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Recalling the Celtic Tiger

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Edited By Eamon Maher, Eugene O'Brien and Brian Lucey

This book looks at various effects, symptoms and consequences of the period in Irish culture known as the Celtic Tiger. It will trace the critical pathway from boom to bust – and up to the current beginnings of a similar, smaller boom – through events, personalities and products. The short entries offer a sense of the lived experience of this seismic period in contemporary Irish society.

While clearly not all aspects of the period could realistically be covered, the book does contain essential information about the central actors, events, themes, and economic trends, which are discussed in a readable and accessible manner. Each entry is linked to the overall Celtic Tiger phenomenon and its immediate aftermath.

The book also provides a comprehensive account of what happened in this period and will be a factual resource for anyone anxious to discover information on the areas most commonly connected to it. All entries are written by experts in the area. The contributors include broadcasters, economists, cultural theorists, sociologists, literary critics, journalists, politicians and writers, each of whom brings particular insights to some aspect of the Celtic Tiger.

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Free Market (Stephen Kinsella)

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Stephen Kinsella

Free Market

The free market is an idealised place where buyers and sellers come together to transact for goods and services with little or no regulation. The forces of supply and demand are therefore able to find the ‘true’ price for the goods and services, because there are no price ceilings or price floors. Each exchange between buyer and seller happens as a voluntary agreement. Each party to the agreement expects to benefit. The free market with many buyers and sellers is also the condition economists have found theoretically makes the wealthiest people better off. It is usually the textbook example in introductory microeconomics.

The free market is also a political shibboleth, used by pro-business or right-wing politicians to discuss ways in which regulation is reducing innovation or creating conditions where resources like labour and capital are poorly allocated. Left-wing politicians will also use the free market as a pejorative, particularly after the 2007/8 crisis, and point to its extreme tendencies and its socially damaging consequences. It leads to absent regulation, they claim, the market booms and busts, it creates much, and destroys much, and therefore should be regulated heavily.

The reality is that a true free market as taught by the textbooks has never existed. All markets contain rights, like the right to property, social norms, safety regulations, and codes of conduct, and all markets contain people who are either regulated by a third entity, like a government, or...

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