February 18, 2011

YET WE WASTE WHAT PERCENT OF GDP ON DEFENDING OURSELVES FROM THESE CLOWNS?:

China is richer, but most Chinese are still poor (Nin-Hai Tseng, February 17, 2011, Fortune)

There is no doubt China has achieved impressive growth over the past decade. But even though the country has averaged about 10% growth over the past several years, that doesn't mean the average Chinese citizen is necessarily eating or sleeping better than the average German or Frenchman. In fact, with GDP per capita at $3,744 in 2009, China placed #86 out of 164 countries ranked according to 2009 World Bank data. This was just below much smaller economies such as Tunisia, Albania and Jordan.

While Japan might have lost its place to China, the average citizen there is still generally much richer. In 2009, Japan's GDP per capita, at $39,727, ranked it 19. What's more, even while the size of the U.S. economy ranks just one notch above China's, it's nevertheless one of the richest countries in the world with GDP per capita in 2009 at $45,989. In 2010, Japan's GDP per capita rose to $42,500 while in the U.S. it rose to $47,100.


Alcoholism Is Killing Off Russian Men (John Hudson, February 15, 2011, )
[A] report from the World Health Organization is depicting it in the starkest terms yet: it's causing a demographic timebomb. Richard Weitz at World Politics Review highlights the most disturbing figures from the report:

- Russians 16 and older drink the equivalent of roughly four gallons of pure alcohol per capita each year, almost twice the amount of their American counterparts.
- Russia currently has 2 million alcoholics.
- The number of Russian children aged 10-14 who drink alcohol exceeds 10 million.
- Roughly 500,000 Russians die annually from alcoholic-related accidents, crimes, and illnesses.
- Alcohol poisoning kills more than 23,000 Russians each year.

According to Weitz, 20 percent of Russian male deaths are attributed to alcoholism. A 15-year-old boy has a 40 percent chance of dying before the age of 60. Despite recent economic gains, the Russian population continues to shrink.

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Posted by Orrin Judd at February 18, 2011 5:28 AM
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