What system can generate such a circumstance? How can comparatively small states like New Jersey can produce more than the geographical area of Russia? Is it merely that New Jersey has more natural resources than all of Russia? Or that the people of New Jersey are smarter than the people of Russia? Or is it related to each states' respective proximity to the natural state of liberty?
From the index of economic and political freedom:
"State involvement in economic activity remains considerable, and institutional constraints on economic freedom are severe. Non-tariff barriers add significantly to the cost of trade. Inflation is high, and prices are heavily controlled and influenced by the government. Virtually all foreign investment faces official and unofficial hurdles, including bureaucratic inconsistency, corruption, and outright restrictions in lucrative sectors like energy. Corruption weakens the rule of law and increases the fragility of property rights and the arbitrariness of law enforcement."The answer is quite simple - the government acts as an obstacle to natural market activity. Price controls and excessive bureaucracy prevent individuals from disposing of their property how they see fit. A weakened rule of law and barriers to trade stifle risk taking and entrepreneurship. All of these things lower productivity. The truth becomes clear - it does not matter how many natural resources a country has, nor how intelligent the population is. If government will not allow people to trade freely with each other, guarantee the security of property and establish the rule of law, productivity and quality of life will suffer.
Thomas Jefferson, George Washington, and the rest of the founders took a different approach. They recognized both the economic and personal woes that emerge from a bloated State. The United States was founded on the principles of individual liberty and the rule of law, precisely what is lacking in Russia. Capitalism works, and one need to look no further than to compare New Jersey to Russia.
* It should be noted that New Jersey outproduces Russia despite being one of the most heavily taxed and regulated State's in the Union.