By John Weeks. He is an economist and Professor Emeritus at SOAS, University of London. John received his PhD in economics from the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, in 1969. He is author of a new book entitled ‘Economics of the 1%: How mainstream economics serves the rich, obscures reality and distorts policy’ (Anthem).
I and many others have argued that the basic EU treaties have flexibility to accommodate most social democratic policies such as those in the 2017 Manifesto of the UK Labour Party. Our argument may soon suffer a decisive blow from the EU parliament.
In March 2012 twenty-five EU national governments signed the Treaty on Stability, Coordination and Governance (TSCG), the “fiscal pact”. By signing national governments “contracted” (the treaty term) to obey its detailed fiscal rules. The TSCG did not achieve unanimous approval, thus could not become part of the de facto EU constitution; i.e., contrary to the intention of the fiscally reactionary governments, it was not incorporated into the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union (TFEU).
Continue reading National Fiscal Flexibility: EU Parliament Plans A Big Step Backwards
Liam Fox is secretary of state for Defence, UK
The Guardian Newspaper, an Opinion
Two hundred and forty years ago, Adam Smith published one of the most important texts ever written. The Wealth of Nations set out his vision of free trade as a pathway to opportunity and prosperity for all; and that in a true open global economy no one need lose out – we all could benefit.
Globalization needs to be championed more vigorously
Yesterday I was in Manchester speaking about why I believe his principles are as much alive and relevant today as they were in the 18th century – despite vastly different trading environments.
We stand on the verge of an unprecedented ability to liberate global trade for the benefit of our whole planet with technological advances, such as the internet and e-commerce, dissolving the barriers of time and distance. And because of the brave and historic decision of the British people to leave the European Union, I believe the UK is in a prime position to become a world leader in free trade.
Globalization represents an acceleration of the trend in which the world has become increasingly compressed, economically, culturally and politically. However, it is becoming increasingly misunderstood and its benefits not championed vigorously enough. While the increased economic activity that globalization has generated has been broadly welcomed by business, politicians have often worried about how the dissolving concepts of sovereignty will affect their ability to influence events, and many have worried about the effects on the world’s most vulnerable people.
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