Putin’s Demographic Fraud
A recent report on Russian demographics in the Moscow Times contained two stunning facts.
First, the average annual income of a Russian citizen is $7,500. For a full-time worker with two weeks of vacation per year, that translates into an hourly wage of $3.75 per hour. And remember, that’s the average wage, meaning something like half the population earns less. It’s a wage that would be flatly illegal in every American state and every country in Europe. It represents desperate poverty in any civilized country. In Russia, it’s normal. And remember: Russians pay the same prices for things like cars, refrigerators, televisions and computers that people in the West pay, because none of those things are made in Russia.
Second, the Putin regime thinks it’s doing a great job because the birthrate is rising.
This is absolutely bogus for two separate reasons: (a) Russia’s demographic problem isn’t the birth rate, it’s the mortality rate (Russia ranks a shocking #135 in the world, out of 194 countries, for life expectancy) and (b) Russia’s birthrate is only rising because of a freak spike in population during the 1980s under Soviet rule, not because of any of Putin’s policies.
Putin’s ploy of bribing parents to have children (he’s paying them almost two years’ average wages to have a second baby) exposes the truly desperate state of Russian demographics. To focus on Russia’s real problem, mortality, would require raising the incomes of the vast majority of citizens, something the Putin regime cannot even dream of accomplishing. So instead, Putin totally ignores the real problem and squanders precious resources on artifice, creating the illusion of progress, which in fact only makes things much worse.
The MT article points out that in 2006 Putin devoted his entire state-of-the-union message to birth rates. But when has Putin ever devoted himself to mortality?
In short, Russia’s demographic crisis continues unabated, and indeed is reaching new lows, while the Kremlin does nothing but what it has always done: lie, cover up, and suppress the truth.