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Modern Delusions

Modern Delusions
Delyagin Michele 19.11.2006

A fashion on delusions appears in society in the days of decomposition. Some smoke grass, some drink vodka, some chew mushrooms.

Some and, it is necessary to do justice to them, it looks as a sign of mental health on the general background - argues about the revival and see its signs directly around themselves, almost continually. I shall repeat: it is better, than to see there green dickens or pink elephants.

To turn to a reality those who try to hide from it at any cost from is ridiculous. But all the same I shall try to tell once again to the admirers of the president Putin about the way - today when the budget, business and ruling bureaucracy have been choking for several years with money – Putin’s revival looks like.

So, with money - thanks to the president Bush and the Iraq guerrillas – is everything ok almost for the first time in history of the country: gold and exchange currency reserves of the Central Bank by the end of year will reach 300 biliion dollars, unused remains of the accounts of the Federal Budget (only part of which are being recognized as Stabfund) will exceed 100 billion dollars. It’s not a momentary achievement, Russia step by step has been reaching this position all recent years.

Meanwhile the number of poor people remains very high.

No data concerning their quantity is being published officially so long, but the Ministry of Finance periodically "blabs out". Thus "Budgetary Policy of 2006-2008" in September, 2005 started with necessity of decrease of mid-annual share of the population with incomes below a living wage (officially named it "poverty line" though it is a poverty in reality) from 15,8 % in 2005 up to 9,7 % in 2008.

Published by it less than in a year "Basic Directions of Budgetary and Tax Policy for 2007" have cardinally changed a picture. The level of poverty in 2005 appeared to be on sixth above the one which was supposed, - 18,4%! But the main thing is that the aim has sharply changed: mid-year share of population with incomes below a living wage was supposed to lower to 14,3 % in 2007 and 11,6 % in 2009. That is in 2009 the share of beggars should be still 20 % higher than the level established in the past for the previous, 2008 year!

It vividly demonstrates asocial character of the state and its real attitude to the Russian people.

Expecting objections I’ll send at once those who like to talk about imperfection of official statistics to sociology which in this case, that happens rarely, confirms it. According to Levada center the share of the population suffering shortage of money for the purchase of meal (and it that is what can be called poverty, incomes are below a living wage) decreased since May, 2001 to September, 2006 from 23 up to 13 %. The share of those who have enough money for meal but not enough for clothes reduced from 42 up to 35 % and the share of those who have enough for meal and clothes but don’t have for some simple household appliances grew from 28 up to 39%.

Thus, for five and a half years the level of poverty has decreased from 23 to 13 % and a level of poverty - from 94 up to 87 %. About validity and efficiency of state’s use of what has been earned by the country is possible to judge not only on a number of "Mercedes", BMW and even "Bentley" in the streets of Moscow but also from the fact that real incomes of the population (including Abramovich and "vagabonds"-ministers as well as true vagabonds) for this time have grown on three quarters, volume of gross national product - on 37 % and the world price of the Russian oil- almost thrice.

Correlation of the general growth of real incomes with retention of poverty of the seven eighth of population is clear. As they spoke in old times, "people drink champagne using their best representatives", "everything for the blessing of a man, everything in the name of a man and you, comrades, know this man!" - and even sometimes you see him on TV.

Only what does revival have in common with this all?

Retention of people in poverty for the sake of modernization of economy that is for the sake of tomorrow's improvement of their life or for the sake of defensibility that is for the sake of tomorrow's maintenance of their life can be still discussed. 

But there’s no saying about that. The basic part of enormous investment growth which reformers are proud in the same way as by "the incomes of the population" – are speculative investments into habitation obviously inaccessible to the majority as well as repartition of the property (at purchase of a factory by one oligarch the number of new shops of the other one doesn’t increase). Exception - blossoming of mobile communication.

There are two investment projects of the national scale which are not connected with export of raw material (and this export has no economic sense as incomes of it are being placed in foreign actives and, thus, do not work for Russia): Nizhny Angarski Krai being a child of Hloponin and large businessmen and Bureyskaya HYDROELECTRIC POWER STATION.

It is a lot if to stand under an arrow of the tower crane or to recollect the ruin of 1992.

It is insignificantly little if to look at the country, if to recollect its today's abilities – and important investment demands.

Bureyskaya HYDROELECTRIC POWER STATION as Putin fairly told "was built by the whole country" built, including its financing through tariffs for the electric power. And only 4,8 % of its shares belong to this country; 78,5 % belong to RAO "UES of Russia" which is under the state control only formally. Only 52% of RAO "UES of Russia" belong to the – it’s not enough for making important decisions.

State investments are planned to increase by record rates: on two third for 2 years! - from pitiful 1,8 % of gross national product in 2005 and 2,1 % of gross national product in 2006 up to not less pitiful 2,67 % of gross national product in 2007 (that confirms pre-election character of growth of investment charges) they will start to decrease: up to 2,43 % of gross national product in 2008 and 2,34 % of gross national product in 2009. Negligibility of even maximum level of state investments illustrates a level of more alright countries which are not suffering from such sharp shortage of investments as Russia. Our maximum will be lower than the level of state investments in Norway (2.9%), Finland (3.0%), Portugal (3.1%), the USA and France (3.2%), Spain (3.4%), Poland (3.5%), Japan (3.8%), Mexico (4.8%) and liberal and well-groomed Chechia (5.0%), we are not talking about Korea (5.9%). 

Thus the scales of the Russian state investments still will not compensate saved up deterioration of a fixed capital and will not protect from threat of the technogenic accidents caused by this deterioration.

Even the state, unlike various dreamers, doesn’t speak about any revival except for frankly propaganda performances.

Serious people in the state speak about other thing - about inflation. And it is not important that inflation is caused not by the surplus of money but by arbitrariness of monopolies which budgetary expenditure do not influence. And it is not important that the government has already made a decision on acceleration of growth of tariffs of natural monopolies since 2007 having buried own dreams about decrease of inflation. It is important that struggle against inflation, unlike development of the country is – a habitual business. They have been busy with it in the middle of 90th, which led the country to a default and now are engaged again – following the same receipts. 

Outside of the country money are stuffed anywhere - in ahead of schedule external debts with milliard penalties repayable to foreign bankers (but not to investors of Sberbank!) and into foreign actives. If earlier the payment of taxes was senseless (during January-September, 2006 more than third of all incomes - 36,2 % - 1.649,2 of 4.557,0 billion roubles or nearly THREE QUARTERS of taxes, 73.6 % is frozen in the budget), now it became the form of wrecking to herself: paid by the tax payer is put by the state in the competitors of this tax payer! Starting from the 16th of October, 2006 All means of Stabfond are invested into foreign actives and support competitors of Russia – the USA, countries of “Euro zone” and the Great Britain: 31,88 billion dollars, 25.04 billion euro, 3.77 billion pounds.

And at the time when homeless children are hardly probable to be less than after civil war and the population dies out with a speed of 843 thousand people a year and this speed grows: in 2004 "the natural loss" not maintaining Putin’s "prosperities" has made “only" 792,9 thousand people... The average Russian family wants to have 2,5 children and has 1,5 - because there is no money and the state invests everything except the national needs. During 2003-2005 inflation was lowered on 1,1% percentage items – from 12.0 to 10.9% - it was paid with somebody’s lives: decrease of population is more than 1.6 million people!

Who said that we live in peaceful time?

And where can we find here a revival, if to abstract oneself from delusions?

The fact that Sechin is better than Berezovsky and Putin than - Chubays, it does not follow that someone from them is capable to revive Russia.

And it does not follow even that someone of them is capable to wish to do it.

To think in other way – means to assimilate oneself with young lady who thinks that everyone who doesn’t try to rape her, does it simply because he wants to make her a proposal.

In reality they just simply are busy with other matters.

And it has nothing to do with revival.

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