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(en) Poland, rozbrat: Discussion about the 500+ program, part 2 Lukasz Muziol [machine translation]

Date Sun, 3 Sep 2017 10:27:14 +0300


We present three articles about the 500+ program. Originally published in the magazine A-Tak. ---- In the previous attack, the text " "500+ 750-", in which the activist of the Gdansk RSA presents his - highly critical - opinion on the government's 500+ program. While respecting the author's personal views, however, it is important to note that his conclusions are based on a reference that flows completely independently of the basic facts. ---- Facts are: With a fertility rate of about 1.3, Poland ranks 192 out of 200 classified countries according to the World Bank[1]. For a country where innovation lies and the main "resource" is cheap labor, which - even if it wanted to - is not very attractive to immigrants, this demographic situation is a drama.

The causes of this state of affairs are complex, both cultural and economic, but undoubtedly the huge negative impact on fertility is the structure of property inequalities. The raising of children in Poland negatively affects the standard of living and promotes the risk of poverty. This phenomenon is well documented and statistically analyzed by a number of state institutions (GUS), non-governmental organizations (EAPN Polska) and foreign (WB, Eurostat). While the relative poverty rate in the whole population is around 18%, in the case of children it rises to about 25%. Extreme poverty (income below the subsistence minimum) affects 7.5% of the population and 12% of children[2].

Report. "Living Conditions of Families in Poland", published by the Central Statistical Office in 2014, indicates that the situation of large families is particularly bad[3]. Being dependent on three or more children causes a sharp increase in difficulty in satisfying their basic needs. And so, 30% of children in families 3+ can not afford supplementary classes, 14% do not receive dental care, and 8.5% do not get a full meal at least once every two days.

In such a situation, trying to improve the demographic situation by redistributing income to the caretakers seems to be the most sensible. This is exactly what the 500+ program does, regardless of other intentions of the ruling party. It is certainly too early to predict how much of the final impact on natural growth will be, but a definite improvement in the situation of poor families can be seen now.

The first swallow of change was the pain of the ass of an elderly Warsaw celebrity who had lamented last summer that an unprecedented mass rape ruined her holiday at the seaside. Well, in the above-mentioned GUS report, the number of 3+ families declaring that they are unable to send their children for at least a week's holiday once a year amounted to 63.5%. It looks like the next edition of the report will be much lower.

Other waves of media lament described, among others. Difficulties of native "businessmen" to find people ready to work for starvation rates, and problems of the well-so-successful parabank sector. At the beginning of this year, on the verge of bankruptcy, Marek SA was listed on the stock exchange, which in 2015 had 7 million profit from short-term loans. In the restructuring announcement, the company, as a cause of difficulty, pointed out "Government social transfers that have appeared in many households"[4]. There have also been reports that the 500+ program has enabled many people to settle overdue debts and escape from the debtors' register[5].

The report by the Polish Committee of the European Anti-Poverty Network (EAPN Polska), which based on World Bank data analysis, estimated that the 500+ program would reduce the relative poverty rate by 64% while extreme poverty by 94%, to 0.7%[2]. If this information is confirmed, it will mean it. The phenomenon of extreme poverty among children has been almost eliminated in this way.

The only major flaw in the program seems to be the exclusion of the "first child" when calculating benefits if the family exceeds (low) income threshold. This is particularly the case for single parents raising one child who, apart from large families, also belong to the category of high risk of poverty (see CSO report). This could be taken into account and slightly different "weigh" criteria, but it seems that the electoral attractiveness of the round amount of 500zl.

Facts indicate that 500+ is the largest social transfer in the history of the Third Republic of Poland, quite well targeted and surprisingly smoothly introduced. So far, it has definitely positive social effects, but also macroeconomic. Additional consumption clearly boosts growth, and for now does not indicate that the predictions of television experts from the slogan "can not stand the budget" will be fulfilled.

Against this background, the text "500+ 750-" appears to be totally detached from reality, though because of the child's possession its author has some contact with reality. However, I respect the generalization and inference based solely on my own experience of pre-school. "Subculture of parents", who as soon as they start to make children do not stop at one can and is visible in the cloakroom, but definitely not in the statistics of CSO. According to them, as many as 53.3% of the children are currently single children[6]. On the other hand, the current government is not responsible for the current government, but the government's policy of cutting public services (sending six-year-olds to schools is a great excuse to reduce the number of places in kindergartens). Anyway, if we are counting on this way, then,

To avoid malice, I also mention that I agree on the impact of the 500+ program on the economic emancipation of women. Greater possibilities for development are one, but it is also worth noting that the state-guaranteed child benefit will make it easier for many women experiencing violence to make the decision to kick the lord's ass. In my opinion, it is much more effective than adopting successive toothless conventions for the prevention of domestic violence.

Of course, for the anarchists, the problem must be that such a positive result is brought by the state-led program, under the rule of the reactionary right. If someone feels discomfort, then I calm down - you can still model the Andrzej Gwiazda "take, do not cheat", that is to praise family benefits, and criticize the loss of money for reinforcement or maintenance of immoral low taxes for the rich. The government of Kaczynski gives enough reason to criticize and protest so that everyone feels fulfilled.

Talk about 500+ is important for anarchist movement because the attitude to this topic puts us in the background of the whole political scene. If the title of another article from the previous issue of A-taku - "We will not miss the liberals" - is not just an empty statement, if we do not want to be a passive snapper to the environment of Gazeta Wyborcza, set where the establishment is appropriate. Issues on the right side. On the side of people.

footnotes:

[1]https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_sovereign_states_and_dependencies_by_total_fertility_rate
[2]http://www.eapn.org.pl/wp-content/uploads/2016/12/reporting500.pdf
[3]http: / /stat.gov.pl/bigars-temp/results-of-employment-of-debates-of-in-the-posts/13.html

http://www.rozbrat.org/publicystyka/kontrola-spoeczna/4558-dyskusja-na-temat-programu-500-cz-2
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