Wednesday, March 2, 2016

Jon Hellevig — Russian Economy – The disease is not Dutch but Liberal

There has lately again been a slew of articles in the Western business press denigrating Russia’s efforts to develop its industry condemning the drive for import substitution to failure and casting the curse of Dutch disease over it.
I have taken part of these stories just as I was preparing my own article reporting in fact on the success of Russia in these fields. I must say that I am a bit tired of arguing with those witless self-styled experts regurgitating the same old propaganda lines, but nevertheless I decided to take up the challenge and combine my report with a discussion of the Russian import substitution program and the imaginary Dutch disease.
The gist of my account is that Russia is not suffering and has never suffered from the fabled Dutch disease, which perhaps is nothing more than an academic platitude to start with. I will explain why I would much rather say that what Russia has been suffering is from something best termed the Liberal disease. 
While Russia has now largely cured itself from that affliction, it continues to suffer the effects of the Liberal disease, this time in form of being subject to the foolish harangues of Western liberal economists and their stage-managed opposition mouthpieces back home in Russia (or Paris, or wherever they happen to be perched from time to time). – In fact, it is not even as clear as that, because it seems to me that a large portion of the ruling elite, including those in government, are still very much advocating the failed Liberal disease.
One gets the feeling that President Putin and his administration is in this respect on the sane pragmatic side whereas the other parts of the government still pull to the liberal side, which is not good at all.
Before I launch into a more detailed discussion on that subject, I would like to set out the facts as they are presently.….
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