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Old 06-13-2008, 09:23 PM   #31
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Originally Posted by anitram View Post
This could have been written by a Republican.

About the Mexicans.

It sounds IDENTICAL.
Or an American in the late 19th century and early 20th century, in relation to the Irish.
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Old 06-13-2008, 09:23 PM   #32
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Wow, we agree! I defintely think if you live in another country you need to learn the language. It's very difficult to live in a country where you can't. I can speak French and Spanish but I'll never be as good as a native so you have to remember that a lot of call centres need people to speak another language but they also want people fluent in the lingo. That's why a lot of foreign folk get those jobs, they're the best candidates.
Now we have agreed on something can we break bread and wine
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Old 06-13-2008, 09:27 PM   #33
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But do you dispute that Ireland has benefited more from their membership in the EU/EEC than possibly any other country in Europe? That your standard of living has risen disproportionately during the time period, that foreign investment has gone through the roof?

I'm just wondering how you reconcile the obvious benefits with the vehement opposition?
It is a hypothetical question. One cannot definitely state that Ireland, or any other country, is better, or worse off, in or outside the EU as one has no exact comparison. I do know of several economists that have theorised that the benefits to Ireland of EU membership are immensely overstated. Incidentally, most of the foreign investment has been from US companies. Of course, there is a strong argument that they are here because of the access to the European market. But membership of a common free trade area - which is what the EEC was supposed to be about, and as I keep trying to explain to Salome, does not necessitate political union.

Switzerland, a country of broadly similar size to Ireland, does very well for itself and never joined the EU, just the EEFTA (free trade area)

And then, there is Denmark, another country of broadly similar size to Ireland. They are EU members, but voted no to currency union. Their political establishment didn't like that answer, so re-presented the referendum, essentially unaltered. They voted no again. As far as I am aware, Denmark's economy is in fine fettle.

Ultimately, however, I have a moral problem with the idea that one should sacrifice national sovereignty for the sake of economic progress. It just seems wrong, close to a bribe almost.
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Old 06-13-2008, 09:30 PM   #34
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Now we have agreed on something can we break bread and wine
Sweet
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Old 06-13-2008, 09:32 PM   #35
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Originally Posted by melon View Post
Or an American in the late 19th century and early 20th century, in relation to the Irish.
Vaz02 is English.

In any case, the comparison is suspect, as America was founded on immigration. European countries were not.

This is an immensely important point which is sometimes missed.

Personally, I don't have strong views on free movement of labour. As I keep saying, free movement of labour (or trade) does not necessitate political union.
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Old 06-13-2008, 09:34 PM   #36
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Like melon, I haven't really kept up with this too closely, so I'm not sure exactly what national sovereignty you would be giving up had the vote been yes.

But I also think that there is a bit of a cultural disconnect, because North Americans live in a much more multicultural and multiculturally welcoming society. Canada, in particular, could be argued to lack an actual Canadian identity (aside from a seemingly deep and abiding love for the maple leaf, Timbits, Hockey Night in Canada and the venerable beaver). More than 50% of Toronto's population is not Canadian-born, for example. Living next door to the United States - remember Trudeau's famous words "when you're a mouse next to an elephant, it doesn't hurt to be alert" we are already partly compromised in terms of a national sovereignty anyway.

So I think a lot of my reaction has to do with the fact that I don't really sense some great fear of ceding something that is uniquely national. In fact, I feel this is really an inevitability as the world continues on the path to globalization.

I was born in Europe and never much understood the strong nationalist ties there. I still don't.
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Old 06-13-2008, 09:40 PM   #37
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I'm not here to be pro or anti-E.U.; just to understand how others think.

It's been interesting, thus far. Even I get a bit tired of the heavy slant towards American topics here.
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Old 06-13-2008, 09:41 PM   #38
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I like cosmopolitanism and I think that financeguy is justifiably wary.
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Old 06-13-2008, 09:55 PM   #39
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lol, you are a funny guy

I don't need to consult any basic economic text books
even though i didn't chose accountantguy as an alter I did get my degrees in accountancy and am doing quite ok thanks

you are making up a lot of nonsense again to hide the apparent fact that you have no idea what you're talking about
I'm not even asking you to prove your case
I'm asking what was in the referendum that you don't agree with

I also didn't present any theory
(and, this may come as a surprise, but I'm also aware of Jacques Delors is as Europe after World War II was the major part of my history exam)
I just stated that certain things need to be solved in Europe

I wasn't saying the Dutch vote didn't matter
I was saying that when you elect people first to deal with matter than having 37% of the electorate (yes, I'm afraid I actually looked this up) state they're now against what has been decided doesn't make some extremely strong case as far as I'm concerned

maybe I should talk to this majority of the electorate who all agree with you though, because maybe they can explain what it is you all agree on
As an accountant, then, I'd imagine you're concerned about the fact the European Court of Auditors has refused to sign off on the accounts of the European Commission for several years running. It's immensely troubling that the EC can't be bothered to balance its books and account for its expenditure (OUR money). It's quite an insult to the people of Europe that they can't even be bothered rectifying the problems that their own auditors have informed them of. (Of course, there is a more straightforward explanation. They might just be defrauding us.)

Anyway, I don't think that I should do your research for you. What I will do, however, is to list some politicians, political thinkers and economists that have influenced my thinking over the years, and who have led me to the views that I hold, in particular my views about free markets, trade and European political union.

What I'd suggest is that you read up on some of the speeches, articles, and published works of some these people, and that will enable you to understand and appreciate the arguments of the Eurosceptic position:


Margaret Thatcher, former British Prime Minister

John Redwood, former British Cabinet Member (* has a good blog here: http://www.johnredwoodsdiary.com/ )

Patricia McKenna, former Irish Green MEP

Daniel Hannan, British MEP

Adam Smith, economist

Joseph Schumpeter, economist

Milton Friedman, economist

Friedrich Hayek, Austrian school economist

Ludwig von Mises, Austrian school economist
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Old 06-13-2008, 09:58 PM   #40
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I do know of several economists that have theorised that the benefits to Ireland of EU membership are immensely overstated.
Do you think we should be part of the EU or just leave it altogether? A lot of people will say we should have voted yes because we are a part of Europe. If you want a No vote does that mean you don't think we should be a part of Europe. Just curious.

Why do you think the No vote was good for Ireland and what do you think we would have lost had the vote been yes?

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Old 06-13-2008, 10:05 PM   #41
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Do you think we should be part of the EU or just leave it altogether? A lot of people will say we should have voted yes because we are a part of Europe. If you want a No vote does that mean you don't think we should be a part of Europe. Just curious.

Free trade zone only, no common currency, no political union. But I suspect that the majority who voted No would not hold the same views as me.


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Why do you think the No vote was good for Ireland
It is good for Europe and Ireland because it may hold up the drive to political union and all that it entails - common tax policy, the European parliament usurping national sovereignty, common defense, European armies fighting foreign wars, etc. Unfortunately, this may only be temporary.

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do you think we would have lost had the vote been yes?
Freedom to govern ourselves.
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Old 06-14-2008, 02:22 AM   #42
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There's something special about island nations. Gives you a certain perspective on things, a more independent one perhaps.
Perhaps, though in case of Ireland, apparently not too independent to refuse €60 billion worth of EU subsidies.
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Old 06-14-2008, 03:25 AM   #43
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Yes your right, a lot of jobs they undertake can be seen as " dogs body " jobs but they are trickling into other industry sectors too now.There are quite a lot of factories around me that specifically target the polish community for labour. Call centre's and independent shops are also becoming increasingly popular amongst the Polish community.

My biggest pet hate about the situation is their lack of English and there lack of intent on studying the language. They stay within their on communities which eliminates the need to learn English. Their inability to learn the language will/has put pressure on local services such as police and hospitals to hire translators to deal with these cases. Intergration is key, so far this is failing badly, such an admission has been admited by the British government.
What you're describing is very similar to the situation immediately after World War II and the millions of "displaced persons" and other refugees needing to find a home and work in Europe (and elsewhere in the world). These people often had no choice to move to other countries, and they did the worst jobs imaginable, just to make a living. Learning new languages and "trying to integrate" often isn't a priority when you're slaving to make a buck. And you are villified: wogs, dagoes, chinks....

How do I know this? My parents went through this.

And it's amazing how 20, 30 years then changes others' perceptions about you....
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Old 06-14-2008, 03:29 AM   #44
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It is a hypothetical question. One cannot definitely state that Ireland, or any other country, is better, or worse off, in or outside the EU as one has no exact comparison. I do know of several economists that have theorised that the benefits to Ireland of EU membership are immensely overstated. Incidentally, most of the foreign investment has been from US companies. Of course, there is a strong argument that they are here because of the access to the European market. But membership of a common free trade area - which is what the EEC was supposed to be about, and as I keep trying to explain to Salome, does not necessitate political union.
I travelled to Ireland in 1990 and then in 2001. The difference was like night and day. Ireland was one sad place in 1990, and I was amazed how you just didn't see many young people (ie 20-40) on the streets, it was all kids and old people, as so many had emigrated. In 2001 it was vibrant and there were definitely people of all ages once again.
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Old 06-14-2008, 04:01 AM   #45
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I wanna buy you guys a pint, you have liberated the people of Europe from a almost certain hell.

Why cant Brussels get it into their thick heads, we dont want this dictatorship.
As I've said in the other thread, the Lisbon Treaty would have made the EU more transparent and much more democratic than it is now:

* Increasing power of the directly elected EU parliament compared to that of the EU council;
* Having the option of citizen referenda;
* Meetings of the EU council to be held in public;
* More double majority voting;

all make cries of some kind of shady dictatorship laughable at best.

The things I mentioned above, combined with getting rid of some of these useless Commissioners, and making the Charter for Fundamental Rights legally binding are the main reasons why I voted for the Constitution when the referendum was held here.

I guess my biggest question is what Irish voters (or naysayers in general) expect to get out of this? I just can't shake the feeling that most of the No voters believe they voted against the EU in general, rather than a specific document. I doubt that the average voter could name more than two changes proposed in the Lisbon Treaty.
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