Monday, January 17, 2011
Russian Immigrants In New York Who Lived Under Soviet Rule Say No Difference Between Democrats And Communists
Many Russian immigrants to the "red borough" of Staten Island are flocking to the Republican Party, saying that the national Democrats' socialistic policies remind them too much of the top-down oligarchy they fled in their native land. A spokesman for these immigrant cited in this SILive story, businessman Arkadiy Fridman, who has helped form the Citizens Magazine Business Club, a confederation of more than 50 Russian-owned businesses here and in Brooklyn, said the Democrats are going in an absolutely different direction than the Republicans, focusing on income redistribution and rich-versus-poor class war. The Big Brother approach reminds Fridman too much of what he left behind in the former Soviet Union.
Michael Petrov of the Digital Edge data management firm in Bloomfield, said that he objects to the micro-managing of the economy he’s seen from city as well as federal officials. “Government is affecting small business more and more,” said Petrov, who came to the United States in 1994. “It’s the same as what’s happening in Russia.”
In response, State Sen. Diane Savino (D-North Shore/Brooklyn) delivered a patronizing and arrogant reply. First she said that she understands the Russian aversion to anything that looks like big government, admitting that they are a bit more sensitive to any signs of socialism. But she thinks the criticism of the Democratic Party is off-base, claiming that "it's absurd" to compare the policies of the Democratic Party with Communism.
I guess Savino forgot that another Russian who grew up during the Soviet era and achieved power during that time, namely Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin, also said America was becoming too socialistic. During a speech at the opening ceremony of the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland in February 2010, Putin said the U.S. should take a lesson from the pages of Russian history and not exercise “excessive intervention in economic activity and blind faith in the state’s omnipotence”. He noted that “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.”
Maybe we ought to be listening to these guys. At least the U.S. House seems to know the score -- it's now Republican-controlled.