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MSNBC's Hayes Lauds 'Beloved' UK National Health Care as 'Great Hallmark'

Media Research CenterOn Monday's All In show on MSNBC, host Chris Hayes praised Britain's "beloved" national health care program as possibly "one of the great hallmarks of western social democracy," as he admitted to delivering criticism from a liberal point of view of former British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher's administration.

He concluded by complaining that Thatcher and former President Ronald Reagan "both bequeathed massive inequality" and brought about "shrinking middle classes."

After bringing aboard MSNBC host Martin Bashir and author Cass Sunstein for further discussion about how liberals should view Thatcher's record, he introduced the discussion:

I have now given a rip-roaring leftist attack on Margaret Thatcher, partly, I think, as a useful corrective to the quite understandable desire to speak graciously -- and I obviously wish her family no ill will and it's sad when people pass -- is there anything salvageable for liberals, for people who ascribe themselves to the left about the Thatcher legacy? Or, as I just intimated, it's all, it's all essentially our enemy?

Below is a transcript of the relevant portion of the Monday, April 8, All In show on MSNBC:

(...)

Even as the economy improved, it came with immediate and longterm costs. Child poverty rose with nearly one-third of children living in poverty by the time she left office. Thatcher's tax policy shifted the burden from the wealthy to those at the bottom, reaching its most most audacious with a 1980 poll tax which was so severe on the poor to the benefit of the wealthy there were widespread riots, which were replaced within a year after Thatcher's resignation.

Recent documents show Thatcher was scheming to privatize the National Health Service, which is a beloved and popular institution that has provided universal health care for Brits regardless of means or class since the end of World War II, and may well be one of the great hallmarks of western social democracy. But "in the face of popular opposition, she retreated from plans to privatize the water industry and the National Health Service, replace college grants with a student loan program, cut back pensions and revamp the social security system."

(...)

We live now, still today, on the Reagan-Thatcher axis, their legacies reaching forward through the years. In their shared contempt for egalitarianism, they both bequeathed massive inequality. Today, decades after they left office, if you compare inequality across industrialized nations, England and the U.S. are at the top, also sharing the least amount of social mobility. This is the society that Thatcher and Reagan gave us. Societies of shrinking middle classes and tremendously high levels of inequality. And if you do not like that vision, then you have little occasion to celebrate Margaret Thatcher today.

(BRINGS ABOARD AUTHOR CASS SUNSTEIN AND MSNBC HOST MARTIN BASHIR FOR DISCUSSION)

I have now given a rip-roaring leftist attack on Margaret Thatcher, partly, I think, as a useful corrective to the quite understandable desire to speak graciously -- and I obviously wish her family no ill will and it's sad when people pass -- is there anything salvageable for liberals, for people who ascribe themselves to the left about the Thatcher legacy? Or, as I just intimated, it's all, it's all essentially our enemy?

-- Brad Wilmouth is a news analyst at the Media Research Center