I personally owe a debt of gratitude to Margaret Thatcher, even though my parents despise her. Baroness Thatcher saved Great Britain, at a time when it was in deep decline. Even though her policies caused an initial recession (as did Ronald Reagan’s in the US) her slashing of taxes, deregulation and decentralization ultimately put Britain back on the map as a world power.
Before the first and second world war’s Britain was the world’s foremost superpower, much like the US is today, its power was unprecedented and unchallenged. After two of the most horrific wars in world history, its funds were greatly depleted and at home its social policies had begun to strangle this once prosperous nation.
During the late 1940’s and all the way up until Margret Thatcher and the new conservatives took over in 1979 socialism had ruled the roost, and its effects had been devastating. The British government now controlled almost all the major industries, from British Gas to British Telecom. Margret Thatcher decentralized government, and privatized many major industries, she allowed the British public to then buy stock in these companies and reap the financial benefits for themselves. She allowed government housing to be bought up by its occupants at discount rates so that individuals could proudly buy and own property where before they could not afford it.
Though she became a symbol of hate, particularly for the decline of the British coal mine industry, I believe this hate is misplaced and unjustified. The powerful socialist coal unions did it to themselves with their stupid philosophy of striking at every single grievance. The initial recession and unemployment should have been expected after decades of socialist rule. Interest rates spiked, but inflation plummeted. Without Margret Thatcher and her Austrian economics Britain would have been bankrupt before I was even born. Her understanding of individual virtues versus the collective, and her brilliance in private property ownership versus state own monopolies saved my great home nation from the brink of communist abyss.
I know that many of my family and friends back home despise this great woman, but it is a misplaced hatred. I have studied history and economics, and I can say that without a shadow of a doubt, that Margret Thatcher was one of the greatest leaders of the 20th Century.
May she rest in peace.