Saturday, March 26, 2016

Mark H. Teeter summarizes "Top 5 economic myths about America current in Russia" on his Facebook entry

Teeter image via Google search


by Vladislav Inozemtsev (Director, Center for Post-Industrial Studies, Moscow): “Anti-Americanism, as is well known, has become a very important part of our official propaganda and little by little is turning into a constituent element of the Russian national identity. Today, according to various surveys, the vast majority of Russians have a negative attitude to the U.S., with some 59% seeing America as a dangerous rival and an enemy of Russia. Yet in this case, as in many others, the popular attitude is in fact based on hastily-constructed and widespread propaganda myths. Let’s look briefly at five of the most common of and the most far-fetched in my field, that of economics.” [Single-sentence summaries:] 

(1) The social consequences of the 1930s are still felt in the U.S., as millions died of hunger during the Great Depression.
(2) America lives off the rest of the world, producing 20% of global GDP while consuming 40%.
(3) The American “payback” for living off everyone else is simply printing unsecured dollars, of which hundreds of trillions are now in circulation.
(4) Global financial prosperity is hindered by the cost of servicing the colossal U.S. debt.
(5) America’s global “aggression” is fueled by its “obsession” with enormous military expenditures.

“I understand perfectly well that when things aren't going too brilliantly, a country’s propaganda machine will try to find ways and means of criticizing others – and especially a country of whom one’s domestic elite has been so hopelessly jealous ever since the defeat in the Cold War.

"At the same time, I never cease to be amazed by the extent to which the Russian authorities see their own people as uneducated simpletons, incapable if questioning the obvious and utter falsehoods that our propaganda rains down on them.

"Or they are convinced that if you inflate evaluations of U.S. currency emissions and national debt by a factor of a thousand, people will still believe them? Maybe that will happen – but then I have another question: does the Kremlin leadership really derive pleasure from governing a people whom they themselves consider intellectually retarded?”

Image from entry

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