Photo: AP

At a public forum on Wednesday, a teacher asked Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev why teachers earn so little while cops earn so much, relatively—according to the Moscow Times, the starting monthly salary for educators is 10,000-15,000 rubles ($150-$225); law enforcement officers earn 50,000 rubles ($750) per month. The teacher tactfully inquired if the government was going to do about that.

“I am absolutely sure that a modern, energetic teacher, is capable of not only earning his position’s salary but also... earning something else somehow,” Medvedev responded, prompting the Russian internet to go like...

Source: @KermlinRussia. “Answering a question about low teacher salaries, Medvedev said an energetic educator will find a way to make money.”

Medvedev suggested that teachers can “make ends meet” by “lecturing” on the side and taking on second jobs, and anyway, this is all your own fault, teachers:

“Every person chooses what’s important to him in life... If you just want to make money, then there are many wonderful places where you can do that. But you didn’t go into business, did you? Well, there you go.”

There you go. You went into education. Now you can’t survive on your salary alone, there you go.

The prime minister, who briefly kept Putin’s presidential throne warm from 2008 to 2012, is currently working out three annual budgets while exalting the Napoleonic code. With Russia ass-deep in a recession, he’s used to questions about money, and this is not the first time he’s given an answer that strains the people’s capacity for relentless government cynicism.

When visiting Crimea in May, the prime minister was confronted on the street by an angry elderly woman who asked him if the abysmal pensions are going to be raised any time soon.

“There’s just no money right now,” Medvedev said, shuffling quickly away. “You hang in there. Best wishes! Cheers! Take care!”

A bakery in the Siberian republic of Buryatia briefly made cakes with “There is no money, but hang in there!” on them, but someone put an end to that.