Ritchie on Maggie

In one of her first moves on coming to office she delivered capital market liberalisation. What that meant was that money was allowed to roam free around the world.

The result has been a vast flood of capital into the capital poor but labour rich areas of the world. Exactly as theory would predict in fact. And the result of that has been the largest reduction in poverty in the history of our species. Also as theory would predict.

And who has actually gained from this?

As the figure below shows, most significant increases in per capita income are indeed found among the very top of the global income distribution and among the emerging global middle class, which includes more than a third of the world\’s population.


Percentage change in real income, 1988-2008, at various percentiles of global income distribution (in 2005 PPP dollars). (Data source: World Bank)

Damn the woman, eh? Firing the starting gun on one third of the world\’s population rising up to the petit bourgeois pleasures of three squares a day.

How could it be possible to praise someone aiding the solution to humanity\’s most persistent problem, abolishing poverty?


13 thoughts on “Ritchie on Maggie”

  1. The left will never for give Saint Margaret PBOH, for demonstrating that their ideas were crap.

    As she once said to Mr Gorbachov, I pity you, you have to make decisions about so many things that I don’t. She trusted individuals to make their own decisions, something that patronising lefties never can. In fact their whole philosophy is based on the premise that people are stupid and need to be told, nay forced, what to do

    Since we allowed people to make their own choices, we have all got immeasurably richer.

  2. I have just heard a bloke on the radio telling the nation how the pubs were full with celebratory boozers in his village near Mansfield last night.

    ‘What that woman did to this village will never be forgiven’, he said. ‘You only have to drive round here and see the lads with nowt to do.’

    Twenty years on, I guarantee there are kids in these villages born to kids who were themselves not born when Maggie Thatcher left office, but the idea that some of them might take advantage of their free education, get some quals and go to where they are wanted and needed… no chance.

    It’s always better to blame someone else than to accept responsibility for your own shortcomings.

  3. Serf,

    You have a point but I think its a bit more than that, they can’t admit to themselves they got it so wrong in 1983.

    Yes the Falklands did play a major role in keeping her in Office but the main reason was they didn’t offer any alternative.

    We had just had 5 years of Jim Callaghan*, everyone’s favourite bumbling uncle who hadn’t been able to control the unions or hard left. The current left just can’t comprehend how fed up we all were with the situation in the 70s and what did they offer?

    Michael Foot and an even more extreme version of what Callaghan had offered. Now I happen to think Michael Foot was a very sincere politicians who genuinely wanted to make a difference, but the people had had enough of the left in general and unions in particular.

    I reckon that if Labour had found a Tony Blair at that time they would have won that election and that even without the Falklands she would still have won against Foot, maybe without the majority, but she would still have been in office.

    *and prior to that 5 years of Heath and Wilson bumbling along

  4. Surreptitious Evil

    Of course, what many people reading Ritchie (and the LHTD himself for that matter) won’t bother to consider is just how high up that chart somebody on even the grottiest of UK benefits – JSA alone – would actually be.

  5. @ #5 Richard
    US unionised workers (e.g. in Detroit) whonow have to compete with lower-paid workers in other countries with only the benefit of capital investment by their employer and only protected by transport costs instead of trade barriers to imports. US “middle-class” incomes have been stagnant due to globalisation and the mass import of cheap goods into the USA.

  6. @ LUis Enrique
    What Tim actually said was that as a result of Mrs Thatcher and Geoffrey Howe relaxing UK capital restrictions.
    “The result has been a vast flood of capital into the capital poor but labour rich areas of the world.”
    And that is true,regardless of what happened elsewhere in the world. UK investment has not solely been in countries with lots of cheap labour but there has been

  7. I actually got through the bar on my comments for a change when I thought I’d recognize that unlike others on the Left he at least prefaced his remarks by offering sympathy to her immediate family – which I though was magnanimous.

    Then we look at the comments and this sprung out – and I’m literally picking myself up off the floor after reading it!

    ‘You guys are so literal


  8. Damn quotes:

    ‘You guys are so literal

    Don’t you realise it was about setting the environment?

    Have you no understanding at all of nuance or human nature’

    The last one of these is truly breathtaking – given his blind faith in state control and his refusal to accept that Public Sector employees are capable of uniting to act against the Public interest, it truly is evidence of his continued status as the most dangerous man in Britain, if not the world.

  9. there has been several GBP billions of investment by UK companies in building factories (or having them built) in low-wage countries thereby boosting local wage levels and the country’s GDP. Most mines are in low-income countries (or countries which were low-income before the mine was dug) and a large proportion of the capital to do this was raised in London. Data on the odd GBP billion of investment by private individuals is less easy to come by.
    References to unreadable papers are less helpful than readable ones so all I can say about the papers that you cite is that ghrowth is supposed to be a result of investment, not a cause.
    Freedom of UK investors

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