"As in Chile, privatization in Britain was a victory for Chicago monetarism. This time it was implemented democratically. In fact, voters endorsed Margaret Thatcher’s selloff of public industries so strongly that by 1991, when she was replaced as prime minister by her own party’s John Major, only 35 percent of Britain’s voters supported the Labour Party – half the proportion registered in 1945. The Conservatives sold off public monopolies, used the proceeds to cut taxes, and put the privatized firms on a profit-making basis. Their stock prices rose sharply, making capital gains for investors whose ranks included millions of Britons who had been employees and/or customers of these enterprises.
"Yet by 1997 the Conservatives were voted out of office by one of the largest margins in their history. What concerned voters were the results of privatization that Mrs. Thatcher had not warned them about. Prices did not decline proportionally to cost cuts and productivity gains. Many services were cut back, especially on the least utilized transport routes. The largest privatized bus company was charged with cut-throat monopoly practices. The water system broke down, while consumer charges leapt. Electricity prices were shifted against residential consumers in favor of large industrial users. Economic inequality widened as the industrial labor force shrunk by two million from 1979 to 1997, while wages stagnated in the face of soaring profits for the privatized companies. The tax cuts financed by their selloff turned out to benefit mainly the rich."
"Mrs. Thatcher has described how her upbringing living over her father’s grocery store in the small town of Grantham shaped her impressions of how society worked. “There is no better course for understanding free-market economics than life in a corner shop.” It was an experience that inoculated her “against the conventional economic wisdom of post-war Britain,” that is, the faith in government planning and the disdain felt among the literati for entrepreneurial values. Hers was the world of “Methodism, the grocer’s shop, Rotary and all the serious, sober virtues cultivated and esteemed in that environment.”
Did anyone catch MSNBC's Lawrence O'Brien Monday evening?
He said British conservatism is more liberal than American liberalism and played a clip in which Margaret Thatcher strongly endorsed what we Yanks call single-payer health care. He said American conservatives who praise Thatcher don't know what they're saying.
Someone surely posted it on YouTube and knows how to post it here. I recorded it on DVD and will, when I have a few minutes more than I do just now, will post some of her remarks.