Monday, November 17, 2008

However stupid our Republican VP candidate might look...

...things are far, far worse in Russia. A couple of juicy quotes...

""Medvedev will serve his term and may be re-elected for another," says Edward Lozansky, a former dissident. "It is none of the British press's business anyway. Go and teach your British wives to cook cabbage soup.""

"Until last week, Svetlana, a young mother of two, held decidedly middle-class ambitions. An executive at a construction company, she was hoping to save enough to send her children to school in Britain and buy a new flat in an upmarket part of Moscow. But then, without warning, she was made redundant along with about 70 colleagues. She received no severance pay and was instead forced to sign a letter saying she had voluntarily resigned.
"They said that if I didn't sign then I could look forward to burying my own children," Svetlana says. "What kind of country do we live in? I thought we were close to becoming a civilised nation, but I've been forced to realise that that is an illusion.""


Nick said...

I remember you and your mates made comparisons in favor of USSR (you in enrolling story and dzembu - about the health care).
The story you tell now is USSR.
You just were very lucky not to meet
it when you lived there.

Sergey Solyanik said...

Actually, I am fairly sure that when it was USSR (as opposed to post-communist Russia), a laid-off worker wouldn't be threatened with violence against her kids.

As a matter of fact, there were no layoffs :-).

Well, in post-Stalin's USSR. The era before 1953 was very, very violent.

But after that it mellowed quite a bit - even according to the memoirs of the dissidents such as Sakharov, Solzhenitsyn, etc. They could lose the job, not get an exit visa, get kicked out of the country, but not have their children killed.

What was important was playing by the rules. If you do not directly confront the government, you were 100% safe. The violence was firmly the monopoly of the state back then.

Sergey Solyanik said...

WRT the healthcare - the doctors were better. I can attest to that.

They had worse equipment to work with, and limited amount of drugs (say, 5 types of antibiotics vs 50 here).

But they were on average much better than American doctors: they were going into this profession because they loved it, not because it paid obscene amounts of money.

Илья Казначеев said...

Вот еще мы будем сочувствовать топ-менеджеру Светлане, собиравшейся закупить очередную квартиру.
Рыба-то с головы гниёт, обрати внимание, если у них в конторе такие порядки, то она к ним причастна самым непосредственным образом.

А поскольку белая зарплата у нее, я уверен, в пределах двух килобаксов, вот их-то ей и предложили за два месяца, я полагаю. Ей не понравилось, захотелось напоследок снять сливки, откуда скандал.

Я б понял, если б обсуждали реальный средний класс, а не развлечения топ-менеджеров.