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There are three components to the Irish financial mess. 1. The decline of the export economy. 2. The international banking nonsense. 3. The Irish government policy that created and sustained a property bubble.

In last Saturday’s Irish Times Garrett Fitzgerald argued for a public enquiry into number 1, the true death of the “Celtic Tiger”. He’s right: In the long run this is the most important issue. Employers organisations and both Garret and John Fitzgerald argue that wages at the lower end will have to compete with low wage economies. Essentially what they are saying is that Ireland must WIN a race to the bottom.

Socialists should join Garrett’s call for an enquiry as it would open a debate on different conceptions of or routes to economic development.

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