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Michael Delyagin: “Putin’s Russia” – Innovative Variant of “Potemkin Villages”

Michael Delyagin: “Putin’s Russia” – Innovative Variant of “Potemkin Villages”

Source: "Mir Novostey"

- What does “new compensation” mean? If we are talking about changes of 2008 when the heads of enterprises were allowed to be in dispose of wage fund individually and to encourage most skilled workers? Or there were some other innovations?

- We are talking about development of the same vicious scheme which shakes budgetary sector. I will remind that in many places the director defines a level of salaries of employees almost individually. Having faced increase of the compensation fund he first of all raises own salary – following ideas of communism. Then he, as a kind person, increases salaries of those whom he constantly sees - that is of administrative personnel. Well, working teachers and doctors have to taste the remains or they could even get the same salary at the cutting of surcharges and increase of working hours.

Now they talk about some “effective contract” about which nobody knows anything and “payment according to the result” in those spheres where it’s impossible to allocate the share of one person in general success - for example, at fire extinguishing.

This sad liberal masochism, nevertheless, effectively destroys budgetary sphere and promotes solution of the main task of present Putin stage. About two years ago editor-in-chief of "Ekho Moskvy" Venediktov from the words of “senior companions” formulated it as “removal of social burden from economy”. As far as it’s possible to understand, it is impossible to raise corruption loading – basis of welfare of ruling class – without it. It’s being removed - not only by direct reduction of corresponding expenses of the budget, but also by destruction of the budgetary sphere by means of corresponding liberal reforms including salaries.

I have a feeling that Putin lives in some own Russia constructed personally for him and having not little relation to the real country. Approximately as they printed one copy of “Pravda” personally for Lenin.

So instead of "Potemkin Villages" now we have "Putin's Russia". It’s already crackling as scenery crack before failing.

- 12 years in power – what has been made for real increase of a standard of living of people and their incomes? Practical question – whether there was really anything made? For example, increase of pensions, some privileges – if those actions promoted growth of standard of living of the population and our incomes? Or the power makes nothing?

- The power shared scraps from its oil table with population, while real income grew powerfully in comparison with insignificant post-default level. The number of beggars decreased in times and the main part of the poor sincerely believe that they belong to middle class. So, one shouldn’t speak ill: it could be even worse.

- How regional authorities can raise incomes? Especially in depressive, subsidized regions?

- Regional authorities, especially of subsidized regions, are under rigid press of the Ministry of Finance and are very limited in use of their means. Violation of standards established by the Ministry of Finance and requirements can be punished very rigidly. Even donor regions according to various programs receive means from the federal budget and uncoordinated financial initiative can lead to a delay and reduction of these means.

Therefore regions can increase social benefits at the expense of reduction of other types of payments. Reduction of administrative expenses can be welcomed, but the ruling class, obviously, doesn't suspect about possibility of reduction of scales of luxury (for example, purchases of less prestigious cars) for the sake of support of people. The same about possibility of reduction of corruption: as far as it’s possible to judge, these are incomes of the ruling class.

Reduction of investments not connected with corruption can lead, for example, to catastrophe in the sphere of housing and communal services.

Debts for some time were a kind of way out from the situation: regions borrowed money to finance this or that activity. As a result in many subjects of Federation – and even in such "beacon" region as Kaluga region - some kind of debt crisis returning a theme of bankruptcy of regions into political vocabulary can be observed.

As a whole the question of income of the population can be solved only at federal level; attempt to leave it to be solved at a level of regions – cynical profanation.

- Putin demanded ”to take all measures to increase incomes” - what are those "ALL" measures? What is really necessary to do to increase incomes? Whether it is possible in Russia?

- "All" means “all which Putin will permit”. Modernization is necessary to do it, so that people have human, not slavish workplaces - but it is incompatible with corruption model of the state.

Poverty should be liquidated by guaranteeing of a living wage. If the state recognizes our right to life, it should recognize economic component of this right – guaranteed living wage. The sum of money necessary for it is not big – less than 10% of the sum which is present now in the federal budget, considerable part of these means will come back in the form of taxes.

Though this measure is also possible only at refusal of the state of corruption ideology


- How to treat on this background the promise of Medvedev to increase labor pensions by 45% to 2015? The figure seems to be serious and pensioners got delighted. If these percents won’t be zeroed by inflation by then?

- It can happen. Though the main thing is different: in conditions of consecutive refusal of the government of measures capable to solve pension crisis (to enter due control over means and assets of the Pension Fund, to raise collecting of social due fees at the expense of normalization of their rate) increase in pensions is possible only at the expense of reduction of a number of pensioners.

Ruling party has already proclaimed method to achieve such reduction: increase of minimum term of service necessary for receiving of full-scale pension from today’s 5 to 40 years. In fact it is camouflaged way of increase of retirement age. To use Medvedev's promises - even if he would suddenly get desire to fulfill them - can, I think, not all pensioners.

- What are your forecasts, if incomes of the population will grow in the next years, if there are preconditions to it? Whether citizens have hope?

As to the growth of real incomes – last year they grew by 0.8% that taking into account understating of official inflation and wellbeing of billionaires allows to assume that real income of the "bottom" 90% of Russians as a whole decreased not less than by 7,5%. In the first half of the current year situation improved: real incomes of the population grew by 2,7%.

However, it’s not fair to promise citizens grows of incomes in conditions of system crisis into which Russia falls under the burden of kleptocracy and during global depression which the world undergoes due to oppression of global monopolism.

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