"Rather, look at the housing industry that precipitated it, the misguided government programs to force houses on those who could not afford them, and how government eliminated the safeguards the lending institutions had, with promises of "guarantees.""
Yep. I once worked for a bank, qand the area I was in did mortgage lending among other things, so I got a good view of the process.
Home ownership is one of the cherished notions in the US. The savings and loan industry essentially existed to assist home ownership: it took in funds in the form of savings deposits, and lent it out as mortgages, making a living off the difference in what it paid for funds and what it got for loans. It began to stagnate and die as people started getting other, higher yielding places to put their funds.
Many folks want to get a mortgage and own a home. For a lot of the folks getting "sub-prime" mortgages, owning their own home was a critical step in moving from "lower class" to "middle class" status, as home ownership is a miffle class attribute.
Many folks who wanted mortgages couldn't get them from a regular lender, as they weren't
The mistake made by the Argentinians was assuming Britain *wouldn't* fight over the Falklands. Do you suggest it *shouldn't* have? Say so to the people living in the Falklands who identify with the UK. Don't expect a polite response.
And the problem was less the obsolete Sidewinders than the fact that the air defense systems were programmed to recognize the Exocet as a "friendly" missile. and could not respond in time.
Blaming Thatcher for the US woes is stretching a point, even for hyperbole. and betrays a misunderstanding of how the US (and world, for that matter) financial system works.
I am not sure where else Peter should/could have published his obituary of Baroness Thatcher -- he is a staff editor responsible for contributing both comments and news. While I do not share all his political allegiances --as became obvious during the first editorial conference we held on Electronics Times , many years back -- his commentary was absolutely balanced .
I totally agree with you about the "Information Revolution" which is going on around us.
And with your comment that sticking to old methods will not help.
However, there are some truths, rights, wrongs, ways of behaving that do persist and will persist.
It is necessary to be able to understand how implemement the long-lasting moral certainties within the revolutionary technical framework.
Peter Clarke should have published his obituary somewhere else and not in a reputable trade magazine at which he works.
His was an insulting misuse of his editorial position and requires reprimand.
Regarding all these glorifications of little UK -- let's remember who first used chemical WMD weapons in Iraq -- another "giant" Winston Churchil...
I'm an outsider, not being from the UK, and I understand how polarizing many political figures are, so I'm always hesitant to comment on political matters, but I do have comments here.
I always had an incredible amount of respect for Margaret Thatcher. She stood shoulder to shoulder with Reagan, toe to toe with Mikhail Gorbachev. The three of them ended the cold war peacefully. Anyone who can do that is a great leader in my book. I understand that a lot of people don't see it that way, but I do. As someone who grew up always 30 minutes from potential nuclear annihilation, I will be ever grateful.
In terms of the economic fall-out, my belief is that we are in the middle of a period of change every bit as dramatic and disruptive to the world economy as was the industrial revolution. It's just all happening a lot faster this time. I think we have even more change coming up over the next thirty years.
When that sort of thing happens, holding on to the old way of doing things will not help you. It may delay the inevitable a bit, but not for long.
The tone of the message is a bit harsh, but I agree with most of the points. UK seems to have bailed out of manufacturing, not because it lacks the knowledge, but because the society does not value technical profession. Britons have grown lazy. It is far more prestigious to be an investment banker in the City moving $$$ from one corner to another, or else a member of outdated aristocracy living off hereditary estates. Perhaps Thatcher saw it more clearly than most, and decided not to fight a losing battle trying to rescue what was already lost. I also agree on the negative influence of the "City" culture in the US, which had traditionally been a great manufacturing and technological power.
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