Tuesday, November 06, 2012

Billionaire weighs in

Thomas Peterffy is a Hungarian-born American billionaire who grew up under communism in Hungary. He immigrated to the United States in 1956 and worked hard to fulfill his American dream. Peterffy is the founder of Interactive Brokers, which is an online discount brokerage firm that has offices all over the world and employs thousands of people. He played a key role in developing the electronic trading of securities and in the 1970s bought a seat on the American Stock Exchange. Peterffy recently launched a television ad for the upcoming US election warning people about socialism. He is supporting the Republicans in the election.

In this ad, he attacks the socialism of the Democratic Party in the US. He compares it to his own experiences with communism in Hungary when he was a boy. What Mr. Peterffy says in this ad is entirely correct. Peterffy mentions that the socialism of the current democratic government in office in the US is preventing economic growth. This ad is a warning that the US is moving towards socialism, something that most Americans detest and loath.

Communism and socialism are very similar, their goals, logic and motives almost mirror each other. The only difference being that one is tyrannical and incompatible with democracy (communism) and the other being able to operate in a democratic system (socialism). Socialism promotes the welfare state and likes to give things out for free. There is no incentive to excel or better oneself by working hard for a better future. In the ad, Peterffy tells the people that he worked hard when he came to the US. This is something he wouldn't have been able to achieve in communist/socialist Hungary.

Hungary endured the communist/socialist system for over 30 years. As a result, Hungary's economic situation was set back nearly half a century when the regime change happened in 1989. Economically speaking, Hungary lagged far behind her Western European neighbours because of the "communist experiment". This ad tells Americans not to flirt with socialism because the results could be disastrous for the people and the nation.