Power, plenty – and Brexit

It seems a good time to take this wonderful book, Power and Plenty: Trade, War and the World Economy by Ronald Findlay Kevin O’Rourke, off the shelf again: “It would be foolish … to simply assume that the remarkable progress achieved by globalization in the last few decades will be sustained into the future.”

Although I agree with this VoxEU column that the gains are well worth defending, the global political context for continuing trade growth is depressing. And yet the UK government seems determined to get as bad a deal as possible in removing the country away from the most successful free trading area there has ever been. A bad move being made ever worse by its incompetent implementation.

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One thought on “Power, plenty – and Brexit

  1. “And yet the UK government seems determined to get as bad a deal as possible in removing the country away from the most successful free trading area there has ever been. A bad move being made ever worse by its incompetent implementation.”

    a) “most successful” is clearly arguable. For those in the World 80-90% (OECD middle) income level who have seen little or no personal wealth or income advances in the last 20-40 years, while the poor have gotten richer and the richer have gotten much richer, their voting for Brexit / Trump / against Italian constitutional changes indicates dissatisfaction in the whole free trade (& immigration) status quo. (You have seen that graph, haven’t you? I have no copy of it, sorry)
    Because of the huge increase in wealth for the world’s lower 80%, I agree with you that free trade has been generally great, there are a majority of voters in various areas who are unhappy enough to want to change.

    b) More economists who were against Brexit, should be clearly advancing proposals to quickly attain Brexit at the lowest cost, with their own version of “most competent” implementation.

    For me, this would be immediately convert EU regulations to “voluntary best practice guidelines”, and a temporary end to EU supported immigration into the UK, including Polish & Slovaks and other EU members.

    Do you have 2 or 3 specific suggestions on how to quickly implement Brexit more competently?

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