Feb
20

In Putin’s Russia, Economy Ruins You!




Posted at 6:06 by Mister Leonard Pierce

Right-wingers like being wrong like Jughead likes pizza, so when they aren’t fantasizing over a Dumb-And-Dumber dream ticket of Sarah Palin and nega-populist Rick Santelli (with Joe the Plumber as presumptive Sec’y of State), they’re telling us that we should look to Russia to learn the evils of government interference in the economy.

But they aren’t talking about the Russia of the Soviet era; goodness, no. That wouldn’t make them nearly wrong enough. No, they’re saying that we should take as our model the Russia of today, by heeding the words of visionary leader/judo expert Vladimir Putin:

now pay attention while i break this slang shit down

Even “Mr. KGB” Putin realizes that state control of the economy is a mistake. Rather than learn from Russia’s example the left in the U.S. thinks it can succeed where every other nation has failed.

Yes, let’s all gather ’round and learn from Russia’s example, shall we? Let’s take a look at how the economy of Russia has fared under Putin’s freeballin’ free enterprisin’ lately, with its “principle of personal responsibility of businesspeople”. Probably pretty good, right? Absolutely!

Pfft, “close to economic collapse”. Sure, the liberal America-haters at the Guardian would say that. Let’s see what cooler heads at the ol’ International Herald Tribune have to say.

Plummeting oil prices, a 70 percent descent in stock markets here, a global credit crisis and a slow-motion bank run on this country’s private banks — Russia has had to spend its reserves faster than anybody imagined.

On Aug. 8, the reserves, which include foreign currency, gold and other assets, peaked at just under $600 billion, the third-largest in the world. By this week, they had fallen to $484 billion, as money flew out of government vaults to support the ruble, prop up the banking system and bail out the businesses of the rich Russians known as oligarchs.

The fall this week — $31 billion — was the steepest so far. With no end to the global troubles in sight and a worldwide recession likely, which could further reduce oil prices, the question is: How long can Moscow keep this up before its reserves grow thin?

In the month of September, Russians withdrew 4 percent of deposits from private banks. Some went into state banks, perceived as more reliable, but about half remained in cash. Deposits dropped far more steeply in October: up to 30 percent for some private banks, according to an estimate by Citibank’s Moscow office. About a dozen Russian banks have failed so far.

This week, the government downgraded its economic growth forecast for this year from 7.8 percent to a still robust 7.3 percent. Independent economists called that estimate optimistic. Still, most of the actual effects on ordinary Russian citizens have been few, so far. A truck maker and the largest Russian steel mill reduced their operating hours; a cellphone retailer announced layoffs; and auto and consumer loans are drying up. Skeptical of the financial system, some Moscow cafés have stopped taking credit cards.

A dozen Russian banks have been bought by state banks in bailouts.

Okay, sure, maybe the panic-mongers at the IHT want to paint a bleak picture to sell more copies of their, koff koff, “international” publication. But surely the reliable pro-market folks at the Economist

You know what? Screw all that biased old media, anyway. We all know they’re a bunch of liars. Yes, as a special whipped wrongness frosting on the Error Food Cake that they’re serving for dinner, the usual suspects are claiming that only the right-wing blogosphere has the courage to cover Putin’s words of wisdom. “Putin’s speech to the World Economic Forum in Davos Switzerland in January might have gone overlooked if it wasn’t for our friend El Rushbo,” says Flopping Aces; the Flower of Christian Womanhood, as is her wont, goes even further:

Here, try this little exercise: Google putin warns don’t go socialist and see what it brings up. Blogs covering it…but not US news agencies. Hit the “News” button on that search and see what you get. You get bupkis.

Alternately, you could do a Google News search for “Putin speech Davos“, but even with that slightly more coherent and sensible approach, you get a mere 479 news sources, most of them from tiny little non-mainstream outfits like CNN, Reuters, the Associated Press, the Wall Street Journal, and the BBC.

Give a wingnut you love some attention tomorrow, friends. It’s not easy, being this wrong all the time.

43 Comments »

  1. Lesley said,

    February 20, 2009 at 6:11

    Leonard, nice to see you posting again.

  2. unruly monkees™³²®© said,

    February 20, 2009 at 6:16

    Give a wingnut you love some attention tomorrow, friends. It’s not easy, being this wrong all the time.

    Picket their asses?

    We’re not going to pick at their asses. Even we have standards, Mr. L.P.

  3. handy said,

    February 20, 2009 at 6:23

    If any stimulus involves Obama Praising Monkeys, then I’m totally out.

  4. Saint Alec said,

    February 20, 2009 at 6:24

    It’s a pity the eXile’s old site is down, because it’s got a lot of real gems of Russian privatization. It’s not quite the same thing, but here is his vicious Yeltsin obit; Putin is basically the same sort of man, only less personally corrupt.

    The amusing thing about the right on Russia has always been that they can simultaneously believe that Russia is secretly Communist and just waiting for the right moment to spring the trap on us decadent fools in the West; that Russia is a thriving example of the success of liberal democracy; and that statolatry and no-good bureaucrats are stifling the Russian economy and sapping it of its freedom. Putin is a visionary capitalist, a bug-eyed welfarist, and a Cold Warrior all at the same time.

    Patrick Swayze was the good guy in Red Dawn before Obama took office, but these days they’re rooting for the Russians.

  5. owlbear1 said,

    February 20, 2009 at 6:28

    I think the true tragedy here is that many of his readers did just that, “Hit the “News” button…” and were actually shocked by what they found.

    SHOCKED!

  6. handy said,

    February 20, 2009 at 6:34

    Patrick Swayze was the good guy in Red Dawn before Obama took office, but these days they’re rooting for the Russians.

    So how do you say wolverine in Russian?

  7. ckc (not kc) said,

    February 20, 2009 at 6:38

    So how do you say wolverine in Russian?

    ????????

  8. ckc (not kc) said,

    February 20, 2009 at 6:38

    Oh, look it up yourself!!

  9. Alkali Bill said,

    February 20, 2009 at 6:50

    I swear you make these people up. No sane person would actually post that shit on the inter….oh

  10. Saint Alec said,

    February 20, 2009 at 6:51

    Rosomyakhy, of course.

  11. Lesley said,

    February 20, 2009 at 6:55

    Give a wingnut you love some attention tomorrow, friends. It’s not easy, being this wrong all the time.

    Wingnuts embrace easy. If being wrong required effort, they’d make more of an effort to be right.

  12. Saint Alec said,

    February 20, 2009 at 7:02

    Wingnuts embrace easy.

    In point of fact, as neither a man nor the Devil nor a synthetic opioid you have no idea how easy.

  13. Neil said,

    February 20, 2009 at 7:23

    Is Obama still going to negotiate with the Russian petro-autocrats?

  14. Neil said,

    February 20, 2009 at 7:47

    Obama bad! Ugga-bugga-bugga!

  15. DocAmazing said,

    February 20, 2009 at 7:52

    Funny the nuked-to-the-bedrock-and-bought-at-fire-sale-prices-by-oligarchs Russian economy should come up in conversation, as i just heard Lawrence Summers–the guy who held the oligarch’s coats while they looted under Yeltsin–convinced Obama not to hold those bank execs who had already received their TARP disbursements to the $500 grand salary cap.

    Good to know that our economy is getting the same tender loving care as the post-Soviet Russian economy got.

  16. Saint Alec said,

    February 20, 2009 at 8:04

    I would strongly urge any wandering righties who feel that Russophobia is a winning campaign issue to reconsider – your boy sucked more post-Soviet pud than every Moldovan woman put together.

  17. Boris Badenov and Natasha Fatale said,

    February 20, 2009 at 8:14

    Get moose and squirrel!

  18. Me said,

    February 20, 2009 at 8:16

    special whipped wrongness frosting on the Error Food Cake

    Mister Leonard fucking Pierce, it’s been too long.

  19. krassen said,

    February 20, 2009 at 8:25

    here’s the moment where I formulated in my mind a perfectly vicious, sarcastic remark: “Yeah? What next, learning from the Taliban?”

    And then remembered that they DID say that they were learning from the Taliban…

    Very, very tough times for the snark-lovers….

  20. Bina said,

    February 20, 2009 at 8:35

    Russia…where kapitalism worked great, tovarishch.

  21. smokey said,

    February 20, 2009 at 8:36

    wtf is that god-awful cartoon doing on the Slooping Aces site. Sad, irrelevant and out-of-date, all at once…….

  22. smokey said,

    February 20, 2009 at 8:49

    its even worse, hes even got ‘old west’ style pictures of his contributors. Probably can’t put the real pics in, would look like the ‘before’ picture on weightwatchers…..

    (ohhh….. lookist….)

  23. Lesley said,

    February 20, 2009 at 8:51

    Where were the wingnut protests in 2001 when

    Bush and Putin: Best of friends

    and

    I looked the man in the eye. I was able to get a sense of his soul – George Bush

    Tragically

    October 12, 2007 – The Bush administration’s failure to win Russia’s consent to install U.S. missile defenses in its European backyard and a growing list of other disputes suggest that President Bush and his aides have misread the man whose “soul” Bush thought he’d divined when they first met six years ago.

    because the man whose soul is probably as shallow as the man who divined it has more of a brain than your average Bush and Bush aide.

  24. M. Bouffant said,

    February 20, 2009 at 9:24

    Wingnuts must love the new Russia, where journalists’ lives are worth the papers they’re printed in. Almost.

  25. Vladimir Putin said,

    February 20, 2009 at 10:02

    Leave Bond to me.

  26. justme said,

    February 20, 2009 at 10:12

    Sadly, I’m not unconvinced that they really do want that sort of thing to happen here. Hell, there’s no real way for the Norquists and their ilk to starve the beast as long as the people can still afford government. They already tried tax-cutting it to death, and despite thirty years of trying, that hasn’t worked. I think they actually believe that bankrupting everybody, save themselves of course, is the way to their dream of smaller government.

  27. tensor said,

    February 20, 2009 at 10:18

    Is Obama still going to negotiate with the Russian petro-autocrats?

    Howzabout Putin dresses up in fighter-jock drag and speaks his native Russian like a third-rate dropout from Berlitz? Would that make it OK?

    Yes, your Chimperor McFlightsuit did define “negotiate” as “one of them big words those fancy-pants teachers in Daddy’s old schools used to beat me with,” but you don’t have to agree. You could join the 78% of Americans who recognize negotiations as a tough job that real statesmen do. But that would require understanding reality, with its well-known liberal bias, wouldn’t it?

    Instead, you troll a lefty snark blog, flinging some drug addict’s irrelevant talking points like you could think them up yourself, in the dwindling hope of distracting us from feasting upon your hapless irrelevance. (Ruining another child’s birthday party was your only real fun in childhood, wasn’t it?) Your leader was an incurious, drunken buffoon, your entire philosophy came from a long, boring novel you read in college and never got over, and both of them nearly took down history’s most powerful and promising country. Now, we who suffered through many years of their corruption and stupidity are having ourselves a wee chuckle or two as we painstakingly rebuild what you almost destroyed, and you churlishly seek to deny us even that relief.

    Wrong again, loser. We love the smell of roasted troll. Keep the meat a-comin’!

  28. Judas Peckerwood said,

    February 20, 2009 at 10:20

    IF YOU LIKE THE GOVERNMENT IN RUSSIA SO MUCH, WHY DON’T YOU GO AND LIVE THERE?!!!

    God, I’ve been waiting my whole life to be able to say that.

  29. M. Bouffant said,

    February 20, 2009 at 10:45

    wtf is that god-awful cartoon doing on the Slooping Aces site.

    You may be too young to recognize it, but it’s an homage (or just plain rip-off) of the opening sequence of “The Wild, Wild West,” the crappy ’60s tee vee show that brought Hollywood wing-nut Robert (“Shrimpy”) Conrad to fame.

    Of course the wingnertz love Westerns. Simple & violent.

  30. Leon Trotsky, Exile-in-Mexico said,

    February 20, 2009 at 11:02

    Yes, because if there’s one thing we as Americans in the worse economic spiral facing our nation in our history, after the work of corrupt ultra-nationalist plutocrats to destroy us over the past 20 years, is to emulate the country where about 75% of the government is run by Organizatiya-bought shitbags.

    Next up, emulation of Sicily’s network of Mafia dons.

  31. Saint Jesus said,

    February 20, 2009 at 11:15

    Of course the wingnertz love Westerns. Simple & violent.

    Of course, the one they’re supposed to like b’cauz of Strauss is Gunsmoke. I have said this before, but I’ll just say it again to make sure: watch The Power of Nightmares, if only to see William Kristol (raised by a Straussian) slinging more transparent moralist bullshit than Engineer Scott could sell to a thousand 1980s chemical engineers. They think they’re appointed by God to minister noble lies to us simple peons, see.

    And when they’re not too bright, that winds up being really funny.

  32. Edmund Schluessel said,

    February 20, 2009 at 11:52

    But someone with peppy poppy propaganda couldn’t possibly be malfeasant!

  33. owlbear1 said,

    February 20, 2009 at 12:21

    Q:There’s a feeling that Paulson knew that he could only get so much through. Is there a game of politics, to some extent, being played here? …

    A: I think it’s possible to greatly exaggerate the extent to which the players involved knew what they were doing. … I spent a little while in the U.S. government 26 years ago, and the general impression that I have is that the level of sheer chaos and ignorance that goes into policy decisions is greater than you can possibly imagine. So I think it was just a wild, sort of crazy-logic, pinball thing. And fortunately we ended up with something that was fairly sensible at the end.
    —-
    Q:… That’s one of the things that has, of course, been such a problem, because confidence levels are shaken when these decisions kept on being made in such a sporadic and quick fashion.

    A: I haven’t been able to document it, but I’m pretty sure that we have a real problem, … that years of politicized appointments and disregard for longtime civil servants have left the Treasury without the institutional competence. I noticed that in order to carry out our financial rescue, U.S. Treasury Department is subcontracting out to Wall Street to find people. … I don’t hear anything like that about Her Majesty’s Treasury in Britain. My guess is that HM Treasury has actually got the people who know how to do this on staff. And U.S. Treasury, at this point, does not.

    http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/pages/frontline/meltdown/interviews/krugman.html

    Reassuring

  34. Arky said,

    February 20, 2009 at 13:34

    May St. Ron smack them upside the head with his Capitalist Cock.

  35. WereBear said,

    February 20, 2009 at 14:32

    think it’s possible to greatly exaggerate the extent to which the players involved knew what they were doing

    This is your government on Wingnut. Any questions?

  36. Steve M. said,

    February 20, 2009 at 14:33

    Yeah, the Russian economy’s in a bit of trouble. But liberal journalists can be murdered with impunity in Russia. That’s gotta seem pretty appealing to the wingnuts.

  37. tigrismus said,

    February 20, 2009 at 16:58

    Rather than learn from Russia’s example the left in the U.S. thinks it can succeed where every other nation has failed.

    Every nation! Sweden’s banks = more failed-ier after nationalization than before!

    Also, that Anchoress link is solid gold: basically, free speech means I can say nigger but you can’t call me a racist. AWESOME!

  38. Mr. Wonderful said,

    February 20, 2009 at 17:43

    “free speech means I can say nigger but you can’t call me a racist. AWESOME!”

    Love this. Check out the NY Post’s sulky-teen “apology” for yesterday’s cop-shoots-chimp cartoon. “If you felt bad, we’re sorry. But we know you already hate us, nuh-uh.”

    (Welcome back, Pierce.)

  39. Mr. Wonderful said,

    February 20, 2009 at 17:44

    Fuck. “But IF we know you already hate us,” etc.

  40. Proteus454 said,

    February 20, 2009 at 19:46

    It’s kinda low hanging fruit, I know. But this line stood out in particular as especially self-unaware gigglebait.

    Rather than learn from Russia’s example the left in the U.S. thinks it can succeed where every other nation has failed.

    ‘Scuse me, did a bunch of war-mongering, flagpole-humping rightists – the kind of people who can be relied upon to handwave away (for example) the distinct quagmirishness of Afghanistan with pompous assertions that One American Soldier Is Worth However Many Eurowimps Or Brown Devils – just chide people for (allegedly) thinking the US can succeed at something by simple virtue of, well, being the US?

    Cripes.
    M’just sayin’.

  41. Another Kiwi said,

    February 20, 2009 at 22:09

    I, for one, would welcome a Yalta conference to get this sorted out. The Chechen and American mafias must have a solid agreement in place if true progress is to occur.

  42. slightly_peeved said,

    February 21, 2009 at 14:38

    the left in the U.S. thinks it can succeed where every other nation has failed.

    Because the U.S. economy’s doing so well at the moment, and all those other western democracies are doing so badly…

  43. hello said,

    December 20, 2011 at 3:24

    2 ice

Leave a Comment

  • Things of Interest

  • Meta Goodness

  • Clunkers

  • httpbl_stats()