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Monday, May 16, 2016

Ludwig Erhard’s plan for massive deregulation

Ludwig Erhard’s plan for massive deregulation &
Brexit The Movie

James Delingpole blogs at Breitbart London, and he is one of my favorite commentators. He specializes in climate issues, solar power, wind power, and the like, but his weekend blog was about Brexit, that is, the campaign in favor of the UK leaving the European Union (EU). He makes several points about the UK that could apply as well to America:

Against the odds, campaigners for Brexit are winning the argument on leaving the European Union (EU).

At the London premiere of Martin Durkin’s Brexit The Movie – which you can now watch in full here or here – we got an inkling why.
. . .
Immigration isn’t mentioned once. Not because Durkin has copped out but because he understands that even without drawing attention to the elephant in the room, it’s more than possible to construct a coherent and compelling argument for Brexit.

What it boils down to is this: does Britain want to go on being shackled to the sclerotic, anti-democratic, moribund trading bloc that is the European Union or would it rather be liberated to set its own laws, regain its sovereignty and trade freely and profitably with the burgeoning rest-of-the-World economy?

Put like that, it’s a no-brainer. To prove his point, Durkin comes up with three paradigmatic models – one of them involving the very country small-minded, xenophobic, racist Brexit types are supposed to loathe: Germany.

Specifically, he refers to the Germany of just after the war: the place which, though bombed to rubble emerged from the ashes with extraordinary alacrity to become the world’s third largest economy.

What was the cause of this economic miracle, known as the Wirtschaftswunder?

Largely, the genius of a man whose name really ought to be better known: Ludwig Erhard, the long-serving Minister of Economics, who understood that the surest way to guarantee economic growth is through a massive programme of deregulation. The easier it is for entrepreneurs to do business, the faster an economy grows and the richer its people grow. (John Cowperthwaite, the last British Financial Secretary to run Hong Kong, worked on similar classical liberal principles).

Erhard’s economic liberalism – which many of his colleagues opposed – was in marked contrast to the British post-war policy of state ownership, rationing, regulation, labour restrictions, exchange controls and propping up hidebound, outmoded industries. That’s why Germany’s economy grew even as Britain’s declined.
. . .
Durkin nails the absurdity of a line you often hear from the Remain camp: that without EU membership Britain just couldn’t compete on the international stage. Yet we could – of course we could, as indeed we once did. Sure if you were unaware of history, you might find it implausible to conceive that a small, rainy island could be one of the world’s economic powerhouses. But that is what Britain demonstrably was – and could be again. We just need to regain our optimism, our self-confidence and get over all that self-loathing in which the English intellectual class has so long specialised.

I urge you to see this film. (And not just because I’m the first talking head you see in it). It’s brilliant, inspiring and uplifting. Also it’s free.

You can watch the film at the two links above or at the blog here.
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