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A Referendum on Reason

It has been a very long time since the phrase “the people have spoken” had significance that could alter the direction of the known world, but it happened yesterday in Britain.  All of the “usual suspects,” from politicians in office, business and corporate gurus, seasoned academics, experts in the world of economics, the news media at all levels, and the bookies told us they had concluded that in a public referendum the people would vote to continue to have most major decisions for how they would live made by a cadre of elite socialists and overpaid bureaucrats in Brussels Belgium, headquarters for the experiment gone wrong known as the European Union.

Initiated with postwar alliances of certain industries in 1950, its formalized structure took hold in 1979, with a concept it might emulate the economic success of the United States and at the same time have the effect of burying, once and for all, the borders that long marked divisions that were the foundation of conflicts and world wars.   We have learned in recent years that despite good intentions for the best use of various talents, the EU has become a lot closer to a top down enforcer of economic policies based on that well-worn phrase:  “from each according to his ability, to each according to his need.”  Karl Marx would have been proud.   
 
To add insult to injury to those who provide the “from” side of the equation, the academics who made the decisions at the highest levels also saw themselves as the last authority on not just income redistribution, but population redistribution as well.  The runoff from the last few years of moving large numbers of folks from countries who were not members of the EU, into comfortable enclaves inside the EU at their expense, has not worked out all that well. The truth behind these situations in many European countries has largely been manicured by a cooperative world press with its own agenda. Reactionary political parties have been growing for years in France, Germany and elsewhere.

The citizens of Britain said yesterday that they “had enough” and in an incredible turnout of 75% of eligible voters formally disconnected themselves from the European Union in an outcome that almost no one saw as a real possibility.   Markets all over the world had a negative reaction as the EU leadership has been dealing with all manner of problems with the other participants; as their decisions to solve the economic and social problems of some nations with the earnings of others have produced more than little pushback.  A quote from a German steelworker sums it up this way: “I have a problem working until age 65 so that a hairdresser in Greece can retire at 50”.

Then we have the refugee problem that in recent years has brought terrorism and civic unrest to just about every European country.

Ironic that all these major decisions have been coming from Brussels, a city with its own problems so intense that terrorists oriented folks can shelter in controlled parts of that city for months and avoid detection.

This may be only the beginning of a reprioritization of values and a restructuring of economic priorities as well. These Brits may be on to something, but one thing is for sure, “The People Have Spoken”.

Jim Foster
The Independent Voice