TINA’s back in town

TINA’s back in town

Back in the 1980s, supporters of neoliberal economics in Britain and America were fond of using the argument “there is no alternative” to push through their favored reforms. This time around it’s the supporters of the European Union who are trotting out the TINA argument.

Why for example, is it “inevitable” that if Greece pulls out of the Euro it will lead to the collapse of the Euro. Isn’t Greece, by definition a weak link in the Eurozone, hence the reason why it’s being bailed out?

Common sense suggests the key player’s in the Eurozone are those with the largest and healthiest economies, not the smallest and weakest. Why not stand the TINA argument on its head and say the EU will be economically stronger if it got rid of the dead wood on the periphery?

Also why would it be so disastrous for Europe if Britain left the EU? Why would the EU collapse just because Britain (an apathetic member at the best of times) wasn’t in it?

The only reason why Britain wants to be in the EU is because it wants access to the free trade zone within the EU. Otherwise most Britons are totally apathetic about the whole EU project (and certainly don’t want to be indentured slaves to China just to save Greece and Portugal). Therefore why not be pragmatic about things and arrange a deal whereby Britain is assured continuing access to EU trading zone, but is otherwise free to stay out of it?

And now we get to the heart of why EU advocates are dismissing moderate arguments and resorting to TINA. There are no strong pragmatic, economic reasons why countries shouldn’t opt of the Euro, or leave the EU altogether, only political reasons.

If countries were given the freedom to leave the EU or ditch the Euro, then the EU would lose political standing and wouldn’t have the power to impose its unpopular, undemocratic political policies on member states. It would, in effect become a pragmatic, voluntary arrangement for advancing the economic interests of member states (as it was originally intended to be) rather than a coercive tool for promoting idealistic, left-wing political agendas.


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