Political Economy

Ireland Political Economy

How a minor event shines a light

FROM TIME to time a seemingly minor event illuminates the nature of governance in a country. Such a moment occurred last month when the CEO of Apple, Tim Cook, was honoured in Dublin. There may have been a degree of electioneering on Varadkar’s part when he presented the IDA’s inaugural “special recognition award” to Cook. Nevertheless he echoed a long-held view among Ireland’s ruling business class.

Political Economy Trade Unionism

Turning a blind eye

Here is an old adage that if something appears too good to be true, it probably is. Moreover, responsibility goes both ways. Anyone buying something below its obvious market value without checking the origin has to know there is a real probability of illegality or outright criminality being involved.
The common perception is that such shady deals are done by petty crooks working from dark alleyways.

Political Economy

The face of monopoly capitalism

Amazon is Europe’s largest internet retailer, with a turnover twice that of its twenty largest competitors. In 2017 its chief executive earned $2.16 million per hour, while Amazon workers receive the statutory minimum wage, which in the EU varies between €1.42 and €11.27 per hour. In 2018 the company generated […]

Political Economy

Clothing and super-exploitation

At the end of May 2019 a study published by the Stern Center for Business and Human Rights at New York University drew attention to the demeaning conditions in the global clothing industry. The report shows how monopoly capitalism (imperialism) exploits countries, both large and small, that try to develop […]

Political Economy

Identity and class

There is no truly universal experience of the world. It is deeply influenced by how we have been taught to orient ourselves in that world, which then predicts how we interact with it. Language is one such example. Monoglot English-speakers break their day down into time slots and scheduled intervals; […]