Monday, March 11, 2013

Margaret Thatcher on Inequality of Income

"Let me give you my vision: a man's right to work as he will, to spend what he earns, to have property, to have the state as a servant and not as a master; these are the British inheritance."
   -- Margaret Thatcher

This is where social and fiscal policy meet in the Progressive philosophy:  Equality of outcome.

Socialists the world over have hated America, not simply because America is not socialist (nor simply because America is powerful--China is powerful and mainly looks after its own national interests), but because our brand of capitalism has long afforded a better deal to the poor masses than all the well-meaning collectivism of Europe and Asia combined.  Case in point: People rushing in droves to be "exploited" by our "corporationey" businessmen.

This may be the penultimate question of fiscal philosophy between left and right.  Is it better to tolerate disparity if everybody is better off?  Or is it better if everyone is less well off but the disparity of income and/or wealth is less?   Thomas Sowell has explained over and over again that "trickle down" economics is not just a misnomer, but one that is a strawman-in-a-label.  The supply-side economics advocated by John F. Kennedy (and underlying his tax reducing policy) was described as "a rising tide lifts all boats."  Progressive economics, on the other hand, purports to raise some small boats higher by sinking some big boats.

Does it matter that the rich become filthy rich as long as the standard of living and average wealth of the poor  and middle class rises as well?   Does lowering the disparity of income between rich and poor matter if the policies cause the poor and middle class to be poorer than they were before?

Madame Prime Minister turns this argument around the way Republicans should be able to:
"And what a policy! Yes, he would rather have the poor poorer, provided the rich were less rich.  That is the liberal policy!"

There's some dialogue that wasn't in the Meryl Streep film!  What a powerhouse!  We lost an important voice when we lost Madame Thatcher.  A very important voice.  Look again at the quote at the beginning of this post.  While the "letter" of our American Constitution is innovative, both the "spirit" and "letter" of our Constitution are an elaboration of principles of British conceptions of common law, natural rights, religious liberty, rights of habeus corpus, right to trial by a jury of peers, right to property (protected from the avarice of the State).   This woman understood the foundations of our liberty better than 95% of Americans in red or blue states.  


  1. She is something else in that video. Excellent.

  2. She takes the moral rebuke and throws it back hard. A very compassionate, well-meaning friend back in November extolled "Affordable Care" saying that it was indecent that "a country as rich as America" should not do more for the people. Exactly how socialized can America become and still be the kind of country where people can afford much better care than socialist countries provide?