Margaret Thatcher was Prime Minister of the United Kingdom from 1979-1990 and Leader of the Conservative Party from 1975-1990. In a speech to the Conservative Party Conference on October 10, 1975, she spoke strongly against socialism:
“And I will go on criticising Socialism, and opposing Socialism because it is bad for Britain—and Britain and Socialism are not the same thing. (...) It’s the Labour Government that have brought us record peace-time taxation. They’ve got the usual Socialist disease—they’ve run out of other people’s money.”
By the early 2000s, this statement was paraphrased: “The trouble/problem with socialism is that you eventually run out of other people’s money.” In 2008-2009, many Americans were worried that Barack Obama would add socialist programs as president of the United States. The Thatcher quotation (slightly incorrect) was printed on T-shirts.
Google Books provides some evidence (not yet verified) that “Socialism inevitably runs out of other people’s money” was said in a Parliamentary debate in 1944.
Wikipedia: Margaret Thatcher
Margaret Hilda Thatcher, Baroness Thatcher LG, OM, PC, FRS (born 13 October 1925) was Prime Minister of the United Kingdom from 1979 to 1990 and Leader of the Conservative Party from 1975 to 1990. She is the only woman to have held either post.
Born in Grantham in Lincolnshire, England, she went on to read chemistry at Somerville College, Oxford and train as a barrister. She won a seat as an MP from Finchley in 1959, as a Conservative. When Edward Heath formed a government in 1970, he appointed Thatcher as Secretary of State for Education and Science. Four years later, she backed Keith Joseph in his bid to become Conservative party leader, but he was forced to drop out of the election; Thatcher felt that Heath’s government had lost direction, so she entered the contest herself and became leader of the Conservative party in 1975. As the Conservative party maintained leads in most polls, Thatcher went on to become Britain’s Prime Minister in the 1979 general election.
Thatcher entered 10 Downing Street with a mandate to reverse the UK’s economic decline. Her political philosophy and economic policies emphasised reduced state intervention, free markets, and entrepreneurialism. She gained much support after the 1982 Falklands War and was re-elected the following year. Thatcher took a hard line against trade unions, survived an assassination attempt, and opposed the Soviet Union (her tough-talking rhetoric gained her the nickname the “Iron Lady"); she was re-elected for an unprecedented third term in 1987. The following years would prove difficult, as her Community Charge plan was unpopular with many, and her views regarding the European Community were not shared by others in her Cabinet. She resigned as Prime Minister in November 1990.
Thatcher’s tenure as Prime Minister was the longest since that of Lord Salisbury and the longest continuous period in office since Lord Liverpool in the early 19th century. She was the first woman to lead a major political party in the UK, and the first of only three women to hold any of the four great offices of state. She holds a life peerage as Baroness Thatcher, of Kesteven in the County of Lincolnshire, which entitles her to sit in the House of Lords.
Margaret Thatcher Foundation
1975 Oct 10 Fr
Speech to Conservative Party Conference
Document type: speeches
Document kind: Speech
Venue: Winter Gardens, Blackpool
Source: Thatcher Archive: speaking text
Editorial comments: 1045. MT spoke for 41 minute 16 seconds; the BBC Sound Archive has a complete recording. Evening Standard (10 October 1975) noted that the audience applauded every passage of the speech - not one was delivered without interruption. Parts of the text have been checked against material broadcast on ITN during the day.
The Economic Challenge
The economic challenge has been debated at length in this hall.
Last week it gave rise to the usual scenes of cordial brotherly strife.[fo 4]
Day after day the comrades called one another far from comradely names, and occasionally, when they remembered, they called us names too.
Some of them, for example, suggested that I criticised Britain when I was overseas. They are wrong.
It wasn’t Britain I was criticising. It was-Socialism. (Applause).
And I will go on criticising Socialism, and opposing Socialism because it is bad for Britain—and Britain and Socialism are not the same thing.[fo 5]
As long as I have health and strength, they never will be. (Applause).
But whatever could I say about Britain that is half as damaging as what this Labour Government have done to our country?
Let’s look at the record.
It is the Labour Government that have caused prices to rise at a record rate of 26 per cent a year.[fo 6]
They told us that the Social Contract would solve everything. But now everyone can see that the so-called contract was a fraud—a fraud for which the people of this country have had to pay a very high price.
It is the Labour Government whose policies are forcing unemployment higher than it need have been—thousands more men and women lose their jobs every day.
There are going to be men and women many of them youngsters straight out of school—who will be without a job this winter because Socialist Ministers spent last year attacking us, instead of attacking inflation.[fo 7] Beginning of section checked against ITN News at Ten, 10 October 1975:
And it’s the Labour Government that have brought the level of production below that of the 3-day week in 1974. W’ve really got a 3-day week now,—only it takes five days to do it. (Applause).
It’s the Labour Government that have brought us record peace-time taxation. They’ve got the usual Socialist disease—they’ve run out of other people’s money. (Laughter).
Margaret Thatcher Foundation
1976 Feb 5 Th
TV Interview for Thames TV This Week
Document type: speeches
Document kind: TV Interview
Venue: Thames Television Euston Centre, Tottenham Court Road, central London
Source: Thatcher Archive: transcript
Journalist: Llew Gardner, Thames TV
Editorial comments: The interview was broadcast live at 2000. Copyright in the broadcast from which this transcript is taken is retained by Thames Television and the transcript is reproduced by permission of Thames Television. This interview appears to be the source of what has become a well-known political aphorism in the blogosphere: “The problem with socialism is that eventually you run out of other people’s money”.
Mrs. Margaret Thatcher
I would much prefer to bring them down as soon as possible. I think they’ve made the biggest financial mess that any government’s ever made in this country for a very long time, and Socialist governments traditionally do make a financial mess. They always run out of other people’s money. It’s quite a characteristic of them. They then start to nationalise everything, and people just do not like more and more nationalisation, and they’re now trying to control everything by other means. They’re progressively reducing the choice available to ordinary people.
Parliamentary Debates (Hansard).: Official Report
By Great Britain. Parliament. House of Lords, Great Britain. Parliament. House of Commons
Published by H.M. Stationery Off., 1944
Item notes: v. 482; v. 921
Socialism inevitably runs out of other people’s money.
27 October 1993, Hagerstown (MD) Morning Herald, “Editor: Bartlett’s speaks for itself,” pg. 9, col. 2:
A sampling of quotes that conservative editor Adam Meyerson says should have been included in Bartlett’s “Familiar Quotations”:
“They have the usual socialist disease; they have run out of other people’s money.”—Margaret Thatcher.
08-01-2001, 08:36 AM
The problem with socialism is that you eventually run out of other people’s money - Margaret Thatcher
The Wall Street Journal
LETTERS MAY 14, 2004
And There’s No Cure
Your May 10 editorial “Maggie Moments” reminded us of a memorable period when the political stars were properly aligned on both sides of the Atlantic.
You did miss what I believe to be the classic Thatcher quote of all time. When asked why the Labour government failed, she famously replied: “They have the usual socialist disease; they have run out of other people’s money to spend.”
Dan R. Konfal Jr.
Printed in The Wall Street Journal, page A13
The Trouble With Socialism Is That You Eventually Run Out Of Other People’s Money
created by WhiteTiger_LLC (2/23/2009 10:02 AM)
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From: Beam Me Up Scotty
Date: Sat, 07 Mar 2009 12:05:34 -0500
Local: Sat, Mar 7 2009 12:05 pm
Subject: Re: The problem with Obama’s Socialism>>you eventually run out of other people’s money<<
New York City • Banking/Finance/Insurance • (0) Comments • Monday, March 23, 2009 • Permalink