Matthew's Foray into Blogging

Saturday, August 06, 2005

Ireland! Who Knew?

I was surprised to learn recently, as I mentioned in a previous post, that Ireland currently is the second richest country in the European Union, after Luxembourg. Ireland’s per capita G.D.P. is higher than that of Germany, France, and Britain. Ireland has 0% unemployment.

In the 1960’s, the Irish government made secondary education free, thus making a high school education an attainable goal for persons from the lower socio-economic classes. In 1996, Ireland made college education much more affordable – essentially free – resulting in a relatively highly educated work force.

To improve its economic situation, Ireland reduced corporate taxes and encouraged foreign investment. New York Times columnist Thomas L. Friedman, in a June 29, 2005 column, wrote that 9 out of 10 of the world’s top pharmaceutical companies, 16 of the top 20 medical device companies, and 7 out of the top 10 software designers have operations in Ireland. Dell Computer and Intel have also set up operations in Ireland.

This makes the possibility of relocating to Ireland appealing to me. For someone who is unemployed, the 0% unemployment is a particular draw.


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