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According to the April 2020 update of the IMF’s WEO Database.

List by the IMF (2020 estimates)[5]

Rank Country/Territory GDP
(millions of current Int$)
World 138,352,382 [9]
1 China[n 2] 27,804,953 [10]
2 United States 20,289,987
European Union[n 3] 18,377,114 [12]
3 India 11,321,280 [13]
ASEAN[n 4] 9,326,707 [15]
4 Japan 5,451,452
5 Russia 4,176,350
6 Germany 4,160,925
7 Indonesia 3,778,134
8 Brazil 3,316,920
9 United Kingdom 2,975,557
10 France 2,860,018
11 Mexico 2,458,339
12 Korea, South 2,307,718
13 Turkey 2,257,987
14 Italy 2,244,767
15 Saudi Arabia 1,869,288

Not a big deal. It already happened in 2013. And Russia came very close to overtaking Germany as early as 2008. So the real story is one of Russia and Germany intermittently flipping places (in PPP terms) in line with global economic and oil price trends.

Coronavirus not changing much in this regard, Russia is going to be hit hard by the oil price collapse, but so is Germany by the collapse of international demand for its industrial exports.

More interesting trend in that general $4 trillion region is how Indonesia has been steadily catching up, now soaring well past Brazil. I don’t think it will escape the middle income trap (mediocre IQ), so expect it to join the long tussle between Germany & Russia (unless the latter revvies up in the 2020s and draws closer to Japan).

More generally, the big change is how the EU has suddenly fallen distinctly behind the US (Brexit) and how China continues soaring above the US.

 

 
• Category: Economics • Tags: GDP, Russia 
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  1. Please keep off topic posts to the current Open Thread.

    If you are new to my work, start here.

  2. Svevlad says:

    Did you see this? It’s pretty… Intriguing. Especially the few hundred million americans just being unpersoned by 2025. http://www.deagel.com/country/forecast.aspx

    Anyways, Jakarta now has more people than Delhi. Impressive

    • Replies: @Tor597
  3. Russia will almost certainly keep moving towards Japan’s position and possibly even overtake in the late 2020s. Though economic predictions are dangerous to make these days. Japan is now losing over 500,ooo people a year due to its woeful demographic situation and has been languishing in the 0-1% growth range for some time now.

  4. TG says:

    Do these plots per capita, comes another story.

    Yes India has a big economy: divided by 1.3 billion, it’s basically worse than late medieval Europe.

    If you only care about power, and not about how the average person lives, you may say “So what. Power is power.” Maybe not. A billion chronically malnourished peasants may perhaps have a total economic activity as big as 50 million rich first-worlders, but the later have (potentially) far more freedom of action, and can (potentially) invest in new enterprises and develop even greater wealth, while the massive number of malnourished people can only achieve bare survival with little left over to do anything new.

    Compare 1850 United States vs. 1850 Imperial China. If anything, China had a bigger total economy at the time. But one country became the greatest industrial superpower that the world had ever seen, the other remained stuck in poverty and corruption. How did that happen, do you think?

  5. @AltSerrice

    Quality of life is more important than GDP. While an aging and shrinking population has its downside both economically and socially, I feel quality of life continues to increase in Japan. Fewer people means more resources for everyone left.

    I feel this emphasis on GDP is a way to trick people into accepting massive amounts of immigration. I recall a British/ Jewish analyst bemoaning the notion that the British would sacrifice GDP for less immigration. He couldn’t understand that saving British culture and way of life was more important than money.

  6. Rahan says:

    This “purchase parity GDP” thing is good, more realistic than “nominal”, but the reader still has to remember to apply additional interpretative filters. For example “how is the actual wealth distributed”, because otherwise one ends up with India being more prosperous than any EU country, and Indonesia and Brazil being more prosperous that any EU country except Germany. And the House of Saud also pretending to be a country.

    Then, like with all GDP, it’s best to additionally remember where does the GDP come from? Is it from: a) actual stuff being made and marketed and supplied, or b) debts and promises being bought and sold, or c) tourism, or d) sales of oil and gas and ores and sheit, and so on.

    Because a number of countries may have the same GDP on paper, even as purchase parity, but the “nature” of the wealth, as well as its distribution, is what makes the difference.

    Anyway, I periodically check up on this blog (https://halfreeman.wordpress.com/) of an American retiree living in a small Russian town, and apparently over the last decade, Russia really has stabilized into a normal country with a fairly nice quality of life. Let’s hope this state of affairs outlasts Mr. Putin and does not depend solely on a “kindly tsar”.

    • Replies: @Carlo
  7. antibeast says:
    @TG

    Compare 1850 United States vs. 1850 Imperial China. If anything, China had a bigger total economy at the time. But one country became the greatest industrial superpower that the world had ever seen, the other remained stuck in poverty and corruption. How did that happen, do you think?

    One word: Opium.

  8. Carlo says:
    @Rahan

    You are right. Regarding Russia, its economy is basically compounded of A and D, few C, almost nothing B. So a very healthy economy. EU and US have a much larger proportion of B, while A surely is still important.

    • Replies: @128
  9. Morris39 says:

    Where do you get your data? Wikipedia ranks Canada # 10 and Russia # 11 according to several international sources. Russian population = 4x Canada’s. What exactly is your message?

    • Troll: JohnPlywood
  10. 128 says:
    @Carlo

    Manufacturing still makes up 10 percent of US and UK GDP, so they still make a lot, like jet aircraft and automobiles. Problem with US is very high inequality even among Whites or in 90% white states like Montana, and a high level of violence compared to Western Europe even among white people.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Manufacturing_in_the_United_States

    • Agree: JohnPlywood
  11. 128 says:

    Also the US maintains its competitiveness vs Western Europe largely on the basis of being a low wage economy, which is not a good strategy in the long run. The problem with the Russian economy which nobody seems to address is that growth is basically stuck in the 1 to 2 percent range with no prospects of it getting better in the medium term, which is unacceptably low for an economy with a GDP per capita level of around 10,000, compared to China’s GDP growth rate of 5 percent to 6 percent. Or even Korea or Taiwan’s growth rate of 2 percent to 3 percent, or Poland’s, Slovakia, and Hungary’s growth rate, which have similar GDP per capita as Russia.

    • Replies: @LondonBob
  12. @AltSerrice

    Within the decade the Philippines will overtake Japan in population. No matter what living standards these respective countries can maintain or achieve, the power balance in East Asia is shifting. Who should the Japanese truly fear a rising China or ?

    [MORE]

    OR

    • Replies: @Thorfinnsson
  13. Ludwig says:

    Indonesia’s growth is commensurate with its growth in population – it’s currently the 4th most populous country in the world with a population estimated at 273 million.

    Here’s a PPP forecast for 2030 which critiques Standard Charter’s forecast which had Indonesia at 4th place at $10 trillion (with Russia at $8 trillion behind Turkey, Brazil, Egypt (!)). The critique still places Indonesia at 4th but Russia at 7th behind Japan and Germany (all clustered around similar numbers).

    https://www.nextbigfuture.com/2019/01/world-gdp-forecasts-for-2030.html

    • Thanks: Blinky Bill
  14. @TG

    How did that happen, do you think?

    Too many of these !

    [MORE]

    • LOL: d dan
  15. @AltSerrice

    That’s a bit excessive Russotriumphalism. Japan has been seeing a lot of emigration from middle class people who can’t deal with the toxic work culture (or perhaps just want to not die a virgin before working themselves to death) while also a lot of immigration of very low human capital from the Phillipines and associated 2.5th world nations in Asia, but I think Japan’s slowly fall from glory will take more than a decade

    • Replies: @AltSerrice
  16. GDP (PPP) makes sense for GDP per capita comparisons because the point of the metric is quality of life. But GDP (nominal) makes sense for GDP comparisons because the point is national power.

    The top 15 list you posted of countries by GDP (PPP) does not correspond well to national power. The top 15 list below of GDP (nominal) for 2019 makes more sense as a ranking of national power, although Russia’s global power is underestimated.

    The big story will be Chinese GDP and where it ends up once the miracle years draw to a close. China’s grand strategy should prioritize above all attaining a GDP (nominal) of 200% of US GDP by 2040 from 2/3 in 2019. I think once past the 200% goalpost, the US would stand down and not make any aggressive plays to continue to dominate the Western Pacific. The alliance system in Asia by then would decidedly be unsupportive of the US clinging to power if it meant instability. India, Vietnam and Australia would be neutral. South Korea would have switched. However, 20 years is a long time and the months pass like years in terms of growing bilateral enmity. It’s a good opportunity to go a bit off topic about geopolitics.

    As of now Iran is protecting China, not due to any partnership, but because of the secondary effect of drawing away tens of thousands of troops and other resources to the Middle East in the last 12 months alone. Iran and the US have entered into a stage of permanent almost war since January 2020. So much so I wonder if Israel will come to recognize the risk of co-belligerence of Iran with China. In any military conflict in the Western Pacific, Iran must take the opportunity to go all out proxy war against the US in the northern Middle East. After the assassination of the General, I think Iranian strategists calculate that after growing weak from years of sanctions, the probability of attack by the US coalition will be more likely than not. With that mindset it could even be seen as irresponsible to not seize any opportunity in the Western Pacific. Will Israeli strategists recognize this problem and try to encourage more stable relations between China and the US?

    Chinese strategists are not good and actually don’t fully appreciate the importance of Iran in Chinese geopolitics. Last month China sent 2 boxes of aid to Syria to fight coronavirus. Syria is fighting for China in Idleb where 1 of the 4 main jihadist groups left is Uighur. China is afraid of a flare up in insurgency when some of the Uighurs make it back. However, the 2 boxes of aid demonstrate policy thinkers just aren’t making the connection. They lack insight into the role of Syria and Iran in China’s grand strategy. Russians are also doing a poor job of educating their Chinese counterparts about the connection and Russia needs all the help it can get as a Middle East power.

    That brings up my last point. Both China and Russia are simply too sluggish in developing a special relationship. Can you imagine the formidable power of a Sino-Russian special relationship with joint coordination of Central Asia? It brings to life an even more enlarged version of Halford Mackinder’s Eurasia heartland controls the world idea. The benefits would extend beyond the Eurasian heartland. Countries in Eastern Europe and the Caucus would either come back to the Russian fold or the hold would be stronger in the shadow of the Heartland. While countries in South Asia and southeast Asia would either tilt towards China or become more neutrally positioned. However, Russian strategists seem to think counterbalancing the US isn’t enough to chew, they also need to counterbalance China, and in the process undermine solidifying the partnership. That is what happened with SCO. It went from a Sino-Russian led format including the Central Asian countries to expanding to include India and Pakistan after Russia demanded Indian inclusion to counterbalance China in Central Asia, diluting the value of a very promising format.

    • Replies: @utu
    , @Anatoly Karlin
    , @Dreadilk
  17. Odd, that this 2020 estimate completely ignores impact of coronavirus, which should be greater on Germany and other developed economies, than Russia. Generally, the more integrated a country into global economy, the more disruption it will experience this year. For example, did you know that tourism accounts for over 10% GDP in many European countries? All this money just gone.

    • Agree: AltSerrice
    • Replies: @Anatoly Karlin
  18. @Belarusian Dude

    I don’t think it’s necessarily Russotriumphalism. It’s just simple calculations.

    Russia has a larger population and one that will decline considerably slower than Japan’s. I also expect there’s a couple hundred billion or thereabouts in the informal economy which will get formalised with time. I’m also assuming we don’t see Iran-style sanctions or something crazy. If anything, Europeans ones might get lifted in the next decade.

    For long-term (albeit slow) growth Russia just seems better set up.

    • Replies: @Tor597
  19. US is bigger than all of European Union?

    • Replies: @Philip Owen
  20. Tor597 says:
    @Svevlad

    I don’t understand how to read this.

    It says China has 1.3 billion people but that it will also lose 1.3 billion people as well?

    • Replies: @Svevlad
  21. Svevlad says:
    @Tor597

    Upper value is forecast population/gdp/whatever, the lower value is the current

    • Replies: @Tor597
    , @fnn
  22. Tor597 says:
    @AltSerrice

    As far as Japan’s population decline, it will not go down to 0.

    Japan’s population is suffering from excess debt mainly from being tied to American mercantilism.

    Once the petro dollar collapses I expect to see world wide debt defaults. The effect will be devastating for Japans senior population but will be good for Japans youth who will now have the money to start families.

    The same will play out with Europe too.

    • Disagree: EldnahYm
    • Replies: @neutral
  23. @TG

    >But one country became the greatest industrial superpower that the world had ever seen

    Clearly that is China right now

    >the other remained stuck in poverty and corruption

    Go to rural Connecticut and you will see poverty

    Keep in mind China has a middle class of around 400 million – greater than the entire population of the US, so no it’s not stuck in poverty.

    https://www.china-briefing.com/news/chinas-middle-class-5-questions-answered/

    The chinese middle class continues to grow and could reach 550 million in about 2 years
    https://www.cnbc.com/2019/09/30/chinas-giant-middle-class-is-still-growing-and-companies-want-in.html

    • Replies: @Thorfinnsson
  24. neutral says:

    The loss of oil revenue can actually long term be a silver lining, having a diversified economy is surely what every country should strive towards.

  25. neutral says:
    @Tor597

    That is assuming that they don’t undertake mass replacement like formerly white nations did. Considering that Japan is a ZOG puppet, and the ever growing talk of opening up Japan to mass immigration to “save it”, Japan is doomed.

    • Replies: @Tor597
  26. @TG

    one country became the greatest industrial superpower that the world had ever seen, the other remained stuck in poverty and corruption

    It’s not the 1990s anymore grandpa

    • Replies: @Znzn
  27. Znzn says:
    @Korenchkin

    Uhm you know that Croatia or Hungary has a higher standard of living than China right?

    • Replies: @Korenchkin
  28. @Znzn

    Please
    China has more millionaires then Croatia has people

    I can’t take you folks seriously when you make such arguments, look at the rate of growth and industrial output of China, compare it to the disaster that has been US economic policies of the last 30 years, the “industrial superpower” has become a land of bubbles and rustbelts
    Hungary and Serbia are about to get a High Speed railway while California has struggled to lay a single track for years now

    More to the point, what is the purpose of pretending Qing China and the time of troubles that followed it’s collapse was in any way comparable to the US experience of the 20th Century?

    • Agree: Denis
    • Replies: @Denis
    , @antibeast
  29. @NazBolFren

    Rural Connecticut is a picturesque theme park for NYC and Boston day trippers.

    Did you have another, larger state in mind? Kentucky perhaps?

  30. @Thorfinnsson

    I have enjoyed your comments about geostrategy. I also think you are fairly neutral in sentimentality for the American Empire. If you have the time, could you comment on my take on Chinese grand strategy in this thread?

    • Replies: @Vendetta
  31. @Felix Keverich

    Yes, Greece is due for a second collapse.

    But Russia still relies heavily on oil and raw materials exports, if not as much as in 2008 or 2014, and they are going down the gutter.

    I don’t think it will do better than Germany this year.

  32. utu says:
    @china-russia-all-the-way

    “GDP (PPP) makes sense for GDP per capita comparisons [only] “ – There is no justification for AK’s list.

    • Replies: @Dmitry
  33. @china-russia-all-the-way

    I agree.

    Big problem that I realized exists over time is there’s little people to people cultural understanding and perhaps compatibility between Chinese and Russian culture.

  34. Vendetta says:
    @china-russia-all-the-way

    Why bet the house on the perfect when you can settle for the good enough? The Chinese and the Russians both seem to have learned the value of caution and taking things slowly, after decades of wild, radical, and mostly failed experiments in communist idealism.

    Sure, it may seem like the US is always one-upping with its constant stream of harebrained schemes – sanctions here, a color revolution there, a random war in the third world every few years – but how much effect have all these efforts had actually had on Russia or China? Hardly any. The military balance of power between the US and Russia has become steadily less favorable to the US over the last decade and a half, and the same can be said for both the military and the economic balances of power between the US and China.

    The strategy is essentially working, so there’s not much incentive to go out on a limb trying to improve it further. As for Iran, China’s stance will become clear in October when UN arms sanctions in October will expire. China has already made a show of declaring the J-10C fighter jet up for export, and it will certainly be a contender for Iran’s first new fighter orders.

    • Replies: @NazBolFren
  35. Anon 2 says:

    A couple of years ago I pointed out here how the Earth would be better off
    without us. And indeed, in the relative absence of human activity necessitated
    by Covid-19, the Earth is healing before our very eyes – you can clearly see the
    Himalayas from 100+ miles away, and the Los Angeles basin looks magnificent
    with its beaches and mountains in the background. The primitive pursuit of
    power belongs in the 19th century. For spiritually enlightened people the goal
    of life is to become good citizens of Gaia which we share with other species.
    Unfortunately, we’re having extreme difficulty rising above the level of
    primitive predatory primates

    • Replies: @Morris39
    , @Tusk
  36. Morris39 says:
    @Anon 2

    What a dream. We compete with all the other species for energy (nutrients). Do you not know that essential biological molecules ( mainly combined with C, P, and S) can only be sourced from other life organisms? Sadly it is a zero sum game. So what are you? With us or against us?

    • Replies: @blatnoi
  37. Tusk says:
    @Anon 2

    Maybe that’s because we are primitive, predatory primates and not enlightened “Gaia” spirits?

  38. @TG

    I reckon wealth inequality is huge in India and Russia, so you could “eliminate a substantial percentage of people of both countries and still be left with overall GDP number not changed much.

    Anyway, I think GDP is somewhat of a meme metric, what matters is a countries cognitive capital, I would say Russia is up there, ahead of China, when it comes to inventiveness as demonstrated by their ability to make advanced weapons systems in house. Of course economic growth helps with this. If Russia has a good economy, it would be a force to be reckoned with, if it already isn’t so. China meanwhile has a good economic standing but little cognitive capital, because for all the IQ numbers, the fact is that they still rely on the Russians to make their jet engines.

    • Replies: @antibeast
  39. Denis says:
    @Korenchkin

    Hungary and Serbia are about to get a High Speed railway while California has struggled to lay a single track for years now

    I honestly would never have predicted such a development. Is this for real?

  40. Dmitry says:
    @Anatoly Karlin

    cultural understanding and perhaps compatibility between Chinese and Russian culture.

    Cultural similarity between Russia and China, will improve in the future, so long as the bourgeoisie continues its expansion into China.

    This strata of Chinese society, because it can afford access to the culture of the representative class of world capitalism, is just becoming less distant from Europe every year.

    Already some of the bourgeois Chinese young people you can meet in Europe, are seeming a bit too “normal” and not very exotic.

    It’s true Chinese are not going to approach to Russian culture specifically. I was reading recently how a special esteem for Russian literature in China – which existed in Soviet times, has collapsed in recent decades. So fantasies you might have that romantic young Chinese women will approach you to ask for help to understand about their favourite Lermontov – will remain fantasies.

    But with apologies for sounding a bit dystopian: economically developed Chinese of the future generations, will desire the same automobiles, vacation packages, Parmesan cheese, video games, and – unfortunately probably – Harry Potter and Game of Thrones , as your children will.

  41. @Thorfinnsson

    Only reason I mention connecticut, was that I drove through a random town full of black people that looked like a warzone in rural connecticut on my way to Washington DC…

    The houses were all skewed to one side, falling apart like they’ve never been repaired, with garbage everywhere on the street. It was quite a sight

  42. @Vendetta

    I don’t know how valuable or reflective of truth the Rand Corporation is, but new reports seem to indicate that the US is not particularly concerned with the balance of power between Russia and US. In fact they seem fairly confident in their ability to defeat Russia in conventional war with relative ease.

    They aren’t particularly worried about China either, so who knows.

    • Replies: @antibeast
  43. Dmitry says:
    @utu

    (PPP) makes sense for GDP per capita

    We need approach PPP figures carefully, also when you want to compare per capita incomes.

    For example, you can often see $7 jam in the supermarket in Western Europe, and you often see $1 jam in countries like Russia.

    But this doesn’t mean food has to be cheaper in countries like Russia than in Western Europe, as when you go to a budget supermarket in the poor area of Western Europe – you can see things like $1 jam, and the same prices for many other products as in Russia. Rather, a significant part of the difference in costs for equivalent products between countries, reflects the preferences of richer and poorer customers. Customers in high income areas want to buy the $7 jam, and therefore supermarkets with this type of jam became more prevalent there, and therefore average food prices are far higher in those areas (because people are choosing to buy more luxury branded food).

    The base price of many things we buy, is determined by international markets. Even the sugar in jam, is an internationally trade commodity. One country will not have miraculous access to multiple times cheaper sugar to produce jam, than another country. One of the only main factor inputs which can vary very widely between countries is the cost of labour – and here there would be some paradoxes from believing PPP adjustments too literally; e.g. it would imply presumably that raising minimum wage for workers (and therefore labour costs), will impoverish a country’s GDP.

    • Replies: @mal
    , @Anatoly Karlin
    , @utu
    , @UK
  44. mal says:
    @Dmitry

    Customers in high income areas want to buy the $7 jam, and therefore supermarkets with this type of jam became more prevalent there, and therefore average food prices are far higher in those areas (because people are choosing to buy more luxury branded food).

    Nobody wants to buy $7 jam, that’s insane. Not rich, not poor. What this means is for $1 in Russia you can get an edible product, and US that $1 jam is inedible, so you have to get screwed to get passable quality. But vast majority of the people would much rather pay less if they could.

    In the real world, this plays out in critical areas such as healthcare (18% of US GDP). Nobody “chooses” to pay $3,000 for MRI when in Russia this service is what, $30? Or $10,000 ER visits. Cartels simply rape the American people and tell them to like it. Medical services being the greatest cause of bankruptcy in US, tells you exactly how much Americans can “afford to choose” it.

    American and European markets are simply more cartel like and abusive of their citizens, hence higher prices. This is why Western economies are in so much debt – it is a simple population abuse. It has nothing to do with quality.

    • Replies: @Dmitry
  45. @Dmitry

    They compare like to like. Classic example – Big Mac. Still 2x cheaper in Russia than in US, which broadly reflects food as a whole.

    • Replies: @utu
    , @Dmitry
  46. utu says:
    @Dmitry

    PPP is a metric which tries to put on the same axis what often is incommensurate. Its real purpose and motivation behind it is to help in persuading that countries that seem to be poorer on the absolute scale are actually livable and OK. The question is how convincing is this persuasion. It very much depends on human psychology. I am not sure if PPP was used in the Soviet Block countries in their internal and external propaganda. But we know the outcome: people were not persuaded. Once they became more aware in 1960s and 1970s how people lived in the West this kind of persuasion was ineffective. People did not look at what they had but only on what they did not have. People took what they had for granted and assumed (often falsely) that in the West people had the same things as well and then only looked at what else they could have had if they were in the West. I suspect it is no different now. I doubt that Russians will be very impressed or consoled with AK’s factoid that Russia is just like Germany as they were not impressed with the actual facts that the USSR was almost there catching up with the US in the millions of tons of steel production or potato harvest.

    • Replies: @Tor597
    , @Dmitry
  47. utu says:
    @Anatoly Karlin

    Moscow 20.2 min of work for one Big Mac

    Rio de Janeiro 31.9
    Copenhagen 19.8
    Paris 15
    Montreal 12.9
    Hong Kong 8.7
    https://www.statista.com/statistics/275235/big-mac-worldwide-cities-working-time/

  48. Tor597 says:
    @Svevlad

    So America is going to lose 230 million people? I read the response below but I find that hard to believe.

    Where are Americans supposed to go to? Asia already has a lot of population density and I don’t buy that many Americans could move to Latin America.

    Would Latin Americans welcome a new ruling class?

  49. Tor597 says:
    @neutral

    That is just a lot of schadenfreude as far as I am concerned.

    If Japan does decide to open up to immigration, they will likely import a bunch of asians from poorer surrounding countries like Phillipines, Thailand, Cambodia.

    There would be a smattering of white people and even fewer blacks.

    • Replies: @neutral
  50. Tor597 says:
    @utu

    Some of this has to do with financial shenanigans though.

    The EU and America have had the benefit of currencies that were artifical inflated. This means that EU and America could spend more on consumer goods which makes their lifestyle more attractive than say Russia which has to practice financial responsibility.

    In the future when the Euro goes away and the Petro Dollar gets crushed, we will see a reversal in consumer spending habits worldwide.

    I think Russia will see much improved livelihood.

    • Replies: @utu
  51. Dmitry says:
    @Anatoly Karlin

    Big Mac index tracks inversely how little you can pay employees in each labour environment, because Macdonald’s generally is one of the most brutal and clever companies in succeeding to pay its employees the minimum possible, and uses different legal strategies to achieve this.

    High Big Mac index score, is useful if you want to see where labour costs are low.

    In Russia, for a legally intelligent employer, there is one of the world’s most “neoliberal” labour markets – MacDonald’s uses every strategy to pay its employees slave wages in Russia. So, MacDonald’s in Australia pays $US18 an hour for a same job, that MacDonald’s in Russia pays its workers $US1,90 an hour.

    Australia is an extreme example. But even in Germany or UK, MacDonald’s salary is still 6 times higher than in Russia.

    Big Mac is cheaper in Russia because the corporation pay low labour costs in this market. The cost saving is not so much from a different price of e.g. flour or Coca Cola, but how little they pay to the young people working in the restaurant.

    • Replies: @songbird
  52. utu says:
    @Tor597

    “Some of this has to do with financial shenanigans though.” – The shenanigans are a part of reality which is propped by the real power of American and the West.

    “In the future when,,,” – You are consoling yourself that in the end of times the justice will be brought on the unjust. The PPP is also a part of the consolation department.

    “I think Russia will see much improved livelihood.” – I hope so but I do not think it will happen soon. It is possible that the improvement will be relative if the West will be impacted much more by the Covid-19 than the 2nd and 3rd world countries.

  53. Dmitry says:
    @mal

    $1 jam that you can buy in the budget supermarket in Western Europe (supermarket types which exist in low income cities or areas however), is not different quality, to what you buy for the same price in a supermarket in a city in Russia. And I am perhaps a food-deaf, but I cannot notice much difference between cheap and expensive jam.

    Here is a $1 jam.
    https://www.aldi.co.uk/strawberry-conserve/p/067674191984200

    The difference is that in wealthy parts of Western Europe, cities can be dominated by bourgeois luxury supermarkets, – and where such $7 jam is common. The normal price of this jam is $10 but it has a special promotion at the moment: https://www.waitrose.com/ecom/products/waitrose-strawberry-jam/867339-706787-706788

    Or $10,000 ER visits. Cartels simply rape the American people

    Sure, America has problems – for a large part of the population – relating to unaffordable higher education and healthcare costs.

    I would prefer classical liberal (“neoliberal”) policy in relation to tax or corporations – but I also think America’s government should expand for the purpose of creating state higher education and healthcare systems.

    • Replies: @LondonBob
  54. songbird says:
    @Dmitry

    Australia is an extreme example.

    I think Denmark is even higher. I’ve heard $21 quoted for people over 18, but adjusting for various factors, such as increased costs of eating in a restaurant and VAT, it is said to be similar to the US wage.

    that MacDonald’s in Russia pays its workers $US1,90 an hour.

    Whenever I hear this figure, it just makes me want to become a Russian tycoon. I mean, not to say I am rich, but I feel a great temptation to hire a dozen or so Russian cronies to do my bidding, and just kind of see what use I can make of them.

    It seems like African wages, but for non-African labor. I would hire Malays for that wage, but Europeans? Wowsa – what a bargain! Surely, that is not the wage in Moscow? No matter, I would go to one of those falling down, tumbleweed, old Soviet areas for that.

    Russia should consider some sort of tourism program, where you can just get off the plane and hire a bunch of Russian coolies to do your bidding. Perhaps, some would be actors, so you could make a movie for the change in your couch. Then there could be rickshaw drivers and comely girls to fan you and feed you grapes.

    That and they really need to put some of their old nuclear subs on display instead of criminally scrapping them – I would pay just to walk alongside their hulls, let alone go inside them. I don’t see why they can’t pull out the reactor, or else encase it in lead-lined concrete or something. Anyway, a few extra millirads would probably be hormetic.

    • Replies: @Dmitry
    , @LondonBob
  55. Dmitry says:
    @utu

    A great misfortune in Russia was devaluation of the currency in 2014-15. Before the end of 2014, indicators for standards of living were generally trending to converge slowly with Europe (for example, food expenses are a proportion of household budgets were falling to European levels – people spend smaller proportion of their income on food every year).

    Metrics relating to PPP and cost of living, obscured for a while what a negative fact the currency devaluation that happened was, and this obscuring effect was convenient for the authorities (especially when they combined it with political rhetoric about import-substitution, that allowed them to subsidize more businessmen friends, increase state capacity, and add some patriotism to ordinary life).

    I’m no economist, but I was also obscured about how negative this devaluation had been, until recently. It now became obvious to me that most salaries in Russia have simply fallen significantly behind compared to Western Europe, than was the situation just 6 years ago.

    PPP is a metric which tries to put on the same axis what often is incommensurate

    Some of the price differences can be quite commensurate, however the reasons for the price differences might not be so mysterious.

    For example, in most bars/cafes in Spain, you pay more than half price for a same quality and type of coffee (made in expresso machine with fresh beans), as you normally pay in such a place in England. It’s also cheaper to drink a good quality coffee in the bar/cafe Spain than in such a place in Russia (where labour costs are lower than Spain) . So why does it cost so cheap to drink a good quality coffee in Spain?

    Coffee beans and machines are prices set by international markets, so prices should be similar between countries.

    Perhaps, the low price in Spain, might be as trivial as because a good quality coffee is the normal working man’s drink in Spain, and they are quite price-sensitive people about this kind of product? Whereas in England and even Russia (traditionally teadrinking), such coffee is still a bit of a fashionable sophisticated drink. In England, especially, such bourgeois consumers are not price-sensitive people (see with $7 jam above).

    Then there are obvious examples, like why is beer so cheap in Spain compared to England? In the latter, because of an artificially elevated price for beer, as part of a tax regime to stop alcoholism.

    • Replies: @blatnoi
    , @Europe Europa
  56. The most telling GDP figure for major economies with is the per capita one.

    Also there is the question of the quality of GDP and by that I mean the difference between adding software engineers to the economy as opposed to adding security guards.

  57. Dmitry says:
    @songbird

    seems like African wages,

    MacDonald’s is an extreme. But yes young people in Russia, can be working for what seems like slave wages, and without much legal guarantee in the contract.

    This can include skilled professions, not just waiters. In the IT industry, there is sometimes extreme competition of new graduates applying for jobs with extremely low salaries, if the company is considered cool or fashionable.

    But I have heard worse things about some countries. In Spain, it’s apparently common and legal to achieve completely free labour from young graduates for years, in exchange for giving them”experience”. So, I heard from Spanish people, that a lot of companies are hiring young graduates for a year, and giving them a lot of work – and paying them the salary of $0.

  58. 3 points:

    1. As another has said:

    “Unlimited economic growth [as measured by GDP] has the marvelous quality of stilling discontent while maintaining privilege.”

    i.e., it doesn’t take into account income inequality – which if it becomes too unequal as it has in many, so-called, Western ‘liberal-democracies’, it can actually act as a drag on a country’s economic performance.

    2. Coined by the former King of Bhutan, the term Gross National Happiness (GNH) is a goal which informs the policies of the Bhutan government and is enshrined in the country’s constitution. It includes an index which is used to measure the collective happiness and wellbeing of its population.

    Perhaps as a society, we could be advocating for GNH if we’re interested in monitoring and maintaining Quality of Life rather than just Standard of Living.

    3. My purpose here is, generally speaking, if we want to build something better than what we have currently, we need to build the rationale for it.

  59. @antibeast

    Two more words: Gunboat Diplomacy

    … and another two: Unequal Treaties

    … and then, from the 1857 Meiji Restoration spearheaded by Commodore Perry, onwards, another 3 words: China Containment Policy

    … which is where we’re still at today!

    Cheers

    • Replies: @antibeast
  60. @Anatoly Karlin

    Then we must find other ways to bridge the gap. Even if there is a cultural wall separating people, I think so much success can be found in joint political-military action. I can think of no better common ground than Syria. Russia should persuade China of its major interest in stabilizing Syria and China should contribute billions of dollars of assistance under Russian direction. China has already demonstrated geopolitical usefulness to Russia but I’m not sure Russian strategists are paying enough attention. A gas pipeline built by China from Turkmenistan ensures Turkmen gas and political leanings goes east rather than to Europe. The US military base in Kyrgyzstan was closed under the inducements of both Russia and China. China is making major investments in logistics (Silk Road railway routes) and manufacturing (Stone Park) in Belarus. Maybe that can help stem some of the worrisome exodus of the young and ambiguous in Belarus to jobs in Europe?

    • Replies: @Blinky Bill
  61. UK says:
    @Dmitry

    PPP is dumb. China fetishists use it solely because it allows them to pretend that China doesn’t have an HDI below places like Colombia, that have been in civil war for 50 years…

    The reason you give is exactly right. It doesn’t even begin to capture the difference in the quality of the product or service.

    In Brazil, for example, the fanciest supermarket is worse on almost all counts than the standard type in the UK. Some of the fresh fruit and steak is better, but that is an idiosyncracy of climate. But overall, there is no comparison in design, convenience, queueing times, and quality of product. Indeed, if you’re trying to get the same quality of product with things chopped and freshly prepared or delicately flavoured then it works out as more expensive.

    The same is true of very many things. An Uber is much cheaper but the cars are much worse. A standard brand of hotel is very much cheaper but the same brand will just be more shoddy. Also, not that Brazil’s HDI also exceeds China’s. Meanwhile Sao Paulo’s GDP PPP per capita exceeds $55,000, but young upper-middle class Paulistas happily go to Europe to take minimum wage jobs.

    • Replies: @d dan
  62. @Dmitry

    The quintessential Belt and Road city of Manzhouli in the Manchurian part of Inner Mongolia is a success not only serving record breaking trade between China and Russia but also the spread of Russian soft power in China. The buildings in the city center are Russian style. At the border gate there is a gigantic nestling doll shaped high end hotel. During the October 1 week long holiday, it was fully booked with rich Chinese. There are also several Russian restaurants frequented by the Russian trading community. One of them at night converts into a nightclub where grannies and 20-somethings dance on the same floor. It’s a fun town.

    • LOL: Philip Owen
    • Replies: @Dmitry
  63. UK says:

    I buy jam like that from Waitrose. It is nice and I am careful and mindful in what I eat. It is an event and an experience of sensuality of both the palate and eyes to take that jar out of the cupboard and spread it on equally well selected oats* before enjoying your breakfast. The $1 jam you mention is, also, exactly as you say, at least as good as the $1 jam in Russia.

    Even better is choosing to shop at Planet Organic. The visit is full of delight, but by going you are choosing to inflate your bill over Aldi by at least 10 times. Nonetheless, just entering the store is a joy.

    People can laugh but I don’t buy traditional status goods like expensive cars – I just take Uber – or luxury designer clothes – though I may blow out on beautifully made and probably overpriced yoga type kit. I am therefore actually quite frugal relative to my income. The point is that I don’t consume a huge amount and no one would really be able to tell by just meeting me.

    I could be like a Russian from a film and wear my income around my neck as a good chain and have designer names written all over my clothes, while shoveling whatever random stuff into my mouth at meals but while that would seem to be PPP-wise a lot higher in living standard, I would obviously be living a huge amount worse.

    Funnily, those who get it, get it and those who don’t, have literally no idea.

    *$10 oats, as mentioned.

    https://www.planetorganic.com/planet-organic-sprouted-rolled-naked-oats-600g-600g/21035/

    I could buy oats in Russia and in the UK for 50 cents but I prefer these at 20 times the price.

    These internet nitwits would adjust my living standards down by 20 times because of my choice but if I bought a bunch of gold chains instead and therefore got an improvement in what they see as a real reflection of living standards then my life would be considerably rougher.

  64. blatnoi says:
    @Dmitry

    I was in Russia in the summer of 2019 in the fourth biggest city for a week and a half, and then a month later I went to Germany for the same period of time for a conference in the south. I speak both languages fluently so I can go to out of the way restaurants and compare living costs for the normals. I also grew up in a poor/lower middle class family so I hate spending money even if I make a lot more now. It’s some character flaw I guess.

    Anyways, in Russia there were these ‘cafeteria’ places and similar, even in the center of the city, where I could get stuffed with two soups, a buckwheat dish, and some meat dish, for five bucks. Even outside the city center where there were a lot of people from regular jobs, the cafeterias were well visited and I didn’t have to spend more than 3-4 bucks. The restaurants in the middle of the city were more expensive, but I think they catered to tourists and young people wanting to show off spending money. Also the apples were incredibly cheap and delicious. I could buy them from a woman on the street for almost nothing. This is a shock for me as the country I live in now, apples are a luxury and cost at least a dollar per apple. Also, I made a point to go to the local supermarket and buy local cheeses (due to the sanctions) and they were about two times cheaper than in Europe, and the taste was pretty good.

    In Germany, I could not go out anywhere and get food for less than 10 bucks that would fill me up, even at a cheap shawarma place. Eventually I just started going to the supermarket and buying cheese and ready meat packages of 150-200 grams each and a couple of packs of berries (it was berry season and they were cheap) and some cherry tomatoes. German cheeses taste better and they are generally cheaper if you buy them at the supermarket in this way than in most other countries in the world (except Russia, but not by 2.5x). This came to about ten bucks or a bit more, and I just ate this at my hotel room for dinner.

    So the PPP comparison in regards to food prices is pretty accurate. The Russian consumer didn’t suffer too much due to devaluation it seems to me. Of course, the average salary in Russia is less, even taking into account the PPP comparison, but it didn’t stop the cafeteria restaurants from being completely full. I was also thinking of buying a laptop in Russia, because they are actually a bit cheaper there, but after I did the calculation, I think it would have only been 100 bucks cheaper for the same specks, so I didn’t. This is not surprising as laptops are not produced in Russia, but local food is. Thing is, submarines and fighter jets are also locally produced in Russia, so the PPP matters for Russia’s power projection.

    • Replies: @UK
    , @Dmitry
  65. blatnoi says:
    @Morris39

    That’s a typical communist view. You’d think you would have learned form the 20th century that communism doesn’t work.

    In fact, we create more C by digging it out the ground and burning it. And the byproduct is quite a bit of S, which you can see piled up in big hills in many port cities throughout the world (pictures of Vancouver in this regard are pretty famous). And I’ve seen some of the biggest P creating mines in the world in Israel. We don’t need to fight with others for a bigger piece of the pie. We humans can make the pie bigger so everyone’s piece grows.

    • Replies: @Morris39
  66. @Dmitry

    I find it odd when American/foreigners in general claim that English tea drinking is “posh” or “snobby”, because in England the working classes regard coffee drinking as posh and snobby. Tea in England is seen as a very down to earth, working man’s drink.

    In fact there’s a certain percentage of elitist, “upper class” (or wannabe) English people who would only drink coffee and not tea because they look down on tea drinking as a lower class thing.

    • Replies: @UK
    , @Dmitry
  67. @china-russia-all-the-way

    Then we must find other ways to bridge the gap. Even if there is a cultural wall separating people.

    [MORE]

  68. UK says:
    @blatnoi

    Anyways, in Russia there were these ‘cafeteria’ places and similar, even in the center of the city, where I could get stuffed with two soups, a buckwheat dish, and some meat dish, for five bucks.

    I’d rather have a nicely made crayfish and avocado salad from Pret than “get stuffed” on random Slavic peasant slop, and for the same price.

    And places with lots of people like me reflect this fact.

    Of course, in the centre of London, you can get an all you can eat Chinese buffet for about the same money, but it isn’t Holodomor Ukraine, and I can look at eating as something more than “filling myself up.”

    • Replies: @blatnoi
  69. UK says:
    @Europe Europa

    Yes, as if putting a little milk in a cup, adding a tea bag and hot water, could ever be thought of as “posh”.

    (I wonder if anyone will get the joke?)

  70. neutral says:
    @Tor597

    Replacing Japanese from those countries still is replacing Japanese, which means it will not be Japan anymore.

    • Agree: RadicalCenter
  71. blatnoi says:
    @UK

    You don’t understand. These places were not ‘cafeterias’ by US standards, but more like good quality take out restaurants. The food was unbelievably delicious, and that’s why I couldn’t help myself eating so much of it. I find Russian soups (rassolnik, stschi, bortscht, etc…) and meat dishes with a side of buckwheat that they served far superior to German food I could get a month later at a restaurant for four to five times the price.

    It could be because I don’t eat it that often so the taste is novel, but then again, I also don’t eat German dishes that often (except for the can of sauerkraut in my fridge and a further ten I have stored along with some vacuum sealed bread). Russian restaurants in the West can’t quite replicate this experience. You’re missing out a lot actually.

    • Replies: @Dmitry
  72. Ano4 says:

    Demography is destiny.

    With the exception of the Muslim regions of Caucasus and Central Asia, the whole of the former Soviet Union has a terribly low fertility rate.

    The majority of Russian women simply refuse to have more than two kids even if the family has a sufficient income for that.

    Outside the major urban centers Russia is utterly underpopulated and I am not talking about Siberia here.

    Just go to Novgorod the Great, Smolensk and Pskov countryside and see for yourself.

    I mean this is supposedly the Old Rus heartland settled from times immemorial.

    But even more shocking, the same underpopulation is even visible in the more remote corners of the Moscow oblast.

    So many half empty villages with just crumbling izbushkas inhabited by lonely babushkas with an old moozhick in only 1/3 of the houses (they tend to die earlier than their wives).

    Russia will not reach its full development potential until it is populated by some 300 million people.

    But we all know that this will probably never happen.

    Or if it does, 200 million of them won’t be ethnic Slavs.

    Chinese maybe?

    Or more probably a mix of Central Asian Turks and Caucasians…

    • Agree: RadicalCenter
  73. UK says:

    You chose to qualify the benefits as “filling yourself up” and “getting stuffed”. This tells me plenty. So while I am sure there is more nuance than that, it is still very revealing.

    Also, German food is gross. Why do you have ten jars of something like that or vacuum sealed bread? Don’t they have small, high quality convenience stores near you with a good range for quick trips? Again, the price may be higher, but you get to pick what you want on the day and less goes to waste.

    The proliferation of such stores in London in the last 15 years has substantially increased living standards even as it has made PPP comparisons seem much less favourable.

    Anyway, back to food, like language:

    “I speak Spanish to God, Italian to women, French to men, and German to my horse.”

  74. Morris39 says:
    @blatnoi

    Sorry I don’t understand the reason for your comment. The ability to produce essential organic molecules is limited to living organisms. These organisms exist in a web in which participation is not voluntary. this is empirical evidence, not a political POV. Certainly not communist. If you are referring to my last sentence, that was a joke.

  75. antibeast says:
    @Just Passing Through

    China meanwhile has a good economic standing but little cognitive capital, because for all the IQ numbers, the fact is that they still rely on the Russians to make their jet engines.

    China already makes its own jet engines, like those used in the J-20 fifth-gen fighter jets.

    • Replies: @Philip Owen
  76. Dmitry says:
    @blatnoi

    went to Germany

    Your restaurant experience in visiting a conference in Germany, is likely because of not understanding diversity of a local market, and the fact there exist highly segmentized markets in the most wealthy countries.

    In London – there are restaurants (even a French restaurant), where you can have a delicious meal for $6. At the same time, you can go to Japanese restaurant for $80, where the same meal would cost $10 in Tokyo.

    This is the high degree of segmentization in the city’s large restaurant market.

    Then you can be surprised that in a provincial city near London, you cannot find restaurant meal for less than $15. This is because of the restaurant smaller market, in the smaller city, is not segmentized to include budget customers (i.e. restaurants are only a luxury product in that city).

    country I live in now, apples are a luxury and cost at least a dollar per apple

    In a wealthy part of Western Europe where I work, in a supermarket for normal people, I buy an medium-small apple for $0,13 each (although not individually, but as part of a multipack). I know because I buy this multipack of apples every week.

    So the fact you pay around 8 times more than I pay for apples (when I shop in one of the most wealthy areas in all Western Europe, although in the non-luxury supermarket)?

    PPP comparison in regards to food prices

    Not really. Because higher prices of food in Western Europe are of voluntary choice. If you want – and I can show you where -, you can buy most types of food at the same price in a normal Russian supermarket (in a normal city). Alternatively, you can spend 2-3 times more (in the luxury supermarkets).

    After you realize this, then you will know many PPP comparison between countries is erroneous. Moreover, to the extent that large differences are accurate, then it mainly depends on products where the differentiating factor input are the different labour costs (and that upward PPP adjustment in these products is largely a product of the fact people producing them receive lower incomes – i.e. there is no “free lunch” here).

    Russian consumer didn’t suffer too much due to devaluation

    I’ve already heard this from a lot of other people in this forum, for some reason (it is a popular theme here). I can only view this as a bit delusional, to write it politely.

    For example, AliExpress is the most popular online shopping in Russia. It is denominated in international currency.

    but it didn’t stop the cafeteria restaurants from being completely full.

    If our analysis of income difference is related on cultural things like how full cafes are, then presumably countries like Lebanon (where the population are famous for living much of their life in the cafe) might in some way be adjusted to “higher income” than some provincial city near London, where I have had experience walking around finding it can be difficult to find an open cafe in the evening.

  77. antibeast says:
    @Patagonia Man

    Two more words: Gunboat Diplomacy… and another two: Unequal Treaties… and then, from the 1857 Meiji Restoration spearheaded by Commodore Perry, onwards, another 3 words: China Containment Policy… which is where we’re still at today!

    The Meiji Restoration had nothing to do with China. That was part of Japan’s history to modernize its economy by adopting Western technology.

    My last post was a reply to the question:

    Compare 1850 United States vs. 1850 Imperial China. If anything, China had a bigger total economy at the time. But one country became the greatest industrial superpower that the world had ever seen, the other remained stuck in poverty and corruption. How did that happen, do you think?

    The Opium Wars triggered the Taiping Rebellion which started the decline of the Qing Dynasty which fell after Sun Yat-sen led the 1911 Revolution. What followed next was the Chinese Civil War between the Nationalists, Warlords and Communists, followed by the Japanese Invasion of Manchuria which finally led to WWII. Mao then led the Communist Revolution which expelled Chiang Kai-shek’s Nationalists to Taiwan.

    The USA went through the Civil War that lasted four years which made the US government heavily-indebted. That’s why the USA decided to import tens of millions of European immigrants to help the economy recover from a long depression following the Civil War. Then after the Wall Street Crash of 1929, the USA entered into another economic depression which forced FDR to institute the “New Deal” consisting of social welfare programs such as the US Social Security System as well as public works programs. Finally, the US entry to WWII allowed US manufacturing industries to build weapons until after WWII which turned the US economy into the world’s biggest industrial economy with half-the-world’s GDP by war’s end.

    So to answer the question again: the USA was lucky not to have suffered any damage from WWI and WWII while China was unfortunate enough to have suffered almost 100 years of civil wars, foreign invasions, opium-addiction and political anarchy. The same thing happened to Russia after the 1917 October Revolution. So the underlying cause of their underdevelopment was their political instability, not their alleged lack of creativity or potential for progress. This is the Western liberal myth of Capitalist progress which presumes that only countries adopting Western Liberalism — Capitalism plus “Democracy” — can achieve social, cultural, economic and political progress. Western liberal propaganda today try to demonize Stalin and Mao as “monsters” of Socialism but that’s only a half-baked truth because it ignores the objective conditions of those two countries which faced existential threats to their national survival.

    Now that both China and Russia have achieved political stability and social order, economic and cultural progress will follow. The myth that developing countries need Western Liberalism is false propaganda. What developing countries need is national sovereignty backed by military power which is the necessary but not sufficient condition for true progress because its political-economic-social-cultural system will then decide whether a country will achieve its full potential.

  78. Dmitry says:
    @blatnoi

    German food I could get a month later at a restaurant

    Because the cafeterias you like in Russia, and that is common in Russia, was a different market segmentation than the expensive restaurant types you don’t like in Germany. It’s not an indication of any necessary difference in a base costs of the food (beyond the labour input, which is also mitigated by scale), but of different type of market for food. In Germany, the restaurant was selling food far above its ingredients cost.

    To see how this works, look again at the jam in England.

    This jam is $1 for 340g

    https://www.aldi.co.uk/strawberry-conserve/p/067674191984200

    Equivalent product in a supermarket for a different kind of market segment:

    This jam is normally $10 (currently a special promotion at $7) for 100g.

    https://www.waitrose.com/ecom/products/waitrose-strawberry-jam/867339-706787-706788

    So there is 34 times price difference between the different supermarkets version of the same product, in the same country. This is because in Western Europe, there can be such an insane range of market segmentation, and that millions of people who receive high incomes are voluntarily patronizing the more expensive supermarkets.

  79. antibeast says:
    @NazBolFren

    I don’t know how valuable or reflective of truth the Rand Corporation is, but new reports seem to indicate that the US is not particularly concerned with the balance of power between Russia and US. In fact they seem fairly confident in their ability to defeat Russia in conventional war with relative ease. They aren’t particularly worried about China either, so who knows.

    The US National Security Strategy Report has named both China and Russia as the biggest threats to US hegemony in the world.

  80. Dmitry says:
    @Europe Europa

    It’s like this same in Russia as in England, where tea was originally the normal drink. So, presumably, as a result of this, nowadays, coffee became the fashionable, hipster, bourgeois drink.

    Whereas in the sunny, romantic, Southern European countries, the traditional workers’ drink is coffee. Traditional working class people of Southern Europe, want a cup of coffee (which sounds funny to my ears).

    And in a reverse of England/Russia, the bourgeois hipsters in Spain order a cup of tea. Tea is viewed like a luxury, fashionable drink for hipsters in Spain.

    I wonder if the most confusing situation can be in Israel. The traditional working class drink there will be Turkish coffee, and ordinary people now drink espresso as well. On the other hand, tea will be too associated with lower-middle class Soviet immigrants. So I wonder what can occupy the role of an exotic, fashionable drink there – maybe there is business opportunity for the Middle East, to start a chain selling Yerba Mate or Matcha.

    • Replies: @anonymous coward
  81. antibeast says:
    @Korenchkin

    Hungary and Serbia are about to get a High Speed railway while California has struggled to lay a single track for years now.

    And it’s backed by China:

    https://reconnectingasia.csis.org/database/projects/budapest-belgrade-high-speed-railway-hungary-construction/c5d148db-4f3f-4769-a37d-9ac31d55a6b1/

    This Chinese-backed high-speed railway is intended to link the capitals of Hungary and Serbia and has been celebrated as a flagship project under China’s “16+1” format and Belt and Road initiative. Construction is expected to start in 2020.

  82. @Dmitry

    So, presumably, as a result of this, nowadays, coffee became the fashionable, hipster, bourgeois drink.

    Coffee in Russia is very much a generational boomer thing.

    Hipsters do that too, but only because hipsterism is a faux-ironic aping of boomers.

    Meanwhile people in Russia have recently been switching to native alternatives: https://ru.wikipedia.org/wiki/%D0%9A%D0%BE%D0%BF%D0%BE%D1%80%D1%81%D0%BA%D0%B8%D0%B9_%D1%87%D0%B0%D0%B9

    An unexpected evolution, since it’s totally unrelated to any global trends.

  83. LondonBob says:
    @128

    Most of Europe barely grows at all. GDP per capita highlights this even more.

    • Replies: @Philip Owen
  84. LondonBob says:
    @Dmitry

    America doesn’t bother with competition policy as they have a very corrupt political class, most markets are oligopolies hence why mobile phone contracts, plane tickets as so much more expensive in the US than Europe, there was a good book written on this recently by a French economist, The Great Reversal.

  85. LondonBob says:
    @songbird

    Australia has a huge immigration problem, a lot of workers in such industries are on temporary visas and are rarely paid a full wage, Heston Blumenthal’s restaurants got in to trouble for it.

    https://www.smh.com.au/business/workplace/dinner-by-heston-restaurant-owes-workers-4-5m-after-wage-theft-20200203-p53xa0.html

    Australia’s GDP per capita has flatlined whilst cost of living, particularly housing, has soared.

  86. d dan says:
    @UK

    “PPP is dumb. China fetishists use it solely because it allows them to pretend that China doesn’t have an HDI below places like Colombia, that have been in civil war for 50 years…”

    It is funny how silly people trashes anything, even a number, when they don’t like China, or Russia, or whatever,…

    PPP, like nominal GDP, are different numbers giving partial but different views of the strength of an economy. Like heart beat rate and blood pressure numbers, they both are important indicators of the health of a person. There is no good or bad to either ones.

    • Replies: @UK
  87. Russia’s economic “largeness” is really economic obesity, not strength.

    It has the same problems saudi arabia has, IE dependence on an industry that, while it generates huge amounts of cash, is a very, very low value adding one.

    In the long run, what sinks countries like russia (and Saudi, and venenuela) is a form of ‘dutch elm disease:” IE, the currency they receive from their export partners crowds out their own and stifles domestic production in favor of cheaper (in foreign currency) imports.

    Putin’s strategy is to try to balance streams of incoming Yuan from oil sales to china with streams of incoming EUros from the nordstream, black sea, etc pipelines. Problem is, the ruble will get pushed out by sheer quantity of foreign money and imports, not its specific source(s).

    Putin did this strategy because, in the short run, he has no better choice. With foreign cash to spend, he can TRY to improve russia, diversify its economy, and escape the natural resource trap.

    The reality is, though, in the long run, the fact that Russia shares a border with a country (china) whose currency and economy will eventually displace russia’s, and who is embarking on an assertive historical period, and who outclasses/outweighs russia in every metric availabe, means russia will go away. Unlike saudi arabia (which the US has an interest in existing, and is quite distance) the independent expistence of russia will not be useful or neccesary to china.

    As for nukes, well…how is russia going to nuke the country (china) it is dependent on for its very day to day existence? How is russia going to stand up to the foreign country that prints the money russia uses?

    I thing china will be far worse as a “friend” to russia, than as an enemy.

  88. UK says:
    @d dan

    Sure and if you are told the weight of someone who you know nothing more about nor have met, then you know their health…there are “no good or bad” metrics in clown town, it seems.

  89. @Priss Factor

    Now the UK is out but the EU will grow faster than the US or UK. $10 oil will do that.

  90. Russia’s Chelyabinsk oblast’ publishes its coronavirus data on the internet, and it’s very unusual in its transparency and detail. You can learn the age of every 1300+ confirmed case in the region, displayed symptoms and current condition, and suspected route of infection.

    We can also learn that among 14 persons who died after testing positive for coronavirus, only 5 persons have COVID officially listed as the cause of death.

    https://xn--74-6kci4ajvhatfmz.xn--p1ai/districts

    IMO Anatoly should preserve this data for science, before it gets taken down.

    • Replies: @sudden death
  91. @antibeast

    and Russia copied their jet engines from the UK.

    • Replies: @Vishnugupta
  92. @LondonBob

    That was then. Now there is $10 oil.

  93. @Thorfinnsson

    Well, I’m proud to say that my children are half-Pinoy (Filipino).

    Even at their young ages, though, they spell better than the fool who made that video, and they don’t try to imitate dimwitted Affican-“Americans.”

  94. @Philip Owen

    Not really the RR Nene copied by Klimov and used en masse on the Mig 15 was a technological dead end centrifugal flow vs axial flow tech used on every other mass produced fighter jet engine engine of the era and ever since.

    Also the Russians were able to make unlicensed copies of the Nene almost immediately whereas the Chinese are yet to make successful copies of the 80s vintage Al 31 and it is not for lack of trying or resources.

    The axial flow tech was built on the work of Nazi Germany both Russia and France(Atar) based their first gen jet engines on German designs.

    IIRC US also built quite a few engines on the basis of designs of Von Ohain who worked in the US after WW 2.

    • Replies: @Philip Owen
  95. fnn says:
    @Svevlad

    Oh yeah, and Germany having have a population of 28 million and a standard of living lower than Thailand in 2025. Talk about a Holocaust.

  96. @antibeast

    lmao, the opium trade was a result of Chinese inferiority, not its cause. The British plied China with opium because they could, and the reason they could was because they were strong and China was weak, and the reason Britain was strong and China was weak goes back to the very post you were attempting to refute by bringing up the opium trade.

    • Replies: @antibeast
  97. @Felix Keverich

    We can also learn that among 14 persons who died after testing positive for coronavirus, only 5 persons have COVID officially listed as the cause of death.

    So called “German method” applied with the max efficiency! 🙂 but tbh, as long as it will be possible even to get such more or less correlating with reality numbers as “dead after positive test” or even “overall” dead, it would be not that bad as it could be, regarding data falsification angle.

    • Replies: @utu
  98. antibeast says:
    @Anonymous (n)

    lmao, the opium trade was a result of Chinese inferiority, not its cause. The British plied China with opium because they could, and the reason they could was because they were strong and China was weak, and the reason Britain was strong and China was weak goes back to the very post you were attempting to refute by bringing up the opium trade.

    LFMAO?

    If that’s what Western supremacists think is the basis of their alleged “superiority”, then they must have the IQ of Neanderthals. After all, the reason why the British resorted to selling Opium to China was because they didn’t have anything else to sell to China to pay for Chinese-made luxury goods.

    Just think if the so-called “human rights” activists in HK were to use your argument that the British selling Opium to China via HK is proof of the alleged “superiority” of Western “values”.

    LFMAO!

  99. utu says:
    @sudden death

    “German method” and “Swedish method”

  100. The UK is being taken down by the globalists first, that’s why this country is still in lock down indefinitely while the rest of Europe is being allowed to return to normal. This is because the UK is the easiest target. No one likes the British (English in particular), they inspire no sympathy abroad. No one is going to protest on our behalf or say “Oh look what’s happening in England, this is terrible!!”. No one likes this country and that works very much in the NWOs’ favour.

    Eventually they will bring the whole of Europe, and the whole of the world, into line, but they always start off with the weakest links that inspire the least sympathy and protest.

  101. LondonBob says:
    @allahu akbar

    Oil is a blessing, not a curse. Canada, Australia do fine as resource economies, this is just another excuse to explain away third world poverty by not looking at IQ. Really it shows staggering ineptness not to be rich if you are Nigeria with all that oil.

    • Replies: @songbird
  102. songbird says:
    @LondonBob

    I wonder a bit about this idea of a resource curse though.

    Of course, on its face, it seems wrong because there are a lot of examples of rich countries with resources. Countries seemingly well-governed. But, it is not necessarily the case that they are better off with resources. They might actually be worse off, if you control for race. Their per capita and even average wage might be higher, but they might still be worse off.

    What do I mean? Well, for one, it is hard not to noticed how pozzed SNP is. It is almost like they want to break away to get that oil for themselves. Of course, perhaps that is nothing as there are many pseudonationalist parties.

    But take the example of Norway. Would it have as many Pakis, Somalis, and Arabs without the oil? Possibly, but perhaps not.

  103. songbird says:

    On paper, how many of these countries are completely screwed by 2100? That’s about when #15 Saudi Arabia is projected to run out of oil – though these things are hard to predict. And how many of the other countries are demographically fracked? By current trends, wouldn’t that make Europe a caliphate?

    I mean holy shit, aren’t England and Whales, right now, down to like 56% white births? Or is that native whites? What are the Muslim births in India? 30% or something?

    And I’m not forgetting the 4.4 billion projected Africans, out of a projected global total of 10 billion.

    I’d hate to think what 80 years more of antiwhite politics will do to the US. I’m hopeful for China and Japan if they can hold the line on immigration, though I am not so sure they can, based on a lot of rumors.

    And then there is always simple dysgenics. Perhaps, Mexicans will become like blacks by then.

    Oh, and last but not least, in this interesting environment, ASEAN has renounced nukes.

  104. Dmitry says:
    @china-russia-all-the-way

    Around 300 children in Russia now are attempting a final exam in Chinese language (before university) since last year. It’s small, relative to that there was a lot of media hype around Chinese language promotion (in Russia). However, it’s still probably a trend to improvement in the lack of knowledge of China, and probably some expertise about China will develop from this.

    China-Russia are becoming more culturally convergent every year, but this is more like an inevitable historical process we are seeing; result more from a general economic development in China and embourgeoisement, than specific efforts of government.

    • Replies: @Patagonia Man
  105. @Vishnugupta

    Radial flow was invented on the former British Thomson Houston site at Rugby where I did my apprenticeship before being moved to a place of its own because of the noise. They cooperated mostly with the Bristol Aircraft Company although Rolls Royce finally took it. The former Metropolitan Vickers site invented radial flow independently from the Germans, just a few months later than Whittle. They cooperated mostly with Armstrong Siddley. The engine was called the F2 and was always more powerful than Whittle’s design but very demanding of materials technology at the time. Massive maintenance required. Both sites ended up in Associated Electrical Industries.

  106. @allahu akbar

    Oil and gas represent only 10% of the Russian GDP. Its a cliché that Russia is just saudi arabia with snow and nukes. Russia has industries. Oil and gas represent a bjg part of the Russian budget and exports, not the GDP.

  107. Dreadilk says:
    @china-russia-all-the-way

    I disagree on gdp per capita statement. Nominal GDP is a function of financial power which translates poorly to national power. US a second biggest economy in the world has overly financialized economy where the banks are eating up all the profits.

    Just look at your list Canada is in the same league as Russia. Laughable.

    As far as geopolitics who knows. One thing is clear US and the west are in deep decline.

  108. Souldn’tttwehavea update on Browder. He finally seems to be losing ground.

  109. @Dmitry

    “China-Russia are becoming more culturally convergent every year, but this is more like an inevitable historical process we are seeing; result more from a general economic development in China and embourgeoisement, than specific efforts of government.”

    For the sake of brevity, I’m not going to go through the many ways that Russia and China are culturally different which are fairly self evident.

    From the collapse of Central Industrialism (as the USSR was never truly communist) in 1991, both China & Russia watched all the US-sponsored ‘Color Revolutions’ in Europe, the enlargement of NATO (today, up to Russia’s borders), in spite of assurances given to Mikhail Gorbachev that they wouldn’t, and the euphemistically called ‘Arab Spring’ regime change operations in the Mideast & Africa unfold while Russia was too weak to prevent them from happening – Russia, with a much smaller population than the US (having lost its former Soviet Socialist Republics) and China, with a very large population, but not at that stage of its economic development able to match the US militarily – realized that unless they worked together in synergy – each of them would be picked off one-by-one by the Anglo/American-Zionist Empire.

    If you recall the invasions of Russia over the last 2 centuries, first by Napoleon in 1812, the foreign Expeditionary Forces to prevent the Bolshevik Revolution in 1917, and then Operation Barbarossa, in June 1941 – as well as China’s own history of colonial exploitation by opium, gunboat diplomacy, US ships accessing China’s rivers as late as the 1930’s (possibly even 1949?) and the Unequal Treaties imposed on it – then its easy to see why both governments made the decision to economically and militarily integrate. To culturally converge is a happy byproduct of that decision.

    So, the fact of the matter is, Russia and China working symbiotically was a direct result of both governments’ policies.

    Think about it! Given the history, if you were the leader of either nation, what would you have done?

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