Friday, January 9, 2009

Surely There's Another Way?

The Economist has an obituary for Margaret Thatcher's favorite economist:

ON USHERING visitors into his home Sir Keith Joseph, a punctilious host, would proffer a handshake by way of welcome. On this occasion, however, the senior Tory politician was shocked when his younger guest pointedly refused to take his hand. Instead, he got a volley of abuse about his role in “debauching the currency”. Such was the pedagogic style of Sir Alan Walters, who died on January 3rd, aged 82.

At the time of their meeting, in 1974, Joseph was beginning a total re-evaluation of economic policy provoked by Edward Heath’s disastrous government, in which he had served. That had ended with a Keynesian public-spending binge, the orthodoxy of the day, to stimulate the economy. But instead of helping, it had caused runaway inflation and a rash of strikes. Surely there was another way?

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