|Volume 10 Number 1||
Power and Prosperity: Outgrowing Communist and Capitalist
by Mancur Olson (New York: Basic Books, 2000)
Reviewed by David M. Woodruff
The foreword to this book invites us to regard it as the author’s "last symphony" (p. xix); Olson was still planning further revisions at his death in 1998. But Power and Prosperity is better regarded as the third movement of a symphony that began with Olson’s The Logic of Collective Action: Public Goods and the Theory of Groups (Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 1965), perhaps the most famous of all twentieth-century monographs in social science. There, in an argument rehearsed in chapter four of the volume under review, Olson argued that groups will find it difficult to organize collective action in support of nonexclusive public goods, whose consumption is open to all. For such collective action will be plagued by those seeking a "free ride" on the efforts of others, knowing that they will have access to the public good—a canonical example is clean air—whether or not they helped to provide it. The free-rider problem does not forestall all collective action, however. Much of Logic is devoted to explaining how groups seeking nonexclusive goods for their members can bind supporters to their cause through selective incentives or coercion, and why small groups will find themselves more capable of action than large ones. Unfortunately, both halves of the argument turn out to predict that grasping cartels will have disproportionate political success. Meanwhile, as Logic pessimistically concludes, many large groups with legitimate common interests will "suffer in silence."
On this argument, it is easy to surmise that a benevolent dictatorship will produce results superior to those of a democracy. The voices that will sound most loudly in a democracy will be those of special interests, whereas broader societal interests will not have active representatives. Indeed, organizational strength is generally evidence of the selfishness of the goals pursued. These troubling implications receive further development in Olson’s second book, The Rise and Decline of Nations: Economic Growth, Stagflation, and Social Rigidities (New Haven: Yale University Press, 1982). Olson argued (Power and Prosperity again contains a summary, pp. 95–98, 196–97) that as special interests solve their collective-action problems and beat a path to politicians’ doors, they will pursue and win more and more policies that restrict competition and impede economic growth; the costs of such policies are borne by others and eventually lead to stagnation. Fortunately, this pattern of "sclerosis" can sometimes be averted. Political institutions, such as the two-party system in the US, may endow politicians with interests that are "encompassing," that is, aligned with the interests of large numbers of the unorganized. These effects, though, can be undermined by the "rational ignorance" of voters unwilling to devote the time needed to discover the benefits of free trade and liberal economics since the beneficial effects of such public policy are, after all, public goods (Power and Prosperity, pp. 93–94).
So even better than well-engineered political institutions is conquest—better for the conquered, that is, not the conquerors. Conquerors tend to sweep away accumulated narrow interests, leaving the field free for encompassing interests. This accounts, on Olson’s view, both for the stagnation of unconquered England and the spectacular postwar growth of Japan and West Germany. (Even a passing familiarity with the history of interest groups, growth strategies, and occupation policies in the these last two countries, it must be said, reveals this argument as flatly absurd, but the point cannot be pursued here. On the benefits of being conquered, The Mouse That Roared is probably more instructive.) Seeking to end Rise and Decline more optimistically than he had his previous book, Olson suggested that democratic processes could produce appropriate policies—if his arguments came to be widely accepted. This would lead to "intelligent and resolute public policies" that would "simply repeal all special-interest legislation or regulation."
A reader of Olson who possessed dictatorial powers, however, might easily be tempted to act immediately on behalf of the silent sufferers, concluding that the necessary intelligent and resolute policies hardly need a democratic imprimatur and are unlikely to get one. Indeed, a great deal of the discussion on economic reform in postsocialist countries and elsewhere has centered around whether the logic of collective action implies that only selfless technocrats, willing to ignore popular opinion, can successfully pursue an economic reform that will offer the greatest benefits to the greatest number. At first glance, Power and Prosperity appears to promise a contribution to this discussion. It opens with the Soviet coup of August 1991, during which a journalist apparently put it to Olson directly that his work implied only a dictator could successfully ensure economic growth. Olson refused the journalist a straightforward response but implies that this book represents one. Actually, the answer he offers is quite nuanced, if not vague. Autocrats, for self-interested reasons, will often pursue policies with broad social benefits. Democracies, though, can sometimes do even better, both due to some providential distinctions between the interests of autocrats and those of democratic majorities and because democracy is closely linked to a stable property-rights regime critical to economic growth. Unfortunately, it is the distasteful responsibility of this review to demonstrate that Olson’s arguments on the differences between autocracy and democracy—and many other matters as well—have egregious flaws. Indeed, there are so many lapses of reasoning and evidence in this relentlessly self-laudatory book that one has to ask how its talented author could have gone so far astray. To this subject I have devoted the concluding paragraphs of the review.
Olson begins his discussion of autocracy and democracy with one of the book’s few bright spots, the already famous distinction between "roving bandits" and "stationary bandits." Roving bandits will take all they can carry, since they care nothing for their victims and expect to rob still others tomorrow. Stationary bandits, by contrast, who monopolize crime in a particular area, have to consider whether excessive greed today will lead to frustrated greed tomorrow. They have an incentive to moderate their appetites in order to allow their victims the modicum of prosperity needed to trade and accumulate wealth. Thus, stationary bandits have an encompassing interest in the welfare of those who live on the territory they control. They will even provide wealth-generating public goods, including, above all, the public order that reduces the investment-discouraging activities of roving bandits. Autocrats can be conceived of as a species of stationary bandit; the order they provide is much superior to anarchy.
But if even autocrats have encompassing interests in the territories they rule, why should democracies ever be better? Olson offers two arguments. The first rests on the assumption that, unlike autocrats, the members of a democratic majority do not derive all of their income from taxes and rely, at least in part, on what they can earn in the market. Autocrats that raise taxes must bear some of the "deadweight losses" insocial income that taxes cause by interfering with market incentives. These deadweight losses reduce the autocrat’s tax base, potentially making a tax increase counterproductive, as in the well-known "Laffer curve" argument. But a democratic majority that has earnings in the marketplace is taxing its customers. When it raises taxes the majority thus suffersdeadweight losses twice: once on the side of tax revenue and once through reduced market-derived income. (Olson’s view of the economy is too disembodied to include exports.) If such a majority finds it remunerative to spend substantial tax revenues on public goods that underpin wealth creation, it may find that additional taxes to fund redistribution to itself will do too much damage to its customers to be worthwhile. Thus, Olson announces in triumphant italics, "there are superencompassing interests that do not comprise all of society (and thus have a minority that they could exploit) that would lose from redistributing income from the minority to themselves" (p. 22). He goes on to speculate that such majorities may be relatively common.
As a case for democracy versus autocracy, this argument is entirely specious. Nothing in it suggests that these superencompassing interests need to be majorities, though Olson speaks as if they must be. The only variable of importance is what share of the society’s market income accrues to the ruling interest: the higher the share, the less inclination to impose redistributive taxes on those outside the coalition. Olson notes that "even bare majorities that represent those of a median income and above exemplify much more than half of a society’s income-earning capacity . . . [and] are surely sometimes superencompassing" (p. 23). Indeed. But given an appropriately skewed income distribution, this same coalition minus one person—that is, a minority—will also be superencompassing in Olson’s sense. Given a highly skewed income distribution, even a very small minority would be superencompassing. An argument that would celebrate the restraint of a clique of market-dominating oligarchs, should they be content to enjoy their sales and refrain from imposing confiscatory taxes on their relatively poor customers, can hardly be a defense of democracy.
To continue the reductio ad absurdum, even one person could earn enough of a society’s market income to reach superencompassing status. And this raises the question of the legitimacy of Olson’s undefended assumption, critical to his entire case, that democratic majorities derive income from the marketplace whereas autocrats do not. The origin of this assumption is hard to fathom; after all, the so-called crony capitalism practiced by the family members of despots is a cliché. More to the point is Olson’s own discussion of Stalinism—considered separately, one of the best parts of the book—which demonstrates that autocrats’ relationship to the economy can go well beyond taxation.
Olson argues that Stalin and his subordinates carefully engineered an incentive system contributing to surprisingly high growth. Part of their strategy was complete nationalization of industry, making its receipts available to fund investment in the service of autocratic ambition. Given the importance of private ownership for the incentives that drive growth, Olson is particularly concerned to understand why nationalization did not promote universal indolence. The answer is a "cunning" and "ruthless" (p. 120) structure of implicit taxation. Piece-rate wages, combined with high prices for subsistence goods, meant that workers experienced extremely high implicit taxes on most of their production, whereas marginal production above the subsistence threshold was taxed less heavily. Managers faced similar incentives but lived much better since their productivity greatly exceeded the minimum needed for subsistence. In effect, Olson provides a compact explanation of why the old Bolshevik slogan—"he who does not work shall not eat (kto ne rabotaet, tot ne est)"—need not promote working only just as much as is necessary to eat, so long as effort beyond this level is amply rewarded. While hardly a revelatory thesis to those familiar with Stalinist wage-setting practices, it is expressed vigorously and convincingly.
Less convincing—albeit extremely revealing—is Olson’s discussion of why a similar system is not applied elsewhere. "The productivity and efficiency-enhancing policy of taxing people more on their first hours of work . . . but not taxing their marginal income," he argues, in a statement of breathtaking naïveté, "is not only morally repugnant but practically impossible when the same laws apply to everyone" (p. 120). Actually, implementing such a policy when the same laws apply to everyone is trivially simple. Taxes on goods consumed at proportionally higher rates by those less well-off will do the trick quite nicely; this is why some US states, such as Massachusetts, exempt food from sales taxes. And could Olson really have been unaware of US laws restricting social security taxes to the first $80,000 of income?
The basic and obvious point is that universally phrased laws can have particularistic effects. One would hardly need to belabor it were there not evidence that Olson displays a broader prejudice (very surprising given his famous concern with "special-interest legislation") that legal rules are ipso facto universalistic. His case for democracy’s potential economic superiority to autocracy rests not only on the specious superencompassing-majorities argument but also on a second argument positing an intimate relationship between democracy and stable legal guarantees of property rights. Since any person or group able to replace an old autocracy with a new one would obviously do so, democracy arises, Olson contends, when an autocrat is overthrown by an alliance of relatively balanced forces. After the revolution, the main priority of these forces is to ensure that none of their number emerges as a new autocrat, a particular danger given that governance requires the establishment of a reasonably powerful executive. Revolutionaries will accordingly create limits on the executive, especially an independent legal system, which will prevent confiscation of the property that underpins their power. Thus, in a fortunate coincidence, "the same structures created by those in a power-sharing arrangement to ensure that they do not become victims of autocratic extraction also protect property and contract rights" (p. 36).
Again, Olson ignores the fact that it requires no great inventiveness to design a structure of rules that protects the powerful while leaving others defenseless. The US Constitution, to take one of his examples, did nothing to protect the property and contract rights of slaves or married women. This circumstance immediately gives the lie to Olson’s argument that since democracy "cannot survive if the opponents of the current administration do not have free speech and full rights under the rule of law, including property and contract rights," rights must be universal: "If even opponents of the administration in power have these rights, then other citizens will also have them" (p. 41). Some other citizens, perhaps—but Olson offers no reason to expect that their number will be large. Nor are we offered any backing for the assumption that rights come in an indivisible bundle. Such a position appears to imply, among other implausibilities, that one cannot imagine a secure right to private property absent the right to decry private property’s very existence. In any event, the argument from balance-of-power considerations among revolutionaries is hard to sustain historically. Olson fails to mention that the Constitution was a successor to the much looser Articles of Confederation, and that many of its provisions conducive to stable property (such as the legal-tender clause) resulted from political action explicitly intended to protect market exchange from politics, not rein in potential despots. The same is true of many of the legal regulations most critical to contemporary US markets, which greatly postdate the Constitution and are hardly derivable from it.
These attempts to make the link between democracy and law-abiding capitalism a matter of logical (sic, see p. 41) necessity are manifestly weak. Why, then, does Olson embark on them at all? No doubt, he was driven in part by a reluctance to be seen as an apologist for the world’s Pinochets (though see p. 100). But, as the book’s title indicates, Olson also wants to argue that power is necessary for prosperity. Although there are many "irrepressible markets," based on on-the-spot transactions, other important markets are "socially contrived." These markets involve trades carried out over time and present risks of malfeasance that can only be contained by the coercive power of the state. "To realize all the gains from trade . . . there has to be a legal system and political order that enforces contracts, protects property rights, carries out mortgage agreements, provides for limited liability corporations, and facilitates a lasting and widely used capital market that makes the investments and loans more liquid than they would otherwise be" (p. 185). Yet what induces so powerful a state to promote wealth creation rather than simply expropriating what it needs? Precisely the ability of the state’s masters—be they stationary bandits or superencompassing majorities—to view today’s fiscal restraint as an investment in tomorrow’s fiscal bounty.
Of course, any investment in fiscal restraint must carry substantial penalties for early withdrawal. A state expected to pursue inconsistent policies can do little to foster intertemporal trade. Here, on Olson’s view, lies another advantage of democracy over autocracy, though one that again rests on his puzzling, all-or-nothing view of legality. Democratic leaders worthy of the name leave office under well-defined legal circumstances. This legal stability, for reasons unspecified, rubs off on contract and property rights. Although Olson concedes that "the terms, tenures, and time horizons of democratic political leaders are perhaps even shorter than those of the typical autocrat" (p. 42), long-term growth ("across generations" [p. 43]) is only likely in democracies. Autocracies, late or soon, have the misfortune of a short-lived or short-sighted king.
Note that this is quite literally an argument for the economic superiority of democracy only in the Keynesian long run, in which even the best and wisest of kings must die. Olson himself seems little convinced of the positive virtues of democracy in the short run of a human life. After defending democracy in the first two chapters, he reverts in the middle of the book to the more skeptical position of his earlier works, warning that "the analysis of the encompassing and superencompassing interest of majorities, taken by itself, leaves us with a much too rosy a view" (p. 92). Once the inordinate political success of selfish organized interests is brought into the picture, democracy looks much less attractive. Indeed, the rehearsed themes of his first two books form the context for Olson’s discussion of post-socialist transition, one with implications that are clearly authoritarian.
Olson first wants to show that the theory of "sclerosis" presented in Rise and Decline finds a ready and convincing extension to the experience of communist planned economies. Olson argues that the key challenge for such economies is avoiding the destruction of the information needed to plan. The plan authorities wanted factory managers to produce a lot with a little; factory managers preferred to produce a little with a lot. The producers were happy to count even the shoddiest goods toward their plan targets, whereas planners presumably hoped to please consumers (given an appropriately broad definition of the term). Thus, producers hid information, and planners, with too many producers to supervise, had little chance of uncovering it without help. Help arrived in two forms: first, in the complaints of suppliers or customers, revealing concealed capacities and substandard output respectively, and, second, in the competition between parallel socialist firms that might bid high levels of output to win the resources needed to make it. Over time, both these alternate channels of information became clogged, as subordinate organizations learned to make common cause with one another—"banding together against the bandit" (p. 151)—rather than helping plan authorities play divide and conquer. Once reliable information had thus devolved away, resource allocation came to reflect not planners’ priorities but the political influence of narrow and destructive lobbies (p. 147).
Although the transition from priorities to politics is crucial for Olson’s effort to establish the analytic unity of communist and capitalist sclerosis, he provides no explanation for it. Did the planners just give up on rationality in the face of bad information? Still, even if one accepts the logic of the argument, the historical record is squarely against it. In the power of lobbies and the prevalence of collusion outside the plan, the Soviet economy saw far more continuity than change. As early as Stalin, ministries were effective lobbies that could and did block planners from prioritizing just as they wished. As late as Brezhnev, Politburo attention and pressure could achieve impressive, if limited, resource shifts. The pervasiveness of decentralized exchange in the interstices of the plan was as impressive in the 1930s as it was in the 1980s. The most convincing accounts of the gradual decline of the Soviet economy through the ’70s and ’80s trace it not to change, even devolutionary change, but to the accreting difficulties of carrying on without it. It is particularly misleading to assimilate, as Olson does (p. 159), this record of continuity to the radical departures of the Soviet Union’s final years. Gorbachev’s wanton and reckless destruction of the institutions that managed the planned economy for the previous 50 years resembled a gunshot to the head, not sclerosis.
To be sure, the Soviet Union is not the whole story, and the specifics of the collapse of communism were different in each country. However, the virtual simultaneity of the process throughout Europe poses the difficult issue of what synchronized the devolutionary processes of various countries so precisely. Olson forgoes comparative devolution in favor of discussing a country that avoided it: China. For Olson, China’s avoidance of the pattern of decay and collapse afflicting communism is a ringing confirmation of his theory. In the Chinese political economy, Mao’s Cultural Revolution played a role analogous to foreign conquest in Japan and West Germany in dislodging accreted interest groups, thereby clearing the field for Deng’s reforms. Unfortunately, this claim, too, is flatly refuted by the facts. It would imply, for instance, that such putatively group-induced sclerotic phenomena as inflation and overinvestment would be far less prevalent in China after the Cultural Revolution than in, say, Brezhnev’s Soviet Union. But exactly the opposite was the case. Nor would China experts share Olson’s impression that state industry after Mao was unable to resist reform or to lobby for resources.
Olson’s celebration of the effects of the Cultural Revolution does effectively summarize the tone of his discussion of postcommunism. Unfortunate enough to have avoided a similar cataclysm, the former Soviet-bloc countries must confront the "carcass of communism" (p. 161), consisting almost exclusively of enterprises "better at insider lobbying than producing" (p. 170). In this context, debates over fast or slow privatization are beside the point, which is "the conflict between parasitic and productive sectors" (p. 165). The lobbying successes of the latter, and the collapse of the socialist taxation system, account for the inflation and generally poor economic performance of the postsocialist countries. By this point, reviewing empirical lapses is doubtless tedious, so I will limit myself to asserting the complete inability of the theory to make sense of the trajectory either of tax revenue or inflation in Russia, the country that receives the least-cursory treatment. More important are the fundamentally antidemocratic conclusions that flow from the analysis. If one were to accept this portrait of a putrescent post-socialism—a carcass infested with parasites—it would be hard not to wish for a stern, sterilizing hand. Or to recall Olson’s own catalogue of successful instances of growth under autocracy in "‘hard’ states that do not usually adapt their policies to organized interests, particular occupations, or industries" (p. 100).
Thankfully, the chilling implications of the Cultural Revolution parallel are not drawn out. Instead, in the book’s final chapter, Olson tries to weave from his thin reeds—that is, the putatively inextricable connection between democratic rights and intertemporal transactions and the interests of superencompassing majorities—a case that democracy offers the best hope of economic success to the countries struggling with the legacy of socialism. But the effort founders. By the book’s close, Olson is forced to reprise Rise and Decline, expressing the hope that awareness of the logic of collective action will enable elites—less prone to rational ignorance than the masses—to avoid its destructive consequences. Rather than a clarion call to democracy, we find a covert endorsement of enlightened dictatorship. The symphony ends on a dissonant note, an unsuccessful effort to harmonize the new themes of the third movement with echoes of the first and second that sound much louder.
Certain classic books have their impact through a few evocative concepts. In the contrast between stationary and roving bandits, and between irrepressible and socially contrived markets, Olson has created the sort of winged phrases that will soar above the poor logic and worse history cluttering this book. While it is arguable that both phrases do more to summarize the work of others than to initiate new arguments, Olson’s contribution here is nonetheless indisputable.
Those wishing to take deeper lessons from Power and Prosperity must seek instead to understand its pattern of error, which has two roots. The first is the presumption that the silent sufferers would speak, if only they could, in the language of liberal economics. The very first pages of the book display Olson’s conviction that the best (most welfare-enhancing) economic policies are both well known and universally relevant (p. 1). Therefore, apparently, democracy can only be endorsed if it forces an approach to these policies. This explains Olson’s strange, half-believed assertions that rights and law are inherently universalistic: without logical necessity, the possibility of selfish interest groups deflecting policy intrudes. Surely, though, any defense of democracy that rests on democracy’s ability to ensure particular policies is doomed from the start. Democracy consists, first and foremost, of procedures for making collective choices. If there is no need for choices, why bother? As many are now arguing, there seems to be a positive association between democracy and growth in the postcommunist countries. At the same time, such countries as Poland and Hungary, which have seen relative economic success, have employed quite different policies to achieve it. Is it too much to speculate that democracy’s success has been that it aids in the design of locally appropriate policies, policies that take for granted that dynamiting inherited industries is unlikely to be the best course, and grapple with such unobvious issues as how best to promote the adaptation of socialist enterprises to market conditions?
Such an argument would have to avoid Olson’s second key error: seeing the interests of organized groups as uniquely determined and generally nefarious. Unless they are encompassing, interest groups seek subsidies funded by the rest of society. This has the uncongenial implication that the market-sustaining institutions Olson praises, where they exist, were either created over the opposition of the rich, powerful, and organized, or that encompassing interests are so common as to render his theory all but irrelevant. What the simplistic dichotomy between narrow and encompassing rules out is a discussion of the multiple and intricate intersections possible between businesses’ material interests and the building of governance, of which no summary can be attempted here. But it does seem a fair generalization that the rich and powerful have been more active in forging capitalist institutions than Olson would assume.
David Woodruff is associate professor of political science at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and the author of Money Unmade: Barter and the Fate of Russian Capitalism (Cornell University Press, 1999).
1. Rise and Decline, p. 236; I have changed the order of these phrases.
2. For two signal contributions to this discussion, see Joel Hellman, "Winners Take All: The Politics of Partial Reform in Postcommunist Transitions," World Politics 50, no. 2 (1998), pp. 203–34, and Hector E. Schamis, "Distributional Coalitions and the Politics of Economic Reform in Latin America," World Politics 51, no. 2 (1999), pp. 236–68.
3. Olson gestures at the exclusionary nature of early American democracy, arguing that by democracy he means only true competition for leadership and not "universal adult franchise" (pp. 29–30). But note that Olson is arguing that rights beyond the franchise are inherently universal in democracy, so this caveat is not apposite to his larger claims.
4. In discussing this argument, I slight its context: Olson’s polemic against those who believe voluntary transactions will necessarily lead to a socially optimal form of economic regulation.
5. Olson claims that "almost all of the countries that have enjoyed good economic performance across generations are countries that have stable democratic governments" (p. 43). However, this will also be true if democracies that fail to grow just stop being democracies, a point well argued and evidenced by Adam Przeworski and Fernando Limongi. "Modernization: Theories and Facts," World Politics 49, no. 2 (1997), pp. 155–83. This use of Keynes is pilfered from Olson (p. 134).
6. Much of Olson’s discussion of the planned economy is highly reminiscent of the classic treatment in Joseph Berliner’s hugely influential classic Factory and Manager in the USSR (Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press, 1957) and its successors. Olson’s assertion that he has transcended "conventional views of communism" (p. 154) is thus quite odd.
7. Timothy Dunmore, The Stalinist Command Economy (London: Macmillan, 1980).
8. Thane Gustafson, Crisis Amid Plenty: The Politics of Soviet Energy under Brezhnev and Gorbachev (Princeton, N.J.: Princeton University Press, 1989).
9. On the ’30s, see Berliner, Factory and Manager, or Gennady Andreev-Khomiakov, Bitter Waters: Life and Work in Stalin’s Russia: A Memoir (Boulder, Colo.: Westview Press, 1997). On the ’80s, see Edward A. Hewett, Reforming the Soviet Economy: Equality Versus Efficiency (Washington, D.C.: Brookings Institution, 1988).
10. Gustafson, Crisis Amid Plenty, makes the point especially well.
11. Yasheng S. Huang, "Information, Bureaucracy, and Economic Reforms in China and the Soviet Union," World Politics 47, no. 1 (1994), pp. 102–34.
12. Edward S. Steinfeld, Forging Reform in China: The Fate of State-Owned Industry (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1998).
13. Olson passes over, almost without reference, a huge body of literature relevant to questions of democracy, autocracy, and time horizons. Although this literature is not without its serious defects, it presents much more intellectual interest than Olson’s vacuous formulation. For some representative articles that demonstrate just how weak a contribution is offered here, see Alberto Alesina, "Political Models of Macroeconomic Policy and Fiscal Reforms," Voting for Reform, ed. Stephan Haggard and Steven B. Webb (Oxford University Press, 1994), pp. 37–60; Douglass C. North and Barry R. Weingast, "Constitutions and Commitment: The Evolution of Institutions Governing Public Choice in Seventeenth-Century England," Journal of Economic History 49, no. 4 (1989), pp. 803–32; and Douglass C. North, "The Historical Evolution of Polities," International Review of Law and Economics 14, no. 4 (1994), pp. 381–91. The argument on the ways in which legal institutions underpin markets has also moved far beyond the generalities offered here, building especially on the well-known work of North. The one citation to North in this book (p. 210), mischaracterizing him as someone who ignores the role of force in economics, is flatly unconscionable.
14. Hellman, "Winners Take All," was pioneering in this regard.
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