29 June 2005

The Pluck Of The Irish

      Thomas Friedman's column (requires free subscription) in today's NYT is about the stunning economic recovery that has taken place in Ireland over the past decade and change.    And really, as Friedman posits, the method is so simple-- and so obvious-- one wonders why other European nations (and, indeed, Canada) have not adopted similar strategies:

Ireland's advice is very simple: Make high school and college education free; make your corporate taxes low, simple and transparent; actively seek out global companies; open your economy to competition; speak English; keep your fiscal house in order; and build a consensus around the whole package with labor and management - then hang in there, because there will be bumps in the road - and you, too, can become one of the richest countries in Europe.
Makes sense to me, particularly the part about keeping education free or close to it.    Those that treat education as an expense rather than an investment are doing more injury that realize.

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