The Anglo-Saxon world is now learning the economic price of trying to turn the clock back. Through a referendum and an election in 2016, many Britons and Americans expressed a wish to return to a recognizable time before the disruptive elements of globalization, the digital revolution, and the increasingly free movement of peoples. As a result, the governments of both countries undertook explicit policies to unwind fundamental regulatory conditions to recreate the world order that preceded them: Brexit for Britain and the attempted repeal of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) for the US. Both policies were aggressively prosecuted by conservative governments. Both lost steam when they encountered political realities. Both have fallen afoul of constitutional obstacles that prevent the simple implementation of their goals. And both of these efforts have done economic damage to the countries that pursued them as solutions. First is Britain and Brexit, the more fundamental policy adjustment. The June 2016 Brexit referendum returned a 51.9%-48.1% verdict (17.4 million votes to 16.1 million, with a 72.2% turnout) in favor of leaving the EU, which fundamentally divided Britain then and now. The Leave campaign offered three key claims about Brexit. First, they insisted that Brexit was about “taking… Read full this story
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