It is often assumed that economists and businessmen act outside of moral constraints, even in times of existential economic crisis. The econometrics of Chubais and Gaidar, as well as the accounting of Deloitte, have all been used to characterize engineers of transition as cold, academic, and removed from reality. However, in both Appalachia and the Urals, mathematics about what will make a profit is inextricable from moral questions of what should make a profit. The goals of economic transition, and ideology about what economic transition should mean, were baked into the calculations of both transitions. Further, the data used to determine the success or even reality of transition reveals much about the goals of transition. In both Appalachia and the Urals, decision makers were far from ideologically impartial. Instead, they created economic systems and privileged forms of profit creation based on specific ideas about what the economy should be like, how transition should develop, and the kinds of people who should benefit.



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