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Overall I'd argue that this is the main benefit of the EU from anywhere on the (sane) political spectrum: it enforces and/or encourages transparency and standardization of government policy, reducing the power of elites to keep a less beneficial (for the whole population) status quo.

Though Fitzgerald is being a bit misleading comparing the living standard of Ireland, Spain and Portugal at entrance to the EU with the current situation, since the joining of the Eastern European countries significantly reduced the overall average. Still, this is offset by the numbers for those countries.

by Anspen on Tue Jan 30th, 2018 at 12:29:16 AM EST
His comparisons are with the average for the EU15 - i.e. without the eastern European states

Index of Frank's Diaries
by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Tue Jan 30th, 2018 at 12:48:22 AM EST
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D'oh! The article even says so repeatedly. A case of late night reading on my part. I haven't seen much reporting on the comparative rise in income of the new EU members in the last few years. These seem to be fairly good, especially considering the great recession.
by Anspen on Tue Jan 30th, 2018 at 06:02:31 PM EST
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