• Lok Sang Ho
    Lok Sang Ho

    Lok Sang Ho

    • Hong Kong
    • Citizen Journalism
    • Lingnan University

    Lok Sang Ho replied 26th Jul '15:

    The worst legacy that Mrs Thatcher is the entrenchment of the free market dogma, that the free market always works better than the government. The free market of course does a beautiful job in terms of promoting efficiency under many circumstances, but followers of Mrs Thatcher take it to the extreme, and tend to forget that it is necessary to look at every decision separately and critically, and always against the criterion of social cost/social benefit comparison. The free market principle in a globalized setting indeed will reward the wealthy disporportionately. Those who could acquire scarce valuables ahead of others in the end amass huge fortunes. Think about the appreciation in values of unique works of art that had been in the hands of collectors; think about how much museums around the world have to pay in order to be able to display them to the public. Her neglect of the role of the state in redistribution is a big blot in her record of achievements. For some reason, and I think incoherent with her overall philosophy, she insisted on NHS being completely free at the point of use, but maintained that competition in the internal market through a provider-purchaser split would be good for society. So far there has been no empirical demonstration that this is indeed the case. If anything, the reputation of NHS has been declining in the past two decades, with quite a few incredible blunders like that in Stafford Hospital. I do not recall hearing anything like the scale and the pervasiveness of medical blunders that had occurred in the pre-reform years. The internal market is just superstition dressed in modern economics jargon.


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