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Why We Should Care About Russia

There is a lot of other news out there today, but it's not a bad time to be looking ahead, and thinking of the future.

Russia is a mess. And the most reliable indicators are: it's getting worse. Every American should care about this because every American will be affected if Russia continues descending into chaos.

Jobs, the stock market, and thus mutual funds, retirement funds and pensions, a lot having to do with our economy, plus U.S. national security and world peace. All can be involved.

Russia is teetering on the brink of economic catastrophe. When that happens in a country as large as Russia, effects are felt worldwide. This is part of what being in an international economy means.

Japan and its recession, the depression, not recession but depression in much of the rest of Asia matter to every working American, to every American business. China, South Korea. Their struggles to stabilize their economics in light of what's happening in the rest of Asia are a part of this.

And so is Russia. Don't forget that much of Russia, including that part with the most natural resources, is in Asia.

President Clinton has a trip to Moscow scheduled soon. He is going this autumn in an effort to shore up the government of President Boris Yeltsin. The Monica Lewinsky mess complicates these plans, but they're still on.

No American should kid his or her self. And whether Russia sinks further into the economic abyss- or begins to find a way out of it - matters. Mightily.