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May 4, 2022
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“Four days”: needlework from idleness

Photo: Gavriil Grigorov/TASS

They want to transfer the Russians to a four-day working week, apparently, this is how individual deputies of the State Duma see the process of recreating the economy of our country and building a new industry. In the absence of the production of the simplest products, “servants of the people” broadcast about the “digital revolution” and “machine operators”. The absence of these same machines and digital technology, apparently, does not bother them at all. As long as you don’t do business…

“Russia’s transition to a four-day work week will happen in the near future. Today, the digital revolution is already underway in the world. In enterprises, less physical strength is required, and more mental. Man is transformed from a worker into a machine operator. In this regard, another reform of working conditions is overdue, ”said the chairman of the State Duma Committee on Labor, Social Policy and Veterans Affairs Yaroslav Nilov.

Very timely, I must say. Stocks of imported components, materials and everything else are running out, again, the resource of foreign equipment is also unlimited. And we have not even started reindustrialization yet, for some reason officials have lost interest in this topic as such. However, the statement of the deputy from the Liberal Democratic Party fits very well into this trend. Depict activity, but nothing more. To do whatever, but not the point.

Plus populism, without it in any way. And, as they say, “solid-drawn” – from Soviet times. From Stalin. When the state really cared about the people.

“It would be wrong to think that such a serious cultural growth of the members of society can be achieved without serious changes in the current state of labor. To do this, it is necessary, first of all, to reduce the working day to at least 6, and then to 5 hours. This is to ensure that members of the society have enough free time to receive a comprehensive education. For this, it is necessary, further, to introduce compulsory polytechnic education, which is necessary for the members of society to have the opportunity to freely choose a profession and not be chained for life to any one profession. To do this, it is necessary, further, to radically improve living conditions and raise the real wages of workers and employees at least twice, if not more, both through a direct increase in money wages, and, especially, through a further systematic reduction in prices for consumer goods, ”wrote in his work “Economic problems of socialism in the USSR” Joseph Stalin.

A five-hour work day is still an impossible dream today. As well as all the other theses of the Leader. Especially the price cuts. But back then it was all doable. The price of goods and services in the Soviet Union has steadily declined, their range has increased, and wages have risen. First of all, due to the increase in labor productivity. The country kept pace with the world’s leading industrial leaders, and in many ways was ahead of them. So, the first CNC metalworking machines were created in the USSR in the mid-1950s, in the USA at the same time.

Are CNC machines being produced in Russia today? No. First of all, because there is no domestic electronics. Yes, and everything else too. Metalworking equipment is not produced in the Russian Federation at all, all the bravura reports about some tens and hundreds of machine tools there are nothing more than fiction (in the USSR, hundreds of thousands of them were produced a year!). Even the beds are no longer cast – they have forgotten how. They are also repairing Soviet products, moreover, crookedly, just to sell. Alas, they don’t. Firstly, it is expensive, and secondly, the repair will be done anyhow. It’s better to just buy a used machine and restore it yourself.

Soviet CNC machines are not even restored – there are no components. All factories for their production were razed to the ground, and clearly on purpose. You need to buy imported equipment, and the choice is not rich – only Chinese. German machine tools will not be sold to us anymore, or we will have to pay two or three prices. However, no one buys or imports equipment into the Russian Federation. None. The oligarchs don’t need it, the officials don’t either. So there is nothing to increase labor productivity.

“Of course, someday there will be a four-day week. But this is not a question of today. Especially in today’s force majeure situation. The transition to a four-day working week will actually mean giving workers double vacations. The innovation can lead to a drop in the volume of production of goods and cost the state 3-4% of GDP per year, ”says the director of the Center for Business Research at the Institute for Statistical Research and the Economics of Knowledge, National Research University Higher School of Economics Georgy Ostapkovich.

According to the forecast of the Central Bank, the GDP of the Russian Federation by the end of 2022 may be reduced by 8%. But there are also harsher assessments. Add here the effect of the four-day period, and we get a very sad picture.

Why then these statements from the rostrum of the State Duma? “Chernomyrdinka”? We wanted the best, but it turned out as always?

“This is motivated by the concern that people spend more time with their families. To date, it has been approved that the working week, regardless of the mode, is designed for 40 hours. This is the benchmark from which all payouts are calculated. If it is assumed that you need to work 4 days a week for 10 hours to produce 40 hours, then this is one option. If the 8-hour working day is maintained, then the week will be incomplete – 32 hours, which means that salaries will be reduced, ”says a labor law lawyer Olga Petrova.

Our salaries are so low. If they are further cut, yes, by 20%, what will happen? But to leave it at the same level will not work.

“If wages do not fall during the transition to a four-day work week, this means a rise in the cost of labor by 20%, which will lead to absolutely disastrous consequences both in the labor market and in the economy as a whole. It is clear that this will lead to massive ruin and unemployment,” says the deputy director of the Center for Labor Studies at the National Research University Higher School of Economics Rostislav Kapelyushnikov.

It turns out that in the State Duma we have figures who are not aware of the popular saying “Shut up – you will pass for smart”? After all, in fact, real wrecking is offered.

“Russia, controlled by liberal servants of financial speculators, was forbidden to even think about reindustrialization. And it is forbidden to this day. This prohibition is ensured by the appropriate selection and education of native managerial personnel (who eventually lose the ability to think and cannot even imagine the development of their country on the basis of their own industry, and not external speculation), mass corruption as an instrument of external management, and administrative and political influences (usually point),” said a State Duma deputy, Doctor of Economics Mikhail Delyagin.

In other words, there are smart heads in our parliament, even very smart ones. Specialists who keep in touch with the “real sector” of the economy and understand where and how to move. However, for some reason, populists with completely crazy ideas rule the ball. Perhaps it is worth introducing an institution for evaluating the professionalism of “servants of the people” – not only deputies, but also other figures – and dismissing those who have particularly distinguished themselves? In the Labor Code of the Russian Federation there is paragraph 3 of Article 81 – an employment contract can be terminated on the basis of unsuitability when a discrepancy between the qualifications of the employee and the position he occupies is revealed. Alas, it appears.

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Comments to “Four days”: needlework from idleness

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    graliontorile May 21, 2022 6:37 am Reply

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