Tuesday, June 28, 2016

Why the European Union is like the mafia

Gallery: Telegraph cartoons, June 2016
The Telegraph

Apparently the European Union is like the legendary mafia: you can't quit. If you do, you may not be killed, but you will be punished. The only reason the European Union is taking a hard line on Brexit: other countries will now do the same, and the European Union will unravel (See Marine Le Pen's op-ed in today's NY Times). So what? 

The markets and the banks don't like it, but for many that's an argument in favor of leaving, unless you think what's good for the banks is good for the rest of us (though the US stock market has rebounded nicely today). 

Apparently a lot of Brits voted to leave who've never felt any of the benefits of belonging in the first place, unlike those employed by the financial industry in London.

Unfettered immigration of course undermines the wage scale for the working class, which is why illegal immigration into the US has always been a mixed blessing, a reality denied by "progressives" like Randy Shaw at Beyond Chron.

The incidents that must have rattled a lot of Brits: how Angela Merkel and Germany blithely embraced hundreds of thousands of migrants from the Middle East and Africa; and how Germany bullied Greece after the Greek people in a national referendum voted against the draconian austerity the European Union imposed on their unfortunate country.

Laurence Lewis in Daily Kos:

You’re going to be reading a lot of stories about the Brexit vote being a warning that Donald Trump can win. Those stories will be wrong.

Brexit has won, and the primary reason is the economic turmoil wrought by the greed and at times open cruelty of British austerity, as imposed by David Cameron and George Osborne. Labour didn’t run against austerity in the last British election and was punished for it. The British people were punished with more austerity. 

A brutal economy always feeds extremism, and that is how Britain got Brexit. The irony was that Cameron and Osborne had to fight desperately against the consequences of their own policies. And if you think I’m ignoring Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn, that’s because he was almost invisible during the Remain campaign, and his support was tepid if not feigned. Britain has austerity and no credible national leaders. Hence Brexit.

While much of Europe was electing right wing governments that imposed austerity, the United States was electing Barack Obama. The Obama stimulus was a starkly different approach from European austerity. A larger stimulus would have done more to fuel a robust recovery, but the stimulus that was enacted stopped the economic free fall, and got the United States back on the right track. More needs to be done, and will be done, but the difference with Europe and particularly Britain is obvious...

See also Yes, this is a crisis: A brilliant crisis packed with possibility

Labels: , , ,


Post a Comment

Links to this post:

Create a Link

<< Home