Last Friday in the Irish Times, Prof Ray Kinsella had a piece of unremitting bleakless about the Irish economy. And getting a sense of comments elsewhere, he ain’t alone. [this piece I posted on back in May seems to have been about right]
– The Irish economy is at its most vulnerable since the Credit Crunch began.
– There are few jobs around for Leaving cert students or for graduates
– a sovereign debt crisis is all but inevitable
– despite three deflationary budgets and a savage austerity package still being unfolded, there has been little or no impact made on the €20 billion deficit Ireland is running each year
– We can’t afford the Irish bank bailout, especially since Anglo could cost up to €35 billion and maybe more.
– unemployment is going to keep heading up towards 15%
– Interest rates are set to rise to put more burdens on people already struggling to pay bills and mortgages
– while Greece benefitted from a EU bailout, a second run for Ireland is unlikely since the Greek deal threatened to unravel the whole Eurozone.
So Kinsella argues, and has been arguing along with others, that Govt polilcy has not only not worked, it has added to the monumental problems.
NAMA is failing to deal with the banking crisis. Mind boggling levels of private debt have been transferred to the public purse which simply cannot pay.
Kinsella cheeringly finishes with a quote from Bernard Lonergan:
“A civilisation (for which read country) in decline digs its own grave with relentless insistence. It cannot be argued out of its destructive way.”
So what is a Christian response to all of this depressingly well-founded gloom about the future?
If Christian hope is founded not in the economy or in government or in security … how can it transform how we think about a very uncertain future?
If there are many who are anxious, burdened with debt, and fearful for their livelihoods, how can individual Christians and churches help?