Here’s a riddle. If the solution to market-breakdown is regulation, what is the solution to non-market breakdown?
If ever there was a demonstration of the inability of Government to plan, decide and execute a simple instruction it is Brexit. The UK referendum instructed the Government to leave the EU cartel. The rights and obligations that European and UK governments, corporations and citizens under the cartel agreement were therefore to be abandoned. Whatever fills the void and however the economic relations between the EU and UK proceed in the future is to be determined…but by whom?
Not surprisingly, the GOVERNMENTS of both the UK and the EU think that their role is to construct an alternative legislative framework to replace the existing cartel. This is rubbish and they have misunderstood entirely the economic forces that decided the referendum. When a cartel breaks down, which cartels tend to do, the economic solution is not to try and patch it up. Cartels are bad for many and only good for some. The competitive pressures that chip away at the cartel’s stability, have at their basis a better solution.
The proper role for Government is to facilitate this better, more competitive solution by discarding the protected waste and facilitating the more open, freer trading environment that Brexit stands for. Neither the EU nor the UK Governments understand this basic fact. These institutions operate non-market bureaucracies that are incapable of relinquishing control. Worse they think that the cartel is fundamentally good, so if one rule is abandoned then it must be replaced with another rule to achieve the same thing.
One ‘sticking point’ in the negotiations, for instance, is whether Ireland and Northern Ireland should have a hard or soft border? This is really dumb, completely irrelevant and anti-competitive. Market forces don’t care about imaginary borders. Market forces just want to do business.
The Brexit negotiations are being undertaken by non-market people from non-market institutions. The World is witnessing arguably the greatest example of Non-Market Breakdown ever in economic history.
So what is the answer to the riddle? The Market, of course.
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