The Millionaire Next Door

Russian PR Nightmares Continue. . .

In terms of public relations the bad news continues for Russia.  It has recently been revealed that the concentration of wealth in Russia is by far the highest of all major nations in the world.  In a recent blog, I cited a report by Credit Suisse which indicated that 110 households own a staggering 35% of personal wealth in that country.  Perhaps critics of the so-called high concentration of wealth in America might take note that the Forbes 400 own only 3% of the wealth here. 

Also, The Wall Street Journal published a statement from a Russian airline regulation official, “we have every reason to believe that many pilots . . . have fake commercial pilots licenses when in reality they never underwent training.”  The article also stated that “Russia has one of the world’s worst air-crash records.” 

Another public relations black-eye is rather timely given the issues of health care in the United States. While many of Americans worry about whether they can afford health care, it is alleged that 49 Russian diplomats and their spouses based in New York “routinely underreported their incomes in order to quality for Medicaid, the joint federal-state health-insurance program for the poor and disabled.  Between 2004 and 2013, 92% of the childbirths to Russian diplomats in New York, or 58 of 63 births, were paid for by Medicaid, according to the complaint.” To make matters worse, the investigation revealed that many of these welfare recipients “made purchases at Tiffany’s, Bloomingdale’s and Jimmy Choo. . . .”

The degree of wealth concentration in a country is inversely related to the economic opportunities and inalienable rights for its general population.  Such problems in Russia continue to encourage many of its best educated and productive citizens to emigrate to our country. And why not?  As stated previously, in the US the wealthiest 300,000 Russian American households [approximately 0.3% of our total household population] have more personal wealth than the entire personal wealth held by the citizens of Russia.  It is not by chance that Russian seeds planted in America continue to produce bumper crops of millionaires.

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