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> Putting aside the human right issues...

I'm not sure that is a safe start to an argument that a country is well run. When human rights get suppressed that means people lose the ability to, eg, honestly complain about massive problems or take basic steps to improve their standard of living. Growing an economy at the expense of human rights is kinda stupid. What is the point of making people's lives materially better if the government is simultaneously suppressing their ability live better lives? Pointless and counterproductive busywork.

I can see how a country can be good and have human rights abuses at the same time - most great countries are involved in human rights abuses to some degree - but they can't just be hand-waved at the start. Being a nice place to visit as a wealthy tourist hand having clean streets is not a high bar.

You also inspired me to go and have a look at https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Human_rights_in_Belarus . I wasn't impressed to read that they have laws where a "change of job and living location will require permission from governors [for 9% of the workforce]". I would call that catastrophically poor management of the economy bordering on actual slavery. So either Wikipedia is misleading me or they are not quite well run.

I mean, I guess it's just hard to understand for people who have never lived under such a system. In Poland it's relatively common for people to say that life used to be "better" under communism, even though yes, what you could buy was limited, where you could travel was limited and sometimes yes, you would be assigned to a post somewhere and had to move there whether you wanted to or not(freshly graduated teachers would usually be assigned to a school in the country that needed teachers, with little personal choice). All of that sounds horrendous from the perspective of western countries today(or well, in fact, Poland in 2019 too), but not everything is just black and white - there were good things about it too. Excellent quality of education. Of healthcare. Public transport that was cheap or free to use, and regular. Massive investment in infrastructure. New things which were built were usually built with citizens in mind first, not profit.

Like, it's really hard to explain because you'd never see the benefit of that over personal freedom, but I get why older generations are nostalgic over it. I wouldn't go back to it but it wasn't all bad.

>> I wasn't impressed to read that they have laws where a "change of job and living location will require permission from governors [for 9% of the workforce]".

Do they have such laws or you believe that a proposed law (according to the cited articled) is an existing law already? You seem to quickly go and claim border-line slavery without checking it first.

Belarus is a dictatorship. If Lukashenko says “this should happen, I’m gonna make it happen”, I think it’s reasonable to interpret that as a proclamation of a new law unless there’s evidence it’s not being followed.

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