America is not the land of the free but one of monopolies so predatory they imperil the nation



Its growing economic crisis is in contrast to a thriving and newly innovative Europe

Tomorrow, President Trump arrives in London for the annual Nato summit. Despite the boasting and the trappings of superpower status, he is an emissary from a country whose economy and society are in increasing difficulty, and whose global leadership is under challenge not just from the usual suspect, China, but from Europe. With the unerring capacity to be wrong that defines the Brexit right, Britain is about to decouple itself from a continental economy beginning to get things right, and hook up with one that is palpably beginning to fail.

This is not the conventional wisdom. The EU is sclerotic, undynamic, stifled by quasi-socialist red tape, and hostile to insurgent startups. It is so degenerate it cannot even defend itself – as Trump will undoubtedly remind its leaders over the next two days. The US is the mirror opposite. A free trade agreement post 31 January with the US is the number one strategic policy aim for Brexit Britain – unshackling the UK from the declining old, and embracing the English-speaking, dynamic new. Best be nice to “the Donald”.

Except the latest research demonstrates the reverse is true. Britain is about to make a vast mistake. In the recently published The Great Reversal, leading economist Thomas Philippon of New York University and member of the advisory panel of the New York Federal Reserve, mounts a devastating attack on the conventional wisdom, so perfectly embodied by the witless Boris Johnson. The news is that over the last 20 years per capita EU incomes have grown by 25% while the US’s have grown 21%, with the US growth rate decelerating while Europe’s has held steady – indeed accelerating in parts of Europe. What is going on?

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