The authorities will not stop the price increase

2021-05-20

Deputy Prime Minister of Russia and the presidential envoy to the Far Eastern Federal District Yuri Trutnev said that if the government freezes food prices, the country will begin to move towards an economic crisis. According to Trutnev, the country will return to the state of the Soviet Union.

It is obvious that Trutnev and other state officials are most frightened by the possibility of return to the Soviet era. Of course, the Deputy Prime Minister alludes to the deficit that took place in the late USSR. That deficit was caused by the wrong policy of the authorities of the late Soviet Union, which got on the path of market economic development. It was the introduction of market mechanisms that led to the emergence of this phenomenon. It is worth noting that even under the conditions of Perestroika, the consumption of such food products as meat, milk, eggs, fish was higher than in most of the post-Soviet period with market economy. Meat consumption reached the 1990 level only in 2013, after which it decreased and again reached the Soviet level by 2017. However, there is also a nuance here: meat consumption increased due to poultry meat, while beef consumption decreased. Although pork, beef and small cattle meat are more nutritiously valuable than poultry meat. The consumption of dairy products, eggs and fish in Russia has not yet reached the 1990 level.

It is obvious that the Deputy Prime Minister’s statement was prompted by the need to calm down the business community. After relatively intensive (as for the Russian government) regulation of prices in the market, the business began a campaign of threats and blackmail. Naturally, it was not the owners of agricultural holdings and retail chains themselves who threatened and intimidated the government. This was done by specially trained and paid experts, who immediately after the start of timid attempts to regulate prices began to predict the onset of a total deficit. At the same time, manufacturers themselves began to resort to more profitable and effective steps for themselves: they stopped selling goods on the domestic market.

Autumn elections are ahead and therefore the authorities urgently need to keep food prices. At the same time, the authorities are explaining to business that there will be no serious attempts to influence prices. This means that after the autumn elections, large entrepreneurs will be able to raise prices. For workers, this means a sharp drop in their level of life.

The working people can improve their position through persistent and organized struggle. Historical experience shows that any such struggle bears fruit. In 2005, massive protests led to the cancellation of the monetization of benefits. The actions of 2018, which were not the most massive, led to some softening of the pension reform. Obviously, more massive and more organized actions will force the authorities to listen not only to business, but also to the working people.