Friday, October 16, 2009

Russia's Shrinking Too

Russia has plenty of problems like any country. Bad economy, terrible income inequality, no free press, a secret police, low birth rates, shorter life spans, and crazy alcohol problems. They also have the KGB Mob running the show. At least they have oil and gas riches. What a country! They have an awful demographic problem that makes Japan's problem look mild. They try lame programs to increase the population to no avail. It's not a new problem, and it will stay with them for decades. A dangerous thing for Russia is that as they age like every nation, the problem is worse for them as the life expectancy is so short. Adult men have a life expectancy of 60, worse than 3rd world nations! How could this happen in a country with socialized medicine??? Thousands die from tuberculosis every year in Russia. This is a sick and dying country.

Despite this demographic death march, Russia has a unique role on the world stage... because of their nuclear arsenal. Their current military uses old junk or deploys systems that don't compete with the US or even Chinese equipment (ask Syria how Russki radar & anti-aircraft tech is). Throw in their status as the world's largest producer of oil, and suddenly it makes sense how Russia roars when oil is priced high & meows when it is low (see 1970s compared to the 1980s). Russia has a reason to juice geopolitical events to get oil up. Russia has a reason to be against missile defense. It's not for use against their huge arsenal, but against proxy rogue nations Russia can use to pester the USA. Russia can proclaim disgust with Iran-US relations, do nothing to help prevent an incident, but then sit back & count the dollars-euros-yen when the price of oil spikes to $150 after a bombing. Those oil riches enable their oligarchs to live lavishly and the Russian government to send enough crumbs to the peasants to keep them pacified. They need oil at $95 per bbl to cover their budget. It would benefit the US population if this was mentioned during most foreign policy articles or columns that have Russia on 'the other side' or demanding something from the West or the USA. This is also why we should switch to nat gas for a transportation fuel, especially now w/high unemployment. Take the 'oil weapon' away from the totalitarian states and terrorist funding nations.

Russia dying and the acceleration of it's death is discussed here in this clip and in other clips from the same special. I will believe all is well with them when they stop exporting their young, attractive women.

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