Evolution in Irish Economics

22 Jul

Ireland’s economic history is as rich as the island’s political and cultural history.  The economy began with bartering and clan settlement and grew with the introduction of other civilizations and their economic ideas and systems, such as the Vikings with cities and coin currency.  Ireland’s economic history really takes off in the 1950s.  Before then Ireland suffered a famine, war and believed in a protectionist economic system. 

That all changed with Taoiseach Sean Lamass who started the Republic of Ireland in the direction of outward thinking.  That outward focus brought trade and an effort to attract foreign investment.  There was also investment in education by expanding the curriculum and paying for high school education with taxes instead of by each family out-of-pocket.  With a growing labor force and an outward focus Ireland saw a boom in the 1960s. 

As a result of world economic problems, in the 1970s, Ireland’s economy slowed as well.  However history has a tendency to repeat itself.  In the 1990s Ireland’s economy improved dramatically.  From 1994 until 2007 Ireland had more growth than any country with its housing market and saw amazing overall economic growth.  For being such a small country Ireland has had a lot of impressive and dramatic economic history, both positive and negative. 

What I find most interesting about Ireland and its economy is how according to the Good Country Index it is the “goodest” country in the entire world.  The Good Country Index measures what each country on earth contributes to the common good of humanity.  Rankings are determined from data collected in 2010 which is the most shocking part of all.  In 2010 Ireland was in the middle of their economic crisis and despite having their banking system and economy crumble around them Ireland, as a country, was still contributing more to humanity than any other country in the world.  So no matter what your opinion is of the Irish economy the country as a whole seems to be doing pretty well at the end of the day.  

– Tracy Venella

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