Submitted by Michael Snyder of The Economic Collapse blog,
The Russian Bear is stronger and more powerful than it has ever been before. Sadly, most Americans don’t understand this. They still think of Russia as an “ex-superpower” that was rendered almost irrelevant when the Cold War ended. And yes, when the Cold War ended Russia was in rough shape.
I got the chance to go over there in the early nineties, and at the time Russia was an economic disaster zone. Russian currency was so worthless that I joked that I could go exchange a 20 dollar bill and buy the Kremlin. But since that time Russia has roared back to life. Once Vladimir Putin became president, the Russian economy started to grow very rapidly.
Today, Russia is an economic powerhouse that is blessed with an abundance of natural resources. Their debt to GDP ratio is extremely small, they actually run a trade surplus every year, and they have the second most powerful military on the entire planet. Anyone that underestimates Russia at this point is making a huge mistake. The Russian Bear is back, and today it is a more formidable adversary than it ever was at any point during the Cold War.
Just check out the following statistics. The following are 18 signs that Russia is rapidly catching up to the United States…
Under the presidency of Vladimir Putin Russia’s economy saw the nominal Gross Domestic Product (GDP) double, climbing from 22nd to 11th largest in the world. The economy made real gains of an average 7% per year (1999: 6.5%, 2000: 10%, 2001: 5.7%, 2002: 4.9%, 2003: 7.3%, 2004: 7.2%, 2005: 6.4%, 2006: 8.2%, 2007: 8.5%, 2008: 5.2%), making it the 6th largest economy in the world in GDP(PPP). In 2007, Russia’s GDP exceeded that of 1990, meaning it has overcome the devastating consequences of the recession in the 1990s.
During Putin’s eight years in office, the industry grew by 75%, investments increased by 125%, and agricultural production and construction increased as well. Real incomes more than doubled and the average salary increased eightfold from $80 to $640. The volume of consumer credit between 2000–2006 increased 45 times, and during that same time period, the middle class grew from 8 million to 55 million, an increase of 7 times. The number of people living below the poverty line also decreased from 30% in 2000 to 14% in 2008.
#9 According to Bloomberg, Russia has added 570 metric tons of gold to their reserves over the past decade. In the United States, nobody seems to be quite sure how much gold the Federal Reserve actually has left.
The Borey Class submarine, dubbed Vladimir Monomakh, has a next generation nuclear reactor, can dive deeper than 1,200 feet, and carries up to 20 nuclear intercontinental ballistic missiles (ICBM).
#17 Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin made headlines all over the world when he climbed into the cockpit of Russia’s new “fifth generation” fighter jet and announced that it was far superior to the F-22 Raptor.
Unfortunately, whenever I write an article about Russia I find that most people simply do not get it. They will make statements such as “the Cold War is over” or “Russia is our friend” which show a complete and total lack of understanding of the current geopolitical situation.
Russia has been steadily building a stronger relationship with China, and collectively they represent the number one strategic threat to the United States.
Someday this will become abundantly clear to the American people. Hopefully it will not be too late by the time they realize it.