Friedman Goes to Ireland


Henry Farrell’s post on leprechauns is not to be missed. Well, okay, it’s not quite about leprechauns. A couple of days ago Tom Friedman gushed over Ireland, arguing that the country’s rapid economic growth of late came all thanks to it’s bold and innovative “Anglo-Saxon” model—which, as you might guess, is a putdown of the Franco-German welfare state and a sly encomium to the stripped-down labor laws, low wages, and low income taxes here in America. The only problem is: it’s not true. Not only does Ireland have all sorts of nifty labor and employment protections much-bemoaned by free-marketeers, but many economists believe that it’s those very non-“Anglo-Saxon” features that have contributed to Ireland’s success. Friedman’s wrong yet again; I for one can’t wait until I have to pay $50 a year to read his columns online.

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