Tuesday, 15 February 2011

American Conservative

My cover story, "Wreck of the Irish," is now online.


lagedargent said...

Nice piece, Brian.
But one question. If they didn't spend it on infrastructure, libraries or broadband internet, what did the Irish Government do with all the extra money they must have raised over two decades by rates and income taxes?

Brian Kaller said...


It's a good question with a complicated answer. Firstly, taxes were very low -- one of the reasons for the businesses moving here -- so the revenue was not as great as you'd think.

Also, some funding went to new roads, electricity and systems for the explosion of new homes -- some of which now lie vacant or were only half-built.

There have been a few positive improvements, like the tram lines built in Dublin. Other times, though, the government spent it on boondoggles that improved nothing. Little enough went to wind technology, greenhouses or other projects that might have made Ireland less dependent and eased the inevitable downturn.

A longer answer, I fear, would take another article.