Poverty, Pubs Better for Ireland Than Real Estate Boom

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We spent only a couple of days in Ireland. Only long enough to get wet. But here with a brief update:

“Even here in Ireland property prices have begun to ease off,” said a friend. “Probably no nation gained as much from the property boom as Ireland. Prices soared. Dublin is said to be more expensive than London.

“Of course, we invented lots of reasons why property was going up so much. It’s a small island, people would say. Or, there are so many foreigners coming over, they would say. There was some truth to these things…but the real reason was that we could borrow at much lower rates after we went over the euro. Instead of paying 12% for a mortgage, we were paying only 6%. It’s amazing what that will do to property prices.

“The Irish got so used to spectacular property price increases that they don’t want to give up on them. In downtown Dublin there are shops that sell property in Croatia and Portugal. If property prices in Ireland aren’t still going up…they’ll try to find somewhere they are.”

Often people are better off being poor. That is the thought we always have when we visit Ireland. Its big new houses are monstrosities. Its shopping plazas blemish and curse the land. Its slick new wine bars – with their Polish barmen and Czech waitresses — offer little of the charm of its own pubs.

Bill Bonner
The Daily Reckoning Australia

Bill Bonner

Bill Bonner

Best-selling investment author Bill Bonner is the founder and president of Agora Publishing, one of the world's most successful consumer newsletter companies. Owner of both Fleet Street Publications and MoneyWeek magazine in the UK, he is also author of the free daily e-mail The Daily Reckoning.
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Comments

  1. I hate Ireland too.

    My father visited Ireland in the ’50’s and drove around the western part with his friend in a Cadillac. It was like a spaceship landed, with slack-jawed locals and awe-struck kids mobbing them everywhere. That’s what being an American is all about, my Dad always said. I heard that story a million times and never tired of it.

    I visited Ireland in 2002 and didn’t feel special at all, a bunch of Eurotrash riding around in BMW’s What a rip-off.. Ireland killed my idea of two countries. I can date my depression to that time.

    Ron Paul supporter
    November 21, 2007
    Reply
  2. Bill, I’m sure the people of Ireland LOVED poverty, shitty pubs and a lack of choice.

    The cultural imperialism you are espousing is wrong. But that’s OK, I’ll forgive you. I’ll assume you have been captivated by Eire and you cast aside any economic or financial judgement you might have had and just wrote with your heart.

    Reply
  3. Haven’t been to Ireland for 5 years but I recall the mood both north and south of the border was extremely positive.

    Totally enjoyed the experience including the obvious new found properity at the time.

    Coffee Addict
    November 21, 2007
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  4. I think ireland was an early example of one of a number of previously under developed countries that have or will develop from say 1990 to 2040 in both Europe and Asia.

    But will they all be happier ?

    Superficially comparing before and after on a materialistic level, you would say – yeah, it’s better to be developed.

    But people get bored easily after a while of consumerism and after realising that fulfilling your potential is simply being another cog in the wheel in a more pressurised, disparate, competitive and individualistic society. IMHO.

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  5. i really connect with your viewpoint…..the irish are really doing themselves in. there is a way to develop properly and a way to develop that is both visually distasteful and culturally disrespectful to one’s own past. ireland had the wealth of being one of the number one tourist destinations in the world. it was blessed with geographical and historical beauty and a past full of artistic richness many other countries would die for……the writers, music, playwrights, etc. now within a decade they have willfully and ignorantly cut off their nose to spite their face. ugly suburban style american style malls mar the landscape, ugly ‘monstrous’ houses, for sure!!!!! ireland could of chosen to develop in a way that would at least fit in with the current architecture. but, they have made a mistake. plus, the super fast rise in land and house prices caused certain people to change and become like vultures within their own families……the irish are like pirates now, they roam the earth – from bahrain, to portugal, to poland, the caribbean, etc. and buy up whatever they can. it looks like their mentality has not changed that much from the true to form movie ‘the field’……in case you think i am prejudice or biased. i have irish citizenship and this is how i see it. great article…….

    elizabeth
    June 3, 2008
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  6. I’m shocked at some of these revelations and as an Irish-American feel culturally betrayed.

    Maybe we can help the Irish out by bombing some infrastructure or confiscating all their cars. We should end all US investment in Ireland. And the worst aspect of all this negative change, and the proof that the concept of Ireland as a rich country is offensive to God, is their rejection of Holy Mother Church. Ireland must be brought back into the fold by fire and sword if necessary.

    Get rid of the Euro, get rid of the Poles, make them go back to Mass, digging potatoes and singing sad songs around peat fires, then we will have an Ireland Americans can be proud of.

    Gold Bug Patriot
    July 19, 2008
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