A debt unpayable without mass migration?

And another from Henry whilst we’re there (and he’s thinking of his forlorn homeland), he makes an important point about the unreal nature of expectations in Dublin. In particular he takes Stephen Collins to task for taking:

…as a given that Ireland’s growth rate from the mid 1990’s through 2008 or so reflected “normal economic and political conditions.” They didn’t. Ireland was playing catch-up with the developed industrial democracies – and during catch-up, one can hope for very high growth rates thanks to under-utilized resources. Even if the world’s economic system were magically to restabilize overnight, one could not expect to see a return of the conditions under which Ireland was able to eliminate its earlier debt overhang.

He picks up on Kevin O’Rouke’s astute analysis at the IrishEconomy blog:

If the left hand side of this equation falls too far below the right hand side, people will leave until equilibrium is re-established. … There are fixed costs to running a state, and the debts we are now being saddled with are not population-dependent. You don’t have to be Paul Krugman to see the potential for some pretty nasty feedback loops here.

Not exactly Chronos, who according to Greek mythology used to eat his offspring, but…