We got an e-mail from a regular blog reader (and fellow Irishman — don’t tell Lou Dobbs we’re descendants of immigrants!) yesterday under this headline, thought it a little late for St. Patty’s Day. And so we read on…
Turns out it was a copy of an article entitled, “The End of the Rainbow” by noted New York Times columnist Tom Friedman, about the enormous economic boom going on in the Holy Land, Ireland. It warms the cockles of every Irish-American’s heart, but more importantly, there’s a great lesson in here about manufacturing for all policy-makers. Deputy Prime Minister Mary Harney is quoted as saying, “It wasn’t a miracle”, adding, “It was the right domestic policies and embracing globalization.” (still listening, Lou….?) Dell Computers is there in a big way, the largest exporter in Ireland. NAM Board Member Jim Jarrett of Intel is quoted as saying that they were attracted by Ireland’s large pool of young educated men and women and low corporate taxes. The story goes on to talk about Ireland’s excellent transportation and logistics capabilities as well. As a result, 9 our of the 10 top pharmaceutical companies are there as are 16 of the top 20 medical device manufacturers and 7 out of 10 software designers. In other words, a manufacturer’s paradise.
What the article is really talking about is Ireland’s competitiveness. All those things like education, low taxes and infrastructure make up a nation’s competitiveness. Once you achieve a level of competitiveness you can seek out global companies as Ireland has done. A century after famine there is feast.
Let’s hope Lou Dobbs and his fellow Dobbers take heed as to what really makes a nation competitive. The Prime Minister of Ireland, reports that he has been visited by his Chinese counterpart five times in two years. The Irish aren’t afraid to compete in the world market. Their sons and daughters on this side of the Atlantic aren’t either.
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