FOR THE PAST MONTH, the mainstream Irish media have started pointing out the toxic combination of ingredients in Ireland that have made the Irish economy a world leader in the econopalypse, the deep worldwide recession. A tyranny of greed pulsed through the Celtic Tiger, led by a corporate bonus system that has morphed into an entitlement culture. That sense of entitlement reigns supreme at both the top and bottom ends of Irish society. Today, the gravy train has come off the rails. Swinging cuts in funding for the nanny state lie on the table for Irish social partners to consider alongside ruthless job terminations. The overall Irish economy has slowed down so much that Ireland will easily meet carbon reduction targets for 2009. Peak oil caused some companies to become eco-aware and some economists point to peak oil as an econopalytic reference point. Everything manufactured and transported will cost more because of oil pricing and also because of the higher cost of ramping up to a greener alternative. There is no disguising the fact that our glasses are less than half full at the moment.
In Ireland, the political theatre surrounding the delusional property market and the raping of the financial system by policies of laissez faire earned the disdain of international markets. Ireland will pay a higher price to fund deficit spending as a result. During her working years, my daughter will pay 10% of my current income (the government is borrowing that much now since the current tax base cannot fund the State wage bill) and probably most of my pension since the National Pension Fund is being gutted as a large part of it is being poured into failed Irish banks.
I'm optimistic for Ireland's future while knowing everything will be different. In the near term, that means facing a cut in wages and tighter restrictions on reimburseable expenses.
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