Hit & Run

Margaret Thatcher on How Privatization Restarted Britain's "Enterprise Society"


In 2006, Margaret Thatcher wrote about the effects of privatizing state-owned and operated businesses in Great Britain during her tenure as prime minister (1979-1990) in Reason Foundation's Annual Privatization Report.

"Privatisation shrinks the power of the state and free enterprise enlarges the power of the people," she wrote.

The policies we introduced in the 1980s were fiercely opposed. Too many people and industries preferred to rely on easy subsidies rather than apply the financial discipline necessary to cut their costs and become competitive. Others preferred the captive customers that a monopoly can command or the secure job in an overmanned industry, rather than the strenuous life of liberty and enterprise.

But we understood that a system of free enterprise has a universal truth at its heart: to create a genuine market in a state you have to take the state out of the market.