The only way of knowing whether the lessons of an economic crash have been learned is when the next downturn comes along. You can never really tell when things are on the up again whether politicians have really understood the calamity of mistakes they have made in the past.
This General Election campaign provided clear evidence that little has been learned by over-promising politicians who still believe voters can be bought.
Following the disaster of the last crash, there was so much thumping of chests among the political class that it seemed the same mistakes could never be repeated.
Never again would they rely on Exchequer revenues from one source - property the last time, corporation tax receipts this time. Never again would they allow spending on infrastructure projects to get out of control - roads the last time, the National Children's Hospital and rural broadband this time.
Never again would they let house prices become so excessive they had to award public sector pay increases so teachers, gardaí and nurses could afford a roof over their head.
Last time, instead of tackling runaway house prices they awarded public sector pay rises. This time, runaway rents and housing shortages have undermined disposable income for so many people that they need pay increases just to stand still.
But perhaps even more importantly, the lesson learned was not to run the economy and the Exchequer like there was no tomorrow, but to replace short-term thinking with long-term planning.
Yet, once again, long-term planning has been thrown out in the heat of election promises. We have come out of a massive and deeply damaging recession with the fastest economic growth rates in the EU. We have enjoyed a multi-billion-euro bonanza from corporation tax receipts. Yet, we cannot seem to think long term.
The housing crisis was entirely predictable years ago, if anyone looked at our population projections for 2020 or 2025.
The Exchequer only reported a budget surplus in the last two years despite a phenomenal six- or seven-year run of good luck, rising employment, financial windfalls, low interest rates and an economic boom.
None of our €200bn national debt has been paid down during this bonanza. Few fundamental reforms have been achieved such as restructuring the health service, planning for future pensions deficits or fixing the totally dysfunctional housing market.
Fianna Fáil paid a political price for its failure in the boom and decided to come into this election with the veneer of a newfound fiscal responsibility.
Fine Gael claims it can be trusted on the economy and the Exchequer finances.
The simple truth is that we have signed up to a eurozone fiscal pact which means no government will be allowed to run up big budget deficits. The EU has shrunk the punchbowl, but our politicians seem determined to empty whatever is there all the same.
No sooner had the election gun been fired when the promises and auction politics of the past arrived thick and fast.
It started with the age at which the old-age pension would be paid in the future. In a matter of days, the political classes shredded the limited reform of our unaffordable State pension system that had been made.
Fianna Fáil said the move towards raising the pension age to 67 would be reviewed. Fine Gael joined the back-track. Fianna Fáil's spokesman on pensions, Willie O'Dea, was overtaken in the back-track by the party leader when he appeared to pre-empt the outcome of his own review by telling Sean O'Rourke on RTÉ Radio One that 67 won't happen.
Labour's moral high ground - refusing to do business with anyone unless they held back on increasing the State pension age to 67 - didn't really wash either, given the party leader Brendan Howlin sat in the government that introduced it.
Sinn Féin went further than the others in its election package by promising increased spending and tax cuts totalling over €22bn up to 2025.
Ireland has one of the most open trading economies in the world.
That is why things really heat up in good times and cool down so rapidly when there is a wider downturn. Perhaps that is true.
But surely our political classes can finally grow up and realise they must plan properly for both the ups and the downs.
Proportional representation is a more democratic system than 'first past the post'. However, it can propagate weaker governments.
Weak politicians believe that to come through an election they have to provide jam today, jam tomorrow and don't worry about next week.
Therefore, election manifestos take only the most benign economic projections. They tend to dish out specific eye-catching measures that are not fully costed.
They do not spell out different scenarios of how much money they might have available if things don't go to plan. There is always only one set of assumptions about the economic future contained in manifestos. They never spell out how much it will cost just to keep things as they are, given our expanding and ageing population.
Of course, politicians know it is easy to put something in a manifesto and it doesn't mean it will make it into a negotiated programme for government.
And not everything in a programme for government will actually be done. Therefore, manifestos can have a pretty loose relationship with the truth or reality.
If politicians know this, so too do the voters. So why cheapen the entire political process with a fantasy wish list that everybody knows isn't real?
We have been accused of 'leprechaun economics' in recent years. 'Leprechaun politics' is alive and well too.