venerdì 12 dicembre 2008

Crisis and Recession: but not in the same way for all

Everyday we receive alarming news about the implications of the current economic crisis and recession both for Italy and at international level. Yet the effects of this crisis are not equally distributed throughout the various social components.

After decades during which the italian as well as the international industrial and financial sectors raked huge profits without investing anything in innovation and competitive interventions, after the Eldorado times, now everyone minds only his own business even claiming the state rescue and support. I've got in my mind the case of the american car industry which could be extended also to many italian firms: just take a look to the famous Michael Moore's movie "Roger & Me" to see how the things have gone till now.

As in this movie, the major impact of the crisis is louded on the shoulders of the weakest social sectors. Everyday life has become extremely hard for some social groups while things are going rather differently for others. The increasing number of luxury cars and SUV circulating in the streets can confirm this; on the one side there are those categories which can exploit this economic phase increasing prices (thus having the possibility to buy luxury cars and goods) while others, without having any protection tool, suffer these prices' increases being unable to pay loans, motgages and even everyday food.

The main victims of this mechanisms are the employees and workers having to pay the growing economic costs of this crisis in terms of increase in food and energy prices and the demolition and politicization of the welfare state (education, health, security, public services, etc.). Firings and reductions in purchasing power are suffered by these workers while big managers can survive thanks to their past revenues and profits.

In Italy, the imagine of the fixed terms workers, fired workers or people with their job continuosly at risk, highly collide with the immagine of the growing fiscal evasion, to which italian politicians are reacting with mild o zero measures. Similarily, it is extremely difficult to attend to the economic lessons based on sacrifices made by these politicians who never extend these sacrifices to themselves.

The only remedy to cope with this crisis and recession is an economic policy based on justice and equity: italian government is persisting in oppressing the politically weakest social groups instead of corroding ossified interests. This crisis and the increases in prices are not a problem for the richest categories but are a dramatic issue for low income people. The problem is that in Italy the political relevance of these categories is close to zero...

Thus the main problems of this crisis are not linked to economy per se: the main problem is rather injustice in the distribution of the consequences the economic crisis.

In conclusion, an economic policy capable to equally distribute the effects fo this crisis is extremely urgent. This means a real fight against tax evasion and increasing also the fiscal pressure on the richest social classes (with a paralle reduction of the fiscal pressures on the poorest ones) to achieve a more balanced distribution of crisis' impacts.

Italian politicians are however too distant from the everyday problems of a common family to understand this...

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