Too Much Affordable Healthcare, Not Enough iPhones: Analysts Slam Quality of Life in Russia

Please stop

A photograph of a civilized society
A photograph of a civilized society

Living in Russia is the equivalent of voluntarily submerging yourself in a grain silo full of poisonous spiders, according to a gentleman at Forbes who read a website. 

Kenneth Rapoza, who covers business and investing in emerging markets for Forbes, had this to say about the appalling quality of life in Russia:

[W]hen it comes to overall quality of life, Russia ranks lower than all of the big emerging markets. Even Mexico with its corruption and drug lords does better.

According to the big data cost of living number crunchers at Numbeo, Russia's biggest problems are weather; Moscow traffic that makes the 405 in Los Angeles and the Marginal in Sao Paulo seem tame; outrageous real estate prices in city centers, and pollution.

We forwarded this article to one of our wisest contributors (and also a longtime resident of Moscow). He was not particularly impressed:

Hey, whatever rows Rapoza's boat.... apparently he hasn't lived here. Sure, the weather can be a challenge for those expecting the Florida Keys, but it is what it is and has been so for millennia.

Certainly the plethora of choices existing in the retail world is less in Russia especially today, but what defines his take on quality of life? Healthcare? OK, pay for a 2 week hospital stay with all the cutting and stitching with anesthesia and my guess is that Russia comes out WAY ahead of even Obama + Trumpcare and whatever insurance you've paid premiums on.

No mention of how much of the "quality of life" is lived on credit, ie; debt.... that would really be a sobering wake up comparison. Fortunately, aside from small cap debt scams for the working stiff, in Russia there is far less exposure to living on credit cards and such. Also, don't forget that most average Russians receive their net salary, everything has been done, no anxiety come April 15th and paying H&R Block or some CPA to sort through labyrinthine IRS epics to ensure your house isn't seized.

Pollution? What pollution? I'm a smoker, it all feels good! Traffic jams? I don't get them except when I choose to drive somewhere as public transport in Russia is pretty efficient and less expensive than the NYC subway by far. As for safety, whoever crunched the numbers hasn't walked the streets of any city in the Russian Federation. I on the other hand was born & raised in NYC and have the scars and holes in my body to prove it!

Arguing this apples to oranges comparison is futile, it is pissing against the wind. The fullness of time will define things quite well I think.

We couldn't agree more. 

Do these kinds of "quality of life" comparisons have any intrinsic value? People are different — and oddly enough, there is a wide range of opinion regarding what constitutes a "good life". 

The variables involved cannot be found on "Numbeo" — or any other website, for that matter. 

Without even looking, we're sure that the United States scores very high on this "quality of life" ranking system. On the other hand, "about 15 million children in the United States – 21% of all children – live in families with incomes below the federal poverty threshold, a measurement that has been shown to underestimate the  needs of families." Does this mean every child in America suffers? Certainly not. But it does mean that quality of life rankings are silly. 

Russia is a great country to live in if you want to live a life that is consistent with Russia's values and culture. Same goes with every other country on earth. 

For example, if you're an Atlantic Council senior fellow who holds a master's degree in Feelings and sexually identifies as an Apache attack helicopter — Russia is probably not a good fit for you.

The End.