Growth is a relatively meaningless vanity metric, it doesn’t tell the story of how prosperous a country is or the standard of living of the people living there.
Citizens living in “low growth” France or Denmark have a better life in almost every possible measure than the vast majority citizens in “high growth” India, for example.
Or to put it another way, it’s better to be unemployed in Germany, than working 2 minimum wage jobs with no healthcare in the USA, regardless of their relative growth.
Shackled to the “stagnant” and “failing EU
However, Brexiteers have long ignored those facts, preferring to justify leaving the political, economic and other mechanisms which we’ve built with the rest of our continent because the EU has had a period of low growth.
They usually repeat some variation of: “We’re shackled to the failing/stagnant EU, Italy has high youth unemployment and EU growth is low”.
Add in EUSSR, caps lock and “What about Greece” as you like, but the message is broadly the same.
That the EU is apparently stagnant, failing and by implication poor and unsuccessful.
Usually growth figures are cited, India and China are growing faster, they say, therefore they are better.
UK slowest growing member of the EU
As time goes by and “leading indicators” start to translate into real effects on the UK economy, prosperity, investment and standards of living; the vanity metrics like growth seem to suggest that it’s the UK that is on the route towards stagnation and failure.
Today it was revealed that the UK is now the slowest growing member of entire 28 EU members in the first quarter of 2017.
A taste of what’s to come?
The UK’s economy has been growing faster than most of the rest of the EU for the past 8 years.
That wealth certainly hasn’t been distributed fairly, investment has been lagging and bad decision making by UK governments has made sure that many people don’t feel richer.
Real wage growth has even gone into reverse for many people, despite what Brexiteers crow about the UK’s “Growth”:
The second stage is Denial
The Brexiteers will dismiss these very early indicators of what it means for the UK to leave the EU as: “fake statistics” or “just a bump in the road and worth it for our freedom”, of course.
The question is, how much are the less committed leave voters willing to pay in their own standard of living, real wages, or job?
Before they start to think that maybe, just maybe, the vast majority of experts, world leaders, academics, banks, business leaders, foreign governments, might have had a point when they said Brexit is going to be quite painful.