Kenny was in the room, but his response wasn't for Siglitz. His response was for domestic Paddy, that two pint suppin', fairy tale believing, spud munching idiot who has soaked up every hit, every mean spirited back stab, every promise that was not a promise, 30% of whom (according to some polls) will still vote for more of the same.
Kenny wasn't fazed by Stiglitz's grim assessment, why should he be. Kenny knows what Stiglitz doesn't - Paddy is a dope, Paddy is an unquestioning servant boy always read to tug at his forelock when he spots his 'betters' nearby. Most of all, Kenny understands that Paddy is a coward. Not only does he understand it, he epitomizes it.
That's why Kenny had no problem trotting out his well-rehearsed Dinnybot election daydreams on the Davos stage.
Kenny vowed to "bring back 70,000 people...to a country where they can get a good job, with a lowering rate of personal taxation".
70 thousand people returning to Ireland would be a disaster. That's 70 thousand more people needing housing where there already isn't enough to go around. Last year this government supplied 28 social housing units in the face of the worst housing crisis any government has ever faced. What happens when 70 thousand more people are added to the rental sector, and they will be unless they are returning with giant wads of cash because it takes a deposit of 86,200 euro to buy an average priced house in Dublin. Even if every one of them had that ready cash and bought instead of renting, rents still go up because supply doesn't meet demand and purchase prices will go through the roof resulting in already sky high rents going super-sonic to cover mortgages.
Unless the 70 thousand returning people can absolutely, positively guarantee that they will never become ill, be involved in an accident or grow old, their return will mark the final blow to a health service that has long since ceased to be on its knees and instead lies on the floor in a fetal position awaiting the final coup de grace to finish it off. 70 thousand potential new customers should do the trick.
70 thousand new 'good' jobs is pure boloxogy. 24% of workers are underemployed and are desperately seeking these elusive 'good' jobs, never mind the 80 thousand or so who are hidden away on work activation schemes because these 'good' jobs simply do not exist.
To accommodate 70 thousand 'prime of life' workers back into Ireland, this government would have to embark on a remarkable spending spree to build houses, fix the health service and provide all the ancillary positions and infrastructure needed to cope with such an influx. That kind of spending requires some serious bravery on the part of government. It certainly rules out the lower personal tax rates Kenny has promised.
The choice is yours Paddy, you can remain frightened of reality and seek solace in empty promises you absolutely know in your heart of hearts will be broken, or you can choose to ditch this government. But be quick about it, as Stiglitz pointed out, we've already lost a decade to a government that had no hesitation in grinding those who could least afford to pay to enrich the wealthiest. Dark clouds are once again gathering over the global economy, don't for a second think this government will put you or your family first when the shit hits the fan again ...... and it will!