NCPA - National Center for Policy Analysis

Russia Needs Economic, Health Education

April 7, 1999

Some observers of the Russian scene contend that country needs to be taught how a modern society should function. Such instruction should include economic education, public administration and vastly upgraded health-care delivery systems, they say.

Rather than receiving yet another International Monetary Fund bailout, ordinary Russians need to become acquainted with Western ideas and methods.

Here are some suggestions being advanced:

  • Sponsor Russian editions of newspapers and magazines -- such as the Wall Street Journal, the Economist and Forbes -- and encourage Western media companies to set up or buy Russian-language television or radio stations.
  • Establish professional schools offering Western-style education and training -- especially business management and public administration.
  • Since its health-care system is so backward and it is losing people at the height of their productive years, Western investors should finance modern clinics, hospitals and medical facilities in cities throughout Russia.

Proponents of these ideas argue that as long as Russia's government and economy are run by graduates of the Soviet system, the country will not be able to overcome its economic crisis and can never be seen as a reliable ally or a worthwhile venue for foreign investment. Its paramount need is a viable intellectual infrastructure.

Source: Alexei Bayer (Kafan FX consulting firm), and Alexander Shaknovich (cardiologist), "How to Help Russia Without IMF Loans," Wall Street Journal, April 7, 1999.


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