“My job is to stop Britain going red.” – Margaret Thatcher, Nov. 3, 1977.
But the former UK prime minister, who died today, did far more than that. The Iron Lady reversed decades of statist policies that had turned Britain into the sick man of Europe. And in the process, Thatcherism provided inspiration for the burgeoning free-market revolution in America, as well. She privatized. She cut taxes. She busted unions. As economist Scott Sumner has noted, “Britain had lagged other European economies for decades, growing far more slowly than most economies on the continent. Thatcher’s reforms were among the most comprehensive in the world.”
Just compare the real per-person GDP performance of the UK economy versus the French economy. One nation in 1979 started to again embrace markets, the other did not. Brits went from being 10% poorer than Frenchmen to being 10% richer. The lady was not for turning, but thanks in great part to her policies and determination, the economic fate of the UK and the West was.
Thank you, Margaret Thatcher!