Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Two famous women died...

...yesterday, Annette Funicello and Margaret Thatcher.

While I'm a little young (stop laughing!) to have fully appreciated Ms. Funicello's career, I do recall watching reruns of The Mickey Mouse Club, above, in the mid-1960s. (Am I the only one who found the two grownups, Roy and Jimmie, just a little creepy?)

As for Mrs. Thatcher, I was a recent college graduate in the 1980s and remember her quite well. It may surprise readers of this blog (both of you) to find out that I actually admired the Iron Lady. Thatcher's eleven years as prime minister have important lessons for us today (and for any age). And the key take-away is that when nations swing too far to the left or the right, it's nearly always a good idea to bring them back toward the center.

When Margaret Thatcher moved in to No. 10 Downing Street in 1979, Great Britain was a socialist mess. I don't think it's too much of an exaggeration to say, as David Cameron did yesterday, that Mrs. Thatcher "saved" Great Britain.

At the end of the day, nations benefit from the ongoing tension between the public and the private sectors. While too much government is inefficient, capitalism, left to its own devices, becomes rapacious. And neither serves the public well. So you really need what we used to call a "mixed economy," not British-style socialism nor Ayn Rand-inspired free-market capitalism. 

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