The world is going to pay for Brexit.
In a good way.
One of people's favorite fantasies is to believe they are smarter than your average concrete block when we all know bricks appear brilliant compared to humans.
A few years back, one of the hoard of new gold sites asked me to participate in a gold prediction contest. They were asking people they considered to be the top 150 gold commentators to predict the price of gold six months in the future. I puffed up at once realizing that at least someone in the world understood my brilliance. Actually I probably should have asked if I was #1 on their list or a fill in for #150 after five of their list had died in the last week.
They asked for my prediction. I gave them my answer. Months later they posted the results. I was the only person to get it dead right. And before you start believing that that should move me up to at least #2 or #3 on the list if not #1, my answer was that only an idiot would believe he could predict with great accuracy the price of any commodity that far in the future. There are simply too many variables.
Sure, you say, but one of the other 149 who made guesses must have gotten pretty close. And while that's true, it's also utterly meaningless. You could have 150 people predict a coin toss for 20 times and someone would probably get it dead right. That wouldn't make the person brilliant; if 150 people guess about something such as a coin toss, the odds suggest someone will get it right. That's not brilliant prediction, that's nothing more than an uninformed guess.
You can go to any chat board on the web of any stock or any commodity and find all sorts of comments and predictions from a variety of people utterly without any qualifications but all holding a firm belief that they can predict prices a day in advance or month or year. They will defend those beliefs to the death because after all they are qualified to hold an opinion because they own a keyboard. I pretty much ignore all the chat boards.
In the past two days, the world was awash with opinions about the meaning of Brexit and how every investment would react. The vast majority means little because the UK and EU have two years for the divorce and the papers don't even get filed until at least October.
Everyone has an opinion and they don't have a cat's chance of getting it right. There are simply way too many alternatives to even have an intelligent guess. The very best we can hope for is to try to figure out what triggered the action.
I did stumble across one kernel of brilliance delivered by Ambrose Evans-Pritchard writing for the Telegraph where he said:
"Angry reproaches are flying in all directions, but let us not forget that the root cause of this unhappy divorce is the conduct of the EU elites themselves. It is they who have pushed Utopian ventures, and mismanaged the consequences disastrously. It is they who have laid siege to the historic nation states, and who fatally crossed the line of democratic legitimacy with the Lisbon Treaty. This was bound to come to a head, and now it has."
I can't say that he is absolutely correct but we both agree the problem in both the EU and the U.S. is governments growing out of control in a way similar to any other cancer.
The concept of nation-states goes back to the Treaty of Westphalia signed in 1648 ending both the Thirty-Years' War within the Holy Roman Empire and the Eighty-Years War between Spain and the Dutch Republic. The negotiations took place between representatives of 109 different governments.
The Peace of Westphalia came to mean that individual nation-states had borders, were ruled by some sort of government, and made their own laws that were supposed to be respected by other nation states. Aggressive warfare was illegal and military response was appropriate only when attacked. It more or less worked for the next three hundred years. Europe changed from a continent faced with constant warfare to an economic powerhouse with the most freedom in history. The Treaty didn't end conflicts; however, through use of a balance of power, many potential wars were nipped in the bud.
Those three hundred years of relative peace through successful conflict resolution ended in the 20thcentury. Indeed the entire concept of individual nation states responsible for their destiny came to a screaming halt. A multipolar balance of power prior to World War II became a bipolar balance of terror after WW II, which transformed into a unipolar world dictatorship with the demise of the Soviet Union in 1991.
We desperately need to go back to the concept of nation states and multipolar balances of power. The EU is a failed state as is the U.S.
The unelected functionaries of the EU hold power without accountability. Ten thousand of them, no one is quite sure of the exact number, make more money than the Prime Minister of the UK. In a perfect accident of timing, on the same day the UK electorate gave the middle finger to the EU, the EU made the third payment of 10.3 million Euros to Greece, bailing it out once more.
Any British taxpayer who believes it makes sense to hand their money to a serial deadbeat is probably also too stupid to mark an X in a voting box allowing them the right to breathe free air.
In a brilliantly written and produced free video called Brexit: The Movie, Nigel Farage was quoted as saying,
"This is the only parliament the world has ever invented where you cannot initiate legislation; propose legislation or even the repeal of legislation. All of that comes from the unelected European Commission."
But how stupid is stupid? When do we know an organization is utterly dysfunctional? Watch the hour-long movie. It's even more brilliant in hindsight.
For example there are five EU regulations that govern pillowcases. That seems a bit extreme until you learn that there are 109 laws controlling the pillow inside. That looks absurd until you count the 225 sets of regulations dictating the requirements governing eyeglasses.
Ten laws about duvets with 39 more controlling sheets. Toothbrushes require 31 regulations. Mirrors are far more serious, the EU needs a series of 172 rules, shampoos somewhat less only needing 118. Towels require controls of 454 regulations; bread an incredible 1,246 and the toasters to cook them in need 52. Milk on the other hand is far more serious and needs 12,653 individual sets of laws. Bowls can get by with 99 regulations, but spoons need another 210 laws for people to know how to produce and use them.
The majority of UK voters who put an X in the box for leave voted to kill big government, the complete lack of accountability, rules being dictated by lobbyists and to return to the concept of government at the smallest unit possible. The EU is out of control; it's bloated and the ultimate in government by committee. It can't possibly work and the sooner someone shoots it and kills it dead, the sooner Europe and the rest of the world can recover.
Lest the reader conclude the out of control government of the U.S. is somehow better than the EU, let me remind you, it was the U.S. that created the unipolar world after 1991. When NATO should have been buried and a peace dividend declared, instead the behind the scenes rulers over in the U.S. pushed the U.S. into one incredibly stupid war after another.
No one has ever been held accountable for the debacle that we call Iraq. Afghanistan has been in a state of war since the U.S. invaded in 2001. Alexander the Great couldn't conquer the country, what made the Boobsie twins of Bush and Obama think they could?
If you start a war and it's going on fifteen years later there is should be some sort of rule that says, "You lost, get over it." But U.S. generals are so clueless or are so looking forward to that nice job after retirement with a fat defense contractor that they keep pouring money into a lost cause. The only good event on the battlefield is that at least they got poppy production up 1,500% over the Taliban years.
If you spend $1 trillion on a slick new fighter jet that is 10 years overdue, the software doesn't work and previous model aircraft already in the boneyard can whip its tail in air-to-air combat, maybe you should admit it's a waste of both time and money. But you can't do that in the U.S. because Raytheon has contracts in 45 states. Congress can't afford to kill the bloated program because they know it would chop their campaign contributions.
As the direct result of 911 and the bloating of intelligence agencies in the U.S. and trashing of all civil protections against an out of control government, Americans today are the most spied on group in world history. The Stasi or Gestapo would have been thrilled to have half the power held by the NSA. Every phone call is monitored, every email recorded for posterity. If you post a picture of your new child on social media, Maryland knows about it before your parents. If you have a security camera in your home that you can monitor from your office, so can the NSA. Hint: you might want to move the camera to point to the closet doors, not the center of the bed. We don't want to distract the watchers.
Is the U.S. safer? I don't think so. The country has an out of control police force nationwide. Six cops in Baltimore can throw a handcuffed suspect in the back of a van and watch, laughing, as the driver slams on the brakes and accelerates again and again. When they get to the station house and the now barely alive suspect is dragged out of the van, he has a broken neck. That stuff happens everywhere in the world, but in the U.S. no one is ever held accountable. There are laws for citizens and there are laws for cops and never the twain shall meet.
Trillions of dollars of fraud and outright theft took place in America leading up to 2008 and beyond. No one went to jail. It continues today. The entire financial system worldwide is a Ponzi scheme, a house of cards about to tumble down. The U.S. government has only made the problem far worse and the cost to fix far higher.
When I wrote "The Art of Peace" in November, I predicted a worldwide revolution and that at the end we would have a far better world because we would have less government. The farther away the power to make decisions resides from the people who will be affected, the dumber the decisions get. That's why local school boards do a pretty good job in the U.S. and the Secretary of Education is a meaningless department that can only screw up education. Keep the decisions as local as possible always works.
On Thursday, June 23, the voters of the UK voted to pull the plug on the biggest cesspool in world history. It doesn't matter what anyone does from here. You can't unring a bell. Like most people I know, I believed that if the vote was too close that UK officials would simply do what the U.S. does in elections, rig them the way they want. But they didn't, the people spoke and they will be heard.
We need less government, and we can do it the easy way or the hard way, but we will get less government.