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RUSSIA: Marshall Goldman on its economy

Wellesley College economist Marshall Goldman may well the American best informed about Russia. He has served as the director of Harvard's Russian Research Center. He has written a string of books on the Soviet Union and Russia, where he has relatives.. His latest book, published by Routledge, is The Privatization of Russia: Russian Reform Gone Awry. It is basically an account of the politics and corruption which accompanied privatization in Russia. He places some of the blame on the Chicago school of economists, whose influence in Russia I was unaware of. He speaks kindly of the privatization in Poland, where the government kept it under control. In view of our debate over the Kentucky Fried Chicken outlet opposite the Pyramids, I do not know how much enthusiasm WAISers will feel at the news that McDonalds are opening all over Russia. In view of the contrast between the Russian billionaires and the impoverished masses, I wonder how well the 13% flat tax works. Goldman compares Gasprom with Enron, since the two have a comparable number of affiliates. Surprisingly, some Russian corporations are run out of places like Florida, whose climate is better than Russia's.

We would be interested in Cameron Sawyer's response. Is Marshall Goldman well-known in Russia.? He should be, since he has been there often. Is he appreciated? Have his books been translated? Will his latest book be? As far as I can tell, despite his unparalleled knowledge of Russia, Goldman is not active in the government at present. He is a Democrat.

Ronald Hilton - 6/16/03