Given that Ireland is almost a poster boy for ‘before-and-after’ for what liberalising an economy can do, it is a pity that the people who argue for continuing that process have to couch their words in defensive language. Nevertheless, the Progressive Democrats seems to be making a far better case in Ireland for freeing markets than the pointless British Tories are.
Progressive Democrats president, Mr McDowell, last night issued a rallying call to fellow Ministers to hold to the Government’s liberal economic policy agenda, saying tax-cutting and deregulation have helped transform the State.
He rejected the accusation that supporters of this way believed in the unleashing of unbridled market forces. “It is the essence of the liberal, republican tradition that the market is the servant and not the master of the people. No one I know argues that Ireland is or should be an economy rather than a society.”
“Market is the servant and not the master of the people”… but what does that actually mean? It seems to me that an economy can be social, but only when it is not political… and Ireland can only ‘be an economy, rather than a society’ if politics (i.e, manipulation of the state) has so much control over what is done as to make the economy simply an adjunct of the state and its political processes, wiping out the economic underpinnings of society and the social underpinnings of markets.
So yes, I am all in favour of people in Ireland living in a society, and the only way to do that is to have a free social market rather than a politically regulated economy.