no economies of scale here.

09Nov10

When you have a very low population, 4,425,675 Irish people, you do not get economies of scale, i.e., the savings inherent in purchases on a grand scale. You can sell only so many Mercedes, or private jets, or red ink jet cartridges, or so many books by Laurie Graham. And so on. The market is too small to absorb all that stuff.  

We have been here now for seven months and each day I am bashed by a variety of some very high priced items: haircuts, taxis, picture framing, pharmaceuticals, CDs, office supplies, food, wine, newspapers, banking; you name it, it’s twice the price I recall when living in Venice. And Venice has a reputation as being expensive. We had some pictures framed here recently by a local framer and the prices he charged were extraordinary. They were fully twice the cost of what I would have paid in Venice.

Of additional interest is the apparent continuation of the Celtic Tiger: the economic boon Ireland experiences in the 80’s when money was flowing and the living was easy. I see as many Mercs and BMW’s now as I saw then. (Maybe they’re the same ones, just well cared for.) 

There is one unchangeable condition which I had forgotten after 10 years of Italian living: the rain. This past week it rained every day and night. We have a fire in our fireplace every night and a couple of whiskies, to boot.

When in Dublin City Centre we hear the odd American voice, but not enough to keep the tourism business going, I am afraid.

Time to light the fire…

best

Howard

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