#UCCEconoCon Live Blog

Refresh for updates, thanks to @AudreyEWalsh for some of the quotes

Hello and welcome to my live blog of the UCC Economics Society Economic Conference. There is a great line up of speakers organised and I will be updating this post as the day goes on. Feel free to ask questions in the comments on Twitter (@spiller2 or @corkeconomics) or on Facebook. Todays Timetable:

11:30 – 11:35    Welcome by Stephen Barry, Auditor of UCC Economics Society
11:35 – 11:50    Opening Address by Robbie Butler, UCC Department of Economics

11:50 – 12:50    Panel Discussion 1: Is politics the greatest stumbling block to economic stability? Ciaran Lynch TD, Sinead Ryan and Declan Jordan, Peter Mathews TD and John Considine (Chair)

12:50 – 13:20    Q&A

13:20 – 14:20    Lunch

14:20 – 14:40 “Gaming It: Incentives, Cheating and the Grey Area in Sports” – Declan Jordan

14:40 – 15:40    Panel Discussion 2: The Eurozone – wobbling on a tightrope between growth and debt? Megan Greene, Seamus Coffey, Brendan Keenan, Lorcan Roche-Kelly and Tim Harford (Chair)

15:40 – 16.10   Q&A

16:10 – 16:20    Coffee Break

16.20 –     Keynote Speech by Tim Harford

Robbie Butler:

  • We can go from Primary to University without studying Economics.
  • We don’t teach basic Economics, how to save, how to spend, how not to spend more then you earn
  • Interest in Economics has declined since the recession.
  • Need to capture imagination of young people. Less than 10% leave formal education with education in economics

Panel 1: Is politics the greatest stumbling block to economic stability?

Declan Jordan

  • Politics isnt the greatest stumbling block to economic stability
  • Do Governments hinder or help the Economy
  • 13 Countries with good growth had committed, credible and capable Government
  • Bad decisions and Bad Governments can damage Economies
  • Electorate needs to incentives “good politicians” with “Good policies”
  • we tend to see politics as a problem, we get the government we deserve, we elected them
  • we elected the same government 3 times who had short term views, but we contributed to it

Peter Matthews TD

  • We’ve had a volatile economic situation here, as opposed to stagnation (Japan) or depressed (Soviet Union)
  • Unregulated markets has wrecked the real economy.
  • Read the “Price of Inequality” – Joseph Stiglitz
  • Also read “Thinking Fast & Slow” by Daniel Kahneman
  • This country is overburdened by debt which is unsustainable! A debt right down for Ireland would be the right thing to do!
  • The 11 MEPs need to agree on working together to reduce the €53bn debt

Sinead Ryan

  • 1st lesson of economics is of scarcity, 1st lesson of politics is to ignore the 1st lesson of economics.
  • Where there is conflict between Economist and Politicians, the tax payer ends up the loser.
  • Examples are Irish Water, HSE, Bank Crisis and unprofitable routes on public transport
  • No politician wants to be called brave

Ciaran Lynch TD

  • If Government is a stumbling block for economic stability if bad policies are followed, its not if good policies are followed.
  • Everyone now has opinion about economics just as in politics
  • The financial crisis has both internal and external causes!
  • Economics does not come with an ideology, just like Politics
  • Coming out of the current crisis/bailout is an example of how politics can work
  • Life cycle carbon taxes – there is not enough materials in the world to meet future supply.
  • Politics does not cause instability but pursuing economic dogma does

Q&A: Question: How do we get the Politician’s we deserve

  • Economist should provide Electorate with information
  • Economist should fact check on political policies

“ECB Monetary Policy” – Lorcan Roche Kelly

  • German Economy is the most important tool to the the ECB
  • To get where the ECB wants to be, the must do something new. They can’t cut interest rates. Money supply must be managed better!
  • The crisis that Europe is facing, is not a debt crisis…. it is a growth crisis!
  • The best thing that happened to the ECB was Trichet leaving the bank and Draghi coming in
  • The Euro suffers from a publicity problem

“Gaming It: Incentives, Cheating and the Grey Area in Sports” – Declan Jordan

  • Lots of cheating in sport, Luis Suraz, World Cup 1982, Theire Henry, A-Rod, Lance Armstrong, Maradonna.
  • Cheating is not new, its easier, they do work hard
  • Its’ expected
  • Is bending the rules allowed?
  • Cheating needs a new definition
  • Should be defined as Breaking the rules for Advantage

Panel 2: The Eurozone – wobbling on a tightrope between growth and debt?

Brendan Keenan

  • Eurozone is still a collection of National Economies, cant be compared to USA. Huge disparities between Governments
  • The eurozone crisis could easily erupt again!
  • Ireland facing more contraction until 2016, Public spending can grow beyond that if we reach that if international recovery
  • Is Ireland political willing to continue walking the tightrope? It will still be tough
  • A Tightrope… doesn’t matter which side you fall off! You fall off! A second bailout would lead to unknown territory.

Megan Greene

  • Adding an item to the agenda, INFLATION…… it should be growth, solvency and inflation.
  • It is important to look at 2 different solvency levels: 1) Public Solvency levels 2) External Solvency levels
  • 2014 will be a chronic year for the Eurozone, however next year things should get get better!
  • Germany has some room to provide some stimulus, but unlikely as its facing a rapid ageing population
  • German’s population is ageing and while their fiscal policy is good, their future generations will be paying the price.
  • Banking Union will not be about burden sharing, which was the point
  • Debt conference in Europe with all the weaker countries (and perhaps France), to restructure debt, is necessary.
  • The most political likely deal is debt restructuring. It will be politically tough. But rescheduling at least is nessecary

Seamus Coffey

  • If deflation appears in prices, it might not be too bad. However, if it appears in wages, it would not good!
  • Deflation also affects Government income, VAT and Duty.
  • Those most hurt by deflation are those in debt. Most in debt? Governments- where anti deflation comments come
  • We still havent solved the Banking Crisis
  • EU needs to become more federal, whether in policy or fiscally, for social project of 1950s to avoid getting stuck
  • The Burden of the Debt has to go Somewhere

Lorcan Roche Kelly

  • Eurozone is almost a Co-Op
  • The Eurozone is a good tempate for a Federalised Europe
  • We need a really bad crisis for politicians to hand over fiscal power. Seeds are there for that crisis. Sovereign Debt
  • The answer is more Europe
  • Integration or Disintegration
  • We are half way across canyon, if we turn around we will fall off.

Keynote Speech: Tim Harford

  • Focusing on the story of Alban William Phillips (Also known as Bill Phillips)
  • He is the Indiana Jones of Economics
  • Invented the Moniac the first computer model of an economy
  • Developed the Philips Curve, the correlation between inflation and unemployment
  • The 1970’s Oil Crisis discredited the Philips Curve
  • When he developed the curve he never believed in it.

And thats it folks! Thanks for joining me!

 

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European Democrat Students launch ‘Knowledge is Power’ campaign

Logo of the European Democrat Students

The European Democrat Students (EDS) yesterday launched their “Knowledge is Power Campaign”. This campaign encourages EU political leaders to prioritize efforts on higher education and research funding. EDS urges leaders to introduce stimulus packages for the higher education sector, which is an important factor to help boost economic recovery in Europe.

The EDS emphasizes the importance of having a good education system for our future generations, and wish to encourage politicians to invest more resources in higher education and research. The EDS strongly believes that Europe 2020 is the fundamental guideline for all 27 Member States and thus, endorse the principle of a knowledge-based economy where higher education is a central pillar for sustainable economic growth.

EPP President Wilfried Martens strongly supports the EDS initiative: “the EPP believes that know-how in societies is central to economic growth and job creation, so we must create the best conditions for transforming them into knowledge-based societies. To reach this fundamental objective of the EPP, we strongly support investments in research and innovation. Ultimately, the economic success of Europe will be determined by the extent of the financial commitments allocated to these pivotal sectors of the economy. Europe must become a knowledge economy.”

This campaign is EDS’ first Internet based campaign and consists of several online films and an online petition available at eds-knowledge.eu. With the petition, the EDS wants to reach out to young Europeans and thereby send a bold signal to Europe’s policy makers that young people in today’s Europe believe that we have to invest more in Europe’s future.

So sign the petition, like on Facebook an follow on Twitter!

EDS is the official Student Organisation of the European People’s Party.

Asking the Candidates: If elected will you continue to use Facebook/Twitter

Free twitter badge
Image via Wikipedia

After thinking about all the tweets and facebooking from the Irish Presidential Candidates, I decided to ask them if they would contine use Twitter/Facebook if they were elected President of the Republic of Ireland.

I asked the question on Twitter initially, but then posted it also on the candidates Facebook to give them all a fair chance of responding.

These are the respons in the order I have recieved them and on what medium they responded on.

Mary Davis – Facebook

Hi Stephen, when I am elected I will definitely ensure that social media is a key part of my Áras an Uachtarán communications.

Sean GallagherFacebook

Certainly Stephen. I was using both Facebook and Twitter well before I announced my intention to run for the Presidency. Social media and new technologies mean that I can reach people and hear what you, the people of Ireland are saying more clearly than ever before. Best wishes, Seán

Michael D HigginsTwitter

@spiller2 if elected I hope to continue using social media Stephen #aras11

Martin McGuinnessTwitter

@spiller2 I do indeed Stephen

UPDATE 20:25

Dana Rosemary Scallon Twitter

@spiller2 I’m still learning, but I will keep it up while I’m in office. It’s a great way to connect with the people. #aras11 #dana

Senator David Norris (Team) – Facebook

Hi Stephen, I have asked your question and can confirmed a David Norris Presidency would certainly be using Social Media to make the Office of President even more accessible while continuing on the fantastic dialogue David Norris has enjoyed throughout his campaign. Admin (Ronan)

I have yet to recieve a response from Gay Mitchell. When I do I will update this post.

Anna Lindh Exchange Forum

This week the Anna Lindh Exchange will take place in Tunis, Tunisia between the 23rd and 26th June. This will be a region-wide meeting of civil society players acting for democracy and freedoms with an intercultural perspective.

Gathering between 150 and 200 participants from all over the Euro-Med region who work in the fields of Artistic creation, Media and Social Networks, Civil society development and Resources for Citizenship, the event will be a great opportunity for participants to learn from each other, exchange experiences, best practices and project ideas as well as to build partnerships.

I shall be attending the Exchange and I will be part of the team covering the event through twitter, facebook and blogs. As part of that I have posted a blog post on the conference up on the official blog just on the background!

Do check out the website tunisforum.org for all the ways to follow the Forum. On twitter follow the #tunisforum tag! Or follow the list I created on twitter which will be updated over the course of the exchange. On Facebook like the Anna Lindh Foundation Page and the Believe in Dialogue Page to get updates there! There will be some live coverage and videos on the website so do keep an eye on it!

Im really looking forward to it now!

Garret Fitzgerald RIP

Crop of Garret FitzGerald arriving for The Lis...
Image via Wikipedia

This morning I awoke to the sad news that former Taoiseach Garret Fitzgerald had passed away. “Garret the Good” as he was known was always someone held in high regard in my family. He is one of the Giants of Irish Politics. He gave his all to Irish Politics and was a shining example of active citizenship in this country.

He was the founding fathers of Young Fine Gael as part of his reorganisation of Fine Gael in 1977. He is one of the reasons I joined the Fine Gael party. He dragged the Fine Gael party to the centre and allowed it be the party that is now.

Garret played a massive role in the peace process in Northern Ireland and this weeks events is a testament to the ground work he did.

Also Garret was Minister for Foreign Affairs during Ireland’s first EU Presidency and was widely praised for this. He interest in Europe never waned and he was involved in the campaigns for the Nice and Lisbon Treaties. In future campaigns on Europe he will be sorely missed. For both his passion and his intellect.

We now as a state must be thankful to Garret for what he did for us.

My thoughts and prayers are with him and his family. May he Rest in Peace.

Ar dheis de go raibh a anam dilis

Links

Tonights Liveblog!

As part of my tweeting from the We The Citizens event I shall be interacting (well attempting to) with everyone else who is watching the events unfold! You can also take part using the tag #citizens

Do check out the Liveblog Click Here.

In the mean time check out my posts on We the Citizens.

Preparing for the Count

Election Poster

So tonight its all about the preparation for the tally tomorrow. I have to be in the concert hall in Cork City Hall.  I shall be doing the tally for Cork South Central but Cork North Central will be counted in the same hall. I will be trying to keep people updated on both counts on twitter. Keep an eye on the #tags #CNC and #CSC

Check out Mamanpoulet.com for more ways to follow the counts tomorrow.

Also there will be a first for a tally when the tally in Cork South Central will be updated online.

It may be a long day tomorrow, but let see what happens.

Also the RTÉ exit poll will be announced at 8am on Morning Ireland. That should give us an idea of how the counts will progress.

Join the Debate in Barcelona

Well tomorrow I am off to Barcelona for the Anna Lindh Foundation Forum 2010. I will be live-blogging and tweeting about the forum, with the help of a few others. I know I am not a big user of twitter at the moment, but college is taking up a lot of the time I would have spent on it, so I will be back to it tomorrow.

You too, though, will be able to see whats happening and pass on your comments as the plenary sessions will be webcast. I received an email about it today.

JOIN THE DEBATE

‘Bridging the Gap in Mutual Perceptions between people across the Mediterranean’
09.30 to 11.00 AM CET Friday 5th March 2010

Join the debate with live web-cast and blog at:
www.annalindhforum.org

The debate will be broadcast live from the Anna Lindh Forum in Barcelona, involving an audience of over 900 civil society representatives from the 43 countries of the Union for the Mediterranean.

You can also follow us at www.twitter.com/AnnaLindh to get the latest quotes and updates, and join the online discussion using the hashtag #forum2010

Do join in! It will be interesting to hear what you think!

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Should Politicians Use Twitter?

twitter-logo
Image by VitiligoCover via Flickr

Two recent events should be highlighted to any politician thinking of using twitter to further their electoral prospects. These two stories do serve as maybe a warning, before the commit.

Case 1: Dale v McCarthy.

This case surrounds allegations made by the Hon. Kerry McCarthy, MP for  Bristol East, about the political magazine Total Politics, which is run by tory supporting blogger Iain Dale. I shall leave it to each of them to tell their story.

As you can see, politicians have to be careful with what they say and do online! Is one over reacting? Or are both responses justified? You be the jury.

Case 2: Limburg v Schüneman

This case from the Lower Saxon State Parliament. After a debate on Aslyum Seekers, Green MP Helge Limburg called Lower Saxony’s state Interior Minister Uwe Schünemann (CDU) an “insufferable agitator” who was “shamelessly on the right-wing fringe.” (Full Story)

This when it came to light in the Lower Saxon Parliament caused uproar and discussions over the budget had to be postponed.

Is that what twitter should be used for?

So its over to you, after these anticas would you recommend that politicans use twitter?

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if I had HIV, would you kiss me?

Via Conor on Twitter, a great online video about HIV and Stigma with Konnie Huq (remember Blue Peter?) by the Birtish Red Cross for World AIDS Day 2009.

The blurb:

What would it take for you to kiss someone with HIV? If Konnie Huq was HIV positive, would you kiss her?

The stigma experienced by people living with HIV and AIDS is immensely destructive and can further damage people who may already be in a vulnerable state. For World AIDS Day 2009, the British Red Cross carried out a survey of 16-25-year-olds in the UK, which showed that 85 per cent knew you cannot catch HIV from a kiss. Despite this, 69 per cent still wouldn’t kiss someone with HIV. So while people’s knowledge about HIV is generally good, that doesn’t necessarily translate into action.

Its not just about close contact like kissing the general trend is similar for more casual contact as well. For example, 96 per cent of people surveyed know you can’t get HIV from sharing a meal with someone who is HIV positive – but 44 per cent still wouldn’t want to buy food from a shopkeeper with HIV.

Red Cross peer educators are young people who train and teach people their own age, covering a range of humanitarian issues, including HIV. We can always use more volunteers for this challenging and rewarding role, so if you’d like to change the way people think about HIV, visit redcross.org.uk/hiv

What would it take for you to kiss someone with HIV? If Konnie Huq was HIV positive, would you kiss her?

The stigma experienced by people living with HIV and AIDS is immensely destructive and can further damage people who may already be in a vulnerable state. For World AIDS Day 2009, the British Red Cross carried out a survey of 16-25-year-olds in the UK, which showed that 85 per cent knew you cannot catch HIV from a kiss. Despite this, 69 per cent still wouldn’t kiss someone with HIV. So while people’s knowledge about HIV is generally good, that doesn’t necessarily translate into action.

Its not just about close contact like kissing the general trend is similar for more casual contact as well. For example, 96 per cent of people surveyed know you can’t get HIV from sharing a meal with someone who is HIV positive – but 44 per cent still wouldn’t want to buy food from a shopkeeper with HIV.

Red Cross peer educators are young people who train and teach people their own age, covering a range of humanitarian issues, including HIV. We can always use more volunteers for this challenging and rewarding role, so if you’d like to change the way people think about HIV, visit redcross.org.uk/hiv

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