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Monday, June 27, 2016

Brexit: The Counterattack Begins

Literally within hours of the "Leave" victory in the Brexit referendum, the elite counterattack began. First, lots of stories in British and other media that, well, there is no rush to invoke Article 50 of the Lisbon Treaty that would start the clock on the British exit from the EU, that Scotland--of course-- doesn't accept leaving the EU and would rather leave the United Kingdom (and tie itself to the mast of the sinking EU ship), and, of course, the ol' lefty/elite standby, my favorite, the people are too stupid to know what they want. Yeah, yeah . . .

Let's focus on that last argument.

We've seen lots of stories about a petition launched immediately after the Brexit victory calling for a second referendum on the basis, I guess, that the people who voted for Britain to "Leave the EU," didn't understand that "Leave the EU" meant "Leave the EU." All sorts of breathless accounts of how this petition drew signatures from thousands, tens-of-thousands, hundreds-of-thousands, millions even of Britons who felt defrauded and had not understood for what they had voted. Look, I am no expert on things computerish and internetish but, I have serious doubts about that petition. In this age of hacktivists, spambots, and web pranksters, can we really take such a petition seriously? Nothing suspicious at all over how quickly the list of signatories grew? Just saying . . . (UPDATE: An astute reader of this blog, we have no other kind, of course, has brought to my attention a posting in the always excellent Legal Insurrection that would seem to confirm my suspicions over the re-do petition.)

In a similar vein, we saw a story in the Washington Post that claimed, "The British are frantically Googling what the E.U. is, hours after voting to leave it." Those poor, poor dumb Brits. After having run about half the world, founding the greatest countries on earth, creating modern democracy, saving the world from the Nazis, fighting the Communists and other assorted evil-mongers, and, by the way, having spent over four decades in the EU, the great unwashed British masses didn't know what the EU is when they voted on whether to leave it! Tsk! Tsk! Shame! Shame! The problem, of course, is, as is the case with so much progressive narrative these days, that story is false. You can read about that here.

And, of course, we can always rely on a German politician to put it all in perspective. Germany's president says the problem that caused Brexit was not the elites of Europe but the people. But, naturally! There can be no other explanation.

For me, however, the best most robust and thorough example of the sort of elitist thinking that has produced Brexit and Trump comes, once again, from the Washington Post. In an incredibly tone deaf, snobbish, and just plain wrong piece, a previously unknown guest columnist by the name of Emily Badger, tells us that, "Brexit is a reminder that some things just shouldn’t be decided by referendum." She goes on to say that,
The proposition at hand also raised the kinds of thorny debates we elect government officials to hash out: Do the benefits of the E.U. justify those payments? Will the costs of leaving cripple the British economy? Will "independence" bring new forms of instability that voters haven't even been encouraged to foresee?
The gist of her argument is that it all should have been left in the hands of politicians and technocrats. She engages in a stupid swipe at California's 1978 Proposition 13 which put a cap (sort of) on real estate taxes by the state and counties in that state. She bemoans that,
Back in 1978, California voters generously decided in a ballot measure to cap their own property taxes in a way — amending the state constitution — that has hobbled ever since California's ability to generate revenue and create reasonable housing policy.
Her attitude towards Prop 13 (I voted for it) gives away her whole game, and that of the "elites" and their enablers opposed to Brexit. Her comments on Prop 13 show that she sees the state as having the right to the people's wealth, and to dictating their lives--notice the snark about "generously decided." See also her statement that Prop 13 "hobbled ever since California's ability to generate revenue and create reasonable housing policy." The State has to create a "reasonable housing policy"? Prop 13 is one of the very few positive things California's beleaguered middle class, especially elderly people, have going. Before Prop 13, property taxes rose precipitously every year, making home ownership more and more difficult. The tax money went, as expected, to all the things the progs in CA love so much.

As with Prop 13, Brexit is a vote by the people who pay for the decisions by the elites. With Brexit, the British people have taken the first step--and it's only a first step--to getting back their country. Clearly, it is a first step they will have to defend. Onward!

23 comments:

  1. Obama goes out not with a bang, but a whimper.

    Hey, can I call him a lame duck yet, or is that racist still?

    ~M.

    ReplyDelete
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    1. What have you got against ducks?

      Delete
  2. I recall all the agitprop during the run up to the vote on Prop 13. I would be willing to bet that newspaper articles could be dug up in the SF Examiner, LA TImes, and San Jose Mercury stating the polls "Are too close to call". Of course Prop 13 was passed with a landslide, almost 2/3 in favor. Polls now are a indication of what the press has dubbed, "The Brady Effect". It happens whenever the left is hectoring, and intimidating voters, which is pretty much all the time nowadays. On another note, California's insatiable thirst for revenue, drove the tax burden on my parents over what income could sustain. We moved to Arizona, shortly after passage of Prop-13.

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  3. I have a few friends in the UK and when they started talking about a second referendum I presented them with this point:

    Barack Obama won the 2012 election by a smaller percentage than the Brexit vote, so should Republicans have demanded a do over?

    None of my friends could come up with a response.

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  4. Prop 13 was a result of poor leadership. Indexing property taxes downward as prices boomed upward would have stopped it from happening. But the politicians wouldn't give up the gravy train. Now, Prop 13 was like all tax laws, it had unintended consequences. Two people can be living next door to each other, enjoying the same state services, but one pays 5X less in property taxes. That's not right and distorts the sales market.

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  5. And this morning it is reported that Merkel told her party yesterday that other EU members must be stopped from following Britain and leaving the EU.

    The EU anti-democratic agenda to coming into full view. Even though I knew the reaction was inevitable, and would be fierce, I am just astounded at how many otherwise quite sensible people I know cannot see it or just don't care.

    I do now wonder whether Britain will actually succeed in leaving.

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    Replies
    1. With any luck, other states will hold their own votes and maybe one or two will leave in the meantime. The EU game is now in full view.

      Delete
  6. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5XKJ2mcdVmQ

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  7. You know Mad this has got me to thinking about the American revolutionaries. I'm sure they heard all the arguments about the economy and especially how they personally would suffer and they knew it was probably true, but they decided that liberty was more important than personal wealth or economic status. I begin to appreciate more and more their courage.
    James the Lesser

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  8. http://www.samizdata.net/2016/06/why-i-think-article-50-to-leave-the-eu-will-be-invoked-eventually/

    ***

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  9. The 'problem' to me is that the EU stands for nothing. It was at most a civil/contract union, not a marriage seeking oneness between a group of states. The result? Easy come, easy go. Why is anybody surprised?
    If progressives want to claim people didn't know what it meant to exit the EU, I claim that's because it has no real meaning to be understood.

    - reader #1482

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  11. That petition is looking like another fine 4Chan effort, bless their hearts.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks. Somehow I had overlooked that article. I am a regular reader of Legal Insurrection . Seems to confirm my suspicions about the petition.

      Delete
    2. As horrific as the 4Chan troll was, the reality ends up being much, much worse. But then, it usually does with the Tranzi putzes.

      Delete
  12. Badger's a vocational writer (living in Frisco). All of her schooling was in different aspects of producing copy (degrees in journalism and creative nonfiction). Why does she presume to tell people they're not qualified to have an opinion? (Most particularly when normative questions were at stake)?

    ReplyDelete
  13. Markel inspired efforts are underway to create a pan-Europe before any more animals escape their cages. This would consolidate EU wide military, legal, taxing and central banking authority ... and further erase any border controls. All this without a single Panzer tank ... "If you like your culture, you can keep your culture."

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    1. Merkel! Write this flub off to my eye operation ...

      Delete
  14. 'Mad,

    Heard Jim Cramer on CNBC scolding about how foolish the Brexit vote was and how much damage it would do. Well, he made his claim, and the market ... didn't agree with him. Now true, the DOW isn't up to 18,000 as it was a week ago, but most of the ground lost has been recovered - up 1.5 percent to 17,650 or more today. FTSE likewise has gained back most of the losses.

    I note that the Pound is still off, and I hope it continues to be so that a pint for a poor American Tourist (say what?) is more affordable.

    Green Bear

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    Replies
    1. The fact that Jim Cramer opens his mouth is problematic.

      Delete
  15. Before prop 13 I took a real estate class taught by a state employee who was an appraiser for the property tax division for LA county. He proudly told the story of assessing a older woman's two bedroom downtown bungalow for a value of a million dollars. The assessment was based on "highest and best use" of the property and since a large office building had been built a block away his reasoning was that the best use for this property was a multi-million dollar commercial building. I thought at the time his glee in doing this and forcing the older lady to sell and move seemed cold and soulless. But of course he was a bureaucrat AND a tax collector so...

    But it was exactly that attitude of the government constantly inflating the value of the property to collect more and more taxes that caused the prop 13 backlash.

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