Entrepreneurs choose the "shadow": how they survive in the Caucasus

Entrepreneurs choose the "shadow": how they survive in the Caucasus
Entrepreneurs choose the "shadow": how they survive in the Caucasus
5 August 2020, 23:47
Residents of the Caucasus region, as a rule, have neither work nor pensions, and therefore rightly believe that they should not share their income with the state, which does nothing for them.

Khabarovsk sociologist Leonid Blyakher decided to fly to the Caucasus on vacation and shares his ambiguous impressions of this trip:

“Kavminvody (Caucasian Spas) is a fabulous place. Especially for people 50+. No special entertaining delights were found. But, to be honest, I didn't really want to... But these are trifles. There is incredibly fresh food. Believe it or not, the tomatoes there smell like tomatoes. And they taste like tomatoes, not plastic at all. Meat is the death of vegans. It is fresh and tender. It boils down in an instant, and not in the usual few hours. The pastries are such that when you think about losing weight you want to shoot yourself. There is a giant park in Kislovodsk and a little smaller in other cities. The park has paths along which it is incredibly pleasant to wander, pretending to be doing physical education. It is always cool in the park, even in the fiercest heat. At the thought that this miracle - completely man-made (park 950 hectares) - takes you by surprise.

Lots of cafes with delicious food. In fact, no tasteless food was found there. Of course, I would like a little more competent waiters. But Khabarovsk cannot boast of this either. Yes, and it's little things.

Of course, on vacation, I primarily had a rest. It was right and necessary. But it turned out to be almost impossible to turn off the sociologist (or just the curious Varvara). Of course, random impressions are not enough for an article. But I think that's enough to share on Facebook.

My good friends from ancient times were the first to trample the path from Khabarovsk to Kislovodsk. Talking about the city in absolutely enthusiastic terms (and it is worth it), they added: but the work there is really bad.

I've heard this phrase many times. And it is true. There are few jobs (positions, vacancies). People don't work there. In the sense that they (very many) do not go from day to day at certain hours to the service in order to do some work, receiving some kind of salary for it. This invention of the modern era (work), there remains on the periphery of life. There people just "undertake". Life and economic activity (private and public) there are not separated from the word at all.

There was a shop not far from the house where I rented an apartment. Plain glass. But there were two types of goods in it. First: a standard set from Kaliningrad to Nakhodka. The saleswoman and, concurrently, the hostess, quite willingly released these goods on the card. Another, much more interesting set of goods, she asked to pay in cash. I wondered. Loose. It turned out that the store is such a window into the legal world for a fairly large and ramified business network. Someone baked delicious khychins (thin cakes with cheese or meat), lavash and other local delights, someone made khinkali, someone supplied fresh milk and cheeses. How my interlocutor legalized them, I don't know. But, in principle, the techniques are known. And maybe not. They brought it in, sold it, paid off, and left a little for myself. That is, there is legally a small shop with a small turnover. In real life there is a sales center.

And this is not an exception, but rather a rule.

When my friends stormed the Elbrus region, I decided that the smart one would not go up the hill, the smart one from below would understand everything. And he sat down for a long conversation with our driver. He is officially unemployed. Receives an allowance. At the same time, he has a house, supports his wife, children, mother-in-law with father-in-law. He helps his brother from the village. He is undertaking. Carries tourists during the season. On occasion, he sells fruits and vegetables, meat brought to him by relatives in sanatoriums or through the same shops. Out of season he works as a builder, resells and repairs cars, etc. This position is quite deliberate. "Why should I share with the state if it does nothing for me?" The question about the pension caused laughter: Do you believe that we will have it? My pension is my children. And, according to him, this is how most of the region's population lives.

It would have been a common chatter on an excursion, if I hadn't come across such practices in various regions of the country. Moreover, in recent years, more and more often.

Of course, specialized activities are much more attractive and profitable. But today the risks of entrepreneurship (fiscal, administrative, political, etc.) are such that people are increasingly making a choice in favor of the "shadow". It's quieter there somehow. Moreover, they go into the shadows not only in the semi-urban frontier. The Internet is also becoming a shadow for high-tech entrepreneurship.

Of course, you can get your hands on the transfers online and cancel the cash. Only, most likely, this will not cause a return to the "white" zone, but the transition to barter and the development of systems to bypass blocking on the Internet. I think so..."

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