Outline Policy on Full Employment
Organisation: Democratic Socialist Party
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Commentary From The Cedar Lounge Revolution

28th October 2013

This is one of a series of short pamphlets issued by the Democratic Socialist Party in the late 1970s and early 1980s. Each pamphlet took a different policy area and expanded across four or five pages on the approach the DSP would take.

This one considers the issue of Full Employment, and it argues that:

Unemployment is the most serious social problem in this country. It has been a major problem throughout the life of the state. In such circumstances one would image in that the search for a solution to this problem would form the focus for the idealism, the imagination and the efforts of substantial progressive political movements. In post-War Europe, socialist parties gained greatly in support and authority by placing full employment in the forefront of their policies and their achievements in this area have been considerable. Irish politics, however, had different priorities. The first national aim remained the enforcement of the territorial claim on Northern Ireland, with the equally sterile secondary aim of reviving the Irish language absorbing much political attention.

And it continues:

The labour movement never succeeded in taking an independent stand i relation to the priorities of Irish politics. Indeed, the achievement of full employment was first placed in the centre of mainstream politics not by the Labour Party, but by Fianna Fáil in their 1977 election manifesto. In the event their commitment proved to be a superficials one, a token gesture to the need of modern Ireland, and when a crisis point came the party replaced its new national aim with the tried and trusted catch-cries of nationalism.

In the rest of the leaflet it considers areas such as ‘Planning for Employment’, ‘Industrial Job Creation’, the ‘National Enterprise Agency’, a ‘State Development Corporation’’, The Financing of Industrial Job Creation’ and ‘The State Enterprises’. It briefly examines Services (Housing), ‘Agri-Business’, ‘Fisheries’, ‘Forestry’ and concludes by arguing that:

A sustained period of full employment is unlikely in the near future. We believe, however, that even under the present political setup much can be achieved. The trade union movement is already one of the most powerful forces in Irish society and if it were prepared to use that strength in a way that other less representative interest groups have no hesitation in doing, it could win many worthwhile reforms.

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  • By: ejh Tue, 29 Oct 2013 16:45:37

    In reply to RosencrantzisDead.

    Anyway let’s not get diverted

    Indeed let’s not: you’ve been asked for facts and figures and you’ve come up with none. Waste our time no more.

    Reply on the CLR

  • By: RosencrantzisDead Tue, 29 Oct 2013 16:50:40

    In reply to RosencrantzisDead.

    Principles of supply and demand are not easy to admit to here but I’ve done my bit.

    ::Sigh:: Another dodge and a rather poor one at that. Supply and demand in the text-books seldom applies to the real world. You would have to ignore the existence of, say, a minimum wage, collective agreements, and other advantages (such as a stronger command of the English language) that the natives might enjoy before you could demonstrate that workers have been disadvantaged in any way.

    Also, supply and demand relates to individual markets. Immigration would have to affect those markets where (i) the least well off were abundant, and (ii) there were no protections or safety nets. If one day one you have a market of 500 doctors and on day two 500 bankers immigrate, do the wages of the doctors decrease? So we would have to ask the further question of what markets the majority of immigrants entered into.

    You have still failed to demonstrate your unequivocal claim from above:

    The economic migration from East Europe has transformed things for the worse for indigeneous workers at the lower end of society and theres no benefit for the left in refusing to acknowledge the fact.

    Even if you could back this up, richotto (and you could just go to the CSO or the SILC databases to look for evidence), you would still have the problem that the promotion of greater protections for workers would, in fact, prevent any of the race to the bottom scenarios you paint here. Anyone with half a brain might also wonder why we should set two groups of exploited people (immigrants vs. natives) against one another rather than focusing on the exploiters and making moves to delimit their power.

    Of course, you cannot come to this conclusion since you think the left should get into bed with and accommodate business.

    You need to try harder. Grade: D.

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  • By: EamonnCork Tue, 29 Oct 2013 16:50:57

    In reply to RosencrantzisDead.

    ‘Those governments would make Tony Blair look red.’ No, they wouldn’t. ‘To deny anti-socialist sentiments among East Europeans lacks credibility.’ No, it doesn’t.
    There’s no point talking to you, is there? All you have is stuff which you believe must be true because it should be. And you still don’t have the manners to go away and find a few facts and figures to prove any of these assertions. You’re the same about the Public Sector. Saying something over and over again doesn’t make it any more true.

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  • By: Brian Hanley Tue, 29 Oct 2013 17:08:30

    I know a sometimes Sunday Independent columnist who only has to look into his heart to know what the working class of his adopted Phibsboro feel about any particular issue. I wonder does Richotto know him.

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  • By: EamonnCork Tue, 29 Oct 2013 17:14:59

    In reply to Brian Hanley.

    Know him? Sometimes I wonder if he is him. It’s a pity that the lengthy denunciation of the kidnapping Roma which was probably being written this time last week will never see the light of day. Though he did his best to keep the hate going on Twitter even after it was obviously a lost cause.
    BTW, a relation of mine once removed the phrase, “Thieving Roma vermin,” from the copy of another columnist, who also prides himself on his links with the working class, and had to explain to the irate enemy of all things PC that there was such a thing as incitement to hatred. And decency, though our friend was more moved by the former consideration than the latter.

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  • By: EamonnCork Tue, 29 Oct 2013 17:15:54

    In reply to EamonnCork.

    I feel sorry sometimes for these lads that Paddy Donegan isn’t around for them to idolise.

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  • By: Frankie Donnelly Tue, 29 Oct 2013 17:22:20

    In reply to Brian Hanley.

    Richotto? Richotto? BICOtto perhaps?

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  • By: richotto Tue, 29 Oct 2013 17:25:28

    In reply to Brian Hanley.

    The usual snide thought police are just out to shoot the messanger now. Fine then, I’m off. Personalisation and abuse are no substitutes for rebuttal. The electoral vunerability of the mainstream left in dealing with legimate working class concerns on this issue where they have capitulated to business demands for liberal movement of labour across borders has been bourne out loud and clear over the last ten years. At least Ed Milliband has acknowledged it as a mistake. Its a start. Otherwise the nationalistic right will continue to capture votes across Western Europe that naturally belong to the left of centre parties.

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  • By: ejh Tue, 29 Oct 2013 17:28:04

    In reply to richotto.

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  • By: Eamonncork Tue, 29 Oct 2013 17:29:00

    In reply to richotto.

    Reply on the CLR

  • By: Eamonncork Tue, 29 Oct 2013 17:30:04

    Reply on the CLR

  • By: RosencrantzisDead Tue, 29 Oct 2013 17:32:08

    In reply to richotto.

    Even ignoring decency and the notion that we should be committed to a rational society who advances on the basis of evidence and reason, your proposal is:

    “Let us advance the interests of a section of the working class by setting them against the interests of a section of the working class.”

    Can you really not see any strategic problems with this approach?

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  • By: ejh Tue, 29 Oct 2013 17:37:16

    In reply to Eamonncork.

    Reply on the CLR

  • By: sonofstan Tue, 29 Oct 2013 17:37:32

    In reply to richotto.

    Richotto, have you ever come across notions of evidence, referencing, offering up arguments where one thing follows another in a sequence that could be objectively defended? All I get is ‘everyone knows’ and ‘it’s obvious’. Perhaps we’re all thick here, but part of our way of doing things is not to automatically assume that because ‘everybody knows’ something, it is automatically the case. RiD mentioned Quine up there – you might have a look at ‘Two Dogmas of Empiricism’ as an example of how unobvious the obvious may actually be. (And Quine was a conservative, so no fellow traveler politically of most around here)

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  • By: ejh Tue, 29 Oct 2013 17:38:16

    In reply to ejh.

    Did Stockhausen do anything on this theme?

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  • By: RosencrantzisDead Tue, 29 Oct 2013 17:40:28

    Before you go, Richotto, you need to provide evidence before you get a rebuttal. You have provided nothing.

    Your analogy with climate change denial is wanting – those who have investigated global warming have had their data and evidence tested in journals and have provided it to the public. Deniers ignore it or make specious arguments. You have provided nothing.

    I have answered your vague pleas to ‘supply and demand’ with reasons as to why it does not obtain in the real world. (I did not even bring up the matter of the requirements for a perfect market, which has never existed anywhere). You have provided nothing.

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  • By: Eamonncork Tue, 29 Oct 2013 17:42:38

    In reply to ejh.

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  • By: Eamonncork Tue, 29 Oct 2013 17:47:31

    Isn’t it a current right wing trope, though, that factual evidence doesn’t really matter. People just KNOW what’s right. In fact even people on the Left KNOW, they just pretend not to because of Political Correctness or Middle Class Guilt or something like that. But right wing political positions are simple common sense and don’t actually need to be backed up with a lot of statistical mumbo jumbo. They are based on archetypes, ‘the squeezed middle’ ‘the coping class,’ ‘the welfare queen,’ ‘The Public Service dosser with his gold plated pension, ‘ ‘the East European who has no time for workers rights’ rather than evidence. When it comes to something like the Tea Party this is evinced as part of its appeal, you don’t need to think or interrogate your prejudices, you just say what everyone KNOWS but is prevented from saying by the media/the PC lobby/them.

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  • By: Eamonncork Tue, 29 Oct 2013 17:49:27

    The guy who used to get up in the back of the Gay Byrne Late Late Show audience and say, ‘I don’t know much about this issue but what I think is . . . ‘ used to be apologetic.
    When he got up in The Frontline he gloried in his ignorance as though it was not a lack of but rather a superior form of knowledge.

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  • By: RosencrantzisDead Tue, 29 Oct 2013 20:41:34

    To labour this point (and make a bad pun), it is incredible to me that richotto would not even bother to google this and find an answer. It is not like it is hard.

    For anyone who is wondering, here is a useful study:

    A considerable body of UK evidence now exists on the impact of immigration on native labour market outcomes, particularly employment and wages. Most of this work suggests that, on average, the impact of immigration on native residents has been small. Virtually no published study has found any significant impact on employment or unemployment. Some studies have found some impact on wages, particularly towards the bottom wage distribution.
    However such impacts are quite small compared to the influence of other factors (for example the minimum wage).

    This, too, from here:

    There is little reason to see immigration as harming the returns to labour overall. What it may do is aggravate wage inequality in the short term as newly arrived immigrants enter the labour market at the lower end, holding back wages of the lowest paid, even if only modestly so, while benefiting those higher up. If a liberal immigration policy could be combined with progressive policies to effectively redistribute the gains then the benefits could be enjoyed generally. Meanwhile, labour market institutions, such as the national minimum wage, which protect wages at the bottom remain important safeguards for the lowest paid.

    But, yeah, the left should focus on hounding Czechs out of the country.

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