EDITORIAL: Russia’s Secret Starvation

EDITORIAL

Russia’s Secret Starvation

According to Ilya Dashkovsky of the Russian publication Krestyanskiye Vedemosti and other sources cited by the ever-brilliant Paul Goble in a recent post, in 1990, as the Soviet economy collapsed into ruin, an average Russian consumed 75 kilograms of meat.  Today, he consumes 61.

According to Dashkovsky, in 1990 such a Russian consumed 387 kilograms of milk products, but today it’s just 247 kilograms.

Then, 297 eggs. Now, 256.

Russians are replacing these key proteins with bread, potatoes and sugar in order to maintain their body mass.  The exclusion of basic food groups from the Russian diet leads to secret starvation and malnutrition.

And the “average” Russians are the lucky ones.

The data clearly shows that millions of Russians who are below average are unable to feed themselves “a ration that is comparable with the food provided to German prisoners of war in the USSR in 1945.”

Another Russia source reports the devastating news that 80% of draft-age men in Russia are too unhealthy for military service,l in large part because of malnutrition.

It shouldn’t, actually, be necessary for anyone familiar with the basic facts of life in Russia to read these statistics in order to know that Russia is in dire trouble where food is concerned.  When the average wage in a country is $3/hour, when there are massive wage arrears and even more massive corruption, when the country’s basket of basic, readily available food does not include many green vegetables or high-quality meat, malnutrition is inevitable. Russians compound this vice by drinking and smoking to wretched excess, likely in a desperate attempt to forget that they are starving.

Instead of openly and honestly acknowledging and confronting these issues, the KGB clan that rules the Kremlin only wants to suppress them. As we report below, it is unleashing a new onslaught by the secret police against journalists who would report such information, and it is preparing a new level of dictatorial power that dispenses with parliament, elections and political parties.

Meanwhile, just as in Soviet times, the country is starving to death.

69 responses to “EDITORIAL: Russia’s Secret Starvation

  1. What can I say — Sure. Russia’s starving. Emaciated people are falling down in the streets. The end is near. All is lost!! You have nothing to worry about, La Russophobe.

    • If you were not such an illiterate buffoon, you would have actually read this post before commenting like an ape. It clearly states that Russians are filling their bellies with a limited diet that fails to deliver the necessary food-group nutrition and thereby seriously undermines their long-term health.

      Are you aware that Russia doesn’t rank in the top 130 nations of the world for adult lifespan?

      That Russia’s incidence of nutrition-related illness is far higher than in the West, and that this is one of the reasons for Russia’s shockingly high mortality rate?

      That the sources cited here ARE RUSSIAN SOURCES?

      Instead, in other words, of looking for people in the streets, you should look in their homes, homes they are too weak to leave, in Russia’s appallingly low productivity rate, another obvious result of poor diet, and in the cemetaries.

  2. AT or Arthur or what ever name your calling yourself today, you treat a serious subject with sarcasm it seems you don’t care about people who are in “real” difficulty!, you really are a heartless Ape, Please bear in mind that all Russian Government employees had their salaries slashed by a minimum of 25% last year, This is not a fabrication as I know some of these people, again in the private sector La Russophobe reported that 145 million man hours have been worked and not paid for many wait two or three month before receiving a single rouble.

    Inflation is still running at over 8%, prices are rising all the time, all these factors have contributed too a nutritional crisis in Russia, meat and fruit are now just to expensive for a large section of the community, people are turning to cheaper forms of food to stave off malnutrition, The report is based on checkable facts, try to do some research before posting your sarcastic mindless twaddle.

    It easy for you a Russian ex-pat slob to sit there nursing your “fat gut” while your countrymen starve and then try to dismiss it as unimportant. (What a jerk off).

    • Oh, dear, oh, dear… How right you are. We are starving, I wish that ignorant expat only knew how. I measn literally starving. We were not actually eating meat in the USSR, and fruits and sugar too – only when we came to Georgia, there we could find some fruits. Mostly in the USSR we were eating potatoes.

      In the blessed 90ies, we tasted fruits, most for the first time, and then some of us even started to eat meat on a regular basis. Mostly, that was sausages and cutlets, but some even had tasted “thebeef steaks”, something invented in Germany, I beleive, have you ever heard of such?

      Now, when we’re back to dictatorship, no meat at all again.

      That is why we hate America, all as one – they do not have to eat only potatoes there. Damned Americans.

  3. Always called myself “AT” at this blog. These comments just show how poorly you know Russia, folks. I travel in Russia extensively. Sure, there are people living in poverty, but just ask anyone who knows Russia if there is starvation, secret or not there. LR can ask her friend Oleg Kozlovsky. I rely on a vast network of my friends from all strata of the society and in about 12 regions around Russia. Frankly, I yet to see ONE SINGLE Russian “filling his/her bellies with a limited diet that fails to deliver the necessary food-group nutrition”.

    LR, care to explain us the reasons why Russia doesn’t rank in the top 130 nations of the world for adult lifespan? Death stats are widely available on-line. The stats actually suggest Russians would benefit from further cutting their consumption of alcohol, meat and dairy products high in cholesterol.

    Also, has it ever crossed your mind, food products were heavily subsidized under the Soviet system. Any subsidy means waste.

    On the economic difficulties in R John’s post: yes, Russia is poor, but it is doing better than all the ex-USSR states with the exception of a couple of Baltic states. The Soviet legacy is difficult to overcome, you know.

    • Fine. You are the first Russophile here who has admitted that Russia is a poor country. We all know it is so, but it’s still refreshing to here this from somebody on the other side. So, how about a little more honesty and some answers to these questions.

      Why, then, does Russia insist on being a member of the G-8, a gathering of very rich and developed countries?

      Why does she try to perpetuate lies about being well developed, free and democratic? Why wouldn’t she say something like this: due to the Soviet legacy which is hard to overcome, we are still poor and undemocratic, but we are trying to overcome this very hard.

      Why do you compare her to Moldova or Tadjikistan? If she wants to be a member of the G-8, shouldn’t you compare her to France or Canada?

      • RV, you know well why many people do not have a construction discussion with you on this site. Its offensive. People want to contradict you just based on how you behave. Russia is poor, but not as poor as the Congo, not India-poor, not Ukraine- or any ex-USSR state poor, and there have been positive dynamics throughout the last decade. People feel they are becoming more prosperous, so many of them do not use the same frame of reference as you do when they say that they are not poor. But again, look at the GDP charts, and they will show that Russia is not rich.

        As far as the G8 membership is concerned, it has never been a secret from anyone that Russia was not included in G8 based on the level of its economic development, especially at the time when it was included in G8. Why do you say that Russia “insists” in being included. Russia has been included by other G8 members, and will stop showing up at G8 gatherings if “excluded” by their consensus. The administrations of G8 counries are smart enough, however, not to use inclusions and exclusions as a political tool and realise that any engagement is more productive than any exclusion.

        Where did you get the impressions Russia perpetuates these lies. These may be opinions of people posting here. Many of them are understandably hurt by your boorish behavior and do not argue rationally. Maybe I am not as thin-skinned as most people coming here, but I have no problem saying “due to the Soviet legacy which is hard to overcome, we are still poor COMPARED TO WESTERN EUROPE/THE STATES/JAPAN and undemocratic, but we are trying to overcome this very hard” — happy now?

        Look at the GDP/capita chart and pick countries close to Russia in terms of their GDP/capita. This will be the peer group: say Turkey on the low end, Latvia on the high end and everything between.

        • How do I behave? If Russophiles are upset that I point out to obvious shortcomings of their beloved motherland, it’s their problem. What did I do to make Russia so miserable a place.

          However, Your admissions here are most welcome. And it’s not only other Russophiles on this board who make irrational statements about how developed Russia is, so does Russian offficaldom. You are right, Russia is not as poor as Congo, but third world countries know their place.

          Russia’s aggressive posture is not commensurate with her actual importance. In other word, Russia is a poor underdeveloped third world country (I concede that she is not as poor as Congo or Haiti) but demands respect as if she were an industrialized democracy.

          So, if she is expelled from the G-8, she would not just stop showing up. She really believes she belongs there and so would raise hell about how the West mistreats and humiliates Russia again

          • Dude, your behaviour is boorish. If you don’t see this its YOUR problem, unless you enjoy discussions only in the form of trading insults. This site appears to attract characters who love to mention Russia’s national accounts, Stalin, Hitler and the opponent’s sexual preferences all in one sentence. If this is your sport, please continue indulging in it. This is my last post here for a long while anyway — I got carried away somewhat today.

            Just take the statement above. Right there there is an assumption that Russia is a miserable place. Then you compare it to the Congo or the Haiti. Why not Romania, Bulgaria, Ukraine, Latvia, Kazakhstan, Brazil, Mexico — this would be more relevant/ less insulting.

            Second, the whole premise of “knowing your place”. That’s exactly what Russia is not going to do. Russia aspires to become more than it is, and this is a healthy ambition. In its peer group, Russia is posting quite impressive results. And showing respect always helps if you want a productive discussion, whether your opponent is from an industrialized democracy or not. This, in fact, appears to be a fundamental problem with you — do you get high from treating others with disrespect? do others’ demanding respect upsets you? This is destructive for your personality and character in the first place.

            On G8, why are you obsessed about G8? Russia has been invited, maybe this was not right. Why would it be right to expel it? Whould it help Russia become an industrialized democracy? Would it make G8 stronger? Fortunately, in international affairs, few things are done “just to stick it to the Russians (or any other nation)”. In any case, for Russia, benefits of being part of G8 are marginal, but the club is useful — I guess — for idea exchanges and communications, which are always beneficial.

            • And you wish to keep your neighbors down, too, so that a democratic model does not surpass you. Yes, you mainly want respect based upon the fact that you posess nuclear weapons, a comparatively large army and wish therefore to threaten your neighbors, all the while stoking patriotism and Russian superiority at home. A great model for the future.

              • Exactly. I don’t subscribe to this notion that everybody deserves respect, people or countries. Respect has to be earned. Gangsters don’t have my respect and neither do gangster countries

                • RV, No one asks you to subscribe to this notion. I was trying to explain to you why no one appears to be willing to have a reasonable rational discussion with you here. You have every right to treat anyone with disrespect, but you cannot expect to get a respectful tretment in response.

            • I did not start comparing Russia to Congo — you did. Just see your own message above mine and apologize

              • RV, Apologize for what? What is less respectful in your view: “Russia is poor, but not as poor as the Congo, not India-poor, not Ukraine- or any ex-USSR state poor” or “I concede that she is not as poor as Congo or Haiti”. What about India and Ukraine, which I also mentioned?

                Maybe you will even concede it is not as poor as Romania, Bulgaria or Latvia?

                In any case, what are you trying to achieve? An interesting debate? Or you get high from trading insults?

  4. You might travel in Russia, but I have relatives “living” there and I trust what “they” tell me, and I know the economic crisis affects their diet badly. (Keep spinning I know the truth)

    • My relatieves live ther ok. My parents and in-laws do not eat caviar and do not drink champagne, but I cannot imagine they fill up with bread because they cannot afford meat or chicken.

  5. Many, not all, regions of Russia had been starving in the same way or worse in the Soviet times as well. Moscow and S. Petersburg were getting somewhat more food (meat and diary products from the Baltics). Russians lack own diary production, they just don’t produce enough, but it is hidden from the nation… (Putin’s peeps say the Georgian mineral water sucks, because he hates Saakashvili; Putin’s peeps say Russians shall decrease their diary consumption because the economy of Lithuania would be stronger and Russia’s would look too much worse in comparison if Russians would import cheese and milk from Lithuania; their hide what they import from Lithuania under Russian labels because Putin’s peeps want Russia to look better and they say Russians wouldn’t buy Lithuanian products if they knew these were Lithuanian – although, in fact, they gladly would; Russians will import the Baltic products with higher import duties although they don’t produce enough themselves, just so that the statistical pictures of the Russian economy would seem better. Yeah, Putin’s peeps don’t starve yet, other Russians do; Putin’s peeps, they are just nervous and don’t trust any normal Western means of economy.

    • Care to enlighten us which regions starve?

      • The whole country is starving you gorilla. That’s why Russia doesn’t rank in the top 130 nations of the world for life expetency. The RUSSIAN DATA shows that ALL ordinary Russians are the victims of slow starvation by deprivation of essential nutrients, which makes them susceptible to disease and ill-health and shortens their lives by many years.

        Your ignorance and dishonesty are classic Soviet characteristics, those that brought the USSR down. And now, you want to do the same to Russia.

  6. Well, refer to my first comment then:

    Sure. Russia’s starving. Emaciated people are falling down in the streets. The end is near. All is lost!! You have nothing to worry about, La Russophobe.

  7. AT – nearly none of them had seen butter (replaced it with incredibly badly tasting margarine or salo) or had to come to the Baltics, Moscow or S. Petersburg for seeing that somewhere in another end of a loooong queue of compatriots… That was in the glorious Soviet times.
    The Lithuanian sarcastic songie from that time went like:
    “there’s no meat, there’s no worst, there are only nice red flags there” :D
    Lithuanians did not lack meat or worst that much however, because every single of them had some relatives with a tiny private farm or they had an even smaller “garden” in a colonie of those for the city dwellers. The Balts provided themselves with good agriculture products from these farms and gardens they sincerely worked in (unlike from kolkhoses where they and Russians pretended to work and got some 60 to 100 roubles a month for pretending). Russians did not have private farms, sincerely hated any private business and lived starving, dreaming, travelling to Moscow to see huge lines after the Baltic kolkhos meat and Blatic kolkhose butter. Russians were proud of their Soviet country and believed that they are starving because they work for the Balts… Their great illusion, lol. The Balts were occupied by Soviet (mostly Russian) later than Russians became the slaves of commies, so the Balts were willing, were fighting for and were allowed to retain more of “capitalism” in their homelands – they kept the farms of the size of their yards or so and could feed their relatives. Everyone in the Baltics knew how to work in a garden and get its products after working there at least in weekends. Most Russians weren’t allowed or didn’t want to feed themselves even this way. There are no kolkhoses in the Baltics since early 90’s, there are plenty of them in Russia however.
    I saw a Russian documentary about how Russians and their rare animals were starving in “glubinka” (in the deep of the country, as they call the non- urbanized, non-civilized remote parts of their country). Just some blocks of bread a week was what people had to go kilometers to bring from some car-shop which came (or not) to a bigger village. OMG what it was. The Balts had more of food even from their kolkhoses and used to hear the question “Excuse me, where can I find a shop/a market” from countless Russians who used to come to the Baltics after any more normal (necessary) goods – food, cloths, shoes – there was never enough if any of that in Russia itself, you know.

  8. All you say is correct. That is why the USSR did not make sense and collapsed. Or did you assume I am a Communist of some sorts? I am a banal laissez faire capitalist. With two Western degrees in economics. Sorry to disappoint.

    LR’s point is that now Russians have worse supply of food than they used to have under the glorious Soviet system. Its actually LR who appears to be advocating that Russia was more prosperous and less hungry before 1990.

  9. AT – the documentary I saw and mentioned was about the late Soviet years, made by Soviet Russians in the late Soviet years, before the collapse of the USSR. And your dear Putin managed to persuade many of Russia’s youngest generation that the Soviet times were glorious despite of what that movie had shown. Idiots, learn your own real history and drop your unrealistic dreams of glory of your sick country already. Putin’s Co gives a lot of money to fund the futile (I hope) propaganda in the Baltics to the Baltic Russian and non-Russian newest generation who never saw the USSR that the USSR was great and glorious as well. :D :D Better demand that money back home from your beloved Putin, you idiot, if you don’t belong to the well financed Putin’s Co yourself.

  10. AT – sure it wasn’t, it must be clearly better now, but it is far from very good yet and Russia would better get a new and different government soon, because it is robbed too much now, its natural riches and people are misused and abused by the minority at power way too much.

  11. When did Putin claim that the USSR was “glorious”?

    On your second post — so you disagree with La Russophobe — she provided an article saying that, in the USSR, the Russians enjoyed better nutrition than they enjoy now. She may ban you.

    • Putin’s famous saying was that the collapse of the U.S.S.R. was a great tragedy (or perhaps he even said “greatest tragedy”) of the 20th century

  12. What Putin said is:

    Whoever does not miss the Soviet Union has no heart. Whoever wants it back has no brain.

    The first part may not sound right for you, but I and many of my friends all over the country can sympathize with this.

  13. but, dear larusofobe, why you so sad? On contrary, you should be very happy that hated russians are starving and dying. you nazi scum lol.

  14. I am not going to tell you when did Putin say that the USSR was glorious. Every action of his shows and says that he wants Russians to be proud of the USSR. He defends Soviet lies about Soviet history, it seems he agrees that billboards with Stalin decorate Moscow this May (ca. April 15th – May 9th, 2010), he finances RTR Baltic, 1st Baltic channel and lots of other TV and radio stuff for the Baltics which show stupid militaristic propaganda, antidemocratic propaganda, blatant lies about history and the present events in the world and in Russia. NO, NO, NO, Putin’s Co does not try hard to change Russia to a democracy, he and his cronies just rob Russia through so called governmental and so called private corporations, big monopolistic corrupt gas and oil companies and the likes. He fools Russians with Soviet style lies. I don’t say the words are exact Soviet (the reality that keeps him in power changed and so did his talks, but the essence of it is lies, inspiring optimism through lies and hiding the truth which would anger lots of folks. If only lots of Russians knew how rich and astute their Putin was.
    There are lots of those idiots Russians who are roaming the Baltic discussion forums and trying to influence the public opinion there or spoil the chance of discussion with spam. The putinoid Russians are speaking some kind of the Baltic languages, they take themselves nicks with Lithuanian names but their typical Russian mistakes show that they are not the Balts… They praise Russia and bash the Baltic countries relentlessly. Russians (Putin’s cronies oligarchs) try to buy the Baltic media to influence the public opinion (of the poorest public) against democracy or against certain non-ex-commie politicians). They wouldn’t do all that if Russia would try hard to change and become like the West, become democratic and sincerely care of the wealth its citizens. :) Nah, Putin doesn’t want any democracy, any power of private (if not his own) businesses, any power of citizens, so there was your lie that he is trying hard, dear AT.

    • @Jurate:

      I’m interested in what you said about Russians in Baltic discussion forums. Are there any articles in English available, dealing with this subject?

      I have heard about it, but as I don’t speak Baltic languages, I can’t check myself.

      The same thing happens in Germany. Once the www forum of a TV channel had to be closed. It was bombed with entries criticising the channel because they had aired an interview with Putin and dared to edit it, instead of showing the full content (as they would do in Russia)

      You are right, one can identify Russians by their mistakes and the use of typical Russian vocabulary.

    • @[There are lots of those idiots Russians who are roaming the Baltic discussion forums and trying to influence the public opinion ]

      How about “there are lots of Estonian idiots who are roaming the Russian discussion forums and trying to influence the public opinion “.

      Expressing opinions are part of DISCUSSION. Although, maybe you are also a victim of the Soviet mentality, and feel comfortable only in discussion forums where there is only one opinion. They are not DISCUSSION forums then, are they?

      @[They praise Russia and bash the Baltic countries relentlessly.]

      That’s ok. This site bashes the Russians relentlessly. You can argue with them, if you want. If you do it politely and logically, normally fallacies in their logic are exposed, if there are any.

      @[:) Nah, Putin doesn’t want any democracy, any power of private (if not his own) businesses, any power of citizens, so there was your lie that he is trying hard, dear ]

      Show me when I said that what Putin wants. I am no expert on Putin’s desires. A couple of times, I explained why he is popular in Russia. I also said he never mentioned the USSR was glorious. I admit he said the collapse of the USSR was a catastrophe. For many people, myself included, it was, as my country collapsed. But, I agree with Putin that whoever wants the USSR back has no brain, don’t you?

      • I thinkt that the difference is if people comment in blogs under their own identity or a neutral nick, or if they pretend to be something else than they actually are, e. g. Russians pretending to be Estonians.

        In most blogs discussing controversial issues there are people with fake identities. Sometimes you can recognise them because of characteristic language.

        • Maybe the way to go is to expose weaknesses in their ideas and arguments rather than to waste energy on exposing their identities?

          • Agree, this should be always the main goal.

            But besides this, I find it interesting so look into this subject. Its a PR technique to manipulate discussion forums by multiaccounters using fake identities. And this is, of course, not limited to Russians.

  15. If Putin would not want the Russian masses to stay slaves of his and his friends, if Putin wanted democracy (people’s influence on the power) in Russia he would talk differently about the USSR, about the West, about democracy, about the Balts, about Ukraine 2004, he would let people miss only the fairest respects of the USSR – the social equality (which – relative – is achieved in the Western and esp. Northern Europe, btw), now he wants them to stay the admirers of authoritarianism, the haters of small nations around Russia.

    • There was no social equality in Sovok, apart from the party propaganda. The gap between the elites and the ordinary people, in terms of both wealth and power, was actually greater there than in Western countries.

  16. Comming back to the original article: At the same time, rich people in Moscow throw away food because for them, cooking less or putting it into the fridge for tomorrow is uncool. Only stupid Westerners avoid wasting food and make savings for tomorrow.

    This makes the data privided above especially disturbing.

  17. Kaktuss, you are right that where was no total social equality, but the inequality was never demonstrated and venerated by those who had much more than others. The inequality grew a lot and is demonstrated rather shamelessly now. Now, your riches became the only guaranty of your social safety, your power, your way to respect, if you are poor you feel simply hopeless and like you have no future. In the USSR, you were poor, but your neighbor was as well, 99,9 percent of your neighbors were equal to you, some 97 (or more) percent of neighborhoods were equal. People felt equal, except that they knew that some whom they rarely if ever saw live were “more equal than the equals”. Look at Belarus, it had 29,7 Gini in 2002, while Russia had 45,6 in 2000. It’s like in the USA (which is considered the country of the wild capitalism by the European standards), but far lesser social equality when Finland’s or than that of the USSR have been. ;)

  18. Aha, think it’s good that gas and oil were abundant and well-prized under Putin before end of the 2008. The newest figures under the same Putin must be hidden from the Russian eyes, aren’t they?

    The Gini of Finland is 26, something, btw, the Gini of Sweden, Norway and Denmark are even lesser, and look at Belarus as well.

    • Gini doesn’t measure wealth. If anything, high oil and gas profits should make the rich richer and thus increase the Gini gap between the rich and the poor.

      The thing is that Yeltsin’s regime was the most economically corrupt in the history of Russia.

      [he Gini of Finland is 26, something, btw, the Gini of Sweden, Norway and Denmark are even lesser, and look at Belarus as well.]

      But these are socialist countries.

      Here in USA, where as you know the poor people’s taxes go to support the rich and where medical services and medicines are a privilege not a right, Gini is 45 as of 2007:

      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_countries_by_Gini_index

      • No, I don’t know that in the United States the poor people’s taxes go to support the rich. Is that the latest news from the KGB Academy or your own invention?

      • My first thought was that “poor people’s taxes go to support the rich” was a bit of sarcasm. But no, you seem to be dead serious. You claim to live in the U.S. but have you ever heard of Earned Income Credit? Do you know that a family of four with a yearly income of $35000 (not much, to be sure, but way more than the vast majority of Russians would even dream of ever earning) would not pay any income tax at all? And that slightly below that level it would actually GET PAID by the government? Do you know that top 1% of earners paid 40% of all income tax in the US in 2008, top 10% paid 71% and top 50% paid more than 97%?

        And BTW, Gini index says very little about the country. In Ethiopia, it is 30, but would you claim that it is a better place than the US?

  19. Arthur, yeah, those were the GOOD countries in my opinion. Russia could have been a better country as well.
    Do you think I only care to praise the wild capitalism in the USA and criticize the one in Russia, just because it’s Russia? I criticize all the countries and all the governments which don’t try to give the best possible to the majority of their people, in which the minority robs the majority shamelessly, does bad to people and pretends that it does good to them, keeps people’s mouths shut by force, and tells it’s good for them to be kept like that.

  20. Mentioning the Gini raise in Russia to the levels of the Gini of the USA, was to say that not only Yeltsin, but also Putin (who was more appointed by Yeltsin than chosen by the Russians themselves) did not care that much about the people of Russia than about himself and his cronies when saying that the dismantling of the USSR was the biggest geopolitical catastrophe of the 20 c. Putin did not cry for the fact that inequality rose dramatically in Russia after the USSR fell and so many poor people became hopelessly poor, he cared to keep the poor Russian people and proud of the size and the military might of the USSR, and KGB hopeful to regain the USSR or so. He tried and tries to keep the Russians happier with the authoritarian power of himself or his friend than with the democracy, because democracy would give hope to more people and make his own life more uncertain.

  21. RV wrote:
    [No, I don’t know that in the United States the poor people’s taxes go to support the rich. ]

    You are senile, RV. I described to you in quite a detail various enormous US government’s socialist programs which pay hard-earned taxpayers’ money to wealthy corporations, such as:

    TARP to Wall Street – $700 billion
    Agricultural subsidies – $16 billion

    The military budget is around $700 billion per year, and while part of it goes to legitimate defense needs, much of it is welfare for the military industry.

    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2009/11/18/biden-on-the-bailout-soci_n_361900.html

    Biden On The Bailout: ‘Socialism For The Rich And Capitalism For The Poor’ (VIDEO)

    In an interview with Jon Stewart on Comedy Central’s The Daily Show Tuesday evening, Vice President Joe Biden acknowledged the anger and frustration many taxpayers feel over the way financial institutions seem to have favored status in Washington D.C.

    Pointing to the hundreds of billions of government dollars that have been spent to keep banks from failing, he recalled a “great expression” of his grandfather, Ambrose Finnegan: “It’s socialism for the rich and capitalism for the poor,” Biden said.

    http://www.alternet.org/economy/106195/wall_street_fat_cats_are_trying_to_pocket_billions_in_bailout_cash/.

    Wall Street Fat Cats Are Trying to Pocket Billions in Bailout Cash
    They got us into this mess, and now they want to cash out — will President Obama stop them?

    They got us into this mess, and now they want to cash out — will President Obama stop them?

    November 7, 2008

    It turns out that the nine banks about to be getting a total equity capital injection of $125 billion, courtesy of Phase I of The Bailout Plan, had reserved $108 billion during the first nine months of 2008 in order to pay for compensation and bonuses.

    Paying Wall Street bonuses was not supposed to be part of the plan. At least that’s how Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke and Treasury Secretary Hank Paulson explained it to Congress and the American people. So, on Oct. 1, the Senate approved the $700 billion bailout package.

    The country’s top investment bank, Goldman Sachs, set aside $11.4 billion during the first nine months of this year — slightly more than the firm’s $10 billion U.S. government gift — to cover bonus payments for its 443 senior partners, who are set to make about $5 million each, and other employees.

    No matter what the market conditions are on the outside, steadfast feelings of entitlement tend to prevail.

    Last year, when the financial crisis was just brewing, the top five investment banks paid themselves $39 billion in compensation and bonuses, up 6 percent over 2006. Goldman’s CEO, Lloyd C. Blankfein, bagged a record bonus of $60.7 million, including $26.8 million in cash. That amount was nearly double the $38 million that Paulson made at the firm in 2005, the year before he became the Treasury secretary.

    Yet, that didn’t stop their campaign contribution money from spewing out. Goldman was Obama’s largest corporate campaign contributor, with $874,207. Also in his top 20 were three other recipients of bailout capital: JP Morgan/Chase, Citigroup and Morgan Stanley.

    • Not buying it. Definitely, the U.S. Government, i.e., us taxpayers, provide substantial subsidies to various corporations and industries. While we can debate till we turn blue if these subsidies are or are not justified (I am sure some are and some aren’t), this is not the question.

      You loudly pronounced that “the poor people’s taxes go to support the rich.” Where is the proof of that? That taxes are used for subsidies is no proof. Show me that it’s POOR PEOPLE’s taxes that go for that and then we’ll talk. It is just as likely that it’s RICH people’s taxes that go to support the other rich. And I am sure that’s it. Wealthy people pay the overwhelming majority of taxes. Stats on that are most clear.

      Ask your political commissar at the KGB academy for a better argument.

      By the way over half of the TARP money have been repaid to the Treasury already, and the banks that still owe them can’t wait to repay to get out of the sticky situation they are in.

      As to the military budget, a very large portion of it is salaries and benefits of the service personal. Remember, it’s probably 2 million of them, and all of them are professionals, so they have to be paid. We can’t have the system of your beloved country, where they are paid next to nothing and are simply drafted

      • RV wrote:
        [Not buying it.]

        Who gave you the idea that I am selling to YOU? You have proved to me to be a man incapable of logical analysis.

        If anything, I am selling to normal readers. And even this is no big deal, because this is a basic fact known to every sane person already.

        [You loudly pronounced that “the poor people’s taxes go to support the rich.” Where is the proof of that? That taxes are used for subsidies is no proof.]

        If you pay tax, and the money from my tax goes to prevent AIG from going bankrupt, and then AIG executives pay themselves fat bonuses – then clearly your tax money goes to pay AIG executives. What is so hard to comprehend?

        Look, you and I are engaged in the never-ending discussion between free-marketers and socialist command economists.

        We, free marketers, are against the government subsidising the private sector. Socialists love government subsidies.

        You may ask why would Republicans like yourself like socialism. Because in this case, this is “socialism for the rich”, as Vice President Biden puts it.

        [As to the military budget, a very large portion of it is salaries and benefits of the service personal. Remember, it’s probably 2 million of them]

        These people could have been used to do something useful and productive, like develop new and better computers and passenger airplanes, or teaching children.

        In any case, at least 10% of this $700 billion – $70 billion – is profit to these corporations and their executives and shareholders.

        Ditto for the agricultural subsidies.

  22. Wow, what a terrible country you live in Artur.

    How do you sleep at night?

    Maybe it’s time to leave?

    • Wal, I can assure you Arthur does not reside here in the U.S. No one with at least three months’ experience in this country would take seriously anything Joe Biden says much less quote him as some kind of authority.

  23. Kaktuss wrote:
    [Wal, I can assure you Arthur does not reside here in the U.S. No one with at least three months’ experience in this country would take seriously anything Joe Biden says much less quote him as some kind of authority.]

    https://larussophobe.wordpress.com/2009/07/27/editorial-biden-gets-russia-right/

    EDITORIAL: Biden gets Russia Right

    ” I think we vastly underestimate the hand that we hold. [The Russians have] a shrinking population base, they have a withering economy, they have a banking sector and structure that is not likely to be able to withstand the next 15 years, they’re in a situation where the world is changing before them and they’re clinging to something in the past that is not sustainable.”

    – U.S. Vice President Joe Biden, in an interview with the Wall Street Journal

    …………………….

    So, LR does not reside in America? LOL.

    • LR makes mistakes too, divine as she is.

      • But you claim that “no one with at least three months’ experience in this country would take seriously anything Joe Biden says much less quote him as some kind of authority.”

        Thus, according to your logic, LR has less than “three months’ experience in this country”, right?

        Moreover, Joe Biden has been a senator from Delaware for 36 years. That means that all those Delaware voters, who voted for him, had had less than “three months’ experience in this country”, right?

        And Biden was chosen by other US senators to head the Foreign Relations Committee. Thus, most US senators had had less than “three months’ experience in this country”, right?

        And the current President of the United States chose Biden as his Vice President. So, the current President of the United States sad had less than “three months’ experience in this country”, right?

        Which brings up the question: which country you mean by “his country”? Certainly not USA.

        So, you are not a US citizen. Where do you live, Kaktuss? Judging by your nick, Kaktuss, I would venture a guess that it must be a desert country, like Mexico or Saudi Arabia. Am I right?

        • Ever heard of Arizona, New Mexico, West Texas? Lots of cacti in all these places. Arizona actually has two national parks devoted to them.

          And electing Biden is not the same as taking his words seriously. He is famous for his gaffes.

          • Are you saying that American voters elect people whose views they don’t respect to be senators and VPs?

            And American senators appoint laughably incompetent fellow senators like Biden to the post of the Head the Foreign Relations Committee? Are heads of the US Foreign Relations Committee nothing more than clowns? You are a real America-hater.

        • I should have said “infamous.”

  24. RV wrote:
    [Not buying it.]

    Too bad for you. Here in USA, a brand new movement – the Tea Party – was started in protest:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tea_Party_movement

    The Tea Party movement is a fiscally conservative and populist protest movement in the United States. It emerged in early 2009 partially in response to the federal government’s stimulus package, officially known as the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009. The movement originated in anti-tax protests, and arose in response to the increase in the national debt as a result of the stimulus package, as well as the revelations about bonuses paid to AIG executives in March 2009[3][4] and has been most visible through the Tea Party protests of 2009.

    Protest organizer and co-creator of dontGo Eric Odom has argued that “This is a protest that has been in government the last few years…Bush himself was guilty of socialist policies.”
    ………………….

    I thought you knew about the Tea Party.

    • Tea partiers are not poor people. They are mostly middle to upper-middle class. And although they do decry bank bailouts and such much of their protest is against the money they pay in taxes used to pay entitlements to poor people, such as welfare, Medicare, etc.

      http://tpmdc.talkingpointsmemo.com/2010/02/meet-the-tea-partiers-male-rich-and-college-educated.php

    • Don’t distort my words. I said I was not buying the bizarre Communist notion that the poor people pay the taxes to provide the subsidies for the rich. This is just a lie. Whatever subsidies are provided, they come from the taxes paid overwhelmingly by the rich persons — statistics is quite clear about what socioeconomic group pays most of the taxes

      • Actually, yes, rich people do pay a lot of taxes that go to support the Wall Street executives. But most taxes come from the middle class.

        And while the poor pay less taxes, they still pay some, and part of these taxes goes to support Wall Street and Big Three Auto executives. So, poor people do pay taxes that go to the wealthy.

        I assure you that the Tea Party is only a beginning. People will not rest until we end this socialism program for the Wall Street goons.

        And Communist arguments that government bail-outs of big corporations and banks is good for the economy, will not stop this libertarian revolution.

        • We’ll see. Most likely, this Tea Party thing will fizzle and die off. I’ve seen a number of those independent movements, and nothing has ever happened. Neither John Anderson (if you are old enough to remember that name) nor even Ross Perot was able to shake the electorate sufficiently.

          I too am very uncomfortable with all those bailouts, I have to agree with you on that, but it seems they really had no choice at the time. In any event, a substantial portion of the money have been re-paid by the banks already, so there is hope they will repay the rest.

          I really didn’t realize that Bush 43 as well as Hank Paulson and Ben Bernanke were capable of making Communist arguments, so your finding that they are hidden Commies is a real revelation. I am saying this as a card carrying Democrat.

        • Already better. Now, bring yourself to admit that your “poor people pay for bailouts” comment was wrong (given that the poor pay no income tax at all), and we can call it a day.

  25. Everywhere where there is a super rich person in power is a super poor nation starving. Always was always will be.

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