Pint Size Economy
As I travel the world, I am asked what the economy is Ireland is like. I respond, ‘Pint Size’, for unlike other economies, based on resources, buying and selling of money, intellectual property, tourism, entertainment etc., Ireland has all of that, but it is all based on the Pint.
For it is the pint that brings people, business, friends and ideas together, and the office is the Pub. Now contrary to popular prejudice, Ireland is not even in top 20 of consumption by country, and with its population of 5 million and annual visitors of 8 million, many of who enjoy a pint, the amount of drink taken is skewed. In Ireland it is not about the amount drank but the quality of time shared. The name given to quality time and drink is called, Craic, the Irish word. The Pint is the economic engine, and the Craic is the currency.
And, as I said the Pub is the banking center, where you can hear deals being made, ideas being shared and enjoy free entertainment, in the way of traditional music or dance. If you are a tourist, the first, pint is normally free from a local to welcome, you. The second, is to get the conversation going and if there is a third, it is for the tourist to buy, as a courtesy for the first two.
The Irish pub has always been a place meeting, for family, friends, music and discussion, for a long time the Irish were not permitted to engage in their religion or talk politics without reprisal. The Pub became the safe place for family, friends and business. While Ireland’s population today is 5 million, 150 years ago, it was twice that. But as a result, of prior history, Ireland is one of the few countries in world with fewer people today than, what they had then. It was not a safe or comfortable place to be, leaving or dying, or taking over family farm, or becoming a priest or nun, were the main options in that time. Today we have cheap fares with Ryan air, but in the day, one could get a free cruise to Australia or other colony, just by nicking a loaf of bread. That said, the pub is the sanctuary for family, friend, business, music, dance and all that makes Craic.
I hope to add photos to this album, as I visit friends and others for the Craic, on this visit, to my place of heritage, Where 14 were born to the family, one took care of the farm, some became priests and others nuns, but only 3 remained as the other 11, had to find a since of place in lands far away, from where the Pint could be shared and the craic could be shared. When you immerse yourself in the Irish economy with Pint, cola, water, or tea in hand, enjoy the Craic, there is no other place, where it can be experiences, as in Ireland.