It's sometimes said that everyone's a bit Irish on St. Patrick's Day. But this St. Patrick's Day the Irish economy wouldn't turn anyone green with envy. Unemployment is near 15%, emigration is rising and taxes have gone up as the government in Dublin attempts to live under the austerity the EU and IMF demanded in exchange for a 2010 bailout of its banks.
Ireland's only way out of this trap is to grow its way back to prosperity. Whether it succeeds greatly interests America, Britain and the other peripheral euro-zone countries, all of whom have suffered their own ruinous credit booms and busts.