Tuesday, April 09, 2013

Thatcher gets no credit for ozone

By Frank Moraes 

There was a very interesting discussion on All In about the legacy of Margaret Thatcher. I quite agree with what Chris Hayes says at the beginning of the clip below. But at one point, he asks Cass Sunstein if there is anything about Thatcher that liberals should applaud. Sunstein mentions the ozone layer: Thatcher and Reagan both pushed for the ban of the chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs). Let's stop right there. (We might as well, he doesn't mention anything else that liberals might like about Thatcher.)

The reason that we got the ban on CFCs is that DuPont wanted CFC-11 and CFC-12 banned. Why? The patents were running out and they had brand new patents on the replacement compounds. So as usual, these great lions of conservatism were just doing what the corporations wanted. I assure you that there would be a stampede of Republicans calling for carbon taxes if it were to Chevron's and Exxon's economic advantage.

So no. Liberals should not give even the slightest bit of respect to the Rusted Out Iron Lady. In banning CFCs Thatcher was doing exactly what she did when she privatized state utilities: the bidding of the power elite. That's all she (or for that matter Reagan) ever did.

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(Cross-posted at Frankly Curious.)

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  • One other thing that Thatcher shouldn't get credit for. The supposed "improvement" in the British economy that she presided over.
    Free market economists have applauded Thatcher's busting of unions and deregulation as being responsible for a upsurge in the U.K. economy under Thatcher.
    But they ignore the real reason things (somewhat) improved: the North Sea oil bonanza that gave a boost to Thatcher's Britain.
    Free market economists aren't stupid. They know full well that massive impact of the North Sea oil. By instead crediting Thatcher's union busting, these free market economists are being dishonest. And yet, amazingly, their word is still pretty much the gold standard in today's economics field.

    By Blogger Marc McDonald, at 8:01 AM  

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