[POLITICS] Brexit deadline

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Sonmi:

In all seriousness, I don't get why May would even try to court support from Rees-Mogg and his ilk, they're clearly not arguing in good faith, and are all and all fucking crackers. The fact that she would try to appease them before even considering going to Labour for a compromise deal tells us a lot about the state of the Tories, they're compromised by ultrapaleoconservatives and UKIP loonies. The sooner this cancerous growth of a political entity bursts, the better.

The Conservatives have long been an uneasy alliance between the business-minded, upper-middle-class, corporatist Tories-- who value stability, and have some grasp of trade and economics-- and the "little England" nationalist kind.

The latter care more about the demographic make-up of the country (or nebulous ideas of national pride) than they do about GDP or economic performance.

The Conservatives' electoral success relies on both groups, so they cannot afford to alienate either one. Presently, they fear the latter group deserting them (for UKIP or simple abstention) than they fear the former group deserting them. Hence the endless appeasing of the idiotic nationalist fantasies of liars like Francois, Johnson, or Rees-Mogg.

So we've got nearly half a year longer. One of the more interesting results of this is, unless an exit agreement gets passed very quickly, that we'll be taking part in the upcoming May 2019 European elections. Considering that even in the best of times these weren't taken very seriously, expect a clown show. I imagine both the main parties will lose a lot votes to protest candidates on either side. Hell, I don't know who I'll vote for yet. Whoever makes the best statement I suppose, or even a joke candidate, if any decent ones run in my area.

TheIronRuler:

Agema:

TheIronRuler:

I think labor can be voted into power after the UK leaves the EU due to the current party handling this disaster. Then it's a few years of good campaigning to bolster the numbers of those 38 communists, which I believe some of them are forum members. UK already has infrastructure for a surveillance police-state. I'm not saying China, that's a long way off, but still... enough to handle troublemakers. Right-wing populist trouble-makers.

If Labour were remotely Communist - which outside the wildest fantasies of the right wing press it most certainly isn't - then that might be an argument. As far as I am aware, no Communist has been in evidence on the Escapist for about 3-4 years.

Communism is moribund. Hard socialism is moribund. They've been so for decades. The political scene has shifted well to the right since the days when they were a societal force, that's the only reason now people who propose policies rolling back capitalism to approximately pre-neoliberal 1980s are demonised as "far left". But society wasn't socialist then, and it won't be socialist if we went back to something similar-ish now.

We're in a world where a dodgy right-wing populist is deputy PM of Italy inciting homophobia and xenophobia, where dodgy right-wing populists with histories of Holocaust denial come close to the presidency of France, where dodgy right wing populists have run Hungary for years with overt racism, where the president of the USA calls white nationalists "fine people", where countless dodgy right-wing populists have millions of YouTube followers... Why on earth is anyone worried about Communism, with its approximately zero representation in national politics and media?

.
Resurgence of nationalism in Europe is a blessing in disguise. Truly they will want to distance themselves from the Holocaust, and I think most peoples can do that safely. The Bulgarians, for example, are still appreciated for protecting their Jewish countrymen. The Dutch attempted to burn the country's records and census to stop the Nazis from accurately finding and liquidating any Jews in the Netherlands.

However the same cannot be said for the French, among other peoples. Even the Poles are attempting to salvage their national honor by distancing themselves from the German-ran death-camps on Polish soil. This is all means to purify national honor and justify national unity - a key-step in strengthening the ideas of a nation - like Italy, Hungary, Poland...

Communism is ever-present in modern Marxist thought, which has overtaken western universities and governments. Critical theory lead by the Frankfurt school for example can be read as Marxists disguising themselves after the utter moral and actual failure of their ideals and policies... You can shroud your shit in post-modernism, but people will still smell shit whenever they view it, unaware of its influences and past.

If neo communists have infested western governments then why are most western governments of note right wing governments and have been for the past decades?

In Europe right wing parties have been dominant for decades.
The Torries seem the more dominant political party when compared to Labour and are currently in power
The Netherlands is ruled by the liberals, actual right wing liberals rather than America's weird left wing liberalism. Before the liberals it was the Christian democrats.
In Germany the CSU reign's supreme which is a Christian democrat party.
The EU itself was founded by Christian democrats
Eastern Europe is overrun by right wing populists.

Europe isn't exactly witnessing a Leftist Renaissance either. Most social democrat parties are in shambles for having moved too far to the right during the crisis.

America has always leaned more to the right with even the Democrats arguably being a right wing party when compared to European parties.

If there is a grand leftist conspiracy to rule the world it is completely inept. What evil mastermind can plot for decades and infiltrate all levels of society to install left wing governments only to preserve the right wing stats quo, have Left wing parties lean more to the right and witness the age of right wing populism.

Sonmi:

In all seriousness, I don't get why May would even try to court support from Rees-Mogg and his ilk, they're clearly not arguing in good faith, and are all and all fucking crackers. The fact that she would try to appease them before even considering going to Labour for a compromise deal tells us a lot about the state of the Tories, they're compromised by ultrapaleoconservatives and UKIP loonies. The sooner this cancerous growth of a political entity bursts, the better.

The most important thing to remember is that the ultimate objective of Theresa May, right from the start, has been to pass a Brexit for the Tory party, not a Brexit for the country.

The May deal was probably - at least in terms of the Tory party - the best route to pick to satisfy members: not too hard and not too soft. The other 60% of the country was metaphorically left to go fuck itself - their opinions about Brexit didn't enter into it. I think she probably underestimated just how fanatical the hard Brexiters ("ERG", they are often referred as) would be.

She can't pass a harder Brexit because the evidence suggests the harder the Brexit the more the economic pain, and in the longer term that damage would likely stain the Conservative Party severely; she may also risk loss of significant "soft Brexit Tories". She can't pass a softer Brexit without the backing of other parties, and to the extreme rage of harder Brexiters amongst the Tories.

So that's why she's been trying to win over her party loonies: party first, country second.

Hades:

TheIronRuler:

Agema:

If Labour were remotely Communist - which outside the wildest fantasies of the right wing press it most certainly isn't - then that might be an argument. As far as I am aware, no Communist has been in evidence on the Escapist for about 3-4 years.

Communism is moribund. Hard socialism is moribund. They've been so for decades. The political scene has shifted well to the right since the days when they were a societal force, that's the only reason now people who propose policies rolling back capitalism to approximately pre-neoliberal 1980s are demonised as "far left". But society wasn't socialist then, and it won't be socialist if we went back to something similar-ish now.

We're in a world where a dodgy right-wing populist is deputy PM of Italy inciting homophobia and xenophobia, where dodgy right-wing populists with histories of Holocaust denial come close to the presidency of France, where dodgy right wing populists have run Hungary for years with overt racism, where the president of the USA calls white nationalists "fine people", where countless dodgy right-wing populists have millions of YouTube followers... Why on earth is anyone worried about Communism, with its approximately zero representation in national politics and media?

.
Resurgence of nationalism in Europe is a blessing in disguise. Truly they will want to distance themselves from the Holocaust, and I think most peoples can do that safely. The Bulgarians, for example, are still appreciated for protecting their Jewish countrymen. The Dutch attempted to burn the country's records and census to stop the Nazis from accurately finding and liquidating any Jews in the Netherlands.

However the same cannot be said for the French, among other peoples. Even the Poles are attempting to salvage their national honor by distancing themselves from the German-ran death-camps on Polish soil. This is all means to purify national honor and justify national unity - a key-step in strengthening the ideas of a nation - like Italy, Hungary, Poland...

Communism is ever-present in modern Marxist thought, which has overtaken western universities and governments. Critical theory lead by the Frankfurt school for example can be read as Marxists disguising themselves after the utter moral and actual failure of their ideals and policies... You can shroud your shit in post-modernism, but people will still smell shit whenever they view it, unaware of its influences and past.

If neo communists have infested western governments then why are most western governments of note right wing governments and have been for the past decades?

In Europe right wing parties have been dominant for decades.
The Torries seem the more dominant political party when compared to Labour and are currently in power
The Netherlands is ruled by the liberals, actual right wing liberals rather than America's weird left wing liberalism. Before the liberals it was the Christian democrats.
In Germany the CSU reign's supreme which is a Christian democrat party.
The EU itself was founded by Christian democrats
Eastern Europe is overrun by right wing populists.

Europe isn't exactly witnessing a Leftist Renaissance either. Most social democrat parties are in shambles for having moved too far to the right during the crisis.

America has always leaned more to the right with even the Democrats arguably being a right wing party when compared to European parties.

If there is a grand leftist conspiracy to rule the world it is completely inept. What evil mastermind can plot for decades and infiltrate all levels of society to install left wing governments only to preserve the right wing stats quo, have Left wing parties lean more to the right and witness the age of right wing populism.

I mean every problem in Ireland is still blamed on Sinn Fein and "Looney lefties" even though last time Sinn Fein we're in power was 1922 and since then we have traded between right wing Fianna fail and further right wing fine fine gael. But apparently Ireland's leadership is liberal because Varadkar is gay.

JoJo:
So we've got nearly half a year longer. One of the more interesting results of this is, unless an exit agreement gets passed very quickly, that we'll be taking part in the upcoming May 2019 European elections. Considering that even in the best of times these weren't taken very seriously, expect a clown show. I imagine both the main parties will lose a lot votes to protest candidates on either side. Hell, I don't know who I'll vote for yet. Whoever makes the best statement I suppose, or even a joke candidate, if any decent ones run in my area.

Surprised we got a second extension tbh. Thought the first one might have been the end of the EU's patience. Ah well, I'm glad everyone agrees we need to avoid a hard Brexit

JoJo:
So we've got nearly half a year longer. One of the more interesting results of this is, unless an exit agreement gets passed very quickly, that we'll be taking part in the upcoming May 2019 European elections. Considering that even in the best of times these weren't taken very seriously, expect a clown show. I imagine both the main parties will lose a lot votes to protest candidates on either side. Hell, I don't know who I'll vote for yet. Whoever makes the best statement I suppose, or even a joke candidate, if any decent ones run in my area.

I'd take the EU vote quite serious if I were you because it might just as well be considered a second referendum. If eurosceptical parties make a huge score that will send a strong anti-EU signal to May (and the parliament) and vice versa.

Hades:

If neo communists have infested western governments then why are most western governments of note right wing governments and have been for the past decades?

In Europe right wing parties have been dominant for decades.
The Torries seem the more dominant political party when compared to Labour and are currently in power
The Netherlands is ruled by the liberals, actual right wing liberals rather than America's weird left wing liberalism. Before the liberals it was the Christian democrats.
In Germany the CSU reign's supreme which is a Christian democrat party.
The EU itself was founded by Christian democrats
Eastern Europe is overrun by right wing populists.

Europe isn't exactly witnessing a Leftist Renaissance either. Most social democrat parties are in shambles for having moved too far to the right during the crisis.

America has always leaned more to the right with even the Democrats arguably being a right wing party when compared to European parties.

If there is a grand leftist conspiracy to rule the world it is completely inept. What evil mastermind can plot for decades and infiltrate all levels of society to install left wing governments only to preserve the right wing stats quo, have Left wing parties lean more to the right and witness the age of right wing populism.

Well, Western Europe (with the exception of the UK?) has had its center pushed to the left for decades now. And it is still ongoing. At least on social issues. Economics wise it's a bit more difficult to say but european nations were already quite the centrists and still are. And while you accuse European nations of going too far to the right during the crisis i'd argue they had gone too far to the left prior to it. Keynes has always argued that during an economic boom a government needs a surplus they can (over)spend during a crisis, but when you start a crisis with (large) deficits/debts you have a problem. The risk of the debt snowball effect becomes real.

I wouldn't say there is an inept conspiracy but there is a lot of inept advocacy. The militancy has managed to push us ever more into progressive extremism but has failed to do the same economically. And there is a good reason for that, social democratic politicians know they can't go further to the left without risking to break the economy. Globalisation has pretty much destroyed the socialist dream. Some Companies have become larger economies than some countries and that gives them a lot of leverage on policies. And lets not forget rich people are more mobile than ever. This has made fiscal competition among countries ever greater. And as economic theory would dictate, increased competition pushes down prices, in this case "taxes".

And the rising nationalism is a response to the creeping progressive extremism. And to a certain extent also capitalism.

generals3:
Well, Western Europe (with the exception of the UK?) has had its center pushed to the left for decades now.

In what way? Socially, in ways, yes. Economically, it's been deregulation, decreased welfare and social services.

I wouldn't say there is an inept conspiracy but there is a lot of inept advocacy. The militancy has managed to push us ever more into progressive extremism but has failed to do the same economically. And there is a good reason for that, social democratic politicians know they can't go further to the left without risking to break the economy. Globalisation has pretty much destroyed the socialist dream. Some Companies have become larger economies than some countries and that gives them a lot of leverage on policies. And lets not forget rich people are more mobile than ever. This has made fiscal competition among countries ever greater. And as economic theory would dictate, increased competition pushes down prices, in this case "taxes".

And the rising nationalism is a response to the creeping progressive extremism. And to a certain extent also capitalism.

No, I think it's more the other way around. In the UK, many studies have demonstrated that increases in anti-EU sentiment overwhelmingly grew in areas hit hardest by austerity brought in by the Tories in 2010. In Italy, there's persistent frustration with corruption, inefficiency, economic stagnation. Italy and Belgium, both with a regional separatist element (Northern League in Italy and the Flanders/Wallonia divide) represent frustration with richer areas of the country who feel they are propping up poor, and not so similarly, the gilets jaunes in France overwhelmingly represent rural citizens who feel "left behind" as growth centres around the cities. Immigration is an issue, but would be a tolerable one were it not for a persistent sense of stagnation and unfair distribution of national wealth and growth. Where are these anti-immigrant voters, after all? Mostly, in places where there are very few immigrants. Immigrants move to places they can get jobs (mostly the cities); the people in places with few immigrants are the economically and socially "left behind" in the current dominant socio-economic paradigm. And that's what really upsets them, as city financiers make their millions and buy up countryside mansions. Fuelling the fire is that the US right is pouring money and resources into Europe so they can fight their ideological war globally - the sums routing across the Atlantic from North America are shocking.

Fundamentally, people don't give a damn about gays, transexuals, feminism - or more strictly, not so much of damn they'll vote over it. They care that they have a job, can buy a house and support themselves and their family, have healthcare, are safe walking the streets. This is where the West is failing. Take France: it elects the right (Sarkozy) and it elects the left (Hollande), and nothing changes. If the mainstream left and right cannot sort these problems out, they'll start listening to the extremes. All across Europe, the far right has risen primarily through public unhappiness with the big issues of their country, not being told off for being homophobic.

Agema:

In what way? Socially, in ways, yes. Economically, it's been deregulation, decreased welfare and social services.

Well yes, i did say: "At least on social issues. Economics wise it's a bit more difficult to say but european nations were already quite the centrists and still are. "

No, I think it's more the other way around. In the UK, many studies have demonstrated that increases in anti-EU sentiment overwhelmingly grew in areas hit hardest by austerity brought in by the Tories in 2010. In Italy, there's persistent frustration with corruption, inefficiency, economic stagnation. Italy and Belgium, both with a regional separatist element (Northern League in Italy and the Flanders/Wallonia divide) represent frustration with richer areas of the country who feel they are propping up poor, and not so similarly, the gilets jaunes in France overwhelmingly represent rural citizens who feel "left behind" as growth centres around the cities. Immigration is an issue, but would be a tolerable one were it not for a persistent sense of stagnation and unfair distribution of national wealth and growth. Where are these anti-immigrant voters, after all? Mostly, in places where there are very few immigrants. Immigrants move to places they can get jobs (mostly the cities); the people in places with few immigrants are the economically and socially "left behind" in the current dominant socio-economic paradigm. And that's what really upsets them, as city financiers make their millions and buy up countryside mansions. Fuelling the fire is that the US right is pouring money and resources into Europe so they can fight their ideological war globally - the sums routing across the Atlantic from North America are shocking.

Fundamentally, people don't give a damn about gays, transexuals, feminism - or more strictly, not so much of damn they'll vote over it. They care that they have a job, can buy a house and support themselves and their family, have healthcare, are safe walking the streets. This is where the West is failing. Take France: it elects the right (Sarkozy) and it elects the left (Hollande), and nothing changes. If the mainstream left and right cannot sort these problems out, they'll start listening to the extremes. All across Europe, the far right has risen primarily through public unhappiness with the big issues of their country, not being told off for being homophobic.

There is definitely a frustration over the current economic situation. But quite ironically an undeserved one. If you take France it's a country with one of the strongest welfare states and yet it's there people protest every saturday. They aren't so much left behind as being fed unrealistic expectations. Expectations that for young people become even more unrealistic as France has become a stagnant economy due to a mix of its tax burden and powerful unions blocking everything at the mere sign of a reform.

And you're right those people don't care that much about gay rights, feminism or transexuals. But this is exactly what pushes them into the hands of the likes of Marine Le Pen. They feel left out by the classic left which seems to consider these topics more important than their misery. The same could be said about immigration, a complaint I can regularly see is "Why do we spend so much on immigrants/refugees while many of our own are still living in misery".

This is the failure of left wing advocacy, they managed to push the agenda further to the left for social issues people either don't care about or are against while failing to deliver on the economic side.

generals3:
. If you take France it's a country with one of the strongest welfare states and yet it's there people protest every saturday.

You're getting the causal arrow backwards. The ruling class wants to do away with the welfare state as much as it can, so the people must rise up to protect it. France's culture of protest is WHY they still have one of the strongest remaining welfare states (such as it is). It's not about being 'realistic' or 'economical' or some other such disingenuous garbage, it's purely about politics; distribution of wealth and the fact that the powerful want more.

Palindromemordnilap:

JoJo:
So we've got nearly half a year longer. One of the more interesting results of this is, unless an exit agreement gets passed very quickly, that we'll be taking part in the upcoming May 2019 European elections. Considering that even in the best of times these weren't taken very seriously, expect a clown show. I imagine both the main parties will lose a lot votes to protest candidates on either side. Hell, I don't know who I'll vote for yet. Whoever makes the best statement I suppose, or even a joke candidate, if any decent ones run in my area.

Surprised we got a second extension tbh. Thought the first one might have been the end of the EU's patience. Ah well, I'm glad everyone agrees we need to avoid a hard Brexit

I'm not. It was clear when the first extension was granted that May had no path to a successful approval of a plan, and the EU, as much as it wants to posture in regards to playing hardball with the UK, doesn't want to just have them crash out because (a) their economies are still intertwined and the result may be a continent-wide recession, (b) they don't want any country to create the precedent that leaving is feasible, even if technically allowed, (c) there's likely at least some hope that something (a general election, second referendum, straight-up withdrawal of Article 50) will break the deadlock in London and that this entire mess will be over with a whimper, and (d) the Irish/North Irish land border.

I think ultimately the UK is going to need to withdraw Article 50 because the plan to leave just isn't there and no one is sure how to do it without either minimizing the economic affects to a tolerable level or fundamentally signing the UK up for regulations they have no say in, fundamentally undermining the case for leaving in the first place. I have little doubt there's a scenario where the PM could get a whip across parties to withdraw Article 50, it would just kill her political career and likely cause a schism in the Conservative party that would likely last a generation or longer.

There is something truly ironic when the most politically brave thing you can do is defy the people when they demand to both have cake and be able to eat it too.

generals3:

And you're right those people don't care that much about gay rights, feminism or transexuals. But this is exactly what pushes them into the hands of the likes of Marine Le Pen. They feel left out by the classic left which seems to consider these topics more important than their misery. The same could be said about immigration, a complaint I can regularly see is "Why do we spend so much on immigrants/refugees while many of our own are still living in misery".

Okay, but you're arguing that there's too much welfare and protection in places like France, and then that the left won't sort out socioeconomic problems... by removing the things they're supposed to defend? It's no surprise they're in a mess: damned if they do, damned if they don't. Arguably, it was slashing welfare and social services that led to the decline of the SDP in Germany.

And that's the great scam we get sold, isn't it? Vote right and vote for the same old neoliberalism, bankers and so on, or vote left AND COMMIES DESTROY THE ECONOMY AND WESTERN SOCIETY. So the left has tried to be moderate, and then don't get elected because they're not left enough, and then it's also their fault the far right are rising. It's funny how the whole thing is set up to blame them no matter what happens.

generals3:
And you're right those people don't care that much about gay rights, feminism or transexuals. But this is exactly what pushes them into the hands of the likes of Marine Le Pen. They feel left out by the classic left which seems to consider these topics more important than their misery. The same could be said about immigration, a complaint I can regularly see is "Why do we spend so much on immigrants/refugees while many of our own are still living in misery".

This is the failure of left wing advocacy, they managed to push the agenda further to the left for social issues people either don't care about or are against while failing to deliver on the economic side.

It's funny because I believe that it is actually a reflection of the society. In Ireland the right wing government pushed for things like abortion rights and same sex marriage because they knew it had majority support and it would lose them votes to be against them. A party campaigning for "women's health" while being complicit in the cover up of one of the worst attack on women's health in the history of the state. A party campaigning for marriage equality whose leader once campaigned against civil unions for same sex couples and said that a child "deserves a mother and a father" when asked about adoption rights for same sex couples. They flip flopped because they know that opposing those things cost you votes here. And you're right, they do not care about gay rights or women's rights. But what does it say about a society where being against those things gains you more votes than it loses you? Whereas in America and the UK as examples the right know opposing these things will win them elections. I think that says something about the citizens of those countries. Not saying there isn't a rising socially illiberal mindset growing in Ireland. Classism is a major issue here and we're hitting prosperity gospel levels of American capitalism. But here being opposed to something like gay marriage will single you out as too far right.

Looks like it is far more than science, finance and farmers hit hard, British Steel is in deep trouble as well:

British Steel in urgent need of ?100,000,000 after EU freezes funds over Brexit

The UK's second-biggest steel production company has been left in need of an emergency loan because of the failed Brexit negotiations. British Steel, which employs 5,000 people across the UK, is said to be in talks with Whitehall for a ?100 million loan after it got frozen out of an EU-wide carbon trading scheme. Accountants are said to have been liaising with the Government for several weeks now trying to plug the funding gap.

https://metro.co.uk/2019/04/13/british-steel-in-urgent-need-of-100000000-after-eu-freezes-funds-over-brexit-9197193/

Lil devils x:
Looks like it is far more than science, finance and farmers hit hard, British Steel is in deep trouble as well:

To be fair, I can't remember the last time British Steel wasn't in trouble, but I'm sure this and the US tariffs on steel haven't helped.

Baffle2:

To be fair, I can't remember the last time British Steel wasn't in trouble, but I'm sure this and the US tariffs on steel haven't helped.

It's not quite that bad.

UK steel production has struggled like a lot of UK manufacturing since the 1980s, although what's left is actually reasonably robust since restructuring after the crisis a few years ago when China was dumping cheap steel from overproduction.

Tata Steel sorted out their finances in 2016 with major pension reform and British Steel (recently relaunched when Tata sold some of their operations) is profitable. The problem is that, for both companies, a lot of the plants are nearing the end of their lifespan and need investment for new facilities, which I think is a major upcoming challenge.

Well, I suppose if we find an actual deal, this waste of time might get worth it. Especially if it reduces the harm brexit will do to Europe. But honestly, at this point, I'd prefer if the British did what they announced and got out. Macron was right, we have things to do. This ongoing show is politically toxic. Now the British will even participate in EU elections. What a waste of time and resources.

Do we have a reason to believe that May or the British parliament will suddenly grow up and make a decision. Because I don't think they will.

Pseudonym:
Well, I suppose if we find an actual deal, this waste of time might get worth it. Especially if it reduces the harm brexit will do to Europe. But honestly, at this point, I'd prefer if the British did what they announced and got out. Macron was right, we have things to do. This ongoing show is politically toxic. Now the British will even participate in EU elections. What a waste of time and resources.

That's one thing I'm happy about.

It won't matter much to the European parliament (unless it tips the balance in favour of the Socialist Group, which is possible), but it's symbolically ruinous for the Conservatives domestically. They have little choice but to fight the European elections at great cost to the Party, lose, and get pilloried by their own base for fighting at all.

Agema:

Okay, but you're arguing that there's too much welfare and protection in places like France, and then that the left won't sort out socioeconomic problems... by removing the things they're supposed to defend? It's no surprise they're in a mess: damned if they do, damned if they don't. Arguably, it was slashing welfare and social services that led to the decline of the SDP in Germany.

And that's the great scam we get sold, isn't it? Vote right and vote for the same old neoliberalism, bankers and so on, or vote left AND COMMIES DESTROY THE ECONOMY AND WESTERN SOCIETY. So the left has tried to be moderate, and then don't get elected because they're not left enough, and then it's also their fault the far right are rising. It's funny how the whole thing is set up to blame them no matter what happens.

Yes, but i'm not economically to the left of the center in places like France. I'm taking an other perspective.
This said I firmly believe more right wing policies would help the French lower social classes. France would fare much better with a more dynamic and growing economy and unfortunately the high tax burden, workplace regulations and rigidity of the labour unions make that impossible.

Wouldn't someone be better off having a decently paid job instead of living off welfare?
Wouldn't it be better to increase the legal pension age to be able to fund better pensions to pensioners?
Wouldn't it be better for the unqualified if unqualified immigration was brought to a quasi halt and thus reduce the downwards wage pressure and unemployment in that category?

And an other problem is that the left oversold the possibilities. If you tell someone the state can and should ensure you will have a good living wage regardless of your situation you're bound to create huge dissapointment when it cannot be delivered.

And again, the left isn't moderate because of words but because of factual limitations. The laffer curve is a reality. When Hollande announced his "super tax" on high wages we saw a large influx of rich French people looking to buy homes here in Belgium. When we increased excise on alcohol in Belgium the income from alcohol excise dropped. Not because Belgians massively quit drinking but because people bought their alocohol in France, Luxembourg, etc. In a globalised world where movement of people and capital is extremely easy (and especially for the rich) taxation has a significant diminishing return. Especially so when you can move somewhere just two hours away by train to dodge those taxes. You have to build your policies within the limitations the world has given you.

That's why the hard left is bound to fail and create more frustation than anything else. When i see the program of the communist party and continuously read "We will increase tax X or Y and this will generate at least x million/billion € revenue" I can't help but feel sorry for the naive people who believe that. It should not be "at least" but "at most".

generals3:
The laffer curve is a reality.

Not in the way it's often employed.

The Laffer curve is really about government revenue; it states that if the government excessively taxes something, it reduces economic activity sufficiently such that government revenues actually decrease. For instance, tax car manufacture too much, people stop making cars. It thus should be used as justification for tax cuts to increase government revenue. However in practice when used as a base for policy (Reagan, Trump) it has failed - presumably because it turns out that the optimal tax band for government revenue is higher than its proponents have believed. Although honestly, I think they've known that and it's just been an excuse for ideological tax cuts.

Tax cutting for economic efficiency is better explained by concepts such as deadweight loss, and I agree that it's a thing. However, I am not convinced by the correlation between modest differences in taxation across Europe and economic growth. Relatively lower tax countries like Germany or Netherlands don't actually do significantly better than some higher tax countries like Denmark or Sweden. Denmark I think has the highest taxation in the EU, but unemployment is under 4%, which is superb by EU standards. The UK has lower taxes still than continental Europe, and yet does not perform particularly better either.

But then, taxation rates are not particularly my bugbear.

When Hollande announced his "super tax" on high wages we saw a large influx of rich French people looking to buy homes here in Belgium. When we increased excise on alcohol in Belgium the income from alcohol excise dropped. Not because Belgians massively quit drinking but because people bought their alocohol in France, Luxembourg, etc. In a globalised world where movement of people and capital is extremely easy (and especially for the rich) taxation has a significant diminishing return. Especially so when you can move somewhere just two hours away by train to dodge those taxes. You have to build your policies within the limitations the world has given you.

That's why the hard left is bound to fail and create more frustation than anything else. When i see the program of the communist party and continuously read "We will increase tax X or Y and this will generate at least x million/billion ? revenue" I can't help but feel sorry for the naive people who believe that. It should not be "at least" but "at most".

I agree that globalisation and so on has hampered the ability of nations to carry out forms of national policy such as the above for the reasons you say. And I greatly agree that giving people reasonably well paid jobs is a great answer.

Wouldn't someone be better off having a decently paid job instead of living off welfare?
Wouldn't it be better to increase the legal pension age to be able to fund better pensions to pensioners?
Wouldn't it be better for the unqualified if unqualified immigration was brought to a quasi halt and thus reduce the downwards wage pressure and unemployment in that category?

1. Yes
2. Maybe
3. Controversial

1) If you look at the USA and UK, they're great at creating jobs, but the jobs are often very insecure and badly paid. In France there may be unrest at high unemployment and lack of opportunities, but in the USA and UK there's unrest at unrewarding, undignified jobs that barely pay the rent. French and German productivity, let's note, is about 30% higher than the UK. Sure, France might have more unemployment, but it's workers are getting a lot more value created. Britain has mostly just chucked millions of people shit jobs, which people are then unhappy and unfulfilled doing.

2) I'm not thrilled at working until I'm 70. I'm not even sure many people could. In particular, the life expectancy of the working classes is significantly less than the middle classes (at least in the UK) by about 8 years. It seems to me like saying the poor can work until they drop - which of course saves lots of state pension payments. I'm much happier with the system the UK has created of automatic pension enrolment for all workers, so they'll (nearly) all have their own pensions come retirement. The problem is that it will take ~40+ years to really have effect.

3) We've had people bandying round this claim in political circles for years, but in economic circles the real evidence is very weak. Some studies suggest that low skill immigration has reduced real terms income growth per capita for the poorest by something like 5% in a 25 year period 1992-2017 in the UK. But that has to be viewed in the context of wages increasing by about 45% in real terms over the same period for that income group. So a worker who got ?200 a week in 1992 got (inflation adjusted) ?290 in 2017, but would have got ?300 without immigration. That's close to nothing.

Set against that is that immigrants overwhelmingly do jobs, supporting economic productivity and paying taxes. They're not only helping business, but they're helping pay those state pensions, and the health service, and social services. So perhaps the person in the above model might have an extra ?10 a week in salary, but he/she might have to pay more taxes or take a cut to public services that would potentially more disadvantageous.

What I will grant you is that some countries have potentially not benefitted as much from immigration as the UK, and they potentially might have worse returns and find restricting immigration more useful. What I'd suggest as even better, however, is they need better systems of education, social inclusion and work opportunities to make better use of their immigrants. Help them make the best of themselves - then everyone benefits.

* * *

All countries are different, and so there's unlikely to be a "one size fits all" answer. Maybe France needs labour deregulation, Italy needs to stomp out corruption, the UK needs better lower pay jobs, and so on. But fundamentally I think that the economic system is failing large sections of the country all across the rest - rising wealth inequality, etc. I can't help but look at a lot of the mainstream right and find that their answer to that is... nothing at all. It's not a problem to them, because they're not the people losing out. So it's business as usual, with the modern "bread and circuses" to pacify the plebs being nationalism and anti-immigration.

I think the current dominant paradigm of Western capitalism is breeding discontent. I am however no hard leftist and I don't advocate socialism, but rather widepread reform of how capitalism operates to better benefit wider society. In some cases, that may involve liberalisation and deregulation, in others social services, education and so on. Clamping down on tax havens, financial sector reforms. Centralised industrial strategies. In the end, I think the left is showing greater will to experiment (and I accept sometimes it may fail) with change than the right.

Agema:

Not in the way it's often employed.

The Laffer curve is really about government revenue; it states that if the government excessively taxes something, it reduces economic activity sufficiently such that government revenues actually decrease. For instance, tax car manufacture too much, people stop making cars. It thus should be used as justification for tax cuts to increase government revenue. However in practice when used as a base for policy (Reagan, Trump) it has failed - presumably because it turns out that the optimal tax band for government revenue is higher than its proponents have believed. Although honestly, I think they've known that and it's just been an excuse for ideological tax cuts.

Tax cutting for economic efficiency is better explained by concepts such as deadweight loss, and I agree that it's a thing. However, I am not convinced by the correlation between modest differences in taxation across Europe and economic growth. Relatively lower tax countries like Germany or Netherlands don't actually do significantly better than some higher tax countries like Denmark or Sweden. Denmark I think has the highest taxation in the EU, but unemployment is under 4%, which is superb by EU standards. The UK has lower taxes still than continental Europe, and yet does not perform particularly better either.

Obviously other factors can impact the economic efficiency. Taxes alone are but one factor. The way it is spent and how taxation is structured matter a lot. One of the problems I tend to notice is that in a country like Belgium or France where taxes are already quite damn high the left still resorts to the simplistic solution of going after the money of wealthy rather than question the system or how it is spent.

1. Yes
2. Maybe
3. Controversial

1) If you look at the USA and UK, they're great at creating jobs, but the jobs are often very insecure and badly paid. In France there may be unrest at high unemployment and lack of opportunities, but in the USA and UK there's unrest at unrewarding, undignified jobs that barely pay the rent. French and German productivity, let's note, is about 30% higher than the UK. Sure, France might have more unemployment, but it's workers are getting a lot more value created. Britain has mostly just chucked millions of people shit jobs, which people are then unhappy and unfulfilled doing.

True, but than again i'm not really in favor to have a US/UK style economy. A certain balance has to be found in between "economic competitiveness" and "decent working conditions".

2) I'm not thrilled at working until I'm 70. I'm not even sure many people could. In particular, the life expectancy of the working classes is significantly less than the middle classes (at least in the UK) by about 8 years. It seems to me like saying the poor can work until they drop - which of course saves lots of state pension payments. I'm much happier with the system the UK has created of automatic pension enrolment for all workers, so they'll (nearly) all have their own pensions come retirement. The problem is that it will take ~40+ years to really have effect.

Well yes and no. While i did make a blanket statement an exercise needs to be made about the hardship of ones job and adapt the pension age to that. Which is something we have here in Belgium. One problem the government faced though, was defining the parameters which would determine whether a job is "hard" in the public sector. Labor Unions handed over a list which would put pretty much all persons working for the state in the "hard" category. And thus nothing happened...

I can understand one may not want to work until age "X" but unfortunately a choice will need to be made, high pensions or long carreers. Additionally the job market will need to adapt to ensure people of old age can have priority access to positions which can be done at an old age. To take an example, in the police force you don't want someone who is 65 to be in an intervention team but surely he can help with administrative tasks.

3) We've had people bandying round this claim in political circles for years, but in economic circles the real evidence is very weak. Some studies suggest that low skill immigration has reduced real terms income growth per capita for the poorest by something like 5% in a 25 year period 1992-2017 in the UK. But that has to be viewed in the context of wages increasing by about 45% in real terms over the same period for that income group. So a worker who got ?200 a week in 1992 got (inflation adjusted) ?290 in 2017, but would have got ?300 without immigration. That's close to nothing.

It's not only the impact on wages directly, recently I came across a study from cambridge university which suggested low skilled immigration in developed nations tend to incurr costs onto states (while high skilled immigration tended to increase revenue). They effectively reduce the money the state can invest in innovation, education, welfare,... for those already in the country.

Set against that is that immigrants overwhelmingly do jobs, supporting economic productivity and paying taxes. They're not only helping business, but they're helping pay those state pensions, and the health service, and social services. So perhaps the person in the above model might have an extra ?10 a week in salary, but he/she might have to pay more taxes or take a cut to public services that would potentially more disadvantageous.

I would counter that argument with the fact in Belgium unemployment is far more catastrophic among extra-european immigrants than natives. Add to that there is already a high unemployment rate among less qualified people there really is no need for them. Unless the left wing defence against limiting unemployment benefits of "It's not that they don't want jobs, there are simply not sufficient jobs" is a myth.

What I will grant you is that some countries have potentially not benefitted as much from immigration as the UK, and they potentially might have worse returns and find restricting immigration more useful. What I'd suggest as even better, however, is they need better systems of education, social inclusion and work opportunities to make better use of their immigrants. Help them make the best of themselves - then everyone benefits.

Well that's the point, I understand the pro-immigration (regardless of qualifications) arguments in countries with labor shortages but a country like France doesn't have that problem. There it only serves to keep unemployment rates high and add downwards pressure on low wages.

All countries are different, and so there's unlikely to be a "one size fits all" answer. Maybe France needs labour deregulation, Italy needs to stomp out corruption, the UK needs better lower pay jobs, and so on. But fundamentally I think that the economic system is failing large sections of the country all across the rest - rising wealth inequality, etc. I can't help but look at a lot of the mainstream right and find that their answer to that is... nothing at all. It's not a problem to them, because they're not the people losing out. So it's business as usual, with the modern "bread and circuses" to pacify the plebs being nationalism and anti-immigration.

I think the current dominant paradigm of Western capitalism is breeding discontent. I am however no hard leftist and I don't advocate socialism, but rather widepread reform of how capitalism operates to better benefit wider society. In some cases, that may involve liberalisation and deregulation, in others social services, education and so on. Clamping down on tax havens, financial sector reforms. Centralised industrial strategies. In the end, I think the left is showing greater will to experiment (and I accept sometimes it may fail) with change than the right.

The problem i feel is that wealth inequality can no longer be solved on a national scale, especially for smaller nations like in Europe. Which is a reason why I'm very pro EU. An idea which I once read about was implementing an EU wealth tax to fund the EU budget. I pretty much love it, because if the tax is brought in on a EU scale it will become a lot harder for wealthy citizens to dodge it. The social costs of moving from Paris to Brussels or Madrid is much lower than having to go to New York.

The traditional right wing cannot offer a solution to wealth inequality as long as we work on national scales. So what they do is provide ideas to make things the best they can within the parameters given without giving false hopes of a national state which can solve all inequalities. So it's a choice between a depressing realism and naive optimism. (and the far right is even further in the na?ve optimism thinking they can solve misery through nationalistic policies)

generals3:

It's not only the impact on wages directly, recently I came across a study from cambridge university which suggested low skilled immigration in developed nations tend to incurr costs onto states (while high skilled immigration tended to increase revenue). They effectively reduce the money the state can invest in innovation, education, welfare,... for those already in the country.

I agree partially, depending on the timescale you're looking at. Immigrants tend to require an initial investment (settling, preparing them for society and economy, and education if children) are a net plus for about 30 years during their working lives, and then a loss again in old age (but then nearly all the old except the very rich are a cost burden). Plus in the even longer term, we get their children.

I would counter that argument with the fact in Belgium unemployment is far more catastrophic among extra-european immigrants than natives. Add to that there is already a high unemployment rate among less qualified people there really is no need for them. Unless the left wing defence against limiting unemployment benefits of "It's not that they don't want jobs, there are simply not sufficient jobs" is a myth.

Okay, employment is worse amongst immigrants - but why? Potentially this is a problem with poor integration policy, education and - not wanting to be too unpleasant - racism amongst employers that restricts their opportunities. It might also depend what we mean by immigrants: foreign nationals, those born overseas who have gained citizenship, and citizen descendants of those born overseas.

Well that's the point, I understand the pro-immigration (regardless of qualifications) arguments in countries with labor shortages but a country like France doesn't have that problem. There it only serves to keep unemployment rates high and add downwards pressure on low wages.

Net migration in France is already low: it's a fraction of the UK's or Germany's (about a quarter to a third depending on year), for instance. But then, France does not generally strike immigrants as that attractive, because the economy is relatively stagnant. There's also to what extent immigration is choice: I think in terms of people fleeing Africa or war-torn Middle Eastern countries, they're trying to come whether we like it or not - the question is how we deal with it. To some extent, it's also how well people feel they'll fit in. France is likely to more attractive to various West Africans and Algerians, for instance, because of its historical links and existing immigrant populations.

The problem i feel is that wealth inequality can no longer be solved on a national scale, especially for smaller nations like in Europe. Which is a reason why I'm very pro EU. An idea which I once read about was implementing an EU wealth tax to fund the EU budget. I pretty much love it, because if the tax is brought in on a EU scale it will become a lot harder for wealthy citizens to dodge it. The social costs of moving from Paris to Brussels or Madrid is much lower than having to go to New York.

I agree - I'm pro-EU for much the same reason. These problems need international co-operation, and blocs like the EU are the best way for small countries (which ultimately all European countries are including Germany, UK and France) to achieve it.

The traditional right wing cannot offer a solution to wealth inequality as long as we work on national scales. So what they do is provide ideas to make things the best they can within the parameters given without giving false hopes of a national state which can solve all inequalities. So it's a choice between a depressing realism and naive optimism. (and the far right is even further in the na?ve optimism thinking they can solve misery through nationalistic policies)

Okay, but I think the right is not interested in wealth inequality. Of course, I'm not particularly well up on the Belgian mainstream right and they may be different, but those I am aware of seem mostly interested in masses of low quality jobs - trying to compete with Chinese sweatshops, effectively. Nor does it change the fact that realism is currently looking ugly for Western countries - trying to get the best out of a bad system seems to me to be little more than slowing the downfall.

I think if the UK has a second referendum, it should have at least two separate Remain options (with ranked choice voting).

1)Remain
2)Remain but also horsewhip the boards of directors of every London bank on national television

It doesn't necessarily have to be bankers (or only bankers); whoever people ought to be mad at for the decline in real wages of the working class of that country (and elite lack of concern).

Why do I think this? Because I think you'll get a lot of lists that start like this:

1)Horsewhip
2)Some variety of Leave

And I speculate that it would more accurately reflect the opinion of the country. (It should but I guess doesn't go without saying that it also doesn't have to be horsewhipping, specifically; most anything that punishes the powerful enough would be sufficient.)

Agema:
Okay, but I think the right is not interested in wealth inequality.

Well... They're for it, for all practical purposes, though they're not always willing to admit that.

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