Bernie Goldbach in Cashel with empty jars all around.
A GRASS ROOTS Rally happens in Dublin tomorrow to rally people behind a No Vote for a Revised CrokePark2. A promotional video explains some of the issues: http://youtu.be/oygCnS5qS2Y
From my perspective, cuts in pay and squeezes to various allowances will continue under revised proposals articulated by the government. Some of this feels like fraudulent trading to me because the Irish government cannot hold up its part of the employment contracts negotiated over the years. If cuts happen in the public sector, many expect they will be applied by private sector employers.
Like a lot of people, I've taken a reduction of income without any major reduction in the cost of living. We still pay child care fees the equivalent of a mortgage. Petrol prices are not decreasing. The only way we can keep weekly food expenses close to their 2010 level is to cut back on meat, poultry, and branded products like sauces, nappies and cleaning materials. All the while, we must work longer hours on the job and in my case, it means the number of hours to prepare for work also increases.
Personally, I have passed a red line of sustainable living. We cannot perform routine maintenance on the car so we run a risk of mechanical breakdowns. I cannot attend meetings outside of normal commuting range for the purpose of lining up guest speakers or student work experience. I cannot upgrade software that I use to produce creative learning materials. I've cancelled insurance policies and accepted the fact that we won't use home heating for up to half of the month because there's nothing in the tank.
And I'm on a professional's salary.
Around the local area, I watch small shops closing because people like me have nothing more than 100 euro left at the end of each month. We burn through that 100 euro note every month because the kids need GP care and prescription medicine.
So I expect to see thousands of people walking from Union Hall in Dublin, bringing their message to camera crews who will broadcast it to the nation. I suspect there may be strike action that might affect the start of the academic year later this summer.
I have never believed you can dig your way out of a recession by atrophy through austerity. I don't understand how central bankers so quickly prescribe the austerity tactic when economies like Japan have proven it just doesn't work.
I know I'm living in an era when my children will be less likely to enjoy a higher standard of living than their parents. It hurts to see that every year of their lives, our family standard of living declines. It doesn't have to be that way.
Bernie Goldbach's opinion does not represent that of his employer.