POTW: Margaret Thatcher
Posted by Moose
Originally a chemist, Thatcher went on to become Prime Minister of England in 1979. Serving there until 1990.
From my perspective 1970’s England appears to be a lot like Cleveland. It was dull, stagnant, bland, and unproductive. Through deregulation, work flexibility, privatisation, and weakening the power of unions.
She lowered direct taxes on income and increased indirect taxes. She increased interest rates to slow the growth of the money supply and thereby lower inflation, introduced cash limits on public spending, and reduced expenditure on social services such as education and housing.
As a result of the continued recession Thatcher’s approval rating fell as she increased taxes. However by 1982, the inflation rate fell to 8.6% from a previous 18%. Though unemployment was still high and manufacturing has dropped, economic growth was actually strong due to the financial improvements.
By the mid 80’s the economy was still strong and unemployment had begun to pay off.
But by the late 80’s she had begun to lose power. Introduction to a hugely unpopular poll tax led to rioting and her eventual replacement as Prime Minister.
Still to her supporters, Margaret Thatcher remains a figure who revitalised Britain’s economy, curbed the trade unions, and re-established the nation as a world power. She oversaw an increase from 7% to 25% of adults owning shares, and more than a million families bought their council houses, giving an increase from 55% to 67% in owner-occupiers. Total personal wealth rose by 80%.
Thatcher knew that England needed some harsh medicine in able to restore its presence on the world stage. Much like America is in need of strong leadership today, she made tough choices that hurt initially but paid off in the future with greater growth and success.
As a strong and brave leader she chose a small pain today, for success tomorrow, rather than no pain today, for lots of pain tomorrow.
Of course perhaps best of all about Lady Thatcher is that she was able to directly take on the intellectually weak, aka socialists and liberals.
She once said in a magazine interview;
I think we have gone through a period when too many children and people have been given to understand “I have a problem, it is the Government’s job to cope with it!” or “I have a problem, I will go and get a grant to cope with it!” “I am homeless, the Government must house me!” and so they are casting their problems on society and who is society? There is no such thing! There are individual men and women and there are families and no government can do anything except through people and people look to themselves first. It is our duty to look after ourselves and then also to help look after our neighbour and life is a reciprocal business and people have got the entitlements too much in mind without the obligations.
It’s for that that Prime Minister of England Margaret Thatcher is our person of the week.
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Posted on December 9, 2012, in Great Person of the Week and tagged 70's, 80's, capitalism, conservatism, economy, England, inflation rate, Margaret Thatcher, prime minister, prime minister of england, recession, socialism, taxes, UK. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.