Tuesday, April 09, 2013

Eastern Europe did it, why not Liverpool and Glasgow?

Thirty years ago Margaret Thatcher closed antiquated, heavily loss making industries, putting hundreds of thousands out of work in many towns in the North, Scotland, Wales and elsewhere. 

Today, many of those towns and cities appear to have never recovered.  It takes little for the BBC or other journalists to find groups of disgruntled people old and young, saying that Thatcher took away their jobs, their childrens' jobs and destroyed all hope.  It is like without nationalised industries, they can do nothing.  The GDP in many of those regions is between 55 and 70% state based still.

Twenty or so years ago, post-communist democratic governments across eastern Europe closed antiquated, heavily loss making industries (perpetuated under 40 years of the sorts of policies Arthur Scargill and the British trade union movement advocated), putting millions out of work in most cities across their countries.

Today those countries are transformed, with new industries, with new jobs, with thriving growing economies.  Some with per capita GDPs at the levels of the poorer western European states.  They have open competitive economies, with public sectors less than half the size of what they were when they threw off the shackles of authoritarian communist governments.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Because those countries have low taxes (around 15%), zero unions, zero socialists in government, and very very restricted welfare states that generally does not include state-socialist indoctrination in schools, or anything like universal healthcare.

That's how.

The fact is that even given the great efforts of Mrs Thatcher, Ruth, John Howard, etc, communism remains entrenched in the Welfare West - UK, Canada, Western Europe, Aust & NZ.

As soon as those countries finally get rid of communism, transition to a market economy (like Russia, China, and Easter Europe) then there will be success.

But not before.