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Wednesday, January 15, 2014

On Irish "Austerity"

Tyler Cowen has exactly described my view on the great Irish austerity debate.  It's impossible to excerpt anything without the context of the whole, but here's one bit:
Overall, it is amazing how the single largest extension in the responsibilities and fiscal obligations of the Irish state — ever — has been turned into a PR defeat for the idea of fiscal conservatism.
In other words, it's rather difficult to see (for both Mr. Cowen and me) how Ireland, which has not been anything like austere on average over the last decade or so, could have taken any other path than the "austere" one and not collapsed completely.  In addition, if they had been only a bit more "austere" prior to the financial crisis, they wouldn't have been in their current predicament, from which they are finally, slowly, and painfully escaping.


Clovis e Adri said...

Your point being that... the Irish state should not have bailed out its private sector?

Harry Eagar said...

Its exports are up. All the educated young people are leaving.

That's gotta be great for future competitiveness.

Bret said...


That wasn't the point but yes, the Irish state should not have bailed out its private sector.