The Irish Rorschach test

For economic developers and public policy wonks, Ireland is a kind of a Rorschach test – everyone looks at it and sees something different. Some see the billions in EU transfer payments as the most important part of the Irish economic miracle. Some see trade liberalization. Some, interestingly many in Atl. Canada, see the corporate tax reductions as the most important element. Others see the direct financial incentives. Others see the focus on free post-secondary education. Some, including me, place importance on the amazing international marketing campaign that resulted in record amounts of FDI (including playing the ‘Irish’ card with expatriate Irish who were senior executives in hundreds of American firms). Others talked about the reform of government and some, ahem, talked about the critical deal struck with the national unions.

I am going to Fredericton this afternoon to hear Mary Robinson, past President of Ireland present her views on economic and social renewal in today’s globalization, drawing on her experience as President of Ireland. Following her speech, Frank McKenna will moderate questions.

I wonder what angle these two will play? If AIMS was moderating, there is no question it would be tax cuts and smaller government.