The Rather Pathetic Economy of Russia

The Rather Pathetic Economy of Russia. By Economics Explained.

Almost 20 minutes, but a good explanation of where Russia is now:

Lawrence Person, summarizing the video:

  • Russia’s transition to a market economy was badly bungled, with state enterprises being sold off to those well-connected oligarchs rather than people that could actually grow and modernize industry.
  • Foreign firms were largely excluded from the privatization process.
  • Lots of oligarchs [looked] at the sad state of the Russian economy in the 1990s, and decided it was safer to park their money outside the country (hence all those Russians buying up housing in London).
  • Russia still managed a lot of economic growth in the early 21st century, and was helped by rising oil prices. …
  • Limited economic sanctions following the invasion of Crimea did very little, because Russia was prepared for it with considerable foreign currency reserves, and most sanctions were quickly rolled back.
  • “Russia has never been a real democracy.”
  • Per capita GDP has dropped from $16,000 in 2013 to just over $10,000 today.
  • “Corruption, mismanagement and warmongering are rarely a recipe for success.” The Russian [economy] shrunk over the past decade.


“Corruption, mismanagement and warmongering are rarely a recipe for success.”

Perhaps not for ordinary people. For politicians, OTOH, that’s just good eating. If corruption, mismanagement and warmongering weren’t lucrative for our “leadership” then they wouldn’t be so common. …

Pretty much any criticism one can level at Russia over Ukraine can be turned right back on the US. We’ve been war-happy for decades, killed civilians with missile strikes and conducted invasions on flimsy pretenses. Government corruption is rampant and cancerous. “Oligarchs” have outsized influence over policies at the expense of ordinary citizens (cough Bill Gates cough cough George Soros cough Hollywood…) And after what happened with all the funny business in 2020, it’s challenging to argue we’re even a real democracy anymore, especially now that everyone knows what really went down with Hunter’s laptop.

It’s all relative.