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A Diet for the Poor

The leaders of the capital intend in the near future to establish a minimum was for citizens of Moscow in the amount of 1935 rubles (69 US dollars), which in old soviet money would amount to 60 rubles, and they consider this a great achievement. Of course! Well, it's 200 rubles more than the recommendation of the Russian authorities.

Unfortunately, these same Russian authorities are preparing a new social reform, according to which only the truly needy will receive assistance, not everyone. Those truly needy, according to the opinion of the authorities, are those who 'live' on an amount less than this same 'minimum'. This minimum came about by means of the compilation of the regrettably notorious shopper's basket, in which, ostensibly, is everything, which a muscovite needs to avoid expiration.

This "basket" is composed of 43.7% products, 30.9% non-food items, 19% services, and 6% obligatory payments. Let's look at the food products. They are 35, which is 4 more than the rest of Russia. The 4 are cucumbers, tomatoes, fruits and sausage. It's true, the general caloric value remains the same as before, since they cut the standard for sugar in half. But that's not the main thing. Here are their suggestions for minimal daily standards of some products (in grams):

Beef - 32.9 Sausage - 2.1 Tea -- 1.4 Mutton 1.6 Eggs - 0.4 (each) Salt -- 8.2 Pork - 12.0 Cheese --6.3 Now, how do you make fried eggs with .4 of an egg, a sandwich with 2.1 grams of sausage, soup with 1.6 grams of mutton, tea with 1.4 grams?

It's perhaps more staggering that the authorities seriously suggest, that with less than 600 rubles a muscovite could purchase clothing, footwear, bedclothes, hygiene supplies and even furniture! The following is interesting. It was taken from the rabidly anti-popular magazine "Moscow Komsomolets" (No 21 of 30 January 2001). But even this rabidly anti-popular newspaper began to understand, in a way, who's who and what's what. It remarked, certainly fairly, that "taking the basket in hand one could go to the cemetery. If one is not in a hurry to get there, the city government will help him along.

News 15 source: http://www.left.ru/2001/2/news15.html translated by Mark Harris 17 February 2001
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