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Kleptocracy

A state in which the rulers have stolen everything. Government by Thieves. The most typical example is Equatorial Guinea where great wealth flows in from the newly developed oil industry, but the president Obiang and his family have taken all the profits and spend nothing on the ordinary people.

The name can be applied to Russia where Boris Yeltsin handed over the industry and resources of the Soviet Union to a small group of people, often known as the Oligarchs (though the term is not appropriate as they are mostly excluded from government). These become immensely rich while the population as a whole is poorer than during the time of the USSR.

Should the term be applied to the modern western states where wealth seems to have come into the hands of bankers and financial manipulators rather than the people who make things and provide services?

Last revised 4/11/11


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