Enterprise Square Tour Examines Changes in Soviet Union

By Hartley, Tim | THE JOURNAL RECORD, December 8, 1989 | Go to article overview
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Enterprise Square Tour Examines Changes in Soviet Union


The Malta Summit, the Moscow Circus, the crumbling of the Iron Curtain. Soviet players pulling down big bucks in the National Basketball Association. A thaw, if not an end, to the cold war. Superpower talks broadening to include economic issues.

The times, they are a-changin', as nearly every day brings news of people choosing the opportunities of free enterprise over the shackles of communism.

The Soviet Union, facing enormous deficits and exporting products including circus shows and ballplayers to raise hard currency, continues to have trouble producing enough food, clothing and sundries to satisfy its people. Mikhail Gorbachev has introduced sweeping new policies, with hopes that incentive-based entrepreneurship will increase his nation's productivity.

The background to these changes is examined at Enterprise Square USA, 2501 E. Memorial Rd., which has put together a tour called "Red Soil to Red Square," featuring comparisons of the Soviet Union's socialist economic system and America's free market approach.

A highlight of the tour is a 20-minute video documentary capturing the frustration of the Soviet people as they struggle to survive in a country where shortages are the rule and freedoms have been the exception. The documentary was produced by KTVY Channel 4 News Anchor Linda Cavanaugh, who traveled to the Soviet Union for her "Red Soil to Red Square" series which aired last spring.

Other displays at Enterprise Square USA include introductions to the Soviet people's economic rights, illustrations of Soviet demographics and statistics, a large mock-up of a Soviet newspaper and a diary entry from a young Soviet girl describing conditions in Russia.

Enterprise Square continues to gain in popularity, according to attendance figures, which through October were up by 15 percent from the year before. The "Red Soil to Red Square" exhibit will be available through March. . .

Chamber Banquet Reservations Made More than 1,000 reservations have been made for the Oklahoma City Chamber of Commerce annual banquet, set for Tuesday night in the Made in Oklahoma Building at the state fairgrounds. Only a few place-settings are still available, and today is the last day to reserve a seat for this historic event.

The chamber, now 3,000 members strong with nearly 800 new members signed up during the just-completed campaign, will for the first time pass the gavel to its new chairman during an evening banquet. The chamber traditionally held a luncheon meeting every year. Tuesday's 6 p.m. starting time will give more people the opportunity to attend.

The chamber's 1990 program of work will be presented, followed by the featured speaker, native Oklahoman and international businessman T. Boone Pickens.

Pickens, a graduate of Oklahoma State University, formed his first oil company, Petroleum Exploration Inc., in 1956. That company became Mesa Petroleum Co. in 1964, and today is the largest independent producer of domestic oil and gas in the U.S.

As a pioneer advocate for shareholders' rights, Pickens founded the United Shareholders Association in 1986. He serves as chairman of the organization of 60,000 members in all 50 states.

Last summer, Pickens attempted to introduce his concepts on shareholder right to the Japanese. Maybe Tuesday we'll get to hear about it, and maybe about what he plans next. . .

Underwood to Attend Conference It is so easy to take it for granted. You turn on the faucet, and there it is. Hot or cold. Lukewarm? You got it.

Without our water, we have nothing, and the new commissioner of the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation will be in town next week to remind us of that and many other things as keynote speaker for the 10th Annual Oklahoma Water Conference.

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