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Is Entrepreneurialism Proof of America’s Exceptionalism?

October 8th, 2013 | by Morris Beschloss | Comments

When Russia’s President Vladimir Putin took severe exception to President Barack Obama’s reference to America’s “exceptionalism,” he not only missed the point of America’s unique entrepreneurialism, but would not even understand the unimaginable mobility that has created dozens of billionaires from many who came from the humblest of beginnings, including high school dropouts, and even immigrants from various parts of the world, who had first to break the language barrier.

Putin would immediately dismiss this argument as proving the age-old Socialist contention that the world has always been embroiled in an everlasting struggle between the idle rich and the exploited toiling masses.

Putting this angry adversarial confrontation into the black and white of a New York Times editorial, Putin cited the magnificent role that the mighty Russian Army played in breaking the back of the most fearsome military juggernaut, Germany, before which Europe quaked and eventually surrendered before the German Army bit off more than it could chew on the endless steppes of the Soviet Union.

He forgot to mention that the erstwhile Russian allies only rallied against the Nazi hordes when Generalissimo Stalin shrewdly dropped the veneer of “Bolshevism” and wrapped Russia’s resounding victory in the mantle of patriotism.

In not admitting to the socio-economic structure that continues to vault the U.S. into its unchallengeable world leadership position of economic viability, in addition to the retention of opportunity for a population of 320 million, second largest in the world, Putin recalls a deep misconception. What makes this contention even more valid is that of the 140 million potential U.S. workers, almost 70% are engaged in “independent businesses,” many of whom are family-owned and directed by their multi-generational founders and their successors.

This in itself makes the U.S. unique. In spite of the increasing costs of government regulations, including Obamacare and the Frank-Dodd financial hurdles, these “small businesses” are the ones leading the U.S. out of the quagmire of a sordid financial breakdown, primarily engendered by the mistakes of multi-nationals which had already established substantial ties and facilities in other parts of the world.

There is nothing unique in the position of the world’s number one power manipulator— Vladimir Putin. The results of the inability of Russia to foster entrepreneurial independence, a middle class, and energetic individualism can best be attributed to the fact that Putin’s grip on the largest land mass in the world, and its unlimited natural resources has been previously tried by his predecessor czars and Communist dictators. Although modernizing the draconian methods and harshness of the mid-20th century dictators, the loss of entrepreneurial potential was frittered away when a 10-year attempt at democracy in the decade of the 90′s has now fallen back to the strong arm rule of yesteryear.

It may not be by accident that the total net worth of the Forbes 400 American billionaires equal the economic output of Russia’s sum annual total — $2.02 trillion.
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