The US vs. Europe

By | February 9, 2012
In my opinion, the EU (and UK) are too deep in bed with the USA. And that needs to change faster than I suspect politicians are willing to.

1. From a pure business perspective, China is now a larger EU export customer than the USA. We need to make policies more Asia-friendly, whether we like Asian politics and control schemes or not.

2. From a policy perspective, the US is moving towards a police state at an alarming pace and trying hard to push this policy directive onto Europe, including bringing EU data into the US police state network. That's worrying. I'm not saying that more stringent data controls is the best solution, and also not that liberal data sharing is a good idea. But I do feel that the balance being struck up is not quite the middle line that it should be.

Reshared post from +EuroTech

The future of the UK: 51th state or a real part of Europe?
in this guest column +Ayoub Khote gives us his personal view on this crucial issue. Currently the tech scene is split up in Europe and the UK is almost an outcast while the country harbors so many innovative companies and brilliant scientists. Where will the UK be heading, asks British writer Ayoub:

A lot of people have a lot of theories as to why the UK and Europe are at loggerheads often, and I feel that there are a lot of theories because there are a lot of reasons.

But I want to talk about one reason in particular.

Europe, to me, means micromanagement. When a supposed governing body does things like regulate the length and straightness of a banana, we on the British Isles wonder wonder whether they’re insane, and what other way are they planning to waste money and stifle the market with over-regulation. Many countries tend to over-regulate. The UK is guilty of it in some ways, too. However, regulating to such a fine grain of control isn’t something we do, especially if it stifles the market.

And this has become more evident with David Cameron’s objections. The London Stock Exchange is one of the biggest in the world, and the Pound Sterling is one of the strongest currencies in the world, too. These two things will suffer if micromanaging regulations come in to the UK as part of joining Europe fully. Yes, the strength of the Pound might just rescue an ailing Euro, but it would also plunge the UK further into deficit.

I’m not saying that regulation is a bad thing, though. A little more regulation, and this global recession might have been avoided, but it’s a delicate balance. A powerful stock exchange needs to be able to move with the demands of the market. It needs to be nimble. Too many regulations will damage it.

Europe and the UK would benefit greatly from being closer, from being more involved. A little bit of good old British centrism to drag Europe out of overwhelming government might benefit all.

The problem is, neither side wants to budge. We want to hold on to the Pound, and to our sovereignty. We have long memories of being the centre of the largest empire the earth has seen so far, and some may wistfully believe that there’s a chance of being great again. Those are the people fighting harder than ever to stop us from being absorbed into Europe.

On the other hand, the UK has long held a good relationship with the USA. Some have joked that we’re the 51st State. The jokes have faded, recently, but we still have very strong corporate and political ties to the United States. Whether that will ever expand into the type of free movement of people and goods as we have with Europe is doubtful, but it would be a unique position to be in if it happened.

If Europe and the Euro survive this current crisis, there is a basis for a powerhouse of an economy in it, and one that may challenge the big players like the USA and China. The UK needs to be involved in one of these powerhouse economies. For our status in the world to be lost to a growing Europe would make our market, and our position in the world, a lot less relevant. Trying to hold on to the past will not prepare us for the future.

Column by +Ayoub Khote
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One thought on “The US vs. Europe

  1. Gabriel Fitzpatrick

    Seems to me that the smaller the unit of governance is, the better, at least to a point. If the EU is influenced by the US, a place with an altogether different body politic, that is inherently going to be an inferior sort of rule than the alternative.

    By the same token, however, if the individual nations of Europe are influenced by the EU, an organization with no particular body politic whatsoever, but rather a dozen attempting to coexist, this is also an inferior sort of rule. Only once we reach a point at which interests are equivalent or nearly equivalent, often but not always the national level, can we begin to have good governance.


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