And the liberal policy now being implemented in exactly the same way as the 90's and in the “zero” policy is precisely the refusal of development. Consistent and principled.
Russia beats in the "loop of Kudrin"
The enthusiasm caused by the reunification of the Crimea with Russia, the apparent helplessness and mendacity of the West, the self-disclosure of its liberal “fifth column” in Russia and the uprising in eastern Ukraine, is gradually fading away.
The point is not the absence of an active foreign policy of the Russian state, posing as a punching bag of the West in the worst late Soviet traditions.
The liberal course, aimed at realizing the interests of global business against the interests of our people, continues to be implemented as consistently and steadily as in 90, and in 2000.
State windfalls from the export of raw materials go not to the development of the country, but to support the financial systems of its strategic competitors, which directly characterize Russia as an "enemy." The best enterprises have the opportunity to borrow in these financial systems their own money, previously paid by them to the Russian state in the form of taxes; the rest are deprived of this opportunity and, in fact, cut off from the loan.
Its high cost undermines the competitiveness of the economy just as well as accession to the WTO on knowingly enslaving, in fact, colonial conditions.
At the same time, the external credit dried up even before the West started the “information war” against Russia: due to the growing comparative attractiveness of the USA, on the one hand, and the deterioration of the economic situation in our country, on the other, financial flows began to bypass our country.
The key reason for this deterioration in the conjuncture is the artificial “money hunger” organized by the liberals, undermining the economy and blocking the activity of even the secured sector of the economy: choking on money, prosperous structures do not know who to give them - for neither reliable borrowers nor attractive investment projects simply have no place to take.
Regulation of speculation and production is almost the same, resulting in the latter decay. The shortage of not even specialists, but simply people with normal labor motivation is ubiquitous: a liberal education reform aimed at eliminating professionals and punching "qualified consumers" from the youth who can only take out a loan but not think about its usefulness and prospects for return, is completely successful.
The only way to support the economy, available in the framework of a liberal socio-economic policy, is the weakening of the ruble. However, it is not carried out simultaneously, but for a long time (from mid-October to mid-March), in the interests of not the country as a whole, but speculators, which maximizes not only the incomes of the latter, but also the destructive consequences for society. At the same time, the negative effects of devaluation already outweigh the very limited positive ones.
In particular, the real incomes of the bulk of the population are falling. It is estimated that since last summer, and after the start of devaluation, the extent of the impoverishment of people began to manifest itself also in official statistics. The possibilities of expanding trade and, accordingly, reviving the economy by lending to the population are practically exhausted: a significant part of Russians are driven into hopeless "debt slavery", trying to take new loans not to improve their lives, but to pay off previously taken.
A full-fledged budget crisis is organized in the regions: the federal center imposes on them all new responsibilities, without accompanying them with money. As a result, the destruction of the social sphere and the very fabric of everyday life has become the norm of life in the vast spaces of Russia.
Despite a slight improvement in the situation in the first quarter, economic growth (0.8%, and this success) will not reach the minimum necessary to maintain socio-political stability in the framework of the current model of the pace in 5,5%. So, the "influence groups" will suffer from unsatisfied appetites, tear each other and the long-suffering population, "swinging the boat" like no other revolutionaries have dreamed of - and Russia as a whole will slowly swell into a systemic crisis and disintegration similar to those of Ukraine .
With the difference that we, instead of Bandera, will most likely be Islamists - with the unconditional support of hipsters, desperate office people, ruined by the crisis and corruption of businessmen and under the general guidance of a West-based liberal clan.
Euromaidan in Kiev fervently believed that after the overthrow of Yanukovych, the West would immediately give Ukraine 150 or 160 billion euros. Maidan in Moscow will be piously believing in the same nonsense - simply because desperate people believe in everything that the "enemies of their enemies" tell them.
Economy sentenced to decline
This perspective is so transparent that it is already alarming in the Russian leadership. But so far, attempts to even shy changes for the better are rejected unswervingly in the corporate reformist style.
So, at Putin’s famous nightly meeting, after Medvedev’s fabulous speech in the State Duma after Putin’s fabulous speech, the idea of softening the “fiscal rule” was rejected, making it possible to send more than 3 trillion to the development of the economy. rub. for 3,5 of the year.
The fact that such mitigation is necessary is evidenced by the fact that the author of this idea was the liberal Ulyukaev, Gaidar’s faithful ally who now heads the long-suffering Ministry of Economic Development. He and Putin’s assistant, the best Russian macroeconomist Belousov, opposed the united front of government liberals led by Prime Minister Medvedev, reinforced by “expert” Kudrin.
This meeting put an end to many hopes. The Russian state made a principled choice, refusing development in favor of continuing the destruction of its country and strangling it in the “Kudrin loop”. We are confidently moving towards destabilization according to one or another scenario, and ultimately to a new Maidan.
Now there is no doubt: already this year, Russia from a fading economic growth will turn into an increasing economic recession: a decision on this, in fact, has been made.
Of course, the aggravation of social and economic problems will increase the president’s attention both to them and to the liberal members of the government and the leaders of the Bank of Russia. But for now he demonstrates full confidence in the people, the preservation of which in power will easily turn them into grave diggers not only of the whole country and people, but also of Putin himself.
The secret of their survival is simple: any leader is engaged in what he considers most important. The main thing becomes either threatening to catastrophe, or promising strategic success. All the rest is entrusted to trusted people - and, if everything is in order, an ordinary manager evaluates them by result, without delving particularly into the nature of their activities and not trying to separate their contribution to this result from the impact of objective factors.
Perhaps Putin sincerely believes that it was precisely the liberals who were perfectly able to advertise themselves, and not the insane rise in oil prices, that gave him a decade of strong economic growth and super-profits - and simply believes that история proved them right. They have simple human gratitude on their side, and still enormous authority of the West for our ruling party.
Therefore, a turn from liberalism to common sense, with all the inevitable personnel problems (for building a country after a quarter of a century of national betrayal is a hard task, and those who like to cut budgets will not be tempted) for Putin is extremely difficult both for psychological and organizational reasons.
Meanwhile, he has less and less time for such a turn.
The continuation of the liberal policy of plundering and destroying the country for 2014-2015 years dramatically increases the risk of a breakdown in a systemic crisis: the positive economic and psychological inertia of many years of growth is already exhausted, and this year will definitely come to naught.
Meanwhile, the transition to development policy in 2015, although possible according to the principle “all of a sudden”, as it was in 1998, under Primakov, Maslyukov and Gerashchenko, requires very substantial organizational preparation. It is necessary to radically rework the budget, and this is at least a month of work. And after that, you need to work out the most significant issues with the implementing agencies and regional authorities: this is at least another month. And, finally, personnel improvement is also not an instant affair: new leaders must accept affairs, get comfortable with the apparatus (and free it from incurable liberals), get used to each other: also not less than a month.
Thus, in order to begin the complex development of Russia in the 2015 year, for purely technical reasons, the government and the Bank of Russia need to be rehabilitated, clearing them of the liberals who remained forever in the 90s and dream of returning Russia there before October October of this year. Otherwise, in 1, the policy will have to be changed in an emergency mode, reshaping it “live”, and this, as the experience of saving the country from the consequences of the 2015 default of the year shows, leads to a loss of opportunity, time and painful mistakes.
Putin has only a little over four months.
What to do?
I will make a reservation right away: in this article I will describe only urgent measures that will bring immediate results.
At the same time, they will have to “launch” a lot of absolutely necessary transformations that will not immediately improve our life.
Their list is obvious to everyone: first of all, it is a judicial reform that will bring the independence and professionalism of the courts to at least Soviet standards, which today, unfortunately, can only be dreamed of.
This is the normalization of education and health care, which should once again become tools for the creation of a nation, and not its cynical robbery. They should be available, which in a country with 80% of the population that cannot buy durable goods, means "free or almost free for most", but, above all, they should be. Today, quality health care and education are as few for the majority of Russians as justice.
Housing should become free again or almost free for the majority: the severity of the housing crisis today can only be compared with the post-Stalinist period or the period of the First Russian Revolution.
Government regulation must stop brutally suppressing the conscientious observance of the norms established by it and tacitly encourage scammers who sneer at them and those who follow them. Rampant crime, invisible due to the distrust of citizens to the law enforcement system, should be mercilessly suppressed.
Work in these areas should begin immediately to improve the state, but the necessary rapid effect will provide another: return "from reforms to normality" in the socio-economic policy.
First of all, the state should begin a comprehensive modernization of the infrastructure: first, roads and utilities, then power supply, then the rest. Infrastructure is the only sphere in which the state is insured against inevitably unfair competition with business: the effect of investments made by one goes to everyone, therefore, with the exception of information technology, investments in infrastructure are beyond the power of even the largest business.
Modernization of infrastructure will drastically reduce the costs of society, and on the other hand, it will create a huge “front of work”, will present enormous demand for all kinds of creation: from strategic planning and creation of new technologies to ordinary honest work.
However, to begin the modernization it is necessary to fulfill four categorical conditions.
The first is a fundamental limitation of corruption: otherwise, modernization instead of the Russian infrastructure will affect elite settlements in fashionable countries that decry the very idea of protecting Russia of their interests, perhaps because Russian corrupt officials are used to exporting the loot to them.
Contrary to common myths, reducing corruption to a safe level (as opposed to its complete eradication) is quite a doable thing, even in the conditions of a deep decomposition of law enforcement agencies, courts and politicians.
It is necessary to break the mutual responsibility relating the bribe taker to the briber: for this, following the example of Italy, release the latter from responsibility in the case of cooperation with the investigation. Do not mitigate the punishment in the event of a coincidence of opinions of the investigator and the judge, as is the case now with us in the form of "active repentance", but reliably and precisely free from responsibility! This makes the bribe taker, in fact, the hostage of the one from whom he extorts a bribe, and works very effectively.
The second means of easing corruption should be borrowed from the United States: confiscation from the family of a member of organized crime who does not cooperate with the result of organized crime of all faithfully acquired (that is, legalized) assets while maintaining a minimum sufficient for a very modest life. This destroys the economic basis of the mafia (and with it, corruption), since there is not enough common fund for everyone (it’s not created for that), and much of the captured mafia and corrupt officials prefer to risk their lives, cooperating with the investigation for the welfare of their loved ones.
Of course, reducing corruption to a safe level takes time (in the case of New York, where corruption united all power into a monstrous mechanism - from a street policeman and district judge to the creators of "political machines"), but the situation will improve and be noticed by society right away.
The second step necessary for the modernization of infrastructure is the restriction of the arbitrariness of monopolies: otherwise, instead of the goal set, as was the case with Medvedev’s “inaccessible housing,” we’ll get price inflation for everything related to its achievement.
The key point here is the fundamental empowerment of the antimonopoly service. It should become an analogue of the KGB in the economy, receiving, on simple suspicion of abusing the monopoly position, all the financial and economic information of any firm (of course, bearing responsibility for non-disclosure of trade secrets until the latter is proven guilty).
In case of sharp price fluctuations, the antimonopoly service should, according to the German experience, get the right to return prices first, and then investigate the validity of their changes, since the investigation can last months or even years during which damage to the economy can become irreparable.
By the way, it is worthwhile to adopt the German attitude to private property, whose holiness and the very right to exist are recognized only as long as it serves society. If private property begins to harm society, it is mercilessly and without any sentiments limited.
An important tool to limit the arbitrariness of monopolies is to provide access for producers (especially agricultural products) to free access to the markets of large cities. You may have to resort to even the armed forces, but the solution to this problem is absolutely necessary.
Finally, to curb communal monopolies, it is necessary to subsidize all payments for utility services that exceed 10% of household incomes. To subsidize from local budgets, but with a lack of funds in them - from regional and federal. This will make the victim of communal monopolies not a scattered population, but an all-powerful Ministry of Finance, and will force the government to curb their appetites. And where the local and regional authorities are so professional that they can normalize the appetites of the housing and utilities sector, the intervention of the center is not required.
However, curbing monopolies is not enough for the successful modernization of infrastructure. After all, funds aimed at it should revive the Russian economy, create jobs in our country, and not in China and Germany. So, for successful modernization, reasonable protectionism is needed - at the level of at least the European Union.
Accession to the WTO on knowingly indentical conditions has already confirmed the old rule that either goods or investments enter the country: investment growth was replaced after this growing recession, and capital outflows broke all out-of-crisis records long before reunification with Crimea.
The situation needs to be corrected, but citizens, not migrant workers, should occupy jobs: otherwise, instead of Russia, Outer Manchuria and North Tajikistan will emerge. And for this, the salary should not be below the subsistence minimum, and this minimum should be sufficient and guaranteed to all citizens.
This is not a question of economics, but of a Constitution: does the state recognize the right to life guaranteed to its citizens? And if he does, then why does 11% of the population pay so much that their lives turn into slow dying, almost like in a concentration camp?
The cost of saving the lives of our fellow citizens is small - about 600 billion rubles a year, much of which will be returned to the budget in the form of taxes. With unused balances in the federal budget accounts in 7,5 trillion. rubles are not critical expenses. Yes, and curbing the arbitrariness of monopolies, reducing prices, will reduce the cost of saving people, and the last of the steps necessary for the successful modernization of infrastructure.
In addition to it, tax normalization is needed: today, the richer a person is, the less he gives to the state. The remuneration of the majority, even if it is below the subsistence minimum, is cut by the state by 39.2%: first 30% of compulsory social contributions, and only from the rest - 13% of the notorious "flat income tax". Not used almost anywhere except in Russia, where a wealthy person can use the simple manipulations to pay the state only 6%.
As the country is turned into a tax haven for the super-rich, the tax burden on the poor is excessive - and people are "dropping into the shadows" en masse. It is this process that is the main cause of the pension crisis, about which the authorities are chastely silent.
A reasonable way out is the introduction of a flat scale of compulsory social contributions at the rate of 15% (to which the business agrees, but not the officials), in conjunction with a moderately progressive income tax scale. Incomes below three living wages should be exempted from taxation in general (for it is embarrassing), and from 700 thousands of rubles per month (these are the savings that the state guarantees to citizens in banks) and higher - to take 20%. It’s just that people who, by virtue of their incomes, have greater than average opportunities to influence society, also feel their greater responsibility towards them.
Important and inheritance tax. Of course, it’s not necessary to take tax from a regular apartment and, all the more, cars. But from the palace and the Maybach collection, not to mention corporations, is necessary, and this tax must also be progressive.
There is no need to talk about deoffshorization - it needs to be done: to cancel the regime of avoiding double taxation with offshore companies and declare any assets, property rights to which will not be withdrawn from offshore companies for six months, as confiscated.
Russia will never put up with predatory privatization, the consent to which was purchased from the then generation for the free privatization of apartments and the voucher mirage. That generation is being replaced by new ones that are doomed to poverty: they will not get what they have created by their ancestors. Compensation tax on the basis of privatization in the form of the difference between the value of the property at the time of privatization and what went into the budgets should be charged with blocks of shares, so that enterprises would not cause damage, and society would regain the commanding heights in the economy.
Finally, a non-speculative small business should be free: it should be exempted from all taxation of its production and trade, and in the Far East and Transbaikalia this rule should be extended to medium-sized business.
Each of these measures is self-evident - and each is absolutely unacceptable for Russian liberals. Purification of power from them is not a question of progress, but the simple survival of Russia.