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Monday, March 19, 2018

Out of the crisis or running in place?

Recently, Vladimir Putin instructed the government interdepartmental group to finalize the report “Stolypin club” on the proposal of the presidential aide Andrei Belousov. As noted by the press Secretary of the President, it should be an alternative program Kudrin for the country’s exit from the crisis.

In General, the fact of the compilation, and even more discussion of the various programs to overcome the crisis. As the understanding of the existence problem is an important step towards its solution. So, first there was Kudrin. I think he’s quite objectively pointed out that economic development is impossible without creation of comfortable business environment. From this followed the conclusion on the need for ambitious structural reforms, which will have the opportunity to earn money by their labor in an environment with healthy competition. In other words, you must first build a Foundation, and then erect the building. It is clear that we cannot expect any immediate resounding victories, have not only a lot of work, but also to restrain the appetites — after all, except us, citizens, to pay for years of errors and omissions for economic policy no one. Instead, in the case of the implementation of the programme, we will get a stable, more resistant to external influences, attractive for investors in the economy. Investment is very important for us — not so much the actual money coming in on them by modern technology, without which catching up is impossible.

However, the implementation of this programme, strongly require in addition to time and forces at least partial dismantling of the “vertical”. For example, to ensure competition of regions it is necessary to give them the right not only to dispose of their tax income, but also to create their own legislative framework, to develop independently. And this will lead to political competition, when the loyalty of the Governor of the Kremlin will not be the main quality to build a political career. And finally the emergence of a layer of successful people, independent of the state in ensuring their well-being very quickly bring back to life such a thing as the responsibility of the state to society. This, in turn, will transform the statesmen of the demigods — the carriers of sacred knowledge in the usual officials, which you can and should ask.

So, it turns out that the solution to economic problems may well lead the changes and the political system. Of course, it does not suit the beneficiaries of the current system, accustomed to the fact that success and prosperity are determined by proximity to the center of the distribution of state benefits. On the other hand, the situation is closer to critical and that something must be done. It is necessary to change, without changing anything. You can add the desire to succumb to the temptation of easy and immediate solutions — and a cocktail called “the program of the Stolypin club” is ready. The bottom line is this: you want to print a lot of money — and economic growth is secured. And in order to distributed instantly turned into currency, contributing to a further decline of the ruble, it is necessary to put strict state barrier. That is to give not all, but only reliable as its. It is clear that even the most reliable, aware that without institutional reforms, the same current production build, still try to convert received currency. Then the national audit office should be strengthened. And again strengthened. While leaving for all their ability to buy the currency — at least for the purchase of the equipment. For the rest, close enough, and foreign exchange restrictions. In cheap rubles will be continued the case of import substitution. And that import substitution is to succeed. However, the goods we get Soviet — expensive and poor quality, because no serious import restrictions can not do. In “the program” it’s called protecting domestic producers. In fact, it is the establishment of a monopoly on the production of everything in the country. Over time, the next logical step should be the nationalization of production — otherwise no control will not help. And we will be back in the USSR, deficiency, food cards, low-income citizens. In return, the state will have preserved the political system, the preservation and consolidation of the existing order, the final stratification of society into a new item and “people”. The underdevelopment, backwardness of production will limit export opportunities, and the entire structure will, as before, depend on the world prices for raw materials.

Of course, this is a very pessimistic scenario. But even if we try to become optimistic that we will get the result of the issue? Originally, apparently, it was assumed that a pile of brand new rubles through the banking system will be directed to the real sector. However, due to the understanding of the simple fact that any Bank will lend to a client only when the effective demand for credit combined with acceptable for the Bank level of risk, the process of financing the real sector, it was proposed to entrust to the Central Bank directly, bypassing the banking system. No one asked the question — why are banks unwilling to lend? Rather, this question must have risen, but to answer it — so in General go to the very program Kudrin, because the reason lies in the impossibility of sustainable economic development in an unchanged framework of the existing system. It turns out, the Central Bank should take the risks of the real sector, and in conditions that are very far from the market, because the money will “distribute”. The natural consequence will be the increasing uncontrolled inflation and currency devaluation. In order to ensure that businesses continued to produce, albeit uncompetitive, it is necessary to establish strict control over the expenditure of the money. But who to sell? Will have to impose restrictions on imports, which again brings us back to the pessimistic scenario.

In my opinion, economic growth will be possible only when citizens want to do something, want to work freely and earn money and not to receive. Yes, we are all about the same small business, which could become a locomotive of the economy. What you need for this? I think first and foremost, the government needs not to recover and win the trust of economically active citizens. To show that entrepreneurial initiative is welcomed and encouraged. And not just in words but in deeds. And not with the distribution of grants and project funding, not by listening to entrepreneurs on a variety of straight lines. And not even the relief of connecting to the grid. The main thing — the reduction in pressure, removing the burden. The state in recent years, much attention is paid to issues of taxes, the fight against “shadow companies” and “deviationists”, inventing new ways to take these taxes out of the pockets of businessmen. And the struggle is necessary, because otherwise honest businessman is in a losing position compared to a rogue. But again, nobody asks to answer the question — why, in fact, in our country tax evasion has become such an acute problem? But the answer lies on the surface — the domestic tax system encourages consumption, but not production. This bias is added bribery, unfair competition, intimidation. Businessmen wanting development and prosperity of their cause, gradually learning to live “on concepts”, more by tying into the existing system of redistribution of corrupt rents and becoming, in fact, criminals. And this against the backdrop of the overwhelming authority corrupts law enforcement, contributing to further corruption. That’s what we should fight. Only here to deal not with the investigation, and with reason. Not “landing”, and the elimination of tax distortions, the removal of the business beyond the it load, stop the practice of intimidation and “relatively honest obtaining money.” Change the rules, the direction of the efforts of the state to the greatest possible development of small business and self-employment, involvement of a significant number of citizens in entrepreneurship. This will provide jobs and competition, and improvement of the environment, and the same taxes. Moreover, would a reasonable and rational tax will not help the real sector? Of course, the task is difficult, and requires not only adjustments of the laws. We need drastic, determined, but at the same time weighed and calculated changes. And we must not forget that time waits for no man.


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