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Who are the Far Eastern entrepreneurs-3
Sketch of the third Leonid Blyakher on the formation of Far Eastern entrepreneurship: vertical race
Photo by seanholman.com
Professor, Head of the Department of Philosophy and Culturology of the Pacific State University, Doctor of Philosophy
The situation in regional business begins to change radically in the middle of the XNUMXs. The “rules of the game” that have been established for decades are declared “corruption”. A furious struggle begins with them. The former power entrepreneurs are gradually being deprived of the bulk of their powers. Until the very end of the XNUMXs, the struggle went on with varying success. After all, this very "corruption" created tens, if not hundreds of thousands of jobs in the region, fed entire regions and territories. This is the delivery and maintenance of used foreign cars in Primorye, "gray" fishing in Kamchatka and Sakhalin, "black loggers" in the Khabarovsk Territory, etc.
But in the end, the "center" wins a complete victory. The reason is simple. He offers regional business a replacement for all these extremely risky activities - participation in government projects that are funded in one way or another from the budget. That is, the forms of financing could be different. These were not necessarily direct budget investments. State monopolies and their subsidiaries, All-Russian holdings, etc. were invested. One thing was common - all these investments in regional projects were planned and carried out in the capital's corridors of power. These funds were not just a lot, but many times more than the regional economy could offer even in the best years. As businessmen are rational people, regional business, moreover, having lost support “on the ground”, begins to reorient itself from independent navigation to participate in projects initiated by the state (“on a budget”).
They are oriented in different ways. Someone (a few), having “merged” into vertically integrated holdings, directly participates in state mega-projects (reconstruction of Vladivostok, construction of gas and oil pipelines of the ESPO system, reconstruction of the Far Eastern Railway and others). Someone gets the opportunity to "serve" enterprises with a government order. There are many options. But they have one thing in common - they are all guided by the resources flowing from the center to the region, distributed outside it. An attempt to “redirect” financial flows from megaprojects to regional needs in the usual way leads to the first wave of “landings” in the region.
It becomes clear that it is now possible to “buy” the opportunity to “live by the law” not in the governor’s “retail”, but only in the only capital “supermarket”. In the same "supermarket" (ministries, state monopolies, presidential administration, etc.), you can get a regional order. Accordingly, living in the region is no longer a condition for the existence of regional business. His problems can be solved much more effectively in capitals. The interest of business in investing in the infrastructure of the region is decreasing, and the ability of the regional authorities to initiate such interest. The largest representatives of regional business are starting to leave the region.
As regional business appears to be only representative of the capital enterprise in the region, trust between the capital and local leaders also disappears. To the capital money is not stolen, numerous controllers are in the region. Cumbersome reporting systems of "local" entrepreneurs are created before their metropolitan patrons. Equally, if not more tightly "overlaid" by the regional authorities. Sharply increases the costs of any public activity, while compensated by "right" entrepreneurs through new budget injections.
The managers who try to maximize the profit of their enterprise are being replaced by a generation of "cost managers" who effectively manage ... losses. That is, those who know how to shift the company's losses onto the budget of one level or another. It becomes deadly to be profitable in the new environment. After all, this is obvious "corruption". It looks much more efficient to mechanically follow all the rules in order to get a reward for this, which compensates for the costs associated with their implementation.
The fall in private investment in the social infrastructure of the region in that very recent period is compensated by an increase in the activity of state social policy. Actually, this is becoming the main task of the governors and mayors. Of course, they are habitually “asked” for politics and the economy, but the real function is only the distribution of funds received from the federal budget according to social items: medicine, education, landscaping, etc. In the politics and economy of the region, they no longer “rule” ... But even around these programs (construction of social housing, maintenance of educational institutions and healthcare institutions) some kind of business is developing. After all, someone has to build, plant greenery, maintain hospital complexes and kindergartens.
In the "tenth" years, the number of inspectors in the Far East continues to grow. The logic is clear. After all, the controller can also "bribe". So, we need controllers over controllers and so on ad infinitum. It is not by chance that the number of such controllers (from internal auditors to the prosecutor's office) is approaching in the Khabarovsk and Primorye Territories to a tenth of the total able-bodied population. But, among other things, these are people with large salaries, which means, with a high level of consumption. Maintenance of this consumption is a separate direction of entrepreneurship of the "tenth" years. In the regional capitals, expensive restaurants and car dealerships, boutiques and fitness clubs are opened. There is much that opens. But all these blessings and blessings are held only on powerful flows flowing into the region from the outside. And to the last years these streams start to diminish, disappear.
It is then that it becomes clear that there is no “independent” business, at least in the legal space. All of it, one way or another, is tied to budgetary or near budget resources. Entrepreneurship begins to rapidly roll up. The gigantic costs of legality are no longer compensated by equally gigantic “buns” from the state or its agents. Back to the regional economy of the end 90-x does not allow superdense control. After all, the controllers of the most different directions have already realized their interests. The battle for the preservation of the entire cumbersome system of control (the fight against corruption) for them and acts as a battle for the preservation of their jobs, salaries, status.
Numerous programs for the development of small and not very small businesses, presented by the authorities of various levels, are increasingly turning into fairy tales and legends, which are not believed not only by business but also by the developers themselves. And business goes "into the cache", disappears, dissolves "in the shadows," runs from the vastly inhospitable Far Eastern open spaces. The richest region is slowly and gradually plunged into depression, emptying.
Is there an exit? Oh sure. And, the simplest thing is to stop developing and controlling the Far East from the beautiful far away, to let its inhabitants "loose bread". At the same time, you must create a sphere where you can move controllers. Sphere, where they will be, if not useful to the region, then at least the least harmful. Without this, alas, today not only development, but even survival is difficult. Of course, the inspectors can also degrade themselves, as government funding decreases. It was already at the end of 80-x - the beginning of 90-ies of the last century. Only it will be long and painful. We can not live.