Saturday 20 January 2018

Time we grew up and faced music

Sir --Gene Kerrigan (Sunday Independent, January 2, 2011) maintains that we didn't all party during the boom, but a large proportion of us did.

If a property bubble isn't driven by public demand, what is it driven by? All of us who splurged on investment property during the boom were stakeholders in the entire affair. Credit flowed from 'idiot German bankers' to 'idiot Irish bankers', and thence into the system, in response to powerful market forces, and not as part of some sinister capitalist conspiracy. Investors gorged themselves on Section 23 and cheap, easy money.

Furthermore, the electorate voted for more of the same in 2007, when the whole edifice was starting to crumble. Not to mention the public outrage at spending cuts after the 2002 election. Casting ourselves as victims, after the current fashion, of bankers, developers, the Government, or the IMF, is to evade our own share of responsibility. It's time to grow up and see ourselves as Europe sees us: irresponsible, profligate and unwise.

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