While discussing politics in Russia with a friend, Anthony Bourdain, the host of No Reservations, was able to bring us up close and personal to what has happened in Russia since the arrival of Voodoo Economics.
I have a weird relationship with capitalism. I support what it could be while condemning what it actually is.
But while my relationship with capitalism is complex, my relationship with Voodoo Economics is more straightforward: it didn’t work when it was called Robber Baron Economics in the 19th century and the presence of the Internet, iPods, and wishful thinking isn’t going to make it anymore effective in the 21st.
And perhaps the best place to show the perils of Voodoo Economics and hypercapitalism is Russia.
According to his guest, at one point, Russia, before the arrival of capitalism, had better schools. “The quality isn’t as good as it used to be,” he says, and while people still get a some things “for free,” the number of basic services is declining quickly — “It’s coming to an end.”
“You asked for capitalism and you got,” Anthony says. “According to Reganomics, this is trickle down theory. So that means, if I make lots and lots and lots and lots of money, that money will somehow trickle down to you.”
Bourdain goes on to list several jobs — “my aromatherapist” and “my masseur” — and says that, “they of course will be making money, and will be buying more things, for various wives and prostitutes. In this way, I don’t exactly share the wealth, I trickle it down, and if you don’t like your job, cleaning up my feces splattered walls and dead prostitutes, you could at your leisure quit your job at Wal-Mart and become a billionaire. Like me.”
He adds an alternative, saying that you could make an adult film and “go on a reality TV show and become really, really rich.” Which, far to often, is the sad truth.
You can watch the video below: