It has now become a cliche to say we've blown the Celtic Tiger. One of those things that you hear a few times a day in general conversation and from the politicians on radio/tv. I've even heard particular Green/FF politicians say things like "ah, sure I was in a class size of 40 ... didn't do me any harm", or "I grew up poor ... made me the man I am today". Making a virtue of being poor back in the 60's/70's/80's is very much in vogue these days.
The problem is that being poor is not all these politicians make it out to be. JK Rowling addressed the annual meeting of the Harvard Alumni Association in 2008, and spoke thus about poverty ...
"Poverty entails fear, and stress, and sometimes depression; it means a thousand petty humiliations and hardships. Climbing out of poverty by your own efforts, that is indeed something on which to pride yourself, but poverty itself is romanticised only by fools." Link.
Remember Rowling's words the next time you hear a politician romanticise poverty ... they will be the words of a fool.