Monday, April 8, 2013

God Bless You, Lady Thatcher

This morning I received an email request from The Heartland Institute - a think tank I am an advisor to - requesting a comment for the media on the passing of Margaret Thatcher.

This was the first I had heard of her death.

After a long time of staring at the computer I was finally able to offer this:

“At a time when the world was facing a growing threat from economic collectivism, Lady Thatcher stood firmly rooted in the principles of economic liberty.  Her refusal to cave into the onslaught of union threats, the plea for greater government spending and higher taxes, meant that Britain transitioned from a nation mired in stagflation to one that came to be admired for pragmatic free market reforms.  The last of the giants of 20th century economic liberty will be missed more than the world is prepared to comprehend.”

It is very difficult to explain to people who are much younger than I what impact the Iron Lady had on global economic freedom.

Even before Ronald Reagan arrived on the scene, Margaret Thatcher was engaged in a great struggle in Great Britain to impose a new economic order on her nation.

When World War II ended, incredibly the British voters gave Winston Churchill the boot and elected a Christian Socialist by the name of Clement Atlee.

Atlee and the Labor Party successfully nationalized Britain's major industries - forcing businesses to sell their property to the government.  The government promised to reform Britain's economy by protecting workers and nonworkers from the evils of capitalism. 

Within 30 years Great Britain had become one of the poorest nations in all of Europe.

Thatcher, who had learned economics as a girl working in her father's store, and from reading Hayek's The Road to Serfdom became Prime Minister in 1974 when England was facing roaring inflation, high rates of unemployment, labor strikes all over the place and growing welfare and tax burdens.

What came next can be seen in the video I am added below.

In just 10 years of her brilliant, pro-liberty reforms, Great Britain's economy was once again a beacon for other nations to emulate.

With her passing, the world is worse off.  The cause of liberty is on shakier ground and heaven has received one of the all-time champions of human dignity.

Thank you, Lady Thatcher.

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