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Old 05-04-2017, 03:19 AM   #681
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Here's something interesting. Varoufakis (you know, that motorbiking former Greece finance minister) has his take on Brussels, May and Brexit.

Link

There are logical jumps that don't make much sense, say
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Originally Posted by Link
Like all dangerous hypotheses, it is founded on an obvious truth: the voters of one country cannot give their representative a mandate to impose upon other governments conditions that the latter have no mandate, from their own electorate, to accept. But, while this is a truism, its incessant repetition by Brussels functionaries and political powerbrokers, such as Angela Merkel and Schäuble himself, is intended to convert it surreptitiously into a very different notion: no voters in any country can empower their government to oppose Brussels.
which makes you go wut?, but the stuff about tactics to outmanoeuvre him I can actually see having happened. So I dunno that I think Britain can be treated like Greece, but this certainly doesn't make me more optimistic of a deal happening. We'll see if "no deal" ever was a true option for May, I suppose. Greece had that choice as well.
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Old 05-04-2017, 04:01 AM   #682
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Varoufakis did an interview the other day on a similar topic: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=N3zjLfSlaPg
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Old 05-04-2017, 04:20 AM   #683
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Just a side note, current negotiation has nothing to do with trade or anything. Hell they even are not about UK. EU needs to show force, and as Brussels politicians are so arrogant they will say and do everything to show that they have power.

What I can not get how stupid lately EU is, at this moment UK is having election they should be hitting May with info that she is giving in ect. A good hit from this could cost her. But rather then that we get "you will pay or ...", I do not know if anyone in Brussels met a Brit before cuz they should know how arrogant you ppl are. And this will help your PM win.

At the moment I do not know that EU is, want to be ect. I do know one thing ppl in Brussels think they are better then rest of Europe and that is starting to piss me off. They are millions of ppl in UK that don't know what to do but theirs government is this.
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Old 05-04-2017, 04:23 AM   #684
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There are legitimate problems with free trade:

1. Job Market is highly inefficient + Economic gains accrue to those who employ capital + opposition to taxation and state provision of benefits + inherent inequalities in intelligence that prevent people from taking up new opportunities --> People hating free trade because it fuck's them.

2. The idea of free trade is predicated on good faith of all the parties engaging in trade, when one them(China) takes advantage of the freedom of American and European economies but does not allow entry for Foreign corporations, that is not free trade.

Your answer is flawed because you are making an assumption that people are opposed to free trade due to misinformation, I would argue in large part that is false, people hate free trade because it affects them negatively.
Honestly you're kind of just making Darth Revans point for him. You're not really complaining about free trade there, but a lack of adequate fiscal policy. Free trade is effectively the majority benefit while a minority suffers, and protectionism is the reverse where the minority benefit while the majority suffer. Thus while there are negatives with free trade, they are more than outweighed by the positives and the negatives can be corrected with proper legislative action or via taxing a small amount of the positive that the majority gain to eliminate the negative. That it hasn't been done well enough is not a failure on free trade as it's accomplished it's stated goals, and as protectionism would be considerably worse for everyone, but on the politicans elected by that public who didn't correct for the minority negatives it creates. That they then elected a party who wishes to reduce the tax on the rich who have been one of the main beneficiaries of free trade due to their capital allowing them to exploit it to a greater extent, and at the same time aims to reduce benefits or services that the overall population receives or benefits from is rather ludicrous of a notion yet that's what happened.

The second point is rather silly too, as free trade itself is just a name when the policy is more freer trade and that's what it's done. It's wrong of China, but when you compare the negatives vs positives of what China is doing the rest of the world still ends up overwhelmingly in the positive and thus most people are better off. They are simply trying to extract more benefit for their local economy which is their right as all countries do to some extent, but no where near to an extent their policies are harming or are a negative to the overall global economy. They've also reduced in scope this policy over time. The US has done the same with it's own specific industries nationally, but you see it historically in the way the US used it's extensive influence with the IMF and WTO to promote a global policy beneficial to itself since they were founded.

To decry China in this regard is like that thought experiment where you get a 10% raise and the other person gets a 15% raise, and you'd rather not get a raise at all since they get more, even though both of you benefit from it.

Your second argument is also kind of relevant to what happened in the US election cycle with Trump decrying China as a currency manipulator. The problem with that claim though was that it was based upon information gained from cultural consciousness, as in the early 2000's it was frequent topic in the press and then it faded away as China diminished that aspect of it's policy. Thus when he made that claim he did so off information nearly a decade old. Since then arguably the US has been the most prolific currency manipulator in the world due to the sheer scale of quantitative easing and has been for years, which is kind of why both foreign affairs and trade experts face palmed at his claim.

Edit - My bad, this is the EU Referendum thread. The wrong sort of topic for this place really.

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Old 05-04-2017, 05:32 AM   #685
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It's not getting rid of democracy, it's getting rid of mobocracy. Representative democracies mean you, the pleb, cede your decision-making power to your chosen representative, who acts on your behalf until the next election. My position is let them do their damn jobs. If you don't like it, vote them out at the next election; THAT is democracy.

The public either doesn't know what it wants, can't be bothered to tell you what it wants, or wants something that is either stupid (Build That Wall), unreasonable (free everything for everyone for free!), or that doesn't actually exist (clean coal!). The ones who have a clue get drowned out. So why bother asking?
Talking solely about the democracy aspect and ignoring free trade, I have a mental conflict- one the one hand I agree that representative democracy is about voting for who makes the decisions for you and voting on each and every decision is paralysing for the government, but on the other hand situations change from the time of voting and if large portions of the populace make a public show of agreement about something then the elected representatives should follow the publicly shown opinion.

So, ignoring whether or not TTIP was a good idea, if there is a large majority of the population demanding that it be stopped then shouldn't it be the responsibility of the elected representatives to take that view into account and either stop it or explain satisfactorily why it shouldn't be stopped?

I mean, what you are saying would strictly mean that the only way you should give an opinion on the actions of politicians is by either voting for them or not, and you shouldn't bother contacting politicians to complain, organise protests, go to council meetings or in any way interact with government outside of the vote.

Similarly, however stupid politicians think Brexit is, they should be going ahead with it unless the general population show that they think it should be stopped. If they want to make it really easy for the population to change their mind (to the point of having another referendum) then that's fine, but otherwise they should be going ahead with it.

(That's complicated slightly by the coming election which some people are going to claim it's a mandate either for Brexit or against it no matter what.)
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Old 05-04-2017, 06:22 AM   #686
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My point to Invictus was that you can't honestly advocate both complex negotiation and plebiscites; they don't work.
Not me then, because I never supported that or anything close to that. I meant what Agayek said. You can't be a democratic government and be surprised that massive programs that will change the world forever need mass support and need to be explained.

Because guess what, there's no vacuum. If the people don't know the basics, someone will fill them in. And that's where populists like Trump grow, between distrust and ignorance in one side and apathy in the other.
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Old 05-04-2017, 08:50 AM   #687
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Talking solely about the democracy aspect and ignoring free trade, I have a mental conflict- one the one hand I agree that representative democracy is about voting for who makes the decisions for you and voting on each and every decision is paralysing for the government, but on the other hand situations change from the time of voting and if large portions of the populace make a public show of agreement about something then the elected representatives should follow the publicly shown opinion.

So, ignoring whether or not TTIP was a good idea, if there is a large majority of the population demanding that it be stopped then shouldn't it be the responsibility of the elected representatives to take that view into account and either stop it or explain satisfactorily why it shouldn't be stopped?

I mean, what you are saying would strictly mean that the only way you should give an opinion on the actions of politicians is by either voting for them or not, and you shouldn't bother contacting politicians to complain, organise protests, go to council meetings or in any way interact with government outside of the vote.
Yeah, democratic governments pretty much have to be responsive to public mandates. If nothing else, there's always the fact that the next election is only X years away, and the opposition parties always love when the ruling one does something deeply unpopular. Just look at how quickly the Tories have taken the reins of Brexit despite a lot of the party establishment (including May) being in favor of Remain during the referendum.

Bottom line, if the majority of the voters in a democracy wants something, elected officials will pay attention out of simple self-preservation. It's very rare for politicians to willingly and knowingly kill their chances in the next election.

As far as "Shut up outside of voting" goes, wouldn't that also mean that Revan isn't allowed to complain about any of the actions May, Trump, or other politicians he doesn't like take? He shouldn't even complain about TTIP failing, because the elected officials made their decision and as a "pleb" he has no right to speak against them. At least, if his standard has any kind of internal consistency...
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Old 05-04-2017, 11:42 AM   #688
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Because everyone's been talking about democracy, have my bit. Spoilered, because it's both long and pretty off-topic for the thread. (Could merit one of its own?)

 
I think that one of the aspects of a representative democracy - that the general electorate gives a mandate to the eponymous representatives to do their democratising - has turned into a rather complex creature over the years, and the advent of the internet has only further increased that complexity. Consider, if you will, the veritable wealth of information on every subject online and the ever-increasing depth of various fields. It is impossible to sift through everything in order to be the ideal informed voter who weighed every aspect of government and governing before choosing which of the parties involved is best / least bad. And so, helped by the human psyche, we take shortcuts, because it is the only way in which we can hope to keep up with everything. This translates into generalisations on complex topics, and those can miss the mark rather severely. (As this post probably does, but I'll carry on anyway. )

Behind those generalisations lie assumptions based on incomplete information, and it is beyond easy to find information that looks plausible but is not the whole story. To keep with the thread's theme: the 350 million pound sterling per week is one of those tidbits. Yes, that was a weekly approximation of the gross yearly contribution to the EU budget, but then you also have to keep in mind that the UK has a yearly rebate negotiated by Thatcher back in the 80s (I believe) and that money also flows back from the EU to the UK on things from research to cow pattern studies in Devon and Cornwall, and I think the average voter is fast asleep by now. There is a tremendous amount of ifs, buts, excepts etc. in governance, and sussing out the details is asking too much of voters, who have lives to get on with, hobbies to partake in, friends to meet, things that also belong in a life and that are of more immediate importance. The abstract generally doesn't interest people until it becomes immediate, and by that point, you're probably too late to master the topic, and thus you fall back on the incomplete assumptions.

Now, depending on who you ask and what the topic and your stance is, those assumptions mean you see the world for what it is (which tends to be the populist's cry), or you're hopelessly naive about human nature (right wing re: left wing social engineering), or you're stupidly selfish (left wing re: right wing taxation policies) or you're an ignoramus who shouldn't be allowed to vote (technocratic arrogance), or just make one up on your own - I'm sure we can fill a thread the size of the 2A sticky with these.

In addition, the fact that we have this mass communication through the internet now means that it is far easier for like-minded people, who would be relative outcasts in their own microsociety, to find each other and to expand and limit their views simultaneously. These communities allow for much easier dissemination of information, but because it is just statistically unlikely that any one of the users is more than a marginally more informed layman (on account of the aforementioned increased depth of fields), things are simplified, cast in extremes, and then everything spreads because information is shared. We saw this with TTIP and other free trade agreements, but also with things like SOPA/PIPA/other net neutrallity-related issues, and of course Brexit, and a thousand other issues I am forgetting or not mentioning. Then you move from the strictly political to the slightly more societal like, say, immigration, and the process is rather similar there, except now there are anecdotes involved for added shenanigans. Truly, the fun never ends, and that's before even considering the intermingling of everything.

And after that wildly off-topic wall... May hit back at the FAZ leaks by pretty much suggesting that the EU is meddling in the election, to which I want to say "of course they are, it intersects with the EU rather a lot, making them invested in the outcome." Politicians going to be politicians, though, with the EU Parliament's president saying:

Quote:
No one is trying to influence the outcome the election campaign in the United Kingdom ...

It is better to have an interlocutor who is not constantly looking for votes because they have had the election, in order to work towards a good solution ... If you have an election campaign, the rhetoric gets sharper and more robust. I don’t think there is any question of influencing the campaign.
Donald Tusk also weighed in, saying that he wanted less antagonism, and I suppose the Eurosceptic papers have their meddling EU headline for tomorrow already made...
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Old 05-04-2017, 06:31 PM   #689
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As far as "Shut up outside of voting" goes, wouldn't that also mean that Revan isn't allowed to complain about any of the actions May, Trump, or other politicians he doesn't like take? He shouldn't even complain about TTIP failing, because the elected officials made their decision and as a "pleb" he has no right to speak against them. At least, if his standard has any kind of internal consistency...
That is a deliberate perversion of my point.

It wasn't that people can't debate in the public space amongst themselves, it's that political actors are elected to terms, and that, in the context of complex negotiations like trade deals (or the Brexit negotiations that this thread is supposed to be about), they should get on with the negotiations and then stand on the result at the next election. Negotiation should be behind closed doors, so that negotiation can actually happen.

And on that, I will happily allow them as much rope as they like on which to hang themselves.
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Old 05-04-2017, 06:57 PM   #690
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2. The idea of free trade is predicated on good faith of all the parties engaging in trade, when one them(China) takes advantage of the freedom of American and European economies but does not allow entry for Foreign corporations, that is not free trade.
Unilateral free trade is beneficial to both parties.
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Old 05-04-2017, 07:54 PM   #691
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It wasn't that people can't debate in the public space amongst themselves, it's that political actors are elected to terms, and that, in the context of complex negotiations like trade deals (or the Brexit negotiations that this thread is supposed to be about), they should get on with the negotiations and then stand on the result at the next election. Negotiation should be behind closed doors, so that negotiation can actually happen.

And on that, I will happily allow them as much rope as they like on which to hang themselves.
And here's where I have that conflict again- where is the level of complexity over which some things should be publicly debated, and others should just be kept quiet and presented as a fait accompli? And which things are so big and cover so much area that it becomes the responsibility of the general citizen to get involved in the discussion?

And again, even if some things should theoretically be complex enough to be left to the representatives, if the public has a generally held opinion which is clearly shown, shouldn't the elected representatives follow the clearly shown changed opinion, even if it is against what they ran on being elected or against their own opinion?

I'm not really looking for an answer or attacking anyone, I'm just thinking out loud since this is probably one of those questions where the answer is that there isn't a real answer, and any guidelines change between countries and over time. Which I think is often used as an excuse to avoid debate of things that would screw over the general public.
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Old 05-04-2017, 08:13 PM   #692
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Unilateral free trade is beneficial to both parties.
Hypothetical scenario:

Only two villages in the world. Village1 is highly technically advanced manufacturing society, Village2 is a poor agrarian society. Village 1 allows unilateral free trade, Village 2 sells to Village 1. Cue transfer of wealth, except since Village 1 can pay in gold which is inherently useful there is no curb until pretty much all the industry in Village 1 is gone.
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Old 05-04-2017, 09:34 PM   #693
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Village 1 can pay in gold which is inherently useful
I see. I didn't know that soft yellow rocks are inherently useful, and aren't just arbitrarily used as a medium of exchange by people who think shiny yellow rocks are pretty. I bow to your superior knowledge.
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Old 05-04-2017, 10:02 PM   #694
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I see. I didn't know that soft yellow rocks are inherently useful, and aren't just arbitrarily used as a medium of exchange by people who think shiny yellow rocks are pretty. I bow to your superior knowledge.
Gold is an excellent conductor and is pretty ubiquitous in use for electronic devices.
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Old 05-04-2017, 10:06 PM   #695
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Gold is an excellent conductor and is pretty ubiquitous in use for electronic devices.
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Village2 is a poor agrarian society.
That'll totally help.
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Old 05-04-2017, 10:11 PM   #696
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I see. I didn't know that soft yellow rocks are inherently useful, and aren't just arbitrarily used as a medium of exchange by people who think shiny yellow rocks are pretty. I bow to your superior knowledge.
Because it models the USD, which would be arbitrarily useful.
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