I noticed this week that the Occupy Galway group are painting their pallettes to blend into Eyre Square better. I’ve actually been in such a positive mood lately that I’ve found it hard to come up with any rants worthy of this site. So get ready friends! A work colleague of mine told me a story today about his girlfriend who worked in a dentists office, a traveller who already had their one free visit as part of their welfare for the year refused to pay and physically threatened the poor girl threatening to knock her teeth out. Are you Serious Bro!? Shit head angry because they don’t think they get enough handouts. Fuck that.
In Ireland we have a unique social divide. Occupy Wall Street was at first very well received by the vast majority of Americans because their social welfare is minimal. You get state handouts if you lose your job but it’s only about 50 dollars a week, if you can’t find work within a certain time payments stop and your ass gets in line at a soup kitchen. I think that’s a little bit harsh myself but I guess at least it means the people that are down and out over there are truly down and out. Thus there is a very clear divide in the classes in America and it’s obvious that the wealth is not being distributed in anyway fairly. The rich keep getting richer whilst others struggle to get by.
Whilst in Ireland it’s difficult to get behind the Occupy movement because it wasn’t just government and banks who caused our economic hard times, it was us, the Irish people. Just because the banks were willing to give you a loan doesn’t mean you have to buy that fancy new car. Live within your means ya dumbass. If you are taking out a loan make sure it’s one you could pay back if you did ever happen to lose your job. If your combined salary as a married couple is only a tiny fraction of what your mortgage costs then don’t buy the fucking house. Sure the government officials and big executives are getting a lot more than those in middle and lower class situations but the middle class here do make a decent living and enjoy lots of perks from being a citizen here. A worst case scenario here is living off the dole and not being able to afford Sky TV and a holiday next year. It makes the divide less clear since people tend to have a good quality of life in most situations.
Every other asshole collecting the dole snarks on about how it’s his or her money anyway because they paid their taxes the whole 2 years they bothered to work after they got back from travelling the world. If everybody in the country decided tomorrow, fuck it, I’ve worked and paid my taxes, I think I’ll get myself fired and claim the dole. The country would collapse. It’s the wrong attitude to think that because you paid your taxes you are entitled to get it all back when you are unemployed. Taxes should be invested to improve the countries infrastructure, help those who are physically or mentally challenged and promote innovation and job creation. All it’s used for in Ireland is lining the pockets of corrupt politicians and civil servants. I heard a discussion on the radio about some bank in Ireland looking for a new executive and the 180k a year was being claimed as not enough to attract a suitable candidate. We are going to keep making the same fucking mistakes that put us in this situation. If they could pay 250k they’d still hire some piece of shit because the people doing the hiring are corrupt.
So now we’ve got a situation where 14% of the county are on the live register. That doesn’t tell the whole story though. Because you have to account for all the students who are not applicable for the live register, then calculate how much in grant payments and rent allowance they claim. Disabled people are not on the live register and don’t work, so how much is going to them? They deserve every penny of course but consider it in terms of budget. There was an article months ago which also suggested people who are on the dole and sign up for the FAS courses are with the VEC and FAS places get registered for the same course twice over e.g. each person being down to do the same course twice. Resulting in some civil servants keeping their jobs, the courses looking like they fill up more quickly and allowing people to escape from the threat of having their dole cut for not pursuing another course. Galway again also being unique had nearly 10% unemployment back in 2006 before the fuckin recession even started. So if you take that into consideration I would boldly say I think a high percentage of those unemployed in Galway don’t want to work. This is a hippy town and always will be.
I don’t have a gripe with people who are in the unfortunate position of having lost their jobs and needing a hand while they get back to their feet but this town we live in has a lot of people who do not want to work. I won’t say the majority do not work but I would say it’s a very sizable minority. This is a strain we can’t afford. This 99% bullshit is a load of bollocks in Galway. If it’s the workers who are paying for all the social welfare of those that are receiving it and so few are actually working between the students, disabled, job seekers. Then it’s not the 99% that are getting screwed. More like 60%
I had a friend who got a graduates job after staying in college for 6 years and being unemployed for a year who told me he missed living in Galway on the dole. It was a nice peaceful and fun existence…
Check out these pictures I took one day when I took a day off work. It was 2:30 and 3:00 on a Tuesday.
The bus is always the most full during weekdays in the middle of the day also. I’ve had to get a city bus to Eyre Square several times during the week when travelling out of the country for work. The bus on my route (No. 7) was usually pretty empty on weekend but brimful in the weekdays around 11 and 12. I got back from Manchester on a Wednesday last April and Galway town seemed to have more people around the streets than the main street in Manchester. This place boggles my mind sometimes. What say you our disgusting public. If you are unemployed, I hope you fall into the category of those that genuinely need the help. Because then you can’t be offended by this…I think.
Hi-Jacked an Occupy Galway fundraising poster today. The City Fathers have more chance of making an impact on this world!
I just blogged my brains out,