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Comment Re:Something's fishy (Score 1) 78

I run a small business, but I'm already way worse off because everything I import costs a fuck-ton more and I can't afford to just bump prices up accordingly when my larger competitors already have huge warehouses of stock and have the power of scale to have negotiated pricing agreements. All the OMG RED TAPE that supposedly comes from Brussels is a myth, and what few anti-small-business legislation exists is hardly likely to be removed by the prevent government, whose ear is deaf to all but the largest enterprises.

Just as a counterpoint, as someone who also runs small businesses, but in my case tech-based ones that import very little but export information products and services, I have almost exactly the opposite experience.

The pound had been propped up for a long time and a lot of economists were saying it was overvalued long before Brexit was on the radar. Dropping it back to a more realistic level has already caused a big boost for our sales to customers over in continental Europe and beyond. It's dropped further than the necessary correction because of Brexit, but pinning the entire drop on that is unrealistic.

As for that EU red tape, it has been a significant burden on several occasions over the past few years, from consumer "protection" rules that don't really protect anyone but have substantial compliance costs through to the whole VAT mess where the EU seems to have done exactly the opposite of what it's supposed to do by making us suddenly have to deal with 28 different systems instead of one.

EU membership has its pros and cons, but in this specific area, it's very clearly not an advantage.

Comment Hardware is so much better? (Score 1) 23

When I was a kid and turned on a BBC Micro, it was ready to use instantly. Same with the old TV I had. And I could watch anything I wanted to watch on that TV, whether it was from the aerial or the computer or the VCR. And on that VCR, I could just fast forward through any initial stuff on the tape I wanted to skip. And some of those devices worked for a decade.

Today's world of hardware that costs hundreds or thousands but fails within a few years, if it even gets that far, is not an improvement. Today's world where hardware can't be serviced or repaired is not an improvement. Today's world where it takes a minute for my PVR to show me a picture, and seconds to switch to the next TV channel, is not an improvement. Today's world where I can't watch content I've paid for on a device I've paid for, or can't run software I've paid for on a computer I've paid for, or can't listen to music from my iPhone because the headphones don't fit any more, because of artificial barriers to connectivity, is not an improvement.

Hardware got faster and bigger, but thinking that makes it better when all this other stuff is getting needlessly broken is spectacularly missing the point. And the user who buys these devices doesn't much care whether it's the hardware or the protocol on the wire between two devices or the firmware that is causing the problem. They just want the stuff they bought to do what they bought it for, and in many respects today's equipment is very much worse at that than the equipment we made a decade or two ago.

Comment Re:resistance is futile (Score 1) 78

So you have one of the terrorists in the Bataclan attack, but there were also EU nationals in the Bataclan and Charlie Hebdo attacks.

As to the period of disruption, with several major banks saying they're pulling out of London, you're looking at the diminishment of the City, which is one of the major economic engines of Britain.

All I see here is the usual Brexit tripe which amounts to "Migration bad, Europe bad, everything will just be fine!" But if that were the case, then why were the chief Brexiteers yacking on about ECC membership during the referendum campaign, almost as if they knew damned well that Europe was Britain's most significant trading partner, and loss of open access to the Common Market would be enormously damaging.

Comment Re:resistance is futile (Score 2, Interesting) 78

How many terror attacks can you link to freedom of movement? And the Greeks want to stay in the Eurozone (which is different than the EU) and it is pretty clear Germany wants Greece to remain as well.

And if the Brits had enough of it, how come so many Brexiteers were hanging on to the hope of remaining in the ECC (which, by the way, would still mean some degree of freedom of movement).

Frankly, I think Brexit was just an episode of national pique, and I suspect if you reran the referendum now, with at least some of the ramifications becoming clear (such as Norway objecting to continued British membership in the ECC), Remain would have a solid win.

Comment Re:Not just bitcoin (Score 2) 78

It does not have an intrinsic value that makes it worth weighting an entire currency on, and it is, in fact, rather vulnerable to price collapses itself. Both gold and silver have been witness to significant depreciation events, such as when the Chinese Empire began bleeding its silver reserves in the 18th and 19th century.

Metal-based currencies are no panacea, and are highly inflexible, and worst of all, don't do anything to stave off worst case scenarios like recessions and depressions.

Comment Re:resistance is futile (Score 3, Insightful) 78

Except Brussels itself is a construct of all the EU members, and it is the pooled sovereignty of all EU members that counts. This claim that Brussels is some sort of overlord that controls Europe demonstrates a great ignorance of what the EU is.

Beyond that, all but the most hardened Brexiteers would love to stay in the Common Market, which was why they kept talking about how Britain could still remain part of the ECC.

Comment Re:Not just bitcoin (Score 2, Interesting) 78

The fact is that metals-based currencies are far more arbitrary in valuation of a currency than a fiat currency. Why should a currency for any nation be entirely unlinked from factors like trade surpluses/deficits, GDP, interest rates and the like? What is it about gold that makes it so great for pegging a currency to? Saying "gold-backed is better" is really just picking an arbitrary element, giving it an arbitrary value, and somehow that is supposed to be a good way to value a currency?

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