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UK Riots And The Sickness Of Certain Elites

The rioting in Britain reminded me of a certain passage in one of Hugo Young's biographies of Thatcher.  I'm not linking for reasons that I hope will become apparent.  This is Young's description and analysis of Thatcher's reaction to a cycle of rioting and looting that occurred during Thatcher's first term.

"'Oh those poor shopkeepers!' she cried, on seeing the first pictures of riot and looting in Toxteth

"A lot of Margaret Thatcher's character is expressed in that single phrase.  It was a perfectly intelligible reaction.  It just wasn't the first response that most people might have made when they saw rioters and police in pitched battle, and watched the disintegration of a run-down city.  Later, seeing looters walking away with armfuls of merchandise, they might [!] have felt for the shopkeepers too.  It was interesting that this should be the first and overriding reaction expressed by the Prime Minister, speaking eloquently for the priorities rooted in the Grantham grocer's shop and the party which, for the first time, had one of nature's shopkeepers at its head." 

Categories > Politics

Discussions - 3 Comments

In re: the riots.Perhaps it is just the social cost of austerity.

It is cheap(and thus a form of austerity) to quote some Thatcher or remark on some comments by David Cameron(expecting these to mystically have some sort of proximate cause, perhaps like the bursted bubble of Obama's campaign persona and Nobel prize victory), but is police that keep the peace. Cuts in police are not only deflationary, but also result in increased lawlesness as this force with less opposition finds its new equilibrium.

That is the marginal propensity for riots and looting is impacted by high unemployment and reduced police services

But it is the poor shopkeepers that are hurt the most by austerity. They suffer a reduction in sales from decreased aggregate demand (that police officer who no longer has that beat no longer comes in and buys), causing all sorts of financial inventory control problems, and then they suffer a more tangible loss from riots.

UK government spending as a percentage of GDP is 47.%. That's some "austerity." This is not a comment on the distribution of that spending. The UK unemployment rate is presently 7.7% compared to the 9.1% unemployment rate in the US.

What we are seeing is the wages of dependency. A very large segment of the British population has been converted into spoiled children, too lazy or stupid to fend for themselves or adapt to so-called "austerity." This is the end-stage of welfare capitalism, and it isn't very pretty.

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