There has been widespread talk from politicians and some economic & social commentators about the potential of a capitalist economic boom across Ireland following brexit. There are expectations that Dublin may become the next European Financial/Banking capital with some of the major banks such as JP Morgan already making major investment in the city by building their new European ‘flagship’ HQ. Depending on how brexit negotiations go, some experts have even indicated that Belfast may become another important financial/banking city due to an influx of London based banks and financial services still wanting to be part of the single market.
Mainstream political parties and the capitalist elite have already begun throwing out the red carpet for these possibilities, but there has been no thought given to the economic and social catastrophe such developments will have on Ireland.
First of all, Dublin has already become a major attraction for big business over the past few years due to its extremely low corporate tax rate. Multi-billion dollar businesses such as Apple and Facebook have set up their global headquarters in the city. Apple record yearly profits of approximately £30-£40 billion yet pay rates of as little as 0.005%, avoiding billions of pounds of tax. With this capitalist friendly economic environment provided by the notoriously corrupt Irish Government and its continuing membership of the single market along with other factors such as being an English speaking city, Dublin will no doubt be the next big destination for the capitalist money machine.
With this in mind, some may welcome these investments as it is claimed they will provide much needed employment. Cities want to attract financial service sector jobs as they appeal to the young working professional but in the wider economic sense they create zero productivity. They are merely jobs to assist the elite in laundering their wealth in the world stock market casinos. And like capitalism as a whole with its ‘boom & bust’ mentality these jobs can disappear en masse overnight. It is estimates at least 700,000 financial services jobs were lost in a single year after the 2008 capitalist crash.
Financial sector jobs are also under major threat from technology. Last week Trish Johnston of Price Waterhouse Coopers Ireland, a global capitalist leader for asset and wealth management claimed by 2025 bank accounts and assets in Dublin could grow by $8.2 Trillion following brexit. Following this statement she claimed that ‘technology will provide greater opportunities to further manage the cost base and deliver better products’. This is a clear indication that even with investment by these private firms jobs are not guaranteed nor are they secure.
The more private investment that is put into a city the more burdens it has on the state. In order to attract and retain these organisations the state needs to keep them happy with adequate infrastructure. This leads to huge national infrastructure disparity. The cost to run Dublin as an example along with receiving very little tax will leave no funds left for infrastructure investments elsewhere. Dublin already has a major housing crisis, greedy landlords and developers have seized their opportunity in recent years by asking for extortionate amounts of rent. A recent survey has revealed the average 1 bedroom apartment to rent in Dublin will cost €1,500 a month. If investment creates more jobs in Dublin the demand for housing will create an even bigger problem for workers. This same legacy will be applied to any city across Ireland while the capitalist friendly state allows it.
If we let this capitalist gravy train keep rocketing down the already shaky tracks Ireland will be a country whose economy is completely dependent on a fragile and unstable capitalist economic infrastructure. The nation already has massive regional social and economic variations. The potential wealth to be created by the elite under such post brexit circumstances will enlarge the already huge gap between the rich and the poor. Ireland will be held hostage by the elite and forced to be the new billionaire wealth laundering service.
Ireland has already bore the brunt of capitalism on more than one occasion. The capitalist crash of 2008 left hundreds of thousands of people without work, thousands were thrown out onto the streets and a whole generation of young people fled the country in search of work. The economic and social consequences of 2008 still have a huge impact on Irish society. The Irish working class were made to suffer the consequences of the criminal acts carried out by the banks and financial institutions. Any post brexit boom in Ireland provided by the capitalist industry will be a long term disaster for our nation.