As Americans contemplate the intellectual breakdown of our two major parties, Brits and Europeans are trying to figure out what the state of their union is.
Does Brexit spell disaster for Europe?
Germany’s vice-chancellor is just the latest European bigwig to preach gloom and doom. According to the BBC, “Sigmar Gabriel said the EU would go ‘down the drain’ if other states followed Britain’s lead and that the UK could not keep the ‘nice things’ about Europe while taking no responsibility.”
What that “responsibility” is, I do not know.
But look: it is not as if an international order is all that difficult. In the 19th century, freedom of movement was accepted as the civilized standard — except in Russia.
In the 1800s, Britain and France agreed to bilateral free trade, and then Britain went unilateral with free trade. Prosperity ensued in Britain. Even in Europe proper, the century-long trend of wealth was upward.
And now a number of economists are advising the new British government to follow that old path — “a unilateral free trade deal would allow the UK to import cheaper goods and gain access to new markets, delivering greater prosperity,” The Guardian summarized.
Maybe the EU should go under. For the key to the union was subsidies along with EU-regulated trade. European states could adopt free trade without bullying from Brussels. And forget subsidies as a way of life.
America could do likewise, but not if Hillary or The Donald gets elected.
This is Common Sense. I’m Paul Jacob.
Note: In most browsers, hovering your mouse over the bolded, silver text will give you “footnotes” of explanation.