Brexit: Political Upside Imperative

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There has been widespread indoctrination to disbelieve that 1) the quality of life for people across the globe is as high as ever, and 2) it has become that way because of the past adoption of the principles of inalienable rights, limited government interference, private property protection, and free market capitalism. Instead the world is left with lots of leaders promoting demagoguery. These elitists get in the way of the true promise of the Internet’s existence – the improvement of the human condition through the interconnection of the specialized activities of billions of individuals, which would eliminate much of the need for large federalistic entities (such as the European Union), for outdated academic institutions, and for inefficient multinational corporations. In short, they are against the very beneficial effects of the decentralization of economic and political power. A recent editorial on Light Reading, “Brexit: It’s Hard to See an Upside,” reflects the unfortunate, prevailing wisdom.

The casual reference in the piece to the EU being a “regional club,” kind of makes light of the stripping away of a nation’s identity as a self-governing state, as we pointed out in a recent article. Britain is no longer burdened by the dictates of unelected, unaccountable legislatures, bureaucrats, and judges way out in Brussels. Also, in that post, far from Brexit, “at worst, be[ing] disastrous for the UK’s communications…sector,” we view it as the only possible hope for significant improvement.

The critique in general of Brexit makes it falsely appear that the UK is in a permanently weakened position. Three of its top five import partners are not in the EU: the US, China, and Switzerland. With the London Stock Exchange, it will stay one of the most dominant financial hubs in the world. The EU will continue to be dependent on these financial capabilities as well as on the UK’s large number of imports from the member states.

Moreover, there is arguably more economic liberty in Britain than in the US. The former has a 20% corporate tax rate (while still being able to decrease the state’s percentage of GDP) compared to 35 percent for the latter. We also understand that it is relatively simple to start a new business in the UK and labor laws are not really a hindrance. The US. has been moving in the opposite way with an increasing number of onerous regulations at the federal level.

In contrast to Britain, the EU has been declining rapidly for a long time in terms of economic expansion with high taxation levels and elevating deficits. It is probably not a coincidence that nations on the continent that have not joined the union are doing quite well economically in avoiding overregulation including, again, Switzerland, Norway, Iceland, and Guernsey. We are wondering just what were the “many positives for all member states.”

Regarding “the number of people who didn’t vote because ‘it was raining,’” impressively, over 72 percent of eligible voters still turned out (the largest for a national vote since 1992). On the “thirst for privatization of core services such as the NHS,” according to an Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) report released in November 2015, the UK has one of the worst healthcare systems in the developed world.

[written by Mark Lutkowitz]