Margaret Thatcher was the Master of the Free Market

A roundup of some of Reason’s commentary on the impact Margaret Thatcher:

Thatcher was the Master of the Free Market
In USA Today, Kim Hjelmgaard writes: “As prime minister for more than 11 years, Margaret Thatcher stood up to communism, transformed the United Kingdom’s welfare state, liberalized its financial markets and wrought political changes that inspired and divided generations alike.

“But on the home front perhaps most of all she changed the way people in Britain lived every day, especially how they conducted business. ‘Virgin wouldn’t be flying from Heathrow if it wasn’t for her believing in competition,’ said Richard Branson, the English businessman and chairman of the Virgin Group, on Monday.

Thatcher explained her vision years later for Reason magazine. ‘Privatization shrinks the power of the state and free enterprise enlarges the power of the people,’ she said. ‘The policies we introduced … 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. 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.'”
In Her Own Words:Read Margaret Thatcher’s Column for Reason Foundation’s Annual Privatization Report

How Thatcher Liberated Western Europe
“Like all the geopolitical giants of the 1980s—Ronald Reagan, Mikhail Gorbachev, Pope John Paul II, Nelson Mandela, Helmut Kohl—Thatcher was a flawed character who made grievous mistakes. But to her lasting credit—and to the lasting fury of her staunchest ideological enemies—Thatcher fatally discredited the notion that governments in the West have any business owning business, and did so with both word and deed at a time when the outcome was anything but certain. May we continue to heed that lesson.” — Reason magazine Editor in Chief Matt Welch

What America Can Learn From Thatcher Today
At, Ira Stoll writes: “In today’s America, mere minor reductions in planned growth in government spending trigger paroxysms of political opposition, and the prospect of reducing government’s share of the economy, as Thatcher did, by eight percentage points seems remote. But it probably seemed remote in the late 1970s, too, that Britain’s first woman prime minister, who had grown up in an apartment above her father’s grocery store, would reshape a failing post-colonial power into an exemplar of liberty.”
Ronald Bailey: Timeless Quotations from Margaret Thatcher

Explaining Reason’s Role in the Thatcher Revolution
John Blundell, author of the book Margaret Thatcher: A Portrait of the Iron Lady, writes, “Let me use this sad day not to mourn but to celebrate the $30 billion a year Reason’s Bob Poole has saved the U.K. taxpayer for decades now. Why the Queen has not given him an honorary knighthood is beyond me.”
Video: John Blundell on The Legacy of Margaret Thatcher

Comparing the Real Thatcher and the Symbolic Thatcher
Reason Senior Editor Jesse Walker offers a different take: “Thatcher did enact some genuine market reforms, most notably when she privatized enterprises her predecessors had nationalized. But at a time when countries all over the world were liberalizing their economies in one way or another—even nominally left-wing governments like Manley’s in Jamaica or the Labour Party’s in New Zealand—Thatcher’s emergence as a symbol of the transformation was a matter more of cultural perception than political reality.”
Margaret Thatcher Decentralized the British Economy But Centralized Politics

Margaret Thatcher, Meryl Streep and The Iron Lady: Fact vs. Fiction
Fact checking the Oscar-nominated bio-pic The Iron Lady

Kurt Loder Reviews The Iron Lady
“We want to see more of this woman and her unbending convictions”