Inconsistent ideas incomprehensibly expressed seem to be the heart of Putin’s economic program. “The higher the degree of economic freedom of economic entities, the higher the development of the state,” he said last week in a speech in Ivanova. More specifically and more clearly, he said his government would try to bring down interest rates and centralize government purchases to stimulate demand. The federal government would also funnel more money to local governments to help them conduct social programs for which local industries now carry too much responsibility. He promised protection from imports–a popular theme in textile-producing Ivanova–and also from “wild competition” among domestic producers.