The “Brexit” Choice: Short Term Pain for Long Term Stability?

 

British voters will go to the polls on Thursday for an issue possibly more important than choosing a prime minister as it will impact future prime ministers.

The issue:   to stay in the European Union or leave it.

The fear mongers against leaving will be convincing only if concerns for the immediate rule the day.  Yes, if Britain leaves, it must renegotiate trade deals with the countries it is separating from.  These new agreements could very well be less advantageous.  Also true, there may be some pullout of investment from current fellow EU comrades.

HOWEVER, the foolishness of the EU’s common currency (the “euro” which the UK would eventually need to adopt), is a far greater negative.  The euro joins many countries of varying levels of fiscal responsibility.  Several countries using the euro seem to believe that they can have their cake and eat it too.  As of last summer, six EU countries had debts greater than their GDP!  While the UK’s was ninth highest in the EU, hanging around with these rising debt nations only consoles them if they accept “misery loves company.”1  A few years ago, Germany was actually criticized for responsible managing of its trade balance.2  In addition, as of late last year, just eight EU nations had average working hours exceeding ours in the U.S. while fifteen worked fewer hours per week.3  Despite working less, several of those nations have well-known expectations of benefits which aggravate economic struggles.4

Britain has a chance to separate itself from an unsteady large ship known as the EU.

The choice is theirs.  They can stay with a modern day economic Titanic with its mesmerizing marketing glitter — and its fatal flaws.  Or, they can choose to guide their own smaller, less “cool” ship where rational decision-making is an everyday necessity.

If they choose this, they will be more likely to succeed because they will have their head on the wheel instead of partying on deck, blissfully ignoring of impending dangers.

If they stay, they will inevitably be dragged down with the rest of the EU because its reach is clearly beyond its wisdom… Besides, “President Obama sparked fury by pressuring UK to stay in the EU and telling its citizens their nation’s stranding (sic) would be diminished if it leaves… London Mayor Boris Johnson accused him of making an ‘incoherent’ and ‘inconsistent’ argument because the U.S. would never give up sovereignty.”5  Obama’s near-command for Britain to stay is a solid argument for them to leave the EU!

1 – “European debt crisis: It’s not just Greece that’s drowning in debt,” by Ashley Kirk, http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/europe/greece/11705720/European-debt-crisis-Its-not-just-Greece-thats-drowning-in-debt.html, 6/29/2015.

2 – “A Common Currency (Euro) is Europe’s Real Problem, Not Germany’s Trade Surplus,” https://cartaremi.wordpress.com/2013/03/12/a-common-currency-euro-is-europes-real-problem-not-germanys-trade-surplus/, 3/12/2013.

3 – “Americans Work Hard, Nut People in These 15 Countries Work Longer Hours,” by Benjamin Snyder and Stacy Jones, http://fortune.com/2015/11/11/chart-work-week-oecd/, 11/11/2015.

4 – “France’s unemployment benefits are among the most generous in Europe, payable even for net salaries of €6,959 (£5,021) per month. That may seem to favour high earners in a country where the average monthly net salary is just over €2,000, however a spokeswoman for UNEDIC, which administers the benefits says that less than 1,000 unemployed people receive the top amount, out of a total 2.6 million claimants. The current system, negotiated between unions and employers last year, kicks in after four months’ employment. Workers aged under 50 can claim unemployment benefit for two years, while those aged over 50 can claim for three years. On average, benefits are about 65% of employees’ salary… Compensation for sick leave in Norway is often described as the most generous in the world: employees receive 100% of salary from day one for up to a year. But sickness absence is high, seen as a symptom of hidden, structural unemployment. Almost 7% of the workforce are on sick leave at any given moment – by far the highest rate of work absence among full-time employees in the industrialised countries, the OECD says…” from “Which are the best countries in the world to live in if you unemployed or disabled,” by Anne Penketh, Kate Connolly, Stefanie Kirchgaessner, Henry McDonald, Justin McCurry, David Crouch, Shaun Walker, David Smith, Mary O’Hara and Anna Bawden, http://www.theguardian.com/politics/2015/apr/15/which-best-countries-live-unemployed-disabled-benefits, 4/15/2015.

5 – Obama infuriates the Brits as he threatens to send UK ‘to the back of the queue’ if they vote to leave the European Union,” by Francesca Chambers, Euan McClelland and Matt Dathan, http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-3553788/Obama-flies-Brexit-storm-President-faces-furious-backlash-downright-hypocritical-decision-tell-British-voters-stay-EU.html, 4/22/2016.

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s