Why is Russia such a poor country?
Why is Russia such a poor country?

Different countries have different combinations of natural resources and the quality of life of the people. Let's single out three options: First: "rich country" and "wealthy people" (in the USA). Second: "poor country" and "wealthy people" (in Japan). Third: "rich country" and "poor people" (in Russia).

A couple of years ago I was carried to the dacha of a small Gazprom clerk.

The house cost $ 3 million (4 floors with elevators).

6 bedrooms, solarium, billiard room and other things. Garage for 3 cars.

Russia ranked 63rd in the global competitiveness ranking. Such data are presented in the report of the Russian consulting company Strategy Partners, made together with experts from the World Economic Forum. The place of our country is exactly between Sri Lanka and Uruguay. Neighborhood, to put it mildly, dubious … But everything can be much worse. While many developing countries are gradually improving their position, over the past few years Russia, on the contrary, has lost 12 lines in this authoritative rating and continues to slide down. Why can't we turn into a developed country in any way? Experts have identified several reasons.

The concepts of “rich country” and “poor country” mean the level of provision of a given country with natural resources at a given time, which is an objective natural indicator. The concepts of “wealthy people” and “poor people” are social indicators that characterize the quality of life of people. They depend on the political and socio-economic system existing in this or that country, the model of managing the national economy and society. Here we are talking about the really developed and operating combinations of the phenomena and concepts indicated in the title of the article in today's Russia. Russia is not only the largest state in terms of territory on our planet, but also the richest in natural resources. It is rich in mineral resources, it contains more than 10% of the world's oil reserves, 1/3 of gas, about 25% of useful ores, has 9% of the world's arable land, over 20% of the world's forest area, and the largest reserves of fresh water.

Only in Lake Baikal about a fifth of the world's fresh water reserves are concentrated. Russia has over 20% of the world's natural resources, which make up 95.7% of its national wealth. The statement that the creator of life on Earth is a man, his work is fair. But natural resources play an important role in the production of material goods as potential objects of human labor. As we can see, our country has a colossal natural resource potential, which creates favorable preconditions for ensuring a high level and quality of life of the Russian people. Let us ask the question: are these preconditions being realized. ? In our opinion, there is only one answer to it. No, they are not implemented. Let us illustrate this statement.

According to Rosstat, in the first quarter of 2009 compared to the same period in 2008 the number of the poor in the country increased by 1.5 million people and reached 24.5 million. In fact, the number of beggars in Russia is much higher. The point is how to define poverty? In world practice, three methods of measuring poverty are used: absolute, relative and subjective. The absolute method is based on the absolute level of income, the relative method is based on the recognition of the poor by those whose income is below half or even two-thirds of the national average income, and the subjective method is based on subjective assessments by the people themselves. the level and quality of their well-being. In Europe, the definition of poverty is carried out according to the relative method, in Russia - according to the absolute. Simply put, we define it as beneficial to the authorities, because this method reduces the real level of poverty.

In practice, poverty in Russia is measured in terms of the subsistence minimum, which includes a minimum set of food products, non-food goods and services for housing and communal services, healthcare and education, as well as compulsory payments and fees. The subsistence minimum for a working person in 2009 in Russia was 5497 rubles. per month. At best, this money is enough for a half-starved life. And there is no need to talk about other pressing needs, they can be forgotten. Low wages of working citizens testify to the low quality of life of the people in Russia.

At present, for example, the minimum wage, as a monetary indicator of the subsistence minimum in our country, is lower than in Luxembourg - 17 times, France - 14 times, England - 10 times, Estonia - 4 times. rural areas, covering about 45% of rural residents. This situation is mainly due to two reasons. First, high unemployment. No job, no income. Secondly, low wages. For a third of workers, it is below the minimum wage (minimum wage), and for 53% - below the subsistence level. He wrote about the consequences of poverty in the 18th century. Scottish economist Adam Smith. In particular, he noted that the meager existence of the working poor serves as a natural symbol that the country is experiencing stagnation, and their starvation - that it is rapidly declining.

To prevent such a situation in our country, it is necessary to develop a state program in which to define measures, terms, responsible persons to overcome poverty. One of the factors for solving this problem may be progressive taxation, which exists in developed countries. Thus, the income tax on excess profits is 40% in the USA, 60% in Sweden and France. In Russia, unfortunately, such redistributive processes do not take place, since there is a single flat (13%) scale for the rich and the poor, which the government does not intend to abolish, that is, it does not heed the advice of the largest English economist of the twentieth century, Arthur Pigou, who wrote that the wealth of a society increases with a more equitable redistribution of income and the transfer of part of it from the rich to the poor. He also put forward the thesis that it is more beneficial for society to increase the remuneration of a low-paid employee compared to a high-paid one.

However, in our country, unlike Western countries, they do not follow the advice of either Adam Smith or Arthur Pigou. And in vain. They offered sensible things. The Russian government puts forward the task - to provide working citizens and pensioners with income equal to the subsistence level. Will their social status change after that? I’m sure not. Just as the “working person” and the pensioner were beggars, they will remain so.

The problems of poverty of the Russian people were aggravated and deepened by the economic crisis. The decline in production in 2009, according to some estimates, is 8.5%. As we know, this is the deepest recession in the world, for in the USA it is 3%, and in such oil-producing countries as Saudi Arabia, Norway, and the United Arab Emirates, it is no more than 1%. In contrast, China has seen a 6 percent increase in production, and poverty is exacerbated by a persistent trend of months-long delays in the payment of wages to workers in not only the private but also the public sector of the economy, including the defense ministry. So, at the 30th shipyard in Primorye, for almost half a year, workers were not paid wages, despite the fact that it was less than 5 thousand rubles a month. The decline in the growth rate of GDP, the level and quality of life of the Russian people began under Gorbachev.

But their sharp decline occurred under Yeltsin, when the thoughtless privatization of state and municipal property, accompanied by massive unemployment and galloping inflation, led to poverty for a significant part of the people. Privatization, initiated, organized and carried out by the state power itself, led to the formation of a narrow social stratum at one pole super-rich people - oligarchs, and at the other extreme - to the emergence of a wide social stratum - the poor and destitute population, powerless and defenseless employees of hired labor.According to the foreign and domestic press, the 500 richest people in our country own financial assets of 11.671 trillion rubles. Having such a colossal economic basis, they significantly influence the policy of all branches of government. Moreover, their representatives are included in the government, sit in the Federal Assembly, the Public Chamber, are governors of the constituent entities of the Russian Federation, thereby ensuring the merging of the largest capital and state political power.

On the other hand, the authorities of all hierarchical levels, in turn, themselves express the interests of the oligarchs as an integral part of Russian society. This is evidenced, for example, by the following facts:

• the existing tax system allows oligarchs to appropriate natural rent, and not withdraw it as state revenue;

• the government during the economic and financial crisis provided multibillion-dollar support to the oligarchs at the expense of public funds, instead of channeling them into the real economy and social sphere;

• the introduction of a uniform 13 percent income tax scale for the rich and the poor;

• establishment of a three-year limitation period for claims of unjust privatization of state and municipal property;

• legalization of capital upon payment of 13% of the tax, etc. Privatization of property covered the entire national economy of the country. Its devastating consequences were particularly negative in agriculture.

The property of the state and collective farms dissolved by the liberal reformers was plundered and plundered. Their lands were appropriated by the newly arrived landowners. A certain part of the land was divided into shares and distributed to peasants. At the beginning of the 21st century, the next stage of privatization began. Peasant allotments began to be bought up for a pittance by the owners of big capital, turning the peasants into landless laborers. As a result, social stratification in the countryside increased even more, which is a new edition of the formation of oligarchic clans in the agrarian sector of our economy, associated with the redistribution of land in favor of land latifundists. This monstrous social rift became possible as a result of the actual withdrawal of the state from the economy, from solving the most acute political and socio-economic problems in the current Russian countryside. then the ultimate cause, as a result of the original cause, is the highest quality of life for a caste of 1.5 million people against the background of a significant part of the hungry and impoverished Russian people.

This fattening share of the population knows how to ensure the safety and accumulation of capital through its own legislation. Let's start with the oligarchs, "these entrepreneurs who do nothing," except for sucking profits from low-paid wage labor, as well as begging for multi-trillion dollar public funds donated by the generous hand of the Russian government again - at the expense of the people. Some of the oligarchs express something like an insult, in their opinion, for an insult that they are called oligarchs, and not otherwise. It is possible to agree with the claim only in one case, when this man-made social stratum leaves the political and economic scene, actively performs social functions, and does not set its only goal - to extract maximum profit through the most brutal exploitation of forced labor.

What are the actions of the oligarchs, what are they doing? Here are the facts: In 2007, the Oskol Electrometallurgical Plant transferred to its owner A. Usmanov as dividends all 100% of the annual net profit, leaving not a penny for the expansion of production. In the same year, the oligarch R. Abramovich put 89 in his pocket.9% of the net profit of the Nizhniy Tagil Metallurgical Combine. The oligarchs show enviable enterprise and impudence in the so-called offshores (states where taxes or no, or they are extremely low). Therefore, Russian oligarchs register their enterprises located in Russia in offshores, for example, in Cyprus. The fact is that on December 5, 1998 between our country and Cyprus an agreement was concluded "On the avoidance of double taxation with respect to taxes on income and capital." According to this agreement, the tax on dividends paid by Russian entrepreneurs to the Cyprus offshore company is only 5%. They transfer the rest of the profits abroad, which is used by other countries, but not Russia. Therefore, this capital cannot be attributed to the domestic national wealth.

The largest owners of capital are managers (top managers) of Russian enterprises. Managers, speculating on the fact that enterprises are profitable, thanks to their titanic work, appropriate a significant part of the profits created by hired workers. It comes to the point that management costs exceed the wages fund of employees. For example, in 2008, salaries of 8.6 thousand employees at OJSC Uralkali were less than administrative expenses by 341.5 million rubles, or 14%. There is another rich social stratum of bankers-oligarchs in Russia. Let's touch on this aspect - bonuses. Let's take three examples. First. In 2008, 40 executives of the Central Bank of the Russian Federation received 56.1 million rubles. The second. The members of the board of Sberbank of the Russian Federation of 14 people in the same year were paid 933.5 million rubles. The third. Members of the board of Gazprombank were given 1, 006 billion rubles in 2008. A lot of people's money is spent on the maintenance of the State Duma. In 2009, 5, 184 billion rubles were allocated for its operation. Moreover, one deputy “costs” 960 thousand rubles. per month, which is 11, 7% more than in 2008, Sufficiently wealthy members of the government and governors of the constituent entities of the Russian Federation.

So, in 2008, the income of the Minister of Natural Resources of Russia Y. Trutnev amounted to 370 million rubles, and the governor of the Tver region D. Zelenin earned 387.4 million rubles. The functioning of the first official of the constituent entities of the Russian Federation is even more expensive for the taxpayers of the country. According to the Federal Treasury, the most expensive is the President of the Chechen Republic R. Kadyrov, on whom 1.071 billion rubles were spent in the first half of 2009. We can summarize the following conclusion. The foregoing confirms our conclusion that the main reason for the high proportion of poverty of the Russian people is the socio-economic policy of the government. It is high time to radically change this policy!

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