What we can learn from the Brexit vote

first_img 3SHARESShareShareSharePrintMailGooglePinterestDiggRedditStumbleuponDeliciousBufferTumblr,Henry Meier As General Counsel for the New York Credit Union Association, Henry is actively involved in all legislative, regulatory and legal issues impacting New York credit unions. Whether he’s joining … Web: www.nycua.org Details With State Legislatures shutting down and Congress going into a summer hiatus now is that time of year when credit unions stop and wonder why they even bother with politics. After all, the bankers seem to have as big a stranglehold as ever over the legislative process and core initiatives, like lifting the MBL cap on the national level or getting municipal deposit authority in states like New York, seem to be a long time away. Why bother making the effort if there is a pretty good chance it will lead to nothing? As a political junkie I love this stuff but I understand this frustration, to a point.Is politics frustrating, futile and even unseemly a good chunk of the time?  Yes? Is the legislative process so bad that it is better to walk away from it all together? Absolutely not.This brings us to Great Britain’s vote to leave the EU. One of the main reasons people voted for leaving is because the referendum empowered them to unequivocally get something done and poke “the establishment” in the eye for not listening to them. A legislative process never would have led to such a decisive decision. It would have tried to placate interest groups, checked with economists and ultimately come up with a proposal to incrementally change the EU.  The funny thing is I bet the majority of Brits would vote for such a muddled unsatisfying result now that they know that there really are negative consequences to living the EU.You see a similar impulse in this country. One of the Appeals of The Donald is his commitment to changing the way things are done consequences be dammed .The problem is that Democracy isn’t about majority rule or getting what you want. Not even the most powerful groups like the NRA, the teachers unions or bankers get what they want all the time. Democracy at its best is about a willingness to muddle through and, overtime, and coupled with a willingness to engage all levers at your disposal get policy makers to listen. If you are really lucky you might get something accomplished.Is it worth it to be part of this unproductive muddle? Well would the industry exist today if the only lobbyists legislators got information from were banking lobbyists? Are you better off today because credit unions complained about the Durbin amendment? And are we better off today because an increasing number of state legislatures are giving their state charters the FOM flexibility they need to grow?The fact is that, as an industry, credit unions have a record of success they can be proud of. I’m getting nervous though that as the years of legislative dysfunction pile up that there ae more and more people who are willing to walk away from the legislative process all together. This is too bad. With enough persistence we will get at least some of what we need but only if we stay engaged and don’t look for the easy way out.last_img

first_img 3SHARESShareShareSharePrintMailGooglePinterestDiggRedditStumbleuponDeliciousBufferTumblr,Henry Meier As General Counsel for the New York Credit Union Association, Henry is actively involved in all legislative, regulatory and legal issues impacting New York credit unions. Whether he’s joining … Web: www.nycua.org Details With State Legislatures shutting down and Congress going into a summer hiatus now is that time of year when credit unions stop and wonder why they even bother with politics. After all, the bankers seem to have as big a stranglehold as ever over the legislative process and core initiatives, like lifting the MBL cap on the national level or getting municipal deposit authority in states like New York, seem to be a long time away. Why bother making the effort if there is a pretty good chance it will lead to nothing? As a political junkie I love this stuff but I understand this frustration, to a point.Is politics frustrating, futile and even unseemly a good chunk of the time?  Yes? Is the legislative process so bad that it is better to walk away from it all together? Absolutely not.This brings us to Great Britain’s vote to leave the EU. One of the main reasons people voted for leaving is because the referendum empowered them to unequivocally get something done and poke “the establishment” in the eye for not listening to them. A legislative process never would have led to such a decisive decision. It would have tried to placate interest groups, checked with economists and ultimately come up with a proposal to incrementally change the EU.  The funny thing is I bet the majority of Brits would vote for such a muddled unsatisfying result now that they know that there really are negative consequences to living the EU.You see a similar impulse in this country. One of the Appeals of The Donald is his commitment to changing the way things are done consequences be dammed .The problem is that Democracy isn’t about majority rule or getting what you want. Not even the most powerful groups like the NRA, the teachers unions or bankers get what they want all the time. Democracy at its best is about a willingness to muddle through and, overtime, and coupled with a willingness to engage all levers at your disposal get policy makers to listen. If you are really lucky you might get something accomplished.Is it worth it to be part of this unproductive muddle? Well would the industry exist today if the only lobbyists legislators got information from were banking lobbyists? Are you better off today because credit unions complained about the Durbin amendment? And are we better off today because an increasing number of state legislatures are giving their state charters the FOM flexibility they need to grow?The fact is that, as an industry, credit unions have a record of success they can be proud of. I’m getting nervous though that as the years of legislative dysfunction pile up that there ae more and more people who are willing to walk away from the legislative process all together. This is too bad. With enough persistence we will get at least some of what we need but only if we stay engaged and don’t look for the easy way out.last_img

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