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The trouble with Russia . . .

June 26, 2014 - Harry Eagar
. . . . . . is that it's full of Russians.

Further evidence comes in this story from Bloomberg News, which recounts the slide into the economic abyss under Vladimir Putin, whose 15-year reign at the top of the heap puts him within striking distance, as for as longevity goes, with those other misgoverners of Russia, Nicholas II and Joe Stalin.

Putin, however, does not have the excuse of having to deal with a devastating invasion by Germans.

The Bloomberg look centers on finances and ignores agriculture, which has been the fundamental problem for the Russian economy since forever, and certainly since Nicholas ascended his throne. It was the failure of agriculture not the rumblings of Reagan that brought down communism. The attempt by the United States to turn Russia toward capitalism by, for example, modernizing its stock market, was a complete failure. The US did make some ineffectual efforts to advise the Russians on improving their farming -- that's a sector where US advice was more likely to be worthwhile than financial markets, where no one would have been well-advised to follow the lead of the Reaganites.

It is not clear to me whether the Russians rejected the American advice on farming or just ignored it in favor of mining gold and oil.

It is obvious what first steps Russia needed to take to get its agriculture on a paying basis -- provide all-weather farm-to-market roads. This would have multiplied the efficiency of farms, which continue to lose much of their output after the harvest; would have stimulated the general economy, New Deal style; would have added to the national infrastructure assets; would have provided an outlet for the economic aspirations of the non-Russian minorities; and would not have been threatening to other nations.

In short, it would have pushed Russia in the opposite direction from the one it actually took.

 
 

Article Comments

(3)

OneAikea

Jun-27-14 5:54 PM

Russia is a country of mixed breeds. There is no pure Russian as there is no pure Hawaiian breed. All mixed. Percentage is less in blood line.

Hawaii had agriculture but realtors find that the land is more valuable as land for hotels or homes. Now we import most foods from the Mainland or Asian countries.

America allows immigrants to farm. Many children don't want to work in cane fields or pick pineapple. Jobs given to immigrants, legal and illegal so the companies can profit while paying smaller wages.

Native Hawaiians can go to McDonalds instead of going fishing for a fish sandwich. Russians eat at McDonalds rather than cook daily their bread. Processed foods are bad for the health.

The joke is that families with many children did not have TVs, so parents had to find some sort of entertainment.

HarryEagar

Jun-27-14 12:37 PM

One way to have dealt with that would have been to improve agriculture, so the people could eat well, and breed.

Also, a thriving agriculture would have propped up a stable economy functioning across all sectors, leading to improved morale and, probably, more babies.

OneAikea

Jun-26-14 7:49 PM

"[instituting the right of Prima Nocte] Longshanks: If we can't get them out, we'll breed them out." Braveheart.

President Putin has to deal with the devastating invasion from Islam extremists.

 
 

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