David McWilliams: Ireland has too many stockbrokers and lawyers, not enough engineers

The Davy affair reveals how much money is sloshing around for people who don’t innovate

The fee-extracting economy, known as the rentier economy, is one that rewards people who don’t produce anything but extract fees from property. Photograph: MilanEXPO

The fee-extracting economy, known as the rentier economy, is one that rewards people who don’t produce anything but extract fees from property. Photograph: MilanEXPO

The Davy debacle has many angles, most of them unsavoury. One, not being adequately investigated, is the effect on an economy that attracts bright people into sectors that exist to extract fees rather than sectors that produce things.

The fee-extracting economy, known as the rentier economy, is one that rewards people who don’t produce anything but extract fees from property (physical or intellectual) while operating under licences. In contrast, the productive sector is the part of the economy where people make things, innovate, add value and sell new products in the market.

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