Why the Economics Behind BREXIT doesn’t Matter

Over the past month, I’ve read many different takes on the Britain referendum. Britain’s exit, or BREXIT, from the EU has somehow managed to elicit an opinion from everyone – regardless of whether or not it makes sense. The issue is that these opinions are leading up to one of the worst disasters in modern humanity – and this is NOT about economics.

When you break down the argument of “experts” on the matter, you hear tonnes of economic and political jargon. Interestingly, both the IN and OUT campaign have been engaging in the same lingo. Unfortunately, people’s inability to comprehend the entire point leads to half-baked conclusions. The OUT campaign has boisterously yelled out the amount it contributes to the EU on a weekly basis. In response, the IN campaign tries to lay out the additional license and regulation costs required to sustain current trade figures with the EU nations if they leave. To the people – “throwing” out British pounds obviously seems more unacceptable. As a result, BREXIT has become a reality.

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Most economists have sided with the IN party. The unprecedented support for the OUT campaign has actually led to a sense of contempt. My father, a self-proclaimed socio-economic enthusiast, echoed that sentiment. “Let them leave if that’s what they want”, he rolled his eyes. “When their market crashes and economy crumbles, they’ll regret their decision”. But that’s exactly the problem here, Britain (and the world) stands to lose far more with the BREXIT than just a couple of GDP points.

Understand how a population in a democracy works. We’re a herd of cattle. We sway where everyone sways. This is not to say that everyone is stupid or incapable of forming an individual opinion; it’s just that no one takes the effort to do their homework to form a well researched one. In this case, the swaying is happening because of fear and greed, not economics.

Courtesy Donald Trump and other such cartoons, people have actually come to believe that immigrants are the reason behind unemployment and violence. It’s funny because Donald Trump raised this issue in light of rising gun violence and terrorism. The answer in the US  in this regard is basic gun control. However, part of Britain has swallowed this opinion in the wrong context for itself. EU’s porous borders allow for free mobility of labour and capital – part of the reason why it managed to survive the cut-throat competition from global markets. In light of the ISIS crisis, immigrants are flooding into the Union and dispersing through its porous borders to all corners of it. Loss of jobs then becomes a fear. The reality, on the other hand, is that the rise in labour is what would help Britain stay competitive and in turn, create more jobs. But today, people are angry and want to allot blame. As a result, the future of Britain will face the music.

If BREXIT is carried out, it is this fear of people that is being validated. Who knows what this domino effect goes on to knock off? Equality? Globalization? Liberty?

Political OUT campaigners will tell you that the UK got back its sovereignty and its money. That’s not why the people have voted out. They voted out because racism has taken precedence over compassion. Greed has taken over logic. And fear has taken over trust. Britain is the first to proudly proclaim its regress.  God knows how many more are going to line up to do the same.

 

 

 

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How Taylor Swift’s band aid is about to fix my bullet holes.

I remember 5 years ago on Valentines Day, 2010, the radio played it’s part with a mellow playlist with all the love songs you could name. I recognized Fifteen within 10 seconds the first few strums of the guitar, it was so familiar. As the chorus came in, I noticed I was feeling sorry for myself. I was 16 at the time and was admittedly upset about not having a chance to live the fifteenth year of my life exactly the way Taylor Swift describes it in the song.

Whether it was Love Story or You Belong With Me or even Picture to Burn, each of her songs reeked of the kind of desperate love a 16 year old romantic girl carried around on her sleeve. On most days I danced to her in my room in my boxers exactly the way she did in her You Belong With Me music video, hoping my crush from across the street would steal a glance and be mesmerized by my awkwardness.

And then came the next set of songs. You fall in love for the first time, no harness. Once the love is gone, it’s really just a fall that ends exactly how an actual fall does – painfully. I found comfort in the fact that Taylor Swift was heartbroken as well. There was a sense of familiarity because she so accurately preached about a first love so similar to mine. If she was upset and heartbroken, me being upset and heartbroken seemed like something I could deal with. There was Back to December and Story of Us and Mine that brought up this whole new concept of dysfunctionality that prevails in a relationship heading toward doom.

At this point I have to mention, she was doing the same thing I was – emotionally investing all of herself in a series of boys who could never sustain a love that was deserved. I also have to admit, she made a promiscuous reputation for herself, Taylor Swift became the serial dater for whom just no boy was good enough. I started to deny being a fan. She’s crazy, all the guys she was with couldn’t be fucktards – something had to be wrong with her. In retrospect I can see that this sudden disengagement was because I could relate so much to her that it was almost scary. I had my heartbroken enough number of times by enough number of boys to start to wonder if something was wrong with me itself. If she was crazy, I probably was too. So denial seemed to work just fine.

And then something happened. She grew up. Suddenly there were no more new John Mayers and Harry Styles popping up in the news with her. Taylor Swift did what seemed like some really rewarding introspection and began to prioritize. Now the poster girl for heartbreak gave no importance to love, or more importantly the idea of it. There was 22 and The Last Time and the entire Red album to be honest. She was spotted going to the gym more often than going on a date. The only outrageous expression of love was for her family and close friends. All the overflowing love she had within her was channelized into a kick-ass girl squad – friends she’s made for a lifetime.

You see, this new Taylor Swift did what no one expected her to do. She stopped fueling the paparazzi with retaliation and focused on herself. She made herself her only priority and discovered who she really was. Nude lipstick, long blond curls and frilly dresses is not her. Short straight hair, bright red lipstick and tantalizing crop tops is who she is. And she’s left no stone unturned to prove it. There’s never been anything to gainsay about her in the talent arena. Couple that with the rock star of a person she’s become – you get a role model that could potentially change thousands of lives for the better.

Between Red and 1989, there has been no boy on the scene and what we got as a result is a new definition of Taylor Swift that has absolutely nothing to do with boys. Blank Space, Style and Shake it Off are testimony to the fact that she’s figured her stuff out and that there isn’t going to be anymore trampling over her. She knows what she deserves and will not accept anything short of it. There’s a sense of healing, closure, maturity, discovery and subsequent excitement about all that she can be in the 1989 album.

This morning I read a few articles about her alleged relationship with Calvin Harris. Had this come out two years ago, I would have maybe rolled my eyes and continued to be on the anti-Swift campaign. But instead I was proud. Read the articles online and you’ll know I’m not the only one. No article questions her dating mannerisms or possible craziness anymore. There’s this collective agreement that she knows what she’s doing and the only person that deserves credit for this unimaginable change in media attitude is herself.

So yeah, it goes without saying. Taylor Swift gives me hope and inspires me to discover myself. And yes the fact that I suddenly love red lipstick is slightly ironic in terms of the idea of finding my own individuality. But this is a start and something is always better than nothing.

Maybe I’m reading too much in to a bunch of albums that could really not be any more than just chart-topping inanimate tracks. In a way, her songs are the underestimated band aids that have the potential to cover up and heal the abyss that the bullet holes of 21 years of existence have left on me. And for that, I am truly grateful.

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