Article by Marina Naidovich
“Reflections on enterprise and bureaucracy”
“I would be a wolf
reverence is not present.
devil with mothers
any piece of paper.
But this …
did not hear about it
About the Directive
Once again, the work of Vladimir Mayakovsky “Poems about the Soviet passport” served as the basis for the subject of pride. This time, it’s not what they get from the wide trousers, but from the Belarusian economy. Directive No. 4 is the most expected document of 2010 among entrepreneurs, which has become a New Year’s gift. What can we expect from this surprise in the future? Over the years, working in independent Belarus, the remaining private business here, has become a pragmatic skeptic who does not trust the state. Comment from entrepreneurs on the gift is this: “It will not be worse, but we do not hope for the best.” Someone over the years, tired of struggling, found a quieter and quieter place. Money likes silence, which means stable and understandable laws. This our country could not boast and the money of private business went after entrepreneurs. But it turned out that all the same quiet places are not only outside of native Belarus. Those who tried to be an entrepreneur in the 90s, now occupy posts in state enterprises or armchairs of officials. Not always this experience with them was successful, and therefore there remained a hidden anger at “persistent” entrepreneurs.
Have you ever wondered how many citizens in the Republic of Belarus are held at the expense of the budget? Out of 9.5 million people living in our country, only half of the population is able-bodied. About 1.2 million of the employees are civil servants, as many as the army and the police, if we add education and health workers, it turns out that only about 2 million people are involved in the real sector of the economy. A little less than half of them work in private-owned enterprises. Since many state enterprises, rural production cooperatives (former collective farms, state farms) are subsidized from the budget, it is possible to relate the incomes of workers of these organizations to the expenditure part of the budget with confidence. Of course, not only due to the income from entrepreneurs in the form of taxes and fees all these years, our country lived and very well lived. Highly profitable work of oil and gas industry enterprises allowed us to live “on a broad footing”. But time has passed, the situation has changed, and we remembered about entrepreneurship. How now those who once changed stalls to a cozy office with a secretary and a stable salary convince “to shake the old days” and organize their business? Smiled? So I can not believe it.
The main difference between an entrepreneur and an official is that if he earns his first income, the other earns it. And this armada of bureaucrats needs to work very well and work hard to prove their need for the state. And from here a huge number of normative documents are born, as a rule, contradicting each other to provide themselves with work – bringing indicators, collecting reports, monitoring implementation and punishment for non-fulfillment. The struggle with administrative procedures is reminiscent of the battle with the hydra – several new ones appear on the site of one severed head. The second difference is that by making a mistake, an entrepreneur risks all his property, and a bureaucratic official is only a workplace. Therefore, in order not to risk, the latter prefers not to make mistakes. Because of bureaucracy, formalism and “whatever happened”, we missed a lot of opportunities for implementing investment projects. And not only foreign. Sometimes, for the sake of a visiting foreigner of a dubious reputation, the official is ready to crumble into the cake, if only to report back to the higher-ups on hypothetical millions of euros today. Its, Belarusian entrepreneurs a priori are not considered as strategic. And they (entrepreneurs) are forced to take care of various offices for years to obtain land acquisition or to start production. Any liberal normative document will be interpreted by bureaucrats with reservations and with additional conditions. Because otherwise they lose sight of the work with a significant simplification of the conditions of management. Reductions of the bureaucratic apparatus by 50 percent would be felt by the expenditure side of the budget and by entrepreneurs. Functions of some ministries and departments are duplicated, for example, statistical reports, as a rule, duplicate the reports submitted by enterprises to the tax inspection and the social protection fund of the population. The powers of the ministries are delegated to the regional and from there to the district services, which in turn bring the gross indicators for the volume of output to enterprises of all forms of ownership to the detriment of their profitability, and bring up indicators on the growth of wages in exchange for raising labor productivity. So do we need a planned economy with indicators, and their implementation, as a rule, only on paper? Whom are we trying to deceive? Only yourself. The constant subsidization of state-owned enterprises for the sake of growth rates of wages and production volumes has already translated into the category of “breathing frankly” industrial enterprises. Will their wave of privatization save them? I’m afraid that we are disappointed here, as the assets of such enterprises are inflated, and the property is represented by dilapidated real estate, hopelessly obsolete equipment, illiquid inventories with an excessive staff, a “soviet” management system and huge debts. In this situation, we should talk about enterprise restructuring, fragmentation of large and inefficient into small and flexible, which will make it possible to employ the released labor for newly created small enterprises, with the transfer to them (small enterprises) of individual premises, shops, factory buildings and factories on a lease right of redemption. To do this, we must learn to trust our entrepreneurs, provide them with all kinds of assistance, create conditions and, most importantly, prepare a worthy change from today’s youth.
The formation of personality takes place in the family and in the school, that is, the education of an enterprising young man must begin with a school bench. Training in the basics of entrepreneurship should be organized in each school as an optional course. But the teaching of the basics of entrepreneurship should not only be theoretical, but also practical. Labor education in schools, training in the Code of Criminal Procedure must be supported in the created school enterprises, cooperatives that will make the results of the work of young people turn into their first income and will teach them to make decisions and bear responsibility for them. Accordingly, it is necessary to clearly define the status of school enterprises without the formation of a legal entity on an application principle without taxation. This will allow graduates to consciously approach the choice of a profession in terms of independent work, self-reliance and give preference to working specialties, and not to dream of an official’s chair, resulting in an army of lawyers and economists.
How does the coach see the future athlete? First of all, these are natural data, the result depends on 90% of hard work, numerous trainings. The state expends in our country huge funds for the construction of sports and recreational facilities, than cares about the health of the nation. But not only healthy people are the foundation of the country’s well-being. We need smart, enterprising youth. The development of mental abilities is akin to the training of an athlete, that is, talent and hard work are needed. As professional athletes are trained in specialized schools, and geniuses are trained in gymnasiums and lyceums. It is impossible to create equal conditions for all and to obtain a significant result, hoping for natural selection. A diamond is polished from a diamond by a professional. From the teacher, his professionalism depends on how much natural data will reveal in the student.
In accordance with the ideology of the Belarusian state, “the main goal of a socially-oriented state is to create conditions for the free development of the individual and the realization of her interests.” What is not how entrepreneurial activity allows you to constantly improve, self-fulfilling. A necessary condition for the development of entrepreneurship is freedom of choice. “The main goal of the ideology of the Belarusian state is the awareness of the people of Belarus as the people, the creator, the people, the creator, and gaining confidence in their creative powers and capabilities.” This awareness comes with knowledge, confidence in the state’s need, the ability to systematically receive profits without fearing unreasonable or inflated claims leading to confiscation and the complete ruin of the entrepreneur – the element of the people-creator. Without this awareness, disappointment and the desire to become a bureaucrat official come.
In terms of socio-economic development of the country for 2011-2015, a bet on a rich people is being made “The richer the people, the richer the country”. A similar path of development was chosen by China about 25 years ago, when a huge country, tormented by communist experiments in the form of a Communist Party, addressed the people: “Chinese, be enriched!” The party acknowledged its mistakes, changed the vector and now the results of the released entrepreneurial initiative are known to the whole world. Officials who were not so flexible to the new trends of the party, at best, were dismissed. Lustration was applied in some Eastern European countries with the change of communist ideals. However, our country does not have so many manpower resources, so it is necessary to adjust the consciousness of officials through qualification retraining, optimization of their numbers, personal responsibility of everyone for inaction and opposition – in this we will get a significant help for the development of entrepreneurial initiative. In addition, in each executive committee it is necessary to provide free consulting services for start-up entrepreneurs on the principle of “one window”. The official is obliged to drive the entrepreneur (investor) “by the hand” through the labyrinths of the executive committees and various services, organize training seminars, create permanently operating “hot lines” on the problems of entrepreneurs and their prompt decision, facilitate and accompany transactions on the transfer of land and (or) inefficiently used objects (property complexes) of state property. Then, from the actual results of the work done, the real result of the development of the economy and entrepreneurship in the regions will be seen, not only the growth rate on paper and confusion outside the offices.
2011 is declared a year of enterprise in Belarus. In the dictionary of V. Dahl, an enterprising person is energetic, inventive and resourceful. In my opinion, enterprise is a talent laid down by genes and cultivated by society. At one time, the ex-president of Russia, he commented on the roots of the Russians: “Every Russian, if you” rub “properly, the Tatar will appear there.” Drawing an analogy with the Belarusian, one can make a cunning assumption that if every Belarusian is a little “rubbed”, then Abramovich will certainly appear. That is, with the genes we are all in perfect order, it remains to deal with the society and our bone system. More precisely, with the need to create prerequisites for the development of entrepreneurship. Formation of enterprise begins with childhood. If you sometimes watch cartoons with your children, then surely paid attention to the stories of some Disney animated series. One of the charismatic enterprising characters is Scrooge McDuck. He regularly teaches the basics of business training to his nephews. In the Soviet animation, cat Matroskin deserves attention, as an example of an economical and prudent owner-owner. It is with the positive image of an enterprising hero from children’s films, educational games, programs or TV shows that an enterprising personality begins to form. And do not necessarily believe that cold calculation is synonymous with enterprise. A true businessman is a socially responsible citizen, since starting his own business independently, he relieves the state of his maintenance and maintenance, takes responsibility to his family and employees. He also provides the revenue side of the country’s budget. And every citizen should know this!
The development of enterprise is not a matter of one year and this should become the basis of the ideology of our state. And the Directive, despite skepticism, even if not the first step, but already looking in the right direction. But will it make this road move by the numerous and unwieldy state machinery?