Friday, July 01, 2005

Friedman hasn't left yet

A second column from NY Times columnist Tom Friedman, who is still in Dublin. Today Friedman is entering the debate as to whether Europe should pursue the Anglo-Saxon socio-economic model (Britain, Ireland, E. Europe) or the Franco-German model.

One thing that Friedman doesn't consider is whether Ireland is thriving despite the policies of France & Germany or because of them. I think it's mostly the latter. If France & Germany suddenly adopted a low tax, flexible labor approach our economic miracle would suddenly run out of steam. We'd find ourselves competing with the Germans and French, who would be able to offer a better location as well as the business friendly environment. Interest rates would rise as economic growth kicked in and we'd find ourselves behind the 8 ball with rising unemployment and rising interest rates. It's the nightmare scenario for Ireland.

So, Tom, if you don't mind, stop trying to goad the French and Germans back to reality. We like things as they are, thank you. Bertie, keep backing the French whenever there's a blow-up at the European summits, but keep implementing the same policies.