Growth takes a walk as Fás disappears

There is a lot of irony in these post-Halloween days. We have managed to arrange a Monster Web Festival, a truly magnificent technological event worthy of celebration as Dublin authorities launch a No-Water festival.

We are advised the “Exit from the Bailout” Festival will be celebrated with additional “safety net” horror budgets, as will “exit from the safety net after exit from the Bailout” Festival in a few years etc, etc; you know what I mean.

There is also the disturbing news that house prices are rising in Dublin while most of us thought disturbing news was house prices falling; just shows how wrong us mere mortals can be about economics.

Yet there is one gem of reality amongst all the confusion; Ruari Quinn has signed off on Fás. Growth, the English translation of FáS, is officially dead. It is the first acknowledgement of reality from a Government that has so far denied every suggestion that modern technology affects economic activity. Reality is that technology which can provide absolutely everything in abundance (with the exception of water in Dublin on the most technologically significant week ever) renders “growth” (which is producing more) unnecessary and impossible.

Back in Ballymore Useless, where all political and economic thinking takes place, there is apparently no inkling that all the technological might on show has any influence on economic activity. As far as all are concerned, nothing has changed; it’s grow and produce jobs as our fathers did forever more. No inkling that real “Growth” is dead or on life support in most established economies with enormous impact on investment, business, lending, debt, etc. “Growth” was the very lifeblood of old economic activity till this very time; its demise is surely worth mentioning.

Padraic Neary


Co Sligo

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