Putin’s Russia: Land of the Civil Servant Crony?

If one wants to get a glimpse of what happens when free enterprise is utterly crushed by the fist of cronyism, one need only look to Russia.

Only 1 in 10 Russians would like to own their own business. While a much larger number would love to work for the government. Of these people a sizable subset would like to work in “law enforcement.” Civil service is perceived by many as the route to success in Russia.

The best the average Russian can hope for is to become a mid-level functionary and hope some of the scraps from the feast above fall their way.

Sort of sounds like Washington, DC actually.

(From Nezavisimaya Gazeta)

“The majority of Russians want a job that would allow them to feel in charge. In Russia this means jobs in the law-enforcement agencies and the civil service,” Mikhail Delyagin, Director of the Moscow Institute of Globalization Studies, told Nezavisimaya Gazeta. Salaries in the private sector may be good, but you will have to work hard and assume a degree of responsibility. “In civil service, even not very high-ranking jobs offer almost absolute impunity and fantastic opportunities for personal gain,” Delyagin said. He said about an aide to the minister of economic development and trade who died several years ago: “I later read the memoirs of his friends. It turned out that the man said there was nothing impossible for him.” As for law-enforcers, Delyagin said they have the power “to do what they want with people in the firm belief that they would never be punished for their actions.”

Click here for the story.

(Nezavisimaya Gazeta, 8-28-2012)