Russia, opium

Charles Brown CharlesB at
Mon May 28 13:30:08 PDT 2001

>>> chrisd at 05/28/01 03:21AM >>>

CB: What do is your assessment of the accuracy of the reports on drastic drop in life expectancy in Russia since capitalism came in ?

Pretty accurate -- a ten-year drop in male life expectancy, mostly caused by an increase in deaths by poisoning, suicide, homicide, and alcoholism. Decline varies of course according to region. Female life expectancy has not declined noticeably -- it's still about 70.

I was thinking of official poverty rates. They do not take into account that at much as 60% of the Russian economy is shadow and not on the books


CB: I was wondering how people could get along without being paid for months or more. An unofficial economy seemed to be implied. I wonder how it should be characterized: anarchist economy ?


(there was a Russian government study a while back that reported that average monthy income was $50 and average monthy spending was $150). For instance, a friend of mine offially earns about $40 dollars a month. In the real world, he earns $1000 dollars a month. This is not atypical.

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