Because I've a background in economics though I work in IT now, and the Pin is probably the only source of quality economic and financial information. Our mainstream media, and every other Irish online forum, is just full of utter rubbish.
I too have seen the degeneration over the last decade into an ugly vicious cute-hoor me fein culture. The Pin gives me some small hope that not everybody in Ireland has turned into a complete asshole in recent years. There's also some small crumb of comfort that the Pinsters may, possibly, become the intellectual nucleus of a sea-change in Irish politics and society over the next decade.
The entire current political class and the media commentariat are, to be blunt, morons to a man (and woman). I haven't seen any of them even begin to show the slightest glimmer of comprehension about the scale of the current mess, any recognition of where we have gone wrong and the mistakes we have made, never mind showing any ideas on how to fix it.
If the Pin achieves nothing else, it is at least a permanent record that there were people in Ireland who knew what was happening, warned against it, predicted exactly what would happen, and proposed sensible policy solutions - but we are all locked out of the cosy corrupt inner circle, so we were and are ignored. It's vital that future generations know that.
I agree with 80%+ of what you have to say on economics, but I have to say I find some of this sociological analysis pretty suspect, and I can't help but feel that you (along with one or two of the other regulars on here) are somewhat over-romanticising the past.
Let me relate some of my own experience by way of context. During the early to mid 1990's I worked in a small but relatively lucrative accountancy practice in Dublin city centre. It was my introduction, such as it was, to Irish business life.
Practically every client, as I recall it, availed of the 1993 tax amnesty. I.e., they had been previously been defrauding the revenue, and took the opportunity to 'come clean'. In fact, it was subsequently ascertained that one of the larger clients had been systematically defrauding the revenue for decades, and they didn't even bother coming clean in '93. Well, the past eventually caught up with them and they were subsequently stung for millions of euro, and deservedly so, as part of the Revenue's recent offshore assets investigations.
It was a given, during that period, that accountants would produce different sets of accounts for different purposes. One for the client (representing the true picture). One for the revenue (representing the profit the client wished to declare, for tax purposes). And in some cases, a third version for the bank, representing a somewhat more, shall we say, 'optimistic' version of the first.
The idea that 'spivvery', for want of a better word, is something new or recent in Ireland is really a theory I don't buy. True, we have had the emergence of a particular kind of spiv in recent years, the property spiv. RobboPaddy, as he is called on here.
But other forms of spivvery have been with us for a long time. Tax evasion, for one thing, was if anything far MORE common in, for example, the '70s and the '80s. We now know - though we didn't at the time - that the Ansbacher deposits were a massive tax fraud perpetrated by the wealthy (the so-called great and good) on the taxpayer (and therefore, on the people of Ireland). We now know (though we didn't at the time) what Ray Burke was up to back in the '70's and '80s.
And as for dodgy solicitors, well they're nothing new either! I have a very clear, very distinct recollection sometime in the late 80's, of seeing a brand new Porsche cruising through Foxrock village (even in that part of Dublin, flashy cars like that weren't very common at that time) And I subsequently ascertained the driver was one Elio Malocco.
http://findarticles.com/p/articles/mi_q ... i_n9712334
These are just a few of the more obvious examples that spring to mind. There are plenty of others.
This is all based on my experiences in Dublin. If your experience in Derry was different, fair enough.