Ireland best place in the world to live?

I hear what Ambrose is saying, yet the Economist thinks it the best place in the world to live… Thanks Maca!

  • Davros

    Editorial writer at the Irish Indepencent isn’t impressed Mick ๐Ÿ™‚

    Utopia

    Incredible. Not to say, literally incredible. This famous survey group somehow seems to have failed to spot our ripoff prices, our shambolic health and transport systems, or our social problems. It praises for family and social solidarity a country in which one-third of all births are outside marriage.

  • willowfield

    I think the article only refers to the Irish Republic.

  • Fraggle

    “Along with urban sprawl goes water pollution, so that over large stretches of the countryside and in some urban areas a very wet country – even the Economist Intelligence Unit admits that the climate is bad – does not have clean water.”

    a fine example of journalistic coherance.

  • maca

    About 10 mins after I sent you the link Mick I noticed that Dav had already posted the link in another thread. I’ll have to look more carefully next time.

    “I think the article only refers to the Irish Republic”

    Way to state the obvious!

  • willowfield

    It’s not obvious from the title.

  • smcgiff

    ‘I think the article only refers to the Irish Republic.’

    That was half hearted compared to previous retorts.

    Not at risk of being worn down are we, Willowfield?

  • George

    Willowfield,
    journalists have to use snappy headlines so “Republic of Ireland” leaves little room for anything else.

    In the first par they qualify it by the use of the world “country” rather than island.

  • James

    Some of our standards of utopia are different.

    I can drive for days in the west of Ireland without seeing one cop.

    Not that the family is involved with anything on the far side of the dollar, you understand.

    1524 Bush days left.

  • maca

    “It’s not obvious from the title”

    But it’s obvious from the article.
    “I think the article only…”

    “1524 Bush days left.”

    Depressing isn’t it !?!

  • Pat Mc Larnon

    So despite its’ obvious problems Ireland still came top. The other candidates including our near and dear neighbours must be considered real hell holes.

  • Fraggle

    what’s wrong with the drinking water in the south?

  • Henry94

    It’s nice to see an objective report offering confirmation of what has been obvious for a while. The beautiful south is doing very well for itself. The north remains a total failure in every respect. I suppose we should be thankful that it was included in the UK score and not assessed on its own merits.

  • Davros

    The beautiful south is doing very well for itself

    Does this mean SF are going to abandon their brand of Socialism for Bertie’s Brand Henry ?

  • willowfield

    The beautiful south is doing very well for itself.

    As long as you’re one of the “haves” and not one of the “have nots”.

  • Henry94

    davros

    The Minister for Finance has just announced major increases in government spending. The fear of Sinn Fein is forcing Fianna Fail to the left.

    willowfield

    The “have nots” are better off than their counterparts in the north and there are far fewer of them.

  • willowfield

    Have you any evidence to back that up?

  • James

    “The fear of Sinn Fein is forcing Fianna Fail to the left.”

    Drop me a line when The Soldiers Of Destiny are evens with the Falangists on their journey to the left.

  • Mario

    ยฟEl mejor lugar del mundo? Y yo que pensaba que era la Argentina. ๐Ÿ˜‰

    http://www.salon.com/news/feature/2004/11/18/survey/index.html

  • Mario

    Some facts on poverty in your beautiful island. Frankly, you are doing a lot better than us in Argentina. If we had these numbers we would be called the Latin american Tigers.

    In 2001, 192,000 people (5% of the population) lived in consistent poverty

    Consistent poverty levels reduced from 14.5% in 1994 to 5% in 2001

    In 2001, more than 862,000 people (almost 22% of the population) lived on less than ย€164 per single person per week

    Relative income poverty levels increased from 15.6% in 1994 to 22% in 2001

    this site has more complete bulletins.
    http://www.cpa.ie/

  • willowfield

    Is that for the whole of Ireland, or just the South?

  • Mario

    I beleive is just for the republic.

  • willowfield

    Would be interesting to compare with NI.

  • Henry94

    Here’s a report on how bad things are in the north

  • Henry94
  • Davros

    John Waters of the Irish Times and Joseph O’Connor the novelist write in the Guardian

    What’s the crack?

  • Fraggle

    “One of them asked if I could spare him ย€11 for a cappuccino.”

    great line that. good link davros.

  • willowfield

    That report from 2002 isn’t very helpful, Henry. We need comparable figures for NI and ROI.

  • George

    Willowfield,
    a survey on “Poverty and social exclusion in Northern Ireland” was done by Democratic Dialogue to compare poverty levels north and south of the border using the same measurements, those used by the Irish Republic under its national anti-poverty strategy. The UK as yet has no formal definition for poverty or a measure for it.

    Consistent poverty:
    NI 6.9%
    ROI 5.0%

    Overall poverty:
    NI 30.6%
    ROI 29.6%

    Consistent poverty: People earning both less than 70% of the middle income, and experiencing basic deprivation of key non-monetary items.

    Overall poverty: Based on low household income alone in relation to the average wage.

    The Irish Republic’s consistent poverty level fell by 2/3rds between 1994 and 2001.

  • George

    Fraggle,
    I think the problem with the Irish (Republic of) drinking water is the fact we put flouride in it.

  • willowfield

    Not much difference then, George.

  • Ringo

    Ya there are loads of people in poverty on both sides of the border, and it is meaningless to try and concoct some sort of case that the other sides got a) more poor or b) a poorer class of poor. It is like splitting hairs.

    We’re not comparing Communist North Korea with Capitalist South Korea here – to a Korean the two juristictions on this island would be practically identical, and there are probably bigger differences in urban/rural areas than there are in
    poverty blackspots in Dublin and Belfast. I know that here in the Republic there is nothing outside Dublin that compares to the depravation in areas there. Despite all the talk, none of the ‘bad’ areas of Cork, Galway or even Limerick compare.

    We all know the survey is far-fetched. At best we can say that the Republic is relatively speaking a good place to live. Would you agree with this, Willowfield ?

  • willowfield

    Good post, Ringo.

    Of course, overall it’s a good place to live – weather-excepting – I was just making the point that we should remember the “have nots” who have been left behind by the so-called Celtic Tiger. The Republic is apparently going down the Anglo-American road of the rich getting richer while the poor get poorer. That is unwelcome, in my view.

  • maca

    “the Anglo-American road of the rich getting richer while the poor get poorer”

    Surely this is world wide, isn’t every country like this really? At least every country I have been in.

  • willowfield

    It is a result of neoliberal economic policies introduced by Thatcher and Reagan and is most pronounced in those countries. But I’m sure it’s happening elsewhere too.

    But I think the Republic has one of the biggest gaps between rich and poor.

  • maca

    “But I think the Republic has one of the biggest gaps between rich and poor.”

    Out of curiousity, any stats?

  • willowfield

    No, I just remember hearing it in a radio discussion. Sorry.

  • maca

    Willow, usually you demand references when others make such claims. Anyway not trying to take from your point because you’re close to the mark of course.

    To start with…
    http://www.cori.ie/justice/budget/2004/article_pooralwayswait_1203.htm

  • Donnie

    Out of interest does anyone know what the weighted difference is between the average salary v cost of living between north and south?

  • Donnie

    Maybe that wasn’t very clear! What I am asking is would I be better off making say ยฃ25000 per year in the north or the euro equivalent in the south?! It seems that property prices are the main killer in the south and the north is rapidly catching up!

  • willowfield

    Dunno, but the cost of consumer goods and of entertainment in Dublin is ridiculous – one of the most expensive cities I’ve been to – worse than New York or London.

  • Donnie

    Hmmm I agree Willow, it seems you have to pay a premium for ‘the craic’! I’m not prepared to pay for it anymore and take my custom elsewhere. Eventually Dublin will price itself out of the tourist market, especially now there are cheap flights to cheaper destinations in Eastern Europe etc.

  • willowfield

    Maybe that’s the idea … put a stop to all those stag and hen parties?

  • George

    Willowfield,
    as they say the only Irish in Temple Bar are the cops, the addicts and the beggars. I suppose it’s the 2004 version of the monto, the seediest part of Dublin, except this time it’s full of drunken British civilians rather than drunken British soldiers.

  • Henry94

    Be careful with those figures for poverty. if they are comparative they aren’t much good for comparing the conditions of the poor north and south. That is if poverty is defined as less than 50% of average income.

    willowfield

    It is a bit lazy to associate Thatcher and Reagan with Irelands improvement. The main feature of Irish economic policy has been Social Partnership with the Unions involved every step of the way.

    Other than eircom there has been no significant privatisations.

  • willowfield

    I’m not associating them with the Republic’s improvement. I’m just saying the inequity in the Republic is similar to Anglo-American economies.

  • George

    Willowfield,
    the social welfare budget in Ireland (book of estimates yesterday) has doubled since 1997 even though the number of unemployed has halved.

    Maybe you could tell me how this compares with welfare spending increases in the UK and US economies in the same period to prove your point or is this just another case of wishful thinking on your part?

  • willowfield

    How would that prove my point??

    Read maca’s link.

  • Mario

    But I think the Republic has one of the biggest gaps between rich and poor.

    You Do mean in Europe Willowfield? That particular prize goes to our neighbor Brazil which has one of the most brutal income disparities in the world.

    I agree with your other posts. Most of the world is following the North American neoliberal economic policies. They have for the most part created a bigger underclass here in Latin America and have created what I call economic slave states.

    My question is- In Latin America, there is not much choice for our poor countries or the IMF will squeeze you like they just recently did Argentina, but why does Europe, whose Euro is much stronger than the dollar follow these policies as well?

  • willowfield

    We’re enslaved to big business in Europe, too, Mario!

  • George

    Okay I’ll put it another way for you Willowfield,

    you say “the inequity in the Republic is similar to Anglo-American economies”.

    I put forward that there is a greater effort to address these inequalities in the Irish Republic than there is in the U.S. and U.K. as evidenced by:

    1.The Irish Republic’s consistent poverty level fell by 2/3rds between 1994 and 2001.

    2. The welfare budget doubled 1997-2004 in a time when unemployment halved.

  • barnshee

    Its terrible poor Ireland is being swamped by the poorly fed French seeking Irish cusine and its elegant and extensive range of generic products (Guiness and er more Guiness), the Italians are prostrating themselves at the feet of Irish designers , German manufacturing are sending delegations to copy Irish quality standards. The health system is collapsing uder the weight of Swedes and Danes seeking the outstanding services available here. The Swiss are trying to emulate Dublin litter standards.

    These economists should get out more. Most of Modern Europe has a lifestyle the Irish can only aspire to meet.

  • Mario

    BARNSHEE, BUT YOU HAVE TO TAKE NOTICE THAT THOSE ARMANI SUITS ARE NOT ACCESIBLE BY STREET CHILDREN IN NAPLES, AND THOSE FRENCH WINES ARE NOT BEING “DOWNED” BY PARISIAN GHETTO DWELLERS, AND THOSE FINE GERMAN CARS ARE NOT BEING DRIVEN BY THE ARMIES OF ADDICTS IN MUNICH, OR THE ARMIES OF UNEMPLOYED FROM THE FORMER EAST GERMANY.

    I THINK THEY WERE TALKING ABOUT THE QUALITY OF LIFE FOR ALL OF ITS CITIZENS NOT JUST THE ELITES WHO DRESS IN HERMENEGILDO SUITS.

    APOLOGIES MY CAPS ARE LOCKED. ๐Ÿ™

  • maca

    “Most of Modern Europe has a lifestyle the Irish can only aspire to meet”

    You obviously haven’t been to most of Modern Europe then?

  • Fraggle

    barnshee, it seems to me that a significant proportion of southerners have a lifestyle you can’t even imagine. have you been down there lately?

    mario, well put, even if you sounded very angry with your caps locked.

  • Mario

    thus my apologies fraggle, argentinians dont get angry we make churrascos. ๐Ÿ™‚

  • Fraggle

    is that the tea stuff made in a funny gourd witha metal straw?

  • Mario

    No, that is mate which gives you quite a nice “high” if purchased in the pampas. Churrascos are grilled steaks, our national dish.

    We are basically walking beef. ๐Ÿ™‚

  • Fraggle

    aaah, mate, pronounces mat-ay

    I had it before and it certainly can give you a high.

    mmm grilled steaks

  • Mario

    Yes, after being here for more than a hundred years. We Kelleys have become very carnivorous.

    Here is the Argentinian-Celt page and make sure you visit La Churrasqueria Atrim en Buenos Aires when you come.

    http://groups.msn.com/LosCeltasArgentinos

  • barnshee

    Maca

    “You obviously haven’t been to most of Modern Europe then?”

    Well not it ALL but worked in France Belgium Switzerland and Germany travelled extensively over 20 years so what would I know?

    In order of experience Switzerland would top my list followed By Sweden/Denmark then France Germany -Italy – Spain . Would put the UK and Ireland somwhere above Romania

  • maca

    “Would put the UK and Ireland somwhere above Romania”

    Well that says it all really.
    My own experiences of travelling over most of Europe have obviously been very different.

  • Fraggle

    “worked in France Belgium Switzerland and Germany”

    yes, you WORKED. france and germany have huge unemployment at the moment which would drag down their AVERAGE standard of living. being a worker, as you say, you wouldn’t have experienced this aspect of life.

  • IJP

    Donnie

    Even a direct comparison of average wage adapted for cost-of-living is not accurate, because some people would want tax intake, spend-per-head and other sundries taken into account.

    This is part of the reason for these quality-of-life surveys.

    But believe me, I could do you a quality-of-life survey taking certain subjective measurements that would make Cuba the best place to live in the world. I just don’t buy it!

    The UN has the most widely accepted system (whereby as I indicated elsewhere, Ireland is 10th and the UK 12th, although in fact their figure is precisely equal), but even this has considerable faults.

    Like I say, I personally from my own experiences of driving across Europe every year and working/studying in different countries would put the UK and Ireland about level and among the highest in Europe (and rising). I’d still have Scandinavia and probably Switzerland out in front, though.

  • George

    Have to agree with IJP,
    Parts of Germany, for example, have 20% unemployment but every single one of those people has full access to a functioning health system. No trolleys for them.
    They may have fewer opportunities for a career but their quality of life is better than that of most employed people in the Irish Republic.
    No having to work 60 hour weeks just to be able get a cardboard box house in Sallins.
    Even those on welfare get more holiday leave than we do!