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Published:February 27th, 2012 15:24 EST
Calling for an "Education Race with Russia

Calling for an "Education Race with Russia

By Harvey Carroll, Jr.

  

I call for an "Education Race with Russia"... The hell with another arms race, let`s have an "Education Race" that will benefit both our nations...

 

Harvey Carroll, Jr.`s "Lecture on American Capitalism in Russia and the former Soviet States behind the Iron Curtain, written while visiting a former Communist/Socialist State of Ukraine, next door to Russia."

 

I hold a Bachelors of Business Administration degree specializing in Real Estate and Finance and three partial Masters Degrees. (Masters of Business Administration, Masters of Public Administration, and lastly Diplomacy and International Commerce. I have dealt with local, state, national and international politics that have saved millions of lives, and affected the economic fate of nations.

 

You would think with all the credentials that I would be making a ton of money, and too busy to write this stuff. However, like many of you the economic crisis, and a bit of kidney cancer the size of a grapefruit has put me in front of my laptop to share a message. Yet, I will be clear that many Government`s were to blame for the current Global crisis; however, I know for sure that American Government, poor trade and commerce policies and paranoid policies of the past as well as Russia`s paranoid policies of the past helped contributed to the Global Crisis. The Arms Race with Russia was no more than a race to see who could go broke first, with Russia just barely beating the United States in economic decline. Yet, it was America, and folks like me that made the suggestions to help after Russia/Former Soviet States collapsed.

 

Just as I offered suggestions to supply AID, Loans, help establish a Market Economy in hopes of trade and commerce with the United States. I also wished to keep Russian Space programs going and made the suggestions for NASA to buy into the Mir and convert it into an International Space Station, purchase and provide security for nuclear weapons and more. I saw firsthand the difficulties that Russia and the Eastern Block Countries went through. Cities broke and over-budget, with no money for basic services, roads in need of repair, little old ladies with their hands out, grown men laying near the metro and bus stops too weak to get up, some coughing up blood from the cold. Then the sad remembrances of mothers with children sitting in front of the Church`s looking for God given charity as I made rounds passing out a bit of Kielbasa and Bread. Yet, poor polices of the past put Russia in this economic condition and I still see the need for major reforms to improve the situation.

 

While, I am critical of Russian leadership, I have also been critical of American leadership and poor policies of the past as well as poor economic stewardship. I was quite impressed with Medvedev`s leadership as I was with President Obama; however, both inherited tough economic conditions and they still have many challenges to deal with today. This is why I favor continued market development, trade and commerce, reforms in the rule of law and the way Russians do business, greater access to low cost capital, and the lowering of interest rates to revitalize the Russian real estate markets.

 

I do not proclaim to be an expert in Communism. In fact, as you can see I am pretty much the polar opposite, and a true, and proven expert in the field of Capitalism. My commonsense understanding of socialism and communism was that of a police state where everyone worked for the Governments best interest. They maintained a Police State military where everyone had to serve, and become minutemen and women and spent huge portions of the collectives tax funds on vast military industries to keep the military equipped. Then what was left was supposed to trinkle-down, and distributed among its people to uniformly make them equal... Usually, the only trickle-down was also associated with those that profited in some way from the spending and/or was associated with the military. Under George W. Bush in America I saw very similar type of mentality as more Defense spending took from the American people. Bush doctrines also created more paranoia towards Russia with turf grabs in the Ukraine and Georgia via NATO as opposed to market development, trade and commerce. This is why I favor President Obama`s Reset Policy with Russia as it offers a NEUTRAL UKRAINE and a NEUTRAL GEORGIA that does not threaten Russia; yet, opens the door to more business, and fair trade and commerce...

 

Communism became obsolete, and very none-realistic, because citizens saw that their Government, like most all Governments controls their money for their own gain. While citizens were supposed to all be the same the Government Oligarchs in power divvyed the money out.  Yet Communism was still a plan of Government, sold to the masses in many part of the World for decades. That is until they realized they were getting fu**ed by those that ran the Government, who exploited humanity, and natural resources for their own selfish good.

 

Which brings me to the American Government that has fu**ed us Americans using Capitalism during the Bush Administration in much the same way. Lets` start by looking at the Reagan/Bush era, which beefed up the military, opened many military bases, which were obviously always over priced, and over budget; whereby, a hammer or a toilet may cost American taxpayers a couple thousand dollars. Granted America did not require everyone to become part of the Military; however, this does not sound like a bad idea as it might keep America from sending their sons and daughters off to war so often.

 

Like Communism America also handed out to the Oligargs, via American Special Interest. Many Defense Corporations got American Tax Dollars while Americans got the bill. America resources were divvied to special interest, and vast debt was increased. American infrastructure also declined and less money was spent on roads, jobs and education, while we build such things abroad in Military Bases abroad. Then when Government got too big the U.S. closed many of those bases, sold the assets for pennies on the dollar to the same people that built under the misguided Reagan/Bush military expansion.

 

For a short time, fiscal responsibility came to Washington, as Ross Perot educated the American people, Congress and the White House with charts and graphs. The Clinton Administration somewhat adopted and held to Perot`s economic suggestions.

 

However, after Clinton George W. slid in to the White House on his daddy`s coattail. This coattail was of course, tailored by Defense funds. Then the national level returned to Big Government spending again. The U.S. Government under George W. Bush, Florida under his brother Jeb Bush, and California led by Arnold Schwarzenegger; all Republicans, and huge Defense supporters, ran up spending like drunken sailors after being on a ship for six months. They divvied out huge Earmarks and Pork Belly Projects to funds to their Capitalistic friends, all while increasing the size of Big Government and Debt load for the American Tax Payer at the state and national levels...

 

Sure, there were some key cities that benefited from Defense industries; however, most states as a whole lost more than they gained. Military squandering of resources in Iraq and Afghanistan created vast economic turndowns in Florida, California is two prime examples. Florida played a role in stealing the 2000 election in favor of a Hawkish President that would surely spend money on Defense; however, that support undermined Florida`s economy more than any other state and has seen one of the worst declines in Real Estate ever. California also a large Defense state is now in such economic conditions that they had to write IOU`s. I had suggested such a note writing effort on C-Span, and a short time after I saw California enact such a plan. California`s credit rating was bad; and this left only creativity as a last resort to deal with budget issues.

 

These dumb and paranoid policies of the past were closer to a communistic Police State. Silly how those funds could have been used constructively in America for our internal needs. The ironic thing is that spending on internal needs is now being labeled as Socialism, by the conservative right republican`s.

 

It is a shame that the special interest has become so powerful, that they limit funds for infrastructure such as roads, rail and education (buildings and technology), that spurs growth and development, increases GDP and allows for a more peaceful and prosperous World. The Reagan, Bush and W. Bush era created real paranoia in the World, and fed the Military Monster all it could be consume. Yet, it needed more and had to be fed flesh and blood of other nations, as America became the largest exporter of death and destruction than any other nation in the World. The republicans always point to the Constitution`s Article 1 Section 8; that states to provide for the Common Defense; however, I feel that America`s Common Defense has lost its Commonsense. Thank God that President Obama and the new Defense Secretary Panetta are taking proactive steps to reduce squandering. I hope that the new Russian President does not go down the same road that the Bush Administration took and squander the progress that it has made over the past twenty years of struggling towards a Market Economy and the Reset Policy that President Obama has established. There is no need for another Cold War Arms Race with Russia. Both our nations need to focus on its people and move beyond the paranoid policies of the past.

 

Having spent considerable time in former Soviet Bloc countries traveling with my family, following up on personal Diplomacy works, and negotiating business deals I learned the following about Capitalism;

 

DIFFERENCES:

 

First of all Communism did not work, and people are far from being equal in the Eastern Block. Even under Communism, you had the haves and the have-nots. Now that the former Soviet States, become Big Emerging Markets (BEM`s), via the adoption of more capitalistic forms of Government, and the privatization of State Owned Enterprises; we see the have-nots are starting to benefit. Granted many business and working conditions are far substandards to American working conditions such as people freezing their butts off in the Bazaars as opposed to being in nice warm shopping plaza`s, but things are improving. People are starting to understand that Banks do not give money for nothing, and that sound economic and finance principles must be applied and a solid business plan must be in place in order to get Bank or Capital Market money. There are many companies that could vastly gain from accessing funds from "Capital Markets" and more importantly benefit from "Capitalistic Ideas and Innovation" to create many jobs; however, corruption, the bribes to obtain land, permits and all the other red tape is preventing the West from doing fast and efficient business in Russia and the former Soviet States... This has to change and change quickly if we are to climb out of the Global Economic crises together, because the United States and the EU, is not in a position to bail out Russia as they did in the past. Only via sound business principles can Russia continue its climb out of poverty and near third world status that it had most of the last twenty years since the collapse of the Soviet Union.

 

These new Capitalist have the perception that all Westerners, i.e. Americans should bring a briefcase full of Capital "Money" to the business table. However, I always start with a story of how I built a million dollar subdivision in the past with only 10 cents in my pocket, a good business plan and a bit of faith....

 

I try to explain that "Capitalism" is not all about money... Capitalism is so much more than mere money. It is how well a deal is planned; organized, implemented and controlled. I explain that there should be a real focus on structure and business plan over that of asking for money. This was very hard to explain when Banks were passing out money as if it grew on trees, but now that Banks have become more responsible to depositors, they understand clearly what I was trying to say and that it is very important the way a project is structured. As well as how highly organized, the collective intelligence, and resourcefulness of business group of men and women are also has a profound effect on the success of a project. How they pursue planning the ways, and means of providing a service to the public, in exchange for profitability for themselves, and their shareholders if of key importance...

 

Russian and former Soviet citizens rarely smile, they are very distrusting and quite unfriendly to each other (The old KGB fear still lingers I guess). Therefore, it is a bit difficult to grasp the concept that Capitalist has more faith than money... It is difficult at times to explain that Capitalist believe in, and have faith in well organized groups consisting of both men and women professionals, of all creeds, colors, religions, that contribute specialized knowledge and resources, and/or services to complete projects... "It is not all about the Capital or Money", it is about the plan and quality of the project...

 

American Capitalist successes have been proven, over and over again. That is when America was focused on America, and not catering to special interest that undermined America`s economic and national security. Capitalist have financed, constructed, and supported great research hospitals, award winning schools and universities, funded public/private partnerships with governments to construct roads, bridges, and basic services, to spur economic growth in all sectors of the economy. However, this appears to be a thought of the past in America as we focus on Wars of Choice as opposed to continuing to build our great society.

 

The Bush America quickly declined as we got away from the Founding Fathers focus on America. Our educational system is not educating, the streets are tough and consuming our youth, drugs and misguiding thoughts are turning them into worthless street hoodlum and zombies in many ways, to the point that people are afraid to go out into their neighborhoods in many cities throughout America. I give props to the former Soviet States, the dress code and focus on education and perhaps even the military service that provides a bit of discipline. Yet, I support an all-volunteer Military; however, so many in America has lost inner discipline and self worth as did so many in the Eastern Block. Therefore, I would support programs that required dress codes in America`s education and if we are to have a race why not make it An Education Race.

 

A Russian Education Race is constructive and would still meet the Reset Policy and we can at least compete where competition is needed, in science, engineering, energy, housing, trade, commerce, etc. Why go back to the Cold War line of thinking when we can have a peaceful and constructive race of education and ideas that will continue to build and develop our societies.

 

Both Capitalist and Socialist have created great industries for home goods, cars and developed millions upon millions of new housing needs. I would go further to say that these are the priorities that the mind and body of civilization are based on. The basic needs of shelter, clothing and putting food on family`s tables are the key for any society to exist and thrive... Without such focus, great nations and their societies would cease to exist; hence, the collapse of the Soviet Union as they got off this focus and began their race with America to see who could go broke first via military spending. Now America is going down that same path as they too lost focus on priorities. This silliness and paranoid polices of the past has to change and get back on priorities.

 

My real estate background has helped create many jobs, and I have participated in building over one hundred homes in real estate development projects, helped in developing tens of million dollars worth of real estate projects, consulted on over 100 projects and provided political consulting all over the world that saved millions of lives and affected the economic fate of nations. I have written economic plans that have benefited many nations, states, and local governments revitalize from economic problems and wars. Much of which I did while very sick with cancer and/or recovering from having a kidney removed. Now imagine if more people got involved in trying to make the world a bit better place.

 

I`ve done my share, why can`t more do theirs? The real estate industry in America has issues, with property values less than what they can be built and sold for. Therefore, many private development firms within the United States are struggling in the worst economic downturn since the Great Depression which cost nearly 50% of the real estate values and more in some states. In the former Soviet States they too are dealing with housing values dropping and no buyers and/or credit; however, their interest rates are too high and this policy change to drop rates would bring that market back and the caution would maintain inflation from getting out of control. In the past the former Soviet States developed vast public housing projects for their citizens. In fact, I am very impressed with the mass developments in nearly every city. There are multitudes of low, mid and high-rise projects that maximize the mass density of the local populations. They have well-organized development plans, streets, parks, and transportation and convenience to schools, etc. A grand plan and a great focus, with a few drawbacks on designs that make the balconies and a few other things that make projects look trashy and devalued from the Western eye. Yet, there is great brilliance in the conceptualization of keeping housing affordable on a very large scale. In turn, this could become the most valuable asset that the former Soviet States have that helped them recover from total collapse.

 

Many times, I have heard the old saying "Money is the root of all Evil"; I total disagree in favor of the Divine right of money... For it is God him or herself that is the "Ultimate Capitalist" with tells of Heavenly streets paved of Gold; one should conclude nothing less... God benefits as society benefits; with new Churches in his honor, and charities richly funded to carry out Gods will and deeds... These deeds come by funding in many ways, such as International Trade and Commerce, which is of much more important than the spreading military bases, and exporting War.

 

Example: What has more gain in value? The sending of ½ a trillion a year to buy bullets in the Middle East, keep conflict going, consumer confidence down and a GDP that places America in a bankrupt/collapse situation like the former Soviet Union? Or focus on bread and butter in America, building of new cities, ports, ships for exports?

 

I think it is the focus on bread and butter, trade and commerce. The average American can have breakfast in any city in America, and be connected to the rest of the world by simply reading down the items on the restaurant menu or looking around in their kitchen ... Granted some Items may come from the local area; however, most come from other state and across borders, and/or from across vast oceans... All breakfast menu items are priced somewhat affordable, and includes value added fees that provide pay checks to the commodities brokers, sea, air and land transporters, distributors, local salesmen and women, the cafe` builders, cooks and finally down to the friendly waiter or waitress that has pen in hand ready to take your order...

 

This is American Capitalism and the basis for American, and our Diplomatic and Economic Statecraft at its finest... Now, I am starting to see such variety within the former Soviet Bloc countries. While they are embracing Capitalism and getting away from spending the lion`s share of their money on Defense, they are becoming the big emerging markets that made America great for decades. It is sad to say, but America vastly declined during the Bush Administration as it squandered its resources creating a less peaceful and prosperous World.  I hope this changes soon.

 

It is the belief in the all mighty dollar; with the words, "IN GOD WE TRUST" printed on it that instills faith and confidence in this little piece of fiat paper money. The American Dollar through Capitalism, connects, and brings together people of sound mind, and integrity from all walks of life, from all over the world.

 

America through Capitalism used to shuns fear and isolationism, but the Bush Administration embraced and promoted fear. I am glad that President Obama has again embraced faith, tolerance and focus on the common bonds; bonds of trade and commerce with our fellow man, to feed, cloth, and shelter his family while doing the deeds of God, and promoting peace and prosperity for all humanity... America became the largest exporter of War, and the rumors of War, than any nation in the World and President Obama and Secretary Clinton has worked hard to bring America back from a darker era. While there are short term gains in a few Defense industries, the states that hold those industries are big economic losers as a whole from this misguided agenda.

I will be the first to say that I feel that my America did go astray from constructive leadership; however, I see great understanding and wisdom in President Obama and Secretary Clintons` Reset Policy with Russia and our focus to reduce special interest and promote Democracy, Development and Peace over Militarization and quest for Nuclear ambitions in the world.

 

America and Capitalism when America was focusing on America can accomplish great things. We are starting to regain the days of banishing fear, intolerance, Defense paranoia and poverty to promote a more peaceful and prosperous world... I think Russia could play an important part in doing the same.

 

COMMONALITIES:

 

Both Americans and Russian/Soviets continued to spread their form of Government. They sent out spies and spent vast sums of money to spread their message, print their Political Books, build schools, grand centers, and teach their versions of how they think people within their society and the World should live. Americans were strongly committed to carrying out Democracy and the spreading of Democracy throughout the world; even if it meant their own imprisonment or even death just as the Communist of the Soviet Union. In many cases, both Countries have lost people, which have been used, and misguided by extremist who failed to and/or had no intent in recognizing the constructive common bonds that both Countries had.

 

I respect both/all Countries and their Citizens basic focus for a Godly way of life for the World. Both America and the Soviets could have been constructive and affected a great number of lives in a much more positive way than building a (MAD) World based on Mutually Assured Destruction. God in people`s lives bring about full potential; therefore, I encourage the empowerment of the Worlds populace to focus on a Godlier path and embrace the Reset Policy with Russia.

 

For Decades America and the Soviet States chose the more Evil path of destruction and Military buildups. However, an empowered populace focusing on Good and God demanded more and sought real constructive changes for the betterment of humanity. Empowerment took faith to overcome what seemed to be overwhelming odds, but through daily struggles, time, and a real commitment to those struggles, and the recognition of our religious and other commonalities. When it came down to the Citizens being the voice of reason, we brought about the fall of the Berlin Wall, but that happened only after both nations were robbed by the Beltway Bandits and Moscow Military Mafia that brought about the economic downturn of both nations.

 

Empowerment is in essence Faith, and Faith comes with knowing in your heart that God is the Architect, and that we allow only Godly ideologies to be our foundation corner stone to which we must build upon. As we un-scroll the Blueprints, and the sharing of knowledge, we should focus our attention on God to establish collective bonds of understanding of which to build from.

 

This sharing of knowledge becomes real understanding and in the World, and it can be like a magnet to attract the masses to construct, as opposed to destroying great societies throughout the World. America can offer vast business insights to help the former Soviet States move from a Market Economy, while America can learn how to improve their Health Care from the integration of some aspects of Socialized Medicine and Housing for the Poor, and adopt a focused Dress Code and Education that reduces crime. As a steward of real estate I see great value in the cookie cutter construction of housing within the Eastern Block. Such mass development funded by Government programs holds a lot of merits which can help many cities develop housing for the poor and help gain Government sponsored capital market funds for private development firms such as my organization.

 

All people of a Godly faith love their homelands and God. Walking, and working together to recognize our common bonds of having a strong belief in God, can become great bonds like mortar that hold buildings, and great societies together. By recognizing the commonalities and working together, we can help solve many issues that face the World today. The Godly Blueprint as I see it is to try to build a more peaceful and prosperous World. That can only be done together, and recognizing our commonalities and love for each other and for God.

 

Photo Credit: WikiMedia Commons