Thatcher in retrospect

18 March, 2018 at 20:58 | Posted in Politics & Society | 6 Comments

Yours truly was interviewed last week for a radio program re the legacy and impact of Margaret Thatcher on society. The picture below conveys, in not so many words, my feelings and views on the subject …


The rising inequality that has been going on in our societies since the Reagan-Thatcher era is outrageous. Income and wealth have​ increasingly been concentrated in the hands of a very small and privileged elite. And a society where we allow the inequality of incomes and wealth to increase without bound ​ sooner or later implodes. The cement that keeps us together erodes and in the end we are only left with people dipped in libertarian egoism and greed.

Now, more than ever, is it high time to reawaken the dream of a more egalitarian society and once and for all put an end to the neoliberal counterrevolution!


  1. In 1979 Thatcher’s main claim seemed to be that the liberalisation of businesses would lead to increased GDP, to the benefit of all. One still hears from Tory MPs that if business were less constrained, there will be more money for schools and hospitals.

    Some people propose wealth taxes or greater higher-rate income taxes, to which the Tories respond that ‘entrepreneurs’ would leave.

    It seems to me that a totally egalitarian society is both impossible and highly undesirable, so the problem is to identify a reasonable balance, and especially how one avoids society ‘imploding’. In the UK few people seem to believe the dogma of either main party, whereas I think a decent society would be governed more credibly.

  2. Dave, I absolutely agree re the undesirability and infeasibility of TOTAL egalitarian societies.That’s why I wrote “MORE egalitarian society” 🙂

  3. So a politician can direct and control society as if it were an ICBM? How come, then, that subsequent politicians have had no control over this ICBM which is our society, and have failed to launch any of their own?

  4. “Maggie Thatcher died 87 years too late” – English policeman Sgt. Scott, who was made to resign for tweeting that
    Thatcher’s buddy Reagan proved deficits don’t matter. See this St. Louis Fed graph of US government expenditures vs. Tax receipts vs. Budget balance:

    I have some questions about that graph: 1. In 2000 when there was a surplus, why is the red line, representing expenditures, about $2 trillion above the blue line, representing tax receipts?
    2. In 2008 when the deficit was about $1.4 trillion and tax receipts were about $1.1 trillion, why was expenditures still about $3 trillion higher than the sum of taxes and borrowing? Taxes and borrowing comes to about $2.5 trillion but expenditures were $5.5 trillion. Where did the extra $3 trillion come from?
    Looking at the linked graph, it is pretty obvious that deficits don’t matter. Japan is further evidence …

  5. And Kaldor saw it happen 40 years ago:

  6. Come the counter-counterrevolution, Lars can give up the proselytizing for the cause and put to good use his talent for melodramatic screenwriting.

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