With 85billion at 5.8 per cent the legacy of the Government of Ireland to my children, we need to understand just how we got into this mess. The answer is simple: we have failed to build an economy.
What should an Irish economy look like? it should have world class standards in four areas: agriculture, fisheries, tech and tourism. Ireland does not have world class standards in any of these areas. Our agriculture is a junkie agriculture which survives only on account of subsidies. Without subsidies, we could not even feed ourselves.
Our tech survives because of global firms who only stay here because we let them off with pathetically low corporate tax rates. This also makes us a very bad neighbour to our companions in the EU.
Our fisheries add no value to the fish we catch, virtually all of which leaves our shores with no benefit to the people who own the sea from which is is taken, which just happens to be us. We could and should be self-sufficient in energy needs because of wind and wave power, but we lag behind everyone due to a lack of investment and foresight in capturing his energy. Instead of building marine energy sources, we have built roads that use fossil fuels that we have to import.
Our tourism economy has crippled itself by getting caught up in a bubble which pushed prices too high, and by allowing zombie builders hotels to be built in every town to the detriment of the standard bearers in the industry. In addition, our staff have been replaced with nice people from eastern Europe who wouldn't know an Irish welcome if they ate it. Irish hospitality, how are you! Actually, frequently the question is:Irish hospitality, where are you?
Other writers have pointed out that we don't actually have a republic. We don't actually have an economy either.