We've not been able to pay as close attention to the situation in Ireland as we should, and have let our posting on the economic crisis as it affects Ireland slow down some. Part of this is due to the fact that the problems in this country are coming across as almost insurmountable, especially as Mr. Obama and his advisers are ignoring the ownership solution embodied in Capital Homesteading. The other part is that we aren't getting the response rate from Ireland that we got at first. Even the following letter that we sent a little over a week ago hasn't generated any response, although Mr. McWilliams, who wrote an interesting piece in the Irish Independent, seemed open to innovative solutions.
March 18, 2009
Dear Mr. McWilliams:
Earlier today the Financial Secretary of the Colonel John Fitzgerald Division of the Ancient Order of Hibernians in America, Arlington County, Virginia, USA, forwarded me a copy of your article in today's Irish Independent, "Going Tribal Will Save Us From Economic Oblivion." The article makes a number of very good, even necessary points, but omits one very important factor: how to finance the economic upgrade you recommend for Ireland.
To be blunt, relying on foreign investment, as your example of Israel has done, has made the country a virtual dependency of the United States, with a consequent increase in resentment against an already unpopular group. When times get hard and people search for a scapegoat (as we are seeing at present), Jew-hating increases dramatically, just as it did in the economic chaos in Germany after the First World War. Nor are the Jews the only group targeted. The Irish in the United States were widely reviled from colonial times to as late as the 1950s in some areas for "stealing" jobs that many considered reserved for "WASPs" (White-Anglo-Saxon-Protestants). "No Irish Need Apply" signs were not uncommon even in the 1920s.
There is, however, a better way, one that we at the non-profit Center for Economic and Social Justice ("CESJ") have been working to present to politicians and other influential individuals in a number of countries, including our own United States, Israel, and, yes, Ireland. Some months back we sent e-mails introducing a concept we call "Capital Homesteading" to every member of the Seanad and the Dáil. We even received a number of acknowledgments, and sent bound copies of our book, Capital Homesteading for Every Citizen, to those that sounded most receptive, as well as to Mr. Cowen (we had previously provided a link to the free .pdf on the CESJ web site, www.cesj.org). In particular, Mr. Charlie O'Connor, the member for Dublin South West, brought Capital Homesteading to the attention of Mr. Brian Lenihan, who, for a time before other troubles intervened, appeared to be following up on the possibilities offered by the proposal.
I believe that adding a Capital Homestead feature to your proposal would flesh it out and enhance both its financial and its political feasibility. I encourage you to visit the Capital Homesteading pages on the CESJ web site, as well as the dedicated web page. Once you have looked over the material, you will want to talk to Dr. Norman G. Kurland, president of CESJ, who is one of the world's leading experts on worker ownership and ownership-expanding social technologies. Dr. Kurland may be reached via e-mail or by telephone. Dr. Kurland is very open to interviews, and in fact was interviewed two weeks ago by a journalist in Warsaw, Poland, who was referred to Dr. Kurland by Dr. Norman Bailey, former chief economic advisor to the United States National Security Council under President Reagan.