Mon Oct 8th, 2012 at 05:29:13 AM EST
During the boom the neoliberals were fond of citing Ireland as an example of how their plans to destroy labour power, dismantle government and allow the Titans of Finance to lead us into a new Golden Dawn despite any pesky facts about how the country actually worked.
They went quiet when everything crashed and burned, but now that a few statistics - GDP - are beginning to look less terrible they're at it again:
Enda Kenny, poster boy for austerity.
Now, as usual, the facts are less than kind to the idea that Ireland is in any sort of recovery, unless you consider bouncing off the ground at the bottom of the cliff better than the fall. Karl Whelan writes (for Forbes, I'm sorry):
The article contrasts this grim position with today, which apparently sees “Ireland’s GDP beginning to sneak upward once again” and the piece lauds Ireland’s “economic fight back.”
Start with public debt. Ireland in 2011 was indeed staggering under an enormous debt load. In 2011, the ratio of debt to GDP was 106.5%. However, this year it is projected to be 117.5% and next year it is projected to be 120.3%. So whatever you might say about Mr. Kenny, the country is staggering under an even heavier burden today than when he took over.
What about the rising unemployment Mr. Kenny inherited? The unemployment rate was 14.1 percent when he took over in February 2011 and is now 14.8 percent. The increase would have been larger were it not for a return to significant levels of emigration among young unemployed Irish people.
Surely the return to growth is a good sign, right? Actually, a limited return to growth that began under Mr. Kenny’s predecessors has now sputtered out. The latest national accounts show Irish real GDP in 2012:Q2 is 1.1 percent lower than a year earlier.
As Karl says, the negative effects of this sort of propaganda are firstly to give support to the idiots in the EU that think austerity can work, and secondly to undermine Ireland's negotiating position in Europe - if we're doing so well we don't need more help, do we?