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Examining the Causal Factors and Societal Ramifications of the Celtic Tiger Phenomenon

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  1. Introduction
  2. Examining De Valera's Ireland
  3. The emergence of the 'Celtic Tiger'
  4. Societal ramifications of the Celtic Tiger
  5. Articles in support of the Celtic Tiger
  6. Conclusion
  7. References

When one examines the historic past of Ireland it is evident that this once colonial appendage of Brittan has had its fair share of despair. Within just over a hundred years Ireland as a whole has suffered through numerous crises including two famines, oil crisis, religious conflict and economic wars. However, in the late 1990's Ireland's fortune appeared to make a drastic turn toward prosperity. After the tariff walls put up by De' Valera's economic protectionalism were torn down, Ireland became a magnet for foreign investment. This influx of foreign investment not only eradicated Ireland's immense amount of debt, but it allowed it's economy to grow to be one of the most powerful in the modern western world. This economic phenomenon came to be known as ?The Celtic Tiger? as the rapid expansion of Ireland's economy brought growth rates similar to the so-called ?Tiger? economies previously found in Asian countries.

[...] Since Ireland was part of the EU, foreign investors could bypass high tariffs, and collect their profit within Ireland under a lower tax bracket (O'Hearn, 2003). Another governmental policy which attracted foreign investment was the training of information technology specialists despite a low need for them within Ireland's dark economic period. This was beneficial to foreign investors since there was a surplus of skilled laborers within a country which was offering an unprecedented low level of corporate taxation. This was then made even more enticing through the social partnership agreements which Ireland negotiated with the transnational corporations (Allen, 2003). [...]

[...] What the Battel article did however was acknowledge all of the negative societal aspects related to the Celtic Tiger such as social stigmas and racism whereas the other did not (2003). Instead the Powell article decided on focusing on how things such as government misspending damaged the Irish economy. The main message conveyed by the Powell article was that economic freedom was the largest factor in the growth of the Irish economy. Essentially he felt that as long as the Irish economy stayed as free as possible, the Celtic tiger would continue to flourish (Powell, 2003). [...]

[...] Since the seeds for the destruction of the Celtic Tiger lie in the hands of transnational corporations, one can only hope that they chose to stay within Ireland. References Allen, Kieran (2003) ?Neither Boston Nor Berlin: class polarization and neo-liberalism in the Irish Republic?, pp 56-73 in Colin & Coulter and Steven Colman, eds. The end of Irish History: Critical Reflections on the Celtic Tiger. Manchester and New York: Manchester University Press Battel, R. N. M. (2003). Ireland's "Celtic tiger" economy. [...]

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