The accusing finger pointed to the State's financial deficit is merely an expedient to acquit the seriously stagnation of capitalism!
The article represents an opinion by Paulo Fidalgo, of the Communist Renovation Association, from Portugal
The conservative speech which attributes the economic problems of the developed countries to the growth of the State, to its inefficiency and financial deficit, must be criticized because it's mistaken and proposes false solutions. There is a formidable operation of ideological pressure by the orthodox economic thought, to convince the workers that, as it was said by TINA (Margaret Thatcher's nickname composed by the initials of "There Is No Alternative"), there is no alternative to capitalism.
The growth of the State is a general phenomenon in the developed world and in the supranational structures of the European Union. The growth of the services and industries of the State in the last decades, although persistent and stubborn attempts of the bourgeois governments of reducing and containing it in a short band of functioning, constitutes probably the greater contradiction of the liberal theories concerning the minimum State and maximum capitalism. In particular, because the growth of the State is a consequence of the ruling classes incapacity to develop the economy. An old phenomenon, already clarified for some princes of the renaissance in the beginnings of capitalism. The State grows because capitalism doesn't grow, because capitalism shows irreparable fragility and incapacity of affirmation in decisive sectors of the economy. The State production grows because it occupies the empty place of a private capitalism in contraction. And grows because it corresponds better to the populations needs, over all in irreplaceable services as health care, education and the basic net of infrastructures.
The private capitalism never succeeded or never wanted to develop these services until today. The State financial deficit also results of an increased demand for public services, which is not corresponded by adjusted financing. Those services are demanded by citizens and also by private companies - who commit tax evasion or fight the incumbencies that these services impose. If private companies had to face the incumbencies necessary to the functioning of those services, today assured by the State, the truth is that they would have to attend a significant increase of their costs of exploration and a loss of competitiveness. State's financial deficit also does not prevent the demand of "cheaper" answers, forgetting that the prices of those public services, if they were priced by the free market, would impose a vertiginous ascent of the production costs.
The truth is that who has the responsibility of the stagnation, it is not the public services that are pressured to grow, but it is rather the private production that continues without giving signal of any vitality. And the contraction of the private capitalism will be a worse case if it is joined by a contraction of the public production, unchained for the blind public politics of cuts in State expenditure.
Why is it that conservative speech demands the abrupt compression of the public charges? Naturally, because this compression would allow to conquer new fiscal privileges and to get new public endowments for private businesses. To capitalism, the public service has to be a economic activity subordinate to its general functioning and, therefore, it cannot get more resources and become too much including in its duly warned offers because that could allow it to pass of subordinated condition to hegemonic.
On the other hand, to the point of view of the national total capital, the national incumbencies with the social services, are costs attributed to labour. However, the global yield is seen as affected if those costs, the social rights of the population in concrete, grow beyond a certain sum. And for more when, in a recessive cycle, the restoration of the profits of the capital demands new availabilities of public resources or then the access, for the privatization, the public companies cheap. When demanding a reduction of the public production, an inevitable consequence of the blind cuts in the expenditure, the capitalism promises to relaunch the economy and the creation of jobs. But nowhere is demonstrated that the reduction of the state economy provides this mirific reply. It is necessary to remember to conservatives economists the almost absence of growth that started in the 1990's, which continues almost without oscillation almost since then. The growth's relaunching depends on innovation, the use of new technologies and, over all, on sensible progresses in the qualification of the workers. However, these answers pressure more and not fewer public investment, and it's also, necessarily, in the public economic space that these answers can, more easily, appear and reach an efficient return. Thus, the development challenges of the development will only happen with increases of public investment, with more social installments, but also with deep reforms of the public economy that incorporate technology, that makes responsible and mobilizes the workers of the public sector, makes them participate in the effort to solve the crisis and makes them understand that their economic situation will be able to improve and be able to increase its weight in the allotment of the national wealth. To achieve a new impulse of development, the public economic space lacks of efficiency profits, to correct the deficit of financing and, in this direction, the financial sanitation is a objective that also interests the workers. If appears as weapon of development and not of attacks to the value of labour, nor of neutralization of the public economic space for a hypothetical affirmation of the private one.
In this direction, a democratic commitment must face the public financial crisis not as illness that will be heeled with amputations, but as chance for a deep, structural reorganization, of the public economic space. That deepens the specialization, that innovates, that gives a new protagonism to the creativity of the workers. And that raises the welfare level. One such commitment between workers and leftist forces is possible and can constitute the base of an alternative!
(translated by Luis Carvalho)