Voices from Russia

Friday, 22 November 2013

Duma Rejects Raise in Minimum Wage… Is This Shot in the Arm for the KPRF?

00 rich man hitting poor man. 26.09.13


On Friday, Russian lawmakers rejected an amendment to raise the country’s minimum wage to match its national poverty line starting in January. Russia’s current minimum wage of 5,205 roubles ($158) a month is 27 percent below the government’s own national average poverty threshold, set at 7,095 roubles ($215) in July. Deputy Mikhail Tarasenko said that the RF Gosduma Labour Committee “didn’t feel able to support this amendment”, without explaining why. The rejected amendment was part of a bill to bump Russia’s minimum wage up to 5,554 roubles ($169) in January 2014. Nevertheless, the Gosduma still expects to pass a bill raising the wage by about 350 roubles ($11) in a vote on Friday.

The minimum wage is a controversial concept among economists. Some argue that raising the salary threshold increases costs and thus unemployment, as companies may employ fewer people at higher salaries. Others, however, believe the relationship between minimum wage and unemployment is more complicated, and that the government is responsible to provide a salary guarantee at least equal to the poverty line. Russia has one of the lowest minimum wages in Europe, ranking 23rd out of 27 European countries in a 2013 study by the RIA Rating agency.

22 November 2013



Editor’s Note:

I’ll tell you why the deputies didn’t explain why they didn’t support a real rise in the minimum wage… BRIBES. It happens all the time in the US Congress (John Boehner and Mitch McConnell are bought n’ paid-for whores of the insurance industry, for instance)… so, the Russian lawmakers are only following the example of their more corrupt American mentors! Money talks and bullshit walks in crapitalism… that’s why the Left is gaining tread and cred in Russia and the USA (the Republicans couldn’t even win in Virginia… where a large bloc of sectarian voters usually puts them over the top). As Comrade Zyuganov said, “Events are filling the sails of the ship of the Left”… he’s right… in spades…



Thursday, 5 September 2013

US Senators Backing Syria Strike Got More Cash from Defence Contractors Than Sceptics Did

00 Dirty Money Breeds Dirty Politics. 09.12


On Thursday, the American technology magazine Wired reported that key US Senators backing military action against Syria received, on average, 83 percent more campaign cash from the US defence industry than those who voted against the strike. Wired reported that the 10 members of the US Senate Foreign Relations Committee who voted Wednesday to authorise a punitive strike against Syrian government targets over an apparent chemical weapons attack received an average of 72,850 USD (2.42 million Roubles. 75,800 CAD. 79,200 AUD. 55,300 Euros. 46,600 UK Pounds) from defence contractors over a five-year span compared to an average of 39,770 USD (1.32 million Roubles. 41,400 CAD. 43,300 AUD. 30,200 Euros. 25,400 UK Pounds) received by the seven members who voted no. The figures in the report came from data collected in 2007-12 by the Center for Responsive Politics, a respected Washington-based campaign finance watchdog group, and analysed by Maplight, a California-based group tracking money in politics.

Critics have long accused the US defence industry of using its deep pockets to influence lawmakers in Washington and benefiting from American military operations abroad. The funds cited in the analysis, commissioned by Wired, came from political action committees and employees of defence and intelligence firms, including Boeing and Lockheed Martin. In total, the 17 members of the Senate committee received just over 1 million USD during the five-year period. The 10-7 vote by the Senate committee means that the measure now goes to the full Senate for debate and a vote. The House Foreign Affairs Committee began debate on a similar resolution; the measure’s expected to have a tougher time winning backing there then it did with the Senate committee.

The bills under discussion would permit US President Barack Obama to order a limited US military strike against Syria in retaliation for an apparent chemical weapons attack in the Damascus suburbs on 21 August; the Obama administration says it believes the government of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad carried it out. The operation approved by the Senate committee wouldn’t exceed 90 days and would involve no American troops on the ground for combat operations. The full Senate must approve it when it reconvenes next week and by the 435-member House of Representatives as well before it can go to Obama for his signature. According to the report, the Senate Foreign Relations Committee member who received the most defence cash during the five-year span is Senator John McCain, a hawkish Republican from Arizona and fierce Kremlin critic, who garnered 176,000 USD (5.86 million Roubles. 183,000 CAD. 191,400 AUD. 133,500 Euros. 112,500 UK Pounds) in defence industry financing.

5 September 2013



Editor’s Note:

John McCain also got funding from the Georgian government or its agents (so did his “foreign policy advisor” Randall Scheunemann)… one can see where his anti-Russian orientation comes from. I’d remind Orthodox people that Mr McCain told Russophobic whoppers at the time of the South Ossetia War… and that his clueless running mate Sarah Palin echoed him (Orthodox people should take note that John Whiteford still supports Ms Palin… an indication of his abysmal ignorance and lack of support for the Orthodox homelands). It’s no surprise that Mr McCain’s firmly in the pocket of the defence industry… it proves that the biggest and highest-paid prostitutes are on Capitol Hill, not at the Cottontail Ranch… ‘nuff said!


Monday, 18 February 2013

Good Ol’ Silvio Rides Again… “Bribes are Necessary”



Former Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi shocked the Italian media with his views on bribery and its necessity in doing business in Third World markets. A series of corruption scandals has rocked the Italian political scene, whilst the current election campaign added to the intensity of the media inquiries into the unsavoury business practises of Berlusconi’s former allies. Amongst the targets of the latest anti-corruption campaign are the CEOs of Finmeccanica S.p.A. and Eni S.p.A.. It seems that Berlusconi felt the need to defend them, telling a Financial Times correspondent, “Bribes are a phenomenon that exists, and it’s useless to deny the existence of these necessary situations when you’re negotiating with Third World countries and régimes”.

The former Italian Prime Minister also tried to explain that bribing government officials is basically an unavoidable part of doing business, and that Giuseppe Orsi (former head of Finemeccanica) and Paolo Scaroni (former head of Eni) were actually paying “commissions”. Finmeccanica and Eni are Italian companies where the Italian government has significant stakes; therefore, the media often links the bribes paid by those companies to the corrupt practices of government officials. Both former CEOs denied any wrongdoing, but it’s unknown whether they appreciate such a form of public defence from Berlusconi, a politician who’s been heavily-involved in corruption scandals. Berlusconi’s political enemies used this opening to criticise him for “supporting corruption”, whilst current Prime Minister Mario Monti emphasised that his government has taken unprecedented measures to root out corruption. Given the fact that Mario Monti is a former employee of Goldman Sachs (a bank that often faced charges of corrupting government officials across the world), it’s safe to assume that both sides of the Italian political spectrum lack anti-corruption credentials.

18 February 2013

Voice of Russia World Service


Editor’s Note:

Like it or lump it, Good Ol’ Silvio speaks the God-honest truth. You don’t have to agree with or like someone to acknowledge that. If you want to do business outside Western Europe or the Anglosphere, it’s best to include a hefty allowance for… ahem… “extraordinary expenses”. If one was dealing with Mobutu’s Zaïre or Batista’s Cuba (or any Good Ol’ Boy state in the Southeastern USA or some local “machines” in the Northeast (our local boss, Jerry Jennings, is smarter than that… he knows that a modest “return” ensures “repeat business”))… well, that “margin” could be very dear, indeed.


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