The Conservative Approach to State Intervention after 1979 the Labours Response Since 1997

The Conservative Approach to State Intervention after 1979 the Labours Response Since 1997

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The conservative approach to state intervention post 1979 has been on the whole to go for the minimum as is illustrated in their economic policy and this was included in their critique of government economic policy at that time. On the whole the government felt that levels of state intervention were far too high in regards to the economy which led to various negative consequences such as making industry uncompetitive and laid back since the government would bail them out at the first sign of smoke as Labour always did. They also felt it destroyed the incentives for individual entrepreneurship leading people into not achieving their full potential as it was not worth there while, this led to lack of money within the economy as well as top businessmen leaving for pastures new. On the whole Thatcher was a strong advocate of believing regulation by the state should be minimised as it had a large amount of control over things like wages, prices, profits and production systems which was thought to stifle business expansion. Most regulation was in nationalised industries and the way this problem was solved was through privatisation which was a major step towards reducing state intervention in the economy. This was passing major sections of the economy that were state run onto the private sector, although it did contain advantages such as managers pursuing profits it was primarily the disengagement of the state that was at the heart of “Thatcherism”, and this policy was indeed rather Thatcheresque. Classical economics believed state interference was negative and Thatcher considered herself as a modern heir to this classical view. Of course privatisation was a trend that continued beyond the 1980’s and with New Labour who converted to it b...


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...rall due to the level of consensus there is relatively little difference between the way the economy has panned out between the conservatives period in charge end the dominance that the Labour party currently are enjoying. On the whole the economy has become relatively depoliticised since the Thatcher years as politicians have less control over this increasingly globalised and privatised aspect of the agenda. Now with Brown’s decision to give the Bank of England the power to set the level of interest rates the economy has become less prone to state intervention then ever especially with a clear end to the grip that Trade Unions once had over the Labour party. Overall state intervention over this period has decreased and barring a crisis it is likely that this will remain the case unless the Liberal Democrats manage to gain power, even through a coalition government.

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