While I admire Oleg Ivutin's entreneurship, he has a lot to learn about America as evidenced by his recent interview with Jon Gillooly of the MDJ.
The Russian-American has, without a doubt, demonstrated he's made of the strong stuff immigrants bring to the country. He's worked hard, built businesses and showed that the American dream is alive and well.
What Mr. Ivutin doesn't understand is that America is unique in the world, that we afford the blessings of success on those who earn them, but as part of the social contract, we help those who need it.
"Many Americans have a skewed understanding of what capitalism and communism are, Ivutin believes," according to Gillooley's article. “A lot of Americans think China is communist and America is capitalist. But when you go to China, you realize that it’s vice versa. In China, if you don’t work, you don’t eat...There is so much more socialism here than I’ve seen in the Soviet Union.”
I've been to China. It's an abysmal place where I saw a tiny number of connected people doing extraordinarily well because they play pussyfoot with the anti-democratic military thugs that run the country. There is a small number of what we would call middle class. Then there are hundreds of millions of people living hand to mouth. The poor are everywhere you look and, Ivutin is right, if you can't work, you starve. I saw starving people in the streets of Beijing.
The Chinese government doesn't care about worker's rights or safety, the environment, human rights, or basic economic fairness. It only cares that its leaders are enriched and that everyone else stays in their place. When they don't, you get atrocities like
Tiananmen Square or "re-education camps."
Is this the tea party vision for America? They want a country that looks like China?
I don't doubt Ivutin's sincerity, born of a tough life in a regime that had no regard for the individual. But that's not to say we should forget the individual. People matter in America. We give them a hand up here, we don't leave them behind. That's why we have wildly popular "socialist" programs like Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid.
It's offensive for Mr. Ivutin to make cracks about "400 pound" people who don't work, playing into a cheap stereotype of unemployed Americans - and I'm pretty sure we all know who he's alluding to. His party wrecked the economy and put a lot of those people on the street.
Mr. Ivutin's poor understanding of politics in America is reflected by this comment:
“I didn’t trust the guy (Mitt Romney), and I wanted us to win the election,” he said. “Romney was the weakest candidate we could produce. Whether it was Herman Cain, whether it was Ron Paul, we would have won the election with this economy.”
No, sorry. It wasn't the package. It was the product. Americans emphatically rejected the stuff Republicans were pushing.
"I believe that the more laws we pass, the less freedoms we have, because every single law that they pass, they take away more freedom," says Ivutin "If they would concentrate on getting rid of a lot of laws, they would do a lot more good for us.”
So we shouldn't have speed limits? We should just led corporations pollute the sky and water? We don't need to have our food and medicines inspected?
Thankfully, America is a nation of laws.