Monday, June 20, 2016


Thursday's vote on whether or not the UK stays in the EU has a lot of people nervous, even though the vast majority of Americans couldn't tell you what it is much less what impact it may have.  The British, at least, know what it is.  I'm not about to explain it here.

I do think it's interesting, however, how the two sides in the Brexit debate parallel the sides November's US election.  On one side are establishment neoliberals, continuing to invest irrational faith in the "rational markets" fallacy; embracing globalization with enthusiasm that entirely ignores its negative impact on people who actually have to labor for their living; and paying lip service to the social disruption arising from income inequality while imposing austerity measures to exacerbate it.

On the "other side" are proxies for pretty much the same economic elite, but offering a different approach to keeping working people subjugated.  They are the political leaders who pander to xenophobic and racist nationalism to achieve the power to accumulate excessive wealth.  They understand that people with inadequate education (a large majority) will feel comfortable if they can have scapegoats (the "other") for their powerlessness and financial distress.

Is one side better than the other?  Possibly, but neither is a good choice.  It's "heads they win, tails we lose."  All we can do is forget the lose-lose economics and apply our personal value systems to where they each stand on whatever social issues we count most important.


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