Originally Posted by Blut2
1) Nobody held a gun to anyones head and forced them to buy a house, personal responsibility is rather key here. "they made me do it" doesnt cut it with 5 year olds so certainly shouldnt with 35 year olds.
2) I'm fairly sure that an affordable house could have been bought less than 80km away from Dublin, thats a tad excessive even for the boom era commuter towns.
Either way petrol prices are only going one way in the long term, up. Commutes of that distance arent going to be sustainable. The guy with the 160km daily commute can moan all he likes but realistically hes going to have to either suck it up and spend the money on petrol, get a new job or move house. Petrol prices in five years and ten years time from now are not going to be any lower than today.
OK, so options are spend the money on petrol, find a new job or move house.
There are a lot of people however for whom that is quite difficult.
1: There is a limit on how much one can spend, once that is reached, something will have to go unpaid, electricity, mortgage, heating bill, food, car tax, etc...
2: Find a new job. Not always easy, there may be some hope on that front, but the day of hopping from one high paid job to another are over. Salaries will continue to go down, as employers are exploiting the labor market.
3: Move house. Well, that is the tricky part right there. A lot of people are stuck where they are, be it their fault or not.
But you forget option 4:
Default on mortgage or other bills. This will drive hundreds of thousand of people into bankruptcy. Now you can say "huh, serves 'em right", but the problem is that this will simply add pressure to the banks. That means more money for the banks from the government, higher taxes, etc...
We are looking at up to half a million mortgages that people might default on, this will cost more money than can ever be pumped in from the government or even Europe.
When people saw the crash coming, they where laughed at. Now it is being warned that it could get even worse in the future and Ireland is heading for a gigantic financial black hole.
Then it won't matter whose fault it is, because we are heading for the dark ages. Saying "Ah, I'm grand and why is everyone else so stupid" won't help. It wasn't the stoker's fault that the Titanic sank, they went with it anyway.