- Self-Sufficiency Study 2018
- Living off the land: The joy of self-sufficiency and how to get started
- Drawbridge economics: the Brexit reality check is coming
- Main Features
- Self-Sufficiency in Belize | Offshore Living Letter
It concludes in a study that Switzerland could be self-sufficient in the case of an emergency: the agricultural land available could supply food up to the equivalent of 2,kcal 9,KJ per inhabitant the recommended daily energy intake is 7,,KJ. But to achieve this, agricultural production would have to be reorganised, and the Swiss would need to make changes to their diet. Pork, poultry and eggs would be a rare treat and the population would instead be eating more baked goods and potatoes.
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Self-Sufficiency Study 2018
All other rights remain the property of swissinfo. In particular, any sale or commercial use of these data is prohibited. This content was published on September 11, AM Sep 11, - Self-sufficiency The Swiss centre of excellence for agricultural research, Agroscope external link , has examined what might happen if the country could no longer trade with other countries. Fact Checks by swissinfo. Neuer Inhalt Horizontal Line. Like swissinfo. Let us know. Survey Your questions become our stories: time to vote.
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Living off the land: The joy of self-sufficiency and how to get started
Home Affairs Minister Berset also insists that there is enough transparency concerning imported foods, which are clearly labelled so consumers can decide for themselves whether or not to buy them. Figures indicate a mere ratio Another factor to keep in mind is that the calculation of self-sufficiency does not take into account what proportion of Swiss-produced foodstuffs is actually consumed domestically and how much of it is exported or compensated by imports.
These regulations cut both ways. They are partially inefficient restraints on business, protecting incumbent companies and guilds from competition. At the same time they are also partially economically beneficial, because they set the ground rules that facilitate a large and integrated market. In any given industry, the European standards will display more or less of these two attributes.
But since the UK is primarily an exporter of higher-end products and especially of business, financial, media and education services, there can be no escaping the need for agreed rules and standards. So it loses a lot by being—as Theresa May has proposed it should be—outside of the single market, even if it manages to get a trade deal.
The UK economy will adjust, and over the long term, we will be better off. There is overregulation of EU labour markets. There is heavy-handed regulation from Brussels in other things. There are big bills for European-style welfare states. There is demographic decline. And there are problems associated with euro membership. Now, on that list, four of those five do not apply to the UK, even if it stayed a member of the EU.
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The UK has looser labour market regulations than anyone else in the EU, and—even while complying with those strictures that Europe does require—its labour markets remain flexible by world standards. The EU has not prevented the UK having a smaller welfare state than comparably wealthy states in western Europe. Demographically, the UK has actually been a beneficiary of membership of the expanded EU, because people from Poland, France, Portugal and Romania have come and helped balance out the ageing of British society.
And the UK was, of course, never a member of the single currency. Double-dip: Real wage growth for the continually-employed. The economic cost of remaining really boils down to excessive regulation in certain areas of business life. Even there, leaving represents a mixed blessing because at the same time as escaping some of these regulations, it is unrealistic for British business to escape them all if it continues to export into the European standards-based market.
Yet, by leaving, you give up the. Leave the rhetoric aside, look at the reality. This is not a very good deal in economic terms. Assuming Brexit goes ahead as May plans, the UK is simply going to have to cope with this negative supply shock. In order to adjust, the British economy will have to endure some mix of higher inflation, lower purchasing power, declining terms of trade, and a weaker pound for several years.
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This painful adjustment process has in fact already begun, as was seen when the Bank of England felt it necessary to raise interest rates in November, despite there being little reason to do so in terms of domestic conditions. More fundamentally, the UK economy will have to absorb this shock at a time when it is already suffering from a staggering decline in productivity growth relative to other western economies. Even more importantly, near-zero productivity growth means near-zero real wage growth. There is no reason to expect that workers will be protected from the pain of inflation.
Furthermore, the UK has accumulated through both the boom and the bust a set of large imbalances. It has ongoing budget deficits, large trade deficits, an over-concentration of activity in the financial sector, and then—in geographical terms—an over-concentration in the southeast as well. Over the last few years, even after the Brexit vote, there has been a further growth of consumer borrowing while corporate investment has gone negative and trade has gone the wrong way.
Overall, the British economy already had a painful adjustment coming, and now that process will be compounded since the UK has resolved to pull itself out of economies of scale and curtail easy access to its biggest markets. Do the mental exercise. If this were Britain in the post-war Bretton Woods period, or during its time in the European Exchange Rate Mechanism circa , and we were seeing this same mix of unbalanced macroeconomic indicators, we would predict a crash in the pound. The peg would be doomed. Thankfully, the UK today does not have a fixed exchange rate.
But if you do that exercise, it reminds us of just how unsustainable the current British economic path is. The pound has to decline further. Like Britain as a whole, it has further to go in being mugged by reality.
Drawbridge economics: the Brexit reality check is coming
Stable prices and exchange rates are going to have to give. No one should fantasise that a depreciation will lead to prosperity, however, any more than repeated devaluations delivered sustained growth to the UK or to Italy in the s and s. At a time when benefits for the poor are frozen and—in the last few months—wage growth has ground to a halt, even relatively modest inflation is going to hurt. A surprising recent economic phenomenon makes the challenge from globalisation to a Britain outside the EU even greater.
We have seen the occurrence in recent years of currencies declining in advanced economies, while the trade gap fails to change appreciably. Usually a falling currency is thought to be a direct mechanism of adjustment for a country that is suffering from declining terms of trade. So, in the case of the UK, after the pound falls, Brits used to find they could afford fewer German cars or Italian holidays and cut back on those products for cheaper domestic substitutes, while at the same time British exporters found their wares were cheaper in euros or dollars, and thus sold more.
But that textbook adjustment is not working today. There was a similar pattern at the start of the crisis where the trade-weighted pound also declined sharply—by roughly 25 per cent over the course of —but the trade gap failed to close very much at all. One factor is that the UK is towards the upper end in global supply chains. That means whether it is cars or financial services of certain kinds, production requires a bunch of imported inputs, whether of people or car parts, before the end product can be exported. The net gain you get from currency depreciation is limited. A similar logic is at work in Japan, where the decline in the value of the yen in recent years has not had as big an impact on the trade balance as economists initially expected.
That is a large and sudden shrinkage in a major economy, reflecting the wider economics of the crisis and more particular failings of the City.
These are real lasting setbacks to British service exports for which exchange rates alone cannot compensate—at best, a persistently weaker pound will, over time, lead to a reallocation of workers and investment to industries that compete internationally on price, rather than quality. That sounds like a step backwards. Whatever the reason why depreciation has ceased to work to improve trade balances as it used to, it leaves the UK an unbalanced economy facing a self-inflicted supply shock with one fewer means of adjustment to the new reality.
Amid the daunting reality of international commerce outside the EU and low productivity growth, it is plain that Brexit is only going to succeed economically for the British people if the country were to somehow leap beyond the reach of economic gravity, and replace much of its trade with the EU with new markets.
There is no obvious precedent, however, for any large nation successfully defying gravity, and reordering its trade on a whim, let alone doing it so quickly. At best, a long and painful process of adjustment is required to reorient to new markets, new industries, and new relationships. In the decades after , the old Eastern European countries did achieve this—but these iron curtain countries had the option of competing as low-wage economies during the generation-long adjustment period, much to the annoyance of Brexiteers.
There is no reason to believe that Britain, a country where wages already disappoint domestically but remain high by world standards, will be able to pull off the same trick. More importantly, while Eastern Europe could forge a new economic accord with the west, there is absolutely no reason at all to believe that the rest of the world will alter its patterns of trade and investment in reaction to the efforts and aspirations of a Britain that has, for whatever reason, resolved to go it alone.
Her disinflationary policies did not ultimately succeed in transforming the UK economy: inflation and trade deficits bounced back with the economy in the late s. But for its devotees, Brexit is likewise bound to succeed today because it must. What else, however, does one have to believe to sustain that faith? Brexit would have to cast some very special spell on all British businesses, to offset the damage done by rising trade barriers, and the flight of investment and workers from abroad. Thatcher would surely be appalled, and protest that such magical thinking involved standing TINA on her head.
For all the social harm unleashed by the Iron Lady and TINA, at least the original Thatcherites could point to some plausible mechanisms for imposing new discipline—like hard money and fiscal austerity, as well as the resulting strong pound, which would force painful shake-outs on workers and old industries. Brexit is not going to make Britain into a wonderful capitalist exemplar, let alone a global trader, like Hong Kong was in the s.
Self-Sufficiency in Belize | Offshore Living Letter
Ultimately, it will produce lasting economic harm to British citizens, because market economics works and global integration has benefits. The costs of some overregulation imposed by Brussels in some industries are nothing to compare with the self-imposed costs of a trading nation running away from globalisation. Forgotten password? We'll even send you our e-book— Writing with punch —with some of the finest writing from the Prospect archive, at no extra cost!
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