Opening his lecture in a lighthearted manner, Professor Emeritus of Economics Pat McGuire HON ’10, L.H.D. ’12 presented an engaging mini-college course during Reunion 2013, which for the alums in attendance, was exactly as they had remembered McGuire’s classes. The course, “Ireland: The Celtic Tiger and After,” was one of 15 mini-college courses that were offered throughout the weekend.
Discussing how and why the period of economic prosperity in Ireland known as the Celtic Tiger developed, and why it’s now in decline, McGuire used his experiences from a trip he led to Ireland this past December with a group of 27 HWS alums, along with his signature “McGuire flowchart,” graphs, maps, and endless lists of numbers, to take his usual teaching approach to the topic.
“Every topic has a cover,” McGuire said. “I like to take the cover away from topics and make them easier to understand.”
McGuire discussed the economic history of Ireland, pointing out how a country in economic decline could turn their trajectory around to become a thriving nation in the period of the Celtic Tiger, only to return to a troubled economic situation after failing to take advantage of favorable fiscal conditions.
“They practiced the economics of utter idiocy to get them where they are today,” McGuire said.
McGuire also covered possible solutions to the current state of economic affairs in Ireland, sparking a number of questions. Calling on alums as if they were still his students, McGuire answered questions regarding the role of religion, land speculation, and differences between Northern and Southern Ireland in the possible economic solution of uniting the two sections of the country.
Alums listened with interest throughout the lecture, laughing and reminiscing about the courses they took with McGuire when they were students. “He was just as good as always,” says Ramon Baez ’00, who took classes with McGuire as a student majoring in Latin American studies with a minor in economics. “He had the same high caliber level that I remember from his economics classes.”
Economics major Douglas Austin-Weeks ’78 agreed. “This takes me back 35 years. He’s just as entertaining today as he was back then.”