Five years of perma-crisis has sapped the optimism of many an economist, in Ireland and beyond. Some of these dismal scientists have prospered in one sense however, making a cottage industry out of doom and gloom. Some of the more thoughtful have offered some humility, realizing that the pre-crisis conventional wisdom was, at best, incomplete and, at worst, false.
For normal people, the age of austerity feels like it’s lasting an eternity. With unemployment still high and incomes stagnant, making ends meet is a constant struggle. Emigration is the path of choice for too many of our young people: enough people to fill Croke Park are leaving every year. The huge household and private sector debt burden means a large cohort of people can’t participate fully in our economy and in society. Unfortunately, none of this is going to change dramatically in the near term. Continue reading