Government Structures in the U.S.A. and the Sovereign States of the Former U.S.S.R: Power Allocation among Central, Regional, and Local Governments

By James E. Hickey Jr.; Alexej Ugrinsky | Go to book overview

ment." And Smith's "invisible hand" continues "gently pulling an invisible thread between and among" them, and between these fledgling nation-states and the West.


NOTES
1.
The body of this paper was written in late 1991; the epilogue was written in late 1993.
2.
A "political reunion," for the purpose of this paper, means a political unit utilizing many or most of the following: a single currency, a single central bank, a single set of credit policies, a single commercial banking system, and a set of laws and regulations governing monetary or fiscal policy. For the purposes of this paper, political reunion need not, but probably would, imply a federal legislature, executive, judiciary, and military. At the time of this writing, the so-called Commonwealth of Independent States does not yet represent a "political reunion."
3.
See, e.g., The Economist, October 5-11, 1992, at 51.
4.
See, e.g., The New York Times, December 9, 1991, at 1.
5.
See, e.g., The Economist, December 21, 1991-January 3, 1992, at 55-56.
6.
"Economic sovereignty" may best be understood as the desire of a nation or people to autonomously decide the monetary, fiscal, and regulatory policies under which they will transact business. It necessarily implies a degree of "political sovereignty." See, e.g., "Will There Be a Ukraininan National Currency?" Ukrainian Business Digest, May 13, 1991; see also Rein Stamm, US.S.R. Business Newsletter, December 1990. Already, the republics have reserved broad economic powers to themselves, including control of their customs regimes, the right to negotiate freely on behalf of their populations, and the right to assert their own monetary and fiscal prerogatives. See, e.g., The Economist, August 3-9, 1991, at 45.
7.
The Economist, August 3-9, 1991, at 45.
8.
Grigorii Yavlinksy's May 1991 Plan, for example, sought $150 billion in Western aid for the U.S.S.R. over a five-year period. Ukrainian Business Digest, June 1991, at 6. As of mid- 1991, the accumulated debt of the former Union stood at $65 billion. The Economist, August 3-9, 1991, at 45. In January 1992, The Economist declared: "The G-7 countries must turn up ready to offer massive financial aid to those states of the new Commonwealth that are moving forward with decisive programs of macroeconomic stabilization and market reform." The Economist, December 21, 1991-January 3, 1992, at 101.
9.
See, e.g., James E. Alt and Alec K. Chrystal, Political Economics ( Berkeley: University of California Press, 1983), at 71; James D. Gwartney and Richard Stroup, Macroeconomics: Private and Public Choice ( New York: Academic Press, 1980), 71-72, 197-99, 264-65; Ukrainian Business Digest, June 1991, at 6.
10.
There is a present predilection toward near-term political reunion, not just among former hardline communists, but also among many in the West. As one observer recently noted:

Viewing the U.S.S.R. as a sort of "United States of Russia" is a subliminal parallel that, particularly for America, is easy to make. But the analogy quickly dissolves: the fifty states of the U.S. are arbitrarily

-335-

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