The ruling class of Russia is getting rich. Common people are getting poor
The government has recently summed up the results of its activity over the period of six months and was very happy about them. The governmental officials had a very good reason to rejoice: Russian President Putin signed the decree, according to which the president himself, the prime minister, ministers and other senior officials, will have their wages doubled or even tripled. Now Vladimir Putin will get 63 thousand rubles a month (about two thousand dollars), Prime Minister Mikhail Kasyanov will have the salary of 50 thousand rubles. For making common people rejoice a little bit too, it was decided to double students’ allowances, triple allowances for scientists for their candidate of science degree. In addition to that, pensions were raised not by seven percent, as it was originally planned, but by nine percent. The president stressed out that pensions were growing faster that the inflation rate, so the living standard of the elderly people of Russia would increase.
Well, I do not know, if the president was cunning, or maybe that was a fault of his aides and assistants, but what he said to pensioners was not true. First of all, the inflation rate will be higher than was registered in governmental projections. Second of all, the inflation rate is calculated pursuant to the prices on all goods, ranging from bakery production to jewelry. Bread, milk and vegetables are getting more expensive faster than diamonds, villas and foreign cars – common people do not buy those things, so the price growth will be far ahead of the inflation speed for them. One may not doubt that the nine percent raise to pensions (this is 117 rubles - about four American dollars) will be eaten up with the growth of prices within two or three months. Needless to mention that senior officials’ new wages, which gained one or even two thousand dollars, will definitely stand the inflation. Everybody is different, so to speak.
Russian oligarchs are going crazy because of the huge money that they have. For example, the most famous one of them, Boris Berezovsky, bought two castles in France. Now he has to deal with the French prosecution.
There is nothing shameless about the aspiration to earn more and live well, if you earn this honestly, bringing good to someone else, and if there is law and order in your country, if people’s life is improving. But it is not decent for the ruling class to keep getting more and more for themselves, when the two-third of the Russian population are on the edge of poverty, and the government is unable to improve anything about it. In this case you can hardly guess, what the government is being paid for, by the way.
Chinese philosopher Confucius used to teach that if there is law and order reigning in a country, then it is honorable and morally correct to be noble and rich; but if there is mess and anarchy - then it is shameful and immoral. Russia has not seen such a mess and anarchy after liberal reformers came to power.
American President George Bush was recommended to read Dostoyevsky novels. Maybe it would be good for the Russian president to read Confucius? Although, it seems that the president should be well-aware of the fact that the ruling class will have the support of the people only when this class will share the difficulties that the country is going through. Otherwise, the improvement of the elite’s living standard is perceived in the country as the feast during the plague.
Mikhail Antonov PRAVDA.Ru
Translated by Dmitry Sudakov