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Assess the claim that Thatcherism decisively recast political and economic relationships in the 1980s

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  1. Introduction.
  2. Assessing Thatcherism's recast of political and economic relationships.
  3. Economic relationships.
    1. Growth record.
    2. Privatization.
    3. Reduction of the intervention of the state in the market.
    4. Reduction of government spending.
    5. Tumbling down or reappraisal of the welfare state?
    6. Manufactures closing and industrial performance.
  4. Political relationships.
    1. Thatcherism and the governments authority.
    2. Thatcherism, corporatism and the Trade Union.
    3. Thatcherism and the labour.
    4. Thatcherism and Thatcher herself.
  5. Conclusion.
  6. References.

Thatcherism is a political thought applied by the 3 successive governments led by Margaret Thatcher, from 1979 to 1990. It quickly evolved as a doctrine. Thatcherism came at a time when the post-war consensus was collapsing, and aimed at checking the decline of the British economy, suffering ?retro development?. Thatcherism finds its roots in the ?New Right? economic theories of Hayek, Friedman, and the School of Chicago. A thorough economic liberalism: Thatcherism advocates a pragmatic and common sense freedom of the market. As Hayek, Mrs Thatcher is a fierce detractor of exaggerated state interventions. Thatcherism focuses on the market rather than on the State to share out resources. The market naturally regulates itself, without any necessity for planning. For Hayek and, therefore, Thatcher, Planning and freedom cannot be combined. Thatcherism denies planning because it means risk aversion. No incomes policy is consequently necessary. It also induces lots of privatizations and low taxations to improve the competitiveness of the country.

[...] Big efforts were devoted to reduce the role of the State in economic relationships, as Thatcherism has ?been committed to the neo-liberal view that the market is by far the best mechanism for producing and distributing resources. [ ] The market is seen to be more efficient, responsive to people's needs, and ultimately more productive than any state system could (Savage, P. and Robins, L. (1992), Public Policy under Thatcher. p.5) As shown on the graph below, civil service employment shrunk at the post-war level in the Thatcher years. [...]


[...] Conclusion Undeniably, Thatcherism marked the end of talks about Great Britain's long-lasting decline, dramatically increased its competitiveness, proned the demonisation of collectivism and was the golden age of ?Thatchernomics?, allied with the Reaganomics in place at the time of Reagan Thatcherism prized patriotism, entrepreneurial spirit and individual responsibility. Privatisation was the most enduring legacy of the political economy of Thatcherism. Thatcherism though was a lot of rhetoric. This new way of government is still in palce at the moment, as Tony Blair claimed are all thatcherites even if some adapations have been made through the years References Savage, P. [...]


[...] Thatcherism advocated the ?Trickle-down? theory, pretending that tax cuts and wealth-creation at the top would also benefit the poorest. Although Mrs Thatcher declared NHS is safe with (Loney, M. (1986) The Politics of Greed: The New Right and The Welfare State, p.94), Thatcherism was designed to put a definitive end to the ?nanny state? and its coddling. It cut the value of many welfare benefits, particularly unemployment ones, thus accepting the inequalities caused by a dynamic economy, as it is alleged that ?only the weak and the unorganized will feel the unmitigated effects of market mechanism? (Loney, M. [...]

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