EDITORIAL: Russians Love them some Graft

EDITORIAL

Russians Love them some Graft

One of the most obvious reasons why corruption rampages like a wildfire in Vladimir Putin’s Russia is that the people of the country would prefer to lap up its “benefits” than to live another way.

For instance, Russians pay far less for gasoline than they otherwise would because of political corruption. Just like in the USSR, the Russian Kremlin controls gas prices to make the privations of the failed neo-Soviet economy more palatable to clueless Russian citizens.  Other prices are controlled too, like transportation and basic foodstuffs, regardless of the fact that it’s not legal.

The result of such a practice is predictable:  Shortages.  The USSR was infamous for them.  Now, the same is happening in Russia.

When Russian gasoline producers can get more for their product abroad, where prices aren’t controlled, than they can in Russia, naturally they want to sell their products abroad instead.  And relatively cheaper prices increase demand at home, meaning domestic supplies are snapped up that much quicker.  Soon, Russia finds itself without gasoline.

The Kremlin’s next step is obvious:  Ban exports.  It’s almost as if Russians think they have discovered their own secret laws of economics (just as their Soviet ancestors believed as well), and that standard principles don’t apply to Russia.

But Russians, of course, haven’t done so.  Russia cannot “cure” corruption by decreeing that the laws of economics do not apply.  It cannot maintain a nation by allowing totally unqualified goons from the KGB to dominate the Kremlin.  They will try to rule by brute force and deception, all that they have been trained to do, and the will fail just as surely as their predecessors in the KGB failed.

Russians have allowed themselves to be rendered blind by Vladimir Putin. He has crushed television journalism, opposition political parties and local government as the people of Russia helpfully looked the other way.  Thus blinded, Russians simply do not know the extent of Putin’s failure, just as they did not in Soviet times.  Putin himself, personally, is responsible for Russia’s gasoline shortages, his own misguided policies have caused them. Yet no national TV broadcaster, no opposition political leader, no local official dares to point out this failure, and Russians are none the wiser.

Putin then, of course, increases his misconduct.  We have documented his personal corruption, and today our special issue shows chapter and verse how his leadership has resulted in the most corrupt and disabled major nation on this planet.  If Russians do not change course, their nation will once again collapse into bleak despair.

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