The Washington Post's Howard Schneider asks, "In Europe's grand battle over growth vs. austerity, has Ireland proved that austerity works?" If so, keeping unemployment more than 10 percentage points above pre-recession levels is an odd sort of "working."
The Irish economy is in need of a $100 billion bailout, thanks in large part to the bursting of its housing bubble. But for years the Irish model was lionized by U.S. pundits. ThinkProgress blogger Matthew Yglesias digs up a 2005 piece by New York Times columnist Tom Friedman that said: There is a huge debate roiling in Europe today over which economic model to follow: the Franco-German shorter-workweek-six-weeks'-vacation-never-fire-anyone-but-high-unemployment social model or the less protected but more innovative, high-employment Anglo-Saxon model preferred by Britain, Ireland and Eastern Europe. It is obvious to me that the Irish-British model is the way [...]