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Population and Economics in Ireland in the Recent Past and in the Near Future. ESRI Memorandum Series No. 148 1981

Geary, R.C. and Kelly, W. D. (1981) Population and Economics in Ireland in the Recent Past and in the Near Future. ESRI Memorandum Series No. 148 1981. [Policy Paper]

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    There is far more to population than economics. The existence of any person now is the result of one chance in countless billions of possibilities down the ages so, by this test, the value of a person is immeasurably great whatever her or his social status, though this may not appear about ourselves or to us about our fellow humans, there are so many of us. The existence of a person will usually create love and ether social relations of incomparable significance. We are aware that in law and in less worthy connections (including kidnapping) the question of valuation of a person can arise; figures are mentioned but they cannot be regarded seriously as statistics. At one time in Ireland* long ago the argument was rife in respectable circles that because it cost 1,000 to rear an emigrant the country lost 20 million a year if emigration amounted to 20,000 persons. R. C. Geary's (1941) refutation of this thesis is nowadays as likely to amuse as to instruct. You may hold that human existence is always better than non-existence, a philosophical question which shall not concern us. Our approach is almost exclusively statistical. We bear in mind, however, the peroration of Sean Lemass at the Centenary Banquet in 1947 of the SSISI. "The best things in life are not measurable by statistics and we pray that they will remain so". We mention non-statistical values lest they be forgotten. Population policy may be determined by such values, despite any statistical showing; this is for the people to determine. There may be no such conflict.

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    Item Type: Policy Paper
    Subjects for non-EU documents: EU policies and themes > Policies & related activities > Third Pillar/JHA/PJCC/AFSJ > migration Policy
    Countries > Ireland
    Subjects for EU documents: UNSPECIFIED
    EU Series and Periodicals: UNSPECIFIED
    EU Annual Reports: UNSPECIFIED
    Series: Series > Economic and Social Research Institute (ESRI), Dublin > ESRI Memorandum Series
    Depositing User: Alyssa McDonald
    Official EU Document: No
    Language: English
    Date Deposited: 13 Jul 2017 15:14
    Number of Pages: 57
    Last Modified: 13 Jul 2017 15:14

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