Posted 1 сентября 2021, 06:28
Published 1 сентября 2021, 06:28
Modified 25 декабря 2022, 20:57
Updated 25 декабря 2022, 20:57
Dmitry Shusharin, historian
It's not a tsar's business to travel around the country and scare the people. More precisely, not imperial - there is something ancient Roman, ritual in Putin's giving money to pensioners and military personnel. The statements about the fight against poverty have long been the same ritual.
These notes are a digest of a more voluminous research based exclusively on open data, which is fundamentally important - no investigations and leaks, no insider information. Links to the materials used are absent here in order to avoid going beyond the media format, but they are available.
If you look closely, it becomes clear that the fight against poverty for the president and other officials is direct payments to socially disadvantaged groups of the population. But here is an article by Elena Beglova back in 2016 "Poverty in Russia: Structure and Forms of Manifestation." In the early nineties, large families made up 60-80 percent of the poor, but now it is 7.5 percent. Unemployment in the country is insignificant, the growth of desocialized layers of the population, lumpenization and pauperization is not observed. And most importantly, the share of the poor among those employed in the economy is 62.4 percent. That is, the Russian poor are people with a job and a steady income. Russia is a country of working poor.
A sixth of all workers in Russia cannot provide for themselves and their families, according to the bulletin of the Analytical Center under the Government "Working Poor in Russia and Abroad." Their incomes in 2016 were below the subsistence level of the working-age population. According to Rosstat, about 2 million Russians received wages below the subsistence level (7.3% of those employed in April 2017). If we take into account not only wages, but also other incomes, as well as the fact that these incomes are also spent on family members, the number of working poor increases significantly - about 12.1 million people in 2016, or 16.8% of the working-age population.
The average annual real minimum wage in Russia is significantly lower than in countries with a similar level of GDP per capita (USD 22-25 thousand): only USD 3199 per month, while in Latvia - USD 7830, in Turkey - USD 12075 (data 2016). The ratio of the minimum and average wages in Russia is also lower than in the countries under consideration: in Russia - 17.5%, in Turkey - 40%, in Latvia - 43.1%. The share of wages of employees in the structure of national GDP is also lower, and Russia's lagging behind in this indicator is constantly growing.
Vladislav Inozemtsev wrote that in all developed countries, low-skilled workers receive less. But the fact of the matter is that with regard to Russia, it is a different matter. that poverty here does not depend on qualifications.
Researchers at the Analytical Center for the Government of the Russian Federation emphasized that with the current practice of calculating salaries, Russians often abandon skilled labor in favor of unskilled ones, young skilled workers leave production for the service sector, where it is possible to receive more money for less qualified work.
This conclusion is consistent with the data of Rosstat that in Russia the profession of a driver (5 million Russians, or 7% of the employed) takes the first place in terms of the number of employees since 2000, and the second is the profession of a seller (4.9 million people, 6.8% of the employed). In other words, one in seven Russians today works either as a seller or as a driver.
As noted in a study by the Boston Consulting Group, a doctor in Russia earns on average only 20% more than a driver. For comparison, in the United States, the difference between the salaries of a doctor and a driver is 261%, in Germany - 172%, in Brazil - 174%.
The poverty of the employed working-age population is part of a system that guarantees the unlimited and indefinite power of a group of people who manage the country's resources solely in their own interests. The same part as nuclear blackmail, territorial conquests and endless wars, exterminating peoples in different countries of the world. But this is only the top of the pyramid. The inverse dependence of wages on qualifications, encouraging the rejection of social growth, including professional growth, and a conscious increase in poverty - all this is not the result of presidential decrees, the planned economy, and everything that has long been called the administrative-command system. This is a market economy in Russian, a depersonalized labor market, non-recognition of the personal and social subjectivity of an employee, replacement of partnership with subordination in all spheres of the economy - from giant corporations to small and medium-sized businesses.
In 2017, Novaya Gazeta published a report on the everyday life of a Crimean peasant woman. Her interview contains the most valuable information about what really is in Russia (there are still Russian laws in Crimea), a free market for agricultural products:
“- Selling, by the way, is also not easy - they came up with a whole scheme. First, a deputy from the village council should come to me to see that I really have my own vegetable garden. Then he draws up an inspection report, with which I go to the head of the village council. The head of the village council, in the presence of two attesting witnesses, neighbors, verifies the act: he asks them whether beetroot really grows on my site, whether there are chickens. And when the attesting witnesses confirm, he gives me a certificate that I can sell. "
Admission to the market becomes a privilege that cannot even be called an estate privilege - it is granted at the discretion and arbitrariness of the lower levels of government. These are all part of a general opposition to development. And it seems that there is no Soviet power and Marxism-Leninism. And no one announces collectivization and other general line, but the system, like ninety years ago, is aimed at preventing the free market development of individual people and farms, as the great Lenin wanted long before coming to power.
Market access is becoming a privilege not only for farmers. This is a general trend for the social, economic and political evolution of Russia. In September 2019, the Central Bank prepared a bill on the admission of citizens to the stock market. As conceived by the authors, non-professional investors could invest in foreign shares and other risky assets no more than 50 thousand rubles. in year. To move to the next category, for which a wider range of financial instruments is available, investors would need to accumulate 1.4 million rubles.
The 2019 bill was part of the political strategy and continued. In the first month of 2021, the index of "free money" in the budgets of Russians increased sharply - by 82% compared to December 2020. We are talking about an indicator that demonstrates the dynamics of the excess of income over expenses. The Free Money Index (ISD) January-2021 showed the maximum growth on record. At the same time, the amount of Russian investments in the stock market at the end of 2020 reached 6 trillion rubles, showing an almost twofold increase. The authorities responded with a bill proposing to restrict the sale of complex financial and investment products to unqualified investors. Free money of the population should not work for the benefit of the population, which should not get rich and develop. Power at all levels reduces the possibility of involving new people in market relations, seeks to prevent the complication of social stratification to which a free market economy leads. A new category of disenfranchised people is emerging - people who are not admitted to the market.
In the second quarter of 2020, the real disposable income of Russians in annual terms fell by 21.8%. This was the assessment of experts from the "Development Center" of the Higher School of Economics. This is twice the peak values of both the 2008-2009 crisis and the 2015-2016 recession. ... The availability of 74% of goods and services that Russians actively bought in 2013 and continue to buy fell within 69% by 2021, a Forbes study showed. The answer to this was the preparation of a law on the regulation of food prices, that is, another step towards a mobilization economy. And these are the only political consequences that are possible. No movement of the masses, no protests among the population is foreseen.
A study by VTsIOM showed the senselessness of linear logic in reasoning about the political consequences of an increase in poverty. The continuing decline in living standards has become a "new norm" in the mass consciousness of the Russian population. This was shown by the VTsIOM poll conducted at the end of August 2020. People did not see any prospects for raising their incomes: 41% believed that in a year his family would "live the same as now." Every fourth expected a further deterioration in their financial situation.
At the same time, only 25% of the population believed that the country was moving in the wrong direction. 33% considered the course completely correct, and 37% - correct with reservations. The index of the population's assessment of the country's exchange rate compared to August 2019 increased by two points.
Here it is, quite specific, expressed in numbers, the totalitarian consensus established in statistical and sociological studies. More precisely, part of the consensus is acceptance of poverty.
And representatives of the highest ruling elite are well aware of this. For example, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov, who branded liberalism as the pursuit of personal well-being as something hostile to the national pride inherent in the "genetic code" of Russians.
Liberalism, in fact, connects a person's self-esteem, his awareness of his social significance, his involvement in something greater with personal success. All this forms the attitude to work on which the Judeo-Christian civilization grew up. Referring to Max Weber. Russian depersonalization associates human dignity not with the results of labor, but with a status, the achievement of which requires participation in the reproduction of social relations, and not creative efforts in any field of activity. The main thing is to fit in, not achieve.
And Minister Lavrov is right, right, following Lenin, declaring liberalism the main enemy of the Russian totalitarian system, in which labor and its results should not be the basis of human dignity and honor, conditioned only by participation in a great common cause.