Monday, January 25, 2010

Transportation As A Choice

All those trouble-making Irish, all those starving masses who stole food out of desperation, all of them clapped into shackles and put on board prison ships bound for Australia. Such was life during the Great Famine and beyond, until 1867 when the practice of exile was stopped.

With such a history, you'd think that the Irish wouldn't have a positive outlook about the place.

Turns out that plenty of people are leaving Ireland, willingly, bound for the land down under. They're heading to a country that was created by convicts, by the ancestors of those who have given up on Ireland now that the boom times have come to a crashing end.

Australia has been busy promoting itself to Ireland's professionals, hoping to attract engineers and skilled laborers. There are jobs Down Under, and while it's no longer legal to arrest someone and force them to go work in Australia, it's possible to appeal to the desperate.

Plenty of people are out of work in Ireland, with no real hope of finding a good job in the near future. They're tired of the government, fed up with the national health care system, and who wouldn't give serious consideration to a place that can boast of a sunny, warm climate?

The young and eager are taking flight once again, as they did in the Eighties, finding nothing to hold them in Ireland and nothing but opportunity elsewhere. It's not America anymore. No jobs are to be found there, not like the old days. It's Australia that holds the promise of a good future, financial security and a culture that's familiar.

Another generation will be lost. Another generation will grow up with strangers for grandparents. Another generation will grow old, alone, and end up in nursing homes, alone, because the children are far away.

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