Competition or con

IRELAND IS THE 19th most competitive country in the world. This was the finding released in September by the Geneva based World Economic Forum. Yet workers in TEAM, Irish Steel, the ESB, and a lot more jobs are told that they must accept lower pay and/or worse conditions in order to "become competitive".

The ten most competive countries were listed as

1. USA
2. Singapore
3. Japan
4. Hong Kong
5. Germany
6. Switzerland
7. Denmark
8. Netherlands
9. New Zealand
10. Sweden

While it is undeniable that low wages are one factor in attracting multinational investment, there are other factors. Why are we always told that we must be like Singapore or Hong Kong but not like Germany or Sweden? Why must bosses be given more as an "incentive to invest" but workers given less an "incentive to work"? And there are those who think we live in a classless society!

Originally published in Workers Solidarity 44, 1995