The European debt crisis has intensified again, with investors turned on Ireland in recent days amid rumors that it's unable to pay interest on its significant debts, a charge the Irish government vigorously denies. European Union chiefs are now desperate for the small country to commit to a €100 billion bailout to help settle the markets. But it may be time for a "far more radical solution," says Trevor Butterworth at Forbes. His Swiftian proposal: Why not lease parts of the country to investors rather than accept the humiliating terms of a bailout? Ireland has "transcended the limitations of geographic nationalism," anyway; far more "Irish" live in the U.S. than in the homeland. Let's face it, the actual country isn't that important to us any more. Why not take advantage of that by leasing Cork and Kerry, two of south-west Ireland's most attractive and prosperous counties? Here, an excerpt:
My fellow countrymen and women, face it: you have no meaningful national sovereignty left to be ashamed of losing. It’s already gone. Worse, a mere bailout by Europe provides neither the scourge of moral hazard nor the lessons of good management to the powers that greased Ireland’s path to this debtors’ prison. Therefore, think bigger; think Hong Kong or Shanghai; think about leasing Cork and Kerry...
Why not not own our country on more favorable terms than those offered by Europe? Why not bring the world to Ireland and reinvent the notion of national sovereignty, liberate it from the shackles of physical space and acquire a new kind of economic freedom?
Read the entire article at Forbes.
THE WEEK'S AUDIOPHILE PODCASTS: LISTEN SMARTER
- How our botched understanding of 'science' ruins everything
- How to be the most productive person in your office — and still get home by 5:30 p.m.
- 43 TV shows to watch in 2014
- Mike Huckabee's head-scratching advice to Christian voters
- The science of sex: 4 harsh truths about dating and mating
- 6 things the happiest families all have in common
- How Scotland's independence movement lost the vote and still won everything
- What would a U.S.-Russia war look like?
- Why so many Christians won't back down on gay marriage
- 6 super-helpful iOS8 tricks you probably don't know about
Subscribe to the Week