Reagan v Thatcher - (27.06.04)

One has recently passed away and the other celebrated the 25th anniversary of coming into power - both had economic eras named after them. However they weren't the same economic policies as there where significant differences between them.

Granted that both had tax cutting as a goal. However Thatcherism had tight control of monetary policy and spending cuts as part of the package and Reaganomics allowed budget and trade deficits to grow, although spending was cut eventually in response to events. Reaganomics resulted in sustained economic growth at an exceptional rate with manufacturing firms protected whilst Thatcherism resulted in a recession focussed on manufacturing industry followed by an unstainable service sector boom.

In the long run which had more influence? Although the Thatcher influence over social policy and industrial relations had a long term effect the economic policies of it where largely rejected. Whilst Reagonomics had little influence and did not seek to define the future of the US economy it is a policy that is still followed to this day, particularly in America. Perhaps it is the lack of dogma within it that has given it the longevity that Thatcherism could not achieve. This is perhaps not the result expected by commentators in the 1980s.