I am not a big fan of George Friedman’s pseudo-cynical prognostications, preferring to take my cynicism straight without all the patriotic rah. However, Stratfor’s latest mailing “Can Putin Survive?” mentioned that Russian regulatory burdens on the economy are startling, and led me to this article showing that government inspections cost the economy $35 Billion a year! 1.8% of the Russian GDP! Curious, I looked at Ten Thousand Commandments verify that government in the United States consumes 31% of the GDP, and that costs for Americans to comply with our own regulatory state is a mere $1.86 Trillion (over 10% of the economy). Putin is the head of the oligarchs in a country with little government debt, and his flamboyance, his background in Soviet intelligence, and his physical fearlessness have made him particularly despised/feared by the other socialist oligarch-led governments around the world, especially the highly leveraged ones. Stratfor’s similarly titled and structured article “Can Obama Survive?” seems to be missing but I’m sure it will be out soon.
8:29 am on July 22, 2014 Email Karen Kwiatkowski