Well after months of speculation and kite flying, the budget has finally been delivered. It's a mixed bag.
For example, a 2% point increase in VAT is assumed to automatically generate additional tax revenue. But what happens if, say, a retail business has to offer substantial discounts in order to get business in a tough market and turnover still drops? Or what if more businesses close down in a declining economy. That would mean less tax overall, not more.
The only certainty is that we simply don't know what even the next days or weeks have in store for the economy. Changes at the European macro level might render meaningless the adjustments brought in by the budget.
So much is outside our control that we have simply to mind our own businesses and our own wellbeing. Be grounded in the reality of your own circumstances, face up to that reality and take the necessary steps to ensure your own survival.
"Vision has power, for through vision you can easily reach beyond the ordinary to the extraordinary. Vision can help you organise your actions, focus your values and clearly see what is relevant in current reality" (Robert Fritz)
Isn't it interesting how vision is missing from our current political dialogue. Over the next few weeks we will hear argument and counterargument about who did, or failed to do, what; who has a workable economic policy; who can out-shout or talk over their opponent; who can best confuse and dissemble; who has the best soundbite.
Meanwhile, no will draw us a picture of how they invision the country in say ten years; how we will take care of each other; how we will address inequality and abuse of office; how we will all pull our weight.
No vision of a promised land only the promise of more of the same. A few new faces spouting the old falsehoods.
Brian Cowan tells the Dail that Ireland will run out of money by next July, if the Dail doesn't pass his Government's budget. I say HIS government as it isn't ours any more!!
Your boss tells you he'll fire you if you don't do what he tells you - " There are plenty of people "out there" who will happily take your job"
Your Bank tells you they'll foreclose on your mortgage if you don't pay them.
This is all leadership by threat.
How about leadership by solutions, by ideas, by collaboration? Leadership by creating a vision. Leadership by agreeing priorities and a workable action plan. Leadership by giving good example. Leadership by telling the truth and doing the right thing.
Someone said that if you laid all the economists in the world end to end, they still wouldn't reach a conclusion. It seems that whatever answer you want, there is an economist or journalist who will give it to you. Generally, the media are looking for the bad new and are determined to share it with us at every opportunity.
So, leave all those gloomy reports behind and read Oliver O'Connor's 'Wall Street Journal' article reprinted in the Irish Independent today at http://www.independent.ie/opinion/analysis/irelands-economy-still-has-a-very-healthy-pulse-2412442.html
Don't try to make sense of it all. Lean back, take a deep breath, exhale slowly, reach for that Cappucino and relaaax!
Here's is a quotation I found.
"To laugh is to risk appearing the fool.
To weep is to risk appearing sentimental.
To reach out for another is to risk involvement.
To expose your feelings is to risk revealing your true self.
To place your ideas and dreams before a crowd is to risk rejection.
To love is to risk not being loved in return.
To live is to risk dying.
To hope is to risk despair.
To try is to risk failure.
But risks must be taken because the greatest hazard in life is to risk nothing at all. People who will risk nothing do nothing, have nothing, and become nothing. They may avoid suffering and sorrow, but they cannot learn, feel, change, grow, love or live. Chained by their certitudes, they are slaves.
They have forfeited their freedom. Only a person who risks is truly free.
And one last idea you can live and believe, is that the more that you give, the more you’ll receive."