Friday, June 17, 2011

Barmy Blog Posts, No. 43: Cucumber Economics Predict Russia's Demise

US Astronaut, Tracy Caldwell, returned to Earth from the
International Space Station, courtesy of Russia's Space Agency.
Image source.

By a brilliant deductive process involving consideration of Russia's consumption of cucumbers, Craig Murray, former UK Ambassador to Uzbekistan, reaches the amazing conclusion that Russia is an economic basket case, which is in both relative and absolute decline, and more closely comparable with Nigeria than with a modern industrial economy.

His argument is this:

Russia has banned the import of Spanish cucumbers due to the E. coli contamination scare, thereby revealing that "Russia, which has a greater area of unforested potential arable land per head of population than any other major state, is highly dependent on vegetable imports."

This "astonishing" fact, says Murray, "is indicative of a huge malaise." Russia, he concludes, "is not a great power in decline. It is a third world country in decline."

Wow, the power of the diplomatic mind.

See how it ignores the trivial, the nukes, the ICBM's, the tens of thousands of miles of Russian-built pipelines upon which Western Europe depends for around one third of its oil and gas.

Observe its contempt for mundane practicality, the fact, for instance, that in spring, vegetable crops in Southern Europe are somewhat more advanced than in Asiatic Russia.

No, merely from Russia's refusal to consume toxic cucumbers, the future of world events inevitably flows.

But for those whose processes of thought follow a more prosaic path, here are comparative stats for Russia and the UK, which must be telling us something.

2010 ECONOMIC STATS (Source: CIA World Fact Book) Russian numbers followed by UK numbers in parenthesis.
GDP (PPP): $2.23 trillion ($2.173 trillion)
Labour force in industrial occupations: 31% (18.2%)
Investment rate as % GDP: 18.9% (14.4%)
GDP Growth 2010: 4% (1.3%)
Population below the poverty line 13% (14%)
External debt: $0.5 trillion ($8.9 trillion)


CanSpeccy: Annoying Bureaucrats No. 23: British Library Security Officials

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