Beyond Brexit? July 20, 2016Posted by WorldbyStorm in Uncategorized.
Reading Philip Inman’s piece from the Observer at the weekend he made some very interesting points as regards the implications of Brexit in relation to the UK economy. The generality of Leavers may want an UK free of EU confines, filled with entrepreneurial can-do spirit. But that’s unachievable in a modern mixed economy. And cutting immigration will lead to low growth and high unemployment.
He’s even more dismissive of that doughty band ‘Economists for Brexit’ who he notes:
…want British voters to embrace the anxiety that comes with flexible working and rates of pay that go up and down in line with the demand for their services, as determined by global capitalism.
Of course their message is more optimistic and is about developing high-skilled jobs. And they are not such principled free marketeers they can’t find room to offset their call for unfettered free trade with a bit of government subsidy directed at hard-pressed parts of the economy, particularly manufacturing and agriculture. Infrastructure spending with borrowed money is also allowed.
But it is noticeable that the US-style green card entry system they propose would shift the balance towards high-skilled workers without necessarily cutting the numbers.
Of such contradictions is Brexit made – for the right.
And a central contradiction?
Yet there are oven-ready projects across the country that could be commissioned, encouraging contractors to invest in new equipment and skills. Will they be commissioned? Not if the nation’s ageing nimbys block each individual proposal. And not if the concern persists that governments cannot be trusted to spend taxpayer funds and get good value.
Again, it boils down to a problem. Decades of rhetoric about the failure of the state, and state intervention and even tangential state involvement and/or support in the economy has led to a situation where even if it is absolutely necessary to take up some of the slack in the context of a Brexit it is nearly impossible to push forward the sort of policies that are necessary not for progress but for simple survival.
The reality remains that the British economy has taken a massive blow, one that is going to take decades to recover from, if at all. And it simply due to the slow motion nature of that blow and its impacts that it hasn’t been recognised more widely. Take one small one, as noted in comments BTL, the UK’s WTO status post actual Brexit has not been regularised. And nor can it be. There’s literally no precedent for this situation. Anyone care to guess how long it will take for them to do so. And while all these are structure of capital unfortunately workers and working people have to exist and subsist and sustain themselves within them. Rather as the joke goes when America gets a sniffle the world catches a cold, so it is that when the structures of capital are damaged, or become unstable, workers and working people suffer.