[lbo-talk] Russia's economy

Doug Henwood dhenwood at panix.com
Fri May 11 09:45:49 PDT 2007

On May 11, 2007, at 3:22 AM, James Heartfield wrote:

> Doug:
> "but who said that Russia is just a third world
> country being sucked dry of its oil?"
> Maybe I misread, but that did seem to be the tenor of Andie's
> contribution.
> "The argument is that Russia is not creating any new industries or
> investing
> in the capital infrastructure necessary for future prosperity. It's
> growing,
> but not developing."
> It is not developing new industries like China, but then China was an
> overwhelmingly peasant economy twenty years ago, and is
> industrialising and
> urbanising. A lot of Chinese investment is construction, because whole
> cities are being built. Russia is not developing like that because it
> industrialised and urbanised in the 1930s.

Yes, but as Jeffrey Sachs put it in his ghoulish old way - before he was born again as a disciple of Bono - the Russian industrial infrastructure had to be destroyed, while China was starting from scratch. That is, the inheritance of USSR was not up to modern standards if the economy was going to open up to the outside world. Outside natural resources and maybe basic metals, what companies has Russia created that counts for anything on a global scale?


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