Ireland’s bailout highlights serious dangers in the coming years for Europe as a whole. The Euro currency and centralized monetary policy prevented Ireland from taking a more proactive stance toward its economic health, and the same will hold true for Spain, Portugal, and other struggling economies. Social program spending in Ireland and in Europe as a whole has moved beyond being merely an economic challenge to being a political menace. The change that must occur to stabilize the economic outlook will not come without considerable turmoil.
Samuelson is a weekly columnist for The Post, writing on political, economic and social issues.