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More Thatcherism is the problem, not the solution,
This review is from: Britannia Unchained: Global Lessons for Growth and Prosperity (Paperback)
The authors are a group of Conservative MPs, who urge even more savage attacks on the British people.
They claim that economic problems have cultural causes, and therefore cultural cures. They confuse long hours with hard work. They discuss productivity without ever mentioning investment. They blame the lack of social mobility not on greater inequality but on lack of hard work. They slur that people are unemployed because they `are wilfully not working'.
Canada's banks have far higher capital requirements. They are banned from merging and protected from foreign competition. As a result, no Canadian bank has yet failed in the current great depression. But the authors sneer at `Canada's supposedly superior system of financial regulation' p. 34.
Their account of Canada's deficit is confused. They write on one page that Canada's deficit in 1984 was more than 8 per cent and on another page that it was 1.2 per cent. They praise the Liberals' 1993 pledge to cut the deficit to 3 per cent, yet also write that in 1993 the surplus was 0.3 per cent.
Again, on page 14 they write, "Canadian debt had been high ever since the Second World War." But on page 15 they write, "Canadian debt still remained comparatively low in international terms. In 1974 it had been just 18 per cent of GDP."
As they point out, countries "have discovered that it is far easier to simply stop paying than try to squeeze more revenue out of an overtaxed population." They then demand a squeeze! Countries default in order not to go bust, but the authors equate default with going bust.
Low-tech manufacturing produces 14 per cent of our manufactured exports. Britain's hi-tech manufacturing produces a greater proportion of our manufactured exports than does either Germany's or France's.
They have a good chapter on the needs for higher standards in education and for more engineering, maths and science graduates. But then they deplore `protracted education' and increases in the number of full-time students. And their government attacks the teaching profession viciously and is wrecking our superb universities.
Their policies would slash wages and living conditions for the huge majority of British people.