Stoll: Thatcher’s Crucial Legacy Transforming British Economy
Monday, 08 Apr 2013 10:52 AM
By Ira Stoll
Of all the possible ways to remember Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher — victorious cold warrior, pioneering woman politician, resolute American ally — the one that’s probably most relevant today is the way she transformed Britain’s domestic policy and economy.
The numbers tell the story. As The Telegraph reports, when she took office in 1979, the top British tax rate on earned income was 83 percent; on “unearned” income, 98 percent. By the time she left office in 1990, the rate had come down to 40 percent.
It was a classic supply-side success story. The growth encouraged by the lower rates (along with an increase in the value-added tax that shifted the tax burden to consumption rather than income) caused government revenues to more than triple, to 187 billion pounds in 1990 from 57 billion in 1979.
Yet because the private sector grew faster than government spending, even during a Cold War military buildup and a war in the Falkland Islands, government spending as a percentage of GDP in Britain shrank during Thatcher’s administration, to 39 percent from 47 percent. Britain had annual real GDP growth of 4 percent in 1986, 4.6 percent in 1987, and 5 percent in 1988.
As if that weren’t enough, the Telegraph summary continues, she privatized government-owned gas, electric, coal, telephone, and airline companies, and she sold the “council flats” housing projects to the tenants who lived in them.
How did she do it? There are all sorts of possible explanations, including the fact that Britain in the late 1970s, like America, had sunk to such a sorry state that there was a market for solutions that were alternatives to the big-government conventional wisdom. But the point that seems most salient from this distance is Thatcher’s steadfast confidence in the basic principles behind her policies. It was, as she put it in her “Iron Lady” speech, “my defense of values and freedoms fundamental to our way of life.”
She explained those values in her 1988 Bruges Speech, speaking of how “From classical and medieval thought we have borrowed that concept of the rule of law which marks out a civilized society from barbarism. And on that idea of Christendom, to which the Rector referred—Christendom for long synonymous with Europe—with its recognition of the unique and spiritual nature of the individual, on that idea, we still base our belief in personal liberty and other human rights.”
She went on, “The lesson of the economic history of Europe in the ’70s and ’80s is that central planning and detailed control do not work and that personal endeavour and initiative do. That a State-controlled economy is a recipe for low growth and that free enterprise within a framework of law brings better results … and that means action to free markets, action to widen choice, action to reduce government intervention. Our aim should not be more and more detailed regulation from the centre: It should be to deregulate and to remove the constraints on trade.”
Even The New York Times obituary, beneath a home-page headline characterizing the heroine of the Cold War as “divisive,” seemed to grasp what it describes as “the principles known as Thatcherism — the belief that economic freedom and individual liberty are interdependent, that personal responsibility and hard work are the only ways to national prosperity, and that the free-market democracies must stand firm against aggression.”
What to make of Thatcher in America today, when talk of a 4 percent growth rate is dismissed as a “fantasy” by distinguished commentators? Today, the tax debate between the political parties seems to be about how much to raise taxes, not how much to cut them. In today’s America, mere minor reductions in planned growth in government spending trigger paroxysms of political opposition, and the prospect of reducing government’s share of the economy, as Thatcher did, by 8 percentage points seems remote.
But it probably seemed remote in the late 1970s, too, that Britain’s first woman prime minister, who had grown up in an apartment above her father’s grocery store, would reshape a failing post-Colonial power into an exemplar of liberty. And who would have thought then that, 30 years later and an ocean away, she would be inspiring those of us who believe that even after Thatcher’s (and Reagan’s) Cold War victories and tax cuts, there yet remains room for another political leader with the conviction and skill to redefine the possibilities for growth and economic freedom?
BREAKING: Hillary Clinton Donor Ed Buck Arrested After Another Male Overdoses In His Seedy LA Apartment
Democrat donor and Hillary friend Ed Buck was finally arrested Tuesday night after a third man overdosed in his apartment.
The man who overdosed in Ed Buck’s Los Angeles apartment last week survived, however the other two victims previously died.
Ed Buck will be in court Wednesday.
Ed Buck loves to inject young black gay escorts with methamphetamine — the mother of one of Ed Buck’s victims described it as a fetish.
He was finally arrested after two black gay escorts died in his apartment from overdoses.
KTLA 5 reported:
The prominent Democratic donor and LGBTQ political activist Ed Buck was arrested Tuesday and charged with operating a drug house and providing methamphetamine to a 37-year-old man who overdosed last week, officials said.
Buck was charged with three counts of battery causing serious injury, administering methamphetamine and maintaining a drug house, according to the Los Angeles County district attorney’s office. Buck is accused of injecting the victim, who survived, with methamphetamine on Sept. 11.
Video of Ed Buck getting taken away by Sheriff deputies:
Bill Melugin ✔@BillFOXLA
BREAKING: Democratic donor Ed Buck has been arrested at his West Hollywood apartment on drug charges, per @WHDLASD. Neighbor on scene tells me Buck is currently in the back of one of the cruisers. Two gay black men previously died of meth overdoses at his apt. @FOXLA
Bill Melugin ✔@BillFOXLA
BREAKING: Here is video of #EdBuck being taken away by deputies following his arrest at his #WestHollywood apartment on drug charges tonight. @FOXLA
of another young black gay escort was found at the West Hollywood home of Ed Buck, a top Democrat donor and political activist.
As previously reported, a black gay escort named Gemmel Moore died of a meth overdose at Ed Buck’s West Hollywood home in July of 2017.
The LA County District Attorney’s Office previously declined to prosecute Ed Buck saying the evidence was “insufficient to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that (Buck) is responsible for the death of Gemmel Moore,” which sparked an outrage from family members and others in the community.
Jasmyne Cannick told FOX and Friends nearly a dozen black men have come forward to speak on their experiences with “serial predator” Ed Buck.
Cannick also went off on the Democrat Party: “Over 77% of black people in California vote Democratic. We vote for Democrats.
It is a shame that when something like this happens, when you have the chair of your state party when at the time of this , Eric Bauman, who was willing to turn a blind eye as well as instruct others not to speak on it. As a black woman, as a black Democrat, I expect more from my party.
Last week, a black male was seen entering Ed Buck’s seedy LA apartment.
Update: Top Democrat Donor Ed Buck Charged with Maintaining Drug House – Police Find HUNDREDS OF PHOTOS of Men in Compromising Positions in His Home
Buck was charged with operating a drug house.
According to the LA Times — Sheriff’s investigators found hundreds of photographs in Buck’s home of men in compromising positions.
Sheriff’s investigators found hundreds of photographs in Ed Buck’s home of men in compromising positions
Democratic donor Ed Buck arrested, charged with operating drug house
Buck was charged with three counts of battery causing serious injury, administering methamphetamine and maintaining a drug house, according to the Los Angeles County district attorney's office. Buck... latimes.com