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How’s That Austerity Working Out?

The BBC reports that Irish Republic 85bn euro bail-out agreed

European ministers have reached an agreement over a bail-out for the Irish Republic worth about 85bn euros ($113bn; £72bn).

The deal will see 35bn euros go towards propping up the Irish banking system with the remaining 50bn euros to help the government’s day-to-day spending.

An average interest rate of 5.8% will be payable on the loans, above the 5.2% paid by Greece for its bail-out.

Ireland got in this mess by guaranteeing the bad loans of its banks, part of the absurdity of socializing debt while privatizing profits. It compounded the problem by introducing austerity which has made a bad economy even worse by increasing unemployment and reducing the demand needed to get the economy moving.

Even though it is in this mess, the Irish government refuses to raise its absurdly low rate of business taxation. It is still in thrall to concept that all business thinks about is low tax rates. Businesses move money through Ireland, but they aren’t investing in Ireland. Despite the reality that this same situation exists in tax havens throughout the world, no actual investment in the local economy, the myth persists.

This deal punishes the Irish people while bailing out those responsible for the mess, the banks. Iceland, by contrast, told its banks to drop dead, and is recovering from the mess. BTW, capitalism requires the bad banks to go out of business, that is how the “invisible hand” regulates things.

November 28, 2010   17 Comments

Mer Jul i Gävle

Julbock

Once again, Why Now? is pleased to present the link to the webcam of Gävlebocken, The biggest Christmas Goat in the world [now with a blog].

From Steve Bates of Yellow Something Something in the comments from 2006:

Why build a giant goat of straw,
Which most of us would scarcely note?
Some, though, defy the very law,
To vandalize the Gävle Goat.

In some years, they used wayward cars;
In others, flaming arrows smote.
This year’s survives, although with scars…
A fact that gets some people’s goat.

A webcam and some watchful eyes,
A flame-retardant second coat,
Should save it… unless Dubya spies
The thing, and claims it’s his pet goat!

– SB the YSS

[Note: with the time difference and much shorter days in Sweden in the winter, you have to look really early to see the ‘Goat in daylight.]

November 28, 2010   2 Comments