Over on the powerful and influential American Thinker blog, LR publisher and founder Kim Zigfeld reviews a recent report on the Russian economy by the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development in Europe. The report offers shockingly grim analysis of the Russian education system, concluding it is simply not prepared to equip Russians for global competition, and offers a bleak assessment of Russia’s economic prospects under Putin.
What you see above is the visual representation of the Better Life Index generated by the OECD (Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development). Click the image to see it full size.
The BLI ranks 34 countries around the world based on 11 basic criteria for quality of life and happiness. Russia placed a dismal #30: Only four nations in the survey were worse than Russia when judged across these criteria. Australia is #1 and the USA is #6 on the survey.
The web page of the OECD allows you to toggle each of the 11 categories to compare performance with that criteria being primary. Toggle civic engagement or environment, and Russia drops to #32. Toggle health, and Russia drops even further, to #33, nearly the very worst in the entire group. You can also toggle multiple criteria to create your own standard for what a proper country should be. Make health, environment, civic engagement and income most important, and Russia is the very worst performer in the entire group, by wide margin. as show below. In fact, Russia is so bad that its name doesn’t even fully fit on the screen when judged on these four criteria.
Again, you can click the image to see it full size. The USA has the highest score in the world when judged on these four criteria alone.
Here’s what the OECD days about the critical criteria of income:
Money, while it cannot buy happiness, is an important means to achieving higher living standards. In Russia, the average household net-adjusted disposable income is 15 286 USD a year, less than the OECD average of 23 047 USD a year. But there is a considerable gap between the richest and poorest – the top 20% of the population earn nine times as much as the bottom 20%.
Russia’s average income level is a shocking $8,000 per year less than the average for the group of 34 countries, and Russia’s wickedly unfair income distribution means that the average income figure for Russia is misleading because so few are at the top, holding so much of the pie. The USA leads the income criteria by a wide margin, while Russia’s income level is bested by the likes of Greece, Iceland and Slovenia.
Even in the area of education, where Russians pride themselves on high attainment, Russia score places it in the bottom third of the group with no Eastern European nation below it.
Time after time, when rated by international studies Russia finds itself at the bottom of the list of any group of nations it’s placed with. On the BLI, Russia was by far the worst-performing country in its region of Eastern Europe. It’s an absolutely disgraceful embarrassment for Russia, and shows that after twelve years of rule by Vladimir Putin the country has made no progress in competing even with Eastern, much less Western, Europe.