Russia’s President, Vladimir Putin Orders Vodka Price Cap In Hopes to Gain Favor During Their Economic Crisis
On last Wednesday, Christmas Eve, Russian President Vladimir Putin ordered his government to rein in on the rising vodka prices. Putin orders vodka price cap, because he is battling to preserve his popularity among Russia’s devastating economic crisis. Russia is now facing its worst economic crisis since 1998. This statement says a lot, because in 1998 Russia was in such a horrible condition, that the country devalued the rouble, their monetary system, and defaulted on its all of its debt. Putin is now feeling the pressure to regain his popularity among the Russian people. Putin’s popularity is partially based on his reputation for providing economic success and stability for his people. With Putin’s popularity and Russia’s economic status down, Putin turned to the on thing Russians are known for, vodka. Putin is not only justifying this move for the health of Russia’s people, he knows this move will gain the people’s favor.Putin explained in a meeting with Russian government officials and Russian regional governors that expensive vodka prices only encourage the production of bootleg alcohol. Putin then went on to explain that bootleg alcohol production not only hurt the economy, it carries a greater risk to people’s health than the legally produced and monitored alcohol products. Putin explains, “The overshoot of vodka prices leads only to increasing consumption of bootleg spirits.” Putin, who is known for promoting a healthy lifestyle continues on, “I think the relevant structures should think of that.” These relevant structures being the government and the producers of the licensed alcohol.According to a study researched by some leading international universities last year, 25 percent of all Russian men die before they reach their mid-fifties. These Russian men and their love of alcohol, especially vodka, has a lot to do with that death toll. The government regulated minimum retail price of half a liter of vodka has been inflated by around 30 percent. Since last year, it would cost a minimum of 220 roubles, that would be 4 dollars in America, for half a liter of vodka. The government was obviously trying to decrease the death toll rate by raising the price 30 percent in one year, but all it did was cause people to partake in illegal bootleg products that are not as safe to consume and also effects the government in a huge way, because the government does not receive a cent from the profits of bootleg alcohol. This in turn, helped to lead Russia into a state of economical depression.Now that Putin orders a vodka price cap, we will see if this helps their economy, but will this effect the death toll in any manner? Will this just cause Russians to buy legal vodka instead of the bootleg version? Only time will tell. Hopefully, Putin has made a step in the right direction, not only for the economy, but the health of his people as well.
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