Russian health care
Source Louis Proyect
Date 04/05/18/12:33

Chris Doss wrote:
>PS. there was a leftist version of this narrative that basically had
Russia condemned to eternal hellfire for the sin of having adopted a
market economy.)<

Can you come up with an example of this "leftist version"? What about
this. Is this the sort of thing you are talking about?

Between 1992 and 1995, Russia's GDP fell 42 percent and industrial
production fell 46 percent--far worse than the contraction of the U.S.
economy during the Great Depression. Worse, pace Dr. Sachs, it has yet
to recover. Since 1989, the Russian economy has halved in size, and
continues to drop. Real incomes have plummeted 40 percent since 1991; 80
percent of Russians now have no savings. The Russian government,
bankrupted by the collapse of economic activity, stopped paying the
salaries of millions of employees and dependents. Unemployment soared,
particularly among women. By the mid to late nineties, more than
forty-four million of Russia's 148 million people were living in poverty
(defined as living on less than thirty-two dollars per month); three
quarters of the population live on less than one hundred dollars per
month. Suicides doubled and deaths from alcohol abuse tripled in the
mid-nineties. Infant mortality reached third-world levels while the
birthrate plummeted. After five years of reform, life expectancy fell by
two years (to seventy-two) for women and by four years (to fifty-eight)
for men--lower than a century ago for the latter. Currently, deaths so
greatly exceed births that the Russian population is falling by about
one million per year. If these trends continue, in the next thirty years
Russia's population is expected to fall from 147 million to 123
million--a demographic collapse not seen since the Second World War.


Or this:

In Russia the pillage was even worse and the economic decline was if
anything more severe. By the mid 1990's, over 50% of the population (and
even more outside of Moscow and St. Peterburg - formerly Leningrad)
lived in poverty, homelessness increased and universal comprehensive
health and education services collapsed. Never in peace-time modern
history has a country fallen so quickly and profoundly as is the case of
capitalist Russia. The economy was "privatized" - that is, it was taken
over by Russian gangsters led by the eight billionaire oligarchs who
shipped over $200 billion dollars out of the country, mainly to banks in
New York, Tel Aviv, London and Switzerland. Murder and terror was the
chosen weapon of "economic competitiveness" as every sector of the
economy and science was decimated and most highly trained world class
scientists were starved of resources, basic facilities and income. The
principal beneficiaries were former Soviet bureaucrats, mafia bosses, US
and Israeli banks, European land speculators, US empire-builders,
militarists and multinational corporations. Presidents Bush (father) and
Clinton provided the political and economic backing to the Gorbachov and
Yeltsin regimes which oversaw the pillage of Russia, aided and abetted
by the European Union and Israel. The result of massive pillage,
unemployment and the subsequent poverty and desperation was a huge
increase in suicide, psychological disorders, alcoholism, drug addiction
and diseases rarely seen in Soviet times. Life expectancy among Russian
males fell from 64 years in the last year of socialism to 58 years in
2003 ( Wall Street Journal, 2/4/2004), below the level of Bangladesh and
16 years below Cuba's 74 years (Cuban National Statistics 2002). The
transition to capitalism in Russia alone led to over 15 million
premature deaths (deaths which would not have occurred if life
expectancy rates had remained at the levels under socialism). These
socially induced deaths under emerging capitalism are comparable to the
worst period of the purges of the 1930's. Demographic experts predict
Russia's population will decline by 30% over the next decades (WSJ Feb
4, 2004).


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