Tuesday, 21 June 2016

Time To Call Time

Professor Steve Keen writes:

The arguments for and against Brexit have focused on the economic costs and benefits for the UK in leaving or remaining within the European Union.

Though I am an economist, I am taking a more political perspective to this vote by focusing on the utterly undemocratic nature of the key institutions of the EU.

The European Parliament is a weak, diversionary figurehead, while the real power resides within the unelected bureaucracy of the EU and the key political appointees of the Europe’s governments—and particularly its Finance Ministers.

These effective cabals run roughshod over political democracies when they elect leaders that oppose core EU economic policies, while at the same time these policies are leading to the ruin of southern Europe, and the stagnation of France and Italy.

The European Union has been a failed enterprise ever since 1992, when the Maastricht Treaty was approved.

As the prescient non-mainstream English economist Wynne Godley realised at the time, the fetish in this Treaty for government surpluses would lead to the collapse of Europe.

Godley wrote that “If a country or region has no power to devalue, and if it is not the beneficiary of a system of fiscal equalisation, then there is nothing to stop it suffering a process of cumulative and terminal decline leading, in the end, to emigration as the only alternative to poverty or starvation” (Godley, Maastricht and all that, London Review of Books, October 8 1992).

Godley’s words, which surely seemed rash and insanely pessimistic at the time, have proven true with time. I therefore think that it’s time to call time on the EU experiment.

I’ll be voting for Brexit for this reason. 

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