Archive for February 11th, 2010

Review: Saving the Future

11 February 2010

Contributed by Kevin Hora

A rising tide of unemployment, unions and employers at loggerheads, and a government on the brink of bankruptcy: for Celtic tiger cubs, coming to terms with the end of the only economic model they have known, it may be scarcely conceivable that the current economic crisis has an earlier, more scarring antecedent. The Irish economy of the 1980s was typified by high taxes, industrial unrest and a lack of belief, even privately among themselves, that politicians could find solutions to transform the economy.

Saving the Future draws on interviews with over 40 prominent political, business, and union leaders who, over two decades, helped shape public policy through wage agreements and broader social commitments.  The authors, respected industrial relations correspondents, bring a strong editorial sense of how to distil this combined wisdom into a deceptively light, but effective narrative.  Eschewing a preponderance of economic and statistical data, they allow the interviewees to progress the story of partnership in a more fluid, balanced fashion.  The path from job losses to full employment, and the development of an economy that was the envy of other EU states, is well charted and is a salutary reminder of how far Ireland travelled in the last two decades. Read More