Coronavirus crisis is the ideal time to change the deadlock of the economic program of Russia

the Crisis, and especially of such magnitude that we are witnessing now is a good time to rethink a lot of things that seemed obvious.

the First example of such was caused by the epidemic coronavirus ongoing debate about the relative importance of the preservation of the greatest possible number of human lives and economic development which is being carried out in many countries in connection with the closing of borders, economic sectors and the forced isolation of tens of millions of people around the world. Although disputes are still ongoing, notably the formation of the consensus that “in General” life is more important than the economy. But if you go down at a slightly lower level, it appears that little has changed yet.

Today, Russia is increasingly discussed main directions of economic policy for the near future: what to do with the budget deficit, how to collect taxes, to help if have lost work, to support the entire business or just the “backbone” of how to fear of inflation, use mainly the reserves, or to increase the national debt? The most important starting point in all this debate is purely economic concept of efficiency, and the main limiting factor be the questions about what we can afford. In my opinion, no matter how reasonable it may seem this framework, the stay can be disastrous for any state and for the legitimacy of any government – because efficiency describes only the success of the achievement of previously assigned tasks, and in the current environment the question should be not as many as target.

Russian society effectively, but internally painful. Government redistributes huge funds through the state budget, clean out of unwanted activists and taking control of attractive businesses. The state can get everyone in the house, close the border and forced to issue a digital badge. It can replace education propaganda and optimize the medicine until its actual destruction in large parts of the country. The authorities can provide a living wage to millions of dependent people and to convince them that such a state is the limit of the possible. However, now it becomes clear that it was not too much, which requires not only efficiency, how many banal humanity.

Russia is a country in which, as is commonly believed, recognizes the right not so much what is legal, what is fair. But justice – the concept is very complex, and I would slightly shift the emphasis.

is it Fair to feed those who have never worked? Not a fact. But the merciful do such a thing? No doubt. Is it fair to introduce a progressive scale of taxation? In today’s economy, the success of which are determined by the individual capabilities of the person – at least not obvious. But does morality require to share with the government a penny to those who can’t buy their children a banal chocolate?

in Any case. If the current crisis will gather pace, questions about the moral assessment of actions the state will multiply with incredible speed – especially because a poor society, not seeing about yourself concerns and ways out of difficult situations easily breaks down into violence and chaos. Therefore, I propose to think about what might be priorities if ethical elements and principles of humanism came to the fore in the formulation of public policy.

I could be wrong, but for a person – not just today, at all times – there are four obvious priorities: food, shelter, health and children.

Eliminating the most egregious problems in all these areas is crucial merciful state.

Now in Russia more than 18 million people live in poverty; of these, about 30% say they receive income is not even enough for decent meals.

this situation would be unacceptable regardless of what the financial capabilities of the Russian society.

the Most obvious solution – direct food subsidy via vouchers to buy food; this measure has proven itself even in the US, besides providing additional effective demand for food products. 300-400 billion a year would significantly change the situation for 10-15 million. In addition, we need other measures. According to the research, in Russia annually emitted more than 17 million tonnes of products with a total value of 1.6 trillion. (!) rubles. I believe that in any point should be allocated the place where the goods end in the day expiry date would be exhibited to anyone could pick them up for free. Finally, given the continuing growth in food prices and the extremely low quality of many of their species, produced in the country, required the immediate abolition of the food “counter-sanctions” and the import of food of deflation (in the days of the crisis, the consumption in developed countries will decline together with the prices). I am convinced that none of these cases, economic or geopolitical considerations can’t be above the moral law.

If you touch the housing, it appears that Russia now has more than 3.5 million people live in homes that are officially recognised old and another 1.8 million are crammed into dilapidated housing. Given the bureaucratic quality estimates, we can safely multiply this number by two toto obtain the number of Russians of obitayushchikh in conditions unworthy is not something that is XXI, but also of the twentieth century. They all either work or have given the country decades of life, and give them decent housing is our responsibility. The construction sector will face enormous challenges – most of the major builders have taken care of the inclusion in the list of “systemically important” companies. In my opinion, most merciful the state cannot under the guise of anti-crisis investment projects to build high-speed Railways or bridges to the island. However, to put into operation some 15-20 million square meters of housing cheap model more than real – despite the fact that officially all emergency housing is a little over 11 million, and the old – 65 million sq. m. it can say: is it fair to give people housing? But I do not believe that it is necessary to give: it may remain in municipal ownership, and tenants can only use – the problem is not the redistribution of wealth, and the creation of normal living conditions. Even in the current situation, its solution is possible.

the health Issue is of paramount importance. Russia today –objectively uncomfortable country to live in. The trend of low fertility in the foreseeable future to reverse impossible. Therefore, there is nothing more important than maintaining the health of living of the Russians – and the logic of a compassionate state must be opposite to the logic of economic calculation. Financial calculation requires abandoned to the elderly with diabetes, children with cystic fibrosis, and along with HIV, drug addicts and alcoholics. The moral approach demands the opposite: the smaller the reference group, the easier it can be removed the problem – and the more it can be solved. In the country more than 4 thousand patients with cystic fibrosis, thousands of people with other rare diseases, about 100 thousand children with heart defects.

the Failure to solve these seemingly private issues causes by the moral grounds of society and people’s faith in its ability to times more punch than some General weaknesses in the health system.

Inside, the system itself is likely to reconsider the attitude to the priority focus on “high-tech help”: most of the deaths in the country comes not from its lack, but from simple lack of normal hospital wards, medicines of good quality, competent nurses and even a normal diet for patients. A country where parents collect almost alms for the treatment of children, and people afraid to go to the hospital, can not be considered a sample, no morals, no humanity.

Children today – not so much greatest asset, as it would to write the new Constitution, but rather a huge problem of the country. If the official proportion of poor at 12.9% for��balance of the country for children under 18 years of age, the figure is egregious 26%. Given the growing problems, I would suggest to think not so much about increasing benefits for children, but about in relation to the introduction of all Russians under the age of 14 a kind of analogue of the pension system. Russia can and should afford to give the kids the “absolute income” in the amount of the regional minimum subsistence level – to begin this experiment can be with the children living in single-parent families, gradually distributing it to the increasingly wide circle of recipients of such rents. The majority of people in positions of power, simply can not imagine the scale of pecuniary damage that childhood poverty and disorder in a rich country cause of present and future generations. How would the experts criticized the domestic pension system in a number of regions and social groups, it makes senior citizens almost the main source of cash income. Children in Russia should become the second such group.

of Course, anyone would ask: where to borrow money, especially today, when “our everything” (I mean the Urals oil) is actually zero? I think there’s two sources. First and foremost is to say that the total cost of all these measures will be 3-5 trillion. rubles a year – and this, at first glance, the monstrous media. However, when you consider that the budget for 2020 1.48 trillion. was founded on the rule of law and security, would do well to think about cutting back at least a third. The main basis of security in the society – not the number of police officers and the lack of despair and hatred, the growth of social confidence. An investment in charity is the best use of budget money traditionally going to the “siloviki”. In addition, Russia today has virtually no public debt, it stood at the end of last year 14% of GDP compared to more than 107% in the U.S. and nearly 87% in the Euro area, so to increase it by 2-2. 5% of GDP per year is easy – together with the budget savings and gives the required amount.

the Idea of charity, moreover, does not contradict the idea of economic development. First of all, you need to understand that the invested money will go either for the creation of human capital, the main asset of any modern economy – either for current consumption produced mainly in Russia goods and services, and, therefore, will go into the economy and provide additional growth and additional taxes. Creating a moral society is not a replication of temples and icons, and real care for others, we will build the social trust that is more important than any formal institutions; to nurture the patriotism that will save the country in case of severe trials is more efficient than the corrupt government propaganda. I am convinced that the main asset of Russia in the XXI century should become not navebe not gas, no territory and not cheap labour – they should be kind and sympathetic man who respects himself and his country, believing people and people who put the life and dignity – and not only man, but also our smaller brothers is above all material considerations. The establishment of the cult of kindness and love, embodied in compassionate state – an unprecedented task and the inevitable goal of our country, which is almost equivalent to its survival.

And time is a total disaster, penetrating all fear and “hanging in the air” of economic uncertainty is a perfect time for radical change elected in 2000 years of dead-end paradigm of statism.