The Free Market Road Show visited Brussels in cooperation with New Direction. During the event, the ECB policies, the key to stop the regulation, and entrepreneurship were discussed in depth.
Belgian MEP Sander Loones dedicated his keynote speech to the policies of the European Central Bank. According to him, both Mario Draghi (president of the ECB) and Jean Claude Juncker (president of the European Commission) are committed to pump as much money as possible into the EU economy. In doing so, they are trying to cure Europe’s disease with the same poison which produced it: debt. Moreover, “the ECB has started QE regardless that monetary financing is forbidden by the laws of the EU”, said the MEP.
Naturally, this huge policy of monetary easing and public spending may very well lead to malinvestments and the inflation of new bubbles destined to burst.
However, instead of dealing with the real problems of the EU economy, its political and technocratic elites seem to be more interested in “covering the problems spending billions of euros”. “QE is not necessary”, concluded Mr. Loones, “there is no lack of funding in Europe, there is a tremendous lack of competitiveness”.
Later on came Dan Hannan, also an MEP, but of English origin. Hannan presented his thesis regarding how to effectively limit regulation and red tape. His recipe? Doing nothing. This, of course, needs some clarification.
“Doing nothing is not an option, say politicians all the time. Many times it is the best option”, said the MEP. What Hannan means by “doing nothing” is not relaxation but a constant battle against new regulation. In fact, the ones who should be doing nothing are politicians and bureaucrats. And we have to work really hard to achieve that.
In this fight, time is on our side because “all regulations become obsolete because of technological advancement. That is why is so important to switch off the regulatory machine”.
Finally, Kerry Halferty Hardy gave a powerful and humane talk on entrepreneurship based in her conversations with Uber drivers. As she said, “they have always an interesting story to tell”.
Ms. Halferty Hardy, a Texan by origin, is currently living in Paris. Most of these conversations have the French over regulated market as background. So, it is not a surprise when she said “speaking to the Uber drivers you understand how the thirty five hour week really hurts the young”.
France has sadly reached the point in which hard work is penalized. Not surprisingly, another lesson from the drivers is that “it is not easy in France to get a legal way to get some extra money”. In this regard, Halferty Hardy expressed that “Uber drivers always tell me that it is discouraging to be an entrepreneur in France”.