The biggest fear of the promoters of austerity was the rise of an alternative to its theories. For most of the last thirty years, anyone who dared promote something other than tax cuts for the rich, privatization, and deregulation of governmental protections and laws governing business, was hooted and jeered down as a Socialist or the boogie man of American politics the undefined Liberal.
After all the derisive Right Wings hoots of Socialist at President Barrack Obama, now some real Socialists have arrived on the scene who make Obama look exactly like what I said he was all along, a moderate Republican in the mold of Nelson Rockefeller.
For my Irish friends reading this post, American Republicans couldn't be further away politically from Irish Republicans. American Republicans are the creators of the very austerity programs that have driven the middle class all over the world into massive unemployment, economic degradation, and crushing poverty, all by advancing an economic superiority theory called Free Market Economics or austerity for short. Irish Republicans Like me, want a unified Ireland united and free and Democratic Socialist economic principles.
In watching the Irish elections I was struck by how many of the same issues that have afflicted America are also prevalent in Ireland. That is another reason why many of Sinn Fein's ideas will cross the Atlantic and appear in some form in the election year 2016, also an election year for Ireland.
First and foremost, Sinn Fein believes the number one priority is getting people back to work not cutting deficits for the sake of greedy Banksters. Many of us have felt the same way about our unemployment, that many believe is much higher than the trumped up figures the US Labor Department releases on a monthly basis, while not counting those who no longer get benefits, stopped looking or have a part time job. This means more than half are noted counted.
Sinn Fein states people have a right to work, a right to earn a living, and a right to provide for families. To accomplish this goal Sinn Fein proposed a stimulus package designed to create jobs through vital infrastructure investment in telecommunications, agriculture, health, education, transportation and water services. One of the major issues in Ireland was the whole idea of paying for water which they consider a right to life issue along with the property tax.
Their economic proposals involve raising taxes on the wealthiest individuals, with a 48% tax rate. In addition they would levy a 1% tax on all assets valued over 1 million Euro's as well as a capital gains tax and a capital acquisition tax and cuts to government officials salaries.
In addition to these proposals, Sin Fein supports a universal public health care system and a public education system accessible to all. Sinn Fein opposes any further privitization of public services.
This program ought to throw a chill through the Shock Doctrine capitalists when these ideas make their way ashore, as they will because variations of these ideas have all been proposed recently in America. In fact many of these proposals were part of the economic ideas put forward by Karen Ramsburg, the Democratic Party candidate for Pennsylvania 9th Congressional District in her book, ironically about an Irish rebellion against British rule near her home. The book is titled Smith's Rebellion 1765 Gives Rise to Modern Politics for anyone interested.
When the Irish economy really starts to make a comeback, those on the Right in America will have few arguments to counter with and all the Koch's money will be useless to fight the tide of reform that will sweep the country. We can thank Sinn Fein for paving the way and making Democratic Socialist ideas viable again.