The FINANCIAL -- Over the past decade, Georgia has undergone dramatic changes. A colored revolution ushered in a pro-Western regime, resulting in serious efforts to combat institutional corruption and organized crime; Moscow’s lost its central Caucasus command HQ in Tbilisi, and replaced its military bases in Georgia proper with bigger ones in the breakaway regions, and it would be a mistake not to mention Georgia’s first democratic regime change in 2012 since becoming an independent state nearly 25 years ago.

The FINANCIAL -- In the first part of this article (available on the homepage of The Financial and the ISET Economist Blog), I described some of the adverse incentives resulting from a social welfare system. Then I argued that according to Simon Kuznet’s famous paradigm, increasing inequality is hardly evitable when a country enters a growth trajectory (as Georgia did in 2003), and I reasoned that it is at least an ambivalent (not to say questionable) policy for Georgia, at its current state of development, to fight inequality by social welfare measures.

The FINANCIAL -- One day in my village, I saw our neighbors carrying TV sets, refrigerators, parabolic antennas, and washing machines out of their house. Soon I found out that they were hiding all that stuff from the state audit agency that was about to check eligibility for social benefits.

The FINANCIAL -- Georgia is 11 times larger than the State of Palestine (based on its 1967 borders) and has almost the same population size of Gaza and the West Bank only ( there are approximately 6 million Palestinian refugees living outside these territories). Georgia is a bit richer in terms of GDP (nominal or PPP) and both have experienced substantial turbulence over the centuries, with borders constantly shifting and territory currently illegally occupied by neighbors.

The FINANCIAL -- On May 2, 2014, the Georgian parliament unanimously passed the law on the elimination of any form of discrimination. The stated objective of the law is to ensure that any physical or legal entity equally benefits from all rights defined by Georgian legislation, irrespective of race, skin color, language, sex, citizenship, place of origin, birth or residence, wealth or class status, religion or belief, national, ethnic or social belonging, profession, marital or health status, disabilities, sexual orientation, gender identity, political or other considerations, etc.

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