The Econometrics of Holodomor.

Spoiler: Using a large new data set based on Soviet sources, Markevich et.al. show that the Holodomor was a deliberate attack on Ukrainians by Stalin. (If you like me want to read the whole paper, you can buy it here for $5 plus taxes.)

Since Ukrainian mortality rates were not higher during the famine 1892 or before and after the famine years 1932-1933, there must be other factors at play. These factors were Stalin and his henchmen. Using econometric methods, Markevich et. al. show that higher famine mortality in ethnic Ukrainian areas was the result of Stalin targeting Ukrainians wherever they were living. Centrally planned policies targeted Ukrainians populated areas in Belarus, Russia and Ukraine specifically. In these countries, in provinces in these countries, in districts in provinces in these countries. Wherever there was a concentration of Ukrainians, larger grain procurements were implemented, harsher collectivisation measures were implemented, and tractors were denied.

Markevich et. al. reach this conclusion through econometric analyses.  In the analyses, a large number of factors which potentially could explain the higher Ukrainian excess mortalities, are controlled for. This doesn’t affect the conclusion.

The only thing left is Stalin. Stalin’s hatred of Ukrainians explains the higher mortality rates in areas with a high Ukrainian share of the population.

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Lukashenka and Putin spend more on their military than on healthcare.

Spoiler: Governments reveal their priorities every year when they allocate their expenditures. The choice of spending on education, elderly care, health, infrastructure, social security, communications, and other areas relative to military expenditures shows the governments’ priorities.

Military expenditures are made for aggressive and defensive reasons. Some governments spend large sums on the military for aggressive reasons, attack their neighbours and/or a domestic opposition. Other countries spend money on the military for defensive reasons, either their own or for protection of an allied country.

Autocratic countries tend to spend more on military expenditures than on health. Only two countries in Europe spend relatively more on the military, Belarus and Russia. Both are autocratic regimes which oppress their populations. One of them, Russia, is engaged in war against Ukraine and supporting the butcher Assad by bombing schools and hospitals. Furthermore, Russia also engages in wars and conflicts by using private military companies such as the infamous Wagner company.

NATO countries spend more on health.

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China as the highest stage of Imperialism

Spoiler: China is an imperialist state. Even though the mass murderer Lenin’s ramblings about Imperialism were meaningless, one could use them to show that the Genocidal communist regime is an imperialist country according to Lenin.

Capital exports, concentration and merger of industry and capital is a defining characteristic for China. The Belt and Road Initiative’s infrastructure projects, in emerging African and Asian countries, are financed by Chinese banks and built by Chinese construction firms. Most of these projects are unprofitable, making the host countries indebted to the Chinese government.

China has not only fought imperialist war against Tibet, and China also threatens to invade Taiwan and large parts of the South China Sea.

But China has taken Imperialism to the next level. In Lenin’s definition, Imperialism was the final stage of capitalism, an end. China has turned the definition upside down, Imperialism is a means to an end, Chinese domination. China intends to impose its model of oppression, violation of human rights and genocide on the rest of the world.

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Putin’s home-made Middle-Income Trap

poiler: The Russian economy is stagnating. The Russian growth rate is exceptionally low. The 2008-2019 average annual Russian growth rate was 0.7 percent to be compared by 3.9 percent per year for the average Upper Middle-Income economy. The Russian economy appears to be in a Middle-Income Trap.

Resource-rich countries can escape the trap by implementing policies that exploit new sources of sustained growth. This has not happened in Russia. The reason is that sustained growth requires growth-friendly economic and political institutions because such institutions favour the creatin of new firms but may threaten the incumbent economic and political elites’ business.

The Russian Middle-Income trap is made of Putin. It is a political economy trap which is characterised by institutions that favour the deals-based relationship between Kremlin and the oligarchs.

While this may seem counter-intuitive, it is deliberate. Putin doesn’t care about growth. He cares about sovereignty and stability.

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