Of course, that doesn’t quite wipe out the growth it experienced in the last decade, to say nothing of the decades before that. According to figures here, the real growth rate (excluding inflation) averaged about 5.6 percent from 2000 to 2008, for a compounded total of 63 percent. So giving back 8 percent doesn’t exactly vitiate the pro-growth regime. In fact, if the Irish economy remained flat for the next ten years it would probably still outperform Canada over the 2000-2020 window. But never mind the facts. They got what was coming on account of their stupid corporate tax cuts.
Although when you dig a little deeper, the real reason that Ireland did so well pre-2008 wasn’t corporate tax cuts at all. It was EU subsidies:
Those who spoke with such confidence about the salutary effects of Ireland's pro-business climate had little understanding of what actually yielded Ireland's brief super-prosperity. Joining the European Economic Community (which eventually became part of the newly formed European Union in 1993) unleashed a flood of subsidies to pay for transportation and other basic infrastructure, and to support Irish farmers under Europe's notoriously protectionist Common Agricultural Policy.This used to be the progressive line (sweeping under the carpet the failure to explain why half a century of subsidies never turned Quebec or the Atlantic Provinces into “Tigers”). Mr Olive is maybe so used to repeating it that he can’t stop blurting it out through force of habit. So to summarize the whole position: tax cuts and other free-market reforms caused a fake prosperity which lead to overheating and a devastating collapse –so devastating that it may offset several whole years of the last two decades of growth; except that the prosperity was really caused by EU assistance because corporate tax cuts never work. Well, never mind the logic. It’s mud in the eye for capitalism and the Fraser Institute and that’s all that really matters.