Report From Moscow
Report From Moscow
by Barkley Rosser
My wife, Marina, has returned from a two and a half week to Moscow to visit her 93 year old mother. She almost got bumped from her Turkish Airlines flight out of Moscow through Istanbul, but her travel agent managed to get her back on. Very glad she is back. Anyway, a few first hand current reports.
Yes, in terms of living standards, in Moscow most things are operating and there are plenty of goods in the stores, although prices are high. There is a major effort to have things seem “normal,” lots of cooking shows on TV. It is true that a lot of foreign goods are not available, although there are odd exceptions. Thus apparently French and Italian wines are available. Also, KFC is all over the place, although this would appear to be a franchise. Apparently Marriott hotels have been bought “for a dime” by the Saudis, who are now badly mismanaging them.
Many things are either not reported or reported very differently than over here. So supposedly the referenda on annexation were “transparent.” People lined up to vote were shown on TV and there were some international observers testifying to this “transparency,” from Syria, South Africa, and Brazil. No guns being pointed at anybody supposedly.
Yes, it was a big freakout when the partial mobilization was announced. One of her best friends had her son conscripted. Apparently there is a known going price to get out of being conscripted: 5000 euros, yes, euros, not rmb/yuan or USD, and definitely not rubles, with the ruble/euro rate much worse in practice than the official rate.
My wife reminds me that there are still many “good and wise people” there, but unfortunately they are not in charge or having much say with those who are.
Oh, and a festschrift is being organized by the Russian Economic Federation for our old friend Victor Polterovich, now 85 years old and probably the most eminent economist in Russia at this time.
Polterovich, now 85 years old and probably the most eminent economist in Russia at this time.
, do you make 茶
; when it’s easier for me
to make the tea
do you see what life is all about?
it is all about opportunity cost. Ceu
do you fully understand the tactics we are now using to fight World War III? do you see how we are sending our outmoded artillery pieces and outmoded smart ammo straight to the Ukrainiams when we could be doing something much simpler and much more effective?
we could simply facilitate the movement of those NATOnians who want to come to America a trip to Arizona, Nevada, Oregon, and other places that are begging for a greater population of workers to fund there retirement fund Ponzi. such an immigration would open up electron holes in NATO Nations which would attract more Ukrainian refugees thus reducing Ukraine itself to a ghost town devoid of population but full of land mines.
Over time the thwarted lust for other people’s blood would drive the Russian Dictator’s mind into self destruct mode, leaving him as a babbling idiot drowning in his own excrement.
Just keep him in
calling retirement plans Ponzi schemes shows such ignorance it damages your credibility on other things.
ALL investment plans rely on future customers to pay for them. Relying on future customers is not what makes Ponzi a scheme. Having no possible way to assure even a probability of new customers is what makes it a scheme…as, of course…lying about the source of the returns.
The R’s have convinced everone that the United States of America has no resources to pay its promises. The system is fully transparent except to those that will not look.
As long as people are going to want a secure place to save for their basic retirement needs, Social Security will be fully financed. The only danger to it now is the people lying about it. and the people who believe the liars.
State pensions are similar…a little less secure because they do not have the resource base to absolutely guarantee their pensions.
I have good reason to believe Justin is Russian. Retirement for him may be a Gulag. He is a good commenter. That does not mean he is right either.
Well, the Saudis buying hotels for a dime is perhaps better than the way that the Radisson went into Russian ownership back in my time there. AK 47 shooting of the American CEO at the time. Knew him, slightly. I guess we might be able to say things advance, even if slowly?
retailers in this Turkish resort city is struggling after Turkish banks pulled out of the Russian Mir payment system:
Exiting Mir system may not affect Russian tourist visits –
so at least the sanctions are working…