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EDITORIAL: Russia’s 2011 Report Card

EDITORIAL

Russia’s 2011 Report Card

Using the typical scale for applying letter grades to students (90-100% correct is an “A” and 80-89% correct is a “B” and 70-79% correct is a “C” and 60-69% correct is a “D” and anything below 60% correct is failing), we have once again prepared Russia’s national report card based on an array of international tests and evaluations imposed over the last twelve months.

The tests come from a stunning array of international experts, ranging from the ultra-conservative Heritage Foundation to the ultra-liberal New Economics Foundation, and everything in between from the Committee to Protect Journalists to Transparency International.  No matter who does the scoring, Russia doesn’t receive one single grade as high as a C minus.  In fact, Russia’s highest grade is  D-, and in 13 tries it only managed one of those.  One D and twelve Fs, more than half of which reflect a score of less than 25%, meaning that three-quarters or more of world nations are better than Russia.  Russia only makes the top half of the world in a measely two categories.  Time for the dunce cap, Russia!

Here are the results beginning with Russia’s best results and scrolling down to its very worst (with the letter grade after each subject, followed by Russia’s “percent correct” — i.e., the percentage of countries that Russia’s score was better than — and its class rank):

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EDITORIAL: Russia is a Barbaric Nation

EDITORIAL

Russia is a Barbaric Nation

Last week we reported on the latest “Index of Economic Freedom” published by the prestigious think tank Heritage Foundation.  The report ranked Russia #146 out of 179 nations under study, the bottom 20% of all countries in the world,  and #41 out of 43 nations in its region — the bottom 5% of that group, in a class with Haiti.  It showed that Poland receives 40% more foreign direct investment than Russia per capita because Poland offers investors so much more economic freedom than Russia does.

Freedom House has also recently released its annual review of political freedom, which it calls the “Freedom in the World” report.  Only 42 out of the nearly 200 countries under review are classified as “not free” by Freedom House  (down from 54 in 1978) and Russia — purported member of the G-8 group of democracies — is one of them, and only 23 members of the “unfree” group received scores lower than Russia.  Russia is one of only seven countries out of 28 in its region, Central and Eastern Europe, to receive the “unfree” designation.  Georgia, Ukraine, Kyrgyzstan, Estonia and Latvia are all given higher scores for political freedom than Russia.

The shame and humiliation that comes to Russia as a result of scores like these from highly respected international organizations ought to be far too much to bear.  Even without considering Russia’s massive economic collapse of the past six months, with soaring unemployment and inflation and plummeting stock market and currency values, the people of Russia ought to see the need for regime change.  They ought to be able to recognize that being governed by a proud KGB spy has done nothing but to alienate and polarize the entire world against Russia, so that now the civilized world views Russia as a barbaric banana republic.

But they can’t seem to manage this, and that seems to confirm the world’s worst suspicions about them.

Russia: Land of the Slaves and Home of the Craven

The Heritage Foundation has just released the results of its 2009 Index of Economic Freedom.

Russia ranks #146 out of 179 nations under study, the bottom 20% of all countries in the world,  and #41 out of 43 nations in its region — the bottom 5% of that group.  Russia’s score on the index of 50.8, ten points below the world average, is virtually indistinguishable from that of Haiti, and well behind such nations as Djibouti and Syria.

Only 33 countries on the planet are less economically free than Russia, yet it holds a seat on the G-8.  Go figure.  The lowest of the G-8 other than Russia was Italy at #76. India is 123rd, Brazil 105th. Georgia is 32nd and the highest former Soviet republic  is Estonia at 13th.  Plainly, Russia is totally unqualified for G-8 membership.

Poland, for instance, scored a 60.3,  placing it 82nd on the list, the upper half of the world, and 35th in its group, eight places ahead of Russia.  Poland posted $13.9 billion in net foreign direct investment, or $365 per capita. With nearly quadruple Poland’s population and vast oil reserves that Poland lacks, Russia had only $28.7 billion in net FDI or a puny $205 per capita, over 40% less than Poland.

HF’s commentary on Russia’s results tells the tale:

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