Letters to the Editor. Maggie's record

The ``significant strides'' made by Britain under the Thatcher government [``Thather's toughest act,'' Sept. 5] bear closer examination: What is not mentioned is that Britain is now a net importer of manufactured goods, thus rendering the pound sterling a ``petro-currency'' whose value is influenced strongly by the policies of OPEC. Nor is it mentioned that, despite the rhetoric to the contrary, much of the ``welfare state'' remains in place -- a fact which explains the lack of social unrest that would ordinarily accompany such an appalling level of unemployment.

Taxes remain among the highest in proportion to GDP (gross domestic product) in Europe, but this is as much a function of the woefully shrunken GDP which the recession, aggravated by what one politician referred to as ``punk monetarism,'' brought about in the early years of the Thatcher government.

The ``private-sector zip'' is not too terribly much in evidence, unless one wants to count the disposal of public-sector assets at knockdown prices.

We could also mention the tendency to further centralize an already overcentralized government apparatus and the continuing growth of the Leviathan State with a concomitant erosion of civil liberties -- an admission of the failure to lead, resulting in a perceived need to coerce.

The failure of the private sector to adequately respond to the stimuli and challenges offered, coupled with the petty viciousness and incompetence of the present government, leads to the present poor showing of the Tories in the polls. But for General Galtieri's foolhardy adventure in the Falklands, the polls would have shown the same and Maggie would be sitting on the opposition benches today. George W. Mills Milton Keynes,

England

The emphasis of the article ``On choosing sides,'' Aug. 29, was determining what was ``in the US national interest.'' Why do we only talk about doing what is in a nation's own best interest -- whether personal or national? Why not start talking about what is in the best interest of the whole world? The world is too small, too interconnected, and interdependent to be just thinking about national interests. Tony Lee Newton, Mass. Letters are welcome. Only a selection can be published and none individually acknowledged. All are subject to condensation. Please address letters to ``readers write.''

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