Sergey Belanovsky, political analyst
There is a big difference between the amount of social benefits provided by the growth of the economy and wages, and benefits issued from the state budget. In China, wealth is growing, but the Chinese work very hard. In Russia, the authorities are trying to appease the population with social handouts, scanty and even purely rhetorical. But scantiness, perhaps, is not even the most important thing. The one who earns has a motive to earn more. And those who receive handouts, even purely rhetorical ones, want more handouts.
Once upon a time, a mathematician friend of mine told a funny story. He worked with complex numbers, which have real and imaginary components. Hungry, he went to the dining room, busy with his thoughts. And suddenly I saw the words "Complex lunch" on the menu. Complex, of course, after a minute he figured it out. But sedum amused him, and he began to reason that a complex dinner with imaginary and real parts is possible. The relationship between them is an important characteristic of this product. So in today's Russia, social benefits contain a significant imaginary part, perhaps even outweighing the real one.
Why in Russia the bulk of the population cannot earn money and hopes for handouts? In part, this is psychology brought up by the Soviet and Russian authorities. But this is a secondary effect. I would not write about the "lazy Russian people". It is simply a form of adaptation and the result of propaganda. It is really VERY difficult to make money, especially outside the Moscow Ring Road. But all the time they promise the distribution of social benefits. And since they promise, the population (and business, unfortunately) demand them. And if they demand, then we need to promise even more. By increasing the imaginary part.
Inflation of promises. Spiral of negativism. Wrong propaganda strategy. Maybe she played a very big role with the collapse of the USSR.