Voters in the United Kingdom will decide on Thursday whether the UK should leave the European Union. What has the European Union done?
Marian Tupy writes:
So, in preparation for the British referendum on the EU membership, let us take a closer look at the EU: what is it and what has it accomplished?
This is how the EU answers those questions: “The EU is unlike anything else—it isn’t a government, an association of states, or an international organization. Rather, the 28 Member States have relinquished part of their sovereignty to EU institutions, with many decisions made at the European level. The European Union has delivered more than 60 years of peace, stability, and prosperity in Europe, helped raise our citizens’ living standards, launched a single European currency (the euro) , and is progressively building a single Europe-wide free market for goods, services, people, and capital” (my emphasis).
This self-congratulatory assessment of the EU’s achievements is deeply problematic. Consider peace and stability. The EU’s narrative ignores, for example, the roles played by Germany’s unconditional surrender, Anglo-American occupation of West Germany, the rise of the communist threat in the East, and the creation of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization—all of which preceded the creation of the first and extremely tentative pan-European institutions. It also ignores the EU’s failure to deal with the Yugoslav crisis in the early 1990s, which was eventually “resolved” by the application of American military strength.
James Cook University, a public university in Australia, has censured marine scientist Peter Ridd for “failing to act in a collegial way and in the academic spirit of the university.” Ridd’s offense? He questioned whether photos which the Centre of Excellence for Coral Studies and the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority claim show the deteriorating health of the Great Barrier Reef may be misleading or even false.
After residents of Austin, Texas, voted last month to not overturn an earlier set of city regulations that would hamper their ability to find the drivers they needed, ehailing ride service companies Uber and Lyft, as they vowed they would, stopped operating in the city.
Since people can be decent and resourceful, lots of entrepreneurs leapt into the breach to give needy Austinites a lift, even at the risk of fine or arrest.
That risk has now become real. Reason reported a while back on the beginnings of Arcade City, a ride share app that used the Ethereum blockchain.
In Austin, after Uber and Lyft were driven away, they’ve used the far less futuristic-tech means of a Facebook page (with nearly 40,000 members) as a communal rideshare board.
And last Friday, Austin’s Ground Transportation Regulation Division launched a sting, as reported by local CBS station KeyeTV. Four different drivers had their cars impounded by the city, in addition to citations for “operating without a valid operating authority and operating without a valid city chauffeur permit.”
Cheri Hawes, an Arcade City driver, told the station:
She was shocked when it cost her $220 in towing fees and several citations up to $500 each. “I really thought the city was kind of behind us. It’s really helped so many people. For them to really have dedicated time to this I was really surprised,” said Hawes.
According to its Facebook page, Arcade City is exploring its legal options against the city for the impoundment of the vehicles. Arcade City says only one of the cited drivers is affiliated with their group.
ABC’s local KVUE reports this statement from Marissa Monroy, Spokesperson for Austin’s Transportation Department:
“If a company or individual is providing a ride for compensation and that compensation exceeds the federal reimbursement rate for privately-owned vehicles, those services are subject to regulation by City Code Chapter 13-2. Companies and individuals providing transportation service and charging more than the federal reimbursement rate without appropriate documentation are illegal in the City of Austin.”
That “federal reimbursement rate” is 54 cent per mile. “City officials said if drivers are being paid or compensated more than that, they’re operating illegally,” which has led various drivers on the Facebook page to talk about making sure that the amount of money they are willing to accept, but are not demanding!, is below that amount.
Arcade City founder Christopher David tweeted tonight that “everyone involved with this sting should be ashamed” and that they are contemplating legal action against Austin.
Those people who do not avidly track global economic events may be a bit confused by the growing tensions surrounding the UK referendum to exit the European Union, otherwise known as the “Brexit.” Unfortunately, the potential fallout surrounding the event could very well effect the entire world…
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