Articles tagged with: Economics

Editorial

on Thursday, 18 December 2003. Posted in Issue 47 Budget 2004: Preserving a Divided Society?, 2003

December 2003

Dear Reader,

We are happy to present to you with the December 2003 issue of Working Notes. We hope you find it helpful for your reflection and work.

In our opening article, Budget 2004: Small Change for the Poor, Robin Hanan of EAPN (European Anti-Poverty Network) Ireland, analyses the seventh Budget to be introduced by the current Minister for Finance. While welcoming the increases announced in social welfare payments, and the concentration of income tax cuts on the lowest paid, Robin Hanan suggests that, viewed in a broader context, the Budget is not so ‘harmless’. It was preceded by the Estimates, published in November, which introduced welfare cuts that will save a comparatively small amount of money but have a devastating impact on the people affected, and by a year-long run-down of the Community Employment and Jobs Initiative Schemes. The Budget is critically considered in the light of fact that Ireland is the fastest-growing economy in the European Union, and the member country with the second-highest level of income, yet has the lowest spending on social provision and the lowest overall tax rates.He concludes that the Budget showed little indication of a willingness to undertake the type of taxation and spending measures that would be required to seriously address the tasks of eradicating poverty, reducing inequality and developing a level of public services commensurate with our wealth.

In the second article in this issue, Economics and Justice, economist Eithne Fitzgerald argues that the purpose of any economic system ought to be to serve the greater good of society and to ensure that the basic human needs of all its people are met in a way that is both fair and efficient. Ireland over the past decade illustrates some of the virtues and the vices of the market model. Its benefits, in terms of rising incomes and increased employment, are highlighted in public and political discourse. She suggests that even though mainstream economics acknowledges that there are important areas of activity where the market \'does not give the right answer\', public debate on economic policy has become increasingly dominated by those adhering to a blind belief in market forces. She argues there is need for an alternative economic voice - one that places justice and redistribution at the heart of our economic values.

As a seasonal offering, we are privileged to have insightful Perspectives on Christmas from two people who have come to reside in Ireland from afar, Zhiyan Sharif, who is from Kurdistan in Iraq and Egide Dhala who is from the Congo. Finally, Cathy Molloy introduces a Christmas Reflection from an essay by Karl Rahner SJ.

If you enjoy what you read in these pages and find it useful we invite you to consider making a voluntary subscription to Working Notes. We suggest a sum of €15.00 per year. If you wish to contribute more to our work, we would be most appreciative.

We thank you for your continued support and wish all our readers a very happy Christmas.

 

 

Eugene Quinn
Director, Centre for Faith and Justice

 

 

A Vision for Ireland: A Question Of Tax?

Written by Eugene Quinn on Monday, 23 June 2003. Posted in Issue 43 Juvenile Crime: Are Harsher Sentences the Solution?, 2002

June 2002

Eugene Quinn , an actuary working part-time with the CFJ, examines issues of fairness in taxation.

Introduction

Taxation is always a vexing question and in the modern Ireland particularly so. The role of taxation policy in stimulating the Celtic Tiger is disputed. The neoliberal view is that the creation of a low tax environment was integral to our economic success and is an essential ingredient if that success is to continue. This premise has not gone unchallenged. The opposing view points to factors that were funded through tax revenues such as the supply of an educated labour force and the presence of an adequate infrastructure as major contributors to our economic growth in the period. These differing perspectives bring into focus tensions at the core of taxation policy.

Economics and Justice

on Thursday, 18 December 2003. Posted in Issue 47 Budget 2004: Preserving a Divided Society?, 2003

Eithne Fitzgerald

December 2003

 

©D. Speirs

Equity and wider human well being must be central concerns in a just economic order

Economics - Value Free?

Economics is central to public policy and economic policy affects centrally the lives of citizens. Economics allows us to explore the likely outcomes of particular economic activities and to examine how policy impacts on different groups in society - who benefits and who loses - and to come up with proposals for change.

 

Whose Business is Business?

on Saturday, 05 July 2003. Posted in Issue 40 An Ethic for the Third Millennium, 2001

Seamus O\'Gorman, SJ

June 2001

Business – An Uneasy Success Story

Given the amazing and lasting ‘success’ of the Irish economy over the last number of years, it is striking to note what a strong sense of unease there is in Irish society. At one level, the first year of the new millennium has been characterised by an almost irrational but niggling fear that much of what we have achieved could quite suddenly  turn to dust. Will we wake up and see the cranes have disappeared? Will we discover that the miracle epitomized in the potential  of the world wide web has turned out to be more one of its deceit rather than of its lasting contribution to real wealth creation? Will a contemptuously disregarded environment strike back? There are also indications of a deeper fear, the fear that all we have achieved may not have been very much anyhow.  That this feeling lingers is remarkable given the extraordinary change in our economic well-being perhaps most notably in relation to jobs and emigration. For all those real achievements, there is little evidence to suggest that we have become a happier, a  more content or more fulfilled people. As recent industrial action indicates there are significant sections of people convinced that they have not received an adequate share of the boom.  Others - the sick, the excluded - can equally wonder why the boom makes so little difference to them.  Could it be that we have been so enthralled by the experience of riding the Celtic Tiger that we have missed its meaning?

Ethics, Compassion and Self-Deceit

Written by Peter McVerry SJ on Saturday, 05 July 2003. Posted in Issue 40 An Ethic for the Third Millennium, 2001

Peter McVerry, SJ

June 2001

Introduction

There is a homeless person sitting in the street, begging.  Passing by, I wonder whether to give him money or not.   On the one hand, I feel sorry for him, no place to go, hungry, cold, bored.  On the other hand, maybe he isn’t really homeless, or even if he is, maybe he wants money for drugs or alcohol and I may actually be making his situation worse by giving him money.   It’s all very confusing.

In the Millennium, a sustained campaign was waged to abolish or reduce the debt owed by the poorest Third World countries, who were being crippled by the interest they had to pay on loans they had received from the economically developed world.  The campaigners argued that this repayment was preventing health and education programmes from being funded and was therefore costing lives and preventing development.   Others argued that corruption was so extensive in many of these countries and spending on arms and military so high that to simply cancel the debt would make their ruling elites even wealthier, their armies even better equipped and increase the oppression and suffering of the people, not reduce it.   It’s all very confusing.

The Economics of Immigration Policy

on Wednesday, 30 July 2003. Posted in Issue 33 Wanted: An Immigration Policy, 1998

Tom Giblin, SJ

December 1998

 

The possible impact of immigration on the economy of a country is much debated. In continental Europe, up to a decade ago, the impact of immigrant labour was not a matter of much concern. Immigrant workers were widely employed to carry out work for which it was very difficult to recruit native workers. For instance, in Germany large numbers of Turkish people were employed in this way. In recent times however, with unemployment levels high over most of Europe, there has been more concern about the impact of immigration on the economy. Because of increased immigration here, there is now some concern in Ireland about the issue.

Social Enterprise – An Untapped Resource

on Wednesday, 06 October 2010. Posted in Issue 64 What Direction for Recovery?

Gerard Doyle

October 2010

Social Enterprise

Social Enterprise – An Untapped Resource

Introduction

Across Europe, social enterprises are making a significant impact on communities, particularly those blighted by high levels of unemployment, poverty and disadvantage. According to the European Commission, there are 2 million social enterprises in the EU (representing 10 per cent of all European businesses) and they employ over 11 million people (the equivalent of 6 per cent of the working population of the EU).  In EU Member States, social enterprises are present in almost every sector of the economy, including banking, insurance, agriculture, crafts, various commercial services, and health and social services.

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In February 2016, the Jesuit Secretariat for Social Justice and Ecology and for Higher Education in Rome published a Special Report on Justice in the Global Economy. The Report was compiled by an international group of Jesuits and lay colleagues in the fields of social science and economics, philosophy and theology. This issue of Working Notes is a response to the Report. Read full editorial

Working Notes is a journal published by the Jesuit Centre for Faith and Justice. The journal focuses on social, economic and theological analysis of Irish society in the areas of . It has been produced three times a year since 1987, and all of the articles are available in full on this site. Read More..