June 27th, 2011

Statue of Reagan to be unveiled in Budapest on June 29

A statue of US President Ronald Reagan will be unveiled in Budapest on June 29 in a ceremony to be addressed by Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban and former US State Secretary Condoleezza Rice, the Hungarian government said on its portal.

The ceremony will mark the 100th birth anniversary of the 40th President of the United States.

The 2.2-metre bronze statute, to stand near the US Embassy in Szabadsag Square, is by Hungarian sculptor Istvan Mate and is being erected by Hungary’s Ronald Reagan Memorial Committee, which was set up in Hungary for the centenary.

“During his presidency of the United States, Ronald Reagan earned an immortal reputation for his role in the fall of communism. Hungary will always remember with gratitude the unchallengeable role played by the United States and President Reagan in bringing the Cold War to a conclusion, and for the fact that Hungary regained its sovereignty in the process,” the government portal said.

Alongside London, Prague and Krakow, Budapest is one of the sites for celebratory events in Europe marking the anniversary in honour of the late president.

The unveiling is scheduled to start at 2.30pm and be addressed by the Hungarian prime minister, to be followed by Deputy Prime Minister Zsolt Semjen, US Ambassador to Hungary Eleni Tsakopoulos Kounalakis, Condoleezza Rice and two US government officials.

Video footage of Ronald Reagan’s life and work will be played at the event, the portal said.

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  • Peter Dow

    “Perspectives on Leadership: Condoleezza Rice at The Ronald Reagan Presidential Foundation” (YouTube)
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qvOjtvXrlgI

    “Interview: Condoleezza Rice at The Ronald Reagan Presidential Foundation” (YouTube)
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=V4xwZqj7rHQ

    Rice for President Yahoo Group
    “Condoleezza Rice for President in 2012. Join this group of supporters from everywhere on the world wide web.”
    http://groups.yahoo.com/group/rice-for-president/

    All Peter Dow’s Condi videos
    http://www.youtube.com/user/DrCondiRice#g/f

    The For Freedom Forums, Forums for robust political debate.
    http://figh.tk

  • Farkas László

    The Chinese have done the opposite of what Reagan’s supply side revolution taught. They practiced protectionism, opposed free investment by outsiders for a long time, geared the economy towards export, believed in a strongly interventioninst government with subsidies. Today, they are in the cash position to come to Hungary and talk jobs. I always said that at the end of the day, you got to look at who is the last man standing.

    • American in Budapest

      Farkas,

      There was no supply side revolution. Lowering taxes did not increase labor force participation or increasing savings rates. In fact, savings rates plunged during the Reagan years.

      It was all rhetoric.

      Reagan used Keynesian stimulus. And the Fed kept monetary policy tight.

  • Brandt Hardin

    Reagan has a legacy so distorted by the Conservative idolization of him that we may never have a clear picture of the real man behind the television. Did he rid the world of commie scum? Check out my portrait of The Gipper in commemoration of his 100th birthday at http://dregstudiosart.blogspot.com/2011/02/happy-100th-gipper.html

    • http://www.allhungary.hu Erik D’Amato

      Interesting bookend to the distorted, idolization of Obama, complete with crappy art! :)

      • Ryan

        A la Faux News “fair and balanced”?

    • American in Budapest

      Agreed.

      It was Gorbachev’s decision not to intervene in Eastern Europe that led to the downfall of Eastern Block Communism.

      Any other distortion is just distortion and rampant romanticism.

  • Farkas László

    The Reagan ethos promoted the idea that government is never the answer, that the government never creates jobs (except when there is a huge defense build up!), the government is the enemy of business (except when business lobbies for the things it wants) etc.

    What America’s corporate elites have done with this “philosophy” is export jobs and focus on paper wealth much of which has turned speculative. The Asians have totally disregarded such thinking and did the opposite: they protected their industries and exported goods, not jobs. The Japanese and Chinese believed in a strongly interventionist, pro active government- one that would provide subsidies and even factory space. The government was there to help the exporter export goods in ANY way possible.

    The Reagan revolution eliminated the tax distinction between short and long term capital gains- thus fueling a wave of overclass buying and selling of assets for quick profit. The results have been speculative. Letting a few people make a lot of paper wealth doesn’t make for a viable and prosperous economy.

    Let the Chinese roll. They give lie to all the economic and political myths that have animated the western overclasses for so long- the ones preached by Reagan.

    • American in Budapest

      Well, I detested Reagan and always thought he got more credit for the decline in inflation than he deserved (Paul Vocker – Fed Chairman – really killed inflation).

      However, I strongly disagree that pro-interventionist models are the solution. The lack of a clear dividing line between the Japanese government and the corporate conglomerates that dominate the Japanese economy is not healthy. It’s not good for democracy and society when the regulator and the regulated are in bed together.

      Second of all, Japan’s economy has not grown over the last twenty years. GDP is essentially no higher today than the early 90s.

      So Japan is not a successful interventionist model (it was prior to the 1989 collapse, but not since).

      Second of all, I think you are too impressed by China. China is a bubble. Yes, the Chinese made good investments in education and they have the Mandarin tradition to leverage.

      But China today is facing a massive real estate bubble that can only end badly.

      And one key factor in the Chinese bubble is the inability of the central Chinese government to regulate the banks and construction companies, which have incestuous ties to the local governments. The other key factor is the artificially low dollar/Rembi exchange rate. Which artificially boosts exports and depresses Chinese consumption.

      I have over $100K in shorts on China. Most shorting Chinese real estate stocks trading on the Hong Kong Exchange.

      Hungary doesn’t need its government to buying equities in Hungarian companies. In fact, it is counterproductive because governments care about employment than growth and efficiently allocated resources (resources need to flow from declining sectors to growing sectors).

      The Czech Republic has a real standard living 40% than Hungary. They did it without any of the intervention that you seem to admire.

      Hungary is like a basketball player that needs to concentrate on the fundamentals: fighting corruption, privatizing, fighting tax evasion, reducing social benefits, promoting competition (both pharmacies and notaries are limited by law in Hungary), etc.

      China looks sexy now, but when the clothes come off, it’s going to be big disappointment.

      PS: I will make a lot of $$$ shorting China.

  • Angela Kovacs

    The Star Wars project killed communism which was a bankrupt concept, anyway, in every sense of the word.
    Ronnie Reagan aka ‘the gipper’ balanced the American books and then set about spending a fortune on pointing weapons of mass destruction at Moscow from outer space.
    This little project cost so much the books became unbalanced and probably contributed to the financial mess America now finds itself in.
    Reagan was a bad actor that helped create the myth that America was the land of plenty where the sun never set and the cowboys (him included) always prevailed over those nasty, indigenous, Red Indians.
    A statue of Reagan in Budapest is laughable and unnecessary and most Hungarians wouldn’t recognize him from Bela Kun!

  • American in Budapest

    Not true. The Communist system was stagnating so badly that when the price of oil (the main Soviet export) collapsed in the mid 80s, new leadership (Gorbachev) came to power and tried Glasnost. Now Gorbachev didn’t intend to cause the system’s collapse, but the centrifugal forces of nationalism quickly spun out of control once the forces of repression were tamed.

  • Ralph

    Indeed. Communism was bankrupt and the flawed ideology of Marx, Lenin, Trotsky, etc and all the other bastards complicit in spreading the disease was exposed and defeated. The demise of the cancer was speeded up by Ronnie’s Star Wars program; and Gorbi was a teddybear that embraced the West and its cash! He was no fool!!

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