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Interesting article by Megan McArdle on Thatcher. This part stuck out:

But while what Thatcher did may have been necessary, there is another necessary task that has been left undone: building sustainable opportunities for the displaced. The mistake that Thatcher and Reagan made was to assume that the unleashed market would simply take care of the problem. It didn’t.

As in America, post-1970s Britain has been a very good place for educated elites, and not very good for the post-industrial working class. I say this not to find fault: the reason that a sustainable alternative has not yet been created is that no one knows how to do it. Nonetheless, it is not enough to destroy the things that weren’t working; it’s also imperative to find things that do.

If there was one 2012 Republican candidate who most closely (though it wasn’t that closely) approximated Thatcher’s virtues, it was Rick Santorum. He was a conviction politician who cared about the details of policy. Santorum was also the only Republican candidate who made a real effort to deal with how the economic changes of the last thirty years have created challenges for lower-skilled Americans. It was Santorum who said that, while he was for lower taxes, cutting taxes on high earners would not, in itself, solve many or even most of the economic problems of the working-class. Santorum’s answer was changing the tax code to favor manufacturing. I think that kind of industrial policy is a bad idea, but at least he was earnestly bringing ideas to the table. Good for him. More please.

More on: Politics

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