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Thread: Brexit

  1. #201
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    Re: Brexit

    Much of the post Brexit autopsy has been focussed on those left behind by Globalisation (whose wages have stagnated or fallen and whose Government provided support has been eroded by austerity) and the Daily Mail supplied narrative that "Immigration" is to blame for all that.

    However I really don't think the statistics support that analysis - the total net immigration into the UK last year was 330,000 which is equivalent to just 0.5% of the population. Even if every one of these is of employment age (which they aren't) this is not much larger than the percentage of the UK population who went from employment age to retirement age last year and this in an economy that grew by 2.2% that year (over four times the population growth).

    However the wage stagnation, zero hours contracts and reduction in state supplied services are very very real. So - if not caused by immigration, what has caused it?

    The thing about measuring an economy by size is that it does not differentiate between productive capital (factories, farms, office buildings) and unproductive capital (land banks, owner-occupied property, student loans) - and it is the change in ratio between productive capital and unproductive asset accumulation that is largely behind this economic malaise (cf. Pickety etc.) - for example the Langwell Estate is "worth" many tens of millions of pounds as an asset but in fact is a net cost to the taxpayer ( http://farmsubsidy.openspending.org/...ngwell-estate/)

    So instead of the money flowing around keeping business large and small going and providing employment and tax receipts for all, it has been taken out of circulation and hoarded. This means the general population feel less wealthy and are open to finding a scapegoat for this - and the narrative of blaming the Polish immigrant rather than the wealthy asset hoarder is, for some unfathomable reason, the one which the papers choose to sell us.

    We bought that narrative, and in my opinion, Brexit is the 40 pieces of silver we have paid.

  2. #202

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    Re: Brexit

    Quote Originally Posted by Merrion View Post
    Much of the post Brexit autopsy has been focussed on those left behind by Globalisation (whose wages have stagnated or fallen and whose Government provided support has been eroded by austerity) and the Daily Mail supplied narrative that "Immigration" is to blame for all that.

    However I really don't think the statistics support that analysis - the total net immigration into the UK last year was 330,000 which is equivalent to just 0.5% of the population. Even if every one of these is of employment age (which they aren't) this is not much larger than the percentage of the UK population who went from employment age to retirement age last year and this in an economy that grew by 2.2% that year (over four times the population growth).

    However the wage stagnation, zero hours contracts and reduction in state supplied services are very very real. So - if not caused by immigration, what has caused it?

    The thing about measuring an economy by size is that it does not differentiate between productive capital (factories, farms, office buildings) and unproductive capital (land banks, owner-occupied property, student loans) - and it is the change in ratio between productive capital and unproductive asset accumulation that is largely behind this economic malaise (cf. Pickety etc.) - for example the Langwell Estate is "worth" many tens of millions of pounds as an asset but in fact is a net cost to the taxpayer ( http://farmsubsidy.openspending.org/...ngwell-estate/)

    So instead of the money flowing around keeping business large and small going and providing employment and tax receipts for all, it has been taken out of circulation and hoarded. This means the general population feel less wealthy and are open to finding a scapegoat for this - and the narrative of blaming the Polish immigrant rather than the wealthy asset hoarder is, for some unfathomable reason, the one which the papers choose to sell us.

    We bought that narrative, and in my opinion, Brexit is the 40 pieces of silver we have paid.
    So, are we going to get people riled up about some esoteric accounting that takes lots of time to understand, or are we going to blame it on 'those other people'? The former would be REALLY hard to get people fired up about. The latter barely requires the firing to get a large number worked up about it. That's all the fact that matters.
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  3. #203
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    Re: Brexit

    Quote Originally Posted by Shaggy Hiker View Post
    So, are we going to get people riled up about some esoteric accounting that takes lots of time to understand....
    I think that eventually we are going to need to find a way to get elected without getting people riled up. This may be a multi-generational project though.

  4. #204
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    Re: Brexit

    Quote Originally Posted by Merrion View Post
    I think that eventually we are going to need to find a way to get elected ...
    The fact that the elected person is the subject, here, demonstrates the problem. The perception - and reality - is that politicians are working for the 'other' people (whoever 'other' may be).

    They also use fear mongering as the de-facto political platform: this pushes people to believe that they can't live without a leader in place. What if there wasn't a body in Number 10? What, really, would happen? People wouldn't notice for a long time, except that they have been conditioned to fear such a situation.
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  5. #205
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    Re: Brexit

    What, really, would happen?
    Cats and Dogs, living together...
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  6. #206
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    Re: Brexit

    Assuming that most people (at least "of a certain age") in the UK were just as exposed to many of the same cartoon "shorts" we were over here...

    I can't help but keep thinking:

    Brexit, stage left.

    For all I know that's a really tired, overused gag line over there by now though.

  7. #207
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    Re: Brexit

    Quote Originally Posted by dilettante View Post
    Assuming that most people (at least "of a certain age") in the UK were just as exposed to many of the same cartoon "shorts" we were over here...

    I can't help but keep thinking:

    Brexit, stage left.

    For all I know that's a really tired, overused gag line over there by now though.
    Or right even...

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  8. #208
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    Re: Brexit

    Heavens to Murgatroyd!

  9. #209
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    Re: Brexit

    Brexit, stage left.
    You're the first person I've seen use it and you just raised a hearty laugh here in the office.
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  10. #210
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    Re: Brexit

    Quote Originally Posted by SJWhiteley View Post
    What if there wasn't a body in Number 10?
    Belgium worked quite well for several years without any effective government and it is arguable that Ireland's current political mix is not a government. The trick appears to be that you need to be part of a super-national body that takes care of the details and not to have an interventionist foreign policy.

  11. #211
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    Re: Brexit

    Quote Originally Posted by dilettante View Post
    Both free market and trade agreement are double-speak for very shady things that damage working people in higher-cost markets. Economy is almost such a thing as well, and worker productivity surely is.

    You can't use the dictionary definitions of these expressions because that isn't what they mean anymore.


    Economy is the fun one. If it "belongs to" anyone, it belongs to the group of people it encompasses. Business and trade are by nature predatory activities that exist outside of the economy and suck sustinence from it. They are not something you can live without once you leave a hunter/gatherer existance, so a society has to work out rules to manage the predation at beneficial levels.

    That's what is gone in "Free Market Capitalism," "Free Market Communism," and "Free Trade" in general. The system is all positive feedback loop with little regulation. What did people think would happen?
    Whoa. We agree on something.

  12. #212
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    Re: Brexit

    Quote Originally Posted by Merrion View Post
    Brexit happened - deal with it.
    ... If you are university age, go abroad for university (Europe though - not US) as the cost will be comparable to UK and the extra life experience and contacts you can make will be a significant factor in your future employment chances.
    Seems Brussels wants to exclude the UK students from foreign exchange study - so there goes one of the options...

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  13. #213
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    Re: Brexit

    I'd be surprised - it is a big business. In fact of the 330,000 net migration last year that was part of the Brexit publicity 189,000 were students coming to the UK to pay quite a large amount of money to study there.

  14. #214
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    Re: Brexit

    Quote Originally Posted by szlamany View Post
    Seems Brussels wants to exclude the UK students from foreign exchange study - so there goes one of the options...
    Which demonstrates that this 'government' called the EU wants to have control to punish, rather than promote. Remember, nothing has changed at the moment, yet somehow punishing students is an appropriate response. Why does it need Brussels to decide whether France can accept foreign students for study?

    Wouldn't this be like me stopping two of my neighbors from inviting the other over for a barbecue; they didn't have my say so?
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  15. #215
    MS SQL Powerposter szlamany's Avatar
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    Re: Brexit

    Quote Originally Posted by SJWhiteley View Post
    Wouldn't this be like me stopping two of my neighbors from inviting the other over for a barbecue; they didn't have my say so?
    It would be exactly like forcing US residents in EVERY state to purchase something.

    That is was ACA is.

    If you don't buy it you get punished - that's a unique way to force commerce.

    The federal government used their "right to regulate commerce" to force ALL of us - in every state - to purchase health insurance. The supreme court backed them up - it's absurd.

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  16. #216

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    Re: Brexit

    I don't agree that it's absurd, of course.

    As it was, I had health insurance through my employer. The cost kept rising, and a part of that was because hospitals can't turn away uninsured people.

    Ultimately, health is one thing that we all have, good or bad. It's also something we all need. We don't all have health care, and we don't all need health care at the same time or to the same extent, but it's something we all need at some time or other. We know that there are some things that can reduce total costs, such as a certain amount of preventative care. That costs money. We also have a growing health care industry (at least in this town), which can absorb huge amounts of money.

    This is a system that we all will need at some point. We can ignore it and hope for the best, or we can try to manage it and try for the best. Neither option is free. This isn't like a car, where you can live your life without needing one, and can therefore live your life without paying any attention to the issues surrounding cars. This is something that you will need and will want a certain result from.

    We should stop treating health care like it's optional. It isn't. Your quality of life is what's optional.
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  17. #217
    MS SQL Powerposter szlamany's Avatar
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    Re: Brexit

    It is absurd in how it was implemented. I've been in the health insurance industry since 1988 - I've got some personnel experience in this.

    It's not sustainable in it's current form. There are exchanges - even in CT - that are so unbalance that they are being closed down. Not enough healthy lives paying into the system.

    This is going to cause a huge problem in the next few years.

    I'm self employed - I've been paying for my own health care for decades. ACA is the worst program I've ever been involved in ever.

    It needs to be fixed. 1000 pages of law that no one read anyway...

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  18. #218

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    Re: Brexit

    Oh, I agree that the implementation was absurd, and I agree that it isn't sustainable, but I never thought it was.

    I got trapped by a MASSIVE herd of sheep on Sunday morning. The shepherds (both canine and human form) were moving the herd down a highway to get them out of the path of a forest fire. The shepherds were staying pretty calm and cool about the whole thing, which seemed to be the right response. The sheep were going bananas, as far as I was concerned. I'm not sure what the number was. May have been as low as 500, but thousands is also possible. So, when a few headed off into the woods they'd be followed by several dozen more, yet that would be only a splinter off the herd. The shepherds couldn't all go running off after one splinter of sheep, so only one guy would wrangle that thread back to the main herd while the rest kept an eye on the main herd. There was no point in putting in excessive effort because moving those sheep was clearly a matter of tweaking this group, heading off that group, and so on.

    That's how health care reform is going to happen. We all know that something has to be done. Staying put isn't an option, just as staying put in the path of a forest fire isn't an option. However, teleportation also isn't an option. So, you get the herd moving in the right direction, then deal with the many, many, wrong turns as they happen.

    Obamacare isn't a solution, it's just the first movement of any significance since health insurance started in the 40's. Before that it has just been a whole lot of directionless milling about. Now the herd is moving. It could go over a cliff, it could end up somewhere better, but it's moving.

    Personally, I believe that the only reasonable destination is a single payer system. The government has certain natural rolls as far as providing for the people. These can be defense, trade negotiations (which can also involve the military), and so forth. Health care seems like a natural fit, because our health is so vitally important to our happiness, and everybody needs health care to a greater or lesser extent at some point in their lives.
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  19. #219

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    Re: Brexit

    I guess I should add that it was only the human shepherds that seemed calm about moving the sheep. I would characterize the dogs apparent attitude as THRILLED! It's like they were saying, "Yeah, yeah! It's about time we got to do something. Let's push these overgrown loofahs all the way across the state!"
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  20. #220
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    Re: Brexit

    Quote Originally Posted by Shaggy Hiker View Post
    Oh, I agree that the implementation was absurd, and I agree that it isn't sustainable, but I never thought it was.

    I got trapped by a MASSIVE herd of sheep on Sunday morning. The shepherds (both canine and human form) were moving the herd down a highway to get them out of the path of a forest fire. The shepherds were staying pretty calm and cool about the whole thing, which seemed to be the right response. The sheep were going bananas, as far as I was concerned. I'm not sure what the number was. May have been as low as 500, but thousands is also possible. So, when a few headed off into the woods they'd be followed by several dozen more, yet that would be only a splinter off the herd. The shepherds couldn't all go running off after one splinter of sheep, so only one guy would wrangle that thread back to the main herd while the rest kept an eye on the main herd. There was no point in putting in excessive effort because moving those sheep was clearly a matter of tweaking this group, heading off that group, and so on.

    That's how health care reform is going to happen. We all know that something has to be done. Staying put isn't an option, just as staying put in the path of a forest fire isn't an option. However, teleportation also isn't an option. So, you get the herd moving in the right direction, then deal with the many, many, wrong turns as they happen.

    Obamacare isn't a solution, it's just the first movement of any significance since health insurance started in the 40's. Before that it has just been a whole lot of directionless milling about. Now the herd is moving. It could go over a cliff, it could end up somewhere better, but it's moving.

    Personally, I believe that the only reasonable destination is a single payer system. The government has certain natural rolls as far as providing for the people. These can be defense, trade negotiations (which can also involve the military), and so forth. Health care seems like a natural fit, because our health is so vitally important to our happiness, and everybody needs health care to a greater or lesser extent at some point in their lives.
    Good analogy but when it comes to getting democrats and republicans together on A.C.A it is more like herding cats...
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  21. #221
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    Re: Brexit

    Well England had the NHS, starting in 1948. Either that system continues today or something newer has replaced it under another name. Other parts of the UK probably have similar programs. I'm sure those who live there can tell us something more factual.

    I doubt everyone is completely happy with it. However it was considered extremely efficient and effective in carrying out its mission.

    Folks living there today might be aghast at the notion of a catch-as-catch-can like we had until recently, or the Corporate Welfare Program for the Health Insurance Industry and Big Pharma we have in the US now.

    Clearly the way forward is a single-payer system that can pry health care out of the hands of legalized piracy and predation.

  22. #222
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    Re: Brexit

    Quote Originally Posted by TysonLPrice View Post
    Good analogy but when it comes to getting democrats and republicans together on A.C.A it is more like herding cats...
    Got an order from Chewy.com a few days ago - cat food. One of my cats got me up four times that night until I figured out he just wanted the box open. Then he went to sleep next to it!

    My cat herds me!

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  23. #223
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    Re: Brexit

    Quote Originally Posted by szlamany View Post
    Got an order from Chewy.com a few days ago - cat food. One of my cats got me up four times that night until I figured out he just wanted the box open. Then he went to sleep next to it!

    My cat herds me!
    I'm a cat lover and I had a couple that used to get up and follow me when I answered the phone and I guess I never really paid attention to it until one day it rang and I didn't plan on answering it. The cats ran to it though and stood there waiting on me
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    Re: Brexit

    Quote Originally Posted by dilettante View Post
    Well England had the NHS, starting in 1948.
    The whole of the United Kingdom has the NHS and the basic tenet of that is that healthcare is free at the point of delivery. On the whole it is an absolutely excellent system (it turns out there are economies of scale in public systems too) despite being run down by years of underfunding and by the spiralling cost of end-of-life treatments. You no longer get dental care free and a number of medicines are no longer covered (I think only 1 IVF cycle would be free, for example) and obviously cosmetic treatments are rarely sanctioned...that said my mother had a hip replacement and cancer treatment and it cost not one cent. In fact there was even a charity to driver her to/from the hospital for the cancer treatment.

    I have had treatment under the Irish system (private insurance + mixed public/private provision) and it was both quite expensive and not as good as the UK system. From talking to US colleagues it is still remarkably better than the US system.

  25. #225

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    Re: Brexit

    Quote Originally Posted by szlamany View Post
    Got an order from Chewy.com a few days ago - cat food. One of my cats got me up four times that night until I figured out he just wanted the box open. Then he went to sleep next to it!

    My cat herds me!
    That's why I don't like the cat herding analogy, especially after watching those sheep. Sheep herd...after a fashion. Cats...would kill us in our sleep if they thought they could get away with it, and it wouldn't be because they don't like us, it's just curiosity. I'm a cat fan, as well, I just can't imagine a cat being herded unless it had decided to go along with it out of sheer cussedness.
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    Re: Brexit

    would kill us in our sleep if they thought they could get away with it
    I like the way you put that...it was purrfect.

    I'm waiting on your return pun, unless of course, the cats got your tongue!
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  27. #227
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    Re: Brexit

    I've no doubt Shaggy will get back to you after a short paws
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  28. #228
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    Re: Brexit

    Quote Originally Posted by FunkyDexter View Post
    I've no doubt Shaggy will get back to you after a short paws
    With some catastrophic pun no doubt.
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    Re: Brexit

    Quote Originally Posted by FunkyDexter View Post
    I've no doubt Shaggy will get back to you after a short paws
    I had a feline you might say that

  30. #230
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    Re: Brexit

    If you asked meowed say the puns are getting worse.
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  31. #231
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    Re: Brexit

    Quote Originally Posted by FunkyDexter View Post
    If you asked meowed say the puns are getting worse.
    I was head scratching from that post...
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  32. #232

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    Re: Brexit

    That series rendered me catatonic.

    Actually, that's what you get when you put a cat in a blender along with a bit of soda water, but these puns are cat as cats can.

    I had a dream about tigers last night, which is just a cat of a different stripe. There were lots of antelope around, but I was still concerned that the tigers would get bored with eating antelope and come after me, so I got out of there.
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  33. #233
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    Re: Brexit

    Back on topic - I got my latest pension fund statement and it has lost approx. GBP 500 per day since the Brexit. (Mostly from UK banks and large corporates).
    So there's lovely.

  34. #234
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    Re: Brexit

    Quote Originally Posted by Merrion View Post
    Back on topic - I got my latest pension fund statement and it has lost approx. GBP 500 per day since the Brexit. (Mostly from UK banks and large corporates).
    So there's lovely.
    Doesn't the fact that this happened tell you something? Again, nothing has changed in how anyone lives or does business, but somehow someone has decided you are worth less than before.

    Almost rhetorically, why is it going to be harder to do business outside the EU than in? Answer: because if you can simply take any existing agreements - for example, dealing with France - and continue them, then there would be no purpose to the EU. Thus, it must be made deliberately more difficult to deal with people outside the EU than in.
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  35. #235
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    Re: Brexit

    Quote Originally Posted by SJWhiteley View Post
    ..somehow someone has decided you are worth less than before..
    Well - hopefully not my worth but my pension fund's worth. :-)

    We can't deal with France - we will still have to deal with the EU en bloc even though we are no longer in that block. Some countries (Germany and Netherlands) want to retain existing trade rules but others (Poland, France, Spain) would like to rewrite everything to suit them better. The end game will be about the mid point (which is how the EU deals with most issues) but that does mean we will lose some access to the single market (No Norwegian model for us). If you were to look at this from France's point of view then they'd be delighted to remove UK banks and financial services passporting rights so - for example - Lloyds or RBS would no longer be allowed to hold euro deposits for EU citizens. The markets have factored this greater difficulty into their profitability expectations of those banks and therefore their share prices have fallen (very much if you factor in the Sterling devaluation) which means my pension fund value has also fallen.

  36. #236

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    Super Moderator Shaggy Hiker's Avatar
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    Re: Brexit

    Meanwhile, my bond fund has increased in value because even the paltry returns on those bonds looks good these days. I'm gonna get clobbered, eventually.
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  37. #237
    PowerPoster SJWhiteley's Avatar
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    Re: Brexit

    Quote Originally Posted by Merrion View Post
    ...

    We can't deal with France - we will still have to deal with the EU en bloc even though we are no longer in that block. ...
    This is my point: Why not?

    If the UK has a product it wants to buy, and France is willing to sell, why cannot an agreement between the UK and France be made between those two parties? Why should such an agreement be the same and applied to, say, France and Greece; Greece is a different consumer market, likewise with other countries.
    "Ok, my response to that is pending a Google search" - Bucky Katt.
    "There are two types of people in the world: Those who can extrapolate from incomplete data sets." - Unk.
    "Before you can 'think outside the box' you need to understand where the box is."

  38. #238

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    Super Moderator Shaggy Hiker's Avatar
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    Re: Brexit

    Largely because France isn't monolithic, nor is any other country. One group gets the government to erect one barrier, another group gets the government to erect a different barrier, and pretty soon you have a nice mess. All the industries that can, will use their influence to increase their profits by decreasing competition. In theory, it doesn't have to be that way. In practice, it is that way.
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  39. #239
    Smooth Moperator techgnome's Avatar
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    Re: Brexit

    It's more than that... it's because France isn't the market... the EU is. By joining the EU, the countries are effectively accepting the End User Agreement that the EU will negotiate on their "behalf" ... it's just like any union you'd join... by joining, you're effectively giving up certain rights - such as being able to negotiate your own pay rate. It's the same thing with the EU... by joining, you're handing over some rights & responsibilities to a larger organization... who, by being a larger organization can throw around considerable weight during negotiations.

    So if the UK wants a widget, they get the widget from the EU. The fact that it's made in France is irrelevant. It's not different from the Wheedget... the UK gets their supply of Wheedget from the US, they don't care that half was made Kentucky and the other half made in Tennessee and assembled in Virginia.

    -tg
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  40. #240
    PowerPoster SJWhiteley's Avatar
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    Re: Brexit

    Quote Originally Posted by Shaggy Hiker View Post
    Largely because France isn't monolithic, nor is any other country. One group gets the government to erect one barrier, another group gets the government to erect a different barrier, and pretty soon you have a nice mess. All the industries that can, will use their influence to increase their profits by decreasing competition. In theory, it doesn't have to be that way. In practice, it is that way.
    I understand 'why', but as you say, it doesn't have to be that way. But regardless, in this case, the problem is that the EU will put up barriers because the UK doesn't want to be part of the EU. Specifically, it isn't the countries putting up barriers, it's the EU. Just because the UK may not be part of the EU, there's no reason that individual countries doing business with the UK can't say 'follow these EU guidelines to ensure that products meet EU standards'.

    To be honest, I think it's this thinking that 'we need a government' puts us in a situation where we believe it's not possible to live without a government telling use exactly what, in minute detail, what we are and are not allowed to do. This is what gets us into trouble, this is what got Flint, MI, into trouble, and why I don't drink Detroit City water.
    "Ok, my response to that is pending a Google search" - Bucky Katt.
    "There are two types of people in the world: Those who can extrapolate from incomplete data sets." - Unk.
    "Before you can 'think outside the box' you need to understand where the box is."

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