This post was originally posted at The New Democrat Plus
Margaret Thatcher coming to power in Britain in 1979 is very similar to Ronald Reagan coming to power in America in 1981. Both countries economies were in very bad shape with high unemployment, inflation, interest rates. But in Britain’s case their economy was in worst shape with their taxes much higher, more people on public assistance and in poverty and a lot of their economy under control of the U.K. Government. Socialists had dominated Britain post-World War II with a few exceptions and that is the country that Maggie Thatcher inherited.
To understand Margaret Thatcher you have to understand the difference between a British Conservative and an American Conservative especially as it relates to economic policy. Thatcher didn’t run and want to end the British welfare state, but to reform it and create a society where not as many people would need it. Because more people would be working with good jobs and able to take care of themselves. And create a society with high economic and job growth with growing wages and more people paying into the welfare state and fewer taking out of it.
Maggie Thatcher wanted to create a Britain where people who could were expected to work and be able to take care of themselves. With the welfare state there just for the people who truly needed it. And for whatever reasons weren’t able to take care of themselves. And if you at Britain in 1990 when Prime Minister Thatcher left office and compare that with how the country was when she came into office in 1979, she was very successful. And also look at how she changed the Labour Party with Tony Blair. Changing them from less of a socialist party with the super welfare state and more of a new democratic liberal party that wanted to use government to empower people. Instead of trying to take care of everyone.