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Monday, December 11, 2006

Russia's Rich Steal from the Poor While it Crucifies Women

This arresting graphic from the Russia page of the United Nations Development Program's 2006 Human Development Report shows that although there is a vast difference between the per capita GDPs of Sri Lanka and Russia, there is only a tiny difference between their scores on the UNDP study for human development ("HDI"). Venezuela, with only $6,000 in per capita GDP, has an average life expectency of 73 while Russians, with $9,000 in per capita GDP, can only expect to live 65 years on average. These stark facts lay bare Russia's abject failure to deliver on the basic promises of civilization. Basically, the chart above is a strong argument for the return of Communism to Russia; it's what Russia looked like at the time of the Bolshevik revolution. Russia now has the worst of all possible worlds; the crushing authortarianism of the Soviet period and the ghastly economic inequality of the Tsarist era, while continuing the gross economic inefficiency of both eras. Russia’s 2006 score on the UNDP study of 0.797 is not radically different than in was in 1990, when it reached 0.818 or in 1995 when it was 0.771. This gives the lie to the Russophile propandist claim that Russia under Putin is doing dramatically better than Russia under the “disatrous” kleptocracy of the Yeltsin era. As previously reported on La Russophobe, Russia's score on the UNDP study in 2006 places it #65 on the list of 173 countries survyed, outside the group of "most developed" nations and three places lower than its rank on last year's study. Russia is getting worse under Putin, not better (unless of course you are one of Putin's favored oligarchs).

To be sure, with an average wage of $300 per month, all but a few Russians live in abject poverty -- but UNDP's data clearly shows that mysogenistic Russia forces women The UNDP gender empowerment measure (GEM) reveals whether women take an active part in economic and political life. It tracks the share of seats in parliament held by women; of female legislators, senior officials and managers; and of female professional and technical workers- and the gender disparity in earned income, reflecting economic independence. Differing from the GDI, the GEM exposes inequality in opportunities in selected areas. Russia ranks 62nd out of 75 countries in the GEM, with a value of 0.482.

La Russophobe has already reported that domestic violence is out of control in Russia, with two dozen Russian women being murdered by their husbands every single day in Russia. But now it turns out that Russian women have more to fear from their government than from their husbands, as the country imposes a condition of
fundamental economic servitude upon them. Can it be surprising, then, that Russia does not have a birthrate sufficient to even maintain, much less enlarge, it's population? What rational woman would want to bear children under these conditions? Above all, what rational woman would want to bring a daughter into such a world? On the other hand, the average lifespan of a Russian woman is actually longer than that of man, so she couldn't be too sanguine about having a boy either.

Incidentally, America's score on this key index far exceeds that of all the five major nations of Europe and places it #8 in the world. According to Time magazine, last year the average American taxpayer had an income of $53,974 (15 times the average Russian annual wage of $3,600). Take that, America haters!

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