January 7 2014

How to Prepare for the SOTU: Remember What Thatcher Said about "Inequality"

Charlotte Hays

“Since President Obama is apparently going to make ‘income inequality’ the centerpiece of the State of the Union address, I thought you might appreciate/recall what Margaret Thatcher had to say about this,” a friend writes. He sent along this video.

Do watch it—it has lots of fireworks and is also the perfect way to prepare for President Obama’s coming remarks. In the clip, Margaret Thatcher makes an impassioned response to a Labor Member of Parliament who charges that the income gap between the poorest ten percent and richest ten percent of the U.K. population has widened substantially since she came to power in 1979.

Thatcher says that all levels of income are better off than they were when she was elected (a claim President Obama certainly can't make about his tenure). But then she goes on to nail what is wrong with the inequality argument put forth by the Labor Member and expected in the SOTU:

“So what the honorable member is saying is that he would rather the poor were poorer provided the rich are less rich…You do not create wealth and opportunity that way…
And what a policy! …You do not create opportunity that way. You do not create a property-owning democracy that way.”

Lady Thatcher was one of the greats of the last century, and we can’t expect everybody to measure up to her. Still, GOP members of Congress would do well to listen to this video again and again. It might give them some tips on how to combat an ideology destroys prosperity without elevating the poor.

When the MP rises again to remark tht he has "contempt" for Thatcher's policies, she responds, "I think the honorable gentleman knows that I have the same contempt for his policies as the people of Eastern Europe [have for these same policies, which have been tried there.]”

How I would love to see Senator Harry Reid, leader of the Democratic majority—or for that matter President Obama—confronted by somebody as brave and as filled with righteous indignation as Lady Thatcher!

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