the Beacon Journal editorial board

Economists and other experts warned about a ripple effect if Britain chose to exit the European Union. The fallout quickly reached this side of the Atlantic. Retirement and other investment accounts received a battering, the Dow Jones Index plunging as part of investors around the globe losing $3 trillion before markets began to stabilize on Tuesday.

The deep concern is that the uncertainty will not ease soon. Striking has been how ill prepared the leaders of the Leave campaign have appeared, lacking answers to that basic question: What next? Accompanying the obvious financial uncertainty is the political variety. Scots favored remaining in the European Union by a landslide margin. Will they seek independence from Britain? Will similarly supportive Northern Ireland make its own move?

Perhaps most discouraging about the decision of British voters is the disdain for the knowledge available. That has been cast as a revolt against the elites. Yet there is value in expertise, especially in this instance, coming in the shape of informed warnings about a British departure making the country less open, less innovative, more parochial and poorer. Half of British exports are sold in European markets. The exit means those sales almost surely will encounter new obstacles.

Will the British escape burdensome, even absurd, regulations? No doubt. Yet, in this case, too, knowledge took a holiday. The regulatory structure amounts to something much less than the goliath described, countries far from forfeiting their autonomy.

Already Leave advocates have begun to walk back campaign claims, such as the savings from an exit. It wonít be as large as promised, let alone a big injection of resources into health services.

What will be the impact here, beyond those losses to retirement savings? Americans may benefit as foreign investment flees to safety in this country. It may be that Wall Street eventually will post gains as a financial market at the expense of London. Yet the worry now is that a global economy already facing challenges must cope with a new set of troubles. For instance, a stronger dollar risks further reducing export sales when American manufacturers have experienced a decline in leading overseas markets the first half of this year.

What deserves high priority for the longer term is defending the value of globalization while coming to the aid of those who are harmed. If Bernie Sanders, Donald Trump and others hurl many false accusations at trade deals, they are right that many lives are upended as economic patterns shift. That doesnít mean retreat from opening markets. It does argue for a much better response to the dislocation.

Many people are hurting, and more broadly from stagnating incomes. In Britain, such pain has helped fuel a decision contrary to its interests, not to mention the European achievement of peace and prosperity the past 60 years. Americans donít want to make their own such mistake. A central feature of this presidential campaign should be what to do for those harmed, and thereís no better place to have that discussion than Akron and the rest of battleground Ohio.