“Happy families are all alike; every unhappy family is unhappy in its own way.”
(Leo Tolstoy, the very first line of Anna Karenina.)
Just a quickie today, this piece from RIA. The headline pretty much says it all. Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev, in his annual report to the Duma, communicated that almost 19 million citizens of the Russian Federation live below the poverty line. “This means,” Medvedev added, somewhat redundantly, “that 19 million people are living in a way that they ought not to.”
Sounding somewhat like Leo Tolstoy, the Prime Minister went on to say, that the reasons for being poor, differ in every individual case.
[yalensis: George Bernard Shaw, were he still alive, might well retort, that the reason for poverty for is always the same in every case: Namely, a shortage of money!]
Or perhaps, un unfair redistribution of resources from Downstairs to Upstairs? Unwilling, however, to admit that Russian capitalism has been a failure, Medvedev went on, optimistically, to opine, that the poor families can be “fixed”, each in its own way. To rate the effectiveness of state support (to families), one must consider not only the income of the poor families, but also their expenses. [Which cannot be done without the purchase of an expensive double-sided ledger book!]
Medvedev reported on measures to increase aid to families with multiple children. He would like the Duma to pass a law allocating 450K rubles to settle credit card debts for families with multiple children. [Finally, a good idea, but still too little!] And other measures to help these families.
The readers comments to this piece range from intelligent to acerbic. These two comments (of 211 total) were rated the most popular by other readers:
Самая богатая страна и бедный народ-парадокс.А зачем нам такая большая и богатая страна? Может половину сдать в аренду и ……,хотя если даже сдать ее всю,то денег на нужды людей все равно не будет.А может нет ее уже- страны нашей,может вся продана? (njhgtlj46)
The richest and also the poorest country – that’s a paradox. But why do we need such a big and rich country? Maybe we could rent out half of it and …, although, even if we rented the whole thing, we still wouldn’t have money for the needs of the people. And maybe we don’t even have a country any more, own own country, maybe it’s all been sold off?
Да Дима говорить о бедных, заполняя декларацию на свой белый доход в 10 млн за 2018, наверное приятное занятие? (Chistiak777)
Yeah, Dima, you talk about the poor people while filling out your declaration of your own pure profits to the tune of 10 million [rubles] in 2018, no doubt that was a pleasant exercise for you?
I end this piece with a quote from George Bernard Shaw. I believe it was Shaw who invented the phrase “unworthy poor”; it’s that scene in Pygmalion when Eliza Doolittle’s dad comes poking around in search of a handout. Henry Higgins gives him some money, but only on the condition that Doolittle remain a member of the “unworthy poor”.
Shaw: “Do not waste your time on Social Questions. What is the matter with the poor is Poverty; what is the matter with the rich is Uselessness.”