Celtic Meltdown: Why Ireland is Broke and How We Can Fix it

Paperback
'Greed is good' Sound familiar? Apart from being Michael Douglas' iconic line in Wall Street, it's the attitude those in power in Ireland wholeheartedly embraced. In Ireland, property development became the career du jour and banks went crazy handing over money for countless blocks of apartments at home and abroad that many couldn't afford anyway. The government turned a blind eye as costs went up, standards went down, and reaped the benefits. Many factors are blamed for the current crisis but who is really responsible? Why was everyone taken by surprise? How did it happen? How can we prevent similar crises from happening again? Where do we go from here? The time has come for us to understand exactly why the Celtic Tiger crumbled so dramatically so that we can have some say in our own lives and livelihoods rather than leaving the control in the hands of the few. There is a way out of this mess, based on high standards, appropriate levels of pay and conditions, fair and efficient taxation, strict regulation in the public sector and in financial markets. Those in positions of power must share the pain. Routes to recovery are charted here, with radical ideas such as abandoning the euro, allowing banks to fail and embracing nuclear power. This is an ordinary person's take on the whole scene. Cearbhall A Dalaigh has gathered together all the issues in one affordable easily-understood package so that the average person can see why Ireland is broke but more importantly, how we can fix it. It's time to think of the solution and not just the problem. SOME KEY ISSUES FEATURED IN CELTIC MELTDOWN * Lazy promotion of growth by encouragement of property speculation and low-wage immigration. * Big lenders of cash to banks benefit while Irish taxpayers take the hit. * Growth in administrators and 'management' far in excess of growth in numbers of nurses, police, etc. * Profligate government borrowing, which will take years to repay. * Public Private 'Initiatives' that have increased the costs of services being provided and have been so badly managed the taxpayer will carry the economic burden for decades to come. * Pension policies that mean civil servants have essentially unfunded, inflation-proof, final salary-based pensions, while most of the private workforce has nothing that compares to this. * Our money has been spent and our futures put in hock without any compensatory benefits: failing, dirty hospitals, prefabs all over schoolyards, falling education standards and higher rates of illiteracy, more serious crimes and increasing numbers of prisoners, public transport a mess. * Creation of quangos lined with unqualified party hacks also on inflation-proof, final-salary-linked pensions and who have no accountability to the people or the government. * A disproportionate level of Dail representation and ministers when much law-making is now done from Brussels. * Foolhardy promotion of poorly-specified software projects such as e-voting, the costs of which escalate while their benefits recede or disappear. * Billions spent irresponsibly on consultants who added little value and on projects whose budgets were invariably out of control. Visit the Celtic Meltdown website www.celticmeltdown.webs.com