Photo: Nikolay Gyngazov/Global Look Rgege next year minimum wage (the minimum wage) should be compared with the cost of living. The job has given Vladimir Putin. The state Duma has promised to enact as soon as possible. Thus, the minimum wage equal to the subsistence minimum for the first time, although it has declared in recent years. Will this help in the fight against poverty? Details…
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Go to a section…”Arrow from Ivanteevka” was inspired by the American experiencePhoto: from the personal pages vk.com the alleged shooter”Ivanteevka is a very beautiful, prosperous city with good, proper social environment. We need to understand what pushed a young man to such actions,” – said the newspaper VIEW Duma Deputy from the Moscow region Sergei Zhigarev. A student opened fire in class, according to classmates, was different unsociable disposition, however, he did not hide his intentions, no one took the example. Details…
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Go to a section…For whom do you support in the conflict between Saakashvili and Poroshenko?
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Friendship with China could give Russia a large sphere Pribylovsky Russia entered into an era of decay and peremennosti faced with “supernova poverty”
Poverty reduction becomes one of the key themes in the speeches of government members. Indeed, the figures are extremely disappointing, the numbers are frightening, and understandable prescription to combat this evil is not. But is it all bad? Without denying the very existence of the problem, we can assume that the assessment of its scale fell “in the trap statistics”.
The increase in the number of the poor is a global process that is associated with the tectonic changes in the structure of employment, which, of course, not bypassed and Russia. Nevertheless, the government views this not just as a problem but as a threat to be combated. But how?
“The saboteurs are the ones who do not pay these people”
“All this surprisingly reminds the era of Brezhnev’s “stagnation” when the philosophy of life of the workers became notorious formula “you are pretending to pay us and we pretend to work”
In recent months, most macro-economic indicators indicate the exit of Russia from crisis, but one of them remains in the negative zone. We are talking about real incomes, which fell for a third consecutive year – from the moment of collapse of the ruble in late 2014. The only consolation in this respect may be that the rate of fall of income is clearly slowed down: for example, if in the first five months of last year, they decreased by 4.8% over the same period, the current is only 1.8% (Rosstat data).
Three years – enough time to enact the law of transition of quantity into quality. A few days ago the head of audit chamber Tatyana Golikova said that in the first quarter of 2017, the number of Russian citizens beyond the poverty line made up 15% of the population, or 22 million people. This is significantly higher than in 2016, when the poor in Russia, there were 19.8 million people.
Speech Golikova – only private event in a series of statements of representatives of the Federal government on the issue of poverty. Obviously, it becomes for the country’s leadership is critical. For example, the Minister of economic development Maxim Oreshkin called it “a serious threat to economic growth” (from his predecessor, Alex speaker – such statements are to expect). The head of the Ministry of industry and trade Dmitry Manturov sadly noted the increasing demand for products with low consumer properties, bringing headline figures: the market share of milk adulteration is estimated at 20%, and on the fish market – up to 50%.
That though as-that to contain the fall in real incomes, the government has announced a number of measures aimed at the maintenance of the most vulnerable groups – people with wages below the subsistence minimum (PM), which currently stands at 9.7 thousand rubles. The salary at the level of the minimum wage (7.5 thousand rubles) now get 4.9 million Russians, but in may, Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev promised that in the next two years will increase the minimum wage to the PM. This measure has a number of pitfalls and is very costly (according to the labour Ministry to increase the salaries of state employees will be required 25 billion roubles), but the problem of poverty will solve only partially. A significant portion of workers in Russia receive a salary not much higher than the PM, even in those industries where the seemingly low wages, in principle, should not be.
“The saboteurs are the ones who do not pay money for these people”, – stated in the beginning of the year who oversees the defense industry Deputy Prime Minister Dmitry Rogozin, commenting on the causes of defects in the Assembly of the engines of carrier rockets “proton-M”. It turned out that the workers of enterprises producing these missiles, had 10-15 thousand rubles a month.
Now in the West
The story of the “Proton” – a very significant case for phenomena that economists and sociologists of labor called the “supernova of poverty.”
“This is poverty with a stable legal work, – said the newspaper VIEW, Professor of Economics Dmitry Evstafiev. – At the initial stage of economic growth such poverty causes dispersion of employment, i.e. the desire for part-time work, including on the basis of corruption. In the public sector this inevitably leads to a serious problem – and the quality of services and on social relations. One sign of a worsening problem with “dispersed employment” is the turnover of personnel in education and medicine.”
“The phenomenon of poverty among the working population facing society is that the majority is no longer able to improve their situation and increase wealth, confirms colleague Evstafieva at HSE, associate Professor Pavel Rodkin. But the problem is not just in wages, falling real incomes or rising inflation, and, above all, in the rapid decline of the social sector. The same world Bank, which predicts a gradual decrease in the level of poverty in Russia in 2017-2019 years due to slowing inflation and income growth, did not link their data with indicators of social sector development in the quality of mass education, medicine, leisure and other things”.
All this surprisingly reminds the era of Brezhnev’s “stagnation” when “free” education and – in particular – health began to decline before our eyes, and the philosophy of life of the workers became notorious formula “you are pretending to pay us and we pretend to work”. By and large, in the same situation were those “super poor”, who are officially employed, but under existing conditions of wage work became for them a formality. The only difference is that in Soviet times for “unearned income” you could get a real criminal term, and now the authorities this is not something to accept, but it is good to understand the scale of the problem.
The famous statement by Deputy Prime Minister Olga Golodets that the state has a view on employment, only 48 million people, and the rest “it is not clear where busy than busy as busy”, marked the beginning of attempts to bring the self-employed from the shadows, but so far these efforts have produced little of substance. Ombudsman for entrepreneurs under President Boris Titov gave the following data: for the first three months of a two-year tax holiday was declared for the self-employed, there were only 40 notifications for this status.
But do not think that all these phenomena are typical only for Russia. “Russian society today is experiencing all the same problems in the form of total debts, increasing unemployment, inequality and poverty in the Western world”, – stressed Pavel Rodkin. That is, “supernova poverty” is a global phenomenon, and it is associated primarily with the rapid increase in the number of so-called precariat – people who do not have permanent employment. The term was coined by British economist guy standing, author of “the Precariat. The new dangerous class”, which was published in many languages, including Russian.
One of the main reasons for the explosive growth of this group, as emphasized by another famous Western intellectual of the American sociologist Randall Collins, is a new wave of technological substitution of labor, but now machines are replacing not the workers from the factories, and the middle class of offices. Historically, the middle class was associated with the need to do something with the liberated manpower in the industry, but what to do with, for example, former bankers, whose place came the computers not yet invented.
That’s why the number of vacancies in the Russian labor market even during the crisis remains high (which, by the way, very surprising the same Golodets): willing to work for vacancies offered by these money is hard to find – simply go to semi-legal taxi drivers or builders. And the greatest risk here, again, the transition of quantity into quality: critical mass of the precariat or conventionally employed may have the most severe social consequences.
“It’s not like that, GDP is growing, consumption is growing, inflation is falling, but rising poverty and declining real incomes. Something in the list”
“The question is, to supernovae post-crisis poverty does not become stagnant, – said Evstafev. – It happened, for example, in the United States and have led to a “detritization” important in social and civilizational sense of the spaces. The same small town of black earth are not less subject to “detritization” than the “rust belt” of the Midwest in the United States. The result is clear – visualized social division of society. For the “super poor” a significant issue is the question of the fight against corruption and limitations of roskoshestvo elite, although these two components just don’t have a direct relationship to prosperity “super poor”.
According to Evstafiev, in such a situation a priority for the government should be stimulating employment in one – main place of work, which, he says, is “a symptom of social health.” However, this is not enough.
“To fight poverty is possible only through the development of accessible and high-quality (not to be confused with “high”) from the social sector”, – stressed Rodkin. However, in his opinion, it is almost impossible to achieve within the existing neoliberal policies. “So – he concluded, – the problem of poverty is possible only when the change in the socio-economic model for a socially oriented, and this, in turn, threatens the ideological crisis of Russian capitalism, how it has developed after 1991. Because poverty is a systemic condition that social network that was hailed as a “return to the civilized world”. Today, Russia is trying by all means to save consumer society, losing the main compensatory mechanism in the form of the welfare state, and the degradation of the social sector largely follows the path of the United States. However, the model of the consumer society comes to exhaustion, generates social freaks, for example in the form of precariat, leads to economic and social crisis.”
Is it really so bad?
There is, however, a more pragmatic assessment in the light of which the situation is not so pessimistic. “The main argument of those who noted the increase in poverty, reduced to the decline of the average real income of the population – said the newspaper VIEW, an independent political analyst Alexander polygalov. But here there are two pitfalls that you need to pay attention to. First, we need to look not at income individual and household income, especially if the joint farming has been the family of several generations. Record of such things it is for individuals, not households, is a birth trauma of all modern economic statistics, because even on a theoretical level the economic unit is the household, not the individual. Secondly, it is very difficult to consider all informal types of earnings, which may not be reflected in the statistics. So I wouldn’t say that when real incomes are falling, poverty shows a downright over-the-top growth. Rather, we are talking about a redistribution of the aggregate income of the population in favor of informal sources, and it is not yet able to catch statistics”.
However, the logic of this reasoning is fully consistent with the above-described sociological model: informal revenues are growing because the “classic” work – with full employment – is becoming less, or the same level of pay falls so hard the man has to seek part-time work.
“Some of the statements of members of the government elementary contradict each other – continues polygalov. For example, when it is claimed significant progress in reducing inflation, and then almost in a comma refers to the decline in real incomes, which represent a nominal income adjusted just for inflation. It turns out one of two things: either we’ve got someone massively reduces nominal wages or the prices that recover nominal income, have nothing to do with the prices used to calculate indicator like declining inflation.”
Here, by the way, you can remember that the government and the Central Bank operate not only the inflation rates, which are derived according to the formulas, but such categories as “inflation expectations”. The latter, though, are now at historically low levels just above 10%, in General, coincide with the results of independent polls, which show that the majority of the population believes that the real inflation in Russia remains above 10% and approaching closer, how to assure the financial authorities, to the coveted 4%.
Some doubts in connection with data on rising poverty and a cause of the Declaration on the GDP growth (according to Maxim Oreshkin, this year it will increase by about 2%). “Real GDP is, in fact, is the aggregate real income of the different economic agents, like polygalov. And if real incomes fall, whose incomes are rising? State revenues, which for the sake of solving the problem of the budget deficit proposes to increase the one tax, then another? Or, perhaps, on the background of stagnating or falling oil prices in some outstanding way to grow real incomes of exporters? Or we began to grow sharply, the profit of Russian companies? The talk of the impoverished population are on the background data about the growth of passenger car sales budget brands for more than six months. This does not happen, that the GDP is growing, consumption is growing, inflation is falling, but rising poverty and declining real incomes. Something in the list: or the growth of poverty, or anything else. In other words, if poverty is still increasing, then, let’s revisit the data on economic growth and inflation.”