Anyone who has the wit to create a dance troupe of JCBs has something going for them, an inquisitive mind at least. So it is with Lord Bamford's views on Brexit.
Here at the ASI of course we contain multitudes so views on Brexit itself differ. Our ultimate aim is always the same, an increase in liberty and freedom, but whether clean, hard, soft or no-Brexit leads us to that nirvana is something to discuss. However, it is at least possible that this is true:
The cost of European Union regulations for companies means that Britain is better off leaving the single market, one of the country’s most senior business leaders has said.
Lord Bamford, the chairman of JCB and a Conservative peer, said that trade tariffs imposed after Brexit would be a “price worth paying” and that UK businesses will take it “in their stride”.
Whether it becomes true is dependent upon what we actually do post that Brexit which has already been decided upon.
By analogy we could look at the Nordic economies. They are famously high tax and high redistribution. A lesser known fact is that they are rather more red in capitalist tooth and claw, free market zealotry, than either the US or UK. The usual lists of economic freedom have them at the top and Scott Sumner has persuasively argued that if look past the tax rates then Denmark is the freest economy on the planet.
One way to explain this is that if you are going to have that topweight of heavy redistribution then you need to have the vibrantly free economy underneath in order to be able to afford it and also have any hope of economic growth.
Back to Brexit - yes, EU membership gives us Single Market access and membership. It also gives us a heavy ballast of regulation. If we're outside the market, facing tariff barriers, then we need to ditch that weight of regulation to compensate. Whether we do or not is up to us of course. But it is at least possible that Bamford is correct here.
We might even find, and certainly some of us here insist we will, that the regulation has always cost us more than the market access gains us so we will be better off out.