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Kazakh And Kyrgyz

President Bakiev was in no position to disagree. Kazakhstan, whose income per person of $3,800 is eight times Kyrgyzstan’s, is the country’s largest foreign investor. Many successful Kazakh entrepreneurs already think of Kyrgyzstan as pretty much a province of Kazakhstan, anyway. ~The Economist

Here is an interesting example of what is effectively a personal dictatorship flush with oil money functioning as a mostly benevolent actor in the troubled, impoverished pseudo-democracy of the region.  That income figure means that the average Kyrgyz earns about $470 per year–might there be other priorities for Kyrgyzstan besides pointless tribal conflict dressed up as respectable democratic change?

Incidentally, this would probably have something to do with the numbers that show “unfree” states growing at a faster rate than “free” ones, since Kyrgyzstan would have to have been absurdly designated “more free” than Kazakhstan on account of its fake, Washington-approved revolution.  When developed, slow-growing countries get lumped in with massively impoverished, very low-growth countries, the authoritarian oil states in developing countries are going to look pretty good.

about the author

Daniel Larison is a senior editor at TAC, where he also keeps a solo blog. He has been published in the New York Times Book Review, Dallas Morning News, World Politics Review, Politico Magazine, Orthodox Life, Front Porch Republic, The American Scene, and Culture11, and was a columnist for The Week. He holds a PhD in history from the University of Chicago, and resides in Lancaster, PA. Follow him on Twitter.

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