How can we not remember a childhood dream of a future utopia to grow into, to become a part of? Politically, such a utopia is not possible. Theoretical communism has proved that just in terms of simple politics and personal dictatorships. A semi-socialist policy should end with a country in debt but a wholly capitalist policy should end with a widening gap between the bottom and top 10% in terms of wealth. We have never been presented with a system that is other, so that a society may be allowed to progress without falling under crippling debt – and into the trap of bankruptcy.
Arguably a big proponent of British Politics are the acts prior to elections. A large priority for individual parties is to be re-elected in the next election, and so the unpopular bills are put in place in the beginning term. Due to these power grabbing acts the economy is destabilised in the propulsion of tax cuts prior to elections, lessening of restrictions in public spending, and the expansion of the overall budget. Indeed, Harold Wilson was afraid to tackle trade unions in the fear that it would put him out of power, and so was left at the mercy of the miners.
Making policies on the basis of an outdated ethos is, as a whole, damaging. For instance, in the Conservative Party, privatisation, to a certain extent, is practical to the debt of the economy and a government monopoly may as a whole be damaging to the growth of the economy, yet to extend this policy beyond the economy and into sectors which have more effect on daily life is detrimental to the sociopolitical development of our society. This is an especially problematic case with the NHS. To allow private businesses to have a monopoly on medicine will ultimately have negative outcomes, such as the widening of the wealth distribution. Within the past decade, it’s been averaged that the top 10% earn almost nine times of the £9644 of the bottom 10%. Thatcher put in place an act to restrict the growth of the NHS budget, merely because of the impracticalities of the ‘bottomless pit’ – £110 million would not suffice over the Christmas of 1984 to keep the NHS quiet and so restrictions should be put in place. Yet to not run the NHS at a loss would be damaging.
In the US it is referred to as the ‘healthcare industry’, it is a business, and health insurance fails to cover the vastly inflated prices of it. Even despite this, there is government intervention for those far below the poverty line in the form of Obamacare, and it is estimated that should this be repealed 49,000 people per year should die from lack of health insurance coverage. Obamacare has increasingly been met with resistance due to ignorance surrounding these inflated prices, they are presumed to be the true value of prescriptions when in fact an inhaler does not $200 dollars to manufacture and transport. Not only that but the belief in ‘rugged capitalism’ puts a reluctance in taxes to pay for people who have not worked ‘as hard’. This is a negative stereotype, and the work required for different jobs does not correlate with the actual pay of the worker – economic distortion has been deemed necessary for capitalism to function. Indeed the media perpetuates a negative stereotype of those on benefits as ‘money grabbing’ and ‘lazy’ when in fact benefits are difficult to procure, and are difficult to live off – especially with the diminished council housing stock. The fear is that if there should be a private monopoly on medicine in the UK, the prices would also inflate, causing a spread of bankruptcies and avoidable health issues with the worst outcome being fatality. The purpose of a free service is not only a sector originating from the healthcare state and post-war socialism, but it also means that private businesses are forced to cap their prices and thus it prevents the growth of a ‘healthcare industry’.
There is a conflict in politics between the good of long term economic policies versus short term, but either launch the country into debt. Surely to retain those nationalised areas instead of privatising them is better in the long run for the sociopolitical development of British society – debt is inevitable. But to maintain a policy that focuses on impact in the long term is far more beneficial.