Why are Britons so keen to pay for the glory of the Leave leaders?
For sure, people are not stupid. Neither Leave voters are. But now we all know they were victims of a rigged trade, following the Akerlof’s model of information asymmetry applied to politics. As known, the economic theory developed by George Akerlof in the early Seventies states that, when entering into a contract, the party owning the best information on the object of the trade may persuade the counterpart to make an adverse selection, i.e. to suffer a damage from the contract. After signing the Brexit contract with their vote, Mr Nigel Farage told Britons he was lying when he said £350 million of European Union cash would be spent on the NHS after Brexit: which, in economic terms, is the pre-contractual opportunism used by the Leave campaign leaders during the negotiation on the vote.
But neither the Leave leaders were stupid, at least following “The basic laws of human stupidity” by Italian economist Carlo M. Cipolla. Cipolla’s Third Basic Law assumes that human beings fall into four basic categories: the helpless (the one who suffers losses while producing gains to others), the intelligent (the one who makes gains while yielding gains also to others), the stupid (a person who causes losses to another person or to a group of persons while deriving no gain and even possibly incurring losses himself) and the bandit (who takes an action by which he makes a gain causing a loss to others). So Mr Farage and Mr Boris Johnson were bandits. But bandits are still popular, as Madame Marine Le Pen in France and Mr Matteo Salvini in Italy are celebrating Brexit (don’t they feel a bit uncomfortable with being aligned with Daesh, also celebrating the UK implosion?).
So who’s the stupid in such a stupid thing? Follow the money. Today, the three main UK newspapers reach over 18 million readers per month (Daily Mail), 13 million (The Sun) and 12 million (Daily Telegraph): as they all backed the Leave campaign, they are presently in the bandits area. Should their sales fall or simply remain flat due to the economic consequences of the Brexit, we might have found the “the most dangerous type of person” in Mr Cipolla’s words.
Image: Monty Python’s Graham Chapman and Michael Palin take part in a skit outside the Houses of Parliament in January 1974 – Creative Commons