Voices from Russia

Wednesday, 4 February 2015

Gallup CEO: 5.6 Percent Unemployment in USA is “Big Fat Lie”



Jim Clifton, President and CEO of Gallup, said that the official unemployment rate of 5.6 percent is very deceptive. Gallup is well-known for taking the country’s pulse on a number of issues, including the president’s job performance and what people think about the economy. Clifton said that lately the US Department of Labor has rolled out some supposedly good news about the economy and jobs, and everyone’s jumping on the bandwagon, hooting and hollering about how great things are getting. He said, “The cheerleading for this number is deafening. Right now, we’re hearing much celebrating from the media, the White House, and Wall Street about how unemployment is ‘down’ to 5.6 percent. The media loves a comeback story, the White House wants to score political points, and Wall Street would like you to stay in the market”.

Another thing, the Department of Labor says that if you work a minimum of one hour a week and receive at least 20 USD (1,360 Roubles. 125 Renminbi. 1,240 INR. 25 CAD. 26 AUD. 17.50 Euros. 13 UK Pounds) pay, then, that’s a “job” and you aren’t counted as unemployed, even though you’d be hard-pressed to try to get by with just 20 bucks a week. However, the positive vibes are all smoke and mirrors because the numbers don’t take into account some key factors. For instance, the unemployment figures don’t count people who’ve been unemployed for a while and have stopped looking for work out of frustration. It also doesn’t take into account underemployed people, which Gallup calculates is about 30 million Americans. Clifton believed that it’s downright tomfoolery, especially, when you take into consideration that not all jobs are created equal. In other words, what about all the people who’re underemployed? Let’s say that you have a college degree, you got laid off from your job, and you’re driving a cab to make ends meet. Guess what? You’re not counted among the 5.6 percent. That number doesn’t look at those who’ve stopped looking, those working part-time, and anyone underemployed.

Clifton has three words for it: A BIG LIE. He said, “It’s a lie that has consequences, because the great American dream is to have a good job, and in recent years, America failed to deliver that dream more than it has at any time in recent memory. A good job is an individual’s primary identity, their very self-worth, their dignity… it establishes the relationship they have with their friends, community and country”. Gallup classified a “good job” as one where you work at least 30 hours a week for a regular paycheque. Gallup says there are only about 44 percent of “good jobs” out there, meaning that more than half of the jobs in the USA are those part-time or low-wage flim-flam deals that the government, Wall Street, and the media want you to think aren’t that at all. Wake up, Clifton said, and stop spreading the BIG LIE.

4 February 2015

Sputnik International



“The Ukrainian Economy is in Backwards Drive, Feeding Tensions and Discontent”

00 Kiev. riots 02. 21.01.14


Journalist Neil Clark told RT that Tuesday’s protests outside Poroshenko’s offices in Kiev are just a part of a bigger picture of discontent grasping the Ukraine. With a worsening economy, former Maidan allies are now angered and splitting up.



Is this a small pocket of discontent or are we seeing something wider here?

Neil Clark: 

I think it’s a part of something wider because it isn’t the first time that this happened. We had similar demonstrations last week in Kiev; they booed Poroshenko when he went to the Maidan. I think what that reflects is deep underground divisions amongst the pro-putsch pro-Maidan factions. What brought them together 12 months ago was a determination to topple then-President V F Yanukovich’s government. There were disparate groups of people, ranging from neo-Nazis, far-right ultranationalists, to, if you’d like, pro-Western globalists. Now, the country is under great pressure; economically, things aren’t going well at all… the Ukraine is a basket-case economy; it’s near bankrupt. There are swingeing cuts in public provision, almost destroying the welfare state there. Therefore, people are very unhappy. As I said, this represents a wider discontent among the pro-putsch forces that are fighting amongst themselves now.


There were demonstrations outside the very same buildings a year ago. Back then, it was anger at the old authorities. However, they’re gone now. Will this cycle ever end?


Not for a long time I fear, because this violent peak started in November 2013. It’s the same sort of violence that they used to topple the previous government… the West shared that violence, let’s not forget that. It violently toppled a democratic government in the Ukraine. What the Western leaders, the European leaders, should’ve done was to ask people to wait until the elections this year if they wanted to get rid of Yanukovich. However, now, they encourage the violence. We had a leading US State Department official going to the Ukraine, supporting the protestors. This is what happens… now, the situation in the Ukraine shows us that Poroshenko’s a very, very weak president. We have this very weak coalition of interest holding the pro-putsch side together. There’s real anger now, real division between, I’d say, the ultranationalist wings, the less-nationalistic wings, and the more globalist wings. People supported the putsch because they wanted to get the Ukraine in the EU and NATO. Now, they’re clashing with more ultranationalist wings who want something different. On the back of these, there’s economic collapse. We’re having some awful austerity measures introduced in the Ukraine, even worse than the measures introduced in Greece that caused so much social discontent. It was a poor country anyway. However, the fact is that for most Ukrainians, things are a lot off worse now than they were under Yanukovich twelve months ago. The economy’s going backwards. Poverty is rising. That’s the sort of backdrop to what happened today. Unless something radical happens in the Ukraine, unless there’s a change of course within the government, a peace deal with [Novorossiya], and a change of economic policies, I think things are only going to get worse. Many people in the Ukraine are very, very angry about what‘s going on, so, the violence which started in November is carrying on today, as we see.

4 February 2015



Price of Bread in Kiev Could Double by Spring

00 Bread or the Lack of It. 07.05.14


Due to inflation, the price of wheat is going up, which could lead to an increase in the price of a loaf of bread to 10 Grivna (41 Roubles. 3.75 Renminbi. 37 INR. 0.60 USD. 0.75 CAD. 0.77 AUD. 0.53 Euros. 0.40 UK Pounds). Yaroslav Krasnopolsky, Ukrainian First Deputy Minister of Agrarian Policy, said, “In May 2014, the price of wheat was 2,500 Grivna (10,150 Roubles. 930 Renminbi. 9,225 INR. 150 USD. 188 CAD. 192 AUD. 132 Euros. 98 UK Pounds) per ton. We believe that there’d be 100 percent inflation by May 2015. This’d give us a final price of 4,500-5,000 Grivna (18,270-20,300 Roubles. 1,674-1,860 Renminbi. 16,605-18,450 INR. 270-300 USD. 338-376 CAD. 345-384 AUD. 237-264 Euros. 176-196 UK Pounds) per ton, therefore, the price of flour would be 6,000-8,000 Grivna (24,360-32,480 Roubles. 2,235-2,980 Renminbi. 22,100-29,470 INR. 357-476 USD. 450-600 CAD. 462-616 AUD. 315-420 Euros. 237-316 UK Pounds) per ton. As a result, the final price of a loaf of bread would be 9-10 Grivna (37-41 Roubles. 3.35-3.75 Renminbi. 34-37 INR. 0.54-0.60 USD. 0.68-0.75 CAD. 0.69-0.77 AUD. 0.48-0.53 Euros. 0.36-0.40 UK Pounds)”. He listed factors that could lead to increased grain prices, namely, winter conditions (about 16 percent stunted and damaged crops), military operations, and higher prices of materials and technical resources. Another factor is a possible revision of the tax code and introducing a special fee on imported resources to ensure the balance of trade. Officials fear that this situation could set off harmful social consequences in the country.

4 February 2015



Archbishop Jovan Released from Prison in Macedonia

00 Police handcuffing Abp Jovan. 06.12


On 2 February 2015, a court decision in Skopje released Archbishop Jovan Vraniškovski of Ohrid (SPC) from Idrizovo Prison. On 15 November 2014, during their meeting in Belgrade, Patriarch Kirill Gundyaev of Moscow and all the Russias and Patriarch Irinej Gavrilović of Serbia discussed Archbishop Jovan’s health and general situation. On 20 December 2014, with the blessing of Patriarchs Kirill and Irinej, Metropolitan Ilarion Alfeyev, Chairman of the MP Synodal Department for External Church Relations (OVTsS), visited Skopje and met with Archbishop Jovan. On the same day, Metropolitan Ilarion met with Macedonian government leaders, President of the Republic of the Macedonia Ǵorge Ivanov and President of the Macedonian Government Nikola Gruevski. He also met Archbishop Stefan, head of the uncanonical Macedonian Orthodox Church (MPC). On 28 January 2015, Patriarchs Kirill and Irinej blessed Bishop Irinej of Backa and Archimandrite Filip Vasiltseva to visit Archbishop Jovan at the prison. With the blessing of Patriarch Irinej, and at Patriarch Kirill’s invitation, Archbishop Jovan will soon go to Moscow for medical treatment. Both the MP and the SPC give thanksgiving to God for the welcome release of Archbishop Jovan.

3 February 2015


MP official website


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