Working Notes: In Recession who will be left Stranded?
‘The past is a foreign country: they do things differently there’, L.P. Hartley famously wrote. Right now in Ireland, however, it is the present that feels like a foreign country. This is a place where we must adjust our assumptions and expectations and learn, or relearn, the skills to enable us deal with an economic situation that is the reverse of the favourable one to which we had become so acclimatised.
The need to think seriously about the values that will guide us through these difficult times was the core theme of a Statement, ‘Justice in Recession?’, which was issued by the Jesuit Centre for Faith and Justice on 12 October 2008, and is reproduced as the opening article in this issue of Working Notes.
The Statement says that a continued adherence to some of the values that gained ascendancy during the economic boom will result in a very inequitable distribution of the pain that is inevitable as we try to turn around the decline in our economy. It argues that social solidarity, a concern for the common good and care for the people who are financially or otherwise vulnerable ought to underpin the policies and measures adopted in response to the current crisis.
This is a time, the Statement says, when we should be prepared to reassess the economic and political model which has guided our development for more than a decade. This model entailed a strong reliance on the free market as the means not just of generating economic growth but of providing an increasing share of social services and supports. Current economic and financial circumstances provide the impetus and opportunity to engage in debate about the possibility of devising a model that would provide fairer, more equal, and more sustainable outcomes... read more
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Posted in Economic Policy Publications