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April 30, 2007

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CH

One difference between the entrepreneurial class and the oligarchs is the fact that the former seeks profit while the last seek control. If the mind-set of the current elite in Russia doesn't change from wanting control to wanting profit not much will change.

jb

>> "Something funny happened to Russia on its way from socialism to capitalism. A bunch of politically-connected "oligarchs" managed to subvert the process while making themselves hyper-rich." <<

Taking into account that there are a mere 140 million people living in that country, of whom a significant amount faces severe poverty-related problems, the word "funny" sounds a bit misplaced.

happyjuggler0

This by the way is why so many people in poor countries hate capitalism. They can't see the difference between crony capitalism and competition based capitalism.

At the risk of being seen as snarky, I'd say there are several inside Washington who aren't entirely aware of the difference either. In both parties....

Nicholas Gruen

Reminds me of the way the energies of business in Latin America have gone into rent-seeking to great detriment of Latin American economies.

ms

"Something funny happened.."

"funny" is hardly an appropriate desciption of what happaned.

Mrs. Coulter

Come on, people. "Funny" has other meanings besides humorous. It also means odd, peculiar, unexpected, or suspicious, all of which are appropriate to the topic at hand.

Thanks for pointing out the paper--I'm looking forward to reading it.

Hazel

I was about to say "funny means odd" but I see someone has beaten me to it! Anecdotally, my mother always used to ask: "is that odd or haha" whenever I used funny to describe something.
Thanks for all the information - I love reading it even if a lot of it goes right over the top of my head rather than into it.

worth

Could it be that Russia is following the same, albeit accelerated, path that the U.S. did, and is now in the "robber baron" phase of capitalist development? The parallels seem quite obvious.

mike

To my mind, the only obvious solution to this "robber baron" type of oligarchy is the creation and enforcement of very powerful Fair Competition type statutes and related competition commissions to try and overcome these monopolistic intentions.

Of course, these structures may be manipulated by those politicians to which the robber barons are connected to remove the only monopolies standing in their way of becoming even richer.

piglet

"A bunch of politically-connected "oligarchs" managed to subvert the process while making themselves hyper-rich."

What do you mean by "subvert" in that context? Why don't you think this is exactly the effect that was inherent (and to some extent intended) in the shock therapy process imposed at the time by the West?

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