Russia: the most stable and healthy of all industrial economies
Vince Dhimos answered a question in German at Quora. Translation below.
Question: What are some wrong assessments about Russia?
Almost everything we think that we know about Russia in the Western world is false. This is because our “information” comes from the US and the US-led NATO. After the Soviet Union collapsed in 1991, NATO lost its raison d’etre and frantically sought to find another reason for amassing arms made in USA and holding a monstrous army. Otherwise a lot of warlike bureaucrats would have been out of a job. The dictum “war is good for the economy” makes sense. As long as the wars do not destroy infrastructure or kill people.
Since Russia had been the enemy before, Washington decided it could continue to be our enemy. But in order for that to happen, Russia had to be portrayed as a dangerous enemy but, in addition, as a weak state to provide a pretext for regime change actions and also to make Westerners think it could be easily defeated as long as NATO remained resolute and received massive injections of cash. But what fool would believe that the West has a dangerous but weak enemy? It turns out that the average bloke on both sides of the Atlantic swallowed this steaming pile of nonsense whole, without bothering to question it.
One of the most influential propagandists against Russia was Senator John McCain, who once said “Russia is just a big gas station.” He meant that the only source of revenues for the country was crude oil.
This suggests that Russia has a weak economy. However, a comparison with the US economy paints a different picture. The following is from wikepedia (not known to be a Russian troll factory):
agriculture: 4.7%, industry: 32.4%, services: 62.3%
agriculture: 0.9%, industry: 18.9%, services: 80.2%
It appears that the US economy is 80.2% services, ie, non-productive, while the Russian one is only 62.3% services but 32.4% industry, ie, more productive. The US economy is only 18.9% industry.
According to this site:
Russia’s debt to GDP ratio was only 11.793% in 2018, an amazingly low ratio indicating virtually no risk at all of default.
Compare this to Germany with a debt/GDP ratio of 63.9% (almost 6 times higher), France with 98.5%, almost ten times higher, UK with 87.4%, almost 8 times higher, and 105.4% for the US (well over GDP and growing like a cancer) at last count. Japan's debt was 236% of GDP at last count. And the trouble with these oversized debt piles is that the countries that have accrued them are no longer producer nations and their GDPs contain a high proportion of government spending that is mostly non-productive, such as military spending, which does not generate non-tax revenues.
In fact, Russia’s external debt in 2017 was $US 529.6 billion but its gold reserves were $US 487.8 billion and its cash (Forex) reserves were 490 billion, so that together, its gold and Forex more than cover the entire debt. From that perspective it could be said to have a negative debt. No other developed country can boast that kind of situation.
In fact, if we want to be perfectly honest, the Western economy has terminal cancer, beyond the shadow of any doubt.
From these important standpoints, no other developed country has such a healthy and secure economy in the world as Russia! Why would the Russians reject a president who had worked this miracle? They love Putin and he loves them right back!