Like taking candy from a baby...
Scott Gilmore is not the person you think he is.
On the surface, Gilmore is a do-gooder. He founded the charity Building Markets, which specializes in bringing entrepreneurship to developing countries. Partnering with such entities as the Clinton Global Initiative, Building Markets seeks to raise the standard of living for citizens living in the developing world.
So why he wrote an article trashing various countries for the size of their economies and their relative poverty in order to prove a spurious point about Russia is not a question that we can necessarily answer for him. Apparently, for Gilmore, like a lot of social liberals, there’s a Right Kind of Poor, and there’s a Wrong Kind of Poor. And it’s always okay to use poor as an insult if the people you are demeaning are the Wrong Kind of Poor. And Gilmore thinks Russia is the Wrong Kind of Poor. And we all know people who are the Wrong Kind of Poor are also stupid, which is what makes them poor, and which also causes them to riot at soccer games.
One would think, considering Gilmore’s charitable endeavors, he wouldn’t be into shaming countries for failing to achieve his particular standards of wealth. But anything for the glorious cause of Russia-hating!
Its economy is smaller than South Korea’s.
That would only be an insult if South Korea had a small economy. Perhaps Gilmore is banking on his American audience not knowing the difference between North and South Korea. That’s okay. A lot of white people can’t tell Asians apart, so why would they realize there are two very different Koreas? Or maybe he’s pinning his hopes on Americans thinking that Korea, a Asian country, instead of being a global tech leader, is stuck in a continuous loop of M*A*S*H reruns.
South Korea is Asia’s fourth largest economy, and the twelfth largest economy in the world, following countries like China and Japan, and is the world’s sixth largest exporter of goods. Korea boasts corporations such as Samsung, LG, SK, Lotte, Shinhan Financial Group, and Hyundai/Kia.
Its people are poorer than Kazakhstan’s.
Earlier this year, The Moscow Times reported that, due to the weak ruble, Russians’ average monthly salary had fallen to $558 a month, while that of Kazakhstan and Belarus was $549.
Wait. 558-549 yields a positive number. That means Russians’ monthly salary, at the time of that report, were higher than that of Kazakhstan, which means that Russians are actually not poorer than Kazakhs. Which means you told a whopper, Scott Gilmore.
Indeed, according to Trading Economics, Kazakhstan’s monthly wage is 133,991 tenge, which translates to about $400 USD.
Wages in Russia have gone up since April, hovering around $567 per month.
Considering how many people across the globe live on less than a dollar a day, and considering that there are a fair number of Millenials with bachelor's degrees in Canada and the US making around $600 a month, if I were Scott Gilmore, I'd watch who I called poor.
Gilmore also fails to consider that the cost of living in Russia is about half of what it is in the United States.
It trails Finland in technology.
And Mt. Everest sucks because it is shorter than K2. That is basically the crux of his argument here.
And it has a smaller military budget than Saudi Arabia.
Saudi Arabia needs a bigger military budget to spend on advanced head-chopping machinery. I hear next year they’re going to spring for a guillotine.
A boozy Boris Yeltsin was a fitting representative for a country whose average life expectancy tumbled a staggering five years in the wake of the fall.
Yes, Yeltsin was a profound drunk. Congratulations, Westerner, on realizing at least some of St. Boris’s failings at last. The problem here is that the Gilmore is implying that Yeltsin’s bungling and drunkenness are somehow emblematic of the Russian people. Let’s not even address the racism in that comment. Let’s rather address the fact that most Russians hate Yeltsin and hold him responsible for the economic and social chaos of the 1990s. Not only that, Yeltsin was beloved by the West, who saw in him someone, unlike Putin, who would deliver on Western goals for Russia.
It’s just easier to write about how Russians are a bunch of drunk rednecks.
Fortunately, they won’t live very long.
Oh, what’s that you say? According to this 2013 report by the OECD, average life expectancy at birth for a Russian male was 65; for a female, 75; giving an overall average of about 70. In 2009, it was 60 for men and 73 for women. Thus, life expectancy in Russia is increasing. These changes are due to healthier choices Russians are making, such as smoking and drinking less, and exercising more. Vladimir Putin is overseeing efforts to cut Russian binge drinking and alcohol-related deaths.
And it is poor. The World Bank ranks Russia’s GDP per capita below Lithuania, Equatorial Guinea, and Kazakhstan.
Seriously, what is it with this guy and Kazakhstan? The World Bank ranks Russia’s GDP at 12,736 and Kazakhstan’s at 12,602. Maybe learn to read a chart. The United Nations lists Russia’s GDP at 12,972 and oil-rich Kazakhstan’s is 12,436.
Equatorial Guinea isn’t poor. An oil-rich nation with economic and business ties with the United States, its GDP is the highest in Sub-Saharan African.
GDP per capita, by the way, is not a great measure of living standards.
A larger proportion of its population lives below the poverty rate than in Indonesia, India, or Sri Lanka. It is ranked 67th in the world in the Global Competitive Index and 66th in the UN’s Human Development Index.
Russia is poor, you guys. POOR. Which is Canadian/American for “the worst thing you can be.”
Gilmore didn’t post any links to his statistics, so aside from this being classist and racist BS, he’s completely wrong that India has a lower percentage of its population in poverty than Russia. India’s “official” poverty rate is about 22%, but most India watchers agree that the percentage is greater. Either way, Gilmore’s assertion is Pants on Fire-level BS.
Intellectually, Russia is a distant speck in the rearview mirror. Once, esteemed Soviet universities educated the engineers and doctors of the developing world. Now, the United Nations ranks Russia’s education system behind nearly every other European country, and on par with the Pacific island of Palau.
The Pacific island of Palau? You mean where THE BROWN PEOPLE live?
By one ranking, in 2012, Russia was ranked in the top 20 educational systems in the world. In 2015/16, Russia had jumped to number 13, one place ahead of the United States.
On this ranking of 15-year-olds by math achievement, Russia is 35 out of 76, but they certainly don’t place last in Europe. Sweden, Croatia, the Slovak Republic, Ukraine, Greece, and other European nations trailed Russia in math scores.
The United States outspends its peers in educational spending per child. However, American schools are still unequal and underperforming. According to an OECD report, American schoolchildren fall below the OECD average in reading, math, and science. Maybe Scottie here should worry about the phalanx of dummies threatening to rush his southern border if Trump gets elected than Russia’s educational rankings, which are just fine, by the way.
If Gilmore looked at the same UN chart I am, Russia ranks 57 out of 187. His assertion that Russia is ranked behind every other country in Europe on this chart is completely false. The last time I checked, Bulgaria (58), Georgia (70), Serbia (77), and Ukraine (83) were in Europe. The UN Education Index is not even a measure of how countries are performing educationally. It is a calculation based on the mean years of schooling index and expected years of schooling index.
The technological leader that launched Sputnik now produces fewer patents per capita than Iceland. Its scientific publications are cited less often than Finland’s.
Is Gilmore getting misty-eyed about the USSR? Because I thought that was a no-no.
When we talk about the Eurocup, we talk about Russian hooligans rioting in the stands, attacking other spectators, and even assaulting tourists on the trains home. Or we marvel at the belligerent response from Moscow when Igor Lebedev, the Deputy Chairman of the Russian parliament and a senior official in the Russian soccer official tweeted “I don’t see anything wrong with the fans fighting. Quite the opposite, well done lads, keep it up!”
Although a French court convicted English, not Russian, fans of rioting, it's the Russian fans who caused all the problems.
Since when did it become gauche to riot at soccer games? As far back as I can recall, soccer and rioting have been synonymous. I am not saying people should riot at soccer games, but the Russian fans’ carousing is not exactly an isolated incident, nor is rioting at soccer games the purview of any one nation in particular.
There is so much hypocritical BS in his calling out Russia that I do feel it’s incumbent to remind Gilmore of the 2011 hockey riot in Vancouver. Gilmore may have forgotten, but the internet has not.
Also? What is with trashing Russia’s soccer team, and holding its poor playing as emblematic of all the country’s failings? Russia’s soccer team played abominably, but how does that have anything to do with their geopolitical maneuverings, their educational ranking, or their GDP per capita? Answer? It doesn’t.
Here’s a little food for thought:
Canada’s soccer team is ranked at 93. That means they suck almost as much as Estonia, but they suck more than St. Kitts and Nevis (92) Where was Canada at the Copa America? Oh, that’s right. They weren’t eligible. At least Russia, a victim of domestic terrorism, German invasions, social and economic collapse, bloody revolution, and Mongol hordes, qualified to for its regional game.
Maybe Scott Gilmore has a point. There is indeed one serious area of social progress in which Russia is severely lacking.
Pictured below is the field in which Russia grows its fucks. Look upon it and see that it is barren.