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POZOSTAŁE WPISY AUTORA

Tomasz Wróblewski

FALSE MERCY

2016-10-18

Not so long ago, those who we presently consider despots were associated with economic success. Putin, Erdoğan, Lula – all of them gained power by combating state's abuses and by fighting for the rights of the oppressed ones.

Putin started with lowering taxes and building budget reserves from the surpluses in gas and oil trade. Rouble was getting stronger, capital flew to Russia. Right after his rule commenced,  Erdoğan restored civil liberties. Turkish GDP grew by six, seven percent a year.  Turkish lira had been perceived as one of the most stable currencies. “The Economist” informed about Turkish economic miracle. But it also informed about Brazilian miracle at president Lula's time. He stopped inflation and attracted investments thanks to combination of fiscal discipline and social reforms. There are more examples – in Argentina, Egypt. At the beginning, Donald Tusk was also a blue eyed boy of western media.
Some, like PO, didn't go beyond making promises, others resigned from introducing reforms as soon as they encountered first popularity falls. Striving for plaudit, they reached to budged reserves and UE founds to finance privileges and semblance of growth. Using stolen money, they bought loyalty of group of claques in media and business. They concentrated political power in fear of competition. Always under pretext of caring for the weak, but always by hindering their freedom and prosperity. Ability of bringing social support together with constant prosperity of the whole society is a measure of each great leader. In the end, these are those that enter the hall of fame of great leaders who could permanently change faith of their nation, and not those who sell away country's potential of growth in privileges. Most politicians are easily attracted by the temptation of distributing money in a socialistic way.

The government of PiS, like many governments in the world, has growing difficulties in keeping proportions. What we considered social necessity: “500 plus” program, or end of unfair tax privileges of trade corporations, the governing party perceived as tools of building political support. Unfortunately they were just some of many tools. We still don't know the ultimate shape of a new pension law, but lowering the retirement age which could give government few points of support, will diminish the advantages of “500 plus” program by dramatically decreasing number of people professionally active.
Health reform which boils down to pumping money in, providing health care for everyone – no matter if they contribute or not – and blocking privatisation at the same time, will ruin already inefficient  system. Flat tax rate will affect the middle class the most. Class which is a driving force of our country and isn't in the best condition. Removing ZUS (Social Insurance) flat fee contribution, new, difficult rules in taxation for companies, planned limitation of cheap work force from Ukraine, higher minimum wage, higher pensions. All of these together fit into a dangerous scenario of gaining support neurotically, regardless of the future wealth of the whole society. Part of the PiS's program – empowering Polish capital, creating conditions for its expansion, and helping  the poorest ones were the points that gave Jarosław Kaczyński power and gained also our support. However by empowering Polish capital we understand platform for developing business.

It is impossible to build national wealth and rich national companies by hindering business with new responsibilities, tax severities, and by spending their money to bolster the government's popularity. History teaches us that, sooner or later, governments become victims of their pursuit of plaudit. Some of them were stopped by voters in the mid-way of economic disaster, others can be stopped only by revolt and ultimate individual defeat. It never ends well for the leaders, who are moved away from ruling by those to whom they tried so much to flatter, i.e the poorest voters who, in the end,  loose the most by this wrongly-understood “mercy”.

 

The article appeared in “Wprost”weekly

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