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Wakum Mata!
Politcally Incorrect Musings
Lessons from the KGB 
17th-Feb-2009 10:53 am
Russian Prime Minister and former head of the Soviet KGB, Vladimir Putin, warned the USA against socialism and our method of economic recovery.

The Wall Street Journal
* JANUARY 28, 2009, 2:29 P.M. ET
Putin Speaks at Davos

Excessive intervention in economic activity and blind faith in the state's omnipotence is another possible mistake.

True, the state's increased role in times of crisis is a natural reaction to market setbacks. Instead of streamlining market mechanisms, some are tempted to expand state economic intervention to the greatest possible extent.

The concentration of surplus assets in the hands of the state is a negative aspect of anti-crisis measures in virtually every nation.

In the 20th century, the Soviet Union made the state's role absolute. In the long run, this made the Soviet economy totally uncompetitive. This lesson cost us dearly. I am sure nobody wants to see it repeated.

Nor should we turn a blind eye to the fact that the spirit of free enterprise, including the principle of personal responsibility of businesspeople, investors and shareholders for their decisions, is being eroded in the last few months. There is no reason to believe that we can achieve better results by shifting responsibility onto the state.

And one more point: anti-crisis measures should not escalate into financial populism and a refusal to implement responsible macroeconomic policies. The unjustified swelling of the budgetary deficit and the accumulation of public debts are just as destructive as adventurous stock-jobbing.

I am sorely tempted to reprint the whole thing. His points are valid and is something we should heed. He knows VERY WELL what he is talking about. These bailout bills are only going to make things worse and prolong the pain of this oncoming depression.

Seriously. Read his whole speech.

I do reserve a raised eyebrow for Putin, though. Why is he suddenly taking this posture? Our economies are not tied together that closely. I believe that he is taking this posture to position his country as the place to be for free enterprise. His hidden message is that Russia will be the first to recover economically. That means that other countries should be wanting to invest in Russia. Even Dell is eyeing Russia as a new market. [kudos to Putin for the slapdown! No love lost here! --RM]

See how the mighty have fallen when Hugo Chavez is praising the US for our turn toward socialism, and the former head of the KGB is chiding us for the same. Change. Indeed, this is change. Was this what you were hoping for?

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