Friday, March 07, 2008

After Putin: Russia is doing better, russians not so good

Kommersant published its last article about the social, demographic, political, and other changes that Russia has underwent in the last eight years. They had 2 gidelines:

  1. Not to discuss politics and ideology. Just find out whether he has done what he had promised.
  2. To mention only those results which can be estimated in numbers taken from official statistics or from special research.
Acoordind to them, Russia now faces the same issues and tasks which it faced early in Putin’s presidency.

  • President Putin who started speaking openly about the poverty issue in Russia. In this period There has appeared the so-called hereditary poverty. Its cause is not the general economic situation. It is due to certain families’ incapability of economic activity and their social degradation.
  • Salaries of teachers and professors still make up 60-70 percent of Russia’s average salary, which makes professional degradation and corruption inevitable.
  • Infant death rate reduced. Is still too high. And the birth rate has indeed increased: Russia’s birth rate fell to its minimum in 1999, long before the state’s measures to support childbirth could produce any effect.
  • Russia’s influence was growing together with oil prices growth. Russia managed to assert itself as an independent great power, but its foreign policy achievements are much more modest.
  • So, the state’s healthcare expenditures in the last eight years have grown – from 2.7 percent of GDP in 1999 to 3.5 percent in 2006, which is a growth by 76 percent in real terms. Yet, these expenditures do not seem to be very effective.

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