1939: The Balance Sheet: Paradoxes and Imponderables -- Part 18
His daughter found his rhetoric to be over the top.
Socialism as practiced during the war did not harm anyone.
The children of this country have never been so well fed.
The rich didn't die because their meat ration was larger than the poor's.
One of our strongest bonds was the sharing and feeling of sacrifice.
The Labour Party's leader, Clement Attlee, was a good man, but he was dismissed as a sheep in sheep's clothing.
The Beveridge Report was prepared during the war by the head of the London School of Economics, Sir William Beveridge.
After the war, the government should take wide-ranging action to revive the economy and ensure a more secure, productive life for Britain's working classes.
Beveridge's background was with the Liberal Party, not the Labour or the British socialists, and he believed in the value of the free market.
The comprehensiveness of his report was in accord with most of Labour's recommendations, even though socialists had previously termed Liberal "patchwork."
It's indicative of the temper of those years when Conservative leaders didn't criticize the Report, even though some complained about how much it would cost.
The positive response to it was related to the avoidance.
The Report was supported by 86 percent of the British population by the end of the war.
When the Conservatives returned to power in 1951 on a slim parliamentary majority, they sought to fine-tune, not repeal, the measures introduced in the previous six years.
The postwar consensus in favor of welfare capitalism ended in the late 1970s.
The majority of the industry was in private hands.
The British have always been known for their obsessive concern with social class.
In speech, manners, dress, and/or cultural tastes, class hierarchy and hostilities persisted for the rest of the century.
Equality of opportunity and upward mobility were elusive goals.
According to a survey in the mid-1970s, a fifth of Britain's population still owned less than a tenth of the nation's wealth.
For the years of Labour rule, failure is too harsh a word.
The extent to which Britain's economy was in deep distress by the end of the war needs to be taken into account when evaluating those years.
The most obvious explanation for Britain's condition was six years of war, but there was a decade of economic stagnation and depression before that.
Trying to build a socialist society after decades of destruction was certain to be frustrating.
The country's savings had largely been wiped out, and it had incurred a huge trade deficit during the war.
The kinds of measures proposed by the Beveridge Report required substantial savings and productive surpluses.
Britain had neither.
The same realities would have been faced by conservatives in power.
Britain's war-time deficits were covered by American Lend Lease, but the American congress stipulated that they be terminated at the end of the war.
Keynes was sent to Washington in September to negotiate a new loan, based on the argument that the economic collapse of Britain would not be in the interests of the United States.
The Americans granted a loan of $3.75 billion to be repaid over fifty years at 2 percent interest.
The British were angry about the loan because they were the ones who stood up for democracy against Nazi tyranny.
The richest country in the world, its own territory undamaged by war, acted like a skinflint.
The Congress of the United States was more generous as Cold War tensions increased.
The Marshall Plan aid for Europe added up to over $20 billion, but the British people were still obliged to endure a period of harsh austerity.
Germany, the country that was defeated at the end of the war, recovered more quickly than Britain.
Britain's insolvency had implications that went beyond domestic issues, showing that it could no longer function as the world power it had been.
The inability to support the monarchists against the Communists in the Greek civil war was an implication.
Britain's withdrawal from its imperial holdings was more than just a related event.
While officially supporting anti- imperialist movements, the United States took over the rewards and burdens of European imperialism.
It was ironic that Labour's program of 1945-51, emphasizing its socialist nature, would have been difficult if not impossible without American financial support.
The measures taken by Labour may have moved the country towards socialism.
The boundary line between capitalism and democratic socialism became a political issue in most countries of western Europe during the Cold War because of the preference of the Americans for a "liberal" variety of democracy, one that had close connections to the free market and private ownership of the means of production.
It is interesting that the area of parliamentary democracy that has been successful is also socialistic.
The Labour government's self-proclaimed socialism attracted more attention from Americans than the social democratic parties.
The idea that the social wounds inflicted by capitalist development could be healed while at the same actually enhancing economic performance was offered by some observers.