Fascinating piece in Wednesday’s Wall Street Journal on the many hurdles to Russian political freedom:
Richard Boudreaux, The Wall Street Journal
Russia’s future seemed somewhat promising after the Soviet Union’s fall, but thus far the economy hasn’t quite lived up to that potential. Over time, markets tend to fare best in free countries, where the rule of law prevails, elected officials are held accountable and resources are allocated most freely. Governments with more consolidated power tend to redirect capital toward the individuals, industries and institutions they need to placate in order to strengthen their grip—think special privileges, subsidies and the like. This is what we’ve witnessed under Vladimir Putin, and it prevents money from going where it would otherwise go to boost economic growth.
More political freedom would likely bring freer markets, benefitting all Russians in the long run. Unfortunately though, based on how Russian courts are handling the hundreds of allegations of election fraud, it seems the country has a long, long way to go.