Saturday, July 02, 2016

Brexit III

The EU in itself is not an economic success at all and the fact that certain areas have been successful (parts of England) and the turn-of-the millennium Irish Celtic Tiger (in the past not as much at present) are a consequence of much needed free market reforms (Thatcherite revolution in the 80s and competitive opening up of the Irish economy) that occurred despite, rather than as a result of, the EU influence. In fact the Left largely rejected both of these drives when they were proposed.

Defenders of the EU often point to historical German (or West German) success however the economic groundwork for this country can largely be attributed to the pro-free market (less regulation intense) policies that came to define the Wirtschaftswunder (Economic Miracle) after WWII. These were engineered by Konrad Adenauer and his economic minister Ludwig Erhard and preceded the formation of the Common Market in 1957.

The claim that that the EU is in a better economic state than the US also lacks foundation. The numbers don’t bare this out both at present and in the past. Unemployment (U3 numbers) in the US is less than the EU average and regularly sits at a lower level than its Euro rivals (only 4 out of the 28 European countries currently have a lower unemployment rate than the US).  Spain for one has an unemployment rate that sits at a horrific 21.4% with youth unemployment residing in the stratosphere at the unbelievable number of 51%.

As for Scotland and Ireland both their respective unemployment rates are above the UK average. In fact at present Ireland sits at 9.6% well over double the German average.
Norway and Switzerland, both non-EU members, boast unemployment rates of 4.6 % and 3.4% each of which is ahead of the US.

In addition GDP per capita is 1.4 times higher in the US than it is in EU with only the Banker’s Republic of Luxembourg (hardly representative of the Bloc) exceeding the US. In fact 49 out of 50 US states have a higher GDP per capita than the EU Average. If the UK were an American state it would rank about somewhere around the 40 – 45 mark in state GDPs per capita. Forbes takes an even grimmer view.

Economic issues aside. The key driver for the population’s rejection of the EU mandate ie. The loss of local autonomy. For me this was the greatest concern (followed closely of course by the over regulation hysteria of the EU). I am surprised that a proud Celtic nationalist would not be more concerned? What’s the point of winning independence from the UK only to hand it over to faceless bureaucrats in Brussels? The Scots especially will be deeply impacted especially with regards to their North Sea Oil. This is one of the big reasons that Norway stayed out of the Union to begin with.

For more reading outside the echo chamber check out

Friday, July 01, 2016

Brexit II

This is my reply to an Irish Nationalist who pretty much damned the English to hell over the Brexit result and then called for union of the various Celtic Nations....

The EU is far from the success that you make it out to be. It has failed to stall the drop in European clout that has seen a drop in the region's Global GDP footprint from 25 to 15 % over the last thirty years or so. Many of the countries in the EU consistently demonstrate high levels of unemployment and wealth disparity in England in particular has actually widened (compare London to the rest of the country). 

My biggest problem with the EU and is that it has added a layer of government that is overwhelmingly bureaucratic. This has decreased the efficacy of grassroots activism and fostered a new elite focused on entitlement. Key autonomy has been lost and this is anti-democratic.It also has created unnecessary barriers to potential imports from outside the Bloc which have been particular tough on African and Asian producers (Is this fortress Europe concept not racist in itself?) while ensuring that prices in Europe remain high (fine for the elite but not everyone else). 

I am not convinced that Scotland will leave the UK (despite your wishes). I think that you are overselling the numbers. If they do so the Scots would likely have to forgo their investment in the British State mechanism (pensions and all) and drop the Pound (which is still a solid option as a currency for Third world investors particularly the Middle East). The Euro is highly volatile and has already been rocketed by several crises in Greece, Italy and Portugal to name a few. Others are likely to follow. It seems to me that your position is more motivated by an anti-English Irish jingoism than anything else although I could be wrong. Damning the English to history considering the brave stance of this people in facing Fascism in WWII is particularly galling (where were the Irish nationalists then?) . 

As for your take on Northern Ireland a closer breakdown on results from the referendum indicates that the vote was split along sectarian lines with many Protestants (who regard any union with Ireland to be toxic) voting to leave. I doubt as well whether the large Scottish protestant core would also back such an alliance with Ireland in a Greater Celtic Band.

Life thought

I think that one of the most important realizations one has to make as a parent is that your kids are not, nor ought they to be, a replica of yourself.

Brexit I

I think its too early to judge what the long term ramifications of the exit will be. Economists have a poor track record in long term forecasting and markets have a tendency to readjust rapidly (look at the Dow). One cannot judge any decision in purely economic terms as there are other numerous factors involved but I think that the Brexit vote is a welcome win for grassroots democracy.


Point to consider.....At a dermatology conference focusing on Acne do they have breakout sessions?.

On Diversity

Why is it when so many people talk about diversity its almost always diversity of skin colour or sexual preference? More important than that in my opinion is diversity of class or socioeconomic status. However what supersedes them all, and what is very rarely mentioned, is diversity of thought.

Soccer them or hate are a few

15 Greatest Cinderella feats at the World Cup or European Championship

  1. Denmark obtaining a late invite into the 1992 European Championship (Yugoslavia was banned from playing) and then going on to win the competition.
  2. Greece fighting their way to the final and then defeating hosts Portugal in the 2004 European Championship.
  3. Czechoslovakia defeating World Cup Winners and defending champion West Germany to win the 1976 European Championship.
  4.  North Korea defeating Italy 1-0 in the World Cup group stage in 1966
  5. The US defeating England 1-0 in the World Cup Group stage in 1950
  6. Uruguay defeating hosts Brazil in front of a crowd of almost 200,000 to win the 1950 World Cup
  7. Northern Ireland defeating hosts Spain in the 1982 World Cup Group stage
  8. Algeria defeating West Germany in the 1982 World Cup Group Stage
  9. Cameroon defeating defending World Cup Champions Argentina in the Group stages in 1990 and then going on to reach the quarterfinal
  10. Senegal defeating defending World Cup Champions France in the Group stages in 2002 and then going on to reach the quarterfinal
  11. South Korea defeating Portugal, Italy and Spain on route to reaching the semi-finals of the 2002 World Cup
  12. Costa Rica defeating Uruguay and Italy to reach the quarterfinals of the 2014 World Cup
  13. Bulgaria beating Argentina and Germany to reach the semi-finals of the 1994 World Cup
  14. Iceland 2 England 1 European Championship 2016
  15. Wales 3 Most expensive team in existence Belgium 1