – maybe this could be talked about too?

    Ireland has avoided the worst excesses of neoliberalism – this ain’t Chile. Dr. Hearne has an agenda and a valid world view. It is wiser to read what he presents while remembering what his agenda is.

  6. eviloftwolessers

    Hearne is getting terribly excited; meanwhile the IMF describes the article as “widely misinterpreted”:

    IMF Survey: Do you agree with some who have argued that a recent article in F&D (“Neoliberalism: Oversold?”) signifies a major change in Fund thinking? For example, is the IMF now saying that austerity does not work and, indeed, that it exacerbates inequality?
    Obstfeld: That article has been widely misinterpreted—it does not signify a major change in the Fund’s approach.
    I think it is misleading to frame the question as the Fund being for or against austerity. Nobody wants needless austerity. We are in favor of fiscal policies that support growth and equity over the long term. What those policies will be can differ from country to country and from situation to situation.

    http://www.imf.org/external/pubs/ft/survey/so/2016/POL060216A.htm

    1. Michael

      The article actually praises much of the neo-liberal agenda including things like privitisation.
      It’s real target is fiscal consolidation, or austerity as answer to high debt levels.
      The IMF has been signalling its difference on this issue for some time and most recently in Greece.
      On other neoliberal issues like privitisation IMF fully behind as indeed again in Greece.

  7. some old queen

    Whiter Ireland is a fully paid up neo liberal economy is fairly irrelevant. What is certain is that it is very open and therefore vulnerable. It is also pretty clear from international experiences that austerity removes money from economies and that they contract.

    The IMF is the bank of last resort for broke countries. They asset strip for profit and are most definitely not democrats. But then again, capitalism finds democracy is anti democrat anyways which is why it is thriving in China.

    https://systemicdisorder.wordpress.com/2013/11/21/more-capitalism-for-china/

    My point being that there is no link between democracy and capitalism, they are in fact opposites.

    1. some old queen

      *but then again capitalism is anti democrat anyways

      Would help if I read things before positing instead of afterwards lol

    2. Rob_G

      “My point being that there is no link between democracy and capitalism, they are in fact opposites.”

      – that’s strange; nearly every single democracy I can think of is a ‘capitalist’ society to a greater-or-lesser extent, while the only countries that abjure capitalism more-or-less completely are totalitarian states.

      1. some old queen

        Not really. Capitalism is thriving in China. This is fact. Now you could say that China is no longer a real communist country but what it proves is that capitalism and democracy do not go hand in hand.

        1. Rob_G

          Places with more liberal markets tend to have more liberal societies. It’s difficult to draw a direct correlation to the two (as most countries have at least some degree of market capitalism), but I don’t think that it is a coincidence that the few countries in the world with the greatest restrictions on the market (Cuba, North Korea, Myanmar) also have the least amount of democracy.

          China could be argued as the exception that proves the rule – though one could also argue that, in the case China and Vietnam, their socities are becoming slightly more open just as their markets are opening up.

          1. some old queen

            So look at it from the other side? Big business in the US has subverted the democratic process to the point where not only do they rubber stamp the candidates, it also set the debating agenda.

            Capitalism may have been associated with personal freedoms in the past but it is unlikely to do so in the future because the more worker’s rights there are, the more human rights even, the less profit.

          2. Rob_G

            “Big business in the US has subverted the democratic process to the point where not only do they rubber stamp the candidates, it also set the debating agenda.”

            – this is fantasy

          3. some old queen

            There is no fantasy in the fact that you either need a shed load of money or be backed by big business in order to even run as a candidate in the US and nobody will back you if you are not going to parrot what they want.

            Anyways back to china. The second largest economy in the world now so not an exception, more the rule. Also proving the pint that capitalism does not give a damn about people, the environment or anything else.

            http://yaleglobal.yale.edu/content/china-dark-side-growth

      2. some old queen

        I suppose what I am trying to say is that the old Capitalism vs Communism argument is no longer applicable.

  8. thor

    To the IMF Report : Just a thought. I think only a few unable to function for the common good holding on to a failed idea. The fashion of individual separation and the shift in moral does amplify the Problem and most money is in these hands

  9. Anne

    Noonan looks like a corpse there..
    Wouldn’t you have great faith in someone dealing with the country’s finances, who’s dodging the coffin on a daily basis.

    1. Anne

      I don’t mean to be ageist at all either.. Bernie Sanders is around the same age as him and looks fit as a fiddle. Every time I see Noonan on the telly in the Dail, he looks like you’d need to prod him to see if he’s still with us..

    2. Rob_G

      Given as you have no coherent economic argument upon which to criticise the man’s work, you decide to insult his appearance instead -stay classy, Anne.

      1. Dόn 'The Unstoppable Force' Pídgéόní

        Tell that to the people doing exactly the same and worse the other day…

        1. Anne

          Misogynists looking for attention Don.

          ‘Panga panga’ says the same thing above..not a peep.

          And the sexual slur of I must be sleeping with the mods, from that goon above too is revealing, don’t you think.
          He’s the same poster who got banned not too long ago for saying ‘shut the fupp up b*tch’ to another poster on here.

          I’m not commenting on Noonan’s appearance per se, but it does seem like he’s being kept in the position he’s in, even though he doesn’t look like he’s in the best of health, as he’s implements the desired policies of the troika.

          1. Rob_G

            “I’m not commenting on Noonan’s appearance per se…”

            => “Noonan looks like a corpse there… who’s dodging the coffin on a daily basis”

            The fact that other people may make criticisms based on appearance doesn’t make it right.

          2. The Key of G

            It’s also best not to falsely impugn and slander other posters based on imagined alternative realities

          3. Dόn 'The Unstoppable Force' Pídgéόní

            Everyone just calm down…. Deep breaths and …….. FRIDAY!!!

          4. Dόn 'The Unstoppable Force' Pídgéόní

            BTW – I think I was that b**tch. So that’s nice

          5. rory

            “It’s also best not to falsely impugn and slander other posters based on imagined alternative realities”

            The Key of G, you diagnosed Anne with Autism in a previous post.

          6. The Key of G

            Hi Rory that was fair comment from me
            Anne’s ranting comparing me to her imaginary friends on this forum is in another section.

  10. Eoin

    They’ve allowed far too many elite pigs at the trough. And they’ve lost control of the looting. Now Joe Public has become aware that a trough actually exists. And it takes a LOT to wake that guy up. But once he’s up……
    Now even the monstrous IMF are starting to panic. Probably shouldn’t have tried your 3rd world nation looting activities on Eurozone nations. Because unlike the poor 3rd world nations they usually target, we can defend ourselves. I look forward to seeing LaGarde on trial with the rest of the scum. Pray for that day.

    1. Steve

      You might want to readjust your view of the good vs evil actors in your narrative above. Google “IMF want debt relief Greece”.

      The baddy in all this is probably the ECB. IMF are trying to be good cop

      1. Andy

        IMF are looking to get the ECB & EU to write down their loans and refinance the IMF’s loans.

        It’s great to advocate debt relief for countries when it’s not you taking the major haircut.

  11. moroccan rug dealer

    Todays papers reporting 240 gangland killings unsolved with 130 in last decade. The goverment solution? Close garda training school, cut their wages, use them as security on water meters and gangland funerals. Shower of biggest wallies ever in goverment.

    1. The Key of G

      yes because this government are to blame for the number of gougers, scum and inbreds who put no value of life

    2. Kieran NYC

      Also crime usually goes up when the COUNTRY IS BROKE!

      Amazing that people now can’t remember the recession and think budget cuts were for the craic.

  12. Anne

    increased inequality and have failed to increase economic growth, and that increased inequality in turn hurts the level and sustainability of growth.

    Never a truer word said.

    Trickle down economics don’t work. The 1% hoard their wealth.
    People need a share in economic gains to increase economic growth.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5PaLxOkjvJE

  13. Anne

    opening them up to private companies to convert everything into a commercial product that can be bought and sold for profit.

    Just on that.. they’ve started to privatise social welfare

    http://villagemagazine.ie/index.php/2015/01/privatisation-kicks-in-quietly-and-unquestioned/


    The Department of Social Protection has contracted two private companies to deliver JobPath, a new activation programme for Ireland’s 178,000 long-term unemployed. This follows a tendering process supported by the Centre for Economic and Social Inclusion in London.

    such privatisation has been at least partially motivated by the desire to implement sanctions-driven ‘pay by result’ regimes

    1. The Key of G

      Excellent

      Given DSP’s dismal record in delivery of job activation programmes this can only improve

      1. Anne

        Does job activation, conjur up jobs I wonder?

        What dismal record? Shur job bridge is considered a job, even though it’s funded by the taxpayer.

        1. They Tried To Make Me Go To Rehab

          Job Bridge is a disgrace

          Job activation programmes are very successful in proper countries like Denmark etc.

          But they don’t have the type of ludramán over there who thinks sniping away like an oul wan at personal appearances of senior statesmen is what passes for objective commentary.

  14. Anne

    I was watching Crime Call there during the week and Philip Boucher Hayes had a Garda on who was talking about speed vans, which have been privatised with a company ‘Go Safe’.

    The garda was saying the vans are only positioned where there’s been a high incident of fatalities. Eh horsepoo.. He also said that it’s not a money making exercise, that the company are operating at a loss.

    But we can’t see their books anymore, as they’ve re-registered as an unlimited company.

    Well, back in 2012, they were making profits of 50k a week

    The network of 50 Go Safe vans has collected for the State over €20m in speeding penalties and fines over a four-year period.

    http://www.independent.ie/irish-news/courts/speed-charges-dropped-in-camera-contract-row-31547443.html

    1. Harry Molloy

      I have to say I love your man Philip Boucher Hayes, the lad just makes me smile, seems full of compassion

      1. Anne

        That’s wonderful Harold. Did you see the bit with the Garda and the speed van promo?

        1. Harry Molloy

          No I didn’t see that bit, don’t know much about it. I remember when they first came along though, I though their contracts were paid by hour rather than by speeding ticket so that it would be irrelevant to the company how many speeders they caught. Is this not the case do you know?

          1. Anne

            They could be paid by the hour and still have targets..

            Either way they are not positioning themselves on roads where there is fatalities.
            The judge here said they were operating on and just outside 30km ( I think that’s meant to be 50km) zones, that it’s like fishing in a goldfish bowl.

            I was caught myself not too long ago on a road where it changes from a 60km to a 50km zone, no houses around.. I was doing 57km.. about 5 miles over the limit in the old system.

            3 points and a nice fine for doing 35 miles per hour, and I’ll have the points for 3 years.

          2. Anne

            It’s not a revenue generating exercise though and it’s saving lives and they’re operating at a loss.. says a representative for the ministry of truth.

  15. Anne

    http://www.independent.ie/irish-news/courts/judge-throws-out-100-cases-of-speeding-over-outsourcing-30665588.html

    The Go Safe consortium secured the €80m Garda Siochana contract to operate the speed camera vans in 2009 and recorded operating profits of around €50,000 per week in 2012.

    Earlier this year in court, Ivor Browne, director of the firm that operates Go Safe, Road Safety Operations Ireland, told Judge Durcan: “The reason we introduced the Isle of Man structure was to just limit access to our accounts from a competitors’ point of view.”

    I can’t find Crimecall on the RTE player.. but the Garda said on the programme the other night, that they are operating at a loss.

    I find that very hard to believe, but the Guard seems to have information that the rest of us can’t access..

  16. Anne

    This bit is interesting from the judge

    http://www.independent.ie/irish-news/courts/judge-throws-out-100-cases-of-speeding-over-outsourcing-30665588.html

    He said: “There is no argument that speeding on our roads is not welcome but our citizens are entitled to due process and fair procedures when they face a day in court. If the State in its wisdom is outsourcing important garda duties to a private off-shore company, then the same principles and duties that the gardai are bound by must apply. To date that has not been my experience of this set up.”

    As far as I know prisons have been privitised in the U.S.
    Imagine that..

  17. Anne

    Yeah, they have been.. prisons, Jesus fupping wept.

    http://www.nytimes.com/2009/02/13/us/13judge.html

    Judges Plead Guilty in Scheme to Jail Youths for Profit
    The answers became a bit clearer on Thursday as the judge, Mark A. Ciavarella Jr., and a colleague, Michael T. Conahan, appeared in federal court in Scranton, Pa., to plead guilty to wire fraud and income tax fraud for taking more than $2.6 million in kickbacks to send teenagers to two privately run youth detention centers run by PA Child Care and a sister company, Western PA Child Care.

    More convictions, more money.. get the convicts to work on the roads for a dollar a day.. what could go wrong.

    1. Anne

      https://thenewtropic.com/prison-labor-florida/

      Chain gangs were reintroduced in Florida in 1995, except this time, they were chainless, since, “you can get more work done if people are not chained together,” as Eugene Morris, a spokesperson for the Department of Corrections at the time, told The New York Times. Rather than leasing out convicts to private entities, inmate labor is now provided to Florida’s Department of Transportation, Division of Forestry, and nonprofit organizations. Most striking, though, is the amount of prisoner labor required to maintain the prison system itself.

      Obviously, this is a far cry from the convict leasing system. However, prisoners are not paid for this work. In a loop-de-loop of economic logic, prisoners are forced to work in order to save taxpayer dollars to maintain the state’s tremendously high (and growing) incarceration rate.

      And this is the sh*thole of a country Kenny wants to emanate.

        1. Anne

          It’d be better than talking to ye shower of windbags..

          Noonan is a party animal compared to the lot of ye. Ye make coffin dodging look like great crack.

        2. Anne

          But cmere, anything to say about privatising Garda duties and prisons etc etc.

          Discuss away like.

          1. The Key of G

            You don’t want to discuss anything – you just want to prevaricate, declaim and then engage in huffy grandstanding or tantrums when you drive everyone else away

  18. Andy

    This blog is worse than anything I’ve even seen Mercille publish.
    Hearne completely misrepresents what the IMF report states.

    The IMF’s argument re austerity related to countries with (i) high debt levels but with (ii) “Fiscal Space”. They contend that the fiscal space is better used as a growth stimulant through increased investment rather than principal debt reduction i.e. Take a country with 120% Debt to GDP – The IMF article suggests it is better to invest $xxbn in growing the economy (thereby increasing GDP) than using that to reduce the outstanding debt balance. That is fine. Personally I think growing into the debt is a better option provided said investment is quasi non-recurring in case there’s a global slow down or there’s a shift in the debt markets against the borrower.

    What Hearne ignores is that both Ireland, Greece etc. did not have any Fiscal Space (massive government deficits which locked them out of the debt markets). In these cases the IMF note that there is no other option but to push through austerity measures. In Ireland’s case they would suggest we prioritize increased investment over debt repayment which is at odds with the EU budgetary rules HOWEVER the main point is – If you have a huge deficit and no market funding then you have to reduce that deficit through cuts.

    To sum up how terrible this piece is take this line from it:
    “The IMF do point out that many neoliberal policies have worked well. This shows that they remain blinded by their adherence to free market ideology and the interests of the global wealthy 1%”

    Having accepted his interpretation of the IMFs comments on austerity, he rejects any other points they make because of his own ideology.

    So Rory claims the MSM is failing everyone when it doesn’t analyse these IMF claims, yet his stance on these IMF claims is at odds with what the actual IMF claims are. Does he allow criticism of his own agenda?He is a hypocrite.

    1. Kieran NYC

      Are you honestly surprised?

      If you want facts, read Taft.
      If you want decent opinion pieces, read Anne-Marie and Dan Boyle.
      If you want an aneurysm, read Frilly (kidding!)

      One should never go full Mercille or Rory.

      Or gawd help us, Paul Murphy now.

      1. Harry Molloy

        Think his point is that you’re just cherry picking the pieces of the report you agree with Rory

          1. Anne

            Harold..
            Rory means, read this slowly now.. Could Andy be cherry picking too?
            “Could you apply your comment to Andy” Get it now?

          2. rory

            Thanks for clarifying Anne, find it hard to make words sometimes.
            That said, i’d appreciate it if you were less patronising (i.e. The ‘read it slowly’ line.) Even if you dislike said commenter.

          3. Anne

            Harold loves a bit of chain yanking Rory.. I don’t dislike him at all. I don’t know him.
            Don’t worry about it, thank you.

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