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The Sarmatian Review Data

September 2008

Volume XXVIII, No. 3

America’s economic future

Estimated amount of money implicitly promised by the government by way of Social Security and Medicare to future senior citizens: 53 trillion dollars.

Amount of this federal debt per American: $175,000.

Source: Comptroller General David Walker, as quoted by Debra J. Saunders, “Everyman’s entitlement crisis,” Washington Times, 13 March 2008.

Percentage of the world’s savings deposited in the United States and financing U.S. government expenditures and citizens’ consumption: 80 percent.

Source: Zbigniew Brzezinski, Second Chance: Three Presidents and the Crisis of American Superpower (2007), 211.

Russia’s future as an oil exporter

Russia’s crude output in the first quarter of 2008 and 2007: in 2008, 1 percent lower than in 2007, with April 2008 production down to 9.72 million bpd.

Action needed to sustain Russian oil production at the 8.5 to 9 million bpd level: “investing billions of rubles to develop new deposits” (Leonid Fedun, deputy CEO of Russia’s LUKoil).

Percentage of oil production controlled by the state in 2008 and 2000, respectively: 40 percent and 6 percent.

Source: Sergei Blagov in Eurasia Daily Monitor (The Jamestown Foundation), vol. 5, no. 89 (9 May 2008).

Productivity of small farms vs. lage

Amount of money an average four-acre American farm nets for the owner per year: 1,400 dollars per acre.

Amount of money a large (1,364-acre) farm nets for the owner: 39 dollars per acre.

Dan Barber’s general conclusion: small farms are by far the most productive and most ecologically friendly, possibly a wave of the future.

Source: Dan Barber, “Change We Can Stomach,” New York Times, 11 May 2008.

Polish microfarming as a model of sustainable biodiversity and ecological sanity

Number of seed varieties used in Polish farming that exist nowhere else in the world: “thousands.”

Number of pairs of nesting storks in Poland each year: 40,000.

Perspectives for Polish small farms: [they are] “the wave of the future, if only they can survive.”

Source: Elisabeth Rosenthal, “Old Ways, New Pain For Farms in Poland,” New York Times, 4 April 2008.

Internet traffic overload

Amount of bandwith YouTube consumed in 2007: as much as the entire Internet did in 2000.

Estimated growth of Internet load per year: 50 percent of the preceding year.

Year in which bandwith crunch is likely to happen: 2011.

Possible results of the crunch (if no new solutions are invented): slowdown of downloading, impossibility of doing certain things online.

Source: Andrew Odlyzko of the University of Minnesota, as reported by Steve Lohr, “Overload looming for the Internet?” Houston Chronicle, 13 March 2008.

OSCE ratings of objectivity of the Polish press during national elections in October 2007

Paper that tended to be negatively biased with regard to the Law and Justice Party: Gazeta Wyborcza

Paper that tended to be objective toward both major parties (Law and Justice and Civic Platform) in coverage content and frequency: Dziennik.

Paper that tended to be negatively biased toward Civic Platform: Rzeczpospolita

Source: Dziennik (Warsaw), 21 March 2008.

The greying of TV audiences

Average age of TV viewers in the United States in 2008: 50.

Average age of CBS viewers in 2008: 54.

Source: A study reported in EIN News (accessed 30 June 2008 at <>).

Russian vs. world agriculture

Average number of kilograms of grain per hectare obtained by world farmers: 4,500 (9,900 lbs).

Average number of kilograms of grain per hectare obtained by farmers in the Russian Federation: 1,850 (4,070 lbs).

Source: Agvan Mikhaelian, director of the consulting firm Finekspertiza, as reported in Novoe Vremia (Moscow), no. 8 (54), 25 February 2008.

Conflicting data about AIDS in Russia and Ukraine

Comparison of the numbers of HIV-positive persons in Russia and Ukraine: Ukraine has “four times fewer HIV-positive individuals than the Russian Federation.”

Source: Irina Ivanova, “Spid liubovnitsy raznosiat,” <>, 23 April 2008.

Number of HIV-positive persons in Ukraine (pop. 45.9 million) and Russia (pop. 140.7 million): 360,000 and 860,000, respectively.

Source: The 2008 CIA World Factbook online (accessed 23 April 2008).

Political views of Belarusians

Voting preferences in March 2008: 42 percent for President Aleksandr Lukashenka, 8.8 percent for democratic candidate Alyaksandr Milinkevich, 5.2 percent for social democrat Kazulin.

Preferences in March 2008 concerning a possible union with Russia: 41.6 percent would oppose it, 35.8 percent would be in favor, 11.3 percent would not vote.

Preference concerning the possibility (highly unrealistic) of joining the EU: 35.4 percent in favor and the same number opposed.

Opinion as to whether Lukashenka has been successful: 64.5 percent maintained that he was constructing an independent Belarusian state.

Source: Independent Institute of Social-Economic and Political Research poll, as reported by David Marples in Eurasia Daily Monitor, vol. 5, no. 76 (22 April 2008).

Sideshow in Chechnya

Number of invalid children in Chechnya in 2007 (pop. 1.1 million): 30,000.

Number of orphans: 40,000.

Number of Chechen children below poverty level: 330,000.

Percentage of Chechen babies born with congenital diseases: 50 percent.

Reasons for these figures: Russian military and police activities against Chechen population, including contamination of soil with oil and chemical spills.

Number of Chechen refugees in European countries: 350,000–400,000.

Source: Aminat Saieva, “Chechenya—zhizn’ za fasadom,” Chechenpress
(, accessed 15 April 2008.

Unemployment in Chechnya in 2008: 60 percent of the working-age population.

Average monthly salary in Chechnya: one hundred dollars.

Source: Chechnya Weekly (Jameston Foundation), vol. 9, no. 20 (22 May 2008).

From Russia with love

Person selected in 2008 Internet vote as the most appropriate symbol of Russia (in the positive sense): Joseph Stalin.

Source: Kolonka section, <>, 12 July 2008.

The unknown dimensions of Poland’s destruction by Soviet Russia and Nazi Germany

Number of Polish landowners’ country manors and palaces (some of them hundreds of years old) in 1939 (before German and Soviet invasion of Poland, and Soviet occupation of Poland between 1945–1989): 20,000.

Number of country manors and palaces presently surviving: under 2,000, or about 9 percent.

Source: Marcin Schirmer, “Reprywatyzacja niezbędna Polsce,” Rzeczpospolita, 6 July 2008.

Winning Poles

Names of the gold medal winners in the 2007 and 2006 International Mathematical Olympiads:Tomasz Kulczyński of the VIth Senior High in Bydgoszcz, Poland; and Filip Wolski of the III Senior High in Gdynia, Poland.

Source: Andrzej Kisielewicz and Jerzy Surma, “Matematyka nie tylko dla twardzieli,” Rzeczpospolita, 21 May 2008.

Attractiveness of Poland as a place to invest in comparison to other European countries: Poland is ahead of Germany, Russia, and France as of 2008.

Place of Poland in Europe with regard to the value of foreign investments in 2007: 7th, with 12.8 billion dollars invested there.

Number of new jobs created by foreign investment in European countries in 2008: 176,000, of which 18,300 are in Poland.

Source: Ernst & Young 2008 report on investment attractiveness of Europe, as reported by Dziennik (Warsaw), 6 June 2008.


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Last updated 12/5/08