Monday, May 15, 2006

The eccentric mayor

Here's some more on what the mayor of Kiev is looking to do. More populism? Sometimes the mayor makes a lot of sense and sometimes he sounds crack-brained. Which one is he really? I don't know, but government owned stores selling to the poor and the elderly--really the same thing here--makes a certain sense. This one, at least, isn't crack-brained. The poor here are just going to get poorer and going to be in a lot more jeopardy than they were what with the rise in energy prices which is going on apace. But it just won't work. It will just create some more Mercedes and BMW drivers because it will increase opportunities for graft and corruption.

"So, just have some kind of agency oversee what goes on in these stores. Make an example of a few of the people who engage in this kind of corruption and that will end it." Won't happen. Just cut the members of the agency in on a piece of the action and the way is paved for your grand dacha in the protected portions of the wilderness.

It will create great expense and it will poorly serve the poor. It will bust the budget and leave some guys in tailored suits and slick, pointed shoes, smiling. In other words, it will be more of the same.


Anonymous said...

Just wanted to point you to an interesting comment about Ukrain by the Ethiopian Prime Minister:

Ukrain is a rump

"The Times quoted Meles as saying in an interview on Sunday. "Ethiopia is not a spineless, corrupt ex-Soviet rump. Ethiopia is not Ukraine."


Anonymous said...

Well, it all depends on one's perspectives. If one has in mind a longer-term collection of rents associated with being in power then one would need to do a decent job in poor relief to build loyalty and make sure you get reelected. It is not impossible to set up fire walls against corruption if one selects appointees who are ideologically committed to helping the poor and who are officially compensated decently for their administration work.

I believe that's what we did with social workers in the US!