Margaret Hilda Thatcher (pictured above) was born on this day (October 13) in 1925 and today would have been her 96th birthday. Unfortunately, she died on April 8, 2013, at the age of 87. To honor Baroness Thatcher on her 96th birthday here is my annual tribute to the “Iron Lady” in recognition of her significant contributions during her political career including serving as the prime minister of the UK from 1979 to 1990. Below are some videos, quotations, and related articles to celebrate Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher’s birthday and her rich legacy defending liberty and freedom and fighting socialism.
1. The video above features Margaret Thatcher’s address to the Conservative Party conference in 1983 when she said:
Let us never forget this fundamental truth. The state has no source of money other than the money people earn themselves. If the state wishes to spend more, it can do so only by borrowing your savings or by taxing you more. There is no such thing as public money, there is only taxpayers’ money.
It is a very fundamental truth that is frequently forgotten. Any time you see or hear the terms “public funding,” “public funds,” “government funding,” or “government funds” be sure to substitute “taxpayer funding” and “taxpayer funds.”
2. Here are the “Top Five Reasons Margaret Thatcher is Still an Inspiration to Women Today,” via the Independent Women’s Forum on Margaret Thatcher’s birthday in 2017 summarized here:
- She didn’t use her sex to influence her career.
- She was principled.
- She challenged the status quo.
- She had to work for her success.
- She was a modern feminist.
3. The video above is Margaret Thatcher’s last House of Commons Speech on November 22, 1990, which is known as “Thatcher’s Last Stand Against Socialism.” Here’s the full transcript, and here’s a quote:
I think that the hon. Gentleman knows that I have the same contempt for his socialist policies as the people of east Europe, who have experienced them, have for theirs. I think that I must have hit the right nail on the head when I pointed out that the logic of those policies is that they would rather the poor were poorer. Once they start to talk about the gap, they would rather that the gap were that—[indicating[—down here, not this—[indicating[—but—[indicating.] So long as the gap is smaller, they would rather have the poor poorer. One does not create wealth and opportunity that way. One does not create a property-owning democracy that way.
4. Here are 10 great Margaret Thatcher quotes, which are just as relevant and timely for America today, if not more so than they were for the UK more than a quarter-century ago. Listen up Karla Marx (AOC)! Thanks to Larry Reed for some of these quotes.
1. The problem with socialism is that you eventually run out of other people’s money.
2. Do you know that one of the great problems of our age is that we are governed by people who care more about feelings than they do about thoughts and ideas?
3. I think we’ve been through a period where too many people have been given to understand that if they have a problem, it’s the government’s job to cope with it. ‘I have a problem, I’ll get a grant.’ ‘I’m homeless, the government must house me.’ They’re casting their problem on society. And, you know, there is no such thing as society. There are individual men and women, and there are families. And no government can do anything except through people, and people must look to themselves first. It’s our duty to look after ourselves and then, also to look after our neighbor. People have got the entitlements too much in mind, without the obligations. There’s no such thing as entitlement, unless someone has first met an obligation.
4. No one would remember the Good Samaritan if he’d only had good intentions; he had money as well.
5. The philosophical reason for which we are against nationalization and for private enterprise is because we believe that economic progress comes from the inventiveness, ability, determination and the pioneering spirit of extraordinary men and women. If they cannot exercise that spirit here, they will go away to another free enterprise country which will then make more economic progress than we do. We ought, in fact, to be encouraging small firms and small companies, because the extent to which innovation comes through these companies is tremendous.
6. Our challenge is to create the kind of economic background which enables private initiative and private enterprise to flourish for the benefit of the consumer, employee, the pensioner, and society as a whole…I believe we should judge people on merit and not on background. I believe the person who is prepared to work hardest should get the greatest rewards and keep them after tax. That we should back the workers and not the shirkers: that it is not only permissible but praiseworthy to want to benefit your own family by your own efforts.
7. I place a profound belief—indeed a fervent faith—in the virtues of self-reliance and personal independence. On these is founded the whole case for the free society, for the assertion that human progress is best achieved by offering the freest possible scope for the development of individual talents, qualified only by a respect for the qualities and the freedom of others…For many years there has been a subtle erosion of the essential virtues of the free society. Self-reliance has been sneered at as if it were an absurd suburban pretention. Thrift has been denigrated as if it were greed. The desire of parents to choose and to struggle for what they themselves regarded as the best possible education for their children has been scorned.
8. What are the lessons then that we’ve learned from the last thirty years? First, that the pursuit of equality itself is a mirage. What’s more desirable and more practicable than the pursuit of equality is the pursuit of equality of opportunity. And opportunity means nothing unless it includes the right to be unequal and the freedom to be different. One of the reasons that we value individuals is not because they’re all the same, but because they’re all different. I believe you have a saying in the Middle West: ‘Don’t cut down the tall poppies. Let them rather grow tall.’ I would say, let our children grow tall and some taller than others if they have the ability in them to do so. Because we must build a society in which each citizen can develop his full potential, both for his own benefit and for the community as a whole, a society in which originality, skill, energy and thrift are rewarded, in which we encourage rather than restrict the variety and richness of human nature.
9. Some socialists seem to believe that people should be numbers in a State computer. We believe they should be individuals. We are all unequal. No one, thank heavens, is like anyone else, however much the socialists may pretend otherwise. We believe that everyone has the right to be unequal but to us every human being is equally important.
10. There is no such thing as ‘safe’ socialism. If it’s safe, it’s not socialism. And if it’s socialism, it’s not safe. The signposts of socialism point downhill to less freedom, less prosperity, downhill to more muddle, more failure. If we follow them to their destination, they will lead this nation into bankruptcy.
Happy 96th Birthday Margaret Thatcher!