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Putin Advises U.S. Against Socialism   February 18th, 2009
I didn't think I'd ever read this...       

 
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Believe it or not, Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin has publicly recommended that the U.S. not choose a socialistic course of action, and he has suggested an approach I--and many conservatives--have suggested.

Regarding the appropriate response to the current economic situation, Putin says:

http://online.wsj.com/article/SB123317069332125243.html

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

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...

In our opinion, we must first atone for the past and open our cards, so to speak...

True, this will be an extremely painful and unpleasant process. Far from everyone can accept such measures, fearing for their capitalisation, bonuses or reputation. However, we would "conserve" and prolong the crisis, unless we clean up our balance sheets.


What else can I say but that when an ex-KGB ex-Communist from Russia is more conservative and a stronger advocate for free markets than the president of the United States, we're in trouble.

Of course, the bad news is that in that same speech Putin advocated the world moving to multiple reserve currencies rather than everyone putting all their eggs in the single basket that is the U.S. dollar. Understandable. But it potentially makes the question of "where do we borrow all this money" potentially a lot more critical.

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