Tuesday, September 16, 2008
Dell Computers came to build their shitty, always-crashing PCs in Limerick because it was a) inside the EU and b) the IDA offered them tax incentives to do so.
But now it seems like they're upping sticks sometime very soon. Canny people might have spotted them building a huge new manufacturing plant in Lodz in Poland and wondered about the likelihood of them keeping two EU factories going in the current economic climate.
Well, according to the Wall Street Journal, that's exactly what their intentions are. They're laying off 8,000 people, and it looks like closing Limerick will account for 3,000 of those. This will devastate the Shannon region economically. Not that Dell care, of course.
Their share price plummeted today when the news began leaking out. Good enough for them, I say.
Good enough especially for poor impoverished Dell founder, Michael Dell, whose desperation for some cash is what's behind this latest shafting of the Irish people whose tax helped fund his entry into the EU's lucrative PC market.
Michael Dell's eponymous firm has largely justified the preposterous situation whereby computers made in Ireland cost more here than almost anywhere else because they were providing employment here.
Well, since they won't be for much longer, should we expect a 30% cut in prices? My hairy arse, we should. Dell will relocate to Poland, pay the staff a quarter or less of the Limerick wages and seek to pocket the difference.
And whose pockets will enjoy this sudden deluge of cash? Michael Dell of course, the world's third or fourth richest man, a man who clearly wasn't as tight for cash four years ago, when he gave George W. Bush the maximum $250,000 an individual could contribute for his 2004 re-election campaign.
A man who the poor deluded people of the University of Limerick thought fit to honour.
But there's a recession on, and Dell needs money clearly. After all, he's got a $250,000 annual property tax bill on his 33,000 square feet Austin mansion (see pic above). And fuel costs for his Porsche Boxter, his Hummer and his other vehicles are no doubt rising too.
Dell will be blaming that recession on the need for the firm to abandon Limerick. But of course, the real reason that Dell are moving is because they failed, not just the people of Limerick, but themselves.
Michael Dell took on Steve Jobs at Apple very publicly, spoofing that his firm were the more innovative. But despite Apple's products being overpriced trendy trash, Dell has still seen their share valuation go from less than Dell's to triple Dell's in only a few years.
Dell is a shitty firm who have let down the Irish taxpayer and their loyal Limerick workforce. They make crappy computers which break down and crash a lot. Their customer service is famously abysmal.
I hope the Irish people boycott Dell's products. I hope the University of Limerick demand their honorary degree back. And most of all, I hope Michael Dell ends up unable to pay either that property tax or contribute to anymore redneck political campaigns anytime soon.