Short boom, long bust: the cycle is unbroken

IN his column (January 30), Matt Cooper relies on jingoistic jibes to disguise his woeful knowledge of economics.

As Ireland is about to discover yet again, no single currency can operate over a wide area — even the USA — without creating a combination of depressed regions and mass migration.

In fact ordinary folk in Britain will be heartily thankful that a weaker sterling preserves their jobs while Irish citizens are crucified by the euro in the interests of the governing elite and the public sector. An independent floating currency is the means by which the livelihoods of voters are protected from the economic idiots who rule them. It is in fact an essential prerequisite to long-term full employment. Indeed, if you want to destroy any economy, all you need to do is to push up the value of the currency beyond its competitive equilibrium. Throughout the history of small nations the governing elites have adopted the currencies of strong neighbours in order to preserve and increase their own power, prestige and wealth.

The price is paid by ordinary citizens who in the long term suffer poverty and emigration as a result.

Such is Irish history: the Act of Union of 1801 and adoption of sterling in 1826 (30-year boom, 90-year bust), the Free State government’s continuance of sterling (political revolution, but 50 years of depression), the floating independent punt after 1979 (20 years of recovery), the euro (10-year boom, decades of bust to follow?)

All the coercion, heroism and tragedy of the past is rooted in the poverty stemming from such economic incompetence, which is now in motion again.

Bill Bailey



Co Cork

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