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Thread: Russia raises retirement age

  1. #1
    The Un-Holy One The Man's Avatar
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    Russia raises retirement age

    The Russian government proposed an increase in the retirement age on Thursday, as the world’s attention was trained on the opening of the football World Cup.

    Russian officials have long talked about raising the pension age, but have been reluctant in part because the measure risks stirring up popular discontent and damaging politicians’ popularity. The Russian budget is under pressure from a growing number of pensioners and a shrinking workforce caused by a sluggish birth rate in the early 2000s.

    Starting in 2019, the proposal suggest that men’s retirement age will gradually be raised from 60 to 65 years-old by 2028, and for women from 55 to 63 years-old by 2034, Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev proposed at a cabinet meeting.

    “We have long prepared for a higher retirement age and have only reached this point now,” Medvedev said, promising that the increase would also allow the state to raise pension payments.

    Medvedev endorsed another unpopular measure: an increase in value-added tax (VAT) from 18 percent to 20 percent, raising prices and adding 1.5 percent to the consumer inflation index. Russia’s newly appointed First Deputy Prime Minister and Finance Minister Anton Siluanov estimated that the VAT increase could add at least 600 billion rubles ($9.6 billion) a year to government revenue.

    The government is likely to introduce legislation into the State Duma in the near future to enact both the VAT and retirement age changes.

    “People these days not only live longer, they stay active longer too. A retirement-age person 30 years ago and today are simply different people,” Medvedev said in the cabinet session.

    “Many in this age are full of strength and the desire to work.”
    With Eyes on World Cup, Russia Moves to Raise Retirement Age

    Well, it's true, plenty of people there work well into elderly age, you especially see it in the education system, lots of teachers in their 60s and even 70s in Russian schools

    and while a big part of it is that they are simply highly devoted to their job and to the children they teach

    but also, the farther you go from Moscow, and the poorer the regions get, people simply cannot survive on their meager pensions. Hence, they cannot retire, must work as long as they possibly can...

    And this is nothing new either, contrary to what Medvedev & Co may claim.

    When I went to school in Moscow in early 2000s, our geography teacher, for example, was a battleax of a babushka in her 80s already (!), who had fought in the Battle for Moscow in 1941, and constantly grumbled what fucking pansies us, modern young people, are compared to her generation. We did not object either, none of us, for, as far as we figured, she probably wasn't wrong about that one, this being a lady who took out a German tank with a Molotov cocktail back then, no joke... She was raising a grandson pretty much by herself, her daughter was an alcoholic and nobody even knew who the hell the poor kid's father was, not, sadly, an uncommon situation there... I always remember that old lady, one of the strongest people I ever known, despite her age...

    If the government there had any honor, any moral values, if they ever actually gave a damn about the people, they'd be helping ones like that, not simply force them to keep on working longer...

  2. #2
    The Un-Holy One The Man's Avatar
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    Russians are accusing their government of raising the retirement age close to men’s current average life expectancy while the country is distracted by its hosting of the World Cup.

    Prime minister Dmitry Medvedev announced on Thursday the Russian state pension age would be hiked from 60 to 65 for men by 2028 and 55 to 63 for women by 2034.

    Expected to be officially adopted by next year, the new policy would mean the country’s retirement age for men would be only a year lower than the World Health Organisation’s estimated life expectancy for a Russian man of 66.

    World Bank estimates also had Russian male life expectancy at 66, while the CIA’s World Factbook had it at 65. Women can expect to live to about 77.

    The Russian Confederation of Labour (KTR) said official statistics showed the average life expectancy of men was less than 65 in more than 60 regions of Russia.

    It estimated around 40 per cent of men and 20 per cent of women may not live long enough to claim their pensions under the new rules.

    KTR said in a statement: “The intention to raise the retirement age is not based on available official statistics and does not meet the goals set by the president of the Russian Federation to the government.

    “KTR does not support such decisions and declares its intention to launch a broad public campaign against their implementation.”

    However, Russia’s Federal Statistics Service projected men’s life expectancy would reach 74 years by 2034, according to Bloomberg News. The Moscow Times reported last year that the Russian government hoped to raise national average life expectancy to 76 by 2025, from its level then of 71.

    The announcement came at a time many were watching their national team’s 5-0 victory over Saudi Arabia in the opening game of the World Cup, a move that led some to accuse the government of trying to bury the news.

    “Under the noise of the opening of the 2018 World Cup Medvedev announced at a government meeting: the retirement age in Russia should be raised to 65 years for men and up to 63 years for women,” wrote Twitter user Yoshkin Mole.

    Dmitry Peskov, press secretary for Vladimir Putin, said the country had undergone large demographic changes since the Russian president stated in 2005 the country’s retirement age would not rise under his leadership.

    He added Mr Putin had not been part of the plan to increase the age at which Russians receive their pension.

    “You are talking about 2005. It is important that it was said 13 years ago, of course,” Mr Peskov told independent Russian news agency Interfax.

    “In the Russian Federation, there have been changes both in terms of demography and from the point of view of the level of economic development, changes in the international state of affairs. No country exists in a vacuum.

    “This is a fairly long period and during this period changes in any country are possible.”

    Mr Medvedev said the measures were “unavoidable and long overdue”, and were designed to kick-start a rise in living standards and economic development, the Financial Times reported.
    Two-fifths of Russian men 'may not live to see their retirement'

    I seriously don't know what Putin is trying to do...

    He and all the ones in the Kremlin must remember it's the elderly pensioners, for the most part, who keep voting him in, again and again

    Almost nobody under 50 in Russia even bothers to vote anymore, that's a fact. The old are the only ones still granting Putin that last vestige of legitimacy. Why target them now, I don't know...
    Thanks from NightSwimmer

  3. #3
    The Un-Holy One The Man's Avatar
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    Staunton, June 16 – Again and again, Aleksey Melnikov says, Putin’s system is “based on delegating responsibility” to others and denying one is involved unless there is something positive to be gained by doing so. That is what appears to be the case with the proposed increase in retirement ages that Putin’s spokesman says the Kremlin leader had nothing to do with.

    “Why does Russia need such a president?” if he isn’t involved in the tough decisions, the Moscow commentator asks rhetorically; but it also raises another possibility Melnikov doesn’t consider: is Putin placing the blame on Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev so that he can fire him and look the hero? (kasparov.ru/material.php?id=5B23E831CFACC).

    That appears particularly likely given reports the Kremlin is thinking about “retreating” on proposed pension ages if Russians protest against them, as they are already doing via public demonstrations and a petition drive with already nearly a million signatures (vedomosti.ru/politics/articles/2018/06/15/772958-opasayutsya-protestov).

    In his Kasparov commentary, Melnikov notes that Putin’s press secretary has declared that “Putin hasn’t participated in the discussion of raising the pension age. This supposedly is the task of the government.” But that raises the question, he says, “in just what then does Putin ‘participate’?”

    “Only in what he likes? Only in what he wants? In the opening of a football competition? In awards? In a night hockey league? In greetings? In motorcycle rides? … In photosessions with a gun and a naked torso? In fabricated elections?” Why does Putin get a choice given how many problems Russia has?

    “Why for example,” Melnikov continues, “doesn’t Putin go to meet the caskets of Russian soldiers who have gone to the war in Syria which he has gotten Russia involved in? A war which supposedly is finished and from which Russia has withdrawn its forces twice but in which Russian soldiers are dying?”

    According to the Russian commentator, “the Yeltsin-Putin political system is based on the delegation of responsibility. When the person on top controls everything,” as now, he is in a position to redirect any anger to those below him even though he personally bears responsibility for what they are doing because he alone decides whether they will be in office.

    “Three things distinguish the senior Russian leadership” under Putin, he continues: cowardice when its members get caught and have to lie about what they have done, boldness when they know that those opposing them are too weak to matter, and fear when they think that those they control and exploit may soon not be.

    That last point makes a story in Vedomosti by Andrey Gordeyev especially worthy of note. The journalist says that “the Kremlin is worried about protests because of the raising of the pension age,” is closely monitoring the situation, and in the words of one Kremlin source, may soften the reform by reducing the increases in retirement ages.

    Such a retreat, of course, would make Putin look the hero in a situation in which he clearly is not; but it would also completely undercut his prime minister who would become damaged goods not just as an electoral prospect in 2024 but right now. And that raises a larger question.

    Is it really unthinkable that Putin has planned for exactly that outcome in order to oust Medvedev and even his government to recover his own position with the population and set things on a new course, one that could be even more repressive but that would at first at least be rated as a concession to the population?
    Is Putin Simply Evading Responsibility on the Pension Issue – or Is He Making Medvedev the Fall Guy?

    Huh... I did NOT think of it like that... Putin certainly IS one crafty SOB, that's for sure...

  4. #4
    Southern Strategy Liberal OldGaffer's Avatar
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    Do those Russian Oligarchs even pay any taxes at all? Or do they just fuck over the middle and working class like ours?
    Thanks from Devil505, The Man and NightSwimmer

  5. #5
    The Un-Holy One The Man's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by OldGaffer View Post
    Do those Russian Oligarchs even pay any taxes at all? Or do they just fuck over the middle and working class like ours?
    I wouldn't imagine they do, no...

    But then, that's the difference in Russia.

    In America, it's "Two things are certain in life - death and taxes."

    In Russia, it's more "Taxes are for fools."

    Everyone who can, avoids and cheats on taxes. Everyone who can, does work off the books, for cash.

    Women, for example, make cakes and other pastries and such at home, and sell them (for cash, of course) online or by word of mouth


    Others do hair cutting and styling at home



    Men advertise automobile repair for cash

    as well as appliances, whatever.

    Basically, if you have any skills to make money from there, you work quietly for cash and avoid taxes. It's a national culture, at this point. Russia has one of the largest shadow economies on earth, it's a huge problem...
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  6. #6
    Radical Centrist BigLeRoy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by The Man View Post
    I wouldn't imagine they do, no...

    But then, that's the difference in Russia.

    In America, it's "Two things are certain in life - death and taxes."

    In Russia, it's more "Taxes are for fools."

    Everyone who can, avoids and cheats on taxes. Everyone who can, does work off the books, for cash.

    Women, for example, make cakes and other pastries and such at home, and sell them (for cash, of course) online or by word of mouth


    Others do hair cutting and styling at home



    Men advertise automobile repair for cash

    as well as appliances, whatever.

    Basically, if you have any skills to make money from there, you work quietly for cash and avoid taxes. It's a national culture, at this point. Russia has one of the largest shadow economies on earth, it's a huge problem...
    The Soviet Union had an enormous black-market economy during the days of Chernenko/Andropov/Gorbachev. How little things have changed! Gorbachev at least understood that meant the overall Soviet economy was highly inefficient. People would not need to resort to a black market if the legal economy was functioning smoothly.
    Thanks from NightSwimmer and The Man

  7. #7
    The Un-Holy One The Man's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by BigLeRoy View Post
    The Soviet Union had an enormous black-market economy during the days of Chernenko/Andropov/Gorbachev. How little things have changed! Gorbachev at least understood that meant the overall Soviet economy was highly inefficient. People would not need to resort to a black market if the legal economy was functioning smoothly.
    Yep... And the biggest issue with all this, is the lack of licensing, hygiene, and otherwise quality control, in such an environment. You got people selling homemade food, without any permits, etc. Providing all kinds of services, without licences, without contract or receipts or any paper trail, only a word, a wink, and a handshake, basically. It means, if you buy one of those cakes, for example, and get poisoned, there's nobody to sue; the person you bought it from can simply say they never seen you before in their life. Good luck proving otherwise... Only recourse you have is complaining about them on the anonymous online boards where they meet clients. If enough people complain about the, in this case, baker, nobody else would want to buy from him or her
    Thanks from BigLeRoy

  8. #8
    Thought Provocateur NightSwimmer's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by The Man View Post
    Yep... And the biggest issue with all this, is the lack of licensing, hygiene, and otherwise quality control, in such an environment. You got people selling homemade food, without any permits, etc. Providing all kinds of services, without licences, without contract or receipts or any paper trail, only a word, a wink, and a handshake, basically. It means, if you buy one of those cakes, for example, and get poisoned, there's nobody to sue; the person you bought it from can simply say they never seen you before in their life. Good luck proving otherwise... Only recourse you have is complaining about them on the anonymous online boards where they meet clients. If enough people complain about the, in this case, baker, nobody else would want to buy from him or her

    There is a substantial black market in the US as well. Trump represents many of the people in the black market, who enjoy the benefits of the commonwealth, while simultaneously cursing it because they don't want to part with a personal contribution to the common good.
    Thanks from The Man, OldGaffer and BigLeRoy

  9. #9
    The Un-Holy One The Man's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by NightSwimmer View Post
    There is a substantial black market in the US as well. Trump represents many of the people in the black market, who enjoy the benefits of the commonwealth, while simultaneously cursing it because they don't want to part with a personal contribution to the common good.
    Oligarchs are the same the world over...
    Thanks from BigLeRoy

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