Sorry, but “regional” and “industry” policy gets up my nose in a big way. It is nothing but a waste of money.
IF a country needs roads or similar public infratructure that will not be properly provided by private agents incentivised by a profit motive, then fair enough. But the constant urge of politicians to spend taxpayers money on “creating jobs” (what bollocks) drives me to distraction. If you leave the income in the pockets of the people who generate it, we will get all the “job creation” you need.
Quite clearly the numbers are the result of the usual creative accounting. But consider this. If you gave me €400m up front, I could provide for a suffcient return to pay 1,000 people more than €30,000 per annum, forever. And they wouldn’t have to do a thing.
Let’s start being sensible right here. Let’s take that €400m and give it back to the people it was taken from in the first place and let them decide where the most apprpriate place is for it to be invested, or consumed, for better end result.
Thank God there’s more than me who hates this subsidise sh*te. I’ve audited gaffs in the Gaeltacht (Donegal and Mayo - a few years ago now) and people would find it hard to believe the cost of maintaining these jobs
The piece is a bit light on the specifics of these jobs. It does list the various amenities that are to be built though.
I wonder where this 90 acres is in relation to the existing town. It is a bit worrying that this policy is actually Joe Quimby’s “Plan B”, to move the town en masse a few miles down the road after Homer had stuffed the earth beneath the existing town full of rubbish.
Keynsian economics versus laissez faire free marketism?
Shannon does need a proper town centre (they should have had one 40 years ago) And it is governments responsibility to provide one. (no private company would ever voluntarily finance such a public project, and I don’t think they should)
It is proper planning to provide amenities in a town of around 9000 people instead of forcing them to commute 10-20 miles for basic services.
The fact that they’re selling it as a ‘job creation’ project is an indication that quality of life and proper planning are not strong enough reasons on their own to justify the expenditure of public funds.
If there isn’t the type or level of local public amenity desired or needed by the local residents, then they should collectively provide it via the council. That way you get the proper trade off being made. Locals making the value judgement on what is or is not worth having their private income sequestored by politicians in order to spend on public programs.
I mean, if I wasn’t going to have to pay, I would fully support all types of public amenity within easy stroll of my house. Of course, someone is paying and the fact that I am spending their money means we get extremely poor outcomes.
“Keynsianism” isn’t an alternative economic model. It is type of analysis (or more accurately a result) in economics that is applicable to particular circumstances (again technically, what is sometimes known as a profits recession).
The project in Shannon is being provided by the council. I don’t know what happens to the Rates that are collected from all of the multinational corporations in Shannon, but they are not being spent locally on public infrastructure in the town. (there isn’t any). I don’t know where the money is coming from for the project, perhaps it is being raised locally, but I don’t see why the people of Shannon should have to be the only people in the history of the state to have to pay out of their own pockets for their own town center. They contribute towards the public finances just like everybody else, and they are entitled to live in a town with basic amenities.
I don’t know if you’ve ever been to Shannon town, but it is a truly dismal place.
I know, and the proposed public works project in Shannon is an example of pump priming the economy and is a clever thing to do in a time of contracting economic growth and a collapsing construction centre.
But a lot of neo liberal types are vehemently opposed to any public projects on the basis that the market can provide anything that the citizens want (and if they don’t provide it, it’s just proof that the people didn’t really want it badly enough)
I really don’t agree with that way of thinking. If it wasn’t for public infrastructure projects (and providing a town centre for an urban area as large as Shannon does count as infrastructure imo) then most of the infrastructure that we now take for granted as being there (but is essential none the less) would never have been built, or if it had been, would only available to the very wealthy. (yes you can have a sewage system, but it’ll cost you 50 cents every time you flush)
I don’t think George Bush’s ‘rescue package’ counts as Keynsianism. It’s little more than another handout to the wealthiest Americans. Giving people a once off handout of a few dollars (for the average American) or a few million dollars (for the richest 1%) is not going to do anything to solve any of the fundamental problems in the economy. Without a multiplier effect, pump priming does not work and is in fact counter productive.
If he had spent that money on public works projects then it would be a very different story. By many accounts, U.S. public infrastructure is crumbling, if they had spent a lot of cash providing a world class high speed rail network across America then they would stimulate the local economies of everywhere it passed through, provide employment, increase confidence, increase land values, improve the environment and after all that money is spent, there will be something tangible to show for it. Instead, all that will be left behind is more and more personal debt and a deeper hole in the U.S. finances.
For an economy which is at full employment, as the US effectively is, I wouldn’t believe this will do much. If idt was large enough to do anything, it could just crowd out private capital and push up inflation with limited response from output or employment (possibly exacerbate a recession)
I stayed with relations in Shannon 2-3 months ago. It really wasn’t that bad and is a massive improvement over what it was 10+ years ago when I was last there. It’s not a traditional main street type setup and was to my knowledge considered quite innovative at the time. It very much planned with American influence hence the shopping centre rather than main street.
You make it sound like Shannon has no amenities which is totally untrue. It has a Dunnes Stores, Leisure Centre located within a small shopping centre, a few pubs and a good selection of schools. It doesn’t have a business park full of Woodies DIY’s, multiscreen cinema etc. or all the range of English shops ala Dundrum but then why would a town of 9000 people need that. The basics are all there.
Most people in Shannon either work in the airport, Shannon business park or Limerick. I don’t see how this investment will change this.
What exactly do you see this investment providing? It sounds a bit like if you build it they will come? I can’t see to many retailers or restaurants being will to setup let alone making it in a town that small.
Why would Shannon need a “proper town centre”? Most people prefer not to go to the town centre these days. In nearby Limerick, most people prefer to shop out near the Parkway shopping centre and the new outlets around Castletroy. People want somewhere thats easy to get to and has free parking and large stores.
Town centres are not just about economic activity. They’re a focus point for community interaction. They are supposed to be public space. A private ‘town centre’ (shopping centre) is not a public space. It is an artificial commercial creation that has closing hours and private security that limit freedom and can exclude non profitable people from entering or simply ‘hanging around’
Even the smallest village has a main street. Shannon does not. It has about 5 pubs, all spread out all over the place, none of which have any real atmosphere. Shannon has hardly any restaurants (mcdonalds and supermacs don’t count) or cafes, barely enough school places, no cinema, no theatre…
All it has are houses, thousands of houses, and thousands of young people with very little to do.
It was a disaster in terms of planning because no amenities were built, and now people from outside are objecting because long overdue plans are being proposed.
(I’m not from Shannon by the way, I’m from Ennis, so I’m supporting this plan in principle from a position of solidarity, not self interest)
What do you think would happen if Limerick city council decided to sell the city centre and build houses on it on the basis that 'most people prefer to shop in suburban shopping centres?
There would be absolute war. The town centre is a vital focal point for any community. We should not be copying the American wallmart model. From a community development perspective, walmart is the equivalent of a nuclear bomb.
Productivity produces jobs, communities and town centres; not government hand outs. I appreciate that your motives are noble but the sustainability of welfare economics (no matter how they’re dressed) has to be questioned.