Putin Decides Jailing Entrepreneurs Not Good for Economy

AMA - Jason Hartman Income Property InvestingThe concept of object permanence is pretty important in order for a human being to achieve any level of success on this planet. In short, it allows us to realize that something still exists even when it is out of sight. For example, see this can of beer I’m holding? I’m going to put it behind my back. Those readers with a well-developed sense of object permanence will not panic. They realize I’m simply holding the beer out of sight. Without object permanence, you might think the beer had vanished from the face of the earth.

What does any of this have to do with Vladimir Putin? We’re not sure but it seems he may finally be putting two and two together when it comes to remembering how to fix the Russian economy.

Perhaps even more worrisome for the Russian potentate was when news hit the wire that he sent a flunky, Boris Titov, out to scour the prison camps in search of entrepreneurs who might be amenable to an amnesty agreement that would get them out of the gulag and put them to work helping get the anemic economy turned around. With nearly one in every ten prisoner of the white-collar variety, the country has inadvertently imprisoned a large portion of the businessmen and women who might be able to make some progress against a 1.6 percent growth rate.

As quoted in the New York Times, this is a highly unusual stimulus response. In a stupefying display of candor, Titov went on to say that the government had “overreacted” to the threat of organized crime and over-prosecuted entrepreneurs during Putin’s first twelve years as crackpot dictator – err – president and prime minister.

Yep, in Russia jailing the best business minds is the order of the day. The Times article goes on to recount several examples of wrongful imprisonment, including a man, Ruslan Tyelkov, who was busted for copyright infringement after ordering 25,000 yards of leopard-print fabric in order to start an upholstery business.

At the time, Tyelkov laughingly protested to police, asking, “Who owns the copyright, a leopard?” After a spending a year in pre-trial detention, it didn’t seem quite so hilarious, though it eventually came to light that the police had actually colluded with a competitor of Tyelkov’s, seizing the merchandise so it could be sold for pure profit.

Now that’s old-style Soviet entrepreneurism for you. Papa Joe Stalin would have been so proud.

Stories like this make Putin look like a world class jackass and a very bad man. So how was your week? Jason Hartman went to Iceland. (Top image: Flickr | loSonoUnaFotoCamera)

* Read more from the American Monetary Association

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The American Monetary Association Team

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