That is pretty clever. Although I am in Canada, I am very interested in Brexit. Aside from the emotionalities of the concept, I feel that decentralization is an important step for societies. As more power is centralized into the hands of a few, the ordinary person loses control over their own rights. It should prove to be a very interesting year.

Hi David! Good to hear from you. Yes, it is all just a very sad state of affairs. This year will probably just go in negotiations for the future. Seems like utter waste of time and money and more suffering for the poor!

Hi Lucy;
Imagine that you are at the pinnacle of a hill but want to be at the top of a mountain. To get there you need to descend the hill before ascending the next rise. I assume that when you were a teenager, life was very good but things became challenging for you as you studied in university to become a lawyer. For some people, those years may have been an utter waste of time and money.

Lately, I have been playing around with the concept of hubris in my mind. Have governments solved the problems of poverty? One of the policies that the EU "fixed" was the elimination of supply management of dairy products in the European countries. This meant that farmers could produce as much milk as they wanted. Naturally the poor in Europe had access to cheap milk. Agriculture is a unique industry in that the majority of the variability isn't in the hands of humans ... it is dependent on nature. During the years of surplus, what did Europe do with the extra milk? They dumped it in Africa. They destroyed the dairy industry in a number of African countries because they could not compete with cheap European milk. Many of the EU farmers also lost their farms because they were unable to cover their costs. This meant the following years, prices of milk increased in Europe and Africa as cows don't spring up overnight. It takes about three years to bring new cattle into production. They increased the "suffering" for the poor in both Europe and Africa by enacting a policy that was to benefit the poor. As of 2019, the EU is losing 1000 farms per day. I cannot say that the British government will do any better than the EU in its policies but at least the Brits can take responsibility for their own actions.

For a number of years, I taught adult students who took courses as a condition of their unemployment benefits. The best thing about this was that it gave people breathing space and increased their perspectives. Why are the poor ... poor? Sometimes people are in a situation that is beyond their control. They had the wrong parents, grew up in the wrong neighbourhood and other factors which makes it impossible to advance. Other people are poor because of education and opportunity. I cannot really comment about poverty in Europe as 25 percent experiences poverty. I am sure that adding to the poor by inviting immigration does not help. There is an old saying that an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure, and another one - a stitch in time saves nine. In Canada during 2019, we had roughly 12,000 irregular immigrants come to Canada. These are not people going through the proper channels but are people skipping the queue by walking across our border from the US. The Federal government and the Province of Ontario (were I live) spent over $600 million to accommodate the "irregular" immigrants alone (roughly $50,000 per person). Instead of accommodating 12,000 people, Canada could have given a basic income to one million people in the originating countries. I have never investigated what each of the countries in the EU has spent per person but my belief is that it is better to help 1 million people live a reasonable life than 12,000.

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