April 10th, 2013
09:20 PM ET

Could Margaret Thatcher’s reforms work in 2013?

By Fareed Zakaria

Thatcher’s ideas resonated because they were an effective antidote to the problems of the times. In the 1970s, the Western world staggered under the weight of oil shocks, rising wages, rocketing inflation, slowing productivity and growth, labor unrest, high taxesand sclerotic state-owned companies. These are not the problems we face now.

Today, American and European workers struggle to keep up their wages as technology and globalization push them down. Western economies face global competition, with other countries building impressive infrastructure and expanding education and worker training. They face a two-track economy where capital does well but labor does not, where college graduates thrive but those without strong skills fall behind and where inequality is rising not just in outcomes but also in opportunities.

Read the full column at the Washington Post

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soundoff (5 Responses)
  1. j. von hettlingen

    No doubt Margaret Thatcher was a pragmatist and her Thatcherism emerged at the right time and had changed many aspects of British life.
    She believed in free markets and a small state, rather than planning and regulating business and people's lives. The government's job was to get out of the way and should be restricted to the bare essentials: defence and currency. Everything else should be left to individuals, to exercise their own choices and take responsibility for their own lives.
    She was influenced by the Austrian economist Friedrich Hayek, who had a bunch of disciples in the Conservative Party she belonged to. So Hayek's school of economics and Milton Friedman's theories prevailed at that time. But her personality and patriotism helped her become Britain's first female prime minister.

    April 11, 2013 at 5:09 am | Reply
  2. salino333

    M. Thather followed a hard course and showed less diplomatic skills. She acted rigidly and without compromising towards foreign policy problems like Berlin Wall, South America, Irland and globally towards the colonial heritage of the United Kingdom and all arising problems about integration, migration and social issues. Probably it was as cold and rigid as European politics under the acutal protestant rule: pitiless and cold if it hasn't a direct impact for the own country!! There are always people who tend to minimalize the price of harsh methods and praise the outcome for the future! So the french revolution was a blessing, and so on.. Everything is just seen in the light of progress and success.
    But I personally didn't mind, if the Berlin Wall fell much earlier, the colonialism and racism was found in European literature and debated openly in the eighteenth....- M. Thather blocked and postponed developments, which could make a difference for many people in the world, like all neo-conservatists tend to do. Am historian view is not always suitable and old-nanny's recipes don't serve for any dish and any time!!

    April 11, 2013 at 6:13 am | Reply
  3. joe anon 1

    by reforms do you mean kill and impoverish her fellow brits?

    sure. easy to kill and impoverish.

    April 11, 2013 at 1:21 pm | Reply
  4. Roselia Fergason

    Being a young and diverse country means we do not yet share a common view on divisive social issues such as gay marriage, gun control and abortion. However, a common thread that we share is our concern for the economy. A recent survey from McLaughlin & Associates shows the economy and jobs are the top issues that will have the most impact on our future.-

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    April 13, 2013 at 7:05 am | Reply
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