This course, which has been implemented in Russia for thirty years, has led to a collapse in all spheres of the country's economy and has especially shown deficiency in the context of the coronavirus pandemic.
Yuri Voronin, Doctor of Economics, Professor
During this period, Russia has not gone far from the indicators of 1990, having failed GDP doubling program, slipped into the second ten countries of the world, and in terms of quality of life - to 70th place.
I will especially emphasize that I value liberalism, first of all, as a political and economic system. This is the ideology and the associated economic model of the development of society, implemented by the West, and for Russia for more than twenty-five years it has been its direct mirror image, led the economy to Russia's Greatest Depression, which turned it into a third-rate country.
I was forced to return to this complex topic by the discussion on the deepening of the world economic crisis in links with the coronavirus pandemic. The crisis had a particularly negative impact on the Russian economy, the implementation of the May 2018 decree of the President of the country and the national projects prepared on its basis until 2024, which former Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev described as "a blueprint for the future of Russia".
The execution of the decree-2018 and national projects from the first year revealed failures in the public administration system, their funding, were carried out, as the Secretary of the Security Council N. Patrushev emphasized, with numerous violations, related to corruption, non-observance of the public procurement procedure, payment for poor-quality or outstanding work, falsification of reporting indicators.
The Accounts Chamber of the Russian Federation, having analyzed national projects and their implementation, rightly noted that the implementation of national projects will not lead to a breakthrough development of the economy and a qualitative transformation in the areas that they regulate. The chamber revealed that the scale of corruption in Russia is measured in trillions of rubles.
To find funds, the government went to anti-social, anti-people measures - raising the retirement age, raising VAT from 18 to 20%, which naturally hit consumer demand and slowed down GDP growth.
According to Rosstat, GDP growth in 2019 was only 1.3% after an increase of 2.5% in 2018. This year's GDP will fall by at least 6.5%, or 7 trillion rubles instead of the planned growth of 2%, the country's economic growth over the past decade will be at the level of statistical error - an average of about 1%. Russia in the ranking of countries in terms of GDP will drop to 15th place. In other words, the country's economy was in a state of deep stagnation even before the coronavirus pandemic, and COVID-19 only revealed all of its ulcers.
According to Rosstat, in the first half of 2020, industrial production decreased by 3.5%, the auto industry, aviation and light industries failed, prices rose by 2.6%, the number of unemployed reached 4.5 million people, or increased to 6.1% of the economically active population, which was the highest value since 2012.
Rosstat recently reported data on the growth of poverty in the country, however, adding that this phenomenon due to the "rise in poverty during the quarantine period". Is it so?
According to Rosstat data, the number of Russians with incomes below the subsistence level in the second quarter of 2020 reached 19.9 million. which is 13.5% of the country's population, the number of poor people increased by 1.3 million people. At the same time, the share of the extremely poor population living on an income of less than 5 thousand rubles also increased. Instead of the planned growth of real incomes of the population by 1.5%, the country expects them to decline by 3.8%. The last period when real incomes fell so sharply was 1999. All of these biggest negative social The outbursts are attributed by liberal economists to the coronavirus pandemic, for some reason deliberately forgetting that the drop in incomes of the population began long before the epidemic - the citizens of the country have been poor for 7 years in a row.
Recognizing as unsolvable the goals of the May 2018 decree and, more importantly, the tasks within the framework of national projects until 2024, Russian President Vladimir Putin signed a new decree "On the national development goals of the Russian Federation for the period until 2030" on July 21, allegedly "deepening" the decree 2018. In fact, V. Putin has identified new goals, objectives, indicators of Russia for 10 years.
The 2020 decree sets five national development goals for the country instead of nine from the previous May 2018 decree. At the same time, the formulated new program becomes less ambitious, less specific, and the general theses that are put there are not credible .
Among the objectives of the 2018 decree, for example, It was ensuring sustainable growth of real incomes of citizens. But what kind of growth we can talk if over the past ten years, household income has been steadily falling and continues to fall. The solution for liberal economists turned out to be very simple: to postpone this problem to 2030, maybe after 10 years in Russia, a steady growth in real money incomes will finally take place and " the poverty level will be halved compared to 2017," as stated in the 2020 decree . True, recently this level it was planned to provide by 2024, and now - only by 2030.
Analysis shows that the indicators of the decree-2020 very little obey control, calculation, very amorphous . If in the decree-2018 the goal was to increase life expectancy by 2024 to 80 years, then in the decree-2020 this indicator is shifted by 2030, and even reduced to 78 years. Either the clerks confused something, or V.Putin decided to reduce the life expectancy of Russians.
Item 1-d Decree-2020 records the achievement of the "digital transformation". What is it? If this is digitalization, then on it you can write off as much money as you like, she just not amenable to any control.
Or take the “absolutely solvable” goal, as Vladimir Putin succinctly characterized it in his time, fixing it in a 2018 decree, - to enter the five most developed economies in the world. It became just a utopia and already neither the president nor the government not mentioned anywhere.
But the new decree contains a “new” goal - by 2030, key sectors of the economy and social sphere, including healthcare, education, and public administration, must reach “digital maturity”.
Reacting to the situation and adopting the 2020 decree for execution, the new government of Mikhail Mishustin is developing a national plan for economic recovery . The goal is to return to the indicators of the beginning of the coronavirus crisis by the end of 2021 and ensure further economic growth.
Under the new government plan the growth of the Russian economy in 2021 will be 2-2.5%, although after falling by 4% in 2020, which, in comparison with the growth of the world economy, equates to a lack of growth or stagnation is man-made. Europe plans to get out of the crisis at the end of 2020, while Russia is again building "grandiose" plans and stretching the stagnation process for 3 years.
The most socially dangerous thing is that with such According to this approach, Russia will never return to the level of income of the population of the last year of the “fat” period - 2013. In fact, in 2023, even with an unconditionally clear implementation of the national plan, which is very doubtful, the income of the population will be 3-5% lower than the level of a decade ago.
I am forced to draw the following tough conclusion: for Russian officials and politicians, the coronavirus pandemic has become an excellent force majeure, which is attributed to management bloopers and political and economic incompetence.
In an interview with television on September 10, President Vladimir Putin said that the peak of economic problems due to the coronavirus pandemic in the country has already passed and we are starting to recover. "Next year", the head of state stressed, "I think this restoration will be ensured".
In the generalization of the President of the Russian Federation, the guarantor of the Constitution, there is a theoretical and methodological error, which the government repeats in its actions and fixes it in the national plan. Focusing only on economic recovery (??) is a flawed liberal approach of theorists of market fundamentalism. The way out of the systemic crisis, in which the Russian economy has been for several years, presupposes not its recovery, but a cardinal change of institutions, change of management systems, change of economic models.
I am forced to return to the question: what needs to be done in the current difficult conditions to restart economic growth in Russia, to provide a strategy of socio-economic growth, what alternative development model can Russia offer to the world, what can be the choice of its historical path of development.
Us it has been repeatedly argued that in order to save the Russian economy, the GDP growth rate should not be below 4.5 -5%, even 6%, and this can really be achieved if we rely on scientific economic theory and the use of positive world practice.
A similar program was once developed by us for the government of Primakov-Maslyukov-Gerashchenko. Its implementation accomplished a real "economic miracle" by refusing to do what the economic bloc is actively using today, ensuring industrial growth at a rate of more than 2% per month and reducing inflation by three times, establishing state regulation of the ruble exchange rate and currency control, stopping currency speculation...
And today, despite the socio-economic downturn due to the coronavirus pandemic, stagnation in the world economy, falling oil prices, the global financial crisis, while pursuing a scientifically verified economic policy, one can achieve growth of at least 4-5% already in 2021 by investing in new technologies, consolidating public and private resources in key areas of development of the real sector economy, especially the development of the non-oil and gas industry, improving the quality of public administration, giving more independence to the regions.
There is money in the country to solve these problems. The state should stimulate process of high-quality economic growth: sharply reduce taxes where investments are attracted for the production of high technologies and in other strategically important areas, significantly increasing taxes where investments are used for financial speculation, the sale of resources, or the organization of low-tech production. The pursuit of such a policy will undoubtedly cause domestic socio-economic growth, even in opposition to the global economy.
Unfortunately, this is not done and the Russian economy, even if the government fully implements the national plan, will not be able to show rates higher than they were before the crisis, and taking into account global negative factors, these rates, of course, will certainly be lower. This is evidenced by the political and economic analysis and national projects until 2024 by the former prime minister D. Medvedev, and the national plan for economic recovery until 2030 of the new government of M. Mishustin. From the government today what is needed is not a plan to combat the virus, not a recovery plan, but a plan for a qualitatively new economic development. The Russian economy, continuing to pursue the course of liberal market fundamentalism, will continue recessionary processes, and its indicators shift even more into the negative zone.
Meanwhile, neither people nor the crisis will wait until 2030. Therefore, urgent, drastic measures must be taken. Otherwise, the stagnant financial and economic crisis will develop into a political one.
The main problem - Russia's illness - is that for twenty-five years now society does not know where the country is going, it seems to be moving nowhere. Lacking a national idea, common national interests, accepted by society, the most important ambitious goals that the country can achieve in the long term, the paths along which these goals are proposed to go, and the means by which this will be done, the country has lost strategic control, as the most important tool for socio-economic and political development.
The system of management, especially strategic, which should comprehensively - in content, time and space - cover the socio-economic development of the country at the federal and regional levels, the country is simply absent and requires its revival. Without strategic management, indicative planning today not a single developed state, not a single powerful corporation works. And we plan for three years, and then this plan is corrected five times. It is not surprising that developed countries are emerging from the coronavirus at a faster pace. In passing, I would like to note that planning the economy for a year or even three is not a strategy, but a tactic. The strategy starts with a five-year planning horizon.
P oetomu again forced to conclude that the need to bring the country on the path of economic growth, the elimination of employment and income to the next level after koronovirsa pandemic, the stagnation in the global economy, objectively demands from the president - reject in principle the monetarist neo-liberal model of "economic growth" led the country to a dead end, abandoning the harmful countries of the "Washington Consensus" and those mechanisms that were launched in the 1990s. This is the first and main step that requires the political will of the guarantor of the Constitution of the Russian Federation. Market fundamentalism fell short of expectations. The result is an outrageous social distress: unheard-of wealth for the few, with stagnating incomes of the middle strata and widespread poverty and misery. During the epidemic, the oligarchic "elite" became rich by $ 62 billion, or 4.6 trillion rubles. Moreover, 33 billion dollars, or more than two trillion rubles, were withdrawn from the country.
First of all, let us emphasize that, based on world experience, for the consolidation of society in the formation of a new type of economy, a nationwide ideology is a strategy for the socio-economic and political development of society that is understandable to the people.
World experience shows that a real "economic miracle" is possible with relying on market relations only with the active participation of the state.
It is surprising from a scientific economic standpoint to observe how government adherence to market fundamentalism, the frantic adherents of the "free market", with a serious air, explain the failures of the country's economic policy by the alleged excessive presence of the state in the Russian economy, that only having freed itself from state restrictions, the economy is able to carry out the modernization spurt expected for almost a quarter of a century.
And it is unaware to these "unfortunate marketmen" that the quantitative assessment of the state's participation in the economy, adopted in the world through the ratio of government spending to GDP, is not in favor of Russia: in the developed world it fluctuates in the range of 45-55%, and in our country it is just over 30%. Moreover, according to Rosstat, the share of the private sector in our economy is 80%, and this fully coincides with the value of the same indicators in Western countries.
It is difficult for these liberal market-makers to understand that the model in which the state provides a mobilization leap in the economy is called the “development state” model: the state actively compensates for the shortcomings of the free market by providing support for priority high-tech industries. An example of this is the United States upon its way out of the Great Depression of the 1930s, Japan, South Korea, Taiwan, Singapore, Hong Kong. The impressive economic growth that took place in these countries became possible precisely because of the active role of the state and its intervention in market processes.
Therefore, it is necessary to repeatedly substantiate for the unfortunate economists of the government that the basic point that really characterizes the change in the socio-economic course of Russia is the formation of the state ideology of the development of society, the definition of what kind of socio-economic image of the country we want to have. Whether someone wants it or not, a clear demand for the restoration of socialism on the Chinese model, or at least for the strongest "leftward" of the socio-economic course, is being formed and deepened in the country.
The experience of China clearly shows that today it is the most progressive model, which has been providing the highest rates of economic growth in the world for several decades. The state ideology in China is socialist, the economy is market, and the leaders of economic development are private-collective enterprises.
Even in the context of the coronavirus pandemic, from where COVID-19 poured around the world, when even in developed countries, GDP fell by 8-15-20%, the only country to end this year with a plus will be China. Experts predict here GDP growth of 1.2% with inflation of 2.9%. In 2021, the Chinese economy plans to grow to 9%, which in the current environment is truly an economic miracle. So you can achieve growth!
Today India and the countries of Indochina are following in the footsteps of China, it is here, in the East, that the contours of the world of the future are being laid today, a new world order is being created.
Based on world experience, the experience of the Soviet Union, Japan, South Korea, Singapore, China, Japan, Sweden, France, the most acceptable for the Russian Federation could be a model of socio-economic development based on the state planning and market mechanism. The rejection of market mechanisms by the Soviet government was justified by the ideology of their incompatibility with the preservation of the purity of "socialist" principles, which cost the country's economy and the country itself very dearly. That is why I substantiate the plan-market mechanism on a state basis!
I would also like to touch upon management tools. I, as the former Chairman of the State Planning Committee of the TASSR, am not advocates of a directive plan and an authoritarian order. For the purpose of integrated development in the republic, one of the first in the country on a state planning basis, a strategy began to form and state target programs, such as the programs "Labor", "Quality", "Scientific Personnel". Based on strategic forecasting and imperative planning, based on pursuing a policy of "soft" entry into the market, the Republic of Tatarstan did not allow a decline in industrial production and continued to implement the most important social programs, which made it possible to prevent a landslide fall in the living standards of the population, to keep unemployment rates at a lower level than the average for Russia.
There is no point in returning to the Soviet practice of directive planning; its results speak for themselves. But without strategic management, indicative planning today not a single state, not a single corporation works. And we plan for three years, and then this plan is corrected five times.
China has long formed the scientific vision of its country until 2050, realizing the national idea - to bring the country to the leaders of the planet, following the path of socialism with Chinese characteristics.
In France, Japan, South Korea, India and other countries, state strategic management is really the core of socio-economic development.
Finally, the last thing: in the current difficult conditions, start the process of building a new model of socio-economic and political development - the process of forming a mobilization economy - very tough: first of all, it is necessary to remove “effective managers” - adherents of the world's financial elites from the highest echelons of Russian power, deploy economic policy from its raw materials orientation towards the restoration of domestic (!) production, relying on our own forces and resources, hard, accelerated growth in the productivity of social labor based on stimulating scientific and technological progress, verified for the 6th technological mode, the concentration of material, financial and human resources in key areas of the national economy, active support of this area institutionally and ideologically.