Market liberalisation: A certain path of political failure

Many of Ireland's leading lights fancy themselves as classical market liberals in the tradition of Adam Smith, David Hume, and David Ricardo. These would be liberals feel the 'dead hand' of the State should be removed whenever possible-that fundamentally, for countries to prosper, they must practice openness and competition to foster economic growth. Economic growth will then increase the wealth and living standards of the citizens of the nation. By Stephen Kinsella

Financial Exclusion

The term financial exclusion was first coined in 1993 by geographers who were studying the impact bank closures had on those left unable to access basic banking services. During the 1990s there was a significant increase in research focusing on people experiencing difficulties accessing modern financial services. By the turn of the millennium financial exclusion began to be applied in a broader sense to denote people whose access to mainstream financial services was restricted.

[Photograph of the IFSC by Eoin McNamee]

Me & Fintan O'Toole Part 1

Fintan O'Toole is an intelligent and thought provoking commentator. His new book Enough Is Enough offers 50 proposals for political and social reform. Many offer sensible and credible solutions to the failures of our current system and are remarkably similar to Sinn Fein's current policy agenda. Others, while not to the tastes of this writer, are none the less valuable contributions to the ongoing debate about how to build a better Ireland.

However, his proposals for how to deal with the current political and economic crisis are completely off the wall.

The difference between a German and an Irish

Attending a packed pop-economics lecture in Ennis, questions from the crowd threw up an interesting point. What will happen the cash in your pocket if Ireland leaves the euro? Will the people who have been quietly withdrawing their savings end up with a pile of worthless notes under the bed?

Heroes and Villians at the GPO

References have been made in recent weeks to the loss of Ireland's economic self-determination and the insult to Irish revolutionaries who fought for independence, human dignity and equality. Some media commentators ridiculed such references.

The November freeze in photos

The blanket of snow that fell overnight seems to be a welcome distraction for many from the blanket coverage of our economic woes. Spirits are upbeat on Twitter and Facebook this morning with photos from across the country. [Gallery below]

An Online Revolution

A new political consciousness is developing in the bedrooms of Ireland. Angry, tech savvy and disillusioned with the situation they find themselves in economically and politically, these people are mad as hell and they're not going to take it anymore.

Or they are, but they're at the very least going to post some videos on Facebook. They might even go on that march, as long as it’s not too cold.

A six-step political alternative

Public anger is growing. Three austerity budgets and the banking guarantee have deepened rather than resolved the economic crisis. And now, in defiance of all the evidence the government is going to continue with these failed policies with more vigor and determination that ever before.

The four-year plan and Budget 2011 will push thousands of families into poverty. It will deflate the economy, force more people out of work and do nothing to reduce the deficit.

Our Jesuitical Government

There is little evidence to suggest that the Jesuits had a huge influence in the formative years of our current cabinet of ministers. Lots of Christian Brothers were involved. The Cistercians trained the mind of our dear leader in Roscrea.

Finance Minister Brian Lenihan, on the other hand, was once under the wing of the Jesuits in Belvedere College on Dublin's Northside, the Alma Mater not only of James Joyce and Sir Terry Wogan, but also Richard Bruton, Garret Fitzgerald and his own younger brother Conor.