Apr 18, 2021
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Medvedev explained in dollars what a breakthrough we have made in 20 years

Photo: Deputy Chairman of the Security Council of the Russian Federation, Chairman of the United Russia party Dmitry Medvedev

Photo: Deputy Chairman of the Security Council of the Russian Federation, Chairman of the United Russia party Dmitry Medvedev (Photo: Ekaterina Shtukina / POOL / TASS)

On Friday, March 16, young participants in the United Russia primaries presented the New Putin Manifesto, in which they expressed their readiness to constructively criticize the executive branch if, in their opinion, it “does not refine”. In turn, the chairman of the party in power, ex-president and ex-prime minister of the Russian Federation, acting deputy chairman of the Security Council of the Russian Federation Dmitry Medvedev told the audience that almost no other country in the world has such a growth in the social component as in Russia.

“Nobody remembers almost when Vladimir Vladimirovich Putin became president in 2000, the average salary in the country was about $ 50. Nevertheless, this is what we had 20 years ago. Feel the difference. If we compare us with other countries, then almost no one has such an increase in the social component. It is very important. We need to remember this and tell people, remind our opponents, ”he said.

It is clear that Dmitry Medvedev wanted the best, in order to strengthen the vertical of power by virtue of his current capabilities. However, this service turned out to be rather bearish.

As a person, in his own words, who has been using the Internet for 24 years, Dmitry Anatolyevich should actually know that there are archives with free access on the World Wide Web, which everyone remembers.

So, if you open the Rosstat archives on the average wage and the archives of the monetary authorities at the exchange rate, then anyone can be convinced that the average wage for the entire year 2000 in terms of currency in the country was $ 79 translated into dollars. If we focus exclusively on the moment when Vladimir Putin was elected president, which officially happened on May 7, 2000, it still turns out that then it was not 50, but 74 dollars.

Naturally, no one will put the former head of the Cabinet of Ministers, figuratively speaking, against the wall for the inaccuracy of the recount, but the sediment, as they say, will remain. How he still remains in the hearts of those who remember how and for what reason Medvedev uttered his famous “no money, but you are holding on.”

However, all this, of course, is a trifle.

The main question is different – has Russia really managed to achieve such successes in the social sphere over 20 years that the whole world envies us?

– Progress, of course, was, and it is pointless to deny it, – said in an interview with “SP” associate professor of the PRUE G. V, Plekhanova Oleg Komolov… – So, compared to the end of the nineties, the poverty rate has decreased. But I think it’s not worth talking about the very wise policy of the Russian authorities in this regard.

There is no valor here, all the zero years there was just a recovery growth after a sharp failure in the nineties of the last century. This happened due to the re-commissioning of those capacities that were idle at that time.

“SP”: – Why is there no valor in this?

– Because there is one characteristic indicator – as soon as the level of GDP per capita in the Russian Federation reached the level of the RSFSR in 1990, and this happened around 2012, then all this growth immediately stopped. Since then, our economy has been in a protracted stagnation, and only memories of the era of high GDP growth have remained.

Let me note that this happened long before the introduction of anti-Russian sanctions and the strengthening of external pressure on our country, which is now accepted to explain all the recent failures.

In fact, the trouble is that the recovery growth ended long ago, and the current economic model is still unable to offer anything other than the continuation of the exploitation of the Soviet legacy, which has actually completely exhausted its potential.

Depreciation of production facilities is growing. Investments in order to increase labor productivity are not enough, so we are two times lagging behind the entire developed world in this indicator, and four times behind the advanced countries of the level of Germany.

Against this background, of course, it is very convenient for the current government to speculate on the problem of the 90s, as if fencing itself off from it, but you need to understand that it is flesh from the flesh of the “seven-bank” that amassed its capital in the era of privatization. After all, after this process, the Russian ruling class faced the task of preserving the loot, and from this point of view, the internal policy of the state has indeed become a little more socially oriented. At least, people began to receive pensions, the amount of which, however, is still mockingly low. And no light at the end of the tunnel that would promise us at least a small source of economic growth, different from the further exploitation of natural resources, is not visible here.

“SP”: – You are talking about the lack of light at the end of the tunnel and low pensions. But if we take the average salary for 2019 (47 867 rubles, according to Rosstat), and divide it by the average dollar rate for the same period (64.61 rubles per unit), then we get impressive compared to Medvedev’s “fifty dollars” 739 dollars.

And if we take preliminary data on the average salary for 2020 (51,083 rubles), and divide them by the average annual dollar rate (72.32 rubles per unit), then 706 dollars will come out. This, of course, is a little less, but still, compared to 2000, it is solid. The authorities, it turns out, still have something to be proud of?

– It is necessary to convert rubles into dollars not at nominal rates, but at purchasing power parity. Nominally, the dollar exchange rate is now over 70, but if we take into account how much foreign goods can be bought for it in reality, the ruble will be twice as strong as its current nominal exchange rate, the ratio will be about 1 to 30. But it has been artificially devalued by the state to saturate the pockets of exporters. As you can see, the nominal rate does not say anything at all, and it makes no sense to use it.

In general, to make such comparisons, you need to take into account a lot of factors. But does it make sense to convert rubles to dollars? What does it give us? We bear the costs in rubles, so we need to look at how much and what we can buy in rubles. And the vast majority of our society is still so poor that it can afford only basic goods from five main consumer groups – food, clothing, housing, medicine and transportation. And the issues of the ruble-dollar correlation, believe me, are very secondary for them.

“SP”: – Is there a hope that in the near future, say, until 2024, the situation with the welfare of citizens and their social comfort will change for the better?

– Well, for now, God forbid, just stop the continuing decline in the population’s income. It seems that the Federal State Statistics Service came to the conclusion that in 2019-2020 it was almost possible to do this, but the pandemic that came along completely canceled it all out. Moreover, we have not even fully felt all its consequences, which will be very long-lasting. The consequences of unemployment and bankruptcy of enterprises will still make themselves felt, and this is if we avoid the “third wave” of infection.

So if by 2024 the incomes of the population at least simply reach the level of 2014, then this will be a very noticeable success for our government. However, so far I do not see any serious grounds for solving this problem. Unless a miracle will help. For example, oil prices will become obscenely high. Or our oligarchs will be generous and decide to share their income with the people. But this is still more good wishes than a more or less real scenario.

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