ESRI - government propaganda unit?

The contents of the recent ESRI ‘working paper’ are being debated elsewhere on the pin, but I am concerned about the actions of the ESRI in withdrawing the working paper (436, The costs of working in Ireland, by Crilly, Pentecost and Tol).

The ESRI defines working papers as:-

They then withdraw this specific working paper, the first time that this has occurred as far as I (and the newspaper of record) am aware.

Prof Ruane doesn’t appear to be aware what her own organizations definition of a working paper is. Who are they going to be checked by? If they are peer reviewed, they are not ‘working papers’. If they are reviewed by ‘the powers that be’, they are censored, but hey, there is a great tradition of censorship in this country.

She is evasive as to whether pressure has been brought to bear by the government - the sponsers of the ESRI.

Tol stands by his conclusions

It is important to realise that academic censorship does not benefit anybody. People can and have debated the content of this report, but withdrawing it indicates that the ESRI is an organ of the state and one must question the veracity and insight of any of its working papers if they are ‘allowed’ to be published.

Its mad isnt it.

The perception of objectivity at the ESRI is fatally wounded by this, imho.

For “underlying research was flawed” please read “got bollocking from minister over the phone”.

I never gave any notice to the ESRI. Always saw them as a government mouthpiece. Another tentacle of the self serving parasite that is Establishment Ireland Inc. Just like RTE. Whenever an RTE radio presenter refers to a report from the “respected independant think tank the ESRI” I tune out. One tentacle stroking the other.


the ESRI is quite open about its funding;



One can’t help but reflect on the contradiction and potential conflict within the statement.

Blue Horseshoe

Probably the key point wrt impartiality is, who appoints the senior personnel at the ESRI.

Mahon Tribunal mde exactly that point about the Gardai.

This working paper was out for some time before it went mainstream in the media (Charlie Weston wasn’t it?) Then the Dept of Social Protection condemned it publicly and then the ESRI said it was withdrawing the paper.

The real issue the paper highlights is that the wages of a significant proportion of the population are at an abominably low level.

It is clear to anyone who has actually had to live on welfare for an extended period that they get enough to only eke out a semi-existence in our society. Their food, shelter inevitably becomes of the lowest order. They cannot pay their bills. The only things they can afford to do for those so inclined to ease their boredom somewhat are watch TV and drink cheap booze.

Yet, there are multitudes of hard workers afforded the same constrained existence!

We have a race to the bottom (for the majority of the population) cheer-leaded on by far too many in our society.

It doesn’t take an ESRI report to convince me that huge numbers on Welfare are doing far better than many of those working. My eyes and ears alone confirm it. Yesterday, some representive of the unemployed laughably declared on RTE that we need far more higher paying jobs to get many of these back to work. No we don’t. We need far fewer “entitlements”.

Daughter, who is 20 got a summer job in quite a big a retail/wholesale place and she tells me she is one of the few Irish there. Most of the staff in the packing warehouse area appear to be young Pakistanis or Indonesians. Meanwhile, the park around the estate she cycles through to get there is swarming with pale, pasty-faced, tracksuited wasters in their late teens and early twenties, who by rights should be doing these jobs but couldn’t be arsed because of the generosity of the State! (There are still vacancies in this place by the way.)

The remarkable thing about the ESRI report is - it doesn’t take a genius with a Phd to figure out its conclusions. A few quick calculations and anyone could do it. Many of those on Welfare have done their own research and come to the same conclusion as Mr Tol!

Richard Tol commented on the nepotism bias and and a propensity to favour Irish expertise in the esri at the time he left. i think it was commented on extensively on Irish .

Could the OP please remove the question mark from the thread title? Thanks in advance.

Almost half the world — over three billion people — live on less than $2.50 a day. At least 80% of humanity lives on less than $10 a day. Let’s not even get into shelter, safe water, health, education, etc.

Indonesia and Pakistan are well represented in the above.Of course these people would take any job going in Ireland, for any money, in any conditions.

The only thing that stops employers offering the people who come from these conditions much less is state regulation and the level of welfare available.

If welfare went down further, the money paid out by companies to these lower employees would follow suit.

Surprise, surprise there is all this pressure for welfare to drop even lower.

A race to the bottom.


Bottom? More like towards reality and better competitiveness.

We all know welfare is far too high and I don’t buy your claim they can’t pay their bills - is that their sky tv and broadband bill?

This springs to mind:-

NamaWineLake has a copy here: … report.pdf

The race to the top really worked out for us, didn’t it?

For some people, yes. Of course, this is what this race to the bottom is all about - protecting the advantages gained by ‘some people’. … 15732.html

ditto…an internal devaluation is necessary at ALL salary levels, housing, rent allowance, dole etc to try and regain competitiveness and affordability.

Well let’s have an equitable internal devaluation. That has not been happening.

First, what is half of nothing?

Then, what kind of salary decreases have we seen of those on 80K plus? (Relative to their current and future financial security)

Finally, what has gone up in price?

A: Groceries, Gas, Electricity, Cigarettes, Petrol, Diesel, Car Taxes etc.

What has gone down in price?

A: Houses, investment property, plant and equipment, equity in companies, other peoples’ labour…

There’s a certain section of society always gets shit on.

Others have teflon coatings.