EDITORIAL: Neo-Communist Russia


Neo-Communist Russia

The Moscow Times reported last week that salaries in Russia’s  far-Eastern Primorye region are currently averaging 9,700 rubles ($270) per month.  For a forty-hour work week, that means an hourly wage of $1.70.

The MT also reports that a round-trip plane ticket from Vladivostok in Primorye to Moscow currently costs $1,120.  That is four months wages.

The Kremlin is responding to this problem with a well-known Russian “solution” — communism. 

It is going to directly subsidize one-half the fare for anyone aged 12 to 23 or over 60 and available from May to September, so that they can visit their relatives back West during the summer holidays.

It is, of course, predictable nonsense.  Is paying two months’ wages,rather than four, for a plane ticket for travel within your own country really affordable?  Are college students and pensioners even earning the average salary? It seems unlikely. Even if they were, hasn’t Russia already tried this obscene and absurd sort of wealth redistribution scheme, and seen it come to nothing but catastrophic failure?

It seems that by taking this action the Kremlin is admitting that it can’t raise salaries high enough to make air travel affordable — so much for Putin’s so-called “resurgent” economy.  Instead, Putin has decided to revert to his communist past and simply reorder the economy at his whim. First he simply ordered the banks to stop selling rubles, and now he decides how much people have to pay for air travel.  How long will it be before he realizes that this technique will not make travel affordable, and decides to tell the airlines how much they can charge?

11 responses to “EDITORIAL: Neo-Communist Russia

  1. The U.S. federal government subsidizes unprofitable air routes and has for many years. Tickets to small remote cities, especially in the upper Midwest, are subsidized with tax dollars given directly to the airlines.

  2. I know I’ll hate myself for asking this: but where does Communism come in the picture here? In the USSR the worker got a month PAID vacation (in comparison to the two non-paid measely weeks an American gets annually) by the state which he/she was entitled to. A capitalist country like Russia would never redistribute its wealth.

  3. Tower Bolshevik, I asked my wife about holidays in the USSR, as she said you got a months paid holiday, but the pay was so low you could not do anything anyway (unless of course you were a high party official).
    Once again, if you love Russia or communism so much, go and live in a communist state and see how much you enjoy it. North Korea, Byeloruss, Cuba, take your pick.

  4. Leonid V. Marchenko

    Andrew, your wife ly…, hm, misleading you.
    Unless she worked as a janitor. Parents could send their children on vacation for only 1\10 or 1\15 of their salary. The remaining was paid for by TraidUnions. The same with their own vacation..

  5. Cold comfort when you make Third World wages. You get to see Grandma for half price. I’ll pass.

    Sorry, but, eight years have passed with Putin and where have the oil revenues gone?

    I guess Tower can give us the answer.

  6. Oh no Leonid, she was not lying. You see her father was a party official. She got lots of nice holidays.
    It was the common folks she was talking about. See, unlike you she has a conscience and tends to be a fairly truthful person. It helps that she is not Russian.
    I guess you missed the Soviet collapse of the 1980’s then. The bread lines, the lines for toilet paper, the empty shops? The almost total collapse of the already shoddy soviet infrastructure.
    Not too many holidays in those circumstances she was telling me.
    Her father said things were good in the 60’s & early 70’s but the problem was the Kremlin kept setting rediculous “production targets” that were unacheivable, so everybody lied in their production reports or just produced shoddy goods in large quantities, and this went on in an ever decreasing circle untill the collapse of the Soviet Union.

  7. I’ll not trade my American salary and my American time off and the cost of my son’s summer camp for Soviet salary and free Soviet summer camp.

    And I have great memories of friends that I made in those summer camps… I also remember “two minutes’ hate meetings” (officially called political information) where we were listening to Marchenko of yore describing all the crimes of American imperialists in Angola and South Rhodesia.

  8. For Andrew:

    No offense, but you really are just another braindead western patriot. First you imply that Ossetians in South Ossetia number in the hundreds and in the rest of Georgia in the hundreds of thousands, you think Russia is still Communist, and now Belarus. Read a book. You obviously don’t know what capitalism is. I’ve already been to Cuba. Laid back and relaxed people, unlike in the “democacies” like the USA where you can get killed for wearing the wrong color.

    For Penny:

    To answer your question, what good would a good capitalist politician like Putin be if he didn’t pocket a little cash here and there?

    Now I have to ask you, 8 years of Bush and where has that gotten the USA? Oh wait, I forgot. As far as you’re concerned there is nothing below the perfect line in America.

  9. TB you are obviously a total dickhead.
    There are about 40,000 Ossetians in South Ossetia, and over 75,ooo in the rest of Georgia.
    I work with Georgians of Ossetian ethnicity who are Georgian patriots.
    Why don’t you f*ck off back to Russia?

  10. By the way, you can get killed for wearing the wrong colour, or reading the wrong book, or saying the wrong thing much more easily in pro Russian and communist countries than you can in the west TB.

    Time to engage your brain little boy.

  11. As for Cuba, explain all the people trying to get out?
    Where is the first place they head to?
    However I do believe the US embargo is a mistake.
    Anyway, I suggest you try North Korea.
    As for Belarus “During his presidency, Lukashenko has implemented Soviet-era policies, such as state ownership of the economy” The place is considered Europes last communist dictatorship for a reason.
    By the way dickhead, I am pretty sure I have read more books than you, particularly regards the Caucasus.

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