A. The plunder of the American people (11)
How “wonderful” it is to be unemployed in America…
“In October 2016, the total monthly benefits paid to unemployed people in the United States amounted to 2.18 billion US dollars” (Statista). Recall that “as of December 2014, only 2.4 million Americans were claiming unemployment benefits” (The Huffington Post, Mar 13, 2015). Fewer people received benefits in 2016 than in 2014, but we will stick with the 2.4 million figure as an approximation.
This would amount to average monthly benefits of about $908 per unemployed worker in the US.
Multiplied by our approximate ratio of 60 rubles to one US dollar, this amounts to a theoretical 54,500 rubles a month.
We ignore for the minute that only about 3% of the total out-of-work Americans receive any unemployment benefits. Moreover, these benefits are temporary – even if the unemployed person cannot find new work.
Meanwhile, the number of Americans without work keeps rising: “the total number of people not in the labor force grew once more, rising by 18,000 in December, and a whopping 841,000 in the past three months, to a new all time high of 95.102 million Americans no longer in the workforce» (ZeroHedge, Jan. 6, 2017).
In Russia: “Среднемесячная заработная плата в России в номинальном выражении в январе 2016 года составила 32 122 рубля. Или 28 тысяч рублей после вычета подоходного налога в размере 13 %» (“Средняя заработная плата в России», Википедия).
Yes, Americans do have to pay income tax on their unemployment benefits. Nonetheless, IN RUBLE TERMS, the average American receiving unemployment benefits obtained more than the average employed Russian. Ain’t it wonderful!
How “wonderful” it is to be on welfare in America…
Recall that “welfare payments vary by state, but the average family of four in the United States can receive as much as $900 per month. A single person may receive as much as $200 per month” (www.reference.com). The family figure is equivalent to a maximum of 54,000 rubles per month – considerably more than the average Russian worker makes.
Moreover, there are supplemental welfare programs — Medicaid and food stamps, for instance — that may add to this amount.
How much? “Take the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), formerly known as food stamps: The average benefit per person is $1.50 per meal. Can you imagine trying to feed yourself adequately—not to mention healthily—on such an small amount of money?» (Groundswell, March 30, 2015).
More bad news: “It is not surprising that the current allowance benefits seldom if ever make ends meet for the recipient… as the economy continues to take a nosedive, so does the available means for those living with minimal income. A family of 4 cannot live on $900 a month” (welfareinfo.org,2016).
How “wonderful” it is to be retired in America…
Earlier, we recorded an average monthly US Social Security pension as $1,254 – the equivalent of nearly 75,200 rubles.
Pernicious propaganda about US economic reality…
The malicious and lying propagandists for US imperialism ignore a most salient fact: no one living in the United States of America can buy food or any other item, cannot pay rent or repair a car, etc. etc. using Russian rubles (presumably exchanged for dollars) and paying Russian ruble prices.
When expressed in ruble terms – as we have shown — costs in the US are almost universally much, much higher than in Russia. For the average American family of four, the average yearly gross income of about $52,000 a year is barely adequate. And may very well require borrowing money to get by.
Notwithstanding, that in ruble terms this average American family’s income amounts to about 260,000 rubles a month – more than 8 times greater than the average Russian salary.
Any Russian who has lived in America as well as the touted “experts” on the US certainly know that making such wild ruble-dollar currency comparisons leads to abject distortions. Yet they energetically manipulate and hide the facts to “prove” US beneficense and well-being.
None of this scurrilous propaganda is accidental. Pure and simple, this is CIA-directed propaganda run by the CIA-controlled mass media in Russia.
All this is a vital part of the massive campaign to demonstrate near-universal “prosperity” in the “civilized” US and therefore the “superiority” of US capitalism and the murderous imperialist regime run by the American ruling class.
All this is also intended to “prove” that the once-socialist Soviet Union failed because of the intrinsic “great humanism” of western, especially American, capitalism.
Правительство США жестоко нарушало мои права человека при проведении кампании террора, которая заставила меня покинуть свою родину и получить политическое убежище в СССР. См. книгу «Безмолвный террор — История политических гонений на семью в США» — «Silent Terror: One family’s history of political persecution in the United States» — http://arnoldlockshin.wordpress.com
Правительство США еще нарушает мои права, в течении более 13 лет отказывается от выплаты причитающейся мне пенсии по старости. Властители США воруют пенсию!! Всё это — ещё доказательство, что настоящий действующий закон в США — Закон джунглей.
ФСБ — Федеральная служба «безопасности» России — вслед за позорным, предавшим страну предшественником КГБ, выполняет приказы секретного, кровавого хозяина (boss) — американского ЦРУ (CIA). Среди таких «задач» — мне фактически запретить выступать в СМИ и не пропускать большинства отправленных мне комментариев. А это далеко не всё…
Арнольд Локшин, политэмигрант из США