“Iron will of ‘Iron Lady’ rescued a Britain on the brink,” Kyle Smith writes in the New York Post:
With “the mouth of Marilyn Monroe and the eyes of Caligula,” as French President François Mitterand described her, Margaret Thatcher transformed a reluctant Britain like no other peacetime leader before or since.
At the time Thatcher rose to power in the 1970s, the triumph of the left could be measured in the mountains of uncollected rubbish on the streets, the picket lines that forced some hospitals to close to all but emergency cases, and the bodies that gathered in the morgue.
Striking labor unions seeking ever-greater pay raises controlled all these industries and many more, with the full approval of the then-reigning Labor Party. But as the Conservative Party’s mercilessly witty campaign slogan put it, “Labor Isn’t Working.”
James Callaghan, the Labor prime minister, failed to see the trouble, telling a reporter in 1979, “I don’t think that other people in the world would share the view that there is mounting chaos.” The Sun’s next-day headline would become a widely quoted catchphrase: “Crisis? What Crisis?”
Thatcher, who was schooled in the free-market theory of F.A Hayek, replaced Callaghan, crushed the striking unions, beat inflation (then in double digits) by tightening the money supply and unleashed the wealth creation of the marketplace by privatizing a huge chunk of the state-run economy.
Before Thatcher, British Airways, Rolls-Royce, BP, the phone system, the railroads and the gas company were all being run by government bureaucracies.
Which is why corporatist England in the 1970s is Obama’s fantasy worldview for what America should resemble, even if he doesn’t know it, and even if it’s remarkably unsustainable. (Yes I know, he might view that as a feature.) To get a sense of what an America that has been fully Obama-ed would look like, just read Kyle’s lengthy blog post written immediately after the 2012 election.