How disasters look good on paper

LetterFromAmericaThe case of Hurricane Brexit, the storm hasn’t even hit yet. This is people buying metaphorical storm shutters, and battening down the hatches before the storm arrives.

It’s useful once again to draw a comparison between Florida and Louisiana. Florida’s growth continued, because an actual effort was made to rebuild. In Louisiana, the Bush administration refused to do much at all for the poor and black residents of outlying New Orleans, and other areas of the gulf. But the mostly white folks in the 8th largest metropolitan area in the United States were somehow deserving of aid.

Florida was rebuilt. The gulf states largely were not. And so after a brief period of growth, the economy of those states slumped again. And that was in a scenario where a disaster was recognized and responded to. In the UK, the disaster is not being recognized as a disaster.

Theresa May is making matters worse by continuing the brexiteer’s dismissiveness of “Experts.” Mark Carney at the Bank of England is the only reason the UK currently has a functioning economy. Theresa May has decided that as a foreigner Canadian, his power to keep the economy functioning ought to be curtailed. That is what caused the flash crash in the pound last month. Furthermore, the London School of Economics has announced that the government doesn’t want their advice if foreigners have a part in writing it. The government denies that, but the LSE is sticking to their story. For my part, I’ll believe academics over May’s government any day.

As an economic cyclone bears down on the United Kingdom, the brexiteers, with a cult-like fervor, are cheering on the destruction. They don’t even recognize it as destruction. The Telegraph, the Daily Mail, and others have all had a flurry of articles praising “Growth.” But like so many other groups, they never stop to ask why. Why is an economy “growing” or “shrinking?” Why is there economic activity?

The answer is obvious to people willing to ask that question, and willing to look at the rising costs in grocery stores, and the shortages. Britain is being hit by an economic disaster. Unless it is recognized as such, and unless it is prepared for, the damage it will do to the constituent member nations of the UK might be irreversible in our lifetimes. The GDP is growing, just as sales grow before a hurricane, when citizens buy out grocery stores in a panic. The government is refusing to prepare for that storm when the time for such preparation is critical. And they are attacking the economic first responders at the LSE, and the Bank of England, who actually understand what’s happening.

This storm is one that Scotland shouldn’t stick around and ride out. It’s time to evacuate. Leaving the UK before Hurricane Brexit arrives is Scotland’s best hope to avoid two disasters. The obvious disaster will be tearing Scotland out of its natural place within the European common market. But even more damaging will be the grossly incompetent economic mismanagement of the May government, who see this disaster as a good thing.

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