Enough is enough. Let`s stop speaking about 4% a year inflation when the real price growth is 1.6% a month. Let`s stop speaking about safety when the murder rate is 11.31 per 100 000, that is between Surinam, Botswana and Papua New Guinea (where the rate is lower) and Panama, Nicaragua and Costa Rica (where the rate is higher). Just stop it.
(I had the most read post in our blog translated, especially when we are facing the law punishing those who publish something that can potentially cause sanctions – Artem. Till I still can.)
You`ve probably noticed that previously I made references to Rosstat (the Office of National Statistics) but dropped it all at once. In my mind, since it had run under the report of the Economic Development Department, its conclusions became rather biased in the interests of the government instead of the principles of transparency and fairness. Some calculation methods were changed so it became possible to show any desirable data. Believe me, I know it.
As Asya Kazantseva once said ‘Someone is wrong on the Internet’, and for Russian-speaking readers, her book is one of a few reliable guides to detect if someone tries to pull the wool over their eyes. I have read tonnes of books about fabrications, catches, propaganda, and I rely upon it: The book is excellent and you should always remember the line: ‘Someone is wrong on the Internet’. It is not a promotion: I`m not acquainted with Asya.
Now we should have to exorcise the demons of ignorance.
Russia takes 48th place at the world GDP per capita rating with Seychelles and Malaysia are ahead and Greece and Latvia behind. Such a small economics as Slovakia, Estonia, Cyprus are out of Russia`s grasp overtaking its GDP per capita to 12.8% at least.
Russia has got 450 prisoners for 100 000 of the national population that makes an infamous ninth place in international ratings. Other sources insist that Russia follows the USA by the number of prisoners but there are different classifications of crimes: in the USA 21% prisoners were jailed for drug dealing, but in Russia, only 11% jailed for this type of crime meanwhile 32% of criminals were imprisoned for economic misdoings. In Russia, it is not unusual to use prosecution for economic crimes as a reason for repressions.
Russian defense expenditure is the second in the world (the first place takes Saudi Arabia) on a percentage to GDP basis. The USA spends ten times as much but it is at the third place in this rating. It is because the Russian government runs the austerity budget for social services at all crisis periods.
One-quarter of working age population is unemployed and the jobseeker allowance is just 4900 rubles a month. The national statistics on unemployment looks good it is because the job centers have many different reasons to write the jobseeker off and expel him from benefit lists, for example, if he refuses the offered jobs for three times. In the USA the unemployment is about 10% of working age population.
Russia has 40 hours working week that is typical, meanwhile, France has 35-hours week and Switzerland – 50-hours week.
Spending capacity in Russia is at 87th place at the world rating with Bulgaria, Iraq, Honduras are ahead and Serbia, Fiji, Romania behind. The leaders are Switzerland, USA, and Qatar (!) – they are 60% ahead of Russia. The average wage in Russia is at 95th place in the world, but spending capacity is more important criteria as it shows how many goods and services the ordinary man can buy. Low pensions make this index worse.
But we also have some benefits and advantages. Internet in Russia is one of the fastest and cheapest in the world. Russia is the biggest country in the world with astonishing and diverse nature and richest natural and mineral resources. Russia shares the 10th place with Ukraine by the population IQ rating which is far ahead of many European countries.
Let me make my position clear: to think that the USA is better than Russia (I mean “better” is a hypothetical and subjective mark) is a poor point of view because every country has its dark times and salad days.
The best global order is when the range of prosperity between all countries of the world is about few percents and all of them live in peace. The isolation is bad in all cases, and we must make the comparisons only to find the directions for our improvement.
We have wonderfully mixed European, Asian and Persian cultural heritage and great historical architecture – but the life expectancy is just 69.85 years (151st place in the world). We have strong human potential and national gene pool, but the abortion and divorcement rate is the highest in the world.
I`m not trying to answer the global questions of Who Is To Blame? How Comes It? And What Is To Be Done? because they provoke arguments, faultfinding, and scuffles. I just call your attention to the facts and plead you to stop fooling yourself. Just stop it. You deserve more – you deserve to know facts.