Tuesday, October 11, 2016

The Irish Experience

We just got back from a quick trip on the new flight from Bradley to Ireland, and it was a terrific experience, but also instructional.  Dublin is a city that, in some ways, would remind people of New Haven, but with more redheads.  There are lots of students everywhere, a shortage of rental housing, a big university right in the center, new tech companies starting up, and more restaurants than you could ever believe would be needed (and mostly all full).  Plus lots of beer--recently often craft beer.  Also like New Haven, there has been little commercial building over the past ten years, while the economy lagged.

What's different about Dublin from New Haven?  Well, it's a capital city, with all the economic power that that brings.  It has a major airport, with easy, and cheap, access to many parts of the world.  It's part of the EEU, and next to Britain, which just voted to leave that organization.  It has great public bus transportation with the city and around the country, in addition to rail. It has lots and lots of tourists.  And it attracts industry from other countries, including European headquarters of global firms.

Can we learn anything from their experiences?  After all, they've had a rough ten years as well, and many types of property have declined in value.  It's also much harder to get financing there, and lots of people can't get it.  However, if we work on job growth, transportation infrastructure, and attracting new industry, maybe the people (even the redheads) will come.

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