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:
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.