"The welfare of humanity is always the alibi of tyrants" - Albert Camus

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Perspectives Of A Russian Immigrant

By Svetlana Kunin

In a speech he gave in Wisconsin on June 30, President Obama said: "We already tried the other side's ideas. We already know where their theories led us. And now we have a choice as a nation. We can return to the failed economic policies of the past, or we can keep building a stronger future. We can go backward, or we can keep moving forward."

For the Soviets, moving forward meant that with each consecutive five-year government plan the economy of the USSR would eventually surpass the American economy (the one Obama thinks has failed).

They could have succeeded: Russia has abundant natural resources and a well-educated populace, with a culture that's been in existence for far longer than the United States.

The central government enforced these five-year economic plans with zero interference from members of the U.S. Republican Party or Fox News. Yet, they were about as successful in growing the economy as Obama's stimulus package has been in creating American jobs.

The idea is that government-appointed experts and officials know how to drive innovation, rather than people who make their own choices, and who have real expertise and experience in their chosen field.

In his Oval Office address, President Obama spoke about creating a clean energy future:
"As we recover from this recession, the transition to clean energy has the potential to grow our economy and create millions of jobs — but only if we accelerate that transition. Only if we seize the moment. Even if we're unsure exactly what that looks like. Even if we don't yet know precisely how were going to get there. We know we'll get there."

Soviet Chairman Nikita Khrushchev, after returning from a visit to the U.S., decided that the USSR had to increase its production of corn. All Soviet republics, from Belarus to Siberia, replaced the crop most appropriate to their soil and climate with corn, as directed by the ministry of agriculture. The following year, the corn crop was a failure, and there was a shortage of potatoes and grain for the population to eat.

There is a common theme crystallizing from Democratic leaders: Their policies are driven by their ideological vision and, in their own words, they don't have a clue about what to expect.

Sen. Christopher Dodd, speaking about his financial reform bill, said: "After great debate, we have produced a strong Wall Street reform bill that will fundamentally change the way our financial services sector is regulated. No one will know until this is actually in place how it works."

Speaker Nancy Pelosi, talking about health reform in March, said: "(This) is legislation for the future, not just about health care for America, but about a healthier America, But we have to pass the bill so that you can find out what is in it, away from the fog of the controversy."

The response of authorities to the catastrophic oil accident in the Gulf of Mexico illustrates how centrally controlled bureaucracy works. It is revealing to see how the federal government obstructs localities trying to save their states from disaster.

America is an advanced and prosperous country. The failed economic policies that Obama talks about somehow produced a dynamic economy, with opportunities available to more people than everywhere else in human history.

But liberal elites do not make the connection: They yell loudly about regulating capitalism and talk quietly about regulating speech, capping salaries, taxing incomes and creating bureaucracies in order to control everything and everyone.

Instead of relying on basic laws of economics and an understanding of human nature, they elevate socialist-style management based on the political economics of class warfare and central planning.

The left believes that the Constitution and Bill of Rights are backward and out of date. Meanwhile, their new ideas for transforming America are based on old, unsuccessful concepts from Marx, Engels and Keynes.

The country I grew up in was filled with statues of the leader, his arm proudly extended, pointing toward a future where the life of all citizens would be framed within the boundaries of his vision.

I prefer the Statue of Liberty.

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