animist wrote: Nick wrote:
but like most things in life (as an economist, you will surely agree here) it has costs.
Political ones, not economic ones. And we don't let politics into economics, do we...?
yes we do,
well, indeed, (hence the wink) but as they are political ones, then they have different results, depending on the politics, not the economics.
if social considerations are to count.
Economics seeks to explain economic consequences. Quite which considereations we should prioritise is not a question of economics. What economic choices we make in pursuit of such considerations is a matter of economics.
If free markets and free trade involve social dislocation and/or inequality, then economics is not enough.
Economics explains. You are pre-supposing that economics has innately some sort of objective. It dosn't. What we can do is to set objectives we might want to see (such as lessening social dislocation or inequality if you wish) and use economic policy to try to achieve them.
There is a basic economic psychology "law" which I have meant to mention for a long time (well, probably I have already, but time to repeat!). Anyway, this is diminishing marginal utility. It's applied normally to particular goods, and as you'll know it simply points out that more and more of the same thing, however good it is, usually becomes less "useful". It is a strong argument for equality of income and wealth because it can be widened to include consumption of goods and services as a whole: I am sure you will agree that £1 means more to a poor person than a rich one.
I understand your point (which is a valid one, which is why over 40% of national income is taken off us to spend in ways we would not do as individuals ) but it is essential to remember that if we make an economic choice, it will inevitably lead to cnsequences which might not be helpful or as intended. Rent controls make housing worse, for example, or the pursuit of equality, as in Mao's China, or more recently in Venezuela, can devastate the economy for everyone.
So, while economic liberalism, including free trade may be more efficient than control and tariffs in maximising production of goods, this does not mean that a country's wellbeing is automatically increased.
OK... a huge topic, but I'll let that go by...
One other point, not a new one, is that the logical interpretation of the concept free trade includes free trade in labour procurement across national border, ie free movement of labour - yet you seem to exclude this logical corollary to the free trade doctrine
Yes indeed, for exactly the reasons that you are espousing, that political objectives are important when making economic choices.
If the cost in this situation includes a risk to peace in Ireland, then it is not worth the cost.
But who is it who is threatening peace? It's the EU's threat of erecting border posts and the latent of a revival of IRA violence.
I don't think that the EU is threatening this as, like everyone else, it wants an open border.
A moment's thought: Mrs May say' there won't be border posts; the EU says there must be. Now, who is threatening border posts? It sure as hell aint Mrs May.
Brexit is a threat to the GFA because it raises all these issues for no good reason.
Let's get this straight. The concern about disruption to the GFA is the prospect of a return to violence. The fault for any such violence rests with those committing such violence. Or are you now legitimising a possible IRA murder and bombing campaign? Secondly, it is the EU which is threatening the GFA by its threat of hard borders. Why is the EU promoting a potential return to violence? For no great reason tht I can see.
The EU cannot really simply dump its whole customs union just because Britain on a whim decided on a venture without considering the implications.
So the EU would prefer an armed conflict than adjust its rules, which, you have already agreed, act against the best option- free trade. That is what make Brussels so toxic. They have already (as if I need to remind you of this) chosen their own precious rules before the millions devastated in Southern Europe.
no, that is a ridiculous claim. It is Britain's insistence, which lacks a popular mandate, on leaving the CU which is creating the problem.
No popular mandate, huh? Apart from 17.4 million votes in the referendum, 84% (IIRC) of electors voting for parties which agree to respect the referendum by leaving the EU, as well as an enormous thumping majority in the HoC to invoke Article 50.
Please leave southern Europe out of this, as it is quite irrelevant.
You think it is irrelevant, I think it is extremely relevant!! And will continue to raise it whenever I wish!
The EU is not threateneing anything as far as I can see, it wants an open border, as I have said already.
No, it wants to impose its rules on people who do not want to be subject to its rules. And, in pursuit of that, is prepared to take action, destroying an open border, building a hard border, even though it knows that it increases the risk of violence.
And how would the EU "adjust" its rules?
If only! That's the point! It is determined to move in the wrong direction. If it had shown itself open to change, we would not be leaving. But because it is refusing to countenance such change, it is making the situation worse, not only for its people, but for the institutions themselves. Political extremism and Euroscepticism is increasing everwhere in Europe as people feel less and less in control of heir own affairs.
ISTM your only remedy for all this is that the EU disbands itself - well, it is not going to happen, and Brexit will not help the poorer nations of the EU which you care so much about.
It does need to disband, but it does need radical reform. This, I consider to be impossible in any reasonable time frame. We do not help the poorer nations of Europe by supporting the very institution which has caused them so much devastation.
If Britain leaves the Single Market and starts to its own tariffs (or reducing them FTM) as well departing from EU regulations, then customs checks will be inevitable, that is the problem because of the risk of smuggling - but it is Britain which is causing it.
For a start, the EU does not have a single market in all areas, especially not in services, which is where most of the economy and growth now is. Secondly, consider Ireland, with its invisible borders. It still has different currencies, different tax rates, different legislation, but an open border. Just what EU regulations are there on any EU products that we feel require special British prohibitions....? And when you consider that just about every product or service involves VAT, any increase in red tape is going to be negligible by comparison. And I think the Anglo-Saxon common law principles should be preserved, and the Napolenic codes resisted.
You are so obsessed with free trade that you forget it must be negotiated, not imposed as part of a project which is not itself concerned with free trade but which instead focuses on control: ie Brexit.
Er... an absence of rules can be "imposed"? How does that work?
But what I seriously wonder (and what Moggie might have been hinting at) is that Ireland and the EU just will not be able to enforce some hard border even if they want to because of the numbers of crossing-points on the border.
...any more than they could before.
Before the dismantling of border controls.
More likely, and I think this has already been mooted, the EU will simply refuse any sort of trade deal with Britain unless the border issue is sorted out by Britain in a way acceptable to the EU and Ireland.
So, more bullying tactics. What pleasant friends you have!
bullies provoke a conflict - you agree?
No. Bullies object to others doing things they want to do, and are prepared to use force or other unreasonable means to enforce them. Consider an anaolgy (tee hee!
) We humanists think ones sexuality of no concern of anyone elses. Some legislatures think otherwise. In your example, if our gay brother comes out, it is he who is the bully, as he has provoked the conflict. Hmmm...
How then can the EU be a bully, since it is Britain which has provoked a conflict after 40 or so years in which it has prospered?
Following on from the above, the UK is "coming out". It is not the UK which is responsible for the bullying. It's like a bully grabbing ones hair. It doesn't hurt if you acquiesce. You might even prosper. But if you want to do something different, there are two choices to avoid pain. To remain with ones hair grabbed, or for the bully to let go of ones hair.
The referendum result was that Britain leave the EU - which it is indeed likely to do - not that it leave any and every arrangement connected with it, so why should we all suffer from the Hard Border/Hard Brexit that the extremists want?
I have no problem with the UK being involved with the EU, co-operating on space, science, research etc., etc. It is the EU which is saying that such such co-operation is impossible without being subjected to the whole EU project. I do not know of any "extremists" anywhere near the negotiations who are suggesting that international co-operation should cease.
This might well mean the separation of Northern Ireland from the rest of the UK, an ironic twist to the Brexit story
Are you seriously advocating the annexation of part of the UK against the wishes of the majority of the population?
of course not, I am not advocating anything. But this could be the end result of this silly project.
I doubt that very much. Very much indeed.
I do not know how the proposed solution which keeps Northern Ireland in the Customs Union would work,
but anyway it would not constitute annexation,
a ridiculously loaded word to use.
How would you describe the imposition, then...?
Northern Ireland would remain part of the UK - and remember that it already has its own devolved government.
I don't see how that be, if it is the EU's writ that runs, not the UK's.
And since you mention the consent of the Province's people, kindly remember that this part of the UK voted decisively against Brexit. Why should they, and the Republic, bear the consequences of a decision which they have rejected?
Because the Province has voted to remain part of the UK, and because the Republic voted not to. Seems fair enough to me...