What Change Canada Voted For

Now, Justin Trudeau is Prime Minister of Canada. A person who has neither knowledge nor experience in politics, in economics, and in administrative matters became a leader of the country. Some analysts and media were quick to point out what mistakes had conservatives made during the election campaign. Even Stephen Harper said that conservative’ s failure was his fault. Remarkably, very few, if any, say what liberals did right. The reason is that there is almost nothing they did right: in fact, this election was an evidence of colossal failure of common sense. This happens from time to time with any nation: at some moments in history common sense does not make sense for people anymore, no matter how strong and convincing its arguments are.

In reality, neither conservatives did anything wrong, nor liberals did much right, as I will show in the analysis below.

Conservatives had a remarkable record with the economy. In the 2008 crisis Canada weathered the storm much better than any country around the globe. This was due to the government’s fiscal policy, which was a combination of restrictions, regulations, and proper economic stimulus. In the following difficult years, when most developed countries struggle with high unemployment and deficit, Canada managed to have budget surplus. The recent price drop of oil had a negative impact on Canadian economy, but it is much less severe than should have been expected.

Anyone who has a higher formal education in macro economy – I am one of them – knows that healthy expansion of economy is based on savings and investment. This, in turn, promotes jobs creation and, as a consequence, increased consumption. That’s what essentially was the conservative’s policy in the past, and that’s what they promised for the future.

Liberals offered quite the opposite: they promised a spending spree, by using the surplus, created by conservatives, and by borrowing beyond their means, thus creating deficit. This policy has invariably only one outcome: a splash of consumption in the first 2-3 years, and then a long period of stagnation and restoration of economy. Common sense suggests to trust economy, and the surplus, to those who made this surplus. Instead, voters trusted management of the country’s economy to Justin Trudeau, who has – I dare say – no idea how mechanics of economy works. It does not make sense. But it happened.

Liberals chose Justin Trudeau as their leader not because he had any achievement in politics, or any accomplishment at all, for that matter. They chose him for one reason only: his association with the name of his father Pierre Trudeau, who was a famous prime minister of Canada.

Pierre Trudeau resigned before his term was over. He had no choice, as mismanagement of economy during his reign was appalling. It would make sense for a Liberal party leader candidate to disassociate himself from Pierre Trudeau. This association though was a major factor, which contributed to success of Justin Trudeau. It does not make sense. But it happened.

Regardless of how good or bad the association with Pierre Trudeau was, the fact that Justin Trudeau is the son of Pierre Trudeau says nothing about his ability to govern the country. In the past, only monarchies transferred reign of power to the offspring regardless of his ability to govern. Usually the nation accepted it as a normal thing. Stupidity of such inheritance was obvious, but now this notion of power inheritance made a spectacular victory in Canada. It does not make sense. But it happened.

Some expressed opinions that conservatives made a mistake concentrating on non-important issues, such as hiqab. This is, in my opinion, a superficial argument. Hiqab is, as Canadian majority looks at it, a barbaric dress of a culture completely foreign to Canada. Actually, it is unthinkable for Canadians to see a complete coverage of the face by policemen, doctors, nurses, judges, or political figures. It is unthinkable to present a driver’s license with the face covered. It is a security risk to allow a hiqab-covered person to enter a bank. That’s what Harper and his party were against. It made sense, but it failed. I don’t think that it was a fault of conservatives. It was a failure of common sense.

In the matter of refugees conservatives appealed to the nation’s common sense. Humanity and compassion for people in distress, as all other good intentions, do not generate a budget for helping them. Every nation could do only what it could afford to do. Many people think that spending money on migrants is just the matter of the government’s good will. Far from it: it is everyone’s money and effort. There will be much less immigration welcoming activists and supporters if it was the matter of personal contribution, such as donation or sponsorship. Justin Trudeau intends to accept amount of refugees which would exacerbate Canadian economic and social problems, not to mention security risk. Such policy does not make sense. But it worked.

Conservatives advocated tougher measures against terrorists and dangerous criminals. It does make sense. But it didn’t work. Liberals were against it. It does not make sense. But it worked.

In my opinion, neither Harper, no conservatives, did anything wrong in their election campaign. They did not make unrealistic or false promises. They were frank and truthful to the public. This was the only mistake they made, if we can call it that.

I believe that Stephen Harper is a great statesman, one of the most prudent Canada has ever  had. If he was defeated by equally gifted opponent, I would have accepted this fact without much regret, even if the new policy was not to my liking. But bad policy without capable leadership is a sure way to a long-lasting misery.

Now, we are heading into rough waters: deterioration of economy in 2-3 years, bad relationship with the U.S., and a profound, dangerous change in international politics. Welcome change.

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Human Flood from the Third World: Is there a solution?

Migrants in Germany

Migrants in Germany

This article was first published in Blogcritics.

Why the recent flood of migrants from the Third World to Western Europe was such a shock to media, public and politicians? After all, there had been warning voices predicting it. There had also been plenty of evidence that the stream of migrants from troubled places on Earth was a permanent phenomena, and gathering steam.

Now, the same dominating section of media found the prime culprit of the problem: the civil war in Syria. But there have always been wars in the Middle East and Africa in the past, and the number of refugees amounted to millions. However, none of the West European countries had to deal with the similar influx of them.

There has never been a shortage of advocates who were in favour of accepting refugees and other migrants. Recently they became more vocal than ever. Their argument is that not helping people in despair is morally wrong. After all, the memory of the Third Reich is still fresh, when Hitler’s regime made Jews run from Europe to elsewhere, but no state gave them even a temporary refuge.

This comparison is not only factually, but also morally wrong. Jews did not flee a war zone: they fled genocide. Jews had no means to fight the Nazi regime. They were unarmed, without any support, absolutely helpless against the powerful Germany oppressive machine. During the war with Germany though, Jews serving in allies armies and in guerrilla units proved to be fierce and dedicated fighters against Hitler’s army.

If you look at the pictures of Syrian refugees showing a few women and children on the forefront, you’d find that the majority of them at the background are young men. Why they do not fight, but rather run to Europe? It is their obligation to defend whatever their affiliation is: there is plenty of help from outside world to Syrian fighting factions. Of course it is dangerous: of course it is safer and easier to become a refugee and live on a fat European subsistence. In fact, they should not be considered refugees, because they had choices, albeit difficult ones.

Actually, in strictly legal terms most of them are not refugees: they do not flee a dangerous zone. Many of them migrate from refugee camps in Turkey, Jordan and other places. They are looking for a better place to settle, but it does not mean that European Union, as well as the U.S. and Canada, are bound by any convention to accept them. The 1951 Convention Article 1 (D) explicitly “excludes individuals who, at the time of the 1951 convention, were already receiving protection or assistance from another UN organ or agency.”

Advocates of unlimited migration to Europe are quick to explain that it is logical for the most able people to undertake a dangerous trip to Europe first, and then to help their families reunite with them in Europe. Great! They leave their families in a war zone, ostensibly facing death, while they enjoy whatever comfort and safety is there in Europe. Their families, even if not perished, would wait long time, perhaps years, until their cases were considered. And the humane, kind Europe would have to accept large families of the applicants, whereby exacerbating the migrants crises. As stated in Economist in the article Merkel at her limits, “those granted asylum have the right to bring family later.” Sure thing that the human flood we now witness is the tip of the iceberg.

The reality is that the problem of massive migration from the Third World to the Western Europe is created by European self-distracting liberalism. This problem is, as it should now be clear to the whole political spectrum, a permanent component of European life. It is not only just the current influx of migrants, as it may seem, but its future as well.

Western Europe had to deal with much, much larger number of real refugees and displaced persons in the past, particularly after the WWII: there were total of more than 40 millions refugees, of which 12 millions were Germans. They all were true refugees, with no choice other than to flee genocide. It was a terrible burden on Germany and, perhaps to no lesser extent, on some other European countries. But 10 years later there were no refugees in Europe: they all became undistinguishable from the local population. The explanation is obvious: the refugees were people of the same culture and mentality, and had similar education and set of skills as the locals. They simply morphed into the indigenous population.

The contemporary migration from the Third World is fundamentally different. Only a small part of it integrates into the local societies. Their descendants fair no better. According to statistics, their unemployment rate reaches in some places 60 percent. They rely on government subsistence in much greater extent than the indigenous population. The more generous and humane their host country is, the more severe the economical burden of the new immigrants on the county’s economy. Crime among migrants is rampant. In many instances Muslim population demonstrates intolerance to the local culture and beliefs. The greater is the migrant’s population, the more severe are problems associated with them. As everything in nature, the limit will be reached at some point when the society would not be able to exist the way it used to, and all its moral and economic foundations will collapse.

The number of newcomers has already reached the size which strains social and economic resources of Western civilization. There are no conditions to create more jobs for migrants, as their skills are very low, or none. To support them, the productive part of society has to work harder, and get less for its work. The cruel reality is that money is not made by humanitarian ideas: it is the result of intellectual achievement and hard work of the society. Financial burden, along with the fast growing criminality among newcomers and their insistence on supporting their customs make the life of a host country a misery. Another few years of unrestricted immigration, and the whole European society will share the poverty and the way of life of the poorest.

A big part of contemporary migrants are not refugees in political terms: they run from poverty in search of a better life. Quite an understandable desire, and it deserves compassion and help from those who are better off. After all, it is morally wrong and against humanitarian spirit of Christianity – the core of Western Civilization – not to do so.

But there are about 4 billion (or more) unfortunate people around the world, who live in appalling poverty, and mostly in the countries with oppressive regimes. They are all potential migrants. The more they hear stories of generosity of the Western World from their fellow-nationals, the greater number of them resort to dangerous trips to developed countries. These people do not travel to Russia, Eastern European countries, or China. Their destinations are Western Europe, the U.S., Canada and Australia.

There are some among our politicians and human rights activists who advocate for unrestricted immigration or a lenient policy toward it. But you would be surprised to know that none of them is willing to sacrifice their own well-being in favour of their ideology and beliefs. They want the whole society to bear the burden of their ideas. It is easy to become a humanist at somebody’s expense. It is much harder to face the reality and make a tough, painful choice.

The dilemma for developed world, and particularly for Western Europe, is profound, and could shutter its moral foundation. They can stick to its Christian morality and the spirit of humanity, and accept all people in despair – hundreds millions of immigrants from the Third World. This is a sure way to destroy developed societies and become no different from the countries of immigrants origin. Another choice is to stop the immigration no matter how cruel the consequences would be. This is a terrible dilemma from the moral perspective: hundreds of thousands of migrants would die in the journey for a better life. Which of the choices is better? One thing is clear: the time of political correctness, be it in words or in actions, is over. Any decision would be painful, but the reality should be expressed to the indigenous population in no unambiguous terms: there are terrible choices. None of them is good. But they have to be made now, as time is running out.


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Niqab in Canada: Why it is an Issue?

Women in Nijab

Women in Nijab

Niqab is a black shapeless garment, which covers all woman’s body, including face. Usually it has a small slit for eyes, but some variety have opening only for one eye, or even hide both eyes by transparent material.

It happened a while ago that two women, hidden inside Nijab, appeared at the Canadian citizenship ceremony. The authorities considered inappropriate for attendees to hide their faces during a public official procedure, and ordered the women to leave. The women appealed to the federal court, which declared the decision of citizenship authority unconstitutional, and confirmed the two women’s right to attend the citizenship ceremony with their faces hidden.

This issue lingered for some time, attracting little interest of the public, but suddenly exploded in the last month into one of the most heated topics of the federal election campaign. What happened?

One Muslim woman asks in her article: Don’t we have more important issues, such as economy, to discuss? What’s the big deal that we do not see the faces of two women at the citizenship ceremony?

Some voices were quick to accuse Conservatives in exploiting this issue. They may be right, but it does not explain why the public suddenly became so involved in the discussion. It also does not explain why NDP and Liberals have been drawn into this seemingly trifle debate. Why bother?

The reality is, that all political parties became slaves of political correctness, the victim of which is the truth. This Nijab issue, insignificant as it might seem, coincided with the flow of information about influx of Muslim refugees to Western Europe. The fact that it is a disaster was admitted even by the most politically correct press. Under the weight of refugee tide all humanitarian and legal foundations of Western Europe civilization has cracked. Even France and England, which have the most liberal policy towards migrants from the third world, in fact shut their doors to migrants.

Europe is terrified. But not only Europe. Canada is among those countries, whose population is afraid that something similar may happen with it. The majority who are against Nijab are those who likely would vote against accepting Syrian and other migrants.

The interesting fact is, that even Muslim community, usually so active in its religious and customs matters, is predominantly silent. It demonstrates that Canadian Muslims are also not in favour of mass immigration from the Middle East.

Conservatives intend to accept 10 thousands migrants till September 2016. NDP was quick to raise this number to 46 thousands over 4 years. Other NDP members opt for 100,000.

All political parties have highly charged emotional appeals associated with migration from the Middle East.

NDP appeals to Canadian traditional generously and humanity. Conservatives appeal to the population’s sober mind and understanding of reality. The dilemma is clear, although outside the boundary of politically correct language: do we have sufficient funds for absorbing the influx of migrants? Are we willing to face European-style disaster, because we are very kind and compassionate? Do we care in what country our children and grandchildren will live in ten or fifteen years from now? That’s what Nijab, rightly or wrongly, associated with.

Make no mistake: arguments that immigrants from the third world countries help economy is a myth. If interested, browse Internet for statistics of the most immigrant-friendly countries, such as Sweden, France, England and Germany. I do not have to elaborate other points. Suffice it to say, that once started, immigration will grow forever, until either humanitarian principles, or the country itself, will collapse.

There are other issues with Nijab, but perhaps of lesser importance. If granted citizenship, the Niqab-covered women will have full rights to obtain education and become lawyers, judges, doctors, police persons, and other. Now imagine that you bring your mentally unstable child to a psychologist or a psychiatrist, who is hidden inside Niqab. She might have an opening for two eyes, or for one eye, or for none. Would your child be healthier after such a visit?

Another point: what about having a police woman in Niqab?

In early 1980s there was a case in Toronto, when a policeman – a person immigrated from India – claimed that he had the right to wear a turban while on the job, as his religion does not allow him to take it off. He won his case in the court. I have never seen a policemen in turban, and I am happy with that. If I am in distress and look for police, the last thing I would do is to look for a turban in the crowd and call out for his help.

Even less desirable would be a police woman hidden in Niqab. I doubt that anyone would be tolerant enough to see a pilot of international (and even domestic) flight in Niqab. There is no need to expand the list.

I believe that common sense should prevail, and limits of freedom and democracy have to be recognized. If Canada is so kind to immigrants and their customs, it is reasonable to expect from them to recognize the customs of this country, and respect it.


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About Canadian Parties Election Platforms

Trudeau, the leader of Liberals, appeared in the party ad, telling the public that he had found the way to solve Canadian social and economic problems. In his vision it is rather simple: to increase taxes on the rich and on corporations, and distribute the proceeds among the needy. This is, in a nut shell, the position of the NDP as well.

The idea is not new, but in spite of its attractive simplicity, it has never brought positive results. Perhaps this time it would work, you may ask? Perhaps now the Liberals know how it supposed to be done?

To judge the validity of taxing the rich, much more information is needed. Who should be considered wealthy? How many of them out there? How much money Trudeau expects no collect from them? Would it be enough to achieve the goal of social and economic harmony? And, of utmost importance: how increased taxation would affect economy?

The message has an assumption, which is not expressed but supposed to be self-explanatory: the additional money collected from the wealthy and from corporations is enough for all. Well, not exactly: the surplus, created by Conservatives will be used to  balance the budget, and some deficit as well. Generosity needs sacrifices.

The parties mostly rely on emotional appeal of their slogans to the poor and, to some extent, to the middle class. No doubt that in the minds of some it is justice in its purest form. After all, if all people are equal, why should there be the rich and the poor? Why not to distribute wealth in a more fair way?

In purest form this idea was implemented by Robin Hood. He had his own method of taxation: robbing the rich and giving the proceeds to the poor. That is why this robber, criminal as he was, won so much sympathy from the readers.

The history though gives ample examples that the idea of mindless taxation and distribution has never worked. Suffice to look back when Bob Rae, the NDP leader in Ontario, ascended to power. He promised a lot, and the naive, trusting voters gave him the cart – blanch to do so. He did more or less what he had promised: NDP borrowed enormous amount of money, and wasted it all in a couple of years. It took many years later to repair the damage inflicted on the economy of the province by the NDP spirit and practice of giving.

In the not-so-distant past, communists tried their idea of social justice in its most radical form in Russia. Being rich was considered there worse than immoral: it was deemed as a criminal act, for which no less than death penalty was applied.

Economy is a sophisticated mechanism. It does not conform to wishful thinking or good intentions, or the notion of fairness in religions and ideologies. The first and foremost condition of economy progress is investment in productive assets, which in turn creates jobs. The major source of investment is earnings of corporations and public savings. The heavier the tax burden, the less is investment in the business assets, the less jobs are created. This is a more difficult notion to understand than the idea of taking from one and giving to the other.

As history is any guidance, taxation of the wealthy is never ever enough: it quickly spreads to the middle class, and eventually demonstrates it’s failure. As a result, frustration spreads out left and right, sobering the public mind.

There is another, fundamental issue of taxation, which is widely neglected and misunderstood. Earned money, be it by an individual or a corporation, is a private property. If a thief steals or robs private property, he will be put in prison, if caught. But the public is so accustomed to taxation, that it does not see anything wrong when the government, due to mismanagement or ideological bents, takes as much money as it wants and from whom it wants via increased taxation. We often forget that in the past changes in taxation was an extreme measure in case of war, natural disaster, or other unpredictable circumstance, for which available budget was not enough. Now taxation became an instrument of getting money by the government, whose people have no personal responsibility for spending, and no accountability for their promises. This is the time to ask Canadian parties: how exactly your platform will work, to fulfill your promises? And, most important: what is your personal responsibility for mismanagement of public money, or failure of your policy?



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Which Race is the Heaviest Burden on Welfare?

Any new release of government’s demographic and welfare statistics triggers heated debates of analytics, hose interpretation usually supports their ideological platform. But few, if any, made an attempt to scrutinize statistics for its validity, and then present the finding in an objective manner. To shed the light on reality of American welfare system, I took the most widely publicised data by Statistic Brain Research Institute and re-arranged it for clarity in Table1. (http://www.statisticbrain.com/welfare-statistics). It shows the total recipients of subsistence in its various forms, and percentage of each ethnical group in the total.

Table 1. Government Welfare Statistics

Recipients Population receiving Percent
Total number of Americans on welfare 110,489,000 35.4 (in total population)
Whites 38.8
Blacks 39.8
Hispanic 15.7
Asian 2.4
Other 3.3

I left the ethnic number of people cells empty on purpose. As there is none in the institute’s table, I calculated it in accordance to the given percentage, and presented the results in the Table2.

Table 2. Calculated numbers of welfare recipients by ethnicity

Recipients Population Percent
Total number of Americans on welfare 110,489,000 35.4 (in total Population)
Whites 42,869,732 38.8
Blacks 43,974,622 39.8
Hispanic 17,346,773 15.7
Asian 2,651,736 2.4
Other 3,646,137 3.3

If the government’s – and Statistic Brain Research Institute – data is correct, then the total population in this period was 110,489,000/35.4 x 100 = 312,115,819.

Instead of taking published statistical data of total population in the US, I calculated it using the numbers in the report, in order to avoid to much discrepancy. It does not affect the actual results and conclusions, as the calculated data is very close to various official sources.

That is so far as ethnical percentage in the total welfare recipients is concerned. In the table 3 the percentage of ethnical groups in total population is presented.

Table3. Percentage of race in total population

Race Number Percent
White -Non-Hispanic 62.6
Blacks 13.2
Hispanic and Latino 17.1
Asian American 4.4
Two or more 2.3
Other 0.4

Again, I left the column “Number” empty on purpose. Taking the above calculated total population number, I calculated number of ethnical people in the total population, and presented it in Table 4.

Table 4. Calculated racial population (from total 312,115,819)

Race Number Percent
White -Non-Hispanic 195,384,503 62.6
Blacks 41,199,288 13.2
Hispanic and Latino 53,371,805 17.1
Asian American 13,733,096 4.4
Two or more 7,178,664 2.3
Other 1,248,463 0.4

Now, compare the total number of welfare recipients with the total population of each race. The picture in the Table 5 may surprise a sober mind.

Table 5. Number of welfare recipients vs. total group population

Recipients Welfare recipients Race population
Whites 42,869,732 195,384,503
Blacks 43,974,622 41,199,288
Hispanic 17,346,773 53,371,805
Asian 2,651,736 13,733,096

I excluded other groups, to avoid explanations on some statistical discrepancies, and to enhance the clarity of presentation.

In this table, the most puzzling data is on Blacks. The number of black welfare recipients is 43,974,622. The total number of blacks in America is 41,199,288. It meand that the number of black welfare recipients is greater than the total population of blacks in America!

Well, perhaps some know how to explain it, but as it stands now I take this data for further considerations. Table 6 shows percentage of welfare recipients in each group total population.

Table 6. Welfare recipients and race population

Recipients Welfare recipients Race population % in ethnical group
Whites 42,869,732 195,384,503 21.9
Blacks 43,974,622 41,199,288 106.7
Hispanic 17,346,773 53,371,805 32.5
Asian 2,651,736 13,733,096 19.3

There is an obvious error either in percentage of black recipients, or the total number of recipients. But aside from it, contemporary debates often evolve around racial issues: which race is the heaviest burden?

I believe that this kind of thinking is not productive. Whatever racial percentage is, there is no explanation, plausible or not, could lead to a solution of the welfare expansion. There are two primary reasons – among others – why the number of welfare recipients grew from none in 1940 to one-third of the total population in 2014.

Many, not familiar with detailed welfare statistics believe that all welfare recipients are those who do not work and have no intention to work. Social parasites, so to speak. In fact, most of the able adult welfare recipients do work. Their wages are simply too small to support a family, or even a single individual. The other welfare groups include children and elderly. The elderly category grew in numbers unprecedented in the history of humanity. But still, it does not explain why welfare assistance grew from almost nothing in 1940s to $130 billion in 2014.

There are a few obvious causes. One is, that wages of unskilled people are very low. As this category of workforce now in abundance in America, the law of supply and demand drives the cost of this labour down to such level that government subsidy is a mast to support them.

The fertility rate of poor population is far greater than that of the middle class of America, which is 1.86. This is much below the required 2.16 rate of replacement.

Another cause is massive immigration, which consists mostly of the poor with no skills adequate for modern technological society. These people further increase the number of welfare recipients just because they increase the number of unskilled workers at the job market.

One may ask, why the category of poor people should grow if America is the country of equal opportunity for all?

You do not have to be a professor of social science to know that it is hard to break away from the poverty for those who was born into poor families. The trend is obvious and irreversible: the middle class is diminishing, and the poverty category is increasing due to immigration and higher fertility rate. The society has no choice but to tax diminishing high earners category in order to support those who are not able to earn enough. Pointing fingers at racial groups won’t resolve the problem. To find the solution is a much more sophisticated task. However, some politician opted to be politically correct, rather then identify the problems and resolve them in businesslike, not politically correct, manner.


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What awaits Russia in the distant future?

Freshly pressed: Putin, the Russian Elite, and the Future of Russia.

There is a dialectical logic to why an individual like Putin came to power in Russia. His policies in the past were controversial at best, but now, after the annexation of Crimea and turmoil in Ukraine, Russia’s future is not expected to be bright. Why do Russia’s leaders always seem embroil the country in one conflict after another?

ImageEvery nation has a character—the sum of its temperament, values, traditions, and mindset—that explains its history and its present, and helps define its future. It provides the foundations of social life, both for individuals and the whole society. In this thoughtful monograph, the author traces how this character has shaped the evolution of Russia, with a particular focus on how the ruling “elite” has led the country from one disaster to another.

The book explores a conspicuous phenomenon: Russia has always had the wrong people in power. These people, incapable of making decisions based on logic or wisdom, have invariably chosen paths that lead either to terror or to other forms of oppression. This work is an attempt to answer three questions: Why? What is wrong with the nation? And why it is always in the wrong hands?

Readers will also learn why terror in Russia was inevitable after World War I, regardless of who assumed the power, the Reds or the Whites. The author analyses the mechanics of the leadership selection process, designed to concentrate power at the top with the “elite” echelon, and its effect on the country’s governance since Lenin’s regime. This includes an objective look at why and how Putin ascended to power, and outlines some of his successes—and reasons for his inevitable failure.

Supporting his arguments with statistics, the author shows demographic trends that have resulted in the depopulation of vast Russian territories, a shrinking of labour force, and a negative effect on economy. Statistics also present a picture of the deterioration of the nation’s integrity and sense of decency, as evidenced by the number of abandoned and homeless children, high rates of alcoholism and violent crime, and many other manifestations of the nation’s trouble mental and spiritual health.

The book provides some interesting data about the Russian army, including the price of its victories in the past and a comparison of its strength with the primary military powers of the twenty-first century. The author devotes serious analysis to the Crimea and Ukrainian crises, the Russian mob mentality, and on the country’s role in global political and economic affairs.

Examining Russia through the lens of character, the nation’s psychology and mentality, the author offers insights into the economic, political, and social evolution, and provides a somber view of the country’s near and the distant futures.



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Amusement and Entertaining Industry Expo in Olralndo

Last year, 2013, the trade show of the amusement and entertainment industry took place in Orlando, Florida, from November 18 to 21. It hosted many interesting exhibits, but before going into detail, I would like to make a short introduction of what it was all about.

This expo was the initiative of IAAPA (International Association of Amusement Parks and Attractions). Founded in 1918, it is the largest international trade association for permanently situated amusement facilities and attractions, and it is dedicated to the preservation and prosperity of the attractions industry. The scale of the show is impressive. A few numbers may give you an idea of its size:


Over 1,098 exhibitors

28,000 attendees

17,000 attendee buyers

5,500 companies in attendance

Over 525,000 sq. ft. of exhibit space (about 49,000 sq. meters)

Over 100 countries represented

For laypersons I’d like to clarify that IAAPA encompasses only a small part of the entertainment industry. Its business is only amusement parks and similar kinds of public entertainment; these facilities might be as large as Wonderland in Ontario, or a tiny unit, fitting in a backyard or a party room. What I saw in Orlando would be categorized as entertainment for kids. That is not to say that adults wouldn’t enjoy it, however – those who take their kids to Disneyland or other amusement parks will understand what I mean.

Among all exhibitors there was a noticeable presence of Chinese companies. They offered all sorts of products and services, which fit different budgets. For example, Fantawild demonstrated a model of a turn-key amusement park. It can be customized, of course, to any individual specification. Even the model, if you examine it closely, would impress you. First, you would notice large objects, such as lakes, buildings, roads and alleys, and squares. But the closer look reveals a much smaller world: benches, people, umbrellas, and a lot of others. The designers’ attention to detail is astounding. A blend of innovative fantasy, science, technology and new materials made these parks a unique creation of human mind and ingenuity.


Selling such a project is not easy. The cost ranges from a few hundred million dollars to billions. It engages buyers with deep pockets and a good understanding of the amusement business, but the profit is also huge.

The show is evidence of the unprecedented Chinese phenomena: this country, being one of the poorest in the world only thirty years ago, now handles large projects, surpassing capabilities of Western industrialized nations.

A lot of exhibition space was taken by products which I would call ‘inflated world’. These are soft structures, which are inflated by air, and used for different activities. The picture shows an example of them. Three young women jump from the height of a few meters down on a soft, inflated floor. Its design excludes almost any possibility of injury. I could only imagine what a great fun this would be for kids. I wanted to jump as well, but the dress code for admission was a swimsuit. The picture shows what I mean.


The size of inflatable complexes varies from a small facility to humongous outdoor parks. A good representative of these companies is Inflatable Depot. Their parks include water rides, sport games, and many other features, which gain admiration for their work.

No less interesting, though, were smaller inflatable products, which were geared toward small businesses and individual consumers, such as a small house for children of all ages, shown on the right, offered by Princess.


It is 13 ft. wide, 20 ft. deep, and 12 ft. high. This ceiling is high enough even for tall adults. It can be filled up with variety of inflatable items, to satisfy individual needs. In this picture there are imitations of dishwasher, refrigerator, and other appliances and accessories. There is inflatable furniture as well, which is strong enough for use by people of any size. The house provides good protection from any caprice of weather, and could be bought with additions, such as bedrooms, living rooms, game rooms, backyard games, etc.


Since inflatable structures are the safest of all playgrounds, they are good for all ages, from toddlers to teenagers. As such, they can be manufactured for any facility, be it a room in a house, a party room, plaza, restaurant, or a large outdoor amusement park. The variety of items is really astonishing: individual toys such as balls, sticks, or Lego-type assembling pieces, furniture items of all sorts, arches, fenced grounds, games, pools, and many others, which have to be seen to be believed. A good example can be found on this website: http://www.idepotplay.com.

Also interesting are turnkey solutions for small businesses, which operate party rooms and indoor-outdoor playgrounds. Thus, Funlandia produces playgrounds, which could be installed in premises from 5000 sq. feet and up to as big as you can afford. Even at this smaller scale, the limit of features is just your imagination. Houses on different levels, rides, staircases, and whatever humanity has invented for the amusement of kids, is there. But sometimes our imagination is not enough, we have to see it to understand what we want.

The exhibits of animals, extinct and still living, are quite impressive. Real size dinosaurs were unlikely to fit even for ceilings as high as in the exhibition building, so their place was mostly in outdoor grounds. But smaller sized animals were fun. My attention was attracted to a big tiger, which at first I believed was real. The imitation of live tiger movements is a wonder of technology.


Not only its head moves, but so do other parts of its body: its skin, and even the tip of its tail. It exactly imitates the movements of a tiger – and its roar stops you in your tracks.

Advertise-AEntertaining kids nowadays is a serious business, requiring investments, maintenance and associated financial risk. As a consequence, many businesses whose specialty is marketing, administration and financing, were keen to attend the expo. Advertising and promotion companies staged a live show, at which giants with marketing messages performed odd dances. There were companies offering financial services of different sorts, marketing research, etc.

The expo looked like a humongous amusement park, consisting of all the amazing inventions so far. There were large screen electronic games, with graphics that made you believe you were in a different kind of reality: featuring figures of vampires and dead people, which are well-suited for horror rooms, railroads, go carts, and endless list of other items.

In summary, it seemed that the marketers of this industry are sure that they can engage kids and parents alike by wowing them with new and exciting technology, which assures the prosperity of this industry.

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