USA Dominates Russia
One of the least-noticed facts about Russia by those who call themselves her “defenders” is that each year the USA and Russia produce virtually the same amount of crude oil. Russia generates an income stream in foreign currency from its production which America lacks only because the American economy, immeasurably more potent and powerful than Russia’s, uses all of the country’s supplies for manufacturing and more, making huge purchases on the international markerts, while Russia is able to use only a tiny fraction of the oil it produces in its anemic, pathetic neo-Soviet industrial base.
And that’s only the tip of the iceberg. Russia also manages the economic energy it does manage to generate far, far worse than America does, leading to anemic performance that bespeaks the total lack of credentials wielded by the clan of KGB spies that govern Russia.
No clearer illustration of this, for Russia, bitterly harsh reality could be offered than to compare America’s Exxon-Mobile with Russia’s Gazprom. Exxon posted a record profit of $45 billion in 2008. Its fourth-quarter results were down because of falling prices for crude oil, but just 33%, and it rose to the top of Fortune 500 for the year. And Gazprom? Russia’s entry in the competition, a monopoly run by the Russian government itself, saw its profts fall by a whopping, truly breathtaking 84% in the fourth quarter of last year. Its total profits for the year were less than $30 billion, one third less that of Exxon Mobile, a single private American firm, and well below the market’s expectations.
This pure domination continues in the wider economic picture.
The world learned last week, for instance, that Russia’s GDP shrank 9.5% in the first quarter of 2009, even more than the 7% that that the Kremlin had originally reported. Here again, Russia’s performance was one-third worse than America’s. The U.S. economy shrank just 6% in the first quarter. The World Bank puts the value of Russia’s GDP at $1.3 trillion. The U.S. GDP is ten times larger, at $13.8 trillion. The difference, of course, is expanding rapidly as the Russian economy contracts much more dramatically.
Russia has only five companies on the list of the world’s 500 largest, a pathetic 1% of the total that must be shocking for those who imagine Russia to be an economic titan and “energy superpower.” Not one of Russia’s companies has revenues in excess of $100 billion. America has 153 companies on the list, nearly one-third of the total, thirty times more than Russia. Fifteen of the American firms have revenues in excess of $100 billion. McKesson, the smallest of the 15, has significantly more revenues than Gazprom, which is the largest of Russia’s enterprises.
Russia has just 32 billionaires, none worth as much as $10 billion. America has twenty times that number, twenty of whom have more than $10 billion in net worth.
We could go on, and on. By any standard, America and Russia are in two entirely different universes of economic power, and that of course translates into wholly incomparable levels of military power and living standards. Americans are #30/191 nations when ranked for lifespan, Russians are a miserable #128/191.
Perhaps, as Russians have chosen to be governed by a proud KGB spy and to provoke a new cold war, they should reflect on these facts. But we doubt they will have the wisdom to do so.