Brexit

So tomorrow is the big vote. As an American who has traveled extensively throughout Europe, spoken to a good many of its citizens, I’m still not certain I know which way is better, in or out. It’s a very complicated issue.  I wonder just how many people really truly understand all the ramifications of such a vote.

I think JK Rowling might have put it in perspective. Basically, I read she said something like pick your poison and then live with the consequences.

Every celebrity from Simon Cowell to Elizabeth  Hurley is voicing their opinion on the Brexit.  Although I think Ms. Hurley may be drawing a bit more attention with her tweet.

All joking aside, this is a serious vote with serious consequences from either side. I don’t think anyone is right in knowing the future ramifications a vote either way will produce. I do know from my conversations with Europeans, and the small bit of research I have done on this subject that the Union was all part of the WWII settlement. What? Yes, this dates back to the 1940’s when Hitler was defeated.

The countries were forced together in order to preserve the continent and to stop fighting among themselves. I can see that as a good option. I can also see that is where it should have stayed. As human nature has it, the need for more took over, bringing in economics and the money part of the equation.

Put yourself in the Europeans’ shoes for a minute. Imagine  that your  currency is going to be declared worthless and a new currency is going to take its place. The new currency will not be from your country but from this new Union of countries, the same guys you just fought in a war. Frightening? I would think so. Now this new currency is going to give you less amounts of money. It’s not an even trade. Sound even more frightening?  Have you got a tad-bit of empathy yet?

Now the next step is that your country, while in this union will have no control of its own borders. Everyone will be free flowing, professionals, criminals,and all, coming and going and staying if they want. This will put a financial stress on your already fragile infrastructure, and economy. Any empathy, yet?

Germany seems to be leading the whole European Union charge. Why? Well, from what I’ve found, Germany’s population is shrinking. Thus,  free movement of people across borders will certainly help Germany. Does that sound selfish on Germany’s part? I’m not certain. They have positioned themselves to be the savior of the world by welcoming all,  but it isn’t without it’s ulterior motivations. I’m not judging. I’m just saying.

The counter to that move is the exact reason why many nations in the Union have closed their borders in spite of what the Union says. Austria, Hungary, and other’s face more monumental problems with their current economies, as stress like a rapid population increase could be catastrophic.  A more managed approach is what they want.

Great Britain does not have a population growth problem. Quite the opposite, all their colonization around the globe in past centuries has paid off. They have the workforce they need coming from their territories around the globe. It seems like a win-win for both GB and the territories.

In addition, Great Britain wants to control their own monetary policy. That’s not an absurd idea in my opinion. Each country should control their own monetary policy.  GB is currently in the Union but their money is the Pound Sterling, a highly valued currency to the U.S. Dollar. Most Americans can’t afford to go to Great Britain because it is too expensive.  I don’t think GB wants to give that up. That’s control.

The trade agreement among EU countries is the money part of the deal. Finland, for example, is not in the EU, but participates in the trade by paying a huge fee and receiving no seat at the table. But what is that seat really worth? I don’t know the answer. I’m just asking the question.

Germany and to some extent, I think GB, receives a huge lopsided benefit in this trade agreement. How? Economies from the various countries run at different levels, hence the different currencies. Germany’s economy is running hot, for real or artificial, I’m not certain.  The following summary leads me to believe in the latter.

When there is a large discrepancy in economies, and the different economies are sharing the same currency, then there are losers and winners. The slower economies get hammered because the currency is overvalued for their economy. So they pay more for stuff. The faster economies like Germany get a huge bump because they are paying far less as the currency is undervalued for their economy. Yes, it’s a mess, but this is simple economics. I remember the classes in college.

Then you have the whole nationalism thing going on. We,  American’s, have a problem melding all the different cultures into our United States. But Europe,  they have a much larger problem. I’ll start with a question. Have you ever wondered why most Europeans can speak multiple languages, and why most Americans only speak one? I have.

In a conversation with some Europeans, I  wondered why I felt so stupid having a command of only one language, English. Europeans have to speak  multiple languages. Referencing an example here; it would be like Floridians speaking a different language than those in Georgia.  Alabama speaks differently than Texas, and so on.  To be clear, I’m not talking about dialects. I am speaking about entirely different languages.

Back to my point of nationalism. It is a gargantuan undertaking to meld all those different nationalities together. Austrian’s are not Germans, and German’s are not from Great Britain, and Romanians are not Hungarians, and vice versa.  The cultures, languages, way of life, traditions, and way of doing business are all different.

This is a hugely important and complicated decision that needs to be right for one people, those in Great Britain.  So it is with hope that every one registered to vote does so with the utmost information they can possibly receive and don’t vote one way or the other because a celebrity tickled your fancy, information is always a better choice.