Some comparative economics to see whether ANY Tory (and the author was one himself) has the people’s interests at heart. Comparing Britain with our partners in Europe.
Firstly, Britain WAS the fifth largest world economy. Remember that. Despite that, we now have one of the highest levels of poverty in Europe (only beaten by Latvia and Greece).
Wealth is the LEAST equally distributed. By a very long way.
Where does all of that wealth go? Well, the UK has the highest property prices and rents in Europe. The Tories would love you to believe it is due to immigration, but the truth is that we are strictly average in the number of immigrants per head, and those states cope.
The truth is rather nastier. The Tories strongly represent a class of income-earners called rent-seekers. Adam Smith, one of the fathers of modern economics and free markets, said...
“As soon as the land of any country has all become private property, the landlords, like all other men, love to reap where they never sowed, and demand a rent even for its natural produce.” (Adam Smith, The Wealth of Nations, 1776)
Rent-seekers like income that comes from owning property, not doing work, and includes finance. As soon as rent-seekers have dominance they have the perverse incentive to limit the supply of housing to drive up rents and house prices.
“The oppression of the poor must establish the monopoly of the rich.” Profit “is always highest in the countries which are going fastest to ruin.” (Adam Smith, The Wealth of Nations, 1776)
This diverts capital from growth-creating production businesses, because people can earn more from owning property. This leads to underinvestment in research and development (R&D) and automation. We are below average in industrial robots per head, for example. This leads to the UK falling behind.
We have declining productivity compared to the rest of the G7 — the northern Europeans could take Friday off and still produce more per week than a British worker. The rest of the world (particularly Asia) is catching up fast, and this leads to the lowest wage growth in Europe.
We also have the worst pensions. So, it does not look like the European Union is the source of Britain’s problems, does it — when every other EU nation is better off? Could it be our own government that is to blame, of which Jacob Rees-Mogg🗳️ is one of the most self-interested?
“It is not from the benevolence of the butcher, the brewer, or the baker that we expect our dinner, but from their regard to their own interest.” (Adam Smith, The Wealth of Nations, 1776)
In a normal country there cannot be more rents than there are production profits and workers wages to pay them. However, we are not a normal country. We invented the offshore tax haven and trust fund system, a product of anglo-saxon law.
The City of London became what it is from managing wealth, not creating it. It manages wealth on behalf of companies and individuals around the world. Mostly legally, because of our EU anti-bribery and anti-money-laundering laws.
However, there is a link between the City and the seamier side of these offshore trusts that is exposed in the documentary The Spider’s Web (available on Amazon, free on Prime). And it links all of the pieces of Brexit together very nicely.
Offshore tax havens now look after around $50Tn in assets in secret trusts. Fifty thousand billions! Now, if the City earned just 1% for managing that money that would be $500Bn. Easy money, no need to worry about workers.
This offshore system attracts tax avoiders, money launderers and despots. Did you know that Africa owes 200bn, but African despots have almost a trillion in offshore funds while their people starve? If you want to reduce immigration, give the African people their money back.
So, that is the link between all of the key players in Brexit. They all benefit from offshore secrecy. Nigel Farage🗳️, Arron Banks, the ERG group of MPs, Vladimir Putin and his oligarchs, US billionaires, UK media moguls. The British public has been fooled by some extremely rich, very toxic people.
Now, those people have persuaded you that we need to build a commerce wall around the UK to keep out those nasty EU types with their regulations, despite it being very easy to prove that this is an EXTREMELY bad idea.
Dear BBC, you are confused. Here's a simple explanation. Leaving the Common Market/Customs Union is like building a wall all of the way around the UK that costs people and businesses time and money to get over, in both directions. Those costs are trade barriers.— QuantumChoices #FBPE #ABTV (@tfoale) July 5, 2018
This is based on a very fundamental misunderstanding of economics. They are cargo-cult economists, having belief in ‘free markets’ with no understanding of how they really work. Not that Labour, or even classically-trained economists, are any better.
Libertarianism is based on a fundamental misunderstanding of free markets. The ideal free market is not 'free of regulation'. It's a market which perfectly balances supply and demand based solely on the self-interest of its participants, GIVEN that certain assumptions hold.— QuantumChoices #FBPE #ABTV (@tfoale) July 16, 2018
So, please, recognise that these old Etonians are NOT acting in your interests, the Tories are NOT the party of business and fiscal probity, and the UK is being cut adrift without a rudder to make a few rich expats and foreign right-wingers even richer, at YOUR expense.🔷
The EU’s forthcoming anti-tax avoidance rules could be a big boost for our public services but, as Chevan Ilangaratne and Dami Olatuyi explain, they will be binned if Farage and Rees-Mogg get their way pic.twitter.com/nuNaVVS2MD— BremainInSpain (@BremainInSpain) August 28, 2018
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(This piece was first published as a Twitter thread and turned into the above article with the purpose of reaching a larger audience. It has been minorly edited and corrected.)