Irish Miracle sets example for South Dakota
May 23, 2007 - Sioux Falls Argus Leader, by Marty Gallanter
It’s called the “Irish Economic Miracle” and with a little vision and a lot of courage, we could reproduce it in
How did this nation finally beat the chronic, grinding generations of poverty and starvation that was bad enough to inspire literature like Angela’s Ashes? Tom Friedman talks extensively about the turn-around in his latest work, The World Is Flat.
But the definitive paper was written by Pierre Fortin from the
The first three policies market driven commercial, industrial friendly and low-tax - already exist in
This is probably political heresy. I often hear that we’re spending enough on higher education. We don’t need a broader scholarship system. Private student loans are available. So what if the interest is a little high. Besides, kids leave the state when they get educated.
I could accept these arguments if the system worked. It is apparent that what we are doing is not good enough, not when seats are empty in university classrooms and kids are not getting educated. Statistics show that most young people, who are educated in
When a person opens a business he or she expects to initially lose money. A good business person goes in with enough investment capital to hold on until the venture turns a profit. Our society needs to take the same view. We will lose money for while if we follow the Irish model, but in time the investment will pay off. Three of the four policies outlined by Professor Fortin are already part of the
A bold plan like this will take courage and dedication. The governor who starts this program will not be in office when the benefits begin to accumulate. Most of the legislators asked to vote on visionary programs will no longer be serving when the vision becomes reality. But I have faith that our leader’s can overcome the usual trend for immediate gratification legislation and day-to-day politics. After all, the Irish did.
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