Monday, 28 May 2012

Yes on Stability

I was walking up Grafton Street today and I think I met a Senator.  Or a house of parliament dude.  He was well spoken, had a crisp navy suit, and wanted to hand me a YES flyer.  "Please vote YES!" he urged.  I think I've seen him on TV or the news or something.  He was confused why I didn't take his flyer, but then gave a wise sounding, "Ah ha" when I explained "I'm not from here" in my totally American accent.

There is a pretty good web site for the Stability Treaty.  They have a snazzy video with iconic graphics on the front page, to help educate people what this thing is all about.  I have transcribed the video below and offered my insightful comments for your reading enjoyment:
  The stability treaty is an international agreement between 25 European countries including Ireland and all the other countries that use the Euro.

   It brings in stronger rules to ensure that countries keep their debts under control and balance their budgets.

 [Me]  Yes I am in favor of this; balanced budgets are a good thing.  I am a fan of the Clark Howard radio show.  He is a consumer advocate who explains that we must save before buying things.  Also, he says the best financial planning advice is to get out of debt first.
  Governments will no longer be allowed to spend way more than they raise.
Ok, I'm with you so far...
  To avoid a repeat of the economic and banking crisis into which we and others were plunged, it was agreed that a tightening of the rules and regulations were needed.

  A stable euro is important for economic growth, that means investment and jobs.

Ok problem right there... if you're going to talk about investment, you're going to have to lower taxes on capital gains.  A simple rule of economics states:  High capital gains taxes means lower investment.  People don't want to invest if their return is diminished because the government taxes what you earn through investing.  Talk about a deterrent:  Investors take all the the risk and then the government steps in and says, good job bro, now give us our cut.  Wait, what?
  A stable currency is particularly important for countries with small, open economies like ours.  Ireland will be in an EU/IMF program until 2013.  After that the aim is to go back to the money markets, as is the norm.

  If we really needed it we could get financial assistance from the new permanent rescue fund, the European stability mechanism.  Its only available to countries which ratify the treaty.

  Much of what is in the treaty is already in the existing EU treaties and laws.
Well then why do we need it?  If we currently have a law that says "all cars must stop at red hexagonal signs with the word STOP printed on them," why do we need a treaty to agree to stop at stop signs?  I don't get it.
Our government and Oireachtas will continue to play the same role in setting taxes and deciding how to spend our tax money.

You are being asked to vote on the 31st of may on whether Ireland should ratify the treaty.  Your decision is a very important one for Ireland.

1 comment:

  1. The Government are just going through the motions with this Referendum. They are only asking the Irish people to vote on this issue because they are obliged by law to do so. If the Irish people vote "yes" they'll be happy. If the Irish people vote "no" it won't matter. They will just keep holding Referenda until they get the answer they want from the Irish people, like they did with the Lisbon treaty. Democracy is alive and well in good old Eire