Brexit succession means nobody wins

The unthinkable happened with Brexit

Brexit is racismBrexit was a bloodless civil war. We have come along way (or have we?). Time was an obscure Archduke could be assassinated in Bosnia and the whole world would be dragged into a global war later called the First World War in history books.

In 1861, the United States of America began a bloody struggle to decide the legality of succession. We called that fight the Civil War and it took four blood soaked years and millions of lives to settle. In the end, the decision was made that no state was sovereign enough to resign its place in the United States.

Shelby Foote famously said that, before the Civil War, people said the United States “Is” and after the Civil War they said The United States “Are”.

Yesterday, the United Kingdom VOTED to leave the European Union. In our Twitter world, the vote was shortened to Brexit. It is an example of how blind nationalism can cloud judgment and how people will emotionally vote for things that in the long term are not in their own best interest. I wonder if Scotland wishes it had another shot at their historic vote to remain in the United Kingdom? Scotexit never became a word.

Brexit means?

Brexit winsI think a great deal of world stability will be shaken by this vote. I can see further troubles stirring in Northern Ireland again. I believe the uncertainty in the world’s monetary systems will shake rattle and roll the financial markets for a while as the global community tries to discount this tsunami of change. Everything we have come to rely on in this global world has been challenged.

But the reason I write this is because NO ONE doubts the RIGHT of the UK to secede (not to be confused in any way with succeed).

In the US, we thought the illegality of succession was decided and written in blood 150 years ago. Americans believe we have a corner on the market when it comes to freedom and liberty. We are wrong.

Freedom of self-determination was just exercised in Europe to an extent we can’t even fathom in the US. Had this RIGHT been self evident, I would be penning this blog in the Confederate States of America because I live in North Carolina—a state that lost 1 out of every 4 casualties at Gettysburg  during the Civil War.

To me, it does not matter if you think the American Civil War was fought over state’s rights or slavery. The impetus for the temporary dissolution of the United States in the late 1800’s was due to a racist issue.

I think the same is true for Brexit.

Racist underpinnings

I don’t believe it was so much an economic issue as it was over a war on immigration. The UK did not want Europe dictating immigration policy. They just don’t want THEM settling in the UK any more.  Think about it, the UK never surrendered their currency to the Euro. The Pound  Sterling remained.

BrexitSo much for economics driving succession.

I find Brexit a sad move. Not for all the obvious reason of a common market and ease of travel. I find it sad that bigotry wins anywhere and under any circumstances.

You can have your DNA tested for just a couple of dollars (or Euros or pounds) these days. It points to your REAL ancestry.

Funny, the differences are very small. We all began in Africa and are very much the same. Only the adopted and insignificant drapery of religious preference and favorite cuisine separates us all one from another.

The brand failure of the middle class

Stanford University has just announced that families of students accepted at this great center of learning with an annual income below $120,000 per year no longer has to pay tuition. Great news for Stanford hopefuls, and it seems that Harvard, Princeton and Yale have similar programs. But I can’t help but think how sad this is for the middle class.

I’m old enough to remember when a six-figure income was a proud indication of real achievement. It meant that you had entered into an elite income bracket. I guess today, it means you are needy.

Your economic standing may not be what you think.
Your economic standing may not be what you think.

Now, don’t get me wrong. I applaud any effort at making higher education more affordable. (I also wish secondary education was actually effective education rather than a social club with few demands and even fewer achievements.) But I bet it comes as a surprise to families earning 120K that they have moved to a lower class than they believed they had attained.

I remember reading just last week an article that claimed most earning families overestimated their pecking order when it came to understanding their place in the sociopolitical grid.

This overstatement of earning position is good for government because it diminishes economic unrest. The idea here is that it may be a struggle to pay bills and save for the future but, if you believe you have made it, your situation is simply easier to take.

I learned last week that 80% of full-time workers in fast food qualify for government aid of some type. Why is this fact related to the first point I made? Because it demonstrates how disconnected we are from economic reality.

Think about this. Let’s say you work 40 hours a week at McDonald’s and are the main earner in your family. You qualify for food stamps and the ACA (Affordable Care Act, better known as Obama care). But the political backlash is enormous when there is a legislative movement to raise minimum wages so that full-time workers can earn a respectable wage. McDonald’s complains that a higher minimum wage will hurt business because it would need to raise prices.

But the reality is that we, the tax paying public, are subsidizing Micky Ds by providing benefits to its full-time workers. It seems that the middle class is more willing to subsidize the fast food employee with government (tax paid benefits) then it is to demand McDonald’s carry its share of the burden. This proves once again how out of touch Americans are with their own economic situation and how indifferent we are to the realities of economics.

Personally, I would rather see the corporation lower its earnings paid to shareholders than to have my tax dollars subsidize its profits. But, look, that’s just me. I am obviously out of touch with the income stratifications.