Today economic adviser to the Kremlin Arkady Dvorkovich is quoted in the Moscow Times, making some pretty compelling and rational statements on the pernicious rise of state corporatism in Russia, particularly those proposed to control the fishing industry, build roads and produce medicine:
“I view the fashion of creating state corporations as being extremely dangerous, particularly for the industries being proposed,” he said at a business forum, Interfax reported. … “That makes you think that the state is not even trying to understand that private business could do all of that,” he said. “It’s a path toward setting to nil the growth of the Russian economy.” The majority of people in the government, Dvorkovich said, realize the importance of private business. “But risks do exist as well,” he said.
We haven’t heard a Kremlin adviser make this much sense since Andrei Illarionov called for the deregulation of Russia’s gas and electricity sectors, not long before his resignation. Is Dvorkovich just paying lip service to these reformist ideas, or is he the new Illarionov? If so, let’s hope that they listen to him. [See also: a transcript adaptation from a 2006 event at Cato Institute with Andrei Illarionov and Robert Amsterdam.]