Comment: Why Russians Love Putin

(See in situ)

Why Russians Love Putin

Yes, the Russian people en large love Putin and have valid reason to do so. Not only has he taken on the Oligarchs for raping the nation’s resources. (The oligarchs are not entrepreneur’s or visionaries. They were Communist Party bigwigs close associates of Yeltsin who obtained national resources for a song and a dance via corruption during Yeltsin’s reforms). The US news tries to portray billionaire oligarch Mikhail Khodorkovsky as some sort of innocent pawn unjustly imprisoned. Khodorkovsky was a loyal communist party insider from an elite family of communist party luminaries. Khodorkovsky is a corrupt Mafioso who obtained his billionaire empire, like his communist buddies, during the collapse of the Soviet Union via insider deals through government power. His empire, like his communist oligarch buddies was built up through the heavy hand of government, government deals and awarded monopoly activities. That is not free market. Politically Khodorkovsky is still loyal to Communism and is still one of the largest financial contributors to what is left of the Communist Party in Russia. Some people have misinterpreted Putin’s hostility to the oligarchs who became overnight billionaires during the economic collapse as a hostility to free markets; however that is not correct. Putin is an advocate of the free market and his hostility to the oligarchs is hostility to political thievery and rape of a nation. Whatever other faults or traits he may have, the one trait that is not questioned about Putin is his devotional love and loyalty to his country, even as it meant standing against Yeltsin and the newly made billionaire oligarchs formed out of the communist party elite.

What remains of the Communist Party is now the most zealously ardent opponent of Vladimir Putin. Putin is an anti-communist. While Putin may not be a libertarian, he understands the free market and abhors communism. Putin has openly warned the US about the dangerous evils and unintended consequences of its move toward socialism. Vladamir Putin has warned the US to heed lessons from the pages of Russian history and not exercise “excessive intervention in economic activity and blind faith in the state’s omnipotence.” During a speech at the World Economic Forum, Putin said, “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.” He further stated, “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.” Putin also echoed the wisdom of Ron Paul when he said, “we must assess the real situation and write off all hopeless debts and ‘bad’ assets. True, this will be an extremely painful and unpleasant process. Far from everyone can accept such measures, fearing for their capitalization, bonuses, or reputation. However, we would ‘conserve’ and prolong the crisis, unless we clean up our balance sheets.”

Under the Presidency and Prime Ministership of Putin, the Russian economy has far more than doubled. On a nominal basis, Russia’s GDP has grown to 11th in the world and by purchasing power parity (PPP) Russia is now 6th in the world. Under Putin’s leadership, Russia was not only able to pay down its debt but accumulate large net reserves. That alone places it above US in fiscal responsibility. In a period of just several years since total economic collapse, on a per capita basis Russian GDP is US$15,000 per individual making Russians 38th richest on both a purchasing power and nominal basis. During Putin’s first presidency industry grew by 75%, investments increased by 125%, and the average salary increased eightfold. The middle class grew from 8 million to 55 million. The number of people living below the poverty line also decreased from 30% in 2000 to 14% in 2008. Russia’s fishing industry is now the fourth largest in the world. Russia’s IT industry has recorded a record year of growth concentrating on high end niches. Since 2000 Russia’s IT industry has had sustained growth rates of 30-40 percent per year. Russia is now the world's third biggest destination for outsourcing software behind India and China. Russia’s engineering industries are also expanding rapidly. Russian engineering is now selling power plants to China and India, and recently signed a joint venture with Toshiba to develop cutting edge power plants. Russia’s aerospace industry has even designed the new passenger airliner jet MS-21 with cutting edge technology to compete head to head with Boeing and Airbus. Russia’s automotive industry has been rebuilt and while still very young has grown to 15th in the world with low cost light passenger cars. Russian agriculture is still playing catch-up with modernization from fifty and sixty year old technology and equipment, but is advancing especially these last two years. Caterpillar and John Deere, two American companies that have done well the past two years during this economic climate owe their record earnings to Russian orders as Russia modernizes its agriculture and heavy equipment.

Russia, of course is also a vast wealth of mineral, oil coal, gas, timber and other natural resources.. Russia has the largest abundance of natural resources in the world. Russia’s timber reserves alone are four times the number 2 country of Brazil. As of 2010 Russia has surpassed Saudi Arabia as the world’s largest oil producer and has surpassed Iran as the world’s largest natural gas producer. What Russia could not achieve for the better part of a century under the handicap of the Soviet socialism, Russia has managed to in a matter of years under Putin’s free market leaning. And unlike the western nations, most of Russia’s vast landscape has never even been explored with modern technology. Until that is completed, much if not most of its reserves will not even be known. Some of Canada’s world class giant mining companies are now entering the Russia’s vast expanse for exploration. Now gaining the advantages of free markets and modern technology, Russia could perhaps have one of the brightest future potentials of any nation on earth at the moment.

In light of all this, from the ordinary man in the street perspective the question is not why do Russian’s love Putin, but how could they not.

In addition, from a marketing standpoint Putin also epitomizes the “real man” macho image. Putin is the epitome of the Russian version of a “Marlboro Man” (except he doesn’t smoke). Aside from all the mystique of being former KGB, he is in superb athletic shape. Putin hunts, shoots, rides horseback, scuba dives and swims in remote rivers and lakes. Putin has a black belt in Judo and is an expert in SAMBO. Putin does not drink or smoke.

Let it not be said that we did nothing.-Ron Paul
Stand up for what you believe in, even if you stand alone.-Sophia Magdalena Scholl