Why Brexit won

24 Jun, 2016 at 10:42 | Posted in Economics, Politics & Society | 6 Comments


The EU establishment has been held to account for the euro mess, for austerity policies that turned recession into depression, for the galloping inequality, and for the millions and millions of unemployed.

The EU austerity policies breads understandable and righteous anger — but also ugly far right xenophobic political movements taking advantage of the frustration that austerity policies inevitably produce. Ultimately this underlines the threats to society that austerity policies and mass unemployment are.

The neoliberal austerity policies pursued in the UK and elsewhere is deeply disturbing. When an economy is already hanging on the ropes, you can’t just cut government spendings. Cutting government expenditures reduces the aggregate demand. Lower aggregate demand means lower tax revenues. Lower tax revenues means increased deficits — and calls for even more austerity. And so on, and so on.

Without a conscious effort to counteract the inevitable forces driving our societies towards an extreme income and wealth inequality, our societies crackle. It is crucial to have strong redistributive policies if we want to have stable economies and societies. Redistributive taxes and active fiscal policies are necessary ingredients for building a good society.

Societies where we allow the inequality of incomes and wealth to increase without bounds, sooner or later implode. The cement that keeps us together erodes and in the end we are only left with people dipped in the ice cold water of egoism and greed.

In a society with a huge shortage of homes, a precarious job market, and a marginalized and pressured working class, EU to a large extent becomes a question of class and inequality.

In a market economy it is money that counts.

In a democracy it is your vote that counts.

If you’ve got money, you vote in. If you haven’t got money, you vote out.


  1. It is no mystery why Britain wishes to be independent. Its in our culture!

    Rule Britannia, Britannia rule the waves,
    Britons never never never will be slaves!

  2. A poignant piece in the Guardian – which also includes a message for representative agent economists

    “A universal truth: nobody knows what is going to happen but everyone can explain it afterwards. If just 3% of the more than 33 million Brits who voted in this referendum had gone the other way, you would now be reading endless articles explaining how it was, after all, “the economy, stupid”, how British pragmatism finally won through, etc. So beware the illusions of retrospective determinism. There is always a mystery in how millions of individual voters make up their minds. It is the mystery of democracy.”


  3. Brexit, whatever…… people seem to be expecting UK to sail of to north america or something?
    There have been a lot of mistakes done by EU. For instance EU has created an agreement of censorship with Facebook,Google,Microsoft. EU is also involved in secret trade deals which were critiqued by Nigel Farage and UKIP.
    The only people chocked are those who havent kept in touch with EU macro numbers.

  4. Poverty is not a matter of the degree of international cooperation or the lack of it! Poverty is due to a lack of equal opportunity to work and this depends on the amount of land is freely available for work to be done, without having to depend on having access rights for which money is paid.

    If you wish to see poverty eliminated in any country, what is needed is a tax that returns to the government what an opportunity holder (namely a land owner) takes from everybody else and for which this opportunity is partly load when speculation in land values means the land is not being properly used. Then no other kind of immoral tax on what is earned, spent or comes from capital gain, would be needed, nor desired.


  5. Austerity in the UK was irrelevant. This was the choice of the UK Parliament not the EU establishment or Euro.
    Austerity in the Eurozone was sometimes mentioned during the campaign as evidence of the incompetence of the EU, but this was not a key issue. The main evidence illustrating EU incompetence was indecision and disunity regarding immigration.
    Far more important issues for Brexiteers included:
    – diminished housing, school and health service availability due to immigration
    – diminished job availability/wages due to immigration
    – transformation of communities and dilution/distortion of national culture/identity due to immigration
    – diminished sovereignty of the UK Parliament
    – bloated, irrelevant and tiresome EU bureaucracy.

  6. The EU establishment has been held to account for UK austerity policies? The UK government has been surpassing the rest of Europe in its austerity fervour without any EU prompt required – so that cannot really be the reason for the rejection of the EU. The anti-democratic set-up of the EU can’t be the reason either – otherwise, you’d have done something about the House of Lords or perhaps left the UN first (the UN doesn’t even have a Parliament after all!). Ultimately, this vote only confirms a majority of the population holding anti-immigration, xenophobic and nationalistic sentiments (and I assume that this is not so different in other EU states). Hardly an occasion for celebrations!

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