Belarus’ Soviet Economy has worked better than you think

Bloomberg Business Nov 2019

In the West, Belarus is probably best known as “Europe’s last dictatorship.”

Less recognized is that its transition from a command to the semi-market economy, delivered at the speed of a mud-bound tractor, has by some economic measures made this a better place to live than any other former Soviet republic, barring the three Baltic States that joined the European Union.

Belarus scores better on inequality than any EU nation (including the likes of Denmark) and has a smaller percentage of people living on less than $5.50 per day, a World Bank measure of poverty, than any other part of what was once the Soviet Union, half of the EU’s 28 member states, or the U.S.


Wealth Distribution and Income Inequality by Country 2018


wealth distribution - Belarus

According to the figures, despite low GDP, Belarus has one of the smallest narrow gap between rich & poor, an extremely high employment rate, and a very low poverty rate.

Belarus has done well on poverty reduction.

Poverty Reduction in Belarus

Worldbank Oct. 2017

It is timely, therefore, to reflect on the progress made by Belarus in reducing poverty, as well as on the challenges the country faces for the future.

A lot of progress has been made over the past decade and a half: the share of the population below the national poverty line fell from 41.9% in 2000 to 5.7% in 2016.

Moreover, Belarus managed to reduce the poverty rate faster than all other countries in the Europe and Central Asia region.

Government taxes and spending help shift money from the rich to the poor.

Direct transfers – pensions, in particular – are the most equalizing and pro-poor of the fiscal interventions in Belarus.


belarus oil

Belarus’ success economic model made possible by Russian energy subsidies, in the form of large quantities of crude oil which Belarus buys at a discount.

Without compensation for these lost subsidies, Belarus may have to restructure its legacy state-owned factories, losing many of the jobs and welfare systems they sustain.

Belarusian is nice and helpful


Every Belarusian I’ve met has been the nicest person I’ve ever met, so spending a vacation surrounded by Belarusians seemed like it would have to be the best thing ever.

If a path to world peace exists, it’s going to be a Belarusian who finds it.

Belarus has a strong community and it makes Community Crowdfunding possible.

If the funding can be coming from cashback from merchants such as people eating out every day, buying out every day.

The mathematics:

As an example, GDP per capita for Belarus is about US$ 6,291 per year

Assumed retail merchant networks can cover all walks of life at Belarus.

5% cashback will equate to 5% x US$ 6,291=US$315 per year

Belarus has a population of 9.5 million. If they all participate, it will generate cashback close to US$ 3 B annually.

This US$ 3B can be used as development fund such as:

  • Small business enterprise funds
  • Young people venture funds
  • Education funds
  • Technology venture funds


Belarus has a strong government and a strong community. It is about time to develop new funding for new markets to offset the risk of losing oil subsidy from Russia.

With one shoulder reclining against Russia and the other brushing Europe, Belarus can friendly with both.

To learn how to create a Cashback program at retail nationwide, please visit