A good article by Wolfgang Muenchau. It was published on November 27 in FT. All it required to get the liberals’ goat was for him to mention ‘uncontrolled flows of people’. He was not suggesting appeasement. He wanted the so-called liberals to solve real problems rather than appearing to solve them with their own concentration of power in centralised bureaucracies. Post-Brexit, UK economy is doing fine and so far, US stocks and consumer confidence have held up well.
Should the UK and US economies falter in 2017, it would still be very silly to fault either Brexit or Trump because the causes were seeded with the policy responses to the crisis of 2008 and their persistence well after the sense of crisis has ceased. That has caused asset prices to diverge from economic fundamentals. When the divergence begins to close, economic consequences would follow inevitably because policymakers have made economies dependent on the fortunes of financial markets and asset prices rather than the other way around. That is what Wolfgang Muenchau means when he writes about solving the ‘problem of uncontrolled flows of capital’ too.
Hence, if these economies hit air pockets in 2017, don’t blame Brexit or Trump.
The so-called Liberal commentators have rediscovered the virtues of free trade and fiscal restraint after the US election. They are so inebriated by the exaggerated self-assessment of their intellectual prowess and contribution that they fail to see the hypocrisy of their shifting stances.
The lesson for the so-called Liberals in 2016 is to stop dealing in certitudes and to learn to be humble about what they do not know. Humans becoming humble about and becoming aware of what they do not know is a good starting point not only for public discourse but also for self-realisation.
It is a pleasant surprise to find Wolfgang Muenchau holding a mirror to them. No surprises that many do not like what they see.