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I think they've made the biggest financial mess that any government's ever made in this country for a very long time, and Socialist governments traditionally do make a financial mess. They always run out of other people's money. It's quite a characteristic of them. They then start to nationalise everything, and people just do not like more and more nationalisation, and they're now trying to control everything by other means. They're progressively reducing the choice available to ordinary people.
Jobs really come in the productive sector of the economy. The real jobs are where people are producing goods or services which other people will buy. Now, dependent on those people producing those goods, are a lot of others in the public sector. Now if you run up the public sector, you can only do it by draining money out of industry and commerce. But that's where the jobs are. And one of the reasons why you have to cut public expenditure is to get the money back out of the public sector, into industry and commerce, so that they, in fact, can invest, and improve, and expand; because that's where the secure jobs are.
Look, I think you're tackling public expenditure from the wrong end, if I might say so. Why don't you look at it as any housewife has to look at it? She has to look at her expenditure every week or every month, according to what she can afford to spend, and if she overspends one week or month, she's got to economise the next. Now governments really ought to look at it from the viewpoint of "What can we afford to spend?" They've already put up taxes, and yet the taxes they collect are not enough for the tremendous amount they're spending. They're having to borrow to a greater extent than ever before, and future generations will have to repay. Now, if anyone tells me that a Chancellor of the [Denis Healey] Exchequer can put up public expenditure in two years by -- and it's a tremendous figure -- twenty thousand million pounds, and he doesn't know where to get it down by about three thousand million pounds, then he ought never to have been in charge of the nation's finances ... never!
There is little hope for democracy if the hearts of men and women in democratic societies cannot be touched by a call to something greater than themselves.
We want a society in which we are free to make choices, to make mistakes, to be generous and compassionate. That is what we mean by a moral society – not a society in which the State is responsible for everything, and no one is responsible for the State.
Liberty, human dignity, a higher standard of living is fundamental. And, steadily, I think, people are beginning to realise that you don't have those things unless you have a pretty large private enterprise sector. Any Iron Curtain country has neither liberty, nor a very high standard of living. The two things go, economic and political freedom, go together. I've been right in the forefront of saying that, here, in the States, and it's very interesting to me now, to see a number of articles from people who are taking up the same theme. They are disturbed that Socialism is reducing liberty and freedom for ordinary people, and that's really what matters.
Where law ends, tyranny begins.
America, my friends, is the only country in the world actually founded on liberty -- the only one. People went to America to be free.
Perhaps I can summarise it best by saying this -- Nations that have pursued equality, like the Iron Curtain countries, I think have finished up with neither equality, nor liberty. Nations, which like us, in the past have pursued liberty, as a fundamental objective, extending it to all, have finished up with liberty, human dignity, and far fewer inequalities than other people.
I'm never quite sure what you mean by consensus politics. I believe that what most people want in their lives, is what the Conservative Party wants to have for them. I believe that our policies are fundamentally common sense policies. Just let's take taxation for an example. Wherever I go I hear enormous resentment about the amount which people are paying out of their own pay packet in tax. And, this goes right across the income ranges. Socialism started by saying it was going to tax the rich, very rapidly it was taxing the middle income groups. Now, it's taxing people quite highly with incomes way below average and pensioners with incomes way below average. You look at the figure on the beginning of a pay slip, sometimes it can look quite high, look along the slip to the other end, and see how many deductions you've had off, those deductions have increased enormously under Socialism ...
Public expenditure, which they always boast about, is financed out of the pay packet in our pockets. People are saying that they really think too much is being taken out of the pay packet for someone to spend on their behalf, and they'd rather be left with more, and it's now well-known that Socialist Governments put up taxes and Conservative Governments take them down. It's part of our fundamental belief giving the people more choice to spend their own money in their own way.
We should not expect the state to appear in the guise of an extravagant good fairy at every christening, a loquacious companion at every stage of life's journey, and the unknown mourner at every funeral.
Socialist governments traditionally do make a financial mess. They always run out of other people's money.
All attempts to destroy democracy by terrorism will fail. It must be business as usual.
But don't forget that we fought a 1974 election on saying really that pay couldn't go on going up as it was. The important thing … you must never look at pay on its own, what you've got to look at is pay in relation to the amount produced. It's when those two get badly out of line that you get inflation. And now obviously, we've got very much higher pay, but we're producing less than we were in 1970, so it's the relationship that you've got to watch. Don't look at pay separately. Once you start to cut off a man's pay from the fruits of his labour, he will inevitably feel enormous resentment. If he's going to work harder, of course he deserves more pay, and he doesn't want it all taken away in tax. But there are two sides of the equation you've got to look at.
The choice facing the nation is between two totally different ways of life. And what a prize we have to fight for: no less than the chance to banish from our land the dark, divisive clouds of Marxist socialism and bring together men and women from all walks of life who share a belief in freedom.
Margaret Thatcher Quotes 1-15 out of 15