It seems to me, if Russia enacted a NUMA, it would quickly become the most prosperous country on the planet. The Russian people have been honed in the crucible of tyranny and slaughter, they have an ability to endure that is almost unique among peoples. Giving such a caliber people, true freedom, and open markets to do business and you have a recipe for unbridled growth and improvement in the lot of Mankind.
Of course this all is predicated on the Russian Elite shackling themselves with a NUMA. This is as hard for them to do, as it was for the king, to sign the Magna Charta. The powerful never willingly cede power; especially to the people. A sovereign will cede some power to an aristocracy but few tyrants trust the people. The unwashed masses are to be controlled never really allowed to control.
If the Elite can be coerced into instituting a NUMA, that is effective but not a source of tyranny itself, then the Russian government, which is notorious for it’s corruption, will quickly become a public service. Bribes would be rapidly prosecuted and examples would be made. The more powerful the politician the better the example. The Elite are very smart, that is why they are the Elite, they would catch on quickly. Legalized insider trading for politicians, the need for special prosecutors and voter fraud would be eliminated, because… All laws that pertain to the people shall also pertain to all members of government and all citizens and non citizens, equally. With no exceptions.
Lets look at how the removal of such a burden, to the Russian people, and to the Russian economy, would effect them, individually.
The people’s minds would be at rest, for the first time ever, that their government was doing it’s job. The people would be able to exert their will through the election process, without today’s Elite undermining the process to replace them, with tomorrows Elite, that more closely follow the will of the people.
People would feel freer to start a business. No bribes, no protection racket, no onerous taxes (because the Elite would be subjected to the highest rate they subject any faction of society to), the entrepreneur would be able to work away, on what ever his or her project was, without government interference, and people could just live their lives, within a system that was sufficiently prosperous that anyone willing to work… would live a good life.
The economy in such a system would have the anchor of corrupt government removed. This alone would propel it for some time. But, add to that, the other overt effects of a NUMA. One is that the elected would be subject to the most onerous laws and regulations they allow or enact upon any faction of society. Random drug tests if they require that of anyone, the highest tax rate they require anyone to pay, the least loopholes they allow any faction to have, etc… They could not escape their own onerous laws no matter how hard they try. The NUMA would always bite at any attempt to carve an exception for the Elite.
This alone would be like putting miracle grow and water on a plant that has been growing in poor soil; for any economy. The growth rate would dramatically pick up. The productivity would be so much better it would be hard to imagine it is the same plant (economy). But, take away the fertilizer and extra water and the plant will become just as sickly as it was before, perhaps worse, because it has to re-inure itself to perpetual want. If you think about it, it is hard to argue that, if a plant has sufficient demand, for water and nutrients, supply will be found, and it will have sufficient water and nutrients, but it is not hard to argue that, if a plant is supplied sufficient water and nutrients then it will have sufficient water and nutrients.
Laws that are normally scoff laws would be rescinded do to their annoying the Elite. This would lead society to be more virtuous, because, if scoff laws are removed and people don’t daily break some meaningless law, then they will become more respectful of law. People follow their leaders. If their leaders are virtuous, then the people will follow them and be virtuous, if leaders are corrupt, then the people will follow them and be corrupt.
Put in the context of complexity theory, a NUMA would be a facilitator of interdependence and adaptation, that would, once it’s effects reached a phase transition, set off a cascade of events, leading to a macro outcome that was different from the individual input, or in other words, an emergent phenomenon in society.
Of course these effects could be applied to any country that enacted a NUMA. The effects on growth and personal freedom would ramp up the rate of GDP growth of any economy. People know what is best for themselves, a NUMA would get government off their backs and let them do what is best. The invisible hand could work, and everyone would benefit, a classic win win,
But, alas, for the egos of the Elite…