Daily Archives: February 6, 2007

Russia by the (Horrifying Neo-Soviet) Numbers

Russian Poverty by the Numbers


According to the most recent data published by the Kremlin (as reported last week on
La Russophobe), the average wage for a Russian person is $100 per week or $400 per month or $4,800 per year.

Let’s assume this data is correct, even though it’s almost certainly an overstatement (because the Kremlin is run by a clan of professional liars who have every incentive to cook these numbers and make themselves look better). We know that Russia has a significant number of millionaires. What is the significance of the fact that it does on the average wage?

The significance is this: for every person with an income of $1,000,000 per year Russia must have over 200 people who only earn $100 per year ($8 per month or $2 per week, fifty times times less than the national average) in order for the national average to remain around $5,000 per year. {here’s the ghastly math: 200 people earning $100 per year earn a total of $20,000 plus one person earning $1,000,000 equals $1,020,000 in total income divided by 201 people equals $5,100 per person per year on average}

It’s been reported that Russia has roughly 90,000 millionaires today. Assuming that each of them has an income of $1,000,000 per year, that means Russia must have 18 million people earning just $100 per year in order to keep the national average at $4,800 per year. That is equivalent to the populations of Russia’s seven largest cities (Moscow, Petersburg, Novosibirsk, Nizhny Novogorod, Yekaterinburg, Samara and Omsk) COMBINED. It’s 12% of Russia’s total population.

Now, the picture is probably not quite that bleak, because a “millionaire” might merely be defined as a person who has a million dollars of net worth, and such a person could conceivably earn well under $1 million per year. So let’s say she earns only $100,000 per year. If Russia has 90,000 people with a net worth of $1 million each earning $100,000 per year, it would need 1.8 million people each earning just $100 per year ($2 per week) to keep the average for the group at $5,000. That’s more than the total population of Russia’s third-largest city, Novosibirsk.

And that’s probably a very conservative estimate, because the 90,000 millionaires could include any number of billionaires and many people with annual incomes of far more than $100,000. It’s quite safe to say that although Russia’s national average wage may be $400 (it’s probably lower) Russia has at least 2 million people “living” on less than $0.50 per work day in wages, or less than $0.06 per hour for an eight-hour workday.

That’s to say nothing of the fact that being paid $400 for four forty-hour weeks (160 hours) works out to an average hourly wage of $2.50 per hour in Russia, which is one-third the U.S. minimum legal wage ($7.50 per hour in California, $7.15 in New York). Russia’s minimum legal wage is 1,100 rubles per month as of May 1, 2006, or roughly $41 — so even those earning $100 per month are getting more than twice the legal minimum of $0.25 per hour for a 160 hour week.

In other words, Russia has a vast, vast underclass of desperately poor people propping up a tiny overclass of millionaires, just exactly the way it did a century ago in 1907, a situation that triggered the crazed Bolshevik revolution that led to the killing of more Russians by Russians than by any foreign enemy. Russians have learned nothing from this. They’re doing the same thing all over again.

And at the same time, Russia has exactly the same form of government, a KGB dictatorship, that it had in Soviet times (no local elections, no opposition political parties, no independent TV news, dissidents being jailed and murdered, ridiculous 70%+ approval ratings for the dictator, etc.), a situation that caused the USSR to implode and disapppear. Russians have learned nothing from that either. They’re doing that same thing all over again, too.

Litvinenko’s Widow on Julia Svetlichnaya

When last we heard, Julia Svetlichnaya was threatening to sue the Norwegian newspaper Aftenposten and the British newspaper Times of London for reporting that she had undisclosed connnections to the Kremlin which could draw her credibility into question when she claimed that Alexander Litvinenko was a blackmailer and a crazy person.

Has anybody heard of Julia actually filing suit, or taking any further action against either paper? Has she made any further public comment of any kind? It seems this has not occurred. For sure, she’s ignored all the questions that La Russophobe asked her on the ZheZhe blog.

First we learned that Julia’s associate James Heartfield was a communist extremist, then the BBC aired two different documentaries showing Litvinenko for who he really was, images totally at odds with what Julia wrote, and now blogger David McDuff offers the following comments from Litvinenko’s widow about Ms. Svetlichnaya and her story:

What theory are you inclined to believe? Was it revenge for something in the past, or was it related to something he’d got mixed up in more recently? There was even a story in the press that he’d helped to make a “dirty bomb”, either for the Chechens or for Al Qaeda.

‘Well, it was dreadful when those insinuations began, when Yulia Svetlichnaya made those statements – I saw her at our house. Sasha invited her once, because she was writing a book. When she began to say that Sasha bombarded her with email messages – I mean, Sasha distributed messages to all his friends, sent them to hundreds of addresses. He believed that if you possessed information, you should share it, especially if it was something someone had written about Russia. And if you didn’t like it, then you could simply delete it, or start blocking it. But that statement, that interview about how he might have sold information and blackmailed businessmen, the FSB – that was totally absurd, it went against everything Sasha had ever done. Perhaps that was the real trouble – he was always open and frank. At the press conference he sat with his face uncovered, he didn’t wear dark glasses or a mask. If he wrote articles, he signed them with his own name, even if he didn’t need to. It was all on public record. As they once said, the system doesn’t forgive – and they will reach and punish anyone, in order to teach a lesson to others who might take it into their heads to speak openly. Anya Politkovskaya…. that was also a lesson, that it’s forbidden to write like that. Sasha was never a spy, he never sold out any interests. He was a regular employee of the FSB, with secrets of a completely different kind.”

Litvinenko’s Widow on Julia Svetlichnaya

When last we heard, Julia Svetlichnaya was threatening to sue the Norwegian newspaper Aftenposten and the British newspaper Times of London for reporting that she had undisclosed connnections to the Kremlin which could draw her credibility into question when she claimed that Alexander Litvinenko was a blackmailer and a crazy person.

Has anybody heard of Julia actually filing suit, or taking any further action against either paper? Has she made any further public comment of any kind? It seems this has not occurred. For sure, she’s ignored all the questions that La Russophobe asked her on the ZheZhe blog.

First we learned that Julia’s associate James Heartfield was a communist extremist, then the BBC aired two different documentaries showing Litvinenko for who he really was, images totally at odds with what Julia wrote, and now blogger David McDuff offers the following comments from Litvinenko’s widow about Ms. Svetlichnaya and her story:

What theory are you inclined to believe? Was it revenge for something in the past, or was it related to something he’d got mixed up in more recently? There was even a story in the press that he’d helped to make a “dirty bomb”, either for the Chechens or for Al Qaeda.

‘Well, it was dreadful when those insinuations began, when Yulia Svetlichnaya made those statements – I saw her at our house. Sasha invited her once, because she was writing a book. When she began to say that Sasha bombarded her with email messages – I mean, Sasha distributed messages to all his friends, sent them to hundreds of addresses. He believed that if you possessed information, you should share it, especially if it was something someone had written about Russia. And if you didn’t like it, then you could simply delete it, or start blocking it. But that statement, that interview about how he might have sold information and blackmailed businessmen, the FSB – that was totally absurd, it went against everything Sasha had ever done. Perhaps that was the real trouble – he was always open and frank. At the press conference he sat with his face uncovered, he didn’t wear dark glasses or a mask. If he wrote articles, he signed them with his own name, even if he didn’t need to. It was all on public record. As they once said, the system doesn’t forgive – and they will reach and punish anyone, in order to teach a lesson to others who might take it into their heads to speak openly. Anya Politkovskaya…. that was also a lesson, that it’s forbidden to write like that. Sasha was never a spy, he never sold out any interests. He was a regular employee of the FSB, with secrets of a completely different kind.”

Litvinenko’s Widow on Julia Svetlichnaya

When last we heard, Julia Svetlichnaya was threatening to sue the Norwegian newspaper Aftenposten and the British newspaper Times of London for reporting that she had undisclosed connnections to the Kremlin which could draw her credibility into question when she claimed that Alexander Litvinenko was a blackmailer and a crazy person.

Has anybody heard of Julia actually filing suit, or taking any further action against either paper? Has she made any further public comment of any kind? It seems this has not occurred. For sure, she’s ignored all the questions that La Russophobe asked her on the ZheZhe blog.

First we learned that Julia’s associate James Heartfield was a communist extremist, then the BBC aired two different documentaries showing Litvinenko for who he really was, images totally at odds with what Julia wrote, and now blogger David McDuff offers the following comments from Litvinenko’s widow about Ms. Svetlichnaya and her story:

What theory are you inclined to believe? Was it revenge for something in the past, or was it related to something he’d got mixed up in more recently? There was even a story in the press that he’d helped to make a “dirty bomb”, either for the Chechens or for Al Qaeda.

‘Well, it was dreadful when those insinuations began, when Yulia Svetlichnaya made those statements – I saw her at our house. Sasha invited her once, because she was writing a book. When she began to say that Sasha bombarded her with email messages – I mean, Sasha distributed messages to all his friends, sent them to hundreds of addresses. He believed that if you possessed information, you should share it, especially if it was something someone had written about Russia. And if you didn’t like it, then you could simply delete it, or start blocking it. But that statement, that interview about how he might have sold information and blackmailed businessmen, the FSB – that was totally absurd, it went against everything Sasha had ever done. Perhaps that was the real trouble – he was always open and frank. At the press conference he sat with his face uncovered, he didn’t wear dark glasses or a mask. If he wrote articles, he signed them with his own name, even if he didn’t need to. It was all on public record. As they once said, the system doesn’t forgive – and they will reach and punish anyone, in order to teach a lesson to others who might take it into their heads to speak openly. Anya Politkovskaya…. that was also a lesson, that it’s forbidden to write like that. Sasha was never a spy, he never sold out any interests. He was a regular employee of the FSB, with secrets of a completely different kind.”

Litvinenko’s Widow on Julia Svetlichnaya

When last we heard, Julia Svetlichnaya was threatening to sue the Norwegian newspaper Aftenposten and the British newspaper Times of London for reporting that she had undisclosed connnections to the Kremlin which could draw her credibility into question when she claimed that Alexander Litvinenko was a blackmailer and a crazy person.

Has anybody heard of Julia actually filing suit, or taking any further action against either paper? Has she made any further public comment of any kind? It seems this has not occurred. For sure, she’s ignored all the questions that La Russophobe asked her on the ZheZhe blog.

First we learned that Julia’s associate James Heartfield was a communist extremist, then the BBC aired two different documentaries showing Litvinenko for who he really was, images totally at odds with what Julia wrote, and now blogger David McDuff offers the following comments from Litvinenko’s widow about Ms. Svetlichnaya and her story:

What theory are you inclined to believe? Was it revenge for something in the past, or was it related to something he’d got mixed up in more recently? There was even a story in the press that he’d helped to make a “dirty bomb”, either for the Chechens or for Al Qaeda.

‘Well, it was dreadful when those insinuations began, when Yulia Svetlichnaya made those statements – I saw her at our house. Sasha invited her once, because she was writing a book. When she began to say that Sasha bombarded her with email messages – I mean, Sasha distributed messages to all his friends, sent them to hundreds of addresses. He believed that if you possessed information, you should share it, especially if it was something someone had written about Russia. And if you didn’t like it, then you could simply delete it, or start blocking it. But that statement, that interview about how he might have sold information and blackmailed businessmen, the FSB – that was totally absurd, it went against everything Sasha had ever done. Perhaps that was the real trouble – he was always open and frank. At the press conference he sat with his face uncovered, he didn’t wear dark glasses or a mask. If he wrote articles, he signed them with his own name, even if he didn’t need to. It was all on public record. As they once said, the system doesn’t forgive – and they will reach and punish anyone, in order to teach a lesson to others who might take it into their heads to speak openly. Anya Politkovskaya…. that was also a lesson, that it’s forbidden to write like that. Sasha was never a spy, he never sold out any interests. He was a regular employee of the FSB, with secrets of a completely different kind.”

Litvinenko’s Widow on Julia Svetlichnaya

When last we heard, Julia Svetlichnaya was threatening to sue the Norwegian newspaper Aftenposten and the British newspaper Times of London for reporting that she had undisclosed connnections to the Kremlin which could draw her credibility into question when she claimed that Alexander Litvinenko was a blackmailer and a crazy person.

Has anybody heard of Julia actually filing suit, or taking any further action against either paper? Has she made any further public comment of any kind? It seems this has not occurred. For sure, she’s ignored all the questions that La Russophobe asked her on the ZheZhe blog.

First we learned that Julia’s associate James Heartfield was a communist extremist, then the BBC aired two different documentaries showing Litvinenko for who he really was, images totally at odds with what Julia wrote, and now blogger David McDuff offers the following comments from Litvinenko’s widow about Ms. Svetlichnaya and her story:

What theory are you inclined to believe? Was it revenge for something in the past, or was it related to something he’d got mixed up in more recently? There was even a story in the press that he’d helped to make a “dirty bomb”, either for the Chechens or for Al Qaeda.

‘Well, it was dreadful when those insinuations began, when Yulia Svetlichnaya made those statements – I saw her at our house. Sasha invited her once, because she was writing a book. When she began to say that Sasha bombarded her with email messages – I mean, Sasha distributed messages to all his friends, sent them to hundreds of addresses. He believed that if you possessed information, you should share it, especially if it was something someone had written about Russia. And if you didn’t like it, then you could simply delete it, or start blocking it. But that statement, that interview about how he might have sold information and blackmailed businessmen, the FSB – that was totally absurd, it went against everything Sasha had ever done. Perhaps that was the real trouble – he was always open and frank. At the press conference he sat with his face uncovered, he didn’t wear dark glasses or a mask. If he wrote articles, he signed them with his own name, even if he didn’t need to. It was all on public record. As they once said, the system doesn’t forgive – and they will reach and punish anyone, in order to teach a lesson to others who might take it into their heads to speak openly. Anya Politkovskaya…. that was also a lesson, that it’s forbidden to write like that. Sasha was never a spy, he never sold out any interests. He was a regular employee of the FSB, with secrets of a completely different kind.”

Russia Flunks . . . Again

Siberian Light points to the most recent installment of the Heritage Foundation’s worldwide survey of ecnomic freedom, on which only 37 countries out of 157 under study had less economic freedom than Russia. Georgia ranks 35th, Kazakhstan ranks 75th, and Russia brings up the rear at 120th. La Russophobe has already documented a multitude of other examples of scientific evaluations of Russia by scholars and international organizations which demonstrate that the nation’s economic, political and social systems are in a state of doomed retrograde. This is just one more fact to add to a mountain of undeniable evidence of total failure as Russia recreates a Soviet state.