We are back to where we were
Published 16/01/2011 | 05:00
Sir -- It's generally accepted that Ireland's 'tiger' years were built on an unsustainable building boom fuelled by cheap money from Europe and elsewhere.
With the inevitable collapse came the even more inevitable return to mass emigration. And to add to our cycle of turmoil, wage demands grew to such an extent as to make us hugely unattractive to multinationals, despite our strategic position as a smart English-speaking economy on the doorstep of Europe. We are back to where we were, but worse, we are overpriced with massive private bank debt to repay along with our national arrears. Why there is an outcry at the return to emigration is baffling -- plus ca change. Without major indigenous employers, Ireland as a nation of emigrants will continue. We are an Arab state without the oil, if you will. But we're not without hope. We could stumble upon a significant natural resource that the rest of the world wants. Or we could start looking at innovative ways to make this country an attractive place to do business.