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Old 04-11-2013, 01:38 PM   #181
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Default Re: Maggie Thatcher died today

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Originally Posted by Lopez View Post
Oh, based on the article we're talking about Britain's case specifically, so we're not talking about the global financial crisis. Understood. Well, it's evident that any country with a strong banking presence would be more affected by the crisis than those with a lower one. Here in Finland we survived that crash quite well but the Eurocrisis is worse.
Well, I was talking about Thatcher and Thatcherism. It's not just about Britain's "strong banking presence," it's about deregulations that initially created something of a boom but in the long-term led to a deep bust.

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But since you mention it, I don't suppose you have noticed that 3 of every 4 critical opinion pieces about Thatcher that have been posted in this thread are from the Guardian? Didn't think so.

...

Well, I guess if you are going to grasp at straws you may as well make them the big ones.
I posted articles from the Economist and the Torygraph, which I think even you would admit are not raging socialist rags. When their analyses of Thatcher's economic legacy aligns with mine I don't think it's I who has to grasp at any straws.

And anyway, the idea that a doubling of the poverty rate is justified under the notion of an "improved overall economy" is a rationalization that only the most stubborn of ideologues would cling to.
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Old 04-11-2013, 01:42 PM   #182
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Default Re: Maggie Thatcher died today

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One of the most misrepresented phrases of the 20th century. The full context from the same interview:

There is no such thing as society. There is living tapestry of men and women and people and the beauty of that tapestry and the quality of our lives will depend upon how much each of us is prepared to take responsibility for ourselves and each of us prepared to turn round and help by our own efforts those who are unfortunate.

It was not an ode to selfishness. It was an ode to personal responsibility. Too often people use 'society' as this nebulous construct and say it is responsible for solving problems, when we should be taking responsibility ourselves - whether that is to fix our own situation, or help our neighbour fix his.

We abrogate our own duties when we say something is society's fault, or society's job to fix. Society, insofar as it exists, is us.
Thanks for the quote it indeed looks better and I actually agree with it. Especially with "our lives will depend upon how much each of us is prepared to take responsibility for ourselves and each of us prepared to turn round and help by our own efforts those who are unfortunate

But it seems that she personally failed in that part in bold. I don't like governments, but some organized effort is needed to solve this problem, it seems we can't rely on charities and similar stuff in the times when greed is a norm, a desirable thing.
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Old 04-11-2013, 01:46 PM   #183
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Default Re: Maggie Thatcher died today

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Originally Posted by Caesar1844 View Post
One of the most misrepresented phrases of the 20th century. The full context from the same interview:

There is no such thing as society. There is living tapestry of men and women and people and the beauty of that tapestry and the quality of our lives will depend upon how much each of us is prepared to take responsibility for ourselves and each of us prepared to turn round and help by our own efforts those who are unfortunate.

It was not an ode to selfishness. It was an ode to personal responsibility. Too often people use 'society' as this nebulous construct and say it is responsible for solving problems, when we should be taking responsibility ourselves - whether that is to fix our own situation, or help our neighbour fix his.

We abrogate our own duties when we say something is society's fault, or society's job to fix. Society, insofar as it exists, is us.
Here is the thing - society is not a nebulous construct - correct. Society is a thing that has been created as the country has grown in population and developed, as time has passed and as Government and other structures have been put in place to tackle certain kinds of problems.

For example, at some point, it was decided by Government and endorsed by the electorate that the best way of tackling poor health in our citizens was to create a nationalised health service that was free at the point of use and available to all. (Delivered in 1948 after Labour won a landslide in 1945 and won again in 1950). This was an instance where the citizens of the country agreed that we would use some our income, as tax, to fund this health service. This creates a more efficient, joined-up health service than would exist if it were left to private charity, local organisations, and the hodge-podge of initiatives that existed beforehand on matters of public health. The citizens pooled their tax money to create a service that worked for the good of all. This is not absolving ourselves of personal responsibility, this is collectively working together to tackle a problem more efficiently than could otherwise be tackled on a smaller scale. That's what the welfare state is about, it's not about abrogating personal responsibility, it's about using the power of a large organisation such as the state to deliver improvements and give help - charity - to those who need it. Welfare is institutionalised charity.

We should indeed take responsibility for our lives and our actions and where possible solve our own problems and help our neighbours, but in a complex world too many problems are outside our control and outside our singular ability to effectively solve.
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Old 04-11-2013, 01:47 PM   #184
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Default Re: Maggie Thatcher died today

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You want to start blaming everyone associated with a particular ideology for the subsequent consequences, then you may as well blame the Labour movement for Stalin's purges.
She had her own faults, I believe her ideology was flawed from the start and so it proved to be, but the responsibility for testing her ideology to destruction does not fall on her.
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Old 04-11-2013, 01:49 PM   #185
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Default Re: Maggie Thatcher died today

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How well versed are you with the mechanisms of the financial crisis and the banking sector? I'm not trying to be condescending but I've studied these topics in the University during my studies in Economics and so I don't want to use terminology that you are not familiar with and appear all high and mighty .

What aspects of deregulation specifically are you saying caused the crisis? Because the fundamental issue in this whole thing is mispricing risk, selling assets with a price that did not correspond with the truth. There are plenty of interesting aspects to discuss here but I want to narrow down the point of discussion.
Well I'm definitely not an expert so I would defer to someone on is on matters of terminology and fact.

Let me turn around the question onto you, since you are better qualified perhaps to answer it - what do you think caused it? How did mispricing risk come about? Why were regulators and others not awake to the fact that risk was being mispriced and an unsustainable asset bubble was being created?
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Old 04-11-2013, 01:51 PM   #186
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Default Re: Maggie Thatcher died today

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This is not absolving ourselves of personal responsibility, this is collectively working together to tackle a problem more efficiently than could otherwise be tackled on a smaller scale.
How dare you with your leftist rhetoric!

This is the thing that many on the right seem unable (or refuse to) understand: some services, some industries, are operated more efficiently and to the benefit of the most people when they are publicly-run or nationalized. Health services are the perfect example of how our "personal responsibility to others" is best carried out through the collective agreement of individuals.
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Old 04-11-2013, 01:54 PM   #187
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Default Re: Maggie Thatcher died today

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Thanks for the quote it indeed looks better and I actually agree with it. Especially with "our lives will depend upon how much each of us is prepared to take responsibility for ourselves and each of us prepared to turn round and help by our own efforts those who are unfortunate

But it seems that she personally failed in that part in bold. I don't like governments, but some organized effort is needed to solve this problem, it seems we can't rely on charities and similar stuff in the times when greed is a norm, a desirable thing.
And this is my exactly my point - I don't object to capitalism per se, although I have friends that do - capitalism seems to be the least worst way of organising society that we have tried so far, certainly better than the woolly notions of communism, libertarianism and other creeds that are woefully impractical.

However, capitalism is a system of winners and losers. Thatcher resolutely turned a blind eye to the losers and was uninterested in doing anything other than the absolute minimum she could get away with for them. She denied her policies caused a homelessness crisis even as the amount of people being forced to sleep rough in the 1980s skyrocketed. She was never keen on dealing with the inconvenient realities of her policies.

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Old 04-11-2013, 01:54 PM   #188
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Default Re: Maggie Thatcher died today

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You can call me leftist all you like as though this wear some insult - I wear it as a badge of honour, the same way I wear gay as a badge of honour, in spite of that also being seen in its day as a thing of immorality under Thatcher's government.
It's not an insult, just an indication of your hopeless bias.

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What I liked was that people had employment and were valued.
They were valued in spite of no real value existing. Billions upon billions of pounds thrown at uneconomic industries to keep people performing jobs that were a drain on the rest of the country.

I am sure you liked it. Fantasy lands are nice. The problem is that they are unsustainable in the real world.

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I'm not sure I see your point - all recessions end eventually, and growth returns, it's part of the cyclical nature of capitalism.
An absurdly blase attitude and shows no awareness of the historical context. I don't think you realise how close Britain was to becoming a complete economic basketcase at the end of the 1970s.

If not for Thatcher, Britain could well be in the position that Greece is now. Nobody sees that country recovering for over a generation, and the idea that it could ever foreseeably be in a position even closely approximating Britain's is patently absurd.
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Old 04-11-2013, 01:56 PM   #189
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Default Re: Maggie Thatcher died today

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Here is the thing - society is not a nebulous construct - correct. Society is a thing that has been created as the country has grown in population and developed, as time has passed and as Government and other structures have been put in place to tackle certain kinds of problems.

For example, at some point, it was decided by Government and endorsed by the electorate that the best way of tackling poor health in our citizens was to create a nationalised health service that was free at the point of use and available to all. (Delivered in 1948 after Labour won a landslide in 1945 and won again in 1950). This was an instance where the citizens of the country agreed that we would use some our income, as tax, to fund this health service. This creates a more efficient, joined-up health service than would exist if it were left to private charity, local organisations, and the hodge-podge of initiatives that existed beforehand on matters of public health. The citizens pooled their tax money to create a service that worked for the good of all. This is not absolving ourselves of personal responsibility, this is collectively working together to tackle a problem more efficiently than could otherwise be tackled on a smaller scale. That's what the welfare state is about, it's not about abrogating personal responsibility, it's about using the power of a large organisation such as the state to deliver improvements and give help - charity - to those who need it. Welfare is institutionalised charity.

We should indeed take responsibility for our lives and our actions and where possible solve our own problems and help our neighbours, but in a complex world too many problems are outside our control and outside our singular ability to effectively solve.
None of which Thatcher would have disagreed with. Since you mention the NHS, I am sure you are aware that she increased spending on that venerable institution by over 30% during her Premiership?

Just because a government exists does not mean it is responsible for solving all the problems of the world, however. To be able to blame society for something is a wonderful thing - because society is everybody, but also nobody.

Where you have unions demanding 10% wage increases for an industry that is hopelessly uneconomic, propped up to the tune of billions of pounds by a government that is itself going bankrupt, it's manifestly clear that people's sense of entitlement with regards to what 'society' owes them is woefully out of whack.

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Old 04-11-2013, 01:59 PM   #190
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Default Re: Maggie Thatcher died today

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It's not an insult, just an indication of your hopeless bias.


They were valued in spite of no real value existing. Billions upon billions of pounds thrown at uneconomic industries to keep people performing jobs that were a drain on the rest of the country.

I am sure you liked it. Fantasy lands are nice. The problem is that they are unsustainable in the real world.


An absurdly blase attitude and shows no awareness of the historical context. I don't think you realise how close Britain was to becoming a complete economic basketcase at the end of the 1970s.

If not for Thatcher, Britain could well be in the position that Greece is now. Nobody sees that country recovering for over a generation, and the idea that it could ever foreseeably be in a position even closely approximating Britain's is patently absurd.
Your own hopeless bias is showing too dear, I hope you realise that. We all have our biases, unless you're honestly thinking you're coming across as some impartial sage?

There was real value - human value - humans who had housing and jobs and security in their lives, which I personally value more highly than numbers on a balance sheet. And in the end, that wasted potential from lives thrown on the scrapheap has been a huge waste of value, of potential that, trapped by circumstances, people were never able to realise.

I'm well aware of the state of Britain in 1979 thank you - by all means continue to patronise me by suggesting that just because we come to different conclusions about the medicine Nurse Thatcher doled out, and its efficacy, I must be ignorant. I shan't descend to that level myself.

That final paragraph is fantasy land hyperbole of your own hardly worth bothering with. By all means construct your straw man arguments, I shan't waste my time dismantling them for you.
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Old 04-11-2013, 02:09 PM   #191
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Default Re: Maggie Thatcher died today

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None of which Thatcher would have disagreed with. Since you mention the NHS, I am sure you are aware that she increased spending on that venerable institution by over 30% during her Premiership?

Just because a government exists does not mean it is responsible for solving all the problems of the world, however. To be able to blame society for something is a wonderful thing - because society is everybody, but also nobody.

Where you have unions demanding 10% wage increases for an industry that is hopelessly uneconomic, propped up to the tune of billions of dollars by a government that is itself going bankrupt, it's manifestly clear that people's sense of entitlement with regards to what 'society' owes them is woefully out of whack.
She increased spending, yes, but demand was also increasing faster than spending, so the budget available per patient fell over her period of office and due to a deep ideological unwillingness to pay a decent salary to public sector workers, the NHS was afflicted with deep crises caused by lack of nurses and other staff. The NHS in the 80s was largely a basket case, as Glenda Jackson alluded to her in Commons speech yesterday.

As for the unions, they desperately needed to be brought back under the rule of law in the 1980s and she did so. They did not need to be smashed. They needed to be reformed so that they returned to their position as securing fair and sustainable terms with the management on behalf of their members.
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Old 04-11-2013, 02:14 PM   #192
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Default Re: Maggie Thatcher died today

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There was real value - human value - humans who had housing and jobs and security in their lives, which I personally value more highly than numbers on a balance sheet. And in the end, that wasted potential from lives thrown on the scrapheap has been a huge waste of value, of potential that, trapped by circumstances, people were never able to realise.
Meaningless platitudes. Such mealy-mouthed self-righteous sentiment does not pay the bills. A strong, stable, growth economy is the fundamental basis for the improvement of living standards.

Thatcher gave Britain back a strong economy, and everybody who loves the welfare state should be kissing her backside to thank her for the luxury of being able to argue that it should be extended and improved.

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I'm well aware of the state of Britain in 1979 thank you - by all means continue to patronise me by suggesting that just because we come to different conclusions about the medicine Nurse Thatcher doled out, and its efficacy, I must be ignorant. I shan't descend to that level myself.
I was giving you the benefit of the doubt. Ignorance is preferable to foolishness.

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That final paragraph is fantasy land hyperbole of your own hardly worth bothering with.
ORLY? Three day weeks and the Winter of Discontent isn't evidence of a country on the verge of complete economic collapse? Please, tell me more.

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She increased spending, yes, but demand was also increasing faster than spending, so the budget available per patient fell over her period of office and due to a deep ideological unwillingness to pay a decent salary to public sector workers, the NHS was afflicted with deep crises caused by lack of nurses and other staff. The NHS in the 80s was largely a basket case, as Glenda Jackson alluded to her in Commons speech yesterday.
When times are tough, belts have to be tightened. The NHS was given a high funding priority, relatively speaking, which shows that it was indeed valued by the Thatcher government.

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As for the unions, they desperately needed to be brought back under the rule of law in the 1980s and she did so. They did not need to be smashed. They needed to be reformed so that they returned to their position as securing fair and sustainable terms with the management on behalf of their members.
The unions are exactly where they should be, and the last quarter of a century has shown we're much better off because of it.

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Old 04-11-2013, 02:22 PM   #193
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Meaningless platitudes. Such mealy-mouthed self-righteous sentiment does not pay the bills. A strong, stable, growth economy is the fundamental basis for the improvement of living standards.

Thatcher gave Britain back a strong economy, and everybody who loves the welfare state should be kissing her backside to thank her for the luxury of being able to argue that it should be extended and improved.


I was giving you the benefit of the doubt. Ignorance is preferable to foolishness.


ORLY? Three day weeks and the Winter of Discontent isn't evidence of a country on the verge of complete economic collapse? Please, tell me more.
A strong economy? 1 deep recession and an economy propped up by North Sea oil sales which she was lucky enough to be in office to benefit from, and and propped up by knock-down sales of state-owned assets that provided a one-time boost to the exchequer, and explosion of spending due to unsustainable personal borrowing. Followed by another recession as Thatcherite hubris met its inevitable nemesis. Growth in the 90s and 00s under Major and Blair sustained by yet more personal borrowing and cheap imports from China. And then the whole long charade collapsed under its own weight of unsustainability in 2007.

What Thatcher left us was a deeply unbalanced economy, dependent on cheap imports, easy credit, and a financial City that relied much too heavily on the trade of complex and risky financial instruments. A reality that Governments before the crash and after have done little to change.

The unions have been smashed and we can see the consequences - increased inequality. Wages rising slower than prices time after time after time, meaning real cuts in the value of peoples' net pay at a time when all other bills are rising. People needing to be subsidised in work by the Government to top up their salaries because employers won't countenance the idea of paying a wage people can live on. That's one perversity of this whole system, one of many.

Good heavens, you have swallowed the Thatcherite hagiographies hook, line and sinker.

I am willing to admit she did some things right.

Are you willing to admit she did some things wrong, and if so, what?
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Old 04-11-2013, 02:35 PM   #194
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Default Re: Maggie Thatcher died today

There are plenty of things she did wrong. Section 28 was wrong. Raising interest rates when the North was starting to recover was wrong. Failing to adequately replenish housing stocks after the sell-off was wrong. I could name a dozen other things to boot.

What wasn't wrong was stuffing Scargill and his self-entitled mates, stopping the gravy train of subsidies to the North, and looking after the national interest first and regional interests second. As I said, all those with their snouts in the trough (and their patronising enablers such as yourself) were upset. That's what happens when you take away someone's free ride. The culture of personal responsibility and aspiration that she imposed on the nation has been praised by everyone from Mitterand to Miliband.

Anyone remotely informed and impartial about the situation can see that Thatcher rescued the country from the brink of collapse, and put it back on top of the world economically in a frame of time that seemed inconceivable at the end of the 1970s. Regardless of whether you think she was a bit tough and nasty about how she did it, the results speak for themselves.
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Old 04-11-2013, 02:51 PM   #195
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Default Re: Maggie Thatcher died today

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Cool story, but I would prefer if you could relate your own experiences with her rule.
You must remember her in her prime, maybe you got to vote for/against her as well.

So tell me - honestly - what did you think about her and her ways back in the 80s? You were certainly younger and some other things may have changed.
I left the UK to escape the drudgery of Wilsonism and find a better life, in 1967.
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