We Are the 99% …Well not really

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,



About thecityfathers

We sit around all day stroking our beards, clucking our tongues and discussing what's to be done with this Homer Simpson
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4 Responses to We Are the 99% …Well not really

  1. Lisa says:

    ‘The City Fathers’
    Are you pair of pricks this prententiuos in real life?,

  2. hippygran says:

    Oh my goodness, this is a very misinformed rant, in my opinion. I spend a lot of my time talking to people passing the occupy Galway camp. The vast majority of the people we talk to on a weekday will be tourists or pensioners, mostly tourists. From what I have seen since October, there is no ‘tourist season’ as such..people visit all the time. Showing a photo of crowds in Galway does not prove that there are loads of unemployed layabouts who don’t want to get a job!
    I would also say that the occupy movement is about a lot more than just unemployment and the banks. The world is being destroyed by the pursuit of profit…the bank bailouts are just the tip of the iceberg, but they have proved to be the tipping point with a lot of people. The occupy movement is full of people who feel angry at the system, who want a clean environment for their descendants, who want a society that gives more priority to people and life than to economic interest.

    • I never said the banks didn’t have any part in the crumbling of the country. Just that the Irish people also have and tried to convey that our current welfare state system cannot be sustained. Also highlighted in Galway that unemployment has always been high in this town. Like you said Galway city isn’t a tourist town, there’s maybe two months. July and August that have a higher peak of tourists in Galway. But we have tourists all year round. I have also been down to the occupy movement. Fair play to you for expressing on here some of the points of interest but I notice your name from Boards. Which is the 4th most visited website in the country and the Galway section is one of the busiest regional forum sections. As is a theme on that ongoing thread, the Occupy Galway movement thus far has not been providing any persuasive points for a lot of us to get behind. There’s no structure to how the camp suggests to improve matters or provide any concise arguments.
      I respect your opinion but my post was not just about the Occupy movement, it was about Irelands social divide in general. I just happened to pick on the term 99% vs the 1% because whilst that might be accurate for the United States and other less social countries, I do not believe we experience as much of a social divide which is the point of the movement in America that made sense to me. Social divide, people working their asses off and paying their taxes for ironically The City Fathers of the world to reap all the rewards.
      Here we have people working hard and getting taxed out the ass to pay in my opinion overly generous social welfare. By all means, lets fix corruption and the horrible infrastructure in this country. But lets also restructure social welfare so leeches can no longer sit on their asses without any desire to work. Again that’s not everybody on the dole but check out the unemployment records in Galway back in 2006…pre-recession. A lot of people didn’t work then..was that because a lack of jobs…no. My friend was an assistant manager in a phone shop, he had a job posting for over 3 months and nobody was willing to take it. My sister was a manager in a clothes shop, she had several positions to fill and could only find 1 person, that person was a 17 year old…you say it’s misinformed. I also have lived with somebody who admittedly had lots of “hippy” friends. None of which worked before the recession and none of which continue to work. This post is my opinion, based on life experience. I’ve lived here my whole life and I’ve also paid taxes, this is just me voicing my opinion..or typing it out rather. Thanks for reading

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