Via Bob Cottrell:
"This is the place," he says. "The economy is booming and there's a real vibe. My son and I went to Ukraine recently and everyone was saying to us: 'Can we have the Belarus president in charge here for a year?'"
It's not difficult to see why. Unlike Ukraine and Russia, Belarus's economy is not dominated by billionaire oligarchs. There is no underclass: according to UN figures, Belarus has one of the lowest levels of social inequality in the world. Lukashenko wins elections not through fear, but because he has delivered social protection and rising standards of living. Growth now stands at 7 per cent.
The danger, some feel, is that a move towards a more market-oriented economy will destroy these achievements, and leave Belarusians sharing the same bitter-sweet jokes as their fellow eastern Europeans.
Belarus: $1248.60 per person (update: correction here)
If you want proof that F.A. Hayek is a brilliant and important thinker, there it is. On the brighter side, not everyone lives in Belarus.