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24.2. Chosen Chris Myrski (Non-Fiction Collection) - Ii. Market, Business, Economy

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  • Аннотация:
         Here the thematic collection of old publicistics in English continues with the volume: II. Market, Business, Economy.
         Keywords: non-fiction, publicistics, philosophically, profound, untraditionally, in English, business, economy,




CHOSEN CHRIS MYRSKI
(NON-FICTION COLLECTION)


Volume II. Market, Business, Economy


Copyright Chris MYRSKI, 2018






     [ This is a pretty big and motley book in order to give an idea about the cover and it is also non-fiction, so that I have no idea here. I may propose only some greyish colour to hint that this is serious reading. ]





     All volumes are:

     I. Communism Versus Democracy
     II. Market, Business, Economy -- This
     III. Social Matters And Healthy Life
     IV. Sundry Other Things

CONTENTS (Of This Volume II)


     00. Short Preface (to the whole collection)
        [ Explains why the making of collection was necessary and what it contains (in all cases nothing new, but thematically selected). (2019) ]
     01. The truth about Bulgaria -- when nothing is added after the title the piece is from the quite big "Now, Look Here (Publicistics)" book
        [ This piece declares quite succinct the truth about Bulgaria, citing five arguments in support of the thesis. (1994) ]
     02. About the market and the Bulgarian
        [ Here are explained popularly several important peculiarities of the free market, which, as it turns, are not quite clear to the Bulgarians (at least at the dawn of market economy, but nowadays, too). (1994 /1998) ]
     03. Our people again hoarded goods by higher prices
        [ The paper contains judgements about the market on the example of Bulgaria from the end of last century. (1996) ]
     04. How much has to win a company in order to have no gain?
        [ This paper proves the murderous impact of high inflation (in its time) over Bulgarian small companies. (1996) ]
     05. Do you want to lose your 13th pension?
        [ This material illustrates some simple methods for dividing of monetary investments in several banks with the purpose for receiving of higher interests in conditions of high inflation; it is true that the prices are now pretty old and originate from Bulgaria, yet it is possible to get some orientation if one wishes, because the ideas remain just the same. (1995 ?) ]
     06. Too good is not good!
        [ The paper looks at the drawbacks of our botched (as everything by us) introduction of Money Board in the very end of last century; many of them were settled with the time, but nevertheless it is still actual. (1997) ]
     07. What we have messed with the Currency Board?
        [ The object of discussion here is clear. The material is again old and many things have now settled themselves, but this does not mean that I was not right in whatever in those times, and generally. (1998) ]
     08. And where are we?
        [ Here is given one comparison from the year 1998 about the economic and other situation in Bulgaria (according data from foreign journals, yet in my parsing), with other ex-communist countries, that is up to date even nowadays, when we are the poorest of all in the United Europe. (1998) ]
     09. Predictions for the year 1999
        [ This paper is a pre-New Year prognosis of the economic and political situation in Bulgaria on the eve of the last century. Like the majority of my things it is actual in broad lines to this day. (1998) ]
     10. Why the communism has fallen down?
        [ Here we approach the falling of socialism from an economic point of view, and more precisely in the sense of tying of members of the society in monetary aspect, via savings and loans. (1998) ]
     11. Can the Bulgarian pay 50 % taxes?
        [ This material takes in focus the question with the percentage of taxes in Bulgaria, which, although as usually around the world, but is not at all liked by us; the money have now become older, but the situation is the same, especially in connection with our poverty. (1999) ]
     12. A step forward and two back
        [ This paper discusses the introduction of Money Board in Bulgaria in its time and it is aged with more than a dozen of years; nonetheless the things stated there are on the whole actual. (1999) ]
     13. In ovo e veritas
        [ The paper evolves one original idea about using of the ... egg as universal money unit! There are given concrete tables for Bulgaria for several years, as well also many comments about out economical paradoxes. The idea is quite original to make the material interesting for everybody. (2001 /2008) ]
     14. About the ownership and its future
        [ This paper take unprejudiced, although from left-wing positions, view on the question with property used for exploitation of labour of the others, as well also the necessary measures which have to be taken in order to reach in the future some reasonable solution of this main economic problem of the society. (2001) ]
     15. Oh God, what we eat!
        [ Here, as one can well guess, it goes about the unnatural food and how to fight with this. This now is a new material (from after 2010). (2012) ]
     16. Miscellaneous in the year 2016 -- points 1, 3, 4, and 5 (without 2)
        [ Well, here are various things, as it is said, here it goes about the banks' interest rates and the world economic crisis, also about the bad capitalism and how it can be bettered, especially in poor countries like Bulgaria, this is a new proposition (about communal taxes), and in the end are pictured some funny moments related with bus tickets used as ... money equivalent, this in comic terms. (2016) ]
     17. Manifesto of the EEE (Enigma of Exploitative Elite) -- from "Curious Manifestos (politistics)"
        [ Contains one of a dozen utopian models, that are better than the contemporary democracy. (2000) ]
     18. Manifesto of the CCW (Corrupted Cadres Wing) -- from "Curious Manifestos (politistics)"
        [ Contains one of a dozen utopian models, that are better than the contemporary democracy. (2000) ]
     19. Dozen questions for deliberation
        [ These are questions about the democracy, the capitalism, our transition, and other still important topics. (1996 ?) ]
     20. Heads up, Bulgarians! -- Feuilleton
        [ This funny piece is dedicated to our next (in 1998) realization of incredible poverty of Bulgarian people, which had begun, obviously, with the coming of democracy in Bulgaria. (1999) ]
     21. How to fill the treasury -- Feuilleton
        [ How the title shows the feuilleton is written in order to help the financial Ministers and observes various kinds of taxes. It is also always up to day. (2000) ]
     22. Better not to live to pension age! -- Feuilleton
        [ This last feuilleton explains some curious moments with Bulgarian pensions and is based on personal experience of the author. (2016) ]
     23. Afterword to The Manifestos
        [ Contains various sentences about the politics, economy, people, and others. (2000) ]
     24. An Idea About New Kind Of Bank Deposits -- from "Scientific Feast (Propositions, Ideas, Realizations - PIR)"
        [ Here is given one personal idea about new kind of bank deposits. (2014) ]
     25. An Idea About New Advertisement In Supermarkets -- from "Scientific Feast (Propositions, Ideas, Realizations - PIR)"
        [ Here is given one personal idea about new kind of ads in the supermarkets, and in other services. (2014) ]




SHORT PREFACE (to the whole collection)


     Let me explain briefly why I make this collection of non-fiction and what it contains. Well, I make it because it is so done, usually, because one writes and writes on different themes and in various books and it comes, if comes, time when he (OK, sometimes also she) wants to collect the things by themes, this is as if more proper, and an attitude more directed to the readers. So that after more than a quarter of a century literary work, and especially when I intent to try to sell something as books (or ebooks), I have decided to make four volumes with my materials, papers, parts of books, sometimes even abridged papers, on the following themes:

     1. Communism Versus Democracy,
     2. Market, Business, Economy,
     3. Social Matters And Healthy Life,
     4. Sundry Other Things.

     These topics, naturally, are not strictly divided, nor ordered in the best manner, but now they exist and this is better than if they were not collected in this form. They are not strictly divided because the topics intersect, but not very much, in this way the materials are better located. The ordering of the things is as if chronological, yet not always, because of some local clustering in some sub-themes, what I find unavoidable. But, mark, that in all cases I publish here nothing new, this is simply a collection! And what will be in these parts I will not explain as redundant, the names are eloquent enough. Probably it is good to say what I have left aside, how much. Well, about 10 percents (in all cases not more than 20), because I have almost nothing that is not actual in the moment, or can not become such later, if the situation changes; I have left aside mainly things, Appendixes, which look more scientific, or too obvious and elementary.
     Another reason, why I make this in the beginning of 2019, is that I have stopped with this boring (for me) practice of writhing in one language and then translating in some others, no, this will happen no more, because in 69 years one has to begin to value higher his time and do just the necessary. And, after all, when I have moved from my native Bulgarian language, to my very familiar Russian one, and then to the contemporary standard for a language, the English, intending also to translate something (the beginning 3 books) in German, I have come to the top, I have nowhere else to move. For a pair of years I write everything first in English and now this will be also the last language for most of the things; the possible exception is if I have to publish something in the easiest for me way (like I have not yet published my multilingual dictionary Explain, in Bulgarian, or probably to translate it in Russian), or if writing poetry in different languages, or, then, if I decide to begin to use also my real name (and this only in Bulgarian). Put in other words, here are non-fiction things that are translatable, or which I intend to translate; the poetry, obviously, is untranslatable for me (I don't mean to be like Shakespeare, or Pushkin, or Dante, etc.), for the enormous Urrh is impossible to think about translation, the Letters (to the posterity) is also difficult to translate and I have never had such intentions, the same about not yet published Explain dictionary, the SF-stories (which are not exactly SF things but rather outmoded social SF) are fiction, they have nothing to do with this collection, and whatever new book of non-fiction I will write (like my future "No problems poses problems") I will write only in English.
     So this is, guys and girls, if I were much read I would have adapted to the auditory, but if I am not, I adapt to my easiness and comfort. You try to do something better than this for the people, the word, the posterity, just for free, but I have done what I can. What means that I publish myself on many sites for free, and there I am relatively (for non-fiction) read, and I publish myself for some fee on some sites, and there I am not read (because the people somehow feel that I say right things, that are good and moral and necessary and allowed, and when so then they should not pay, they are used to pay for ... silly or harmful or unmoral things, that's what the capitalism teaches us, alas). However it is, I don't think to become a prophet, I am rather an outmoded preacher, or, then, a thinker gone ahead of his time. Or also: those who are silly enough and need some teaching and instructing and explanations, they avoid giving an ear to me because they don't like to think (and this is why they are silly), and those who are clever enough to understand me, they avoid reading this because I say trivial common-sense things, nothing really profound, in order to be read as a must in some scientific area. The only salvation for me, or the way to glory, was to preach silly things that people can easily grasp, but I don't want to come so low, or to delude them with invented fables, but I don't want to lie, I am used to seek the truth, not the lie. And it is too late for me to remodel myself, you take me (how I am), or leave me (to perish by myself, like falling tree-leaves with the coming of winter, ha, ha).

     Jan, 2019, Sofia, Barbaria, sorry, Bulgaria.




THE TRUTH ABOUT BULGARIA*


     [ * It was published on the 4th page of the newspaper "Anti" for 26 Aug - 01 Sep 1994, almost without abridgements, but under the rubric "Sorrowful results" (author Chris Mirkov), implicating entirely different (of the UDF) meaning. ]

     In order to save time of already overloaded with information reader I will share with him (or her) this truth in the very beginning, freeing him in this way of the necessity to read the material at all. So, the truth is that we are incredibly poor!
     And now, for those who will find five minutes free I will itemize five reasons why I think that this is so.

     1. Somewhere about a month earlier was raised the question about our national reserve, where it turned out that it came up to 32 tonnes of gold (I quote from memory). It is interesting that then I have heard not a single economist, no matter that we have quite a lot such clever people (or, maybe, exactly for that reason?), to have made the simple arithmetic that 30 something tonnes, these are 30 something thousand kilos, or a bit more than 30 million grams, what if we divide to 10 mln Bulgarians (roughly speaking) gives by three grams and a bit per capita! In other words, the national reserve for each one of Bulgarians equals 1/10 ounce of gold, what, practically, is the smallest golden coin with size a little bigger than that of one stotinka /cent, only that made of pure gold (one golden dollar, or other coin is usually about 10 and more grams). More or less as much weighs the simplest wedding ring (about 5 grams), recalculated in 14 carat gold).

     2.
Many times I hear that they speak about international loans, which are given to Bulgaria by one or another organization, for this or that occasion, during the ruling of "our" Government, or, respectively, of "other" one. And it usually goes about sums of the order of 80 mln dollars, 150 mln dollars, even, I think, there were talks about 300 mln dollars (here and further I mean US dollars, naturally). As you see I am pretty imprecise with these numbers, because even if we were granted a loan of 500 mln $, than this would have given approximately by 50 dollars for a head, or a dinner in a decent (not luxurious) restaurant in the country giving us the loan. In other words, our creditors do not dare even to "pay us one dinner", because they doubt that we will succeed to return them the money sometime. And mark, please, that people speak about milliards only when it goes about our tiny levs (our national currency), or when this is our whole foreign debt.

     3. One of the things, about which is spoken a lot, but never comes time to do it, is the privatization. In order not to sound unfounded I will make comparison with one of the "ours" (former communist country)-- with the Czech Republic, which has population more or less like in Bulgaria, and a bit smaller territory. From the beginning of the last year (as far as I know), the Czechs have received the corresponding bonds or points for 50,000 crowns per head, which in the previous year were equal to our 50,000 levs, but now they come to 100,000 levs. At the same time we speak about privatization by us for 25,000 levs, and if it will be conducted at once, then it will be now not four but five times less than that in Czech republic (taking into account the bank interest rates for the gone away more than an year), and when it will be performed in Bulgaria then this ratio will be probably 10 times less per capita.

     4. In regard of working salaries, then there these numbers are even more drastic: the minimal taxable salary in Bulgaria is roughly 2,000 lv, or 40 US$, against 1,000 - 1,200 US$ in a "normal" country; and the average salary is 60 - 80 US$, against 2,500 - 3,000 US$ in "normal" countries (the quotes are at the discretion of the reader about this, what is this normal country). In general, the proportion is about 30 times, what is quite real, because after the opening of our market the prices have nearly equalized (although I will not argue if someone will begin to state that our real salary is "only" 25 times less).

     5. At the end, the fact that the alcohol by us is 7-8 times less expensive than in the "normal" countries (what is confirmed by the difference in prices in Bulgaria between our perfumed vodka bearing the name of traditional for us hard drink "rakiya", and the original Scotland raki /vodka called whiskey), says that the Bulgarian is so poor, that he even "can't get drunk like the other people" (for, if he could, you can be sure, the state should have begun to profit from this).

     So that the truth, as was said in the beginning, is that we are incredibly (but, alas, you must give credit to the author) poor, though the optimists assert that everything will improve ... if we will have more luck with the politicians, as we have had in the football.

     July 1994




ABOUT THE MARKET AND THE BULGARIAN*

(When we have a free market it remains only to learn how to shop)


     [ * It is published an old and quite shortened version on page 10 of the newspaper "Newspaper for the home" even on 11-18 Nov 1994. Later is published almost full version on page 8 of the newspaper "Kontinent" of 28 Oct 1998. ]

     Looking at our market for the last years one can come to the conclusion that it is not such as one would have liked it to be, or, saying it otherwise, not like in the other Western countries. In addition to the economic reasons and levers, with which the state must regulate the production and market, which we shall leave to the specialists, i.e. economists, to discuss (because the existence of market does not mean that it must function entirely unguided), significant influence shows also the psyche of Bulgarian buyer, which still is based on the model of centralized supply from totalitarian times. More precisely, such is the psyche of the people in the age above 50, but they are the major buyers by us, for the reason that those engaged with regular working hours are shopping at least twice less than the unemployed and pensioners. We will focus on five important moments of market economy, that are not enough clear to the masses, or at least are not well realized but are taken for some exceptions. They are the following:

     1. Each company works for itself,

with the exception of financed by the state and the so called non-profit organizations, which work for to spend the given to them funds (or according to the well known from our past rule: "the goal is to justify the means"). There is not a firm or company that works for the client, in its disadvantage, with the exception of those cases where the interests of the clients coincide with those of the company, or in some short periods -- of creating of its image! But except a work for gain or without it there is simply not a third way for functioning of a company for prolonged period of time. Such is the market, such is the capitalism, yet that is life.

     2. Each price is established by the client,

not the producer, or the intermediary merchant, who may make all possible prognoses and analyses, but until "his majesty" the client says his heavy word these are only "calculations without the innkeeper" (as we in Bulgaria say). This is quite elementary, but not realized by the majority of Bulgarians, especially by the pensioners, who still think that there must be some committee on prices, as it was in the past. In order to convince ourselves in the correctness of our statement let us imagine that is sold such product which nobody can afford the luxury to by (say, space shuttle), and then whatever the companies have done, however scientifically they have set its price, the product would have not found its buyer. The producer or the merchant have the first word, but it is not determinative until the client accepts the product silently (similarly with the family, where the man is the head but the woman is the neck, as we like to say, and without her the head can do nothing). The influence, anyway, is mutual, but it is important to understand what is determinative. The ignorance about this situation not only produces many emotions for the elderly people (this, is some extent, is not so bad for them, because they need emotions, even the negative ones), but also inhibits the market, for the reason that, creating possibilities for momentary gains for some merchants, this, in fact, worsens their image as a whole (and isn't of advantage for anybody, since it isn't advantageous for the market).

     3. Each advertisement is paid by the client

and, of course, not by the company, since it works only for gain! This statement is etymologically put in Slavonic word reklama, i.e. the English word "reclaim", which is decomposed in re + claim, and must mean returning of the invested in it money, what it also means in English (though there this is not exactly an advertisement; yet the Bulgarian word means also returning of some product back). The proper English word "advertisement", for its part, means something added to the price, only that here the root is German Vert meaning a value (what leads us to the Latin). This is quite naturally, but it is insulting (for those who come to the idea to give a thought about the matter) that the one who buys some widely advertised product pays, in reality, the advertising also for those who do not buy it. Still, every cloud has a silver lining, as the English proverb goes, what in this case reduces to this, that the ads outline the range of goods which are not pretty necessary for the general public, and, hence, a thoughtful buyer must restrain himself from buying them (looking for alternative things). Nobody does advertise bread, or cheese, or potatoes, sunflower oil, sugar, etc. (only if they are very special in something, and in this case also several times more expensive), because everybody knows them and buys in all cases, but are advertised: coca-cola, alcohol, cigarettes, sporting goods, prostitutes (ouch, sorry, "companions"), et cetera. The advertising, unquestionably, is the soul of trade and we can not do without it, but it is useful if the general public knows that the expenditures for it begin with 10% and reach to one third of the price of the product.**

     [ ** It can be added that the contemporary market and economy rely mainly on the ... snobbery of citizens -- but when one can allow himself to be a snob, not in conditions of misery. (From where one can draw the conclusion that -- ha, ha -- that the snobbery is cured in the easiest way with continuous misery!). ]

     4. The market has no global regularities,

it has only some local tendencies (or trends), but also for them there is no guaranty how long they will continue, and this is the most important thing that has to be known. More precisely: the only global regularity which the market has is that it has no global regularities, which were accessible for the uninitiated (or profane) citizens, for the simple reason that they alone are participants in it, and when some regularity becomes obvious and people begin to correct their behaviour according to it, then it already changes, most often turning into its antipode! Even for the enlightened specialists in economics and marketing it, still, remains a phenomenon which can be analyzed (usually post factum), but not predicted sufficiently well. The model of saturated with a given product market correlates in some extent with the question of predicting the droughts, or floods, or flooding of the Nile, where the great (practically unlimited) number of unknowns makes the exact solution of the equation impossible. In addition to this the ads and all sorts of momentous moods of the masses can disturb the calculations (while for the flooding of Nile, for example, is of no importance what is the meaning of the ... crocodiles on the question).
     For this reason the success comes more often to large companies, because they apply (if at all, of course) the only right strategy for moderate winnings, known under the name "divide and conquer" (or divide ed impera in Latin), investing in different areas, for to make possible that, loosing in one of them, they will gain in some other one. The small scale producer or buyer has practically no chances to win with risky operations as a rule, only as an exception, and for him remains the single possibility to work hard, yet not for to win but not to lose, and in such case he will do well with some minimal profit in a saturated market. The bad thing is that in Bulgaria both, the producers and the buyers, still dream to become rich at once, to grab a lot of money, and ... as a rule they lose. But what to do -- this is characteristic for the stage of "green" capitalism, or for the period of initial accumulating (or stealing) of capitals, and this pursuit of the "golden calf" has continued in USA, probably, for more than a century, so that why it not to continue by us for at least half a century?

     5. The market is profitable only for those, who can influence it,

and these are basically the large scale producers and traders, while the smaller producers and common buyers are forced to adjust to it, what in many cases is not in their interest. If our supply under the centralized planning, for example with foodstuffs, was not especially good, then this was explainable, either with some peculiarities of our market, or with our unwillingness to make it better (on account of, in the general case, our low living standard, although it is much lower today), because in Czech Republic in the sausage shops earlier were at least a dozen of varieties of sausages, and even in the former ("unbreakable") Soviet Union almost always were at least five sorts of cheeses and about ten assortments of melted cheeses, while in Bulgaria in the best case were two sorts of white cheese and two sorts of cheese. And besides, the abundance of products on the market does not necessarily mean abundance also at the homes, in what we now, on our bitter experience, become convinced. The competition, surely, is a good thing for stimulating of production, but it can be imitated also with a well done planning.
     The market is good for the buyer when it is saturated and people make their purchases evenly and predictably. When this is done "on strips" or stormy, were it because somebody has said that certain product will rise in price (as a result of what it really rises), were it because people want to spend their money faster, in order to oppose the rapid devaluation, and then stay half an year "assimilating the food" like a python having devoured a whole lamb, or on the contrary -- don't buy anything because wait until the product drops in price, and while they wait it begins to rise up -- all this only hinders the normal market relations, from what the buyer indisputably loses. Lose as a rule also the sellers (and the producers who stay behind them), because the lack of rhythm confuses all forecasts. As the experienced men say, everything bad on this world comes from irregular relations (meaning intercourses), but the market is a kind of "intercourse" between the sellers and the buyers, and if we want that both parts took pleasure in this game (for the market is an interesting game and field for expression of many of us) then this must be done showing more intellect, or (what, as if, comes to the same thing) respect to the partner.

     If we now want to outline

     the main differences of our market from the Western one,

we are bound to acknowledge the following two things: the Bulgarian most often buys at high prices; and the production is done, usually, in packets, not evenly! In his desire to buy something cheaper the common buyer continues to make traditional queues, and in this situation the merchants offer him either abnormally high prices (they, surely, have not gone mad for to want to lose), or products of lower quality (again for the same reason). With this behaviour of his the Bulgarian as if alone "muddles the water" and nobody is guilty for the harm that he has made to himself! The advantages of market economy can show itself when the producer begins to look for a buyer for his goods and with that purpose tries to make them better, not vice versa. Another confusing moment comes from incomprehension of the difference between current shopping by little and some kinds of hoarding, where the majority of people buy en bloc not because of some reducing of prices (which to propose them there in so way, when they alone hurry to buy in bulk), but because that is what has got into their heads, or they have used to do so. When our people have decided that there has come the season for making of pickles then they, in any case, buy in bulk, and due to this in that time the prices jump up, although tomatoes can be canned in June and July, for example, if then they are cheaper. It is high time to learn to buy this, what they offer us (cheaper) in the moment, not this, what we want to buy, because this approach is more profitable not only for the buyer, but also for the seller, who has put out his goods and has interest to sell them. This is not question of poverty, because the Western people, who are ten times wealthier than us, react better to seasonable or momentous prices, stabilizing them in this way, while by us they "go crazy". And, surely, we must become used to the fact that on the market the goods never end, because their presence is maintained via the price mechanism!
     The wish for quick enrichment, for its part, forces the producers to rush to "flood" the market with this, what is the most demanded, forgetting that they are not alone in the market and that the other producers make just the same. For this reason one year the potatoes become very cheaper, in another year these are the peppers, then tomatoes, then onion, then sugar, and so on, because each one bases his calculations on the gains in the previous year, which calculations are done "without the innkeeper". The market also without this is prone to cyclicity (as each natural process in the world) and there is no necessity to increase it, drawing down the lower positions of prices, and up -- the higher ones. If we don't know in which direction to draw, then it is better not to draw at all, and instead of looking for maximal gain to look for constant and moderate one.
     Of course, nobody was born knowing, and we have to adapt to the market long time, but the important thing is to understand that it is common for the whole nation and we are participants in it. The wish for personal win is natural, but the pursuit of mutual pleasure must also become natural for the Bulgarian. At any rate, there is no other way!

     1994, Oct 1998




OUR PEOPLE AGAIN HOARDED GOODS BY HIGHER PRICES


     The market system exists all around the world for many millenniums now and can be even said that the market is undefeatable as the very life. Saying "market" I mean place, structure, or organization, where gathered together many people, who present something, what is superfluous for them (called sellers), and another group of people, who look for something, what is necessary for them (called buyers). It has existed even in the times of primitive communes, has existed during Confucius, in ancient Babylon, while Socrates and Aristotle were alive, in the times of Christ, Mohamed, Napoleon, Marx, and also in the artificial communist society it was not entirely rejected, but only suppressed introducing price ceilings and various anti-market mechanisms.
     It doesn't matter how the change of values is performed: goods for goods, goods for service (or relations of any kind), or for some invented specially for the purpose beads, seeds of plants, shells, metal plates (regardless of their character -- of precious, non precious, semi-precious or "slightly ennobled" materials), and also for some specially printed pieces of paper, after the invention of stamping press. (By the way, maybe it is interesting to know, that the words: money, Münze, monetas, mangizi -- Bulgarian Gypsy jargon --, and others, originate from the name of one fragrant ... herb, useful for peristalsis of the bowels and called miata in Russian, menta in Bulgarian, or mint in English, where it means also the place where these "mint"-- in Bulgarian also mentè -- is made, because the real estates are the real values.) It doesn't matter also by whom the offer and purchase of goods are made -- by the very interested persons, or by specialized persons or organizations named traders or dealers or brokers (who break the hands of the seller and the buyer, what signifies the end of deal, though it usually is symbolic -- a habit preserve only in competitions on boxing and wrestling).
     This, what matters, is that every market is defined by the very participants in it -- we will call them for shortness sellers and buyers -- and for that reason the markets in different countries differ so much. One is the market in London, another in Delhi, third in the Scandinavian countries, fourth in the Orient, fifth and sixth in America or the Far East, and so on. As far as Bulgarian market is dominated by Bulgarians, at least between the buyers (what is a strange thing on the background of this total misery in which we live nowadays), then our market is Bulgarian and, if it has to be qualified with one word only, then this word is "shocking"! I am stating this fact with some sadness, because the shock as medical treatment is applied only in extreme situations, when all other more moderate or reasonable methods happen to be useless; it is the ultima ratio (last resort, in Latin), and necessity for last measures means that we have lived rather unwise, for to fall in such position. In any event, however, the Bulgarian can be treated only with shocks (and often with no therapeutic effect) and it turns out that he has become used to buy, either by higher prices, or not at all, when he waits for the next price increase for to empty his pockets and put something in the fridge. Having in mind that as a nation we are neither more silly, nor more incapable than the Americans, for example, I wish to look more precisely on this our market anomaly and find the causes for it.
     On the first place, of course, stands our improbable poverty. It would have been more proper to say misery. For this reason a lot of Bulgarians "pounce" to buy the cheapest possible food, so that they even eat up the food for animals. For example, the pork belly (fat with bones) is real delicacy, but our people massively buy also duck "lanterns", bare bones, chicken heads and feet, and other things, which in the times of our totalitarian leader "Bai Tosho" (i.e. Todor Zhivkov) were not to be seen on the market, and prepare them for themselves, or at least extract the fat out of them. I don't intend to analyze here the causes for this condition (though it, on the whole, is clear that in times of initial accumulation of capital, in which we now have returned, the capitalism is most cruel and harsh for our long-suffered nation, because "money sticks to money", and for this some "dough", as the folks say, is needed), but to explain to our readers how they worsen the situation themselves, and at the end to propose some "medicine".
     However poor we are now we should not forget that the English say that they are not so wealthy for to buy cheaper things! In our case it happens that when all demand only tripe, or lard, or heads, etc., then exactly this food will grow more expensive (relatively), because the animals do not have, say, three heads, or five lungs, or dozen feet, so that it turns out that the poorest pays some part of the food (of dried sausages, for example) of more prosperous -- i.e., just according with the saying "the sick carries the healthy"! The only "benefit" in this case is that in this way they can be cheated with smaller sums by some merchants, for the scales weigh weight and not the price (and if the product is cheaper, then they can be cheated less). There is a reason in this, and I have even heard from a fellow-buyer that the sellers are divided in three categories: honest -- such that cheat with one scale interval only; common -- such that cheat as much as the client allows them (usually a hundred of grams), because they don't keep the scales on the zero (or via other tricks); and inexperienced or "adzhamii" in Bulgarian (i.e. in Turkish), but they become gradually less and less. They cheat on especially big scale when "the water is muddy" and people line up in queues and buy with whole bags.
     Anyway, let us return to the question about purchases: in the moment is to be recommended to buy goods of better quality and more precisely for the meat -- without bones and even tenderloin (unless you have a pet at home and have to think also about him or her). Another my advice to the readers is to forget, as much as it is possible, about fresh sausages and look for other alternatives -- minced meat, meat (but not pork one, because all are searching it), white cheese, even meatless food. In the "normal" countries a kilo of fresh sausage (and even of good one) costs as much as two kilos of bread, but by us this proportion is roughly four to one (so that it can be said that in this regard we are about two times "more abnormal" than they are). And what concerns the bread, then we should have known long ago that the increased consumption of bread by us is consequence of our lowered living standard, not of some special culinary traditions of our people! So that, by the by, we must lessen the consumption of bread, what isn't a bad idea.
     One more advice: eat nuts (chiefly pistachio) -- they are rich in proteins, but are only two-three times more expensive that the bread (if you bake them yourself at home, what isn't difficult to learn); they are the ideal and fast breakfast in any time and one does not get fat from them. (Again is parentheses I would like to mention that the Hinduism forbids the consummation of any meat: birds, fishes, even eggs and caviar, because they were the future children of the animals, and this not for a week or two, how it is by our fasts, but always, while nuts and spices are not limited, what means that the nuts simply substitute the meat, due to the fact that every religion collects in itself the ancient wisdom of the people.) The last touch in this relation: until the black bread is still cheaper than the white -- eat black one, because this will not last for long time! There is almost no country in Europe where the white bread is preferred before the black one and for that reason it costs as much as the black one, but often cheaper (even in Russia it is so, and in Austria, for example, the only more or less similarly looking like Bulgarian white bread is called "Turkish"!).
     Enough about the question on poverty -- it is not a sin, and even if it isn't something with which we could have boasted, isn't also a thing of which we have to be ashamed. This, what we could have felt ashamed of, is that we (as a result of our totalitarian past, most of all) have no market culture! We have distorted to such an extent the good word "speculate", that have transformed it nearly to a symbol of the evil, and you know that in the English it means contemplate, consider, and in a bit wider sense is used for persons who succeed to extract benefits from something, so to say, with their pure reason, not with work (production), buying and selling goods. It is spoken also about speculative knowledge, meaning knowledge just as mind game, not as something with which one can derive direct gain.
     The principal importance of these reflections is that, consciously or not, the merchants are those, who keep the market! To put it in technical terms, the merchants play for the market the role of negative feedback in the system -- a role, without which no system could have existed for long time (more so for millenniums). In other words this means: when something grows, then something or someone must decrease it, and vice versa, in order not to burst the system. Exactly this is what the merchants do when they raise the prices if something is massively bought, for to enable the buyers, if they are "normal" ones, to decrease its buying and in this way to make so that there was enough of this thing for all (as for those, who have already bought of it, also for those, who have not done this, and for the sellers, too); and vice versa. And "thanks God" that this is so, and our market still holds, even by these shocking prices! Today the merchants sell, practically, only 2-3 days in a month (and get their win), where in the left time they just think (i.e. speculate) what kind of trick to use in order to make the buyers to buy. Naturally, for the sellers is better to have regular income, what will allow them to make regularly their purchases from the producers using regularly received from the clients money and, as it is said (in Turkish, but this is clear in Bulgaria), the "alish-verish" was going, yet, if our people are used to buy only on high prices (why -- we shall explain soon), then the merchants are those who normalize the situation. Saying it otherwise -- if it's not possible to manage without shocks then someone has to apply them! Like we this or not, but such is the truth, and the more Bulgarians perceive it, the better.
     Now some concrete advises for the "enlightened", i.e. for those reading in the moment. There are always several alternative products on the market -- say: bread, potatoes, rice, noodles (oat-flakes, if you like), so that when one of them rises -- you just buy another one! In normally saturated market and amidst people who do not suppress the market mechanisms, the prices of alternative products move, generally, in synchrony, and the application of this rule is more difficult, but then it isn't necessary to apply it, where the situation in our country is different. Try to recall that when the rice have jumped up abruptly (a la Bulgarian!) in the beginning of this summer, nobody has yet expected that there will rise also the potatoes and, most of all, the bread -- simply the people have decided to buy en masse only rice (like the Chinese) and it has risen until was restrained from above by the international prices (approximately one German mark for a kilo on the average, by retail prices), then it stopped (until the people have eaten it up, and as far as we are not Chinese, after all, then this has continued for 4-5 months) and now it has begun again to go up.
     Similar was the situation with the potatoes, only with a delay of pair of months, so that those, who have bought themselves a bag of potatoes by 60 lv in August, in November consumed them exactly twice more expensive (taking into account also the bank interest, which in one month have reached 25%, and also the wastage, which the potatoes give during the storage, especially if they are lavishly nitrated), and now, when they have eaten them and gone again to buy, the prices have risen again. Similarly happened also with the onion. Likewise also with the white cheese, then the meat caught up the cheese and surpasses it (because it turned out that it is more suitable than the cheese for long-term keeping by deep freezing) and the meat reached 700 lv (and later fell to 450 lv, and this for the veal, which is considered better all around the world, and without bones). Now the minced meat stays at "surprisingly low" prices of 350 to 400 lv, or one US dollar, according to the exchange rate in the moment, but what is to be done when the people have filled their freezers, though at least in January it will jump up on 30-50%, if the meat will not fall lower than 600 lv, what is hardly possible by this dollar rate. And so on.
     In short: averaged on a longer period of time (an year or more) all looks out normal, but before the eyes of contemporaries happen price shocks (or skoki-jumps in Bulgarian, if you like it better so, but the etymological root here must have been the same). This will not happen if, when the rice goes up, people cease to buy rice and reorient themselves to potatoes, and when the latter rise in price begin to buy bread, or meat, or this, what in the moment is sold at acceptable prices. (By the way, almost nobody knows, that one standard egg must weigh approximately 60 gram, or in one kilo there must be nearly 17 eggs, but in no case less than 16, and without this idea one can hardly compare the prices of protein products.) The rule is extraordinary simple (but, as it is known from ancient times, the world is full with paradoxes and the simplest things are accepted with utmost difficulties) and it is the following: move at counterflow to the others in the market! Inasmuch as people nowadays believe to no one, there is no danger that all will begin to move at once in counterflow, so that your success is guaranteed.
     The more curious thing is that in this way you not only will help the others (what is true, but it is also true that the human being has never been altruist in his nature), but that you will help also yourself not to buy on high prices (exactly in the same way as the merchant, who is entirely indifferent to the interests of clients, turns to be the backbone of the market, which is designed and profitable mainly for the buyer). If the things have not been really so mutually linked, then the market wouldn't have survived till the present days.
     The situation is even more drastic on the money market, no matter that there they are pretty obvious and one could easily become oriented in the tendencies (or trends, if we don't want to fall behind the contemporary Anglicization on Americanization of Bulgarian language). As it turns out, in this year for roughly eight months the hard currency has already risen in price six times, where in the same time our lev in the best case (in government securities, GS) have done this approximately two and a half times (what means that there are different kinds of "mint" and some of them have not at all good effect on the Bulgarian stomachs). This, what is obvious in this case, is that in the change bureaus and banks are written both courses (buy / sell), and this, from what they profit, is not the price -- low or high (that everything is relative was clear to the people long before Einstein has declared his meaning on the question), but the difference between both courses, where no merchant will begin to explain to you on which prices he has bought his goods -- this is his own domestic cuisine*. Then, if we proceed from the purely Bulgarian rule of the Shopp (around Sofia), that "I don't want that I feel good, I want that my neighbour Vute feels bad", it becomes entirely obvious that one must buy hard currency when the traders win least of all from this, i.e. when the margins are narrowest. This is really justified because then you are most convinced that you buy the product (currency) on its cost price, where otherwise, when the margins are 20-30 lv, you, surely, fill the "throats", or pockets, of change dealers.

     [ * Well, in the interest of truth, approximately two years later we have become witnesses of the curious decision that the sellers were forced to write also the prices on which they have bought the goods, but surely has sprung up someone from the West to whisper something in the ears of our rulers, because after a month this apparent quirk has been hushed. ]

     Together with this the situation with the change of money (or shares) has its specific tinge, namely: as long as one can not predict exactly how the rates will develop, the people divide in two opposed categories (rather according to their way of thinking, for their goals are exactly the same -- maximal gain) -- the ones are such who buy when the prices go up, because they set on continuing of the tendency, and they are called bulls (for the reason that these animals strike with their horns upward), and the others are such who buy when the prices fall down, because they hope that the tendency will now change, and they are called bears (for the reason that the latter strike with their paw downward). Though this does not change our former reasoning, because here it goes about speculative buying, about investment of free funds, about playing on the money or stock exchange, and no one on the West will spent his last savings on such games, especially when the margins are about 10%. (Only that from here one may conclude that our nation consists mainly of "bulls", "cows", or calves, in short -- of horned cattle, but as far as this doesn't sound nice for us let us not make this conclusion.)
     In brief: now isn't at all moment to buy currency (who has wanted could have bought himself in previous years, when nobody hindered us and we could have changed up to 2000 US$ in an year, what exceeds all savings of majority of Bulgarians, especially their one-yearly savings by average working salary, not in this disastrous year, of 80-100 US$; or then wait a pair of months more), unless we wish to make easier the realization of Money Board via even higher impoverishing of our nation (lessening the sum of money which has to be guarantied)**.

     [ ** And it happened later exactly so, of course. ]

     The last distinguishing feature of our market from the markets in countries with normal market economy is obvious remnant of our totalitarian past, and this is our constant fear, that something on the market will end. Nothing ends on the market, with the exception of people's money! And this fear compels the Bulgarian, especially who is in advanced age (but half of the buyers are pensioners) to buy always on higher prices, because otherwise they would have become even higher. It is true that everything becomes more expensive (because our lev devalues with frightful speed), but not before the personal reserves of people decrease and it turns that, for one thing, they have bought things on high prices, and, for another thing, they will again buy dear, when they finish their supplies! Besides, it is naive to suppose that an average citizen will happen to be cleverer than the merchant, who is occupied only with this, and as far as the buyer also speculates in his own way (because when he goes to the market he thinks how to spend less money but to buy more things, i.e. also to extract personal gain), then neither part has rights to accuse the other one.
     So that, dear readers, think of yourself and don't buy high-priced goods and in big amounts, in addition to the things for direct consummation. Do not bother much about your poverty, be wealthy in spirit! Buy at wholesale only when something turns to be cheap, not when you are used to do this (there are habits, but there can also be "dishabits", as our folks say). At least one third of the people can do their pickles for winter (when we are so poor that make alone pickles) in time different from the others at least by a month and, hence, will buy the fresh vegetables cheaper. Buy alternative products -- in this way you will buy cheaper, but also will variegate your food. Don't buy the most cheap product at all, because in this way you buy more expensively, due to the increased demand. Buy the cheapest thing in the moment, not what you have gone to search, and don't think that if a thing becomes a pair of days cheaper then it will continue to become more cheaper, because when you wait in this manner, say, a week and decide to go the next day really to buy, then it will turn out that it has risen in its price, on account of the fact that you are part of the market and, most probably, are one typical representative of the buyers and your insignificant influence has become quite important. In other words: don't hinder the market, for not to allow it to impede you in its turn!
     Do not forget the brilliant thought of great Ostap Bender (from the book "The Golden calf" of Russian writers Ilf and Petrov) that: "Salvation of the drownings lies in the hands of the very drownings!". There is much more truth in this joke than in the heap of phony "truths" that you may hear today at any time. Because this is, in fact, rephrasing of the old rule: "Help yourself, and God will also help you!".

     December, 1996




HOW MUCH HAS TO WIN A COMPANY IN ORDER TO HAVE NO GAIN


     The question that we pose now is the following: how big must be the profit of a small company (like, say, one-, two-, or three- person, usually family, Limited Liability Company, Ltd), in order to have, after paying of all taxes, the same gain (or even less), as if the people have just invested the money used in the company during the year in form of personal deposits or government securities (GS) in the banks (which, above all, are also guarantied up to 100% in case of bankruptcy, according to our Law for Protection of Investments, where the companies lose exactly half of the money in case of bankrupt of the bank, where they keep them), taking in this way into account, via the increment of their savings, the inflation, and the persons who own the company, instead of working in it and earn in this way, work somewhere else, by the average for the moment working salary? This in my view means, that the company works without any gain (in idle, for "that one who blows" as we in Bulgaria say), that it has no financial interest in any way for its existing, and that, in fact, it is better if it has not functioned at all, because such production not only is not extended, but it can be even named "compressed"!
     So that, let us first introduce some names of variables, beginning with the letter a, with which we shall mark the common profit in levs (our currency, shorten as lv). With letter b we shall mark the relative part of the expenses to the profits or material consumption of the productivity (here in the expenses enter all expenses, not only those of materials), where for more convenient notation we will express b not in percents but as parts of the whole (say, 0.2*a instead of 20% a). Via letter c we will denote the average annual gain from deposits in levs (in the moment most profitable is in GS) and again as part, not as percentage (i.e. 0.5, not 50%, for example). The part which the state takes in form of taxes we will mark with the letter d, and the average net annual salary, i.e. without the income tax (IT) -- with the letter e. Then, equating the profit of the company after paying the taxes to the possible profit of an average working salary plus the bank interest for the spent in the company money (because they were available by the owners, in order for them to be able to invest them in the company and use for production of whatever it is), we get (everything for a whole year), as characteristic of the work for nothing, the following simple equation:

     a*(1-b)*(1-d) = e + a*b*c      (1)

because a*(1-b) is the profit before the taxes; a*(1-b)*(1-d) -- the profit after paying the taxes; and in the same time a*b*c is the profit from expenses a*b, if they were invested in a bank instance as deposits of private persons (from the owners of the company, who also work in it) without the need for existing of the company. Saying it otherwise, the left part gives us the profit of a small company, and the right part is a sum of the average salary and the profit from the spent in the company money, if it was not a company and only the used in an year money were standing on personal deposit. If we now leave on the one part only the letter a and solve the equation in regard to it we will have:

     a = e /( (1-b)(1-d) - b*c )      (2)

what is our final formula.
     In order to answer the set in the beginning question we must decrease the number of variables, giving to some of them values as near as possible to the real ones. We shall begin in reverse order of the letters, i.e.:
     e = 100,000 lv in an year -- a nice round number, maximally close to the average working salary for the current year (it is not yet exactly calculated, for the year has not yet ended), what gives by 8,000 lv net in month (or, else, nominally 120,000 lv in an year).
     d = 0.3, i.e. 30% -- this is the profit tax for the smallest companies with profit less than 1 mln lv yearly and for the new registered such, what is the lowest tax at all (usually it is 40%, and even more) and this, respectively, is the best for us case.
     c = 1.4 or 140%, whal looks a good approximation to the real situation, because in the beginning of the year the annual bank interest was 40%, in the middle of the year it become about 120% (for GS out of portfolio emissions of trading banks), in September the most secure bank, the National Bank of Bulgaria (BNB), has issued bonds with yearly interest of 130%, and the trading banks sold GS with 170% annually. Such was the case till the end of September (revolutionary month, at least for Bulgarian people -- there were pair of revolution in Bulgaria in the first half of 20th century on this month), and now the newest information is that the basic interest rate (BIR) have become 300% and if it will stay so till the end of the year (i.e. "if our state will exist", as some wicked tongues say) can be expected that this will give averaged real gain about 160% in year (what is more than our gain of the averaged BIR), but we "out of modesty" will work with 140%, for to be sure that our estimation is not inflated.
     Then the formula (2) takes the form:

     a = 100,000 /( 0.7(1-b) - 1.4 b ) = 100,000 /( 0.7 - 2.1 b )      (3)

what is the relationship of the profit a of small company depending on the material consumption of production (part of the expenses to the profit) b.
     The first conclusion, that we may draw out of this, is that there exists critical or maximal value of b, and it is critical because the denominator of (3) turns to zero (and, as all of us have studied in school, it is forbidden to divide to zero) and maximal, because for b greater than this value the denominator becomes negative, and, respectively, a becomes negative, what has no meaning, because negative money means that the company looses if it works. Put it otherwise, the company begins to work for "that who blows" exactly by the maximal value of b. In our (most lucrative in relation to the taxes) case this value is: bmax = 0,7 / 2,1 = 0,33 or 33%.
     Let us now show this relationship in table form:

b (in %) 15 20 23 25 27 30
a (ths lv) 260 357 460 571 750 1430

TABLE 1. DEPENDENCE OF b FROM a.

     As far as there are no companies with less than 20% expenses (at least 10% go for the cheapest advertisement), neither there is somebody with up to such extent "weathered" brains for to earn one and a half millions (working with no gain, because that is what we calculate here!), then it turns that the left and the right end of the table are unusable. (Besides, when the profits are more that 1 mln levs the taxes d will be bigger, so that the expression for a will be different). In this situation remains the possibility by material consumption b of about 25% to get profits of half a million levs. But these are theoretical results because, practically, there is no such company that will spend less than 30% (even for freelancing professions are allowed 30% inherent necessary expenses without supplying documents). In other words, from the stated till here unambiguously follows that there are no conditions at all in Bulgaria for small business under this inflation level, and if someone, still, continues to perform such activity, than this is either by inertia, or because he simply cannot find a job!

     At a first glance here is concealed some "magic", because the company must not have all the money for the expenses for the year in the beginning of it, and if it turns 3-4 times the production cycle it will happen that it is possible to work also with smaller amounts in cash (and, respectively, the profit from bank interest in our calculations will fall down), and if the company bakes buns and pies, for example, then it will turn hundred cycles in an year. But in this situation we do not take into account the necessity for availability of stock, and expenses primarily for basic means of production (BMP), where one has to "throw away" at once the money at least for five years in advance and this in very big amounts, where the amortization becomes directly eaten by the inflation! And if we speak about production premises and equipment (and in our climatic conditions, as it is known, nothing can be produced in the open air) then the period of amortization becomes whole 25 years. And let us not forget that, by an actually pure accounting, the tradesman must, after paying out all BMP at the end of the amortization period, have exactly as much accumulated money as he needs for to by the same, now practically consumed, BMP product, where under this inflation rate he will have in the best case some 10-15% of the sum (and for the buildings maybe just 1-2%!). In this way the company, in fact, pays taxes for gains which in no way are gains, but this is subject for additional calculations with which let is not diverge now.

     So, and in order to convince ourselves that our calculations were close to the real ones, let us vary a little some of the parameters in the formula (2). For example, for a more respectable company the profit tax will be 40% (i.e. d = 0.4) and then we get

     a = 100,000 /( 0.6(1-b) - 1.4 b ) = 100,000 /( 0.6 - 2.0 b )      (4)

and bmax = 0.6 / 2 = 0.3 or 30%, what is even worse, how it has to be expected. (Table for a as function of b in this case we will not give in order not to bore much the readers.)
     If for this more "normal" d = 0.4 take also a more proper personal salary of 25,000 lv nominal in month (or 20,000 lv net in month), then we must vary e to 240,000 lv for an year, thing which may be expected to happen as prognosis for the next year beginning from October 1996, and then is right to accept c = 2.0 (i.e. 200%, hopping that the shocking bank interest of 300%, after all, will not remain in effect for very long time) and then we will have:

     a = 240,000 /( 0.6(1-b) - 2.0 b ) = 240,000 /( 0.6 - 2.6 b )      (5)

i.e. bmax = 0.6 / 2.6 = 0.23 or 23% (by c = 3.0, as it is in the moment, we get bmax = 0.6 / 3.6 = 0.16 or 16%!). This last thing, that every small business with material consumption about 20% already is ineffective for his owner, between us said, is pure communism! It becomes a bit "splotched" by the fact that the big manufactures, obviously (though for other reasons) are also ineffective, when hundreds of companies are privatized!

     These calculations have been done for trading companies, that pay profit tax, not for individual entrepreneurs (IE), who pay income tax (IT), but in reality the things don't differ much, because for 430 ths lv annual profit, for example, one must pay income tax in amount of 112 ths lv (by the table for 3,500 lv minimal monthly salary), what is tax of 26%, but if one adds also some minimal payment for social security it comes to 28%, what is practically equal to 30%. (Compare with table (4), where for b = 0.25 we have a = 571,000 lv gain, or profit before subtracting taxes (1-0.25)*571 = 0.75*571 = 430 ths lv, i.e. exactly as much as we have just now used by the calculations for IE. Besides, these sums are entirely real as average numbers for IE, if one does not deceit.)
     Could something, still, be bettered? Alas, there are not rose coloured perspectives, because even lessening of the profit tax to 20% for the small companies (a thing that hardly some government, no matter of what colour, will allow itself to do, because this makes strong impact on the state budget) will give bmax = 0.8 / 2.2 = 0.36 or 36% instead of former 33% (other things being equal), so that this has almost no effect on the production.
     The only way out of the mess is lessening of the profits from bank deposits (i.e. stopping of the inflation and stabilizing of the economy). By c=0.5, we have bmax = 0.7 / 1.2 = 0.58, what now is quite good. In the same time, by c=0.3, or 30% (which was the ambition of communist socialists, BSP, but it turned out that these "dear people" -- their beloved addressing to the masses -- have done their calculations without "the barkeeper", as the saying goes) we get bmax = 0.7 / 1 = 0.7 or whole 70%.
     So that it remains nothing else to us except to whistle the song "The communism is going back and strong embraces people's necks" (there was some joking song "The communism comes back"), because both, there are no conditions at all for whatever small business, and we have become so poor that are left only with our begging bowls (without quotes), with our minimal monthly salary of about 20 US dollars (or less than a dollar a working day, if you like it better so).

     October 1996




DO YOU WANT TO LOSE YOUR 13TH PENSION?


     It is true that our people have become poor, the money does not suffice, and the more it does not suffice to those who have less then the others -- this can't be denied. Yet the question is in this that the inertial thinking from the stagnation times hinders many pensioners (but also working people) to act adequately to the situation of high inflation and leads to loss of a thirteenth pension each year, putting it shortly. And the loss is pure, because you get nothing in return. Let us look at the things in more details.
     An averagely taken pensioner receives 2,000 levs as pension and earns additionally in various ways about 1,000 lv, what gives approximately 3,000 lv income in a month. But then, the harder the Bulgarian is living the more he tries to economize -- the so called "white money for black day" --, so that in the end of the month he, usually, puts about 1,000 lv in some saving account. Despite the possible objections of many pensioners, that they can't save so much money in month, I personally think that this calculations are valid for at least 2/3 of the pensioners in Bulgaria, but even if they were true only for 1/3 of them, and for the left part -- for twice smaller sums, then it, still, is worthy to pay the necessary attention to what is said here (because it is not to be scorned at half of a pension, right?).
     The middle between 3,000 and 1,000 is exactly 2,000 levs, i.e. each pensioner keeps at home on the average about 2,000 lv during the whole month (where similar is the situation also with the working people, who receive on the average 4,000 lv pure and come to zero before the next salary, or averagely again 2,000 lv). By the existing lowest possible interest rates (for termless deposits in DSK -- 56% yearly, or 4.66% monthly) this gives about 90 lv lost in month, or for entire year -- about 1,000 lv, i.e. half a pension till here.
     An average pensioner has in his accounts saved money about 70,000 lv (i.e. about two yearly salaries, what is quite real). At the same time the difference in the compound interests between one-month deposits and six-months such is about 1.5% on the average for all banks, and this gives another half of a pension. And mark, please, that I don't speak how much you would have economized if you have bought shares of the company A&B, for example, because with the shares one may win, but may also lose; neither am I speaking about imaginary gains (say, if you buy each month by kilo meat less, then this will save you 200 lv, and if you don't buy 10 kilos, then this makes a whole pension "gained").
     So that the 13th pension, the lost one, is a fact! It remains only to see what we gain at the expense of this loss, and this is the comfort to have money at hand in any moment. But isn't it possible to make so, that your money were accessible and you still received high interest, i.e. that "the wolf was satiated and the lamb remained alive"? It turns out that this is quite possible and we propose here the following simple scheme of distribution of deposits on the basis of 100 thousand levs, namely:

     a) In DSK (State's Saving Bank), as the most secure place (which can go bankrupt only together with the State) you keep roughly half of your money, and more precisely: in two places by 20,000 lv for a term of one year, but shifted by six months and even on a fixed day of the month, whichever you choose. (As far as the queues in banks are the biggest respectively between the 5th and 15th day of the month, because in this period are paid the pensions; between 20th and 30th, when are paid the salaries; as well as in the first pair of days of each month, especially in the beginning of half of the year -- then we propose to use some day between 15th and 20th). Let us accept as an example 15 Jan and 15 July respectively.

     b) In five different banks (for the reason that, in the end, each bank can go bankrupt) you make deposits by 10,000 lv each month, from the months between the yearly deposits, for a term of six months (say, from 15th Feb to 15th June inclusive, by a month).

     c) In the nearest to your home branch of DSK (or another bank) you make an usual current, termless deposit of maximum 10,000 levs.

     d) At home you keep maximum 1,000 lv (half of a pension).

     By this arrangement you have in your disposition the following sums: in every moment -- roughly 500 lv (half of the 1,000 lv, as a middle); each working day -- up to 10,000 lv; once in a month, summed -- 20,000 lv (10,000 from the 6-month deposit, plus 10,000 from the current one); and twice in an year -- the sum of 30,000 levs.
     This distribution of you money meets the basic requirements of the strategy "divide and conquer" (dividing of the banks and periods). For greater completeness could be added one more rule for minimization of the risk, namely "the rule of the fearful" what says: the greater the proposed to you win (here, the interest), the less you allow to be "caught on the bait" (here, to put your money there)! In other words, counteract the advertisement.
     A small detail: there exist some banks which allow you to "return the time back", counting each month for 30 days, respectively also for bigger periods, what for an year gives difference of five days. So that if you want to shift the maturity of some deposit with a pair of days back make use of these banks. Naturally, this is not significant, but it is always good to have less to remember, so that if all your deposits fall on one day of the month this turns to be pretty convenient.
     So that: to lose or not your 13th pension -- the choice is yours!

     1995 ?

     P.S. By an average interest rate of about 5%, as it is in Bulgaria somewhere since 1998, it is clear that with such tricks one will never come to a whole pension, but to only about 50-100 levs (in 2005), yet this also is money which should not be thrown to the wind. In addition, it is correct to divide your money in (at least) two different hard currencies. All these are obvious things, but the main reason why people avoid to do this is that they just don't like to be moderate (no matter what the ancient Greeks have said on that question).

     2008




TOO GOOD IS NOT GOOD!


     Say our people, and one has to believe a whole nation, because it is cleverer than its politicians, if not for other reason, then because it has lived much longer than they have. Besides, there hardly exists nation where similar saying is not present, as much as this is a variety of biblical "over-holy saint isn't loved by God", so that this wisdom is common for all mankind. And its application here is about our euphoria of the Money Board.

     If we consider the things in chronological order then the first conclusion, which we should have made (if we are capable at all to make conclusions), is that if we have had some mutual understanding and strong hand (instead of our "pljuralism", for example, where in Bulgarian "pljuja" -- and "j" is read as Latin 'i' -- means to ... spit, here on the others), we could have alone made some kind of Money Board, because, surely, nobody has made such board to Germany, or USA, England, France, Canada, or some of the Scandinavian countries, but are made boards to countries in Latin America and some of the former Socialist Bloc, i.e. to countries where, by one or other reason, lacks strong central power. And we could have even made ourselves such board, that the Americans would have begun to be envious of us, because this, what has had to be guarantied are not all circulating in the country money, but only the current income for everybody, like salaries and pensions, and even not all of them but only some part of them, for the bread and sausages are sold not for foreign currency!
     Having in mind that the expenses for salaries in a decent company (with at least 20 persons staff) do not exceed 5-6% of the turnover of the company, and accepting the rule to be paid in hard currency only 1/3 of the salary, it turns out that the necessary currency amounts to only 2% of the turnover. Similarly has had to be proceed with the salaries in budget institutions, and also with the pensions and scholarships, which have had to be partially paid in hard currency, where for this purpose could have been used, if necessary, the blocked currency means from the fallen in bankruptcy (farsightedly, in the times of our communist leader Zhan Videnov) banks, not because this is rightful, but because these money the people, anyway, can't see for the moment and receive them only in tranches (portions)! Naturally, after advanced estimation, could have been relied also on new loans from the West. In any case, our average salaries in democratic times were somewhere about 50-80 US$ (where they have fallen below this, but never have risen above 120), and the pensions were roughly equal to the minimal salaries, so that as average income of a Bulgarian can be taken 60 dollars per month (this, obviously, is increased estimation, but let us calculate in the worst case), or 1/3 of this gives 20 US dollars. This is the amount, which our country should have been able to pay on the average to every citizen receiving salary or pension from a budget institution, in hard currency; the above-mentioned "decent" companies definitely could have been able to ensure about 2% of their turnover in such currency (how they also do this somewhere on their own).
     The condition for the possibility to introduce such Bulgarian Board could have been merely to perform the estimation of our salaries not in absolute money units, i.e. not in levs (and even not in some hard currency), but as coefficient to the minimal monthly salary (MMS) in the country, which, so or otherwise, must have been often corrected in the Parliament, where in very turbulent times this could have been done even each month. What concerns this coefficient, then this approach is long ago used in practice (even in the times of our "Bai Tosho" have existed uniform staff tables, only that their usage was compulsory, but the rejection of compulsion does not mean that these tables should not been used with recommendatory character -- in the same way how the exclusion of religion from ruling of the state during Renaissance does not mean forbidding of religions at all --, neither rejection of the use of a suitable one-dimensional scale for comparison); similar tables are used by retirement, also by labour syndicates. If one is appointed to work with 1.78 MMS, for example, and if it is known that 1 MMS in the moment is equal to, say, 50,000 lv, then there is no problem, neither for the accounting department of the company, nor for the very person, to compute his (or her) salary for the given month and how much hard currency he has to receive. In doing this it looks natural that he will receive 1/3 of his money in levs as advance payment, another 1/3 again in levs as salary, and the last third in hard currency (it doesn't matter when) in order to make savings, if he wants (and if he can), up to whole banknotes, and what remains is to be transferred in the next month.
     This, about what even the Americans could have been envious of us, is that there are no problems (except the desire, of course) to compute the hard currency as combined in equal parts from three main currencies, by 1/9 MMS for each, so that when one of them rises and another falls the citizen will lose nothing (as far as this is called money basket it turns out that in this way each Bulgarian will slowly and diligently "weave his basket"); it could have been made even so that by the monthly announcing of MMS its corresponding parts are expressed in each of the currencies (according to the averaged for the last month price) and in levs -- for alleviation of calculations. All this could have been made (but it was not made -- because too many democrats have gathered on a small place)!

     The second thing, which can be seen also with a naked eye, is that if some board was at all necessary to be introduced, then this could have been done exactly one year earlier, or in June 1996, because even in May last year the dollar has risen twice above its set till that time value of roughly 67 lv for 1 US$, and when something changes two times each normal person must begin to think (weaker changes usually are not felt by people)! Only that then the red (i.e. the former communists) have not allowed a single thought about board to penetrate their minds, the blue ones (i.e. the democrats from the Union of Democratic Forces, UDF) were not in position to do this, and the other colours of rainbow, figuratively speaking, did not "spin the wool". The situation is very similar to that when a man courtships some damsel for a long time but always unsuccessfully until it was young girl, and his desire becomes reality after some 25-30 years, when he by inertia "seduces" her, but then she does not expect this at all and out of excessive desire to go with whoever man happens lies down at once.
     It is true that one usually does not what should be done but what can be done, but it is also true that the main thing that distinguishes the intelligent person (or party, or nation, if you like) is that he does exactly the necessary, or does nothing at all! For twelve months our national currency devaluated, roughly speaking, 12 times, so that the West bought us exactly dozen times cheaper. And mark that here I don't accuse the West in anything, because it (or they) waited with big endurance for us to begin to ask it genuflected on our knees, as if it has no interest at all in introducing of this Board and does it out of pure unselfish charity (in the same way as a masterful fisher does not begin to make noise to the fishes and invite them to go out on the strand to look what a tasty thing he will give them, but just throws some ground-bait to them and threaded the bait on the hook -- if the fish becomes alone caught on it than this is its personal "democratic" decision).
     Anyway, after March the dollar has calmed down enough and followed only the normal for our country inflation of approximately 50% in an year and it was clear that it has nowhere else to jump, because the free market existed (via the change bureaus) and people have succeeded to spent their "totalitarian" levs -- this was a natural process, something like the ripening of a purulent pimple, for example, which simply must mature in order to pass; suppressing this process was not clear where this could have conducted us. The red have succeeded to establish some speed of 2 to 3 times yearly impoverishment (taking into account the devaluation of our lev and the interest from government securities and deposits in the still left banks), what more or less ("awry-left", as we say) harnessed the situation; the people were to such extent dumbfounded by the big interests on their deposits and were not at all in condition to calculate how much they were losing, but there is nothing to be done, the capitalism requires capitals, so that they were to be gathered in the hands of richer ones, and the poor ones (who knows why?) had no desire to give willingly their money! Then, if we continue our analogy with the pimple, it might have really happen that one, walking in the yard, slips on a, I beg to be excused by the readers, fresh cow thing, and falling down sticks his hand with the pimple in it, after which wiping from the hand adhered to it "dirt" he, in fact, will smear better the pimple with this new "ointment". If on the second day after this happened that the pimple now heals, it is normal that even a clever man (more so our politicians) will imagine that this is the best medicine in such cases, isn't it?

     Till here it comes out that if the Board does not help us much, then it at least does not harm us. But this is not so because there emerges a third thing, which is also obvious -- the Board exists, hence it "feeds" on something, and this, naturally, are the poor Bulgarian people. If we take that there are engaged only one-two thousand persons in it, where the half of them are, either foreign financiers, or receive salaries like for foreign financiers, this means that their salaries have to be somewhere between 1,000 and 5.000 US$, and if we take not the average but the minimal such salary as basis, then even a first-grader will calculate that a thousand by thousand makes a million green American dollars (not highly suffered Bulgarian levs, having shrunken not to centimes but to "millims"), and this each month and nobody knows for how long. So that the Board definitely harms, all the time!

     The fourth obvious thing, which also is not a plus, is that the Board is pure enslavement, because without its approval we not only can't execute our national financial policy, but are forced also to correct, as a number of financial standards, also quite many social and political aspects of our ruling (they might have not been ideal, but they now again will not be suitable for us). One politician, or large-scale ruler, can now not, so to say, go to the toilet, if he has not the consent of the Board. The latter becomes one additional big owner in the country, together with the state, or, as is often said, a state in the state, or rather a state over our state, and this owner begins now to buy everything that can be bought, for pennies, because when one has nothing to eat one sells literally everything out. The Board buys our banknotes, but it does not need them at all, so that it hurries to get rid of them buying shares in companies and banks, homes and buildings, machinery and equipment, because it works on its own business account, or works only for gain, like every other company! This, surely, will continue until it succeeds to convert our money in goods for itself, and/or Bulgarian money will become one small part it its assets. This, that the state is the biggest exploiter of the population, is known from the times of ancient Rome, or ever since the state exists as institution, but this should not arise whatever doubt at least in the people who have lived under the totalitarianism, where it was the only (and for that reason the biggest) exploiter; now emerges another one and superior owner -- God help our people! And again, of course, the very Board is not to be blamed, because: who can accuse the cat that it eats mice? This is, saying it in Latin, in rerum natura, or in the course of the things.

     The fifth thing for everybody, who has lived at least five years of his conscious life in Bulgaria, and at least half an year in some normal Western country, is that the Board is simply not good for us in various aspects, because our, let us call it original, Bulgarian, view to the world and way of life rejects many Western settings and principles. As much as we try to enter in Europe we are, still, Orient (or, if you like, "hybrid" of Europe with the Orient). The clever people have long ago come to the conclusion that Europe ends where people begin to ... drink our (i.e. Eastern) boza, to say nothing about our tastes on coffee, bread, women, if you like, songs, and so on. For the Board, however, economic indicators are important, so that let us speak about them. When on the West they lessen some price this is done at least on 25% and normally on 50%, because otherwise nobody will buy the thing, where in Bulgaria the word "cheap" has directly magical effect (and, by the way, this word in Bulgarian sounds like 'evtino', we pronounce it like 'eftino', and I suppose that this is related with the Turkish kaif /keif /kief meaning ecstasy), but at the same time real diminishing of some price by 10-15% is a rare phenomenon, to say nothing about higher one. Although in Bulgaria the prices are around the Western ones, they, nevertheless, remain approximately two times lower than there (with the major exception of the prices on homes, which are as much high, if not even more, like those in the very center of Europe -- in Vienna, for example). This is to be explained with our exceptionally low living standard under the democracy -- not so low as in Albania, but, after all, our state begins not with the letter "a", but with the next one, so that it is normal to expect that we will be on the second place in poverty. The salaries by us are not a pair of times lower than in the normal Western countries, but somewhere in 30 to 50 times lower, and the Bulgarian works a whole month for less than one daily salary on the West.
     As a result of this happen, and will happen, various different market anachronisms; by us are sold, and will be sold, products with lowest possible quality in the region, people feed themselves with any kind of garbage, what makes it possible for the price of cat and dog food to reach the prices of white cheese (the main milk product in Bulgaria), and even higher; in Bulgaria does not exist, either open to the world market, or the old centrally ruled supply with goods, when people had at least accessible for all quantity -- now, despite the relatively high quality of some products, the population massively consummates products with lower quality than in the times of our "Bai Tosho", and this on significantly higher (in proportion to the average working salary) prices.
     Naturally that, according to the Board, by us the situation should have been such, that, for example, a kilo of bread was equal in its price to a kilo of sugar, or like liter sunflower oil, or like two kilos rice, or even as much as half a kilo fresh sausages; that one ticket for the city transport costs as high as 8-10 eggs; that a kilo pineapple was equal to two kilos apples; that one egg was as half kilo of potatoes, and so on, but for the moment this is hardly achievable in Bulgaria and must exist also some additional control over the prices (like, e.g., different taxes on sheep and cow white cheese -- because the cow one is not very tasty and is much of everyday type, or for the common folks in these hard times --, or lower prices on bread, etc.), what hinders the market. Our market has its specifics and the normal relationship, as it seems, must not differ much from that under the communist socialism in which we have lived (because on the West people have long ago built their socialism, though very often don't call it so), but this is not this relationship which the Board dictates us. On the background of this expensiveness for our people (but otherwise abnormally low in relation to Europe prices) the homes are unrealistically expensive for the conditions that they propose, for one thing, because they are not enough, and for another thing, because they are the only real matter in which people can invest their money, and which can't be stolen from them.
     As it was expected, the Board must have given somewhere a "crack" -- not in sense that it is impossible to perform it, or to maintain, because we have up to such extent devalued as a nation, that now everyone can buy and sell us -- but meaning that its existence does not lead to something very good for us! By one real inflation in Bulgaria of 50-60% in an year (or by 5% monthly) a bank interest of 5-6% yearly (not monthly) is as funny and ridiculous, as March temperatures in December, to give an example. The Board must have stopped the inflation of prices, but it just tied the lev to the German mark, though the prices continue to rise, and they will continue until they reach the prices from the times of "Bai Tosho" by the old basis of one totalitarian lev (tlv) equal to one US$ (98 tot. cents = 1 US$, if we want to be more precise).
     By the contemporary basis of 1,800 democratic levs (dlv) equal now to 1 US$, was necessary to expect that, for example: the bread has become 900 dlv for a kilo (the white bread after the last corrections of prices under "Bai Tosho", in order not to explicitly rise in its price, has remained again 40 cents, but has become 800 grams, what gives half a dollar for a kilo); the cow white cheese has reached 4,600 dlv, and the sheep one -- 6,500 dlv; the good meat (pork and veal) -- 9,000 to 10,000 dlv, and the mutton -- about 5,000 dlv, then the chicken should have become about 5,000 dlv*, and the decent minced meat should has risen to 7,000 dlv (and this tendency surely will show itself when the people cease to hoard white cheese and begin to buy more meat -- somewhere about October, November, probably); the sunflower oil must have to stop at about 2,000 dlv per liter; the sugar too, but it is not excluded that it remains for a long time below 1,500 dlv, because we have good own production; the rice, surely, has risen (and even surpassed) its ceiling of 1 German mark; the eggs are moving to their normal price of 220 dlv.; the potatoes must be 20-30 cents or about 500 dlv; the onion will even this winter reach 1,000 dlv and will stop; and so with other goods.

     [ * Later on this happened, and after our inclusion in the European Union (2007) these prices (converted to euros, because then the dollar fell down much, due to the war in Iraq) have risen even higher. ]

     There, where we have our own production, the prices must be derived from the totalitarian prices, and where they are established from abroad -- based on the international prices (for example: bananas -- 1 US$, coffee -- from 4 to 5 US$, tea, black pepper and other spices -- 7-10 US$ pro kilo, etc.), where the minimum of both variants is taken. It is true that we speak here generally about foodstuffs but according to the well known by us rule for sportsman, that "the result of wrestling is determined by the food", it turns out that everything follows the prices of common foods. The important thing is that the Board tied our lev, but did not tie the prices, i.e. has not stopped the inflation, as our people expected**. To say nothing about our bad luck in this that, after being used for decades when saying hard currency to understand US dollars, we have decided to tie us to a currency which had begun alone to devaluate with frightful speed, as if we succeeded to pull down with us also the German mark, as have done with our country.

     [ ** Well, after some time the inflation stopped, because the people have had no more money to buy whatever, but this does not at all change the above-expressed judgements, because our prices simply forced low price for the US dollars and in this way isolated us form the West, like in the totalitarian times. This isolation of the market and the Bulgarian (when he travels abroad), in fact, is the only real gain for us from the Board, looking at this from a distance of 3-4 years. But these unreal prices, i.e. the contradiction in price of hard currency according to the Board and that one, which we could have had by a really free market for our products, is severe blow over the production and also gives somewhere cracks, like for example by rising of the prices in year 2000, which has begun with the eggs, has gone through the meat, and from there to other goods. Besides, the communal expenses should have also significantly jumped up, according to the Board, what is again bad for our people. And so on. ]

     Under market regulated economy everyone must buy as much as possible, in order to create working places for the other people around him, but the Bulgarian, the poor he becomes, the more he economizes his money, so that the poor (in their way) merchants just wonder what to do in order to make the people buy, because, however demagogically this sounds, but they are those, on whom in the moment our economy lies, and they wholly deserve to be erected to them some monument (on the place of that of the "former" Soviet Army, for example -- and why not, when it is so ornamented and defamed, how happened with many others, let us call them, "cultic" buildings?). Instead of this the folks spit on them from every side, and so they are just compelled to do something (well, due to the care for their pockets, surely, but the "point" is exactly in this, in a well maintained society -- that everybody looks after his own interests, but from this all benefit!). They, naturally, have understood that the Bulgarian either buys expensive, or does not buy at all (the damned anxiety neurosis and ignorance of main market mechanisms) and are now ready to sell him everything thrice more expensive, just to make him buy, but it comes the Board and freezes bank interests, and the people, instead of to rush to buy what only they can (because: what need is for them of the left totalitarian levs, when wherever they keep them they only lose?), they begin to quieten and decide anew that the cheap is expensive for them and wait until the prices jump again up, for to hurry then to buy again. In other words, The Board is Board, but we are Bulgarians!

     The sixth, now not obvious thing, which again speaks bad about the Board, is that it enslaves us not only in the moment, but for the future, alike the rule, that who is born in serf family alone becomes a serf! I mean that the major part of money the Board will invest in various banks, and by this low interest percentage is supposed that, sooner or later, people will wish to take loans, but this loans are not given, say, on showing of diplomas or after making fair promises, but against mortgage of property***. In the normal countries is supposed, maybe, that at least 10% of the mortgaged property remains in favour of the banks, but by our "green" capitalism in the epoch of initial accumulation of capitals, I am afraid, this percentage will reach 30%. But even these citizens who will not be ruined (and companies, surely, but I think about personal property of the wide majority of tiny firms which sell something in their cellars and various corners of the streets, and make mortgage not on a second or third home, but on their family one), signing long-term loans, in fact, enslave their children to pay the money with future work! This is entirely real perspective, because this second state in our state is, indeed, a big owner on the market and we, want this or not, are bound to take it in consideration. (The economists will maybe protest to this and say that this is not really so, for the Board does not buy anything alone, but this is just another mistake, because the West has not gone mad to give us money for nothing and again nothing, i.e. someone buys our property and banks and so on. Hiding the concrete persons under the form of some association does not eliminate the consequences of their activity, but we are used to see some escape goats or a concrete state, which owns us, and if we can not show such objects we think that everything is in order. O, sancta simplicitas!)

     [ *** The wave of massive loans offered by all banks has begun about 2005 and this enslaving is now fact. Naturally, it is fact also on the West, because in the society of common prosperity the easiest way to enslave someone is to allow him to live for some time in abundance and then threaten him that he will lose everything, but there the things are more or less balanced, people don't wager everything they have, the unemployment and uncertainty in life are not so high as by us, so that we again happen to be victims. Even if all things are done properly, by us again everything becomes messed due to the disregard of local conditions. ]

     The seventh and last minus of applying the Board in Bulgaria is our attachment to other markets, or more precisely to those of highly developed industrial countries, to the "Great Seven" (or ten, or twenty, if you like), what is the intimate desire of the stronger on this world, a thing for which were led World War One and especially Two and were given millions of victims -- by the simple reason that the stronger countries could have not come then to mutual agreement how to divide the world! It turns out that the thing was very simple, and was necessary only for the great powers to grow a little wiser, in order to apply in dividing of the world the principle of joint-stock company, where instead of having the whole Bulgaria in its real borders for one country, for example, to take only some ideal parts of it (there only the peasants by us think that ideal parts of something is a bad thing, but in the city not a owner of apartment in multi-storey building dreams to make a claim on a real part of the lift for him personally, or to raise the slogan "For every citizen his own lift!"). Attaching us to the German mark we do not become province of Germany, in territorial sense, because it is not known (and even if it was known then it is not of our concern) what is the German percentage in our Board, but who has to receive his dividends surely knows this.
     And mark that the bad thing for us is not just in this that we change one market for another one, though even if it was only this there would have been again problems while we become accustomed to the new situation, like, for example, when must be performed transition from moving on the streets on the left side to moving on the right one, because the transitional period is the most perilous (as we all must have been convinced in this for the recent years). In the given example there are no reasons for preferences, except the inertia and the habits, where in our case the market of the former Socialist Bloc, especially of contemporary Russia, differs radically from that of the developed Western countries, first of all in commensurability of the things. We and Russia were, and now also are, commensurable, not only as Slavonic countries, but as relatively similarly lagging behind in our development status, where we were even in more privileged position of better supplied country (due to our nearness to the center of Europe, where to we strive), and also less in its size and, consecutively, easily manageable. Whereas for the West we were and remain (especially in the last democratic years, where instead of to rise in its eyes we rather compromised ourselves) on a position of "poor relatives" (poor -- obviously, and relatives -- well, we are not Rwanda, after all).
     This does not mean that there can't be some useful symbiosis between ourselves and the West, but that it will be obviously (at least for the author) of lesser use, than if it was performed with some other commensurable with us nations, like: Russia (in the above-explained sense), Turkey (as our stronger neighbour, and also ethnically close for a substantial part of our population), the Arab countries (for which we were and remain a good connecting link with Europe, or if you want trampoline for them, and they are, contrary to us, not at all poor), the Far East (as equally aiming to the Western civilization countries, on a relatively equal productivity level, though they exceed us in many aspects, and equally exotic from the point of view of, say, USA), the European countries like Poland, Czech Republic, Slovaks, Macedonia, and others. But we have preferred, as in the saying about the frog and the buffalo, to heave the foot, for the Western "smiths" to nail us also a horseshoe, because their "horseshoe" is more lustrous! Well, they "horseshoed" us, but this will all the time draw us to the bottom, or to the "cellar" of European house, if you like it so better. We, definitely, will now not become agricultural appendage of the "Euro Reich", because in this dynamical times the things change very fast and nowadays agriculture turns to be ecologically the purest and accessible for development everywhere (even in the cosmos, as is said, and surely much easier in North Europe or America) activity, but we can quietly become its chemical and, generally, industrial appendage, and biological factory for white slaves! I don't state that the slavery is such a bad thing, because it has existed for millenniums on Earth, but, still, in another historical period and ... it's a pity that we were caught so easy -- without any fight, but there is nothing to be done -- the democracy requires victims!

     And the single plus (for us) from the Board is that, when we can not govern ourselves alone, we have found our "master", as we like to say. So that, it may occur that every cloud has a silver lining, and we may be, for one thing, white slaves, but at he same time are now democrats. Congratulations!

     August, 1997

     P.S. For your information, Hungary has only in 2001 allowed investments in foreign currency and legalized the money market, and for that reason they have no Board, neither needed one.




WHAT WE HAVE MESSED WITH THE CURRENCY BOARD?*


     [ * It is published practically entirely (without illustrations) on the 8th page of the newspaper "Kontinent" from 07 Oct 1998 (with a little varied title, but in this spirit). ]

     [ Idea about an illustration: a dam with high wall, where with capital letters is written "Money Board Dam", and in which on the top float different Bulgarian banknotes of 1, 2, 5, and also 10 thousand Bulgarian levs, and from the bottom flow small rivulet with banknotes of 5, 10, 20, and 50 German marks, maybe also some coins. ]

     1. If we should have had Money Board in Bulgaria, then we have chosen the most inappropriate moment for this,

where every other moment, were it earlier, were it later, would have been significantly more advantageous for us! If we have introduced the Board 12 months earlier, for example, then our lev would have costed 12 times more, than it costs now, and similar would have been the situation also several years earlier. And if we have introduced it now (end of 1998), then one lev would have been about 1,300 levs, because such is its real price now, if we take as basis the prices from the times of our "Bai Tosho", when one lev was equal to one US$ (not in its official price but via some consumer basket, how it has to be done), and multiply them by this coefficient. At a price of 1,750 lv for one US$ the price of kilogram sheep white cheese must have been about 6,300 lv, of good cheese, milk butter or meet -- about 10,000 lv, of white sugar -- 1,700 lv, of white bread -- 700 lv, of an egg -- 230 lv, and so on, but they are lower! This, that there are some exceptions, is explained in different ways and does not contradict the thesis for the correct proportions between the prices of major foodstuffs under the totalitarianism (to what we, anyway, are aiming), with a correction for some highly subsidized earlier branches, like the transport.
     The sunflower oil in the moment is exactly as much as it must be, but this is due to the harvest of sunflower and its price will fall down in the winter to 1,500 lv; the cow white cheese now is close to its correct price of 4,500 lv, but it has fallen down significantly and will again fall down up to 3,500 lv; a bottle of raki of 750 ml must be 7,300 lv, and a pack of cigarettes "Arda" with filter -- 1,000 lv (and they will become again as much), but our population is now so poor, that the rulers are just afraid to raise the prices on excise goods (as they are maintained in all Western countries), and we come even to such anomalies that one can buy a liter of vodka or raki on tap for 1,000 lv, but a liter of fresh milk "Verea" -- for 950.
     The prices of major food products in the moment are quite lessened, for the reason that the Board, fixing the salaries, does not allow the prices to grow (because in a market economy the prices of products are established by the buyers, not by the sellers, how thinks almost every Bulgarian), but there is nothing good in this for our economy and, furthermore, from this follows the unavoidable conclusion that in the next one or two years they will only rise up, in what there is nothing good this time for our people! The lower prices of products hinder our own production, which also without this barely "crawls" compared with the stagnation years. Before the Board many food products of domestic fabrication were exported outside the borders because of currency hunger on the part of the companies, but now they have no interest at all to do this (on dumping prices, of course, for our former markets have disappeared, or "gone to the movies", as we say, since we have set our feet on the path to democracy, and to conquer new ones, in conditions of fierce competition with the other developed countries, though also with the former brothers of fate like Czech Republic, Hungary, Slovenia, Baltic countries, etc., with which we are forced to compare, we have simply not enough strength). With the necessary unavoidably slow raising of the salaries must flow possibly ten years until we reach again the condition from the end of our totalitarian years, and what are we to produce till that time -- isn't pretty clear. Our balance of trade may look good on paper, but in this can believe only such a person, who has not lived at least six months in Bulgaria for to see that we are conjurers in fitting the calculations to the desired results, because it is clear that we produce nothing serious, and all our home appliances are imported, what means that we buy them.
     The expected influx of foreign capitals (because by this poverty everything in our country is cheaper and can easily be bought by wealthy Western companies) still does not come, and even the tourism on which we have set big hopes (and which has brought us big income during the totalitarian years) is very poor in this year -- as it seems, the foreigners prefer more quiet and "moderately poor" countries. In any event, now we are on the second place in poverty from our former socialist neighbouring countries after Albania (what, maybe, is justified because our name begins with the second character in the alphabet?). It happened so that

     The Board only fixed our poverty,

because before it we have just begun to restore the price of our lev and have succeeded to achieve the impossible, having beaten even the American dollar twice, and there were all reasons to expect to lessen a bit more its rate (as we try to do now through the deflation of the lev), but alas, we will never again succeed to do this. This involuntary reminds me one anecdote from a pair of years ago about a question to Radio Yerevan "Do you know what happened with the Bulgarians, have they reached the bottom?", to what they answer "Sure thing they have reached it", and then they again ask them "Well, and what are they doing now?" -- "Well, they dig further!" was the answer. Thanks to the Board we have at last stopped to dig further, but instead of this we now

     have stuck in the mud!

     Our money crisis till that moment was a natural process of searching of hard covering for our unreliable lev and it has passes by itself when our money have begun to be spent little by little (something like the youth acne which, however one smears them, nothing helps, but then comes time and they disappear by themselves). It can boldly be stated that also without the Board the dollar would have been either cheaper, or better commensurable with our salaries. Anyway, the minimal salary in Bulgaria is still less than 30 US$, what is, maybe, the level of Rwanda.
     If our politicians have not put again, by old habit, the politics above the economy and have invented something more reasonable than winter marches on the streets, in order to cause the next jump up of the dollar (because the price of some national currency in market conditions is established, first of all, by the credit or trust which one can give to the country, what means that in a stable political climate in it, which in its turn depends at least on the leading to their end of the electoral mandates), then the dollar should have jumped up to some level of about 1,000 - 1,200 levs and should have stopped its growth, by the simple reason that people would have had no more money to buy it, and now, maybe, little by little, we should have emerged to the surface (i.e. to the totalitarian level of living standard), while now with the Board we have so strongly stuck to the bottom, that are not in position to come loose.

     2. If there was necessary in a rough way to stop the devaluation of our lev, then we alone could have made ourselves currency board,

which should have led to limitation and elimination of the money market of our lev (for that is what the Board, in fact, has done!) and to fixing it at some reasonably low level. Because, as we say, "the hunger has big eyes", some hard currency had to be given to the people, but it would have sufficed small quantity of it to pacify them, due to the fact that this currency is necessary for them only as means for savings, yet on the background of our poverty one could have hardly saved more than 20 per cent of his or her income. One simple proposition is the following: all salaries, pensions, and other monetary assistance have to be paid partially in hard currency, where this part is, say, 1/3 of the amount (at worst 1/4). Such quantity could have been found by every decent company, because the salary fund is usually about 5 to 10% of all expenses, so that it goes about literally 2-3% in hard currency. A bit more complicated would have been the case with the pensions, which come to not a small sum, but there could have been searched for some loans or other help, or even to issue some certificates, like for the state securities, for round sums of 100 money units, for example (and if the part is smaller then it can be accumulated), and their real payment could have been performed after a pair of years. The kind of currency could have been chosen by everyone and it could have been changed each six months, and if somebody could not find cents for bread or milk then he could sell this currency to whom he wishes, and in this way for 3-4 months would have been established a complete standstill on the money market (with some yearly inflation of about 10-20%, what is quite normal for our ailing economy), as also peacefulness among 90% of the population.
     If, despite these measures, the things do not become stable, then could have been used some reasonable blocking of the deposits in foreign currency, for example by the next scheme: free for operation are all deposits up to 250 US$ (or equivalent in other currency), from accounts of up to 1,500 US$ can be taken monthly by 50 US$ (where it is not necessary that this happened each month, and if somebody has not visited the bank for 4 months he can take on the 5th at once 250 US$ -- with purpose to buy, say, a TV set), and from deposits with bigger amounts one can withdraw only portions of 1/10 of the amount at three months. Surely there must be allowed exceptions of this rule in cases of need for urgent medical treatment. This is not at all something unheard in the world and the social price of this measure would have been much less than our "system" of sevenfold annual inflation and two to three times compensation with the interest rate.

     3. The Currency Board has not at all solved our main problem for bettering of standard of life of the population,

because it has not raised the salaries of working people (even on the contrary -- has frozen them), neither has created conditions for intensification of our domestic industry (because it has taken no protective measures for defending of Bulgarian products on the market -- introducing high taxes on import goods, to give an example), neither has lessened our foreign debt (but on the contrary -- fixing one worse than real rate of our lev it has, in fact, increased the debt, for the reason that its payment is produced in our country, i.e. in levs, but paid outside the borders, i.e. in hard currency), nor has even pacified the people who have succeeded to save some coins for "black" days (due to the fact that by this symbolic interest rate and the unavoidable gradual increasing of the salaries, and the prices which follow them, it turns that the money savings continue to melt -- slow but steady)! But it, if one gives a thought to the question, the Board has never set itself the task to solve any of these questions (because it can not solve them!), but simply to accumulate some advantages for one of the political powers, which can hide behind the fact of stabilizing of our lev. Yet such rigid fixing of the price of one currency is direct violation of market mechanism (and we as if state that the market is always a good thing), and in the times of our "Bai Tosho" there also was constant price for the lev (and now we say that the situation then was not correct).
     The only good result of the Board's activity is that it has created a stable atmosphere for good accounting and maintaining of constant prices in our national currency. But who has said that the accounting reports must be performed in our own currency, when the main principle in creation of European economic community is exactly the unified bookkeeping in ecus (and after the 1st January in 11 countries will be operated officially in euros)? This does not affect national interests of the countries in community, neither requires real existing of such banknotes in circulation in the domestic market in each of the countries, and their printing and using is planned only for the year 2002. The bookkeeping could have been done in each of the hard currencies, and all calculations could have been converted from levs in such currency (what anyway is done by money transactions in the companies, but in reversed direction).
     The prices of the products could have been actualized according with the daily exchange rate or set in ecus, for example, and be recalculated at the moment of purchase, if the rate is pretty unstable, in the same way as it was done unofficially in a number of companies somewhere since 1991, only that they have used usually US dollars. The salaries must have been established in some hard currency, bur paid according with the averaged rate for the past month.
     Similar situation has existed in our history, where soon after the Liberation from Ottoman yoke we were tied to the French franc (and our first post stamps were in centimes, not in stotinkis), and this has lasted for many years. And what was our currency under the totalitarianism if not tied to the rouble, where our lev differed with a pair of stotinkis? All "subtlety", obviously, is in this to tie ourselves to strong currency, not to weak one (and when the rouble has "weakened" we tied ourselves unofficially to the dollar (as also the Russians, by the way).
     Only that our politicians have had misapprehended feeling of national pride and have thought that it is expressed in working with Bulgarian levs (and this is fixed in art. 4 of our law on bookkeeping). And while they have thought so the proud Bulgarian lion-lev has reduced itself to the dimensions of a ... louse (if we take that a lion of an average size is long about 1.80 m, or 1,800 mm, from the head to the tail, if you do not pull the latter -- but it isn't advisable to pull a lion on the tail --, and a louse is about 1 mm, or 1,800 times less). So that if there exists something that has impaired our prestige this is the diminution of our lev, not the official currency in the bookkeeping

     4. Even if we have ridiculed ourselves with the Currency Board, we will make a bigger error if now renounce it,

because by a thoughtless change from one level to another the moment of transition turns to be worse than each of the levels! And under "thoughtless" or "unreasonable" here is meant not by exponent, i.e. not smoothly, but with presence of strong sinusoidal, i.e. wavelike, fluctuations, that exceed the new level at both sides, and our transition to democracy happened to be exactly of that kind and accompanied by strong and fast changes, once to the left, and once to the right, that are rather similar to a muscle tremor of an old man than to a reasonable control from central neural system.
     At the end, one can get used to everything, so that we can also accustom ourselves to the Money Board (and what other choice remains to us?), and after, so, 5-6 years the things may become better. The bad thing is that we have done this in one quite unsuitable way, and in the most unsuitable moment only for political motives, not from the standpoint of our national interests. But this also has its advantages (as a Scotsman has said after his house has burned down -- for his wife, too, has burned with it), because in this way we at last

     have realized our poverty

(after we have fixed it for long time ahead), and perceiving of one's own faults and problems is the principal prerequisite for their amending. Let us hope that we will become a bit more bright to succeed to amend them.

     Sep. 1998




AND WHERE ARE WE?*

(mirthless comparison)


     [ * It was published retold version on page 7 of the newspaper "Kontinent" from 20 Jan 1999 without the table at the end, as also without the graphs, which we shall allow ourselves here also to skip. ]

     When one takes part in some race (and what is life if not a race for the best place under the sun?) is befitting from time to time to look around, in order to see how he is moving amongst the others. Unless one is at the tail and there's no sense to turn because, anyway, all the others are before him (or her). In this aspect we are significantly relieved because we pretend for the outsider place between the ex-communist countries. But because some of you may doubt in this let us look directly at the facts.
     Very suitable for this purpose is the Western journal Business Central Europe (BCE), on the last pages of which each month are published some statistical materials about 12 such countries. Not going into profound economic analyses we shall give here some of the most important characteristics, namely: the gross domestic product (GDP), the unemployment level, the average working salary, and the foreign debt. In the shaded cells of Table 1. the cited data is according to the mentioned journal, while the white cells are computed based on this data. This information, surely, is based on national sources, so that we have the right to question them sometimes, especially what regards Bulgaria, because it is widely known that we are right "jugglers" in the fitting of calculations.
     And so

     let us begin with the gross domestic product

(or, as we called it earlier, gross national product). The common data for each country must be maximally correct, for the reason that it lies at the bottom of all calculations and plans on national level, but in order to be in position to compare countries with different number of population we must use some measure per capita of the nation. On the Graph 1.** is shown the ranging of all countries on the GDP per capita, only that here is meant the occupied with labour population (what, though, is not explicitly said), because it is this part of the population that generates the gross product. According to the graph it turns out that we are not entirely at the end, where Latvia is a little worse than us, and we are staying even quite near to Lithuania, Romania, and Russia.

     [ ** Don't look for it, as said, there are no graphs given here. ]

     It is, though, very doubtful that there can exist some country which is worse than us (even with 10 percents), so that let us compute now one different GDP per capita of all population of the countries. They don't use such characteristic on the West, because it is not much indicative for the economy of the countries, but then it is quite indicative for the living standard, and, besides, it can hardly be "fitted" to the needs. This is shown on Graph 2., where is seen that we are not only worse than all others, but also the differences between us and the nearest to us countries are pretty big, and even

     we are three times worse than the average,

to say nothing about the best countries. Then, convinced that there is something "rotten" in the Table 1., let us take the trouble to check how this data was got. When the GDP on capita is received dividing the national GDP by the employed population (or at least that is how the figures on the third line of Table 1. have to have been calculated), then let us now do the reversed -- let us divide the whole GDP by that on capita of employed population, what will give us exactly the working population in different countries. This is done on line 5 of the table, and on the sixth is given the percentage of occupied with work population (of the whole) for all countries. These results are shown on Graph 3., where is seen that if the data for GDP on head of the employed population is correct then

     we stay again in the end regarding the working employment.

     This graph is especially indicative because employment less than 1/3 of the whole population is directly tragical. This can not be explained with the official unemployment level, because with our 10.8% of it we stay very near to the average level of 9.8% for the region. Besides, the record high level of 17% is that of Croatia, and after it stay Slovenia and Slovakia, but they are between the first according to Graph 1. (and also Graph 2.). The only explanation is that we have used "another method", such that would have compromised us less (for it is clear that the data is taken from national sources). Only that they show us in even worse light, because when the things are very bad however one twists them they always look bad. And, moreover, we alone contradict ourselves, because in statistical reference books we give approximately 3,2 mln people working population for 1997, what is with 21% more that the received on the basis of GDP per capita employed people. These about 20 percents are exactly as much as needed to put us also in Graph 1. at the very end with 3,100 - 3,200 US$. But this, still, does not mean that the employed population in Bulgaria is enough, for the reason that the real unemployment by us widely exceeds this about 10 percents, and in totalitarian years the working population was somewhere about four millions. The average for the region of 56.7% is one really average number, at which we must aim***.

     [ *** Here, most probably, exist some misunderstanding also in the journal BCЕ because later (maybe after my letter to them) for the GDP per capita they have begun to write ppp (purchasing power parity), what means that everything is recalculated in purchasing power, but this does not change the things substantially, because we, in any event, are at the end by all indicators. And in regard of the unemployment level, then the author is unemployed for a dozen of years now but stays in no lists because receives not a cent, otherwise he must go to sign each month for no reason. This is not at all the single case and a lot of IE (individual entrepreneurs) are nearly unemployed, but are contented with incomes several times less than earlier. ]

     Let us now see where are we in comparison with the developed European countries, like Germany, France, Italy, England, and others, in regard of the GDP on employed population. Again in this journal but in another number is cited that Slovenia and Czech Republic for 1997 have reached 63% of the average for the Western European countries, what means that this average level must be about 18,000 US$ per capita of the employed population (the numbers vary a little for different periods). If we compare this number with the corrected and more real for us 3,100 US$ it turns out that we are five to six times worse. And now let us look when we will catch up with them?
     If our GDP grows each year with five percents, what is consistent with the official, our and foreign, forecasts (although this is now only in the sphere of good intentions because for 1997 it has fallen with nearly 5%), and apply the formula for compound interest, then we will get that this will happen somewhere after 35 years. Yeah, but this is as if to make your bill without "the innkeeper", because during this time the other countries will not stay on one and the same place. One real forecast of a person born and living in our country is that this may as well occur till the end of twenty first century, but this is not obligatory! Well, in his time our Georgi Dimitrov has succeeded to pacify us with the slogan, that we shall reach for 10-20 years this, what other countries have done for centuries, and the only thing that we have succeeded to reach was the level of Russia and Romania, but now we are worse than them! Surely today also will be found such politicians because, although for the economy there are many problems, for the politics and the politicians there is nothing impossible.
     Let us now take in focus

     the average monthly salary.

     The ordering of the countries here (given on Graph 4.) shows that we are

     three times worse than the average for the region

and 8-9 times worse than the best, to say nothing about the "normal" Western countries where the amount of "times" becomes from 20 to 30. And this tragic situation is worsen even more due to the fact that our minimal salary is only one third of the average, or a dollar a day. By the existing now taxation laws if one receives the average salary he pays about 15% taxes on the whole amount, while in totalitarian years this number was around and a bit less than 10% of the then average salary. Today a significant part of the population lives at the expense of foreign help, while nobody helped us before and we still lived good.
     It has remained only to speak about the ranging of the countries in regard of their

     foreign debt.

It is accepted that it was computed as percentage of gross domestic product, because it is paid via it. This relationship is shown on Graph 5., where we are again at the tail with our 87%, what is two and a half times worse than the average. It is interesting to see this debt also as number of average working salaries of the employed population (on Graph 6.), only that there we are

     nearly four times worse than the average.

     If we take for granted that our working population will increase with 20%, as we have spoken above, then our debt will take only 25,5 working salaries, or thrice worse than the average. The things are really tragical, but what is important is that we should not throw all the guilt so much at our totalitarian legacy, as at out botched transitional period! And really, shortly before the November coup of 1989 our foreign debt was nearly 8 mlrd US$, what by 4 mlrd working people has given roughly by 2,000 US$ on a worker. Yeah, but then the average working salary was about 350 to 400 levs, but they can freely be taken for dollars, because such was the purchasing power of the lev, so that our debt was approximately 5, at the worst 6, average salaries, or even less than the average debt for the region now (8.6 salaries)! As the folks say: what one (and here read state) alone does oneself -- nobody can do to him! Or also: if somebody has little brains than his back has to be stronger!
     From all this said, however, should not follow that we are now in the very worst position from all ex-communist countries, for the simple reason that in these statistics is not included one highly important (for us) country -- Albania. It is not included in the review of the journal in question because it is unquestionably accepted for the poorest European country. If we include it too, then we will not be at the end, what can serve us as consolation. And if we add also Bangladesh there will be two countries behind us. Eventually we can think also about Rwanda. The important thing is not to fall in desperation and to believe in the democracy. If not after 30 years, then after half a century or even a whole one we will enter the European Community. It is true that at least two generations will be lost, but then: what are a pair of generations compared with the eternity?

     Dec 1998

     P.S. Well, we have entered in the European Community, but otherwise we have directly "blossomed and brought fruit". All these 10 years old comparisons remain valid (with small shifting to some average level). In other words, we have settled us, as we have long ago formulated this, in the "basement of European House".
     2008

INDICATORS Seq. No BULGARIA ESTONIA LATVIA LITHUANIA POLAND
Population (mln) 1 8.4 1.5 2.5 3.7 38.6
Gross domestic product (mlrd US$) 2 10.2 4.5 5.4 9.0 135.8
Gross domestic product per capita of the employed population (US$) 3 3,860 4,444 3,421 4,255 6,406
Gross domestic product per capita of the whole population (US$) 4 1,214 3,000 2,160 2,432 3,518
Employed population (mln) 5 2.642 1.013 1.578 2.115 21.199
Percent of the employed population 6 31.5 67.5 63.1 57.2 54.9
Unemployment in percents 7 10.8 3.3 7.6 5.6 9.7
Average monthly salary (US$) 8 109.0 296.6 222.4 227.8 373.0
Total foreign debt (mlrd US$) 9 8.9 0.4 0.4 1.5 38.0
Foreign debt as percent of the gross domestic product 10 87.3 8.9 7.4 16.7 28.0
Foreign debt per capita of the employed population (US$) 11 3,368 395 253 709 1,793
Foreign debt as number of average salaries of the employed population 12 30.9 1.3 1.1 3.1 4.8

Table 1a. COMPARATIVE DATA FOR THE EX-COMMUNIST COUNTRIES (SHADED CELLS FROM JOURNAL BUSINESS CENTRAL EUROPE, 11/98)


Seq. No ROMANIA RUSSIA SLOVAKIA SLOVENIA HUNGARY CROATIA CZECH REP. AVERAGE
1 22.7 148.2 5.4 2.0 10.2 4.8 10.3  
2 34.8 462.5 19.5 17.5 44.9 19.3 52.9  
3 4,356 4,378 8,585 11,724 7,318 5,108 11,566 6,285
4 1,533 3,121 3,611 8,750 4,402 4,021 5,136 3,575
5 7.989 105.642 2.271 1.493 6.136 3.778 4.574  
6 35.2 71.3 42.1 74.6 60.2 78.7 44.4 56.7
7 8.7 11.4 13.8 14.2 8.9 17.0 6.8 9.8
8 149.0 160.0 309.0 936.0 293.2 644.0 384.0 342.0
9 8.1 120.0 11.9 4.3 23.3 6.8 21.9  
10 23.3 25.9 61.0 24.6 51.9 35.2 41.4 34.3
11 1,014 1,136 5,239 2,881 3,798 1,800 4,788  
12 6.8 7.1 17.0 3.1 13.0 2.8 12.5 8.6

Table 1b. CONTINUATION



PREDICTIONS FOR THE YEAR 1999*

(or what one can expect in Bulgaria from common sense positions)


     [ * It is published slightly shortened on page 8 of the newspaper "Kontinent" from 12 Jan 1999. ]

     Also in the next year

     we will continue to remain poor,

what means that the poor will become even more poor and the wealthy -- more wealthy, because such is the tendency in each normal capitalist society, for the reason that it is so in the free world, as also in the nature, the big sharks eat up the small fishes! This is a natural tendency which does not at all upset people in the Western countries, and you can hear it also by CNN, but with a smile and slight irony. If in Bulgaria this does not cause smile this is so only because we are not enough wealthy yet. This isn't, though, result of the communist ancestry, but is consequence of a whole complex of natural and economic conditions in the country, as also of our low organization as a nation, because we are not the only ex-communist country, and have sufficient basis for comparison with the others.
     But together with this unavoidable impoverishment will happen also the opposite tendency of

     increasing of living minimum of the population

and improving of social acquisitions, or strengthening of the socialization of society. There are chances that our minimal salary will at last reach at least 40 US$ till the end of the next year (all the more if the dollar happens to fall down a bit more). This tendency of increasing of lower level of poverty is inherent not only to the communist ruling, but as well also to each developed capitalist country, and it is not expression of some special cares of the wealthy for the poorer, but of necessary amount of common sense, to ensure crisis-free development (i.e. enrichment of the already reach!). It is high time that the Bulgarian has grasped these two opposites and has ceased to ascribe them only to the political powers. And really, as the right-wing can have their social platform, so also the left-wing can take measures for development of the large scale business, because there can't exist capitalism without capitals, or without their concentration in the hands of some minority. The capitalism is a game of compromises, and the democracy offers good opportunities for their achieving.
     Our politicians, for their part, will continue to lead their

     partial or prejudiced line of ruling

(because the word "party" comes from the root "part"), and, when so, will be again wide away from the right decision, due to the fact that the democratic ruling is based on the lack of best party (for, if such party existed, then all further discussions and elections would have remained obsolete, what was exactly the concept of totalitarianism)! Slowly and with difficulties our people begin to understand this, so that it is hardly possible that in the next year we will have early elections, though not because under the current ruling we have "blossomed and brought fruit", but because is necessary to slow down the speed of changes, if we want that remained some time also for development!
     In the next year, too,

     the prices of basic foodstuff will remain low,

because our people, who actually establish the prices in a market economy, are poor enough to be able to pay more. In this situation these prices will remain somewhere twice lower than in the Western countries, and one and a half times less than in other ex-communist countries (if we do not count Romania and Albania, with which only we can compare us). Despite the record low retail prices for the region we don't succeed to attract the necessary inflow of tourists, although the relationship here is rather in the reversed direction, i.e. our prices are so low because we have not a big influx of tourists and in the moment we are even more isolated from the world than in the totalitarian years.
     Together with this, however, the industrial goods and especially

     the communal expenses will grow faster**,

     [ ** And in 2008 they still continue to raise, where in the previous and in this year they are restrained only by the following nearly two times increase of prices of some basic foodstuffs, due to our inclusion in the European Union (what is the next shocking therapy for us, because there is no other way to show influence over us, if not with shocks). ]

because, no matter of the spread between people view to this, they are significantly lower than necessary. Reason for such assertion gives us, of course, the comparison with the West, or else with the situation in Bulgaria before the November coup. Every comparisons of the prices with the salaries are ungrounded, because only our market is open to the world, while the labour force market is still limited in our state borders (if we do not take into account some 5-6% lucky guys and girls working abroad). Our market will not become saturated, and good regulator of production, until the prices will not set somewhere around their cost price, so that in the next year will again exist some anomalies, or speculatively raised or lowered (say, of intellectual work) prices. In regard of communal expenses and transport they must jump up at least twice in the next year, regardless of whether we like this or not.
     There, if one gives some thought to the matter, will turn out that the only gain from the Currency board was in this to appoint ourselves foreign bosses, when we did not want to trust our own. So now in Bulgaria not only the salaries are low, but the bank interest is roughly five times less than the level of inflation, and in spite of this we are more quiet than earlier and don't strike. Not that this should not be so, but this speaks about certain perversity of Bulgarian psyche, because we could have achieved all these effects alone, if we have proved to have some national accord.

     More precisely

can be expected that in the next year the pieces of sunflower oil and sugar will at last become equal, at approximately 1,300 - 1,400 lv, because it was so earlier in Bulgaria, and also now they are equal all around the world (roughly to one US$, but for our market this can be accepted to be 0.7 US$). The prices on white cheese will normalize when will be equalized the taxes on cow and sheep cheese and people begin to buy, like before, mainly the sheep one, what will lead to some decrease in the price of milk to about 300 lv (due to the lessening of its consumption in form of cow cheese and curd). Then can be expected that the cow white cheese will become 4,000, and the sheep one -- 6,000 levs***. It is not excluded that to the end of the year will disappear our "democratic" practice instead of minced meat to sell nearly twice cheaper minced and painted entrails, and then the real mincemeat will become about 5,000 lv, and the chicken feet and heads, the duck "lanterns", and the bare bones will disappear from the market (and the menu of the Bulgarian). If not in this year, then in the beginning of the next century this will also be settled****.

     [ *** This, why the milk by us does not become cheaper, is not very clear to me, but in 2008 it at least entered in international "ruts", and the proportion: 1 l of cow milk to 1 kg sheep cheese became 1:5 (while on the West it is 1:7, and earlier by us it was 1:12 because of the subsidizing of the milk). ]

     [ **** It almost happened so before our entering in the European Union, but in 2008 we again "light" with these lanterns, and as to the mincemeat -- there emerged such with addition of soya beans which are again cheaper. ]

     At the same time one should not think that in the next year the pepper, tomatoes, and onion will be sold in the season again by 200-300 levs, because who has planted this year such vegetables he will change them in the next to something else, say, to potatoes. So that the minimal predicted prices on onion and peppers are 400 lv, on tomatoes -- at least 500, on potatoes -- 250 levs. The desire of the Bulgarian always to deceive his neighbour will continue to return ricocheting back to him, until he learns to plant this, what grows better on his soil, to alternate it how it has to be done, and not to chase only after the profit.
     The passed first wave of privatization has shown that one share of 1,000 lv, which should have now, because of the inflation, have nominal of more than 10 thousands, has brought on the average 250 lv dividends, what means 2.5% annual profit, or twice less than the ridiculously low bank interest, so that there are no reasons for big "pressure" by next similar action. Besides, those funds, that were mostly advertised, they have brought the lowest dividends (about hundred levs per share), so that, maybe, the Bulgarian will draw some lesson for the next year -- for example, that the commercial ads are much bigger manipulation than the former of the communists. Not that there is no sense to take part in the next privatization, but more clever, what means that not everything must be put in one place, where it will bring, supposedly, the biggest gain, but that the sums must be distributed in 3-4 portions in those industries where one feels necessity of development.
     What concerns personal medical insurance it seems that we will not succeed to solve this question till the end of the century, having in mind that it was necessary to solve first exactly it, and then to allow private and paid for health care, but there is nothing to be done: the dashing youth (political) can't wait! There will continue also the confusion with paid education, because the Bulgarian still can't grasp that in the most European countries a prevailing number of those receiving tertiary education (to say nothing about the secondary) do not pay for it in advance, i.e. it is how it was in Bulgaria before, and even there where it is paid, like in United States, then this is done not by the very students or their parents, but by different funds and enterprises and this in accordance with the results shown in entrance examinations or in the process of learning, not just so -- want to study then pay for it. And if the people don't understand this there are no reasons to want that the politicians have understood it, because their function, above all, is to express the will of the masses.
     And still, little by little, the things better themselves, though not because of some merits of the present Government, but for the simple reason that at last we have "reached the bottom". Now there is nothing else left to us except to "hold the air" until we emerge on the surface.

     Dec 1998




WHY THE COMMUNISM HAS FALLEN DOWN?*

(unorthodox version)


     [ * It was published almost without changes on page 8 of the newspaper "Kontinent" from 15 Dec 1998. ]

     The capitalism is society of capitals and from that standpoint it is justified to divide people in three major groups, namely: a) such who spend less than they have earned, or who mainly save money, or are creditors of the society; b) such who have spent more than they have earned till the moment, or live on money received in advance for their future work, or are debtors of the society; and c) such who have good balance of the received and spent, or who live from day to day, or as we also say "whatever was won has quickly gone". This is untraditional dividing of people, different from commonly used in poor, of middle affluence, and very rich, but it allows us to make interesting analyses. Creditors can be not only wealthy persons but also relatively poor, who save, as our people say, "white money for black days". Debtors can also be more or less affluent, and those with balance on the zero -- too.

     Important for our view to the things is the relation between every citizen and the society.

     It is important because, no matter whether one gives or takes from the society, he (or she) is tied with the others, while the one who lives with the purpose to spend everything won is the weakly dependent on the others, or the mostly autonomous. But a society can't exist without good ties between its members, or without some level of compulsion. In the development of human civilization until now we have moved in direction of higher freedom of the ties, where in the situation of capitalism the compulsion for performing of some socially useful labour activity is first of all economic, but it exists. It is like the remote control in the electronics, but we can't do without it. The same is true also in our case -- if one wants to live fulfilling life one must keep strong economic ties with the society, otherwise it begins to dissolve and this leads to anarchy. Freedom does not mean total independence and laxity, a thing in which we more and more convince ourselves on the basis of our ailing transition to normal capitalism, but it will never become normal until suitable relations between its members are established.
     In the developed Western countries the above mentioned division is naturally performed based on the differences of each individual, which depend first of all on his age. When the young people begin some work with initial salary of, say, 3,000 US$ monthly the company or the banks try to offer them sufficiently big loans of the amount of about one yearly salary, in order to help them to secure for themselves decent home and means of transport, .which money they will repay for ten or more years. In this manner one, willingly or not, becomes debtor to the society until he (or she) reaches some age of approximately 40 years. Then begins the reverse tendency, when he tries to put aside more from what he earns, in order to save for his old age something in addition to the pension. Even if the person in question is daughter or son of a millionaire the situation is similar, because such is the human nature and one should not move against it.
     This, naturally, does not mean that there don't happen exceptions, or that a debtor can not invest money in something else while he pays out his debts, or that a creditor can not take loans. He must maintain some zero balance for the period, as does every company, but this does not disturb his ties with the society and rather strengthens them. While that who spends only this what he wins is maximally free in financial terms, but also maximally unbecoming for the capitalism as social order. In other words, this, what is the best for the individual, isn't good for the society, and vice versa, but this is logical as far as the capitalism, and our whole life, is only a set of compromises with the others around us.
     But by our socialism the things were not so, because

     about 80% of the population have lived by the principle "what was gained was spent".

     Surely there were debtors and creditors, but they have not felt themselves as such, for the reason that neither the bank interests were normal, nor decent loans were allowed, nor also one could have remained for long time unemployed. It is possible that for the young ones this might sound strange, but in the totalitarian times the majority of people, really, were more free in economic regard. In order to have been maintained then a stable society this freedom was compensated in some extent with a number of other compulsions and "cares of the Party and Government", but with the time they have ceased to provide the necessary result. More than this, all citizens have turned in the end to major creditors of the state, while our industry has taken the place of the major debtor, due to its low efficiency. This, in fact, has happened to be the main economic reason for disintegration of the socialist community -- the lack of reliable stimuli for personal expression of everybody, as well also for his tying to the others. That is why the Gorbachev's perestroika in economic aspect has begun with efforts to raise the economic dependency of the workers and separation of the state from the economy. But these tries have come with some delay and the economic levers were inadequate with the requirements of a developed society.
     The irony of our current situation, however, is that we

     have not succeeded to find better economic tying between the people,

because, thanks to our extremely low living standard during the time of our transition to democracy, we have boycotted all ways for crediting in advance of the young people, as also were denied all tries for crediting of society on the part its old members, who have suffered in the highest extent by these changes. Taken really our lev has devalued roughly 1,800 times, while the compensation which all previous governments have succeeded to propose via the bank interest are reduced to approximately 30 times, what means that

     the creditors have remained with about 1/60 part of their savings,

and hardly will make another try to sponsor the state. The young one, on the other hand, can't hope to receive some significant credits due to the same poverty, so that we again live on the principle of consuming of everything earned. But this isn't, and can't be, a way to a developed capitalist society!
     Our paradoxical understanding of capitalism was reduced to the thesis of higher freedom and fragmentation of economy and agriculture, but this is exactly the opposite to the requirements of developed capitalist society! It will be good if the political powers draw the necessary conclusions, but in our efforts to make total negation of the totalitarianism we have come to nothing good (if we don't count the realization that we have come to nothing good!).
     The socialism in the former communist countries has collapsed everywhere and logically, while the succeeding capitalism falls down only in some countries like our, where the politics continues to stay above the economy. In a certain sense this is also logically.

     Dec 1998

     P.S. That earlier, in conditions of "muddy water" in regard to our currency, the banks have not released loans is understandable, but even today (in 2008) the things don't look very good, yet this time for the people. Somewhere about 2005 begun "frantic race" between the banks in offering credits to whom they only can, because nobody wanted to take (even companies, probably), for the reason that there is no work and no normal market, but the banks can not only receive money, they must give it away, else the buying and selling can't be performed. Judging by the incessant race in offering loans it seems that people, still, mainly invest money (not that they have much, though the people are not a few), but probably exist also quite enough citizens (and companies, too) who are enslaved to pay back while are living. This, what is bad for the people, is that the slavery of capital is now widespread everywhere, because we are immoderate in whatever, and now have thrown ourselves to live in loans (who can afford it). All the same, in the spirit of the material, the things are moving in the right direction tying the people (if we don't count our excessive efforts).
     And one more remark, regarding the wild inflation, when people have looked how for one whole former saved salary they can't now buy even a loaf of bread, and first of all regarding the practically laughable compensation of the inflation via the bank interest. The author still intends sometime to make comparison of the compensation of savings in several ex-communist countries and does not do this because of the difficult access to the inflation rates and bank interests for the countries for at least ten years, but he is practically convinced that worst of all they were compensated in Bulgaria (even in Russia was better, to say nothing about Czech Republic, Poland, or Hungary). Bad is not the very high inflation but its practically zero compensation, and these 60 times losses the today's young people, who have not been witnesses of this, they just don't believe it! Today every day we are deceived so bold from all sides and about everything (chiefly through the ads, but the politicians, too, try not to remain behind), that some young people (let us call them "contemporaries of the freedom") now don't believe reliable and questioned by nobody historical facts, as for example the author has once heard from a young boy that this about the fascists and Hebrews and the gas chambers was not true (because the common sense does not accepts it -- but also a country in which the population was "duped" 60 times, without some intervention on the part of the Government, also contradicts to the common sense, yet it is, alas, true).
     2008




CAN THE BULGARIAN PAY 50% TAXES?*


     [ * It is published on page 7 of the newspaper "Kontinent" from 04 Feb 1999 with slight corrections. Shortly after this the newspaper went bankrupt because -- well, could something decent survive nowadays in Bulgaria? ]

     Our question is entirely justified because they are really so much, at least for the average Bulgarian with the average in the moment salary of roughly 110 US$ monthly, or 180,000 "democratic" levs. And that the taxes are in reality such we can convince ourselves by way of elementary calculations. Firstly, this average citizen receives for the month not clear 180 thousands but they subtract him about 16% income tax, or speaking in thousands, about 30 pieces. Then secondly, because with this money he has no chances to save something for the "bright democratic future", he succeeds almost instantly to spend them in the shops, where for every product he pays also 22% VAT (value added tax), what based on his salary makes 40 thousands**.

     [ ** Here exists some inaccuracy, because from his salary now have remained 150,000, so that we have cheated you with 7,000, but the calculations are made with such reserve that this does not change our conclusion. ]

     And thirdly here come the excises, which build another 60 - 70% of the price of excise goods, a thing that can be verified in our legislation, but we will be satisfied with one simple checking which comes from the commercial practice. Let us recall that 4-5 years ago, when there were no excises on these goods (and even worse if there were some then) a bottle of raki /vodka (0.7 l, sealed) was sold for nearly as much as costed one liter milk. Let us accept that a liter raki, vodka, or whatever other cheap mentè-forgery, costs as much as two liters milk (by retail prices), in order not to be accused in partiality. According with the contemporary prices, however, a liter raki costs at least 3,000 lv, while the cheapest milk (sufficiently diluted) costs 500 lv, from what follows that now we pay three times more, or that 2/3 of the price (i.e. 66%) go for excises. We will assume as basis 60%. The expenses of the average Bulgarian with his meager salary can be very modest, so that let us take that he buys only by a pack of cheaper cigarettes (about 500 lv) daily and one bottle of cheaper raki weekly (or 2,500 lv). In this way we get that the cigarettes make about 15 thousand and the drinks -- 10 ths, or together 25,000, 60% from which give 15 thousand for excises. But because it is inhuman if the Bulgarian has not money for a bottle of beer (0.5 l) per day, then let us add also 30 of the cheapest (by 350 lv) bottles of beer, what gives another 10,000, but because the excises on beer are less we will add only the half of this or 5,000. Adding all this together we achieve: 30 + 40 + 15 + 5 = 90 ths democratic levs (which are not equal even to one totalitarian stotinka-cent), what is exactly the half of his salary of 180 ths levs. Well, this is the situation:

     half of the income -- for the state!

     And mark that the author does not try to inflate the calculations, which in some other media could have been raised to 60 and even more percents, because here we observe the average salary, not some, say, 300 ths, where the deductions could have reached 60 ths (and they grow not linearly), neither speak about at least one bottle of branded alcohol (what gives another, say, 20 ths), not about imported cigarettes for 2 ths per pack. We do not add also the taxes for the car, because a person with income of only one average salary can not afford himself to drive a car, as it was before.
     More than this, the author does not intend to explain to you that such high taxes are not right (compared with the Church tenth from the Middle ages, for example), because there is not a developed country in the world where the personal deductions from the income were less than about 15 percent, by the same 20% VAT, but at the expense of this with significantly higher excises (for nowhere a pack of cigarettes is less than a dollar, neither a bottle of hard drink is less than 5-6 US$). Besides, the people there pay also their health insurance, which we have still not settled how it is in the majority of countries in the Western Europe and continue basically by the old socialistic pattern. Alas, the contemporary states are not like those of the Middle ages and with 10 - 20% taxes can't be supported the police and the army, and have decent health care, and education, and so on. Only that our state (again regretfully) has become worse than a medieval one, what is the other side of the coin.
     Looked otherwise these taxes are justified, where even for this year the table for income taxation is quite simplified, in comparison with previous years, and has only four lines. Though it is still not clear why the percents are given "for sums greater than" and not on the whole amount, in what, exactly, one is interested (unless it is by old totalitarian habit, to make something so complicated that one could become entangled in it). As it is it turns out that for the first 8 working days in the month, for example, the income is taxfree, then for the next 3 days it is taxed with 20%, then for the next 7 -- with 26%, and further with 32%. But in broad lines the things are correct, only that they are not acceptable for our people, who have returned, thanks to our democratic transition, with half a century back in the time, for it has to be clear to everybody now that such low living standard we have had neither in the 80ies, nor in the 70ies, nor even in the 50ies. It might be that somewhere in the 45th - 46th the situation was very grave, but this was after a series of wars and devastations, while our "gentle revolution" of the 90ies turned out to be quite "brutal" in practice.
     Our people are now so sunk in poverty that they don't understand at all what is good and what is bad for them. The poverty is so strong a distortion in a given country that it confuses all normal relations in the society. If this has not been true then the ghost of communism (which has not at all disappeared from the world arena) would not have emerged in its time, nor would it have generated the humorous phrase, that the poverty is not a sin but a beastly thing. The not unknown Jean Bertrand Aristide has recently said: "we are moving from misery to poverty with dignity". The author does not know in what this movement is expressed, but if people start from misery then whatever movement for them is positive. Only that in Bulgaria happened exactly the opposite, i.e.

     we are moving now from poverty to misery, having lost every dignity!

     One can not speak about normal capitalist relations under condition that we are not a normal capitalist country! We were normal socialist country and the nations around the world have respected us and we have had no need of foreign merciful help. Now even with the foreign help we are living again worse! Our people are worried because of the future tax on bread and cow white cheese, for example, thinking that it has not to be introduced, while the truth is that there should not at all be made a difference between cow and sheep cheese. For people from the normal Western countries sounds like anecdote this, that if someone bakes bread and sells it he should not include in its price VAT, but if he makes cakes or patties then without this tax is forbidden. This is real anachronism, and the sooner we get rid of it the better, because it distorts the pricing.
     If there should have at all existed tax deductions then they should have affected all food stuffs, not only some of them. In the current situation arises the paradox that those, who have not money to buy decent food, pay also some part of the cost of luxurious products for those (not many) who have enough money to buy special piquant sausages and good meat (not minced entrails), where the producers (and traders) win most of all from the cheapest products. When the people are hungry then they must be fed, but not to put obstacles before the market economy. One decent coupon system would have been better then the current situation, and our masters from the Currency Board are right in their requirements.
     They are right, those people, in any case (but starting from their interests!), also when they want that we were selling everything what can be sold because otherwise we will not become better. It is our job that we also look after our own interests, not only at the politics! Nobody is guilty that we

     have chosen bad model of capitalism,

which might have been good for the West, even for Hungary, Czech republic, Poland, etc., but not for us. The competition is a good thing but when it can be achieved, only that by us there is practically no competition, because the popular masses look not for the best product (as it was, for example, under the totalitarianism), but for the cheapest. Trading mainly with European countries is also a good wish, but it will remain only a wish, for the simple reason that our products just can't be sold there, while in Russia they have been sold for whole decades and with good success. Our untying from the crashing Russian "economic wonder" is right in theory, only that this has not saved us from falling deeper, while some reasonable maintaining of the old relations maybe would have brought some mutual advantage. As also listening to the meanings of some differently thinking persons, but not to such extent that to elect in the Parliament pop singers, or compensate the former persecution of dissidents with their current high salaries and posts. It is good to remind us the Latin origin of the word "dissident", what means one who has not yet sat at the place for which he (or she, surely) has dreamed such long time, where he can dip the big spoon in the state's honey (or gulp from the state's pie). Neither was right to restitute the property to people who have never even dreamed of it, or at least not before the state has given also something from its property to every citizen having worked for the state for decades, while from the conducted mass privatization the average Bulgarian has won not more than for a liter raki in an year. And similar examples.
     In the current situation we were left with nothing else, except to reconcile us with the loss of labour of at least three generations (two previous and at least one current) and take

     our transition to democracy as some alternative of war devastation.

     This is not at all far from the truth, because, in spite of the tens of years of cold war and comprehensive boycott of the Socialist bloc from the part of the West, this bloc collapsed only then, when the developed countries decided to give us a hand. In this sense their economic help, really, was some alternative of the World Wars I and II ! This alternative is significantly more humane and contemporary, so that nothing bad can be said about the wealthy capitalist countries. When the capitalism is society of capitals then every problem has to be decided via the ruling of capitals. And that by this "democratic alternative" some nations have suffered much -- well, there is nothing to be done: a la guerre comme a la guerre, as the Frenchmen say. So that it again turns out that we alone are to be blamed for our deplorable situation in which we now are.
     But let us return to our first question, can the Bulgarian pay 50% taxes -- well, he has to learn this, because nothing else is left to him! And let us not try again to change our rulers often than necessary, for this leads to nothing good. Our troubles come not because the ruling political power (whichever it is) is bad, but regardless of this, that it (sometimes) is not so bad! The reasons for our failures are again in the system, in the model to which we are moving, not in the incompetency of our rulers (although this, too, in some extent is true). Let us hope that we will succeed to save before the world our good name of moderate and obedient nation, in contrast with some neighbouring states. And will expect the creation of some "Requiem for Bulgarian democracy" by a now democratic dissident, who, though, will not be burning with desire for power and personal benefits. Such people, probably, already exist, but we are so inebriated by democratic euphoria that avoid listening to them, because nobody forbids them to speak. Must we again have bans in order to give sometimes an ear to the voice of reason?

     Jan 1999




A STEP FORWARD AND TWO BACK

(our country under the scepter of the Board)


     The main feature of our democratic transition is not so much movement forward, as the associated with it returning back. This must be obvious for everybody who has some personal recollections and reasons for comparison, because our living standard now is more or less such which it was some 50 years ago. If people now don't ride in horse carts this is because the motor cars, in addition to being faster, are also cheaper; if in almost every family there is already a video this is because it costs twice cheaper than a home computer, and with it one saves a lot of money, compared with the prices in cinemas. And if in winter we use central heating then this is because it is cheaper, or at least it was cheaper in totalitarian years, only that now many of us disconnect it (for sitting in the cold is even more cheaper). So that let us not be misled about our movement -- it isn't forward in the standard of life, only in some insignificant novelties, or at least such is the situation for the popular masses.
     This, that we have returned back, however, in now secret for nobody and the official explanations of our politicians are that this is temporary condition, but later (when comes the "bright democratic future", maybe) the things will better. Only that the things are such that

     the Currency Board also is some returning back, to the stable economy from the times of totalitarianism,

or at least one such not very successful effort. Let us again not err about its implementation, listening to the meanings of some Western politicians, because "every mother praises her own child". The wealthy capitalist countries wanted to have good markets in Bulgaria -- and now they have them; they wanted to be able to govern us -- and they can already dictate us laws, salaries, bank interests, taxes, and whatnot; they wanted that in the region ruled calmness, which creates good conditions for exploitation of our cheaper labour or working hands (while at the same time the peacekeeping forces are much more expensive) -- and they have these conditions. Our intellectual elite constantly flows out to the West because of the incomparably better living conditions there, so that we have become a valuable "factory for genetic material" for the developed capitalist countries. From their viewpoint by us everything is rosy (or maybe now must be said "blue" or "azure"?). Only that it is not so for us.
     What, in fact, is the Board for us? Well, firstly:

     it has eliminated, in reality, the market for our lev.

     We have exulted inebriated by the freedom of market while it turned out that too much freedom is not very good, and that the market must be constraint from above, as it was in totalitarian times, only that then we alone have restricted ourselves, through the prohibition to possess foreign currency. Now other people constrain the market of our lev, dictating unreally high in the moment rate of the dollar (or German mark) and we, forced somehow to take into account the purchasing abilities of the population, have begun to lower the prices of basic foodstuffs (because the prices in the free market are established by the buyers, not by the sellers, as continue to think the average Bulgarian). Only that this is not good, because low prices mean weakly developed economy, low ability for competition, possibility for easy exploitation from the part of larger (and predominantly foreign) capital. The only plus for us from eliminating of the market for our lev is in the returning back to the totalitarian times of stable national currency.
     The next moment this is

     the restriction of salaries.

     We have complained day and night about this how little paid us our "Bai Tosho" and how on the West everything was otherwise, and that everyone could go there on the street and strike as much as he wants, while by us this was punished by the law. Very good, only that now nobody strikes because, you see, the Board has not permitted us to change the salaries. If this is a person of our own we can spit on him and even put him in the jail (as we have shoved our Zhivkov for nothing and again nothing -- but at least that is good that we have not shot him like in the Romania), but when this is the Board we endure it. And by all this the author does not dispute the necessity of restriction of the salaries for some time (a generation seam to be a real estimation), but only states the fact of our returning back to the totalitarian centralized planning and establishing of the salaries. There exist some nuances, of course, where now each company can pay as much as it wants to some worker in it, while earlier it had to pay also progressive taxes to the state if had not stuck to the staff tables, but now both, the worker alone pays his progressive taxes (if nears to the average for then salary of 400 levs, or US$, what was of the same value), and the company also is not "gone mad" to pay him so much when can do well with a lesser sum.
     On the third place come

     the bank interests and taxes.

     The interests of banks in totalitarian years were two percents, what for the stable times of "stagnation" (in what consists the goal of each government!) was not something drastic in comparison with the normal three percents for the majority of Western countries in stable periods, and such are now the interests on deposits in hard currency by us (in German marks or in Swiss francs, more precisely about 2,5%). The Bulgarian has decided that he can earn something also from bank interest, but the Board came and made him to give up this illusion. And this is now pure illusion because, if the food has become significantly cheaper, then it has come time for the wave of raising of communal expenses, which, by 5% of gain from the money in the banks, is "normally" to expect to raise with 50%, or at least that is how out present-day politicians think! If the bank interest is low then the taxes and payments have to be high, in order that our country could develop normally, because the "blue" ideal about poor state but wealthy citizens is a mere fiction, which for us was realized partially (meaning only the part about the poor state).
     It is still good that they have not yet decided to introduce taxes on the toilettes*, as it was in the times of Roman empire (where from comes the phrase that money don't smell). For example, going out from the assumption by 100 levs daily for an inner toilette and 50 levs for external one. And what is so bad in this proposition? In the end, nobody forces you brutally to submit to this requirement, and, when such wish emerges somewhere, then the corresponding authorities can come to you and seal it (similarly to the disconnecting of central heating), and then you can go somewhere around the corner, or combine with a neighbour, for economy. Democracy requires victims, right?

     [ * This subject is elaborated in more details in the feuilleton "How to fill the treasury". ]

     Jokes aside, but that is the bitter truth, because there is no sense to look for logic in the taxes and payments (or excises). There is no reason for the inheritance tax, yet it existed everywhere. And in Poland, for example, they have had excise on sugar products, what is not a bad idea for our rulers, more so on the background of the cheaper in the moment sugar. The important thing for us is the ascertainment that also in this regard we are returning back to the totalitarian times of low interests, high taxes (and other deductions form the salary), and centrally established prices of central heating, electricity, communications and transport, medical cares, education, and so on. Here also exist nuances, of course, where by the totalitarianism was applied the principle of low payment to the working people, but a part of worked out went to some common funds, what reduced the necessary taxes, while now we receive greater part from the worked out (it isn't right to say "more", because it is several times less) but in recompense they take later more from us!
     The fourth thing, that we will discuss, is

     the ruling of the country from above, or outside,

not according with the voice of the people, how it has to be under the real democracy, because the people, surely, don't want that the central heating for one month costs more than the average pension, or the minimal salary for the country. The difference is in this, that earlier we were commanded by the Russians, and now this is the West. But this difference is not without significance for us, because for the former Soviet Union we were quite close, as in sense of the living standard, so also in our customs and culture, while for the West we are simply more cultural "white Negroes". Our laws now must be such, which require from us the corresponding Western instances, not such, which could have been established by our politicians. And the point isn't in this that they want something wrong, but that again other command us, or manipulate (what in Latin means to be " led by hand", as puppets), or govern (where is meant Slavonic "rukovodit", what means the same because "ruka" is a hand). Our sovereignty now is even more vulnerable and we have simply a state within the state, which rules over us, while the officially elected democratic instances can only stay at attention like well bred dogs.
     The last moment in our returning back is

     our isolating from the world,

what is determined by our low salaries and following after them prices of basic products. We import many things, if not exactly from the West, then at least from the Arab countries and the East, but we export almost nothing, and for that reason the prices by us are one and a half times, with the tendency to become two times, lower than in the Western Europe. The Bulgarian now can even less afford to go on excursion or on holiday somewhere to the West (except to the nearest Greece or Turkey, but this is to the south and the east), no matter that he can always receive foreign passport. Now nobody closes him in our country, but he alone does this, for the reason that by our average salary of hundred dollars monthly one can hardly afford to pay for a single day there by the same hundred dollars on the average for food and accommodation. When he, sometimes, travels abroad he has again begun to carry his sausages in the "saddlebag", because it is cheaper in this way. It has fallen also the number of so called excursions with commercial purpose abroad because the market in Bulgaria is the cheapest in the region. (mainly at the expense of the quality of products). Even a cup of coffee on the street staying on foot by us is only about 10 cents (if it has costed more, then people would have brought it from the home in thermoses), while nowhere in Europe it is cheaper than 50-60 cents.
     And one more thing, this time not through fault of the Board -- we have again one-party system in Bulgaria: in the Parliament, in the Presidency, and in the Municipalities. It isn't the same "unanimity" as in totalitarian years, but the result is the same -- the ruling party makes what it want, and all possibilities of the masses to influence the course of events are reduced to obedient execution.
     In other words, it can be said that our movement forward under the scepter of the Board is only one

     slow returning to the totalitarian times of stagnation!

     Just that it isn't clear while we "pushed" forward in such hurry only to stuck in the mud and after that a heap of years to try to come out on the same place of the riverside, figuratively speaking. It is true that now we have many democratic rights, only that we can't, or see no reason, to use them, and the notion "democracy" for the average Bulgarian is a synonym of starvation. By all appearances the situation will be such quite a long time more, until we succeed to return to nearly the same place from where we have started.

     Feb 1999




IN OVO E VERITAS

(or "Egg Economy")


     In the interest of truth, the idea of this material is not of the author but is borrowed by Mark Twain, from his book "A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur's Court", but well -- that's the purpose of classicists, to learn from them. Though, on the other hand, the things are creatively applied, and, besides, to Mister Samuel Clemens, most probably, someone from the ancient people has suggested something, because the egg is a thing at which people since deep antiquity have wondered, and for that reason its name in most of Hindu-European languages is just ... an exclamation, like for example in German it is das Ei (read 'ay' like in "mine"), in French it is oeuf (i.e. "oh", what is similar to the Latin ovo, what is near to Russian ogo, what means "ah"), the English "egg" has to be something like "eh" or "yeah", in Russian it is "yaytzo" (what you would have written, I suppose, as "iaitzo", but in many European languages it will be "jajtzo"), what is some "ay /yay" (obvious exclamation), in Bulgarian is nearly the same ("yaytze"), and so on (where in Sanskrit it was aksha, what is again "ah"). Naturally, here it goes not about etymology, but about economic usage of the egg as a coin, yet from the exaltation about it to the idea for such usage, the way is not very long, so that, if the eggs have not become spoiled so fast, they would have been long ago used as units for exchange. But the idea is still actual (and will be such for a long time more), due to the fact that, despite the enormous power of contemporary technologies, the eggs are still not synthetically produced, and even if they were synthesized this would have hardly changed significantly the situation, because artificial diamonds exist long ago but the price of natural ones has not fallen.
     So that, let is imagine that there existed such money unit -- one ovo, which is equal to the price of one egg. Then, expressing with it all products we will have one constant for each time, as also universal for all countries, price! However simple this idea can be, it is very convincing and for that reason we have created here one table with the basic foodstuff and other products, adding also the salaries in different periods of our newest history, as also for one Western country (Austria), which will be used for comparison. On the basis of this table (in two parts, for it does not fit in the page) we can draw interesting conclusions, so that let us begin (the order is not important).

  Bulgaria 1988 Bulg. 06.1999 %/'88 Bulg. 06.2000 %/'88
egg(lv) 0.13 egg(lv) 0.08   egg(lv) 0.12  
us$(lv) 0.98 us$(lv) 1.80   us$(lv) 2.10  
egg(us$) 0.133 egg(us$) 0.044   egg(us$) 0.057  
Types of products levs eggs levs eggs eggs levs eggs eggs
chicken egg (1 pc) 0.13 1.0 0.08 1.0 0 0.12 1.0 0
fresh milk (l) 0.30 2.3 0.50 6.3 171 0.80 6.7 189
white cow cheese (kg) 2.60 20.0 2.00 25.0 25 2.50 20.8 4
white sheep cheese (kg) 3.60 27.7 3.00 37.5 35 3.60 30.0 8
cheese good (kg) 5.00 38.5 4.00 50.0 30 4.50 37.5 -3
minced meat (kg) 5.60 43.1 3.40 42.5 -1 3.00 25.0 -42
meat with bones (kg) 5.60 43.1 4.00 50.0 16 4.00 33.3 -23
meat fillet/tenderloin(kg) 7.00 53.8 6.00 75.0 39 6.00 50.0 -7
sausage fresh (kg) 4.00 30.8 2.80 35.0 14 3.20 26.7 -13
sausage dry (kg) 7.00 53.8 5.00 62.5 16 5.00 41.7 -23
sausage dry special (kg) 12.00 92.3 10.00 125.0 35 11.00 91.7 -1
sugar (kg) 1.00 7.7 0.65 8.1 6 0.90 7.5 -2
flour (kg) 0.60 4.6 0.50 6.3 35 0.60 5.0 8
bread good (kg) 0.48 3.7 0.65 8.1 120 0.70 5.8 58
sunflower oil (l) 1.60 12.3 1.50 18.8 52 1.50 12.5 2
butter (125g) 0.72 5.5 0.70 8.8 58 0.75 6.3 13
margarine (250g) 0.50 3.8 0.55 6.9 79 0.60 5.0 30
chocolate usual.(100g) 0.80 6.2 0.60 7.5 22 0.80 6.7 8
biscuits usual.(300g) 0.40 3.1 0.50 6.3 103 0.50 4.2 35
tomatoes season (kg) 0.40 3.1 0.30 3.8 22 0.40 3.3 8
potatoes season (kg) 0.60 4.6 0.50 6.3 35 0.40 3.3 -28
onions (kg) 0.50 3.8 0.30 3.8 -2 0.50 4.2 8
oranges season (kg) 1.20 9.2 0.90 11.3 22 0.90 7.5 -19
bananas season (kg) 1.80 13.8 1.40 17.5 26 1.40 11.7 -16
coffee average (kg) 18.00 138.5 8.50 106.3 -23 8.50 70.8 -49
coffee on street (cup) 0.40 3.1 0.20 2.5 -19 0.25 2.1 -32
newspaper (pc) 0.05 0.4 0.25 3.1 713 0.40 3.3 767
letter domestic 0.02 0.2 0.18 2.3 1,363 0.18 1.5 875
ticket state bus transp. 0.06 0.5 0.25 3.1 577 0.30 2.5 442
petrol aver. qual. (l) 1.00 7.7 0.70 8.8 14 0.90 7.5 -2
cigarettes filt. Bulg.(pac) 0.80 6.2 0.60 7.5 22 0.60 5.0 -19
wine usual (btl 0.7) 1.40 10.8 1.40 17.5 63 1.40 11.7 8
beer stable (btl 0.5) 0.60 4.6 0.45 5.6 22 0.60 5.0 8
conc. spirits Bulg. (0.7) 4.20 32.3 2.80 35.0 8 2.80 23.3 -28
minimal monthly salary 160.00 1,230.8 61.00 762.5 -38 75.00 625.0 -49
average monthly salary 350.00 2,692.3 190.00 2,375.0 -12 220.00 1,833.3 -32

TABLE 1A. COMPARING OF BASIC PRODUCTS AND SERVICES FOR DIFFERENT PERIODS IN EGGS.


  Bulg.06.2001 %/'88 Austria 1993 Bg.'06 Bulg.06.2008
egg(lv) 0.14   egg(a.s.) 1.75   egg(lv) 0.20
us$(lv) 2.30   us$(a.s.) 11.50   us$(lv) 1.30
egg(us$) 0.061   egg(us$) 0.152 0.08 egg(us$) 0.154
Types of products levs eggs eggs shillings eggs eggs levs eggs
chicken egg (1 pc) 0.14 1.0 0 1.75 1.0 1.0 0.20 1.0
fresh milk (l) 0.80 5.7 148 11.0 6.3 5.0 1.40 7.0
white cow cheese (kg) 2.70 19.3 -4 not not 20.0 4.80 24.0
white sheep cheese (kg) 4.80 34.3 24 75.0 42.9 35.0 7.00 35.0
cheese good (kg) 5.00 35.7 -7 100.0 57.1 40.0 9.00 45.0
minced meat (kg) 3.20 22.9 -47 50.0 28.6 35.0 5.50 27.5
meat with bones (kg) 6.00 42.9 -1 50.0 28.6 40.0 8.00 40.0
meat fillet/tenderloin(kg) 7.00 50.0 -7 70.0 40.0 50.0 10.00 50.0
sausage fresh (kg) 3.00 21.4 -30 36.0 20.6 25.0 5.00 25.0
sausage dry (kg) 6.00 42.9 -20 80.0 45.7 50.0 10.00 50.0
sausage dry special (kg) 12.00 85.7 -7 110.0 62.9 90.0 18.00 90.0
sugar (kg) 1.00 7.1 -7 14.0 8.0 8.0 1.60 8.0
flour (kg) 0.65 4.6 1 12.0 6.9 6.0 1.20 6.0
bread good (kg) 0.75 5.4 45 20.0 11.4 7.0 1.30 6.5
sunflower oil (l) 1.70 12.1 -1 13.0 7.4 10.0 3.20 16.0
butter (125g) 0.75 5.4 -3 11.0 6.3 5.5 1.20 6.0
margarine (250g) 0.60 4.3 11 5.0 2.9 4.0 0.80 4.0
chocolate usual.(100g) 0.90 6.4 4 5.0 2.9 5.0 1.30 6.5
biscuits usual.(300g) 0.50 3.6 16 10.0 5.7 4.5 1.30 6.5
tomatoes season (kg) 0.50 3.6 16 5.0 2.9 3.0 0.80 4.0
potatoes season (kg) 0.45 3.2 -30 2.5 1.4 3.0 0.60 3.0
onions (kg) 0.50 3.6 -7 5.0 2.9 4.0 0.70 3.5
oranges season (kg) 1.00 7.1 -23 7.0 4.0 8.0 1.20 6.0
bananas season (kg) 1.60 11.4 -17 11.0 6.3 12.0 1.60 8.0
coffee average (kg) 8.50 60.7 -56 60.0 34.3 70.0 12.00 60.0
coffee on street (cup) 0.25 1.8 -42 8.0 4.6 3.0 0.40 2.0
newspaper (pc) 0.50 3.6 829 5.0 2.9 4.0 0.80 4.0
letter domestic 0.22 1.6 921 5.0 2.9 2.0 0.55 2.8
ticket state bus transp. 0.40 2.9 519 20.0 11.4 4.5 1.00 5.0
petrol aver. qual. (l) 1.40 10.0 30 10.0 5.7 8.0 2.30 11.5
cigarettes filt. Bulg.(pac) 0.60 4.3 -30 35.0 20.0 7.0 2.40 12.0
wine usual (btl 0.7) 1.70 12.1 13 15.0 8.6 10.0 2.40 12.0
beer stable (btl 0.5) 0.60 4.3 -7 8.0 4.6 5.0 0.90 4.5
conc. spirits Bulg. (0.7) 3.20 22.9 -29 55.0 31.4 30.0 6.00 30.0
minimal monthly salary 85.00 607.1 -51 11,200 6,400.0 800.0 220.00 1,100.0
average monthly salary 250.00 1,785.7 -34 25,000 14,285.7 2,000.0 460.00 2,300.0

TABLE 1B. (CONT.) COMPARING OF BASIC PRODUCTS AND SERVICES IN EGGS.

  • The first thing that can be seen is the significant rising in prices of subsidized earlier products, which in this manner are well outlined. These are not only milk, milk products, and bread, but transport and communications, where the percentages of increase to the base of 1988 are placed between 400 and 700, and even more. (These are percents for the changes, i.e.: (cur_year - 88_year) / 88_year * 100, all in eggs.) The table is not very precise, so that in it are not present many communal expenses (central heating, electricity, water, etc.), but there the prices are now also drastically increased, because for one two-room flat (about 60 sq.m. -- and the curious thing is that you call this one-bedroom flat, you do not count the common or sitting room thinking it is always included, but we count every room) the central heating earlier was somewhere around 15 lv per month (i.e. 120 eggs), and now it costs roughly 80 lv (i.e. about 570 eggs, by the prices of 2001 of 14 cents), and everything suggests that they will rise even more, taking into account that one bus ticket was earlier half of an egg, now it is three eggs, and in Austria it is 10-12 eggs! Like we this or not, is another thing, but how the transport, so also the electricity, central heating, phone, etc., must rise in prices from two to four times, for us to become an acceptable for Europe state. When earlier the "Party and Government" said that to every citizen are accounted approximately thousand levs per year as social consumption funds we (including the author) have thought that these are just "soap bubbles" and that these money use the nomenclature cadres in their holiday homes. Yeah, but it turned out that the things were not exactly such, and nowadays we become more and more convinced in this when the time passes.
  • Together with this insufferable for the population rising in prices of basic for sustaining of life products and services, it turns out that a number of excise goods have significantly decreased in price, so that a pack of decent domestic cigarettes, which were earlier about 6 ovo, is now 4, and on the West it is about 20! Or if instead of pack of cigarettes one could earlier buy, say, 2.5 liters milk, then now he can buy about 700 ml, what gives a proportion of 3.5 times. But the proportion of cigarettes to milk, which was earlier 2.7 times (i.e. 6.2/2.3, in eggs), was not at all anomalous, because, according to the column for Austria, it is 20/6.3 = 3.2 times, and surely around this varies this proportion in England, in USA, in Germany, and in other countries. This means that now (in 2001) the excises in Bulgaria are very low and they must rise two - three times, in order to try to get us nearer to the countries with normal economies. Or take also the proportion of 100 ml raki or vodka to a half liter of decent beer -- before the democracy it was around one, now it is 0.6 (and here we are not speaking about tin cans, which are sold mainly on the West, because by us they are nearly one lev and for them the proportion will become 0.4), and on the West it is also about one (it can be compared also the proportion of one bottle raki to one bottle beer, and it was before 32/4.6 in ovo, where the same is the proportion in Austria, too). What means that there are many indicators, according to which we were before like the normal West countries, while now we do not stay so.
  • It is interesting also that the prices on products, which are obvious import for Bulgaria -- like bananas, oranges, chocolate, coffee, and others -- are now a little (in year 2001 about 70%) fallen according to the totalitarian situation, but nevertheless they still remain about two times more expensive (in ovo), than on the West, what says that, despite the Board, our currency is not exactly the same like the Western one. Similar is the situation also with the petrol, but there the prices, before and now, are more or less the same (in eggs), only that they are a bit (at about 30%) higher than on the West. Coffee on the street (in cup), however, which was earlier roughly 3 ovo, is now about 2, and on the West it is between 4 and 5 ovo, what is to be explained with our misery, of course, because otherwise nobody would have drunk coffee on the street (for your information, a cup of coffee, espresso, is made using 5-6 g of coffee, what, if calculated by retail prices, plus 10 g of sugar, comes to about 5-6 our cents, i.e. less that half an ovo, but it is sold now on the street for 25 cents, while it must be about 60-70 cents).
  • Well, there are various exceptions and anomalies, like for example the white cheese, from which people eat mainly the cow one, which on the West is not at all sold (for nobody would have bought it), and due to this the prices on milk by us are still abnormally high, i.e. they are nearly the same as on the West, but must be about 30% cheaper, so that when our people begin again to eat mainly sheep white cheese, then the things will normalize. Similar is the situation also with the fats (sunflower oil and butter, primarily), on which there is increased demand, that rises their prices (on the oil even higher than on the West). Peculiar is the situation with the meat, because it must be also cheaper than on the West, but it is a bit more expensive, and before (I suppose it was not subsidized earlier) it was also a bit more expensive. At the same moment, however, the minced meat now turns to be cheaper than on the West, and than in totalitarian times, what is easily explained with the fact that we give the prices on packaged minced "meat", that, really, must be taken in quotes; anyway, it is normal that the minced meat is about as expensive as meat with bones, for it has not bones, but is also not from the best places of the animal (but this does not mean that it has to consist only of tripe, gristles, and fat). Anomalous is the relationship of various kinds of meat (we give here some average price between pork and veal), where now, because of the mad cow disease people on the West increase the consumption of birds and fish, while in Bulgaria -- of pork, which meat, as on the West, so also on the East, is considered for second quality meat.
  • But if we now cast a look at the salaries, then it comes something "bloody and muddy" (as we in Bulgaria say), because in 1988 the minimal salary was 1,200 eggs, and the average about 2,700, while now (in 2001, after the instituting of Currency Board, which as if should have bettered the situation by us) the minimal is 600 ovo, or twice worse, and the average is 1,800 eggs (if one can believe this what is given as average, as far as in all normal countries, and also in Bulgaria earlier, the average salary is approximately 2 - 2.5 times the minimal, and by us now it turns to be more than 3 times), where at the same time the figures for Austria (to say nothing about USA) are, respectively, 6,400 and about 14,000 ovo, i.e. in the minimum we are at least ten times worse, and in the average only about 8 times (most probably due to our imprecise calculations, otherwise it must be again ten times), than in Europe, for which we continue to "sharpen our teeth" but it is hardly probable that our "parachute will open" soon! If some of you have doubts about the potency of ovo, then you can compare things in US dollars, where the minimal salary in USA is about 1,200 US$, but in a month (and the scholarships of students and the pensions are between 700-800 US$), while in the same time in Bulgaria in the middle of 2001 it was only 40 US$, what gives entirely discouraging comparison, and for that purpose people on the West do not compare real prices in some standard currency (say, in US$), but use the so called purchasing power parity, computed with some money basket). Well, our proposition to use the ovo is just one maximally simplified purchasing parity (or basket).
  • Another moment, on which we want to dwell a little, is the situation in summer of 1999, when the things (at least in regard to the salaries) as if have looked normal, and we till now have avoided these numbers and glanced only at the year 2001. But this is not because our UDF (Union of Democratic Forces) has so much "entangled" the matters with the introducing of Currency Board that later everything worsened (well, it categorically has messed everything, for we have introduced the Board in the most unsuitable for us time and by very bad for us rate of the dollar, but the author speaks enough about this in other materials), but because in this column the calculations are made by price of the egg of 8 cents and it stayed at this level only a pair of months, somewhere about the time of truncation of the zeros of our lev (and there has even been a moment when it was 6 cents), while later it jumped up twice very fast. So that the prices for the summer of 1999 have still not settled themselves, where the right relationship is seen in the next two measurements in the middle of 2000 and 2001 years.
  • In addition to this we deliberately give the prices only for the time of summer, where in winter the situation worsens, as a rule with about 30 percents, i.e. all prices jump up at about 30%, but by unchanged salaries! This, surely, is entirely unjustified, because neither before in Bulgaria, nor on the West, the prices in winter change more than with about 10 percents (if we do not have in mind tomatoes, or bananas, for example, where, naturally, exist seasonal prices) and this is another manifestation of our "phenomenon" of market mentality, for the reason that the Bulgarian is just afraid, and as a result of this he hoards goods for the winter, as a result of what the prices grow up. This is a twice bigger perversion (I beg for a pardon from the readers for the expression), because the expenses of a family in the winter, quite clearly, grow with 40 to 50 percents, mainly due to the unbearable communal expenses (i.e. central heating), but also to the buying of warm clothes, winter shoes, more and powerful food, and so on, so that if he has less money for feeding then the food must become cheaper. Yeah, but not by us, because we are Bulgarians?! And, really, the pigs are killed chiefly in winter, so that exactly then they must be cheaper, and the harvest is gathered, so that many kinds of lasting food (beans, potatoes, onions, bread, sunflower oil, etc.) must become cheaper, and the chicken grow in poultry plants and are fed with forage, so that there should be no difference between summer and winter prices of the eggs, and similar things. Likewise it happens when some holiday comes and people rush to buy "chow" -- in the normal countries the merchants lessen the prices (not because they are big humanists and think about the people, but because when the turnover is increased they can win enough also by lower prices), while by us exactly then the prices rise (not because our merchants are "worse" than the Western, but because only then they are in position to lead normal business, for the reason that the Bulgarian buys either expensive or nothing!). Little by little the things normalize, in the season of making of winter preserves and pickles the prices now don't jump so drastically up as, say, 4-5 years earlier, so that one can hope that after 5-10 years we will have not more winter and summer prices on the basic foodstuff.
  • Interesting seems also the question with the price of bread, compared with that of the flour, and also with the West, because earlier the bread was cheaper than the flour (compared per kilogram), now the prices by us are practically equal but the bread is a bit (on 10-20%) more expensive, and on the West the bread is normally twice more expensive than the flour. And mark, that the point here is not that one bread must be approximately one US$ (!), judging by the Western prices, because in our ovo, as you see, there are not such drastic differences at least in the price of flour (it is always somewhere around 5 eggs, and even by the totalitarianism was so, where on the West it is about 7 eggs), so that our phenomenon of cheap bread is not so easy to be explained with this, that we eat more bread and because of this sow more seeds. It is rightly to say that we eat more bread because it is cheaper than the sausages, for example, not because we prefer to eat bread instead of meat, because in Austria, as it is seen in the table, a kilo of fresh sausages equals only two kilo bread (20.6 to 11.4 ovo), while by us this proportion is four to five times. Hence, for one thing, meat by us is more expensive (maybe because we have not enough calves and pigs), and for another thing, the wheat turns to be cheaper (maybe because it is warmer by us than in Austria). But, still, our question is such: why the bread by us costs as kilo flour, and not twice more expensive? Well, the answer is similar to the difference of proportion of coffee in kilograms to a cup of coffee on the street (or beer in bottle to beer standing on the street)! In other words, the bread by us is only a little more expensive than the flour, just because we are too poor to allow ourselves to pay more, and also because of the absence of VAT on bread (but not on buns, pies or cakes, for example). So that it is clear that the bread must rise in price at about 30 percents in ovo (has only come the next increase of the salaries -- for to was how it to recompense!).
  • And now let us look at the prognoses for, say, five years ahead, i.e. for the year 2006 (the column "Bg.'06")which is tied with our calculations mainly by this, that the egg must become 0.08 US$, and even better 10 cents*. Some things will rise, and another -- fall, in ovo, of course. Look at this column more precisely because it pretends on some unchangeable prices, but in accordance with the conditions in Bulgaria. It is clear that we will strive to the West, but only if we can afford this, and, most probable, slowly and gradually, because we have, still, foreign masters (the Board, but also various pro-Atlantic structures and politicians) in our country, who will watch that we will have no big slumps anymore (but, well, whereto more than this?). Only that, mark this, this will happen in ovo, not in levs or dollars, so that even if our salaries, by the help of some magic wand (tsarist scepter, maybe?), jump up two times or more, there will be no "sweets" for our people! If one thing rises up in price another will fall down, but the egg will remain on its place, though, in a long run, it will try to grow until reaches the Western level, i.e. about 20 US cents (because there it will also rise a little with the time). Well, it will be some difference when we go abroad (but now who can afford this anymore? -- in any case hardly more people than under "Bai Tosho"). And something more: this slow movement will be not just moderately slow, it will be some crawling, first to the level of totalitarian years, then to the level where we would have been, if we have been as before, then to the level of the West from the time when we have begun to want that by us it was also like in the West, thereafter, and this will certainly last for ever, to the level in this moment in which we will be in that time! At present we are, more or less, at the level of stagnation years, only that now on the bottom of one deep hole, and in those times on the crest of one small pool, if one may say so, because the former stagnation was the peak to which the misunderstood communism could have led us, and the current one is the bottom, to which can lead us the misunderstood capitalism! One reasonable estimation of the moment of reaching of our level of former years is at least 10 years more, but maybe also the whole 20, and for reaching of the Western level of standard (and this according to their sources) we will need somewhere about 35 to 50 years (from the moment of beginning the transition, but this on condition that the West will stand still, yet it has not shown such inclinations till now.

         [ * From the point of view of 2008 (as far as the author can recall) this, in general terms, was confirmed, in the sense that the eggs were about 14 cents and the dollar has fallen up to about 1.60, what gives 0.087 US$ /egg. Also the prices were in the given limits (if one multiplies them by 0.14 in order to convert them in levs). With the dollar the things may not come out very good, because it has fallen mighty by other reasons, but in ovo we hardly have made mistakes. Look also the P.S. about the added in 2008 column, although then we became confused because of our entering in the European Union.
     Well, this is all, dear readers. The truth for us is not in the democracy, or in the free market, or in the private property, or in the "swimming over the Atlantic" (for nato in Latin means to swim over, and that is why such abbreviation was chosen also for the Atlantic Pact), but in one tiny and insignificant egg. So that, here is an advice from the author: keep at your home hens laying eggs and you will live good. If you have no place for them but have central heating then put one cage in the drawing room, on the table before the TV set (or even behind it, or above it) and feed yourself a pair of laying hens there (cock may be kept one for several neighbours from the entrance of your building). The egg is the purest protein, and we are protein creatures, so that we can not do without it. If, on the other hand, you have disconnected your central heating (as is said that nearly 30 thousand people in one only Sofia have done), well, then you at least will save money for eggs, because, by the prices in winter of 18 cents for an egg, and by on the average 90 levs for heating in month, this gives whole 500 eggs per month for central heating, or by 16.67 eggs daily, and exactly so many eggs (to reveal one secret to you) make one kilogram eggs per day! If you have so many money, that can freely allow yourself to break by 17 eggs each day, only in order to live comfortably in your home, then this means that you have no need of laying hens. People on the West have not such need. In Bulgaria before was also so, but with the coming of democracy ...
     So, with the coming of democracy, it is high time for us to understand that not the democracy leads to wealthy way of living, but the good standard of life leads unavoidably to democracy! It was so 25 centuries before in ancient Athens, it becomes so also since 18th century and to the present day all around the civilized world, it happened so in Bulgaria, too, when we rejected the totalitarianism. So that -- less democracy but more eggs for the people!

     October 2001

     P.S. The columns for 2008 were added later, but we have attached them to table 1.B. for greater convenience. Here not only the dollar continues to be with abnormal rate, but it happened also dry year, and we have again become "dumbfounded" with our entering in the European Union, and have decided by old habit that everyone must "pull the blanket" to oneself and boycotted the price policy of the Board, in result of which is observed the next (unjustified) rising of prices, or another shocking therapy (for they, our people, behave only when shocks are applied to them). In any case, by eggs of middle (M) size of 0.20 lv and the dollar on the average by 1.30 lv we have now 1 ovo = 0.15 US$. But otherwise out tendencies, by calculations in ovo, remain, because, for example: the milk (on the average) is 1.40 lv /l or 7 ovo (where it was 5.7 in 2001, and 6 and a bit more on the West), the white cow cheese is about 4.80 lv. or 24 ovo (against 20 from the prognosis for 2006); the cheese is about 9.00 lv or 45 ovo, the bread by 1.30 lv for a kilo (not 800 g.) is now 6.5 ovo, the sunflower oil is exceedingly high by 16 ovo, the coffee is 60 ovo per kg, on the street is 2 ovo, the cigarettes on the average are 12 ovo, the raki /vodka (0.7 l) is 30 ovo (as you see we are catching up with the West); the beer is 4.5 ovo, et cetera. The minimal salary became 220 lv or 1,100 ovo, and the average -- 460.00 lv or 2,300 ovo (what is again less than under the totalitarianism, and about 7 times less than in Europe). And other comparisons.

     2008




ABOUT THE OWNERSHIP AND ITS FUTURE


     The main stone in the economy of capitalism and socialism is the question of ownership, and exactly for this reason there are many speculations with it from a long time. And at the same time the things are pretty clear on the basis of the practice of those two social orders. Let us first make clear that here we are not speaking about personal property, like: home, car, furniture, etc., which are used, directly or not, for satisfying of personal and of the family needs, neither about the degree of luxury which one can afford oneself, like, for example, someone may have even three homes (in different locations, or outside the town), but in spite of this he alone uses them, while some other person may rent his own room in order to make ends meet, but in both cases this is personal property. Another kind of property is this, which is used for some business, i.e. the person (or some company, municipality, or the state) owns certain company, where work other people (hired workers). In this case the property is used for obtaining of surplus value, or with its help is done exploitation of subjected to the company workers, and for that reason we find it naturally to call it

     1. Exploitative property.

     Such dividing of property exists for millenniums in the world, so that till now we are saying nothing new. But if someone, still, is shocked by this name, then he can call it managerial, or business, or big one, etc., though these names are not so exact and in some cases some confusion may arise. It is true that the word exploitation does not sound very nice, for it means literally "pulling out of the soul" (taking out of the "plua", or everything), but in one impartial review is not good to be too shy, because in the world of business, anyway, does not reign philanthropy but cruel and merciless rivalry, so that we will use this term here, not necessary giving it contemptuous (communist) meaning.
     And so, we will speak here about exploitative property, which under the totalitarianism was only state-owned, so that this social order is just included in the capitalism, i.e. the communism was one state-monopoly capitalism, with all its pros and contras! Under the communism nobody had rights to own property with which help he, personally, could exploit the others, but this has not eliminated the exploitation of the workers, for the simple reason that it is just necessary (in the world of capitals), or that it can not exist cohesive society without mutual exploitation in it, a thing, that has begun with the emergence of labour division and first professions in deep antiquity. Under the capitalism, as well as under the communism, the exploitation in the sphere of production exists, only that under the communism it was used by some small number of chosen people, the nomenclature, which was allowed to occupy the leading posts, while the common people were not allowed to do this. Well, under the capitalism everybody can, but this does not mean that everybody really does this, because in the developed countries the percentage of wealthy, or those who own exploitative property, varies usually between 3 to 5%, i.e. practically as much as our nomenclature was. Generally speaking, the percentage of elite in each society, from primitive communal and to the present day, has always moved in these limits, what means that the major part of people does not own this, with what it earns "its bread"! But then: in what is the difference between the communism and the capitalism? Practically in nothing, or it is a matter of nuances.
     But there is no difference if we speak about personal and exploitative property, though if we fill our heads with notions like "private" or "state's", the things become messed. And let us not think that these 3% are overdone, because even farmers, who (as if) own the means of production (the land, chiefly), in the developed countries are approximately 5-8% (and in USA -- only 4%), and by this not all of them work on their own land. It might have been theirs sometime, say, before a century, when the capitalism was still "green" (and exactly this has forced the invention of such social orders like fascism and communism!), but in a developed society this is an exception. Even a taxi driver, who can quietly own the car with which earns his money, simply does non enter in consideration if he is so tiny owner, what is seen well now in Bulgaria. Only free lancers -- part of jurists, private teachers, physicians, and others --, as well as large-scale capitalists, take out their "bread" with their own "shovel", where for the big majority of people, i.e. at least 95%, this is not valid, and so they are hired workers, which we all in Bulgaria were (with the exemption of some high party cadres) before.
     Well, after we have cleared for us that nowadays everything is capitalism and that the masses of population, anyway, can not have exploitative property (if not for other reason, than at least because it is necessary to exploit some people -- else it will happen something like the "Bulgarian variant" of transition, where for 1999, if we are not mistaken, were roughly 360 thousand single-owned companies and the workers in them were about 750 thousand people, i.e. by two for a company?!), then it is logical to plead that it is better if there were no property at all (except the state-owned), right? And such was the viewpoint of communists, and this, by God, sounds reasonable, because if something is an exception then we can quietly not take it in consideration and eliminate it. Only that ... . Well, there are many exceptions in the world, which, nevertheless, are very important and necessary, and here we will allow ourselves to give as example only -- I beg the readers to be excused -- the sex, where it is well known that masculine individual is "ready for battle" more or less in just one percent of the time (say, 15 minutes in twenty-four hours, where there are 1440 minutes). Must we then remove also this one percent in the name of harmony in the society? That's what was the communism -- an utopia, because we have looked with prejudice at the things. Only that (again "only that"!) now also is looked with prejudice, while we now think that everyone must become exploiter (or merchant)! So that, if we want to have some justified understanding in this issue, let us look impartially at the

     2. Pluses and minuses of private property,

or, as we have accepted to call it, exploitative property. The pluses, of course, are freedom of action, operativeness, market orientation of production. The single owner of a company can act much more faster than the state and, in many case, this is beneficial to all the people. By the way, such was the idea of Gorbachev's perestroika -- to reform the social order, but not to destroy it. Because the state has also its advantages, and we just can't do without state army or police. However strange it may look, but exactly this idea of perestroika was clear to the Americans somewhere in the 70ies, and they have succeeded to modernize in some extent their centralized structures. We, surely, have modernized nothing but have entirely demolished many things. And why have we done this? Well, ... because it was easier so! There also the children, even the small babies, feel the greatest pleasure when destroy (some construction of blocks, for example), not when they build something, because they still can't make alone something good, but to crash they always can (and this ancient understanding of the things must have been the reason for emerging of Russian, but also common Slavonic, ... word "skuchnij", what means dull, but looks exactly like Russian "skuchenij", what is cumulated in a heap; similar ideas, though, may be found on the West in the word "diversion" which is both, entertainment and sabotage).
     Well, such are the things with the perestroika and changing of the social order, but let us return to our analysis. The most important plus of private property is, in fact, the possibility for competition, only that here we deliberately have used the term "private", because it presupposes its antipode "state's", where the competition is not effective, for it is a kind of "hara-kiri" of the system. When we speak about exploitative property then the competition here is unavoidably present, so that there is no need to stress on it. (But one should not remain also with the impression that under the centralized property each form of competition is excluded, because it can easily exist state's and municipal property, it can be accepted some level of state ownership, there can be various contests and methods for accumulation of scores for establishing of the most profiting enterprise in a given branch of industry, not excluding the small and medium-sized such, and so on.)
     The main minus, in its turn, of exploitative property is its exclusiveness, i.e. this, that practically all members of a given society are not exploiters (managers etc.), and when so then this creates most unjustified relations in the society, about which we can not miss to be interested because, generally speaking, one can not care about one's own interest if does not care about the interest of the others, i.e. about the resonance of his actions over the others (and even less can think about the others if he does not think about himself)! So that the question is in this, to adapt in such way the exploitative property, that it will not introduce new injustices in life, which alone is unjust enough. Well, let us unravel a bit this tangle. What is so unjust in the property inequality (because it is also good, as far as offers conditions for competitions and purpose in life for those, who have not exploitative property, and they are the overwhelming majority of the population)? Well, according to the author, although this has to be clear to everyone who has thought about the matter, the most bad thing of property inequality is this, that it is not personally deserved!
     Because people have well developed feeling for injustice, and, how it is proper, with accounting for the randomness or the chance, or the happy star. Almost nobody on the West complains especially against the fact that the big "fishes" eat the smaller ones, or that wins the stronger, or more capable, or more learned, and so on. Well, people, surely, grumble a bit, but this is not antagonistic phenomenon, like they have protested against the aristocracy, or the slavery (or the nomenclature), or against the fascism -- social settings which do not allow to the masses to go at the other side of the barrier. The capitalism is good when it is well socialized and when the masses have, but in reality, chances to be such how they want, according to the given them by God. The bad thing comes when one is born wealthy and another poor, and the poor ones have no chances at all to become rich. In the developed countries everybody wants to become rich, but when this happens to be his single goal such life becomes much too boring and uninteresting, where when one struggles to show what has been put in him then life is interesting and the inequality does not oppress so much the people, how it is the case in such terrifyingly poor country like Bulgaria.
     So that let us not deviate from the question of poverty (which, as is well known, is not a sin but a beastly thing), but also not to think that in the world of capital succeeds (in a sense to become rich) the more able one, because when he works for the wealthier or the exploiter then again the wealthier will become more wealthy. This, what prevents the capitalism from being liked also by the poorer, is its injustice. And on what it stands? Well ... on the heredity, of course! It the wealth happened to fall from above, or was personally won, but on equal chances, then everyone will be contented with such "racing". But let us also not jump to the other pole, because the environment in which one is brought up from an early age, unquestionably, has its importance, and if everybody lives by completely equal conditions then the stimulus for the masses disappears, how exactly it has happened under the totalitarianism. So that we are not against inheriting at all, but against inheriting of exploitative property! Otherwise it turns out that all are equal, but some are more equal than the others, as was spoken earlier, but also nowadays nobody has rejected the necessity for equal conditions for all, be it before the law, be it according to the sex or race, and so on. If not all can be exploiters then there is no need also for giving to some of us privileged start from the moment of their birth, but if someone, on a relatively equal conditions, succeeds to become exploiter only in the time of his or her life, then this may turn out to be useful for all, isn't it so? Well, after these judgements we are ready to explain our proposition about

     3. The future of capitalism,

from the point of view of exploitative property, or our view at the future large-scale property. As far as business activity, anyway, is separated from personal or family budget, then there are no problems for registering of them all, as also for inheriting of big sums. More than this, the inheritance tax, which is deserved by nothing according to the meaning of inheritor (maybe the state has led quicker the deceased to the tomb, for to require payment in this case?), by big amounts often reaches up to 1/3 of the inherited capital, so that the state in any event takes enough. We just propose notably drastic increasing of inheritance tax when some limit is exceeded, which we will call exploitative minimum (EM), but this will not be some unavoidable punishment for the wealthy persons, because everyone will be in position while he (or she) is living to transfer what he wants to his direct inheritors (what also justifies the inheritance tax, by the way -- i.e. if one does not give credence even to his own people, that let him pay for this!), and by this, if the inherited capitals, shares, parts, or property do not exceed one EM, then everything is inherited according to the existing in the country laws. And what means "drastic"? Well, such that, say, when reaching of 10 EM the given person will receive only 2 EM, or when reaching of 100 EM -- 3 EM, and so on, by exponent.
     Let us now establish this minimum, because someone may think that one will not inherit even his home. Well, one may think so if it was about personal property, but we are speaking about big sums, with the use of which is possible to do large-scale business, what means that the small enterprises must be inherited wholly (even by one heir), and also the middle-scale companies, too, if they are owned by several persons, or if there are several inheritors (what is the usual situation). Our proposition is quite simple: 1 EM = 1000 MMS (minimal monthly salaries), what can be realized in each country, for the minimal working salary is for a long time centrally established indicator. And this level may be used only initially, and otherwise can be a question (as also MMS is such) of the competency of Parliament, where it will be established, say, so, that was applied to not more than 10% of the population and in any case will include the price of an average apartment, car, et cetera (for example for Bulgaria, by 100 levs MMS this will give 100,000 lv; while for countries like USA, where 1 MMS is around 1,200 US$, we will have 1,2 mln US$).
     It will hardly make a problem to legalize a special kind of property with lifetime force, which, in this case, is not subject of inheriting, but is returned back to the company. This may sound pretty strange (why some firm will sell actions, which one literally loses with his demise?), but this may turn to be suitable for capitals that have to belong to some varying group of people, for example: inherited estate, which must always remain in a given gender, or property of the municipals and other communities, and other variants, where such shares can be also distributed free according to the regulations of the company, or can increase the parts of the left proprietors (if returned to the company). This can in some measure cause harm to the state, avoiding the inheritance tax, but, insofar as the state, anyway, wins from the application of our proposition, then let it show also some benevolence.
     In order to avoid the monopoly of the state, on account of this drastically increased inheritance tax, can be accepted the condition that for the state remain not more than 1/3 of the assets of such companies (because this is a kind of nationalization), and the left part (if it remains something) is transferred to the local municipality, or given to some other organization, or distributed by some lottery. In the end, the important thing is that everybody was interested to become rich while living, but also that everybody has equal chances to "grow fat" a bit on the account of big companies, when some of their owners dies. This will not lessen the competition and will touch only the really large enterprises, about which the state, in one or other form, is obliged to care, or to perform some control over them. This will not be socialism, in the communist understanding of the things, but rather some people's capitalism. But will this not weaken the bigger companies? Well, hardly, because in the life of a company there are three principal stages: of creating and pushing it forward, of developing and enlarging of its productivity, and of transformation and decline of it. Some nations have even the saying that the companies live three generations, where the first creates it, the second expands it, and the third spends it. Our proposition does not affects the first generation, which is the most important, it eliminates the third generation, what is good, and the functions of second generation can quietly be performed also by the state and, in general, by big number of persons (the big property, anyway, is not governed personally by its owner), so that this must not affect the large, or leading for every developed country, business. In this way we have come now to the

     4. Conclusion,

where we will emphasize that, however new this ideas are looking, they are not coming on an empty place, because the capitalism evolves and modernizes. The current-day capitalism on the West is not this, what it was a century back, and its socializing, or pursuit of greater social justice, is inevitable. This, quite obviously, corresponds with the wishes of the masses (if only someone decides to ask them), but half of the exploitative elite also would accept this proposition, because it does not affect directly personal life of the wealthy person, and his or her successors -- well, they surely do not deserve so much wealth, for the reason that this, what comes at the ready, is not especially valued. When one company becomes old people look at it like at some elderly person fallen into infancy, who all just wait to be called by God, and if it will be the "dear God" then why not the state or Municipal Councils? The young and pushy small and middle-scale companies don't lose, the masses win from the more proper capitalism, the state too, and the large business also does not lose, so that this positively will be achieved some day. The big taxes (not only absolutely, but in percents, too), when the earnings are big, are not a novelty in many Western countries, just the people have not yet grasped that it can be so that both, the business continues, and the state becomes richer. The slogan of our UDF (Union of Democratic Forces) about "poor state but wealthy citizens", as we have seen on our bitter experience, can be realized only ... in its first part, and the existence of wealthy citizens in poor state is not possible. The socialist idea is neither new, nor erroneous. Erroneous was its realization, but this is valid also for the capitalism of the middle of 20th century, so that let us hope, that we will come to the right idea also about the question of property and exploitation.

     August 2001




OH GOD, WHAT WE EAT!


     I have bought myself recently some bouillon from one of the big supermarkets, and as far as it was sold in 4-5 varieties (chicken, veal, sour cream, etc.) I decided to read how do they differ. Well, it turned out that ... with nothing significant, i.e. with the essence! Because the only natural ingredients were about 5% highly shredded carrots and crumbled parsley, and the main component of the "bouillon" was -- try to guess it! -- dextrin (well, maltodextrin, but this surely must be nearly the same) i.e. we

     eat glue!

     Well, I have already bought it, because they, the ingredients are specially written with the most tiny possible font (4 or 5 pixels, something of the kind), so that even a person with normal eyesight could not have read it without magnifying glass, all the more such like me, exceeded already the 60, so that later (I brought with me magnifier) checked also other firms, and everywhere the bouillons now (I don't know how long, but before some 20 years and in one normal Western country it was not so) were made with dextrin. Then I recalled myself that sometime earlier we have somewhere in the basement dextrin in powder and one winter ... it was attacked by rats (and they are mammals like we, aren't they, so that it isn't harmful to the health) and I was pacified by this and ate it, little by little, and, hmm, my bowels did not glue together. But it turns out that

     the best that can be said about food products that are sold nowadays is are they harmful or not to the health,

and such is the function of some control bodies which exist by us, but otherwise, from what they are made -- well, mainly according to the price, but there are no problems to buy something expensive and also faked.
     Or another example, the ice-cream. Back in the totalitarian times existed chiefly three kinds of it: milk, sour cream, and chocolate, and it was possible to find sometimes also fruit one, but people did not like it much for they knew that it was mainly frozen fruit pulp. The milk ice-cream, however, was made out of milk (and out of what else, might have exclaimed one "totalitarian" person), the sour cream one respectively out of sour cream (and it was felt, no deception), and the chocolate one was chiefly of milk but with added cocoa (and maybe some sour cream). Now there are probably more than hundred kinds of ice-cream (not all of them at the same time in a given shop, but as articles), only read out of what they are made. Well, there are about 20 (!) ingredients, where are preservatives, flavours, some components like Е###, what is some number according to the European (and maybe worldwide) standards for organic products, but surely artificial, including egg powder, but

     there is no natural milk!

     Well, there is milk powder (even not condensed, just dry, milk), but this is not the same. I have kept for some time a tomcat at home and remember well -- what means that I am speaking from personal experience, but who does not believe me can check alone --, that I have poured in his bowl a little of such dissolved milk (for we have drunk such, was it with coffee, or with tea, or then as pure milk, and some even have made it sour), but he did not want. Now I am not pretty sure whether he did not at all want, or after some time went and licked a bit, but he definitely did not like it, while when it happened that I bought sometimes a bottle of fresh milk in bulk from a peasant woman (which for this reason become forbidden to be sold officially, because it is natural and can compete with the big business), then he smelled it closed through the cap already from the door and began to circle around me like ... like a cat around a pail with milk, right? So that difference positively existed, because the animals have instincts, they can't be fooled with advertisements.
     Or let us take, for example, the vinegar, which is offered, one beside the other, of two kinds, apple and wine, and there are even pictured apples or grapes, but when you begin to read the components it turns out that it consisted of 5 percent (there is also 6%) purified acetic acid Е###, only that that kind where is pictured red grape contains also colorant. This is the situation. Similarly many (again more than hundred articles in principle) soft drinks, which are cheaper than mineral water, sold for 40-50 stotinki (i.e. 20 euro-cents) per 2 l (and even till 3) bottle, but contain only essence (and by this half of the price goes for the packing). And earlier (say, a century back) when was spoken about lemonade people understood squeezed lemon juice (respectively, for orangeade -- orange one, not made out of ... pumpkin, i.e. if there is at all something natural). Or also the wines, which are likewise of many different sorts, but when are sold cheaper than the grape they surely can't be natural, no matter that they have decent taste, and degree, too (because this wine in bulk, which can be found on the bazaar, it consists, in recompense for its natural ingredient, mainly of tap-water).
     There is no sense to talk about mincemeat, sausages, special salami (Bulgarian lukankas or soudjouks), various snacks, pellets, corn sticks or flakes, and many others, really industrially manufactured products of food industry. (I have heard from somewhere that the crab sticks were made from crabs only at about 10 percents.) And the eggs that are sold to us, as it turned, were mainly unfertilized. In the sense that, in order to make the hen laying, some cock has to have "known" her, but maybe this is only a pair of times, and then they leave her to lay eggs by habit, there is no sense to "make expenses" for a cock at least once in a week, say, because the cock is unnecessary expenditure for the company, isn't he? And for this reason there is difference between eggs and eggs, as is said, between these, that are sold as usual, and these, that can be bought from some peasant woman (not that they are "unusual", but the yolk has another colour). Id est, the hens are treated like the cows, who, after they give birth once, then all the time give milk (and for that reason in Italian, I'll tell you, exist two kinds of cows: the ones are called vaccas, who have, hmm, udder, i.e. something vacuum-like -- to give the easiest explanation --, and the others are muccas, because they say "moo", what they do because they want that somebody milks them).
     There are many examples, and I will give more others, but in order to prevent you, in some extent, from unnecessary disappointments let me list half a dozen of rules (some of which I have mentioned earlier, but in another context).

     1. Use home animals for testing,

of what is really natural or not. The same procedure with the powdered milk and the cat, I suppose, can be applied also with some mincemeats or sausages and dogs. The animals, as I mentioned, are not easy to be deceived by packages or advertisements, they either like some thing (because it is natural) or don't like it (and surely will not be delighted by some soya meatballs, for example, which is said to be very nice food, but taste like nothing).

     2. Check how the things are spoiling,

and by the way they destroy, by the kind of products in which dissolves a given product, judge about its main ingredients (respectively, fractions). This is especially actual for the bread and various bakery products. Here also the things are like with the sorts of ice-cream, earlier there were mainly three types of approved bread (white, dobrudzha, i.e. from the area Dobrudzha on the north-east of Bulgaria, and tipov-typical -- as bread for some types of people, like I use to joke, because tip in Bulgarian means usually a guy, fellow, yet slightly scornfully, but in principle this is the most black bread), and now there are hundred assortments (and every time emerge new ones), but they put in them whatnot "improvers", preservatives, flavors, and other additions (normally about 5-10 components). The "game", however, becomes obvious when the bread begins to spoil, because then it begins to grow mouldy, but in all colors of the rainbow. Earlier (it even earlier, as some guys say, and I also can confirm this, the ... condoms were as if harder, while now they only bend all the time, ah?) has existed one kind of mould, blue-greenish one, and it, as far as I know, is good and useful is some sense, because from it was made the penicillin, and there also exist blue and green cheeses, and other similar moulds, i.e. this is normal process of transformation of matter, when these things are natural. But the today's white, chiefly, kinds of bread (at the black ones this is not so noticeable, or maybe they are harder to be falsified and for that reason they cost higher -- because earlier was on the contrary, the typical bread was the cheapest), when you leave them in the usual cellophane bags in which they, who knows why, are sold,

     these breads begin to get in multicoloured spots,

which are in some places greenish (this is good, were only all kinds of bread such), in other yellowish, up to bright orange, and in other more then black like coal, and in addition to this they become sticky to the touch and glue together. You check this with a piece of bread, this is quite interesting experiment (in warm weather and outside the fridge, of course).
     I suppose that similar tests can be performed also with mincemeat and sausages (they, really, become not only green, but yellow, too, and inflated), and in addition emerges a "characteristic" smell. The natural meat, it is more endurable and hard, it tries to dry up, is not made with water (in which is dissolved soya or also potato puree; or powdered milk, if it is about special and endurable salami). Even with the vegetables this is not devoid of meaning, because I have long ago come to the conclusion (not that it is very hard to come to it) that the nitrated products spoil faster and simply become watery and begin to rot. Now, however, have emerged various mutated vegetables, where the situation is exactly on the contrary, what we will clear in the following point.

     3. Avoid mutated products, which can be recognized mainly by their hardness and endurance,

because in order that the vegetables have become bigger, or more cold-tolerant, are performed (surely, you judge by the consequences) such mutations, which must increase the cellulose in the fruits or vegetables. For example, the "winter" strawberries, which are ten times larger than the normal cultivated (which are ten times larger than the wild ones -- in the sense of volume this is so, because if each dimension grows only two times, than raised to the third power this gives 8), obviously must be very hard, and they are as if the most tender of all fruits (to remind you about your "fragile", which is French fragile meaning the same or delicate or brittle, and there fraise is exactly strawberry; this is seen also in Italian, where these words are, respectively, fragile and fragola). But well, this can be accepted, they are soft fruits, so that some enforcement hinders them not much. But if you buy yourself potatoes out of season (for example in May, June, yet also in other time) and decide to cook them with meat, then the meat in usual pot will be cooked roughly for one and a half hour, while for the potatoes will be necessary at least one whole hour more.
     Similarly you may "suffer" also with some tomatoes, which, if they were completely spherical, could have been used, I suppose, as ...billiard balls! Or also with aubergines, possibly with big peppers, cornichons, and others. It is possible that too much cellulose is not harmful, I am not sure, but they are difficult to digest; besides, the taste of such "forced" vegetables is different. People, after all, are not ruminating animals, for to be able to absorb each green (or red, respectively) thing. Put in another way:

     compare the time for cooking of the products,

and if they need significantly more time to boil, then they are not from the "normal" ones. Such products are met as if mainly when the normal ones are not in their season, but not always; I have the suspicion that also the hot pepper, and from here the sugar one and hardened not in its proper time, too, is also somehow mutated, or there is in effect some other "forcing" intervention, because they are now with very hard peel, grow quite big, become cheaper significantly earlier, and are really hot, while earlier it was not so. There is significant difference in the hardness between the tender winter hothouse products, and the winter, or even not exactly such, but hard as stones, vegetables. At least to little children don't give such food, who knows how will react their young stomachs.

     4. Do not buy out of season goods.

     They are somehow forced to bear fruits not in the proper time, and this is done not only with the temperature, but with various additions in the soil, it can't be otherwise. Besides, it is obvious that they are 3-4 times more expensive than the normal ones in their season, what in addition to their different taste (for they are, as a rule, more tasteless) is sufficient indication to avoid their usage; the only reason to buy them is if you have just so much money and don't know what to do with it, or then have become already such snob that can not at all imagine how can eat something preserved, when can buy it in fresh form. Now, I don't say that one can not buy at least once in a month winter tomatoes or cucumbers, or something of the kind, but for preparation of the food is absolutely clear that the preserved goods (sterilized or salted) are very suitable. Generally, don't forget the very old rule: everything has its time.

     5. Do not buy advertised goods.

     This thing I have said several times in other places and it is obvious for every a little bit reasonable human (even for, ha, ha, women, too), but who knows why the people -- and I mean not at all only teenagers, who have brains like a chicken, as is said, or already senile pensioners -- are caught on ads and look exactly for the most advertised products. This is not reasonable because the ads in no case -- but really not in a single one -- are information about the product (as even I have though earlier), no, they are only way to fool you to buy something from the given company, not from some other; and in addition to everything else you have to pay also the ad, even for those who do not buy the product (!), for the simple reason that there is nobody else to cover these expenses, if not the clients. I personally am feeling insulted when am forced to pay also for this, that am forced to listen or look at their nonsense (not to say bullsh##), and do the most reasonable thing, i.e. counteract the ads in all possible ways. More than this, I use the ads ... against themselves,

     buying nothing if it is actively advertised,

i.e. I think that if some product is advertised then I should not buy it -- clear and simple, isn't it? Because: which products are between most advertised? Well, let us say: soft drinks (because they are only water and essence and without them, more than obvious, you can do), cigarettes and alcohol (because they are harmful to the health and everybody knows this), various snacks, chewing gums, or sweets, at retail (which, being small and in luxurious packings, come out most expensive, calculated on kilogram), all modern and luxurious things for highlife and the snobs (which are advertised because are not necessary and otherwise people would not search for them), taverns and restaurants, places for recreation, airline companies, passenger cars, and other things without which one can freely do (or if you need them then you will look for them at that moment, not when they are blinding your eyes and deafening your ears), in the recent time all mobile operators (because they, obviously, have decided that now is the moment to gain something forcing you to pay according to some "plans" for services that you do not succeed to use, but pay in advance), and other similar things. So for example, if I have guessed earlier that the bouillons, or ice-creams, are often advertised goods, I wouldn't have, maybe, bought them, but a pair of times in an year one can allow himself to be misled, if by little everything is allowed, the important thing is that this does not become your (bad) habit. (So, for example, I don't buy myself ... women's sanitary pads, because our ads, when the democracy just came to us, have begun exactly with this, so that I am consecutive, am I not?)

     6. Read the small letters,

because, in the end, they for that reason force the firms to show components and origin of the products, for the people could -- but if they want, and if they have enough brains for this -- not buy things that they don't want to, i.e. in order to was not so easy to be deceived. In other words, if you want to be deceived, then there are no problems for this, it always will find someone to do it (there are enough advertisements and politicians), but if you occasionally don't want this (i.e. if you are among, so, 5-10% relatively intelligent people, like myself), then to be able to orient yourself. And this not only is right for the clients, but causes no special discontents amidst the firms producers or the sellers, because the main part of the people will, all the same, be cheated, surely. ( For example, they quietly write on the label "apple vinegar", and paint also an apple, and there is written, with normally big letters, that it can be used for "bettering of the taste", and together with this write that it consist of chemically pure acetic acid -- in this way both, the wolf is satiated, and the lamb is alive, right? Or another example, they advertise some as-if-medicine, which, however, only does not harm, but whether it helps solely God knows, and show you how it passes through the bowels, or where else it passes, and at the end chew hastily the phrase "Before use read the leaflet.", so that nobody could have legally accused them in anything, and in this way they wash their hands like "mister" Pontius Pilatus, who has decided, instead of to prosecute our Christ, to let the very people inculpate him -- one ancient example for the use of democracy, if one gives a thought to the matter. )
     But when the point is in this, what can be written on the goods, then I have a proposition, because this, what is written on some articles, that they are natural -- say, bio-something, or pure-meat for the meat -- is not enough, for the reason that these products are somewhere about 10 - 15% of the sold (at least in Bulgaria) and they are 2-3 times more expensive, and when so between rarely bought, while the left more than 80% of the goods as articles, or more than 90 as bought by people, remain without indication for their naturalness. I have in mind that they are maybe not quite natural, but there is something natural in them, they might not be full forgery (mentè in Bulgarian, like, e.g., the Arab marzipans, on which despite this is written "chocolate", or like the mentioned acidic vinegar, or the bouillons). This what I propose is to mark also all products where is practically nothing natural, they are pure essence or imitation, what is not very hard to discover because is known what must be put in the given product, i.e. with the given name (like, for example, they have begun already to write on some kinds of yogurt in Bulgaria "milk product", because know very well that this is not natural yogurt). Here has to be used some short word which is widely known also on the West, what means that it has to be Greek and/or Latin, and I thing the best choice for this purpose is pseudo, what can be shortened to pse, at least because in Bulgarian (but it's Slavonic word) "pse" means a dog (say, pse-vinegar, pse-chocolate, etc.), and even to the single Greek letter "ψ", written in black paint and put in a circle! In this way will be known that what is not "pse" is more or less decent, while all "pse"-things are pure imitation or falsification; usage of other words like: ersatz, substitute, imitation, likeness, at cetera, in my view are not so universal and elegant like my proposition. I suppose that this will not cause special objections between the companies-producers, but will be much more correct in regard of the clients.

     Well, in broad lines, this is all. We are cheated, and will be cheated, when we don't object to this, and are shown concerns only in order not to be poisoned with something harmful. Everybody has the right to choose. I personally long ago, even from totalitarian years, when the cheating of sellers and producers was significantly lower (on the account of bad assortment, of course), has avoided soft drinks, also bought alcohol, we have made at home pickles for the winter, jams, juices, have fabricated wines from wild fruits, have collected mushrooms, and what only could,

     buying predominantly basic goods,

without which is impossible, and which are falsified less of all, like: sunflower oil, sugar, vinegar, salt, meat bur when you see it with the bones, ocean fishes (rarely from the rivers), broilers (they might be fed artificially, but their flesh is more tender), butter (then it was not mixed with margarine), bread (I said that in that time it was natural) or flour, white cheese (also natural) or usual cheese (it was then only of two sorts: "Balkan" and "Vitosha", and nobody bothered to "modify" it with different additions), coffee, occasionally by a pair of oranges or lemons, and as if this was all. The left we have made at home, i.e. we cooked. Now the young perhaps don't know that ... the milk is given by cows, and maybe think that there is a tap in the shop, where from they fill the packings -- whether I know, when one looks at the ads (yet the ads are according to the people in the country -- in each place and time are shown different ones, such that are well taken by the people) one can think it is so, that we all have already become morons.
     And as far as I am convinced that some 99% of all people (at least in Slavonic countries, if not also with some digits after the decimal point) are not pretty clear on the issue what means the word "moron" (and in English etymological dictionaries is said that this is "neologism" in the language, but without special explanations) let me tell you what I think on this question. Well, moron, quite obviously, comes from the Latin, where moria is stupidity, what (also unquestionably) is from old Greek, where μωρια was madness, but the Latin morus, what is from Greek μωροσ means ... well, one small mauve or violet fruit, the mulbery (that is better to be called tut, because it so is in Russian and it was so in Persian)! Now it becomes clear that here intervenes the mauve colour (it is morav in Bulgarian), which comes exactly from the Greeks (though the colour can vary much and in the English maroon is given as chestnut one, but this must be the same, because here is the French mauve that you have taken, too, and it means light-violet), and that here are also the eggplants (in Bulgarian "blue tomatoes", or moravi, like noun), but the problem is that as meaning in old Greek μορια (and mark the letter "o") were some sacred olives (in general, small and "silly" fruit, like the tuts). Yet it doesn't become clear (and nobody explains this -- except your author, of course) while the moravi-maroon tuts, or the (traditional, for there are other varieties) colour of eggplant, has to be related with the stupidity, and this 25 centuries now, roughly speaking? But it is related because ... well, you dress in maroon-violet clothes and see what people will think about you! Id est this is some extremely bright and outrageous colour with which one only wants to show off (if there is nothing else with), and the greater part of simpletons do exactly this, they "put on maroon clothes", figuratively speaking, in order to become more interesting. Well, on such people rely mostly the advertisements, these are the snobs. They are not bad people, in principle, even

     the contemporary consumer society rests mainly on the snobbism of people,

but they do unnecessary things, they boast not with things that are intrinsic to them personally, but with something with what they want only to show off (like, for example, to bore their tongue and stick there some shiny precious stone), and this was thought from the intelligent then Greeks and Latins for exhibition of stupidity. Well, it is quite natural that the ads were directed exactly to such "pillars" of consumer society. If you are one of them then forget everything what I have told you till now, but if you are not so elementary, or at least don't want that you were easily fooled, then read again at least the bold words, perhaps something will remain in you head.

     Sep 2012

     P.S. As far as here it goes about various deceptions with goods it might be suitable to add also a pair of paragraphs about some legal frauds, which the shops apply. Their main strategy is to throw some "baits", obviously, and I have spoken on this issue long ago, but in the recent time I was impressed by two new modifications.
     The one I call deferred payment, and it is reduced to this, that sometimes some shops offer products on obviously dumping prices, and even for half price, but this is done only several times, until people don't begin to search for these things, and then they are sold on prices with about 20 percents more expensive than the normal price (in order to make up for the lost). When they must begin with the raising of prices the shops know, because they monitor their turnover, and if there is increased demand then they increase the prices. This is obvious, but this variant is reduced to paying of the same products later, i.e. when one buys cheaper he does not pay the real price, but later on he pays and overpays it. This, what the client has to do, is to look not to mistake the phase and buy when it is more expensive (hoping that it will become again cheaper; yet also because one has already gone to the shop -- the presetting is very big hindrance), but to stop at once to by there for some time (say, for half a month - a month). This is an honest outwitting, but why the poorer one, i.e. the client, has to lose?
     The other method is the so called distracting maneuver (or, maybe, "red herring"), by which they speak to you about things that are not at all substantial, but can easily confuse you (how it often happens), because one continues to rely on the normal human logic and comes to conclusions which are not at all true. For example, when somewhere is written that the product contains vegetable fats (this concerns the white and other cheeses) one thinks that the fats, after all, are not so important, the point is that this was milk product. Yeah, but here is the point, that in these products is just no milk (well, or almost no), and for that reason such white cheese costs even less than the curds, while otherwise it should have been twice to thrice more expensive. Again "honest outwitting" (i.e. legally the companies are not guilty), but the client suffers.
     Well, there are also other variants, for example is cited something that is in no way verified, say that the product in question is with 20% cheaper, bot nobody guaranties to you that they compare with the correct price and not with some invented one (for there are no fixed prices in the market economy). And in most cases it happens to be exactly so. Or that there is lessening of the price with ... 3%, what presupposes that one thinks about 30%. Or they change the places of some goods, and if one does not open wide his eyes he will take something that is just today there, but is significantly more expensive. Or for example, that some melted cheese with dill is on 30% cheaper, but close to it stays a sort with coriander, which is very similar, but is on normal price. And other similar tricks for "baliks" as we say in Bulgaria (what, in fact, is Turkish, the "i" is read as in "girl", and it means small fish), or also for "gulls" (because that is where from comes the English word gullible as naive, easy to be deceived).
     In general, I have succeed to find only one advantage from such cheating of the clients -- for I, surely, am trying to counteract -- and this is that in this way the shop just keeps your tonus, keeps you fit in this way, does not allow you to loosen yourself, to grow old, in the end, because, as I suppose many readers know, the first signs of aging are reduced to impeded changing of your habits, to difficult adaptation to new things, due to the delaying of your reactions. So that, if there is a wish, one can benefit from a number of inconveniences, or else to allow the others to deceive him how they only can. Well, each has his (democratic) right of choice.
     Aug 2013




MISCELLANEOUS IN THE YEAR 2016*


     [ * Without the not big point 2, which is in the next Book 3. ]

     Now, gentlemen, I have declared to add no more things to my publicistics, yet sometimes something emerges, and this is not some new topic, because I have already covered all interesting themes (and if I have not covered something then this is not a global theme but so, arguing for the sake of it), but there remains to be added here and there something, and as far as to search each time for the suitable old paper and to add to it footnotes in n-places (because each site has its own peculiarities and is necessary its own edition) is a tedious work, then I have decided to write composite papers. As if till now nobody has written such things, but I am an unique writer (and let me squeeze here the funny remark that in Bulgarian "unique" is unikalen, which word I can split in uni + kalen, where the last means ... dirty, but in Russian the meaning is even more unpleasant for it is exactly, sorry, shitty, kal there is faeces), so that for this reason this is allowed to me. I can, naturellement, write short articles or letters, and increase in this way the number of my "works" (in quotes because for me a work is whole book, something independent), yet I just don't like this, and in addition I need not to increase but to decrease the number of my things, in order not to overwhelm the readers without necessity. So that, now, you are bound to become used to such chronicles or reminiscences. I, for my part, will just in case put numbers or subtitles.

1. Bank interests

     This topic worries me by itself, but also because I have said that when the interest percents fall below 2 this means that we are going to exit from the crisis, yet its end is still not coming, at least in Bulgaria it has surely not come. So that here is coupled (yet not copulated) the theme about the world crisis. Id est the question is such: why the bank percents (interest) are so low and how much can be expected for them to fall further down? And, respectively, what is happening with the crisis?
     Because in Bulgaria these percents have not yet reached the zero, but in some foreign banks in our country they have already reached it, ours are now below the one, and on the West they are somewhere negative. And they fall down pretty fast, for one-two years with 3-4 percents. If this will continue so then, say, in 2017 they will be about minus one, in 2018 maybe also 2-3 percents below the zero! Big "frosts" here are not expected, but till 3-4 "degrees" they can come. Even I personally, as super-economical person (by compulsion, of course, and entirely democratic), think that I will endure a pair of negative percents if will be forced to, because there is no way out, small sums I can keep at home, but big I can't -- even safes can be opened, and they cost a heap of money. I could have begun to buy gold, it is sold, but ... is not bought back so easy like the money. Id est if you buy gold then by the selling of it you will lose at least 15% (I am not specialist to tell you more exactly), and also it is sold in form of coins or small plaques (about 20 grams) and they will buy it from you at worst as gold, not as ornament, what will lessen the price with about 20 percents more.
     Well, what to do here I will not advise you, there exist dealers for this purpose and they are "feeding" themselves on your money, but they alone don't know what exactly, naturally -- the market is generally unpredictable, and the crisis too. I personally would have tried to spend as much as I can allow myself to, what is not only reasonable for the people, but is also a proper influence over the money market and the banks, i.e. the interest is so low because people have money. There is no reason to doubt in this because the banks live from the difference between put and take, and if people or companies want to take money then the interest grows, but if they don't then it falls. In principle it sounds pretty strange how in a country like Bulgaria, the poorest in European Union, people have money, yet this is so, they have, and more than 3 average monthly salaries, what now is a bit much (on the West a new car costs approximately 2-3 average salaries, and if the people there accumulate money they simply buy a new car, or also change the mistress, ah?).
     So that the end of the crisis will raise the bank percents a little, in order to bring them in norm; and the proper situation (according to Myrski, and the economists let dispute this) is that the lowest position on the curve of percents symbolized exiting from the crisis, and growth of the prices indicated a normal situation (i.e. ripening of a new crisis, ha, ha). What means that from here comes one simple conclusion: the end of the crisis will mean growth of the prices, strengthening of the buying of things, and development of the productivity. What in its turn means that ... there is nothing really to be very glad with this! Because, you see, for the poor always is bad, when there is no crisis (the prices are high), and when a crisis exists (no work and money). For this reason I don't wish eagerly that we exit at last from the crisis, because then all my savings will drop down at once (when the prices will grow up), and I will not succeed to benefit from the intensification of the productivity and the market, because one does not begin to work actively at 70. I am glad in both situations (for there is no use only to show discontent).
     Yet it is interesting how can be helped to the crisis, in order to end it, because: how long one can wait? So now, in order that the crisis ended, I explain it in simple words, is necessary that people will be required for the production of something, and then that they will begin to gather money, and will spend them, right? OK, but what to produce, when now already everything is automated and robotized? And, on the other hand, we, the poor people and in poor countries, have not so much money for to allow us to seek only the natural (or eco, or how they name it). On the West, in the wealthy countries the people begin to feed themselves with natural things and this requires simple, and even unqualified human hand, there they will exit faster from the crisis (although they have entered in it earlier, so that there is no big difference). But we continue to feed ourselves with all kinds of substitutes because they are twice (and even thrice) cheaper.
     And here we come to one of my theses, which I have elaborated also in form of utopian story, namely: the wars in some extent help to the production, they solve faster critical situations (ultima ratio or ultimate resort, after all)! I don't say that we have to fight now, this is good only for the nature, not for is, but we have still not learned how painlessly to destroy! Because everything is reduced to this, that we destroy something and create something new. The people are good in creating but to destroy we are not able. So that I don't see possible reasonable influence on this process. We don't want to give up the acquisitions of civilization, and suffer because of this. And the nature, or the dear God, applies its or His own methods, these are natural disasters, wars, and the like. When there are no wars, then arise paradoxes, like negative bank interests. When in this or other way the money (by the poor, naturally) decrease then we will begin to exit from the crisis, and the percents will begin to grow (and God forbid that this happened too fast but so, by a percent in about 5 years).
     Nevertheless I can make a proposition -- I wouldn't have been Myrski if I have exhausted all my ideas and propositions. But here everything is obvious, it is in the socialization of the society, in the eliminating of the need to accumulate much money, in the quiet life and ensured work. Well, prove to me that I am wrong. And even if we have now democracy (which for Bulgaria is synonymous with famine) something can be done, although this is more difficult in conditions of disagreements, but is possible. The proposition must be legally regulated, but the idea is that people have to be in position to build some groups, alliances, in which to enter with their own means as percentage of their income (i.e. the poor give less, and the wealthy ones more), exit from them with difficulties and as percent to the common sum of money in the alliance (i.e. you can get more or get less, if you exit after some time from the alliance), and otherwise they are for lifetime and the money or resources remain for the very alliances and for new members. This must be some kinds of communes or guilds, in the end, but organized on better principles, so that one could alone choose the community of people for oneself, not to close all in common "pens", or to submit to family relations because people are born different, with their own interests, abilities, and intellect. There is no need to speak here in more details by the simple reason that people now will, anyway, not want to apply such measures, they have not yet matured to this, but maybe I will elaborate this idea in some science fiction novel (if I will ever come to writing of novels).
     Ah, I can give also advice about the way how to keep money in the banks today, by low and nearly zero (and even also negative) percents, but here also everything is near to the reason and in the spirit of those propositions how to earn more on your money in the banks, which I have given before about 20 years. Hence, if one can now not (or nearly not) earn something, then the important thing is at least not to spend, and the banks, due to the compulsion somehow to exist under the weaker intensity of changing of money, have begun to invent various commissions for whatnot, especially for taking of money from the accounts, and especially if you want to use cash desks instead of ATM machines. It turns out that this commission fees far exceed all possible percents and this for yearly deposits, if you are not dealing with sums of the order of thousands euro, only then the fees enter in the limits of less than one percent. I am informed about this, and worst of all is if you maintain current account, so that you were able to take money whenever you want, and if you have a card for ATM for this also are collected various fees (and if you have not a card, then they collect even more from you on the cash desks).
     So that the solution is simply in this not to maintain current accounts, or to leave only one such account where to transfer money to you from your place of work. But in my opinion it is better to close also it, if you have not a decent salary or pension (approximately of the order of 500 euro), when for you is not so important the loss of a pair of euros in month but the convenience. Otherwise you keep everything on yearly deposits (or even for two years), and also one deposit for 3 months where you can transfer from time to time money, but take from it only once in 3 months. A bit complicated, yet there is nothing to do now. If you are sometime so forced to take money fast, then you can break the more distant yearly deposit (i.e. that whose maturity was recently, and the next term is not soon), in which case you will simply not get the symbolic percents, but will pay no fees for this. And have in mind also this detail, that now nearly all people use bank cards and do not receive money on cash desks (on the place of work) or by the post (for pensions), so that the biggest queues turn to be before the ATM machines in the days of paying of pensions or salaries, so that if you return to the old variant you will win time in staying in queue. Or at the worst choose for yourself some day 3-4 days after this term and think that then you receive the money.

2. -- not here


3. About the cold politeness and the inhuman capitalism

     Not long ago I thought suddenly that in the last several years I am more and more impressed by the fact how cultured has become our people (and I suppose also yours), and especially polite are in the shops, where they simply "sell" or "stick under your nose" politeness as additional service. And it turns out that this makes unpleasant impression on me because it is excessively (or "cherezchur" in Russian, what, when I thought about the matter, is split in cherez-through + chur-curse, what says that people from old times have cursed when something comes out of some limits). And why in my opinion this is bad? Because this is cheating, distracting maneuver, a kind of seducement, this disarms you and you are caught naked, so to say!
     Not only this, many people, especially women, have begun in conversations with acquaintances also to wish to the left and to the right all the best, nice day, in the native language, because this costs nothing and predisposes people. And according to me it is one thing when somebody is really interested how the matters stand with you, or wants that you have luck in your life, and it is another thing when the politeness is simply put on like a modern dress, with the purpose to deceive you in some way. Because of this the English (and Americans etc.) like often to add the word "indeed", in order to convince you that they are honest, what, in fact, with its persistence and ostentation proves exactly the opposite, like also the word "honorable" used in official correspondence to unknown persons, for whom you simply have no reasons to honour them (when you don't know them), or you even despise them (say, the opponents in the Parliament, or in the Court).
     Well, here almost every other person would have said that this is good, yet I notice such things because I hate the hypocrisy. And especially parade with this more ... elementary (in order not to say silly) people (or rather women, ha, ha), in the same way like they show off with a modern haircut or whatever foreign or bought (only not with their own knowledge or abilities). Be it as it may, in our unjust world everybody has the right to show some mimicry, but I an using this observation as introduction to the inhuman capitalism, or democracy of the right-wing (or Western) kind, because this parading politeness is entirely cold, as it befits the capitalism, and especially polite are in such institutions where they can offer almost nothing more than politeness (how, to give an example, they have been with me practically flawlessly polite in the pension institute, where have established that it must be enough for me to receive a little less than 70 euros in a month, what -- just so, for comparison -- is equal to 85 ... city bus tickets, i.e. almost by three tickets daily for all expenses!). This is like, to give one more example, when one goes to his general practitioner and the latter with smile on his lips says to him: "Ah, this are you, my dear John Johns, I am glad to see that you are looking still very good, having in mind that you have incurable carcinoma, he-he, well, you understand, yes, which will bring you to the grave after approximately two years. But you don't worry, here is nothing to be done, except to give you painkillers. I wish you wholeheartedly happy death, indeed."
     And that the capitalism is inhuman this has to be nearly clear to everyone, because it is like life, and it, as you know, is c'est la vie. But now I intend to express one stronger assertion, I think that the capitalism relatively to its abilities is more inhuman than the previous forms of social order like the serfdom and slave-holding system! Because: what could have done one large-scale slave owner, or, say, a pharaoh for his slaves, ah? After all, he could not have left them free to go where they like because where will they go when there is desert around (or mountains and forests, if we take the feudalism) and there they will die within few months, and he cares for them, he feeds them. If people were able to live fragmented and disunited in those times they would have lived so, but are necessary states, cities, industry, military power, and so on. And then the very slaves (as well also the serves) were entirely uneducated, they were simply more intelligent than the other animals, yet all the same, they were beasts and lived like beasts. And even the very "beasts" have not wanted to live separately, they wanted only that they had good masters. And if from time to time, either here or there, have arisen disturbances and rebellions, then this was simply another kind of ... suicide, i.e. the rebels knew that they will die, yet wanted that others also suffered from this.
     To educate all in those times was not possible, neither to dress all decently, nor to feed, and so on. And, generally, each social order exist in order to exploit the people, I have long ago observed and explained this, without exploitation there is no society, no development, here is nothing to be done, this is so also nowadays. The difference now is in this, that the form of exploitation has changed, the workers are more unfettered, they can move freely, yet they were and remain slaves of the capital, and without this slavery is simply impossible, otherwise the society will dissolve itself, this is for sure. And under the communism or totalitarianism also existed exploitation, i.e. squeezing of everything possible from the people, in the name of common welfare. And that this common welfare is used not by all -- well, all anyway can't. But this, what I assert, is that earlier it was simply impossible to make it better (else people would have done this). After invention of the steam engine, though, and especially of the electricity, everything has changed, it has arisen possibility for easy multiplication, it become possible to release a big number of people from the work. And the capitalism has freed them, they have become unemployed. Now the major thing is to find work, to invent it, not to do the unavoidably necessary, do you get the difference? The main aspiration of the good capitalism or capitalist is opening of jobs, finding of working places, not executing of necessary work, there are sought not people for the work but work for the people.
     What in other words means that all needs of the people are on the whole satisfied, there are invented new needs. The people can be elementary fed and placed in homes, but they always want something new and can't harness their reproductive instinct and there become more and more people, unjustifiably much, I have spoken about this, too. But the very fact that are thrown to the garbage goods at least three times earlier than their establishes term of use -- personal cars, all kinds of home appliances, homes, furniture, clothes, and also food sometimes -- signifies that is produced more than necessary, not that there is shortage of goods. And also don't forget that now almost all food is synthetic, and people buy it willy-nilly because it comes on the average about three times cheaper (compare with the so called "bio" products, which are approximately so many times more expensive). If this was not so then the people would have went hungry, but now it suffices to check a pair of ... garbage cans and one will find something to eat, ha, ha.
     And that this is so, that people can be elementary fed, let me give you some examples, which show that if some are going hungry then others simply wonder on what to spend their money. Say, in the moment in USA, but also in other Western countries if you transfer the money in US dollars, when one enters in a pizzeria one pays for a pizza plus cola or coffee approximately 50 US$ (in any case I know from a witness, that 30 years back, in 1986, the price for pizza in an establishment in United States was about 18 US$, and if you gave them 20 then they used to give you no change, and the prices jump twice roughly in 15 years); while at the same time I personally, forced by the democracy, have become used to spend in a month on food and drinking, approximately 25 US$, and I don't complain about this, it is enough for me (yet I may use another 25 dollars if necessary, but not more)! Another example: I personally in the moment of writing of this material am using computer Pentium-3 where is 1/4 GB of RAM memory and the disc device has 10 GB, and this is quite enough for text processing; while I am not sure what is the latest novelty in this area, but I think that the RAM has grown to 4 GB, and discs with less than 200 GB is hard to find and I don't know what people do with such machines (most probably they use such modern software products which on purpose use on an order more memory than necessary). Or take for example the last "hit" in culinary industry, the so called emulsion of pig skins, that is put en masse in the sausages (or dextrin instead of bouillons, mutated fruits and vegetables and so on) -- because when the pork skins do not go for shoes then why not to give them to be eaten by the people? But as a result of such tricks everything is cheap and suffices for all.
     In addition to this let me remind you that the pension insurance, introduced before more than a century (I think) in Germany by Bismarck (who, surely, was not a communists), exists already all around the world, and, no matter that in Bulgaria this is a weak, but it, still, is a help, if one is healthy and cooks alone and has a home etc., and the average pension in Bulgaria is about three times more than the very minimal one, while in the normal countries it is 5-10 times higher. Hence the money are found. Or also that one bus ticket for the city transport costed earlier half an egg (in order to use maximally simplified consumer basket) and now it costs 8 eggs, or 16 times more, and the tendency is for it to become 10 and 12 eggs, like it has to be on the West, what can be interpreted also that the prices of the tickets can be decreased at least 10 times (if the service will be worsened, but people especially want more expensive things). Also the healthcare was free of charge, and the education, and this means that we can again reach this if we express a wish. And at the same time have in mind that the banks are literally "bursting" with money, so that the money is also present.
     And I can propose you also one mental experiment, or more precisely the following: imagine that somehow, better in peaceful way, of course, if such exists, people on the Earth have reduced in their number at least twice (and I have calculated earlier that this has to be about 200 times). What will happen then, ah, do you grasp it? Well, it will happen this, that on the average everybody will have twice more of everything! Really, it is true that after some time the production of goods has to decrease, because there will be also twice less people to produce all the things, but I am not so sure in this, it might as well turn out that it will not lessen but will even be increased more. Because now everything is in abundance, anyway the food and the clothes are synthetic, in any case there are many robotized productions, so that it can quietly happen so that there will not at all be needed people in not very distant future, say, after a century (I have mentioned this in one of my science fiction stories).
     With one word, if the capitalism shows a wish, if the democracy sets for itself the goal to satisfy all basic necessities of the people, independently of this whether they work or not, this can be done relatively easy (in the next section I will speak about this). This is all the more possible, because now everything is much better organized and manageable than in the times of pharaohs, and all measures can be rapidly executed for the reason that now even the technical revolutions in some areas occur after 20-30 years, i.e. everything is very dynamic. So that the inhuman capitalism, or our Bulgarian anti-people's democracy, which has come on the place of former people's one, can be made more human, if only the society, both the wealthy and the poor, say that they want this. Yet the society simply does not want this!

4. How to better the capitalism?

     I have discussed this topic when have spoken about moderate capitalism and the BUM-bank, as well also when have spoken about the social Ministry in Bulgaria, and I think that have shown clear that the capitalism can be bettered preserving the form of ownership, preserving the exploitation, supporting the existence of poor and rich, but just reducing it to a more moderate and higher socialized form. Now I will propose another alternative variant which reduces to this, that can be introduced one more kind of deductions from the salary similarly to those for pensions and use them especially for bettering of the communal expenses; this can be easily done and in this way will be possible to fight also the monopoly of some services (say, the heating), because there, where a market exists, it adapts itself somehow to the abilities of the buyers, there are sold cheaper imitations, but the monopolistic services that are established in centralized way do not suit the population in the poor countries. I will express my proposition but let me in the beginning answer the set in the end of previous section question, why the population does not want to live more justified? I mean first of all in the poor and not very developed countries, yet also in the wealthy, like USA. I think that have tossed similar thoughts somewhere, yet it is not bad to collect all this in one place, because people as a rule do not ask themselves such questions, they know only to show discontent, but don't understand the core of the things, and without this it is very difficult to fight with the problems.
     Hence, firstly is important to note that the cares for the poor (for various reasons) and socially weak are better performed in wealthy countries, and in poor countries -- worse. In principle this is obvious, because in the wealthy countries the governments have more money also for the poor, and they do almost everything they can if only they don't touch considerably the interests of the wealthy. But they do this for the reason that everyone in his heart wants to do good, under condition that he will not suffer much from this, I have spoken long ago that the people (as well also the animals) are born good, but they become bad under the influence of the society, and this is why exactly it has to be bettered. It turns, though, that in the trivial things are hidden important moments, because look now what happens: in the poor countries the poor live worse because they live in poor countries, isn't it so?
     Well, such situation is called, this time in Italian, circolo ('ch...') vizioso, or vicious circle in English, but for technically oriented readers it is maybe better to speak about positive feedback, which is directly a scourge for any system because it can not stabilize itself, it all the time amplifies the signal until in some sense it does not burst. And it this case this means that nobody will help the poor in poor, like Bulgaria, countries. Because of this I think that "comrade Lenin" in his time has said that, you see, Marks may be right that the capitalism moves to socialism and in the wealthier and better developed countries it will come faster to the latter, yet this does not make us warm, we have to fight, we must make revolutions; id est the dictatorship may be a bad thing but this does not concern the dictatorship of the proletariat, because there is no go without it for us. I, by God, have never thought or dreamed that will be put in situation to defend Lenin, yet when I gave a thought to the matter it turned out that he was right, the vicious circles have to be bursted, otherwise it is impossible to get out of them.
     Though do not think, please, that I call for revolutions, nowadays this is entirely excessive, especially in Europe, this can be done using the finances, they offer much finer solution, and also by the eventual support from the West. But in order to exit from the vicious circle is necessary stronger influence, otherwise we will be forced to wait, me thinks, another 50 or so years, somewhere till 2070, and maybe even longer, till the very end of the century. Why I think so, ah, how I have calculated this? Well, there exists an interesting assertion that the companies exist mainly three generations, because the first creates them, the second expands them, and the third tries to spend the money. Here it goes not about company yet the model of judging is approximately such, that one generation tries to do something new, to build the democracy in this case, the second generation expands this undertaking, and the third becomes finally disappointed or tired by the ideas with which was brought up and wants something new (like, in fact, has done Gorbachev in his time and exactly in the third generation). And from the year 1990 till the current moment has passed exactly one generation, it was calculated earlier to approximately 27 years, but it might have grown a little in the last time, it may now near the 30 years. We (in spite of all my efforts, ah?) still think that the democracy is a good thing and will solve our problems, while it is just a means or environment for reaching of the goal, it by itself is not yet a solution. Without decisive actions we will not cope with the poverty, we can only bring to power the fascist, who will entangle even more the things. The West, even if it wants, can not help us, because here is necessary to change the model of thinking, is needed to grasp that to aim only at the big money is not a goal in life for reasonable people, we must outlive and reject the morality of newriches -- because ancestral rich person is one thing and newly enriched one is the scourge of God.
     So, and the next moment is in effect for all countries, for the rich, too, I have stressed on this and have given even ... etymological proofs, and it is in this that the people don't like the left-wing. They don't like them because we are living in a world of the strong and if someone preaches to take care for the weak, to unite the weak, he either pretends or has gone mad, such people can't exist. Because of this in the wealthy countries people want to become rich, not to fraternize with the poor, and in Bulgaria people also want this, the more so because in Bulgaria there are no communists, neither real socialists, our socialists just ensure for themselves the support of the elderly people, but they, too, are rich or want to become such. Well, the rich people can stick to left-wing ideas, this is not at all novelty, this (like I have pointed out) is so for the simple reason that there is an idea in the leftist doctrine, it is just, while in the rightist one there is no idea, it is the rough reality. Such people exist but they are exceptions, most of the people simply don't like the equality, putting it otherwise, they want that they alone were on the top, even not to be first between equals, how the old Romans have said, and then the other people let be equal, if they want this so much. Yet this is a question of sound judgement, and of good morality, too, and all religions (in my opinion without exceptions) preach the futility of worldly goods and cares for the poor and deprived. Only that the Bulgarians are not religious people, and this worsens even more the situation in our country, at least during the first and second generations.
     Well, there are other reasons, too, but they are not so significant. So for example always can be added also this, that people just want to be deluded (I explained this many times), want to believe in unreal things, say, that when they can buy in the supermarkets expensive things then they live good, while in the chain-shops everything is mass consumption, this is not refined taste. Or also they want to receive much, in order to be able to spend much, then people have higher self-esteem, not when they alone have made something important. Because of this people will hardly like much my idea about communal deductions from the salaries, but I think that if the things are not much exaggerated, how it was under the totalitarianism, then people can be convinced in the necessity of such measures. So that I move to the very idea.
     Hence, when we have already established, that the most difficult for the people, and especially in poor countries, is to pay the communal expenses, which earlier for us were either entirely free (like the education and healthcare) or with symbolic price (like the city transport, communications, electricity, medicaments, and others), then is needed somehow to help for lessening of this exactly prices. My proposition is reduced to introduction of communal deductions -- it is not very suitable to speak about taxes, because I have in mind deductions from the personal income before the imposition of taxes --, in the way like for the pension payments and of the same order, 20%, but this is as maximum, and maybe 15 or less percents. This must not affect the especially reach people, the capitalists, because this is not an additional tax on their enterprise but only on the salary which they pay to themselves, other unearned income (like rental or other charges) must not enter here. This money comes in, let's call it so, communal fund, and later it is distributed as subsidy to all companies that deliver these services, which are included in the circle of these communal expenses (this circle can change, some services can enter in or exit out of it); the very distribution is performed in accordance with the turnover or the amount of offered services in money equivalent. As idea this is everything, but mark that this percents are not equal to the percents of cheapening of the given communal expenses, they just stay in some relation with the percents of collecting, yet are different from them, the cheapening has to be with more percents for the simple reason that it affects only part of the expenses of the population, but is collected from the whole income of the people.
     For approximate evaluation of the proposition is necessary to have an idea about this, what is the part of these communal expenses, as well also what exactly enters here. I think that in full form here have to enter: the city transport, the central heating, the electricity, the water, the communications (phone, internet, letters), payments for education in colleges and universities (and maybe in kindergartens), medical care, medicaments, and maybe also part of food products of basic necessity (say, bread and milk) and some learning tools (say, more common computers). In minimal extent, though, must enter three basic for everybody expenses, namely: the city transport, the heating, and the electricity. Now about the part of these expenses. Well, I think nearly a priori that they are about 40%, for very poor they have to reach 50% (very, very rarely 60), and for quite affluent they fall down to 30%. But conducting of pretty exact calculations for the state must not be a problem because the companies supplying them are not so many, and for the minimum of three expenses they are monopolistic and for each city by one such company, which in any case stand in the center of public attention.
     Now can be expressed chiefly the objection that this money is gathered from the working ones, but are used by all living in the country (or the region), but they are beside the point, because all deductions are taken from the working people, and the pensioner or students, as well also the unemployed, in any case, are carried on the back of the working force. Here I also can give approximate numbers, and they are that half of the people work and half don't; in well organized countries for some time can happen that work till 60%, and in the worst case they are about 40% (though in Bulgaria has happened that the working were of the order of 30% but this is not normal, this is anomaly). So that it turns out that one working person will pay the communal expenses for one more dependent person, yet here nothing can be done, this is normal. Only that this is on the average, i.e. if we take the average working salary, but if we take the minimal salary for poor persons, which is normally 2 times (or 2.2, but rarely more than this) less than the average, then we can calculate also on the basis of minimal salary and one person in a small flat and by straitened circumstances.
     So, but let us initially narrow the proposition to 10% communal expenses and only for the transport, heating, and electricity, in order to make more precise calculations, as well also to begin at a smaller scale. We will use calculations based on immediate observations of the author, and by minimal salary in the moment of writing of the material of 420 лв. (in euro this will be twice less), and for this reason for a single person. A card for the city transport in Sofia for a month costs, let it be, exactly 42 lv (the real price is around this, it varies), what gives 10%; the heating for one-bedroom flat (we call this two-rooms, in order to look bigger) in an year for me, by super economies is about 250 lv, but really is 350, or by 30 lv per month on the average, though this is without hot water, and if we add the traditional 2 cubic meters then are added 12 lv more for heating of the water, what gives again 42 lv or 10%; and for the electricity by me the expenses in winter are 20 lv per month, but I have long ago turned off the refrigerator, which spends on the average 8-9 lv monthly, and even the TV set does not work, there are no other appliances except the electric stove, so that the real thing is not less than 30 lv, and most probably 35, what with some approximation can be taken again for 10%. In sum this gives 30%. If the salary is average, then the flat can be bigger, smaller is almost not met, and then for the transport the expenses can grow with about 50% (because the children and pensioners use discounts), the same about the electricity, and the central heating will increase even less (for the same flat), yet then will emerge other expenses (if in the full variant) like education, medical care, medicaments, and so on, so that the communal expenses for two people and for doubled or average salary will give roughly the same. Yeah, but if are deduced 10%, and if they are distributed over 30% of one and the same income, then this means that will be covered 1/3 of the communal expenses, or at least 30%! Because of this I think that 20% of such deductions will cover very quietly half of all communal expenses, so that maybe even 15% will be sufficient.
     Well, I see no shortcomings, except this that the state can complain that it will not get its money from the income tax on these percents, but here are two choices: either it will take it from those sums which it sends to the companies performing these communal services (what is not correct, because these are not received personal incomes), or will somehow manage without this money (in the name of the welfare of the population). And if there will be chosen some town of about 100 thousand people for the experiment then can be made also the final conclusions to enter this proposition in practice or not. I, after all, like have said, don't propose revolutions, but fine financial regulation of the unbearable for us communal expenses. It is true that people will receive a bit less, but for this reason they will pay much less for the communal expenses, i.e. this is a variant of organizing of socialism in conditions of capitalist economy and ruling.
     So, and then one of my more clever readers is right to ask me: "Yeah, my friend Myrski, when all this is so elementary like you show it, then why you do not look for some political power, in order to implement your brilliant proposition, as well also other of your similar things, but place them before us, nonprofessionals and without influence in the society?". To what I can answer that there are several reasons for this, more important of which are the following: I want not to lose my objectivity and independence as anonymous author, I don't want to take into consideration the interests of any political powers, then in Bulgaria (but maybe in any country) are no political parties for reasonable propositions, and, besides, the people must in all cases be taught, educated, forced to think and to doubt in everything what say to them those who are at the helm of power. And in addition to this I like the ideas, the solving of problems, this is like solving of tasks, I am a mathematician, and not the practical realizations, because the fasts are in their core ... faecal (I have spoken about this somewhere, in etymological sense), so that I prefer, like God almighty, to sit aside and watch the silly human behaviour, this role is suitable also to my age.

5. About the eggs and the bus tickets

     Well, here we will laugh a little, because the ideas are simplified and exaggerated, and about the eggs in the role of money I have spoken long before, about 15 years earlier. Only that here we will do without tables, because we are interested just in a pair of lines in them, like the price of city bus tickets and the minimal and average salaries in eggs. So back then, in the year 1988, as the last stable year before the chaos of changes, one ticket was 0.5 egg (I will shorten to "eg"), the minimal monthly salary (MMS) was 1,230 eg, and the average (AMS) -- 2,690 eg; then in the middle of 2008 one ticket was 5 eg, MMS -- 1,100 eg, and AMS -- 2,300 eg; now in the middle of 2016 one ticket costs 8 eg (I think that an egg size M is exactly 20 stotinki -- st, these are our cents --, because it varied from 18 to 22 st), MMS -- 2,100 eg, and AMS is about 4,500 eg (the year has not yet finished), and will add also that the average pension is 1,600 eg; and "in a kingdom, in a state" (how the Russian fairy tales begin) on the West in 1993 one ticket was 11.4 eg, MMS -- 6,400 eg, and AMS--14,280 eggs.
     So-o, and now let us translate all from eggs in tickets and let us see what we will get. We will get that MMS in Bulgaria now instead of 2,100 eg will become 262 tickets (we divide by 8) or 8.75 tickets per day, for all expenses, mark this. But let us first choose a new name for this new ticket money unit and I propose to use the same word ticket, only that in English will write it with capital letter and shorten to "tc". Hence one MMS gives nearly 9 tc per day, the average pension (for people with 40 years length of service) will be exactly 200 tc in month or 6.66 tc in a day, and the minimal pension will be 100 tc /mt or 3.33 tc /d (and for me personally it is 85 tc /mt or 2.85 tc /d). As you see, our democratic development is splendid, yet here is nothing to do, the voice of the people is like the voice of God, right? For comparison, in this fairy land (Austria) MMS will be 561 tc /mt or 18.7 tc /d; and even earlier in totalitarian Bulgaria MMS was 4,200 tc /mt (though this is not real, because the city transport was subsidized). But however it is we can express everything in Tickets, because there is no go without them, practically everybody uses them, so that let me give you some prices of food stuffs expressed in Tickets.
     So, one egg will be 0.125 tc, a kilogram bread "Dobrudzha" (which is the massively eaten bread in Bulgaria) will be 0.68 tc (and the usual loaf of 650 g -- I don't know why they have chosen this standard -- will be 0.44 tc, and if of 830 g, where the reason for the weight is again unclear, will be 0.56 tc), a liter of fresh milk is about 1 tc, 400 g sour milk /yogurt is about 0.5 tc, what means that a kg will turn to be about 1.2 - 1.4 tc, more or less decent sausages are about 2.5 tc /kg (yet there are also for 1.5 tc), the same for a whole hen, the mackerel is about 3 - 3.5 tc /kg, and that tiny fish, which we call "tsatsa", is now 1.5 tc /kg, further a kilo meat with bones or a good mincemeat is about 4 tc, our vodka a liter will be about 7 tc (and 700 ml -- 5 tc), a pack of cigarettes will be 3 tc, and so on.
     The major advantage of this money unit, however, will be that there will be no necessity to raise the prices of city transport -- when they, anyway, are established centralized, will be needed simply to reduce a bit the salaries in Tickets and be done with it! And this can be made also once in half an year or more often, not to wait until this has to be done with a jump, respectively, to decrease the salary; though nobody hinders us to raise the salary also in Tickets (like in eggs, too). More than this, when not only the prices of city transport, but also of all products (food and others) in different countries tend to equalize, like also the laws and other indicators of development of the society (only not the cares for the poor, alas), then these Tickets will become universal for the entire world! In the sense that various countries can print their own money and make own coins but they will be equal everywhere, in USA, for example, and in France, and in Bulgaria or Bangladesh (more so because the standard of life is also nearly the same there), as well also in Bujumbura (which name I simply like, it sounds exhilarating).
     So-o, and now I will express my idea about the design of these money units, because I see no reasons not to apply this brilliant idea in practice. We will begin with the coins, where the "silver" or white will be with values of 0.10, 0.25, 0.50, and 1 Ticket. Even here can be seen that 25 Ticket-cents will be the best value in the middle between 10 and 50 cents, what also by itself is an interesting innovation and equalizes the differences between various countries. And then there are no problems for the yellow ones or "coppers" to set values of 1, 2.5, 5 and 10 cents, and that till now there was in no country a coin of 2.5 cents is not at all argument for rejection of my brilliant idea, right? After all, I am not proposing a coin with value of, say, square root of 17 (yet further one root will appear), the half is a very good number, it as if allows specifying with precision of half a cent.
     With the banknotes we can proceed similarly, beginning with that of 2.5 tc, then 5 and 10 tc, a little bigger will be the banknotes with values of 25, 50 and 100 tc, and more bigger will be the ending 250, 500, and eventually 1,000 tc, yet for countries like Bulgaria there is no need to issue the last banknote when there on the average even for 3 months will not be accumulated so much salary. A little bigger in the size of banknotes means on 5 mm more in each direction or on 1 cm longer and wider, and the same for the biggest compared with the middle ones. We will clarify next also the colours and what will be pictured on the banknotes. So on this of 2.5 tc will be pictured a hen (for the reason that it costs approximately so much) and the colour will be yellowish (but especially here nearly pure yellow), on 5 tc will be pictured a pig (because a kilo of pork meat, as well also veal, comes about as much) and the colour in this case will be reddish (or nearly pure red), and on the banknote of 10 tc will be a bottle of vodka (but also other bottles) and in this case the colour will be silvery (but here pretty light). In order to standardize and alleviate the people we will preserve these typical colours also for the bigger banknotes, but will make them more dark, and then they will be the following: 25 tc yellow but darker, a bit to brown, and will be pictured clothes, or more precisely trousers and skirt (as roughly corresponding in their price), 50 tc red to brown, on the picture will be a screen of monitor, as symbolizing the electronic and other not expensive appliances, and 100 tc in silvery but darker, and will be pictured a bicycle. Further for the last triple will be preserved the idea of means of transport and the colours be made darker, and we will have respectively, 250 tc with a personal car, 500 tc with an airplane, and 1,000 tc with space rocket.
     Now let us return to the coins, where for the "silver" ones everything is obvious, going from the possibility to buy for this money what is pictured on them, namely: 10 cents this is an egg, 25 cents this is a cup of steaming coffee, and 50 cents this is a curved sausage (or the so called "kebabche" for the Bulgarians) better impaled on fork, and on 1 tc will be a loaf of bread and a pot of yogurt. With the smaller "coppers" the things are more complicated, because there is almost nothing that can be bought for such pennies, so that my proposition in decreasing order is the following: 5 c with a candy, 2.5 c with a biscuit, and 1 c with a pair of cherries. Hence all this is pictured on the front side of the coin and on the left of the number for the value, and on the right will be special emblem, which will be valid also for the banknotes, and there also will be on the right side and below, in a small circle, and which we will explain now.
     You see, when Myrski proposes this idea, universal for the entire world, then this emblem must be somehow related with his name, must it not? So that I propose the following: for the ones etc. (1 c, 10 c, 1 tc, 10 tc, 100 tc, and 1,000 tc) will be stylized image of the very Myrski, with his inimitable intellectual beard and mustaches, with a bit curved long nose, nearly like by the Hebrews, yet shorter, with grizzled (from thoughts about the people and society) hair, and with radiating (where this is possible to show, but at least on 1,000 tc this must be possible) shine (from excess of intellect, of course, it has to find its way out of his head, otherwise it will burst) eyes. This must be embossed and palpable, not only on he coins, there this is obvious, but also on the banknotes, because nowadays it is done so, as help for the blind, but also for higher security as protection against simple copying. Further on the fives (5 c, 50 c, 5 tc, 50 tc, and 500 tc) will be, again in a circle for the banknotes, shown ... the fingers of the right palm of the hand of Myrski with calluses on them -- as a result of hitting of the keys --, where the calluses must be also embossed (yet it is not necessary to show the papillary lines on them even on the big banknotes), i.e. with small points on the fingers for the coins. And there remained the new values, 2.5 (2.5 c, 25 c, 2.5 tc, 25 tc, and 250 tc) where must be another symbol related with Myrski and this is ... the whole earth globe -- when Myrski (in Slavonic) is world ("mirski") writer --, which can be given either as a view centered on Europe, Asia, and Africa, or as unwrapped globe (what as if is unusual, this can't be seen from the space), or simply in two adjacent circles (on the notes this is easy to be done).
     Now let us add the mentioned a bit earlier square root: I propose that this circle with the emblem on the middle banknotes (in 25 tc, 50 tc, и 100 tc) was with diameter of 1 cm, and on the biggest was in square root of two bigger (this is 1.4142, nearly one and a half times), and respectively on the smallest notes was in root of two less (than the 1, what will be 0.707). Well, the very design of the banknotes I leave to the designers, but it is good if the proposed by me pictures are placed symmetrically on the face side, and then can be some varieties, say: a hen (on the left, this is important, this is the weak side) and a cock (on the right), or a cow on the left and a pig on the right, or a skirt on the left and trousers on the right, or simply doubled pictures. On the back side will be state symbols, on the coins coats of arms, on the banknotes some important symbols for the countries issuing these money and so on, yet not specific persons but just so, landscapes; the water marks with emblems related with Myrski and the ribbons with the value will be as they should be. In principle is possible the 2.5 tc to make also like coin of two metals, this is done nowadays, and then the banknotes will begin with 5 tc; the colours may also be changed, but it is always good when exists some standard, in order that people do not become confused; the emblems, though is no need to change, they are suitable enough for the whole world.
     Ultimately, the idea to relate the money with specific goods, not with persons or objects, although not used till now, but is more suitable, it is apolitical, the pictures do not age (people will always eat, dress, travel, the goods remain). It might have been used also the egg, but it is on an order smaller than the Ticket, and as you alone have seen with the Tickets it is better, they are as if securities; the salaries can really be changed a bit if the transport changes, but it should not, I think that 10-12 eggs for a ticket this is the ceiling -- in Bulgaria still continues the transition to democracy, I have spoken about this, and for this reason are this jumps --, the very transport companies will not want to change the prices of the tickets when the whole economy depends on this (and, besides, I will give at the end one variant of painless changing a bit, establishing, so to say, a standard ticket).
     But the egg is present here as 10 cents, we have not thrown it away. I can even propose you such comparison, in order to feel better what heavy burden is the city transport for the poor countries and in conditions of democracy of Western type. You imagine that climbing on the bus (etc.) you begin to extract from the bag real eggs end throw them in some container in this way: bam, bam, bam, a dozen times in succession! Yet in order that they were possible to be used somehow (say, for making of egg powder -- the transport companies will become the largest producers of this product, ah?), you, cracking the eggs, separate the shell and toss it in special basket on the right (for producing of calcium), pour the egg in the container on the left, wipe with a finger each shell so as not to waste unused albumen, and when you break all the dozen (or the ten, how it will be decided) of required from you eggs, you take a scented paper napkin from the near stand, wipe you palms, and move further for to allow the other passengers also to "pay the fare". And this only in one kind of transport, but after this most often follows a second, sometimes a third, and everywhere by a dozen, and on the way back, too, in this manner there will be gathered about 50 eggs daily, could you imagine this! How many people can be fed on these eggs, ah? (And how many hardworking ... hens have stretched their bottoms in order to lay them, ah?) But they are swallowed by the insatiable throat of the city transport.
     Well, jokes are jokes, but by me all this is realizable, as you see, it is a question only of desire. And now about this how I personally imagine the payment of the fare in quite near future. Here everything is simple, with phone cards, how already some people by us do, loading in a bulk a lot of tickets by reduced prices, and then in the bus leaning the card against the reading device, this is surely an European system. Only that I have in mind a natural extension of this idea, where the card will have the unique number of the person, and in the system will be read this number, the date and the time of the journey, the city (in order to universalize this), the number of transport line, number of the bus, number of the stop, direction of movement, the number of already traveled stops, and maybe something else. This is necessary for to allow to set limits on the time -- till one hour exactly -- and on the stops -- till 12, or at least till 10, yet not in one only means of transport! Do you get it? The idea is not entirely new, but now it is fully realizable, and this will be the standard ticket, which can be varied a little. It will be necessary only to lean the card to the reader twice, by entering and by exiting, where on the entrance is obligatory, and on the exit is desirable. In the sense that if you have not checked yourself on the exit, then after elapsing of the hour the ticket will be taken for used, but if you have not yet spent the allowable limit of stops then you can change the transport and continue to use this ticket.
     Then on the entrance will be firstly checked whether goes a current ticket by you or not, and if not then it is opened, but if yes and you can continue to use it then it is continued. On the exit is checked firstly the number of stops and if they have exceeded the limit then the ticket is ended, then is checked the time and if there is left also time then the ticket is continued; if you have not closed the ticket then after a pair of minutes after the elapsing of the time it will be closed. On the other hand if you have entered the bus before the elapsing of the hour, then you can travel also above this time until the last stop in this direction. So that one can travel a pair of stops in a tram, for example, then 4-5 stops in metro, and then to sit in a bus and travel even an hour only in it and all this with one ticket. Or then to go somewhere in the shop, to buy fast something and then return within an hour. But one may not succeed for this time and then another ticket will begin. This is enormous advantage. And the transport company will lose almost nothing, because in this way the people will use more actively the transport and will not only curse this enterprise. Because in fact a card for a month (or a week, or a day) gives you this possibility, but this is if you travel often, and if you go out a pair of times in a month, or during vacations, and so on, with tickets is better. And it is also more justified, people value the justness. And the system should not be too complicated, it will be necessary also on the stops to erect special columns so that everybody could check how much more he can travel, like also the number of tickets, such things. The filling of the cards with tickets can also be done easy, from bank cards, too, and for money, can be allowed some overrun (say, up to 5 tickets), everybody will be allowed to have several such cards, in order to give the children or the old parents. Not only this, it will be possible in the end of each day to calculate the travels also from other towns (or villages) and exchange information and transfer the money. And can be also discount tickets, not only cards for a whole month, this exists in some countries, yet not in Bulgaria. But I think that it is enough on this topic.

     So that, my dear readers, as you see the year 2016 is prolific in regards to the themes, and I have succeeded to put them all in one material, pretty long, as it befits Myrski, right? I again declare not to write more publicistics, but who knows? And the 16th year of the century in Bulgaria was, in principle, good, there were not new elections (till October, in November will be Presidential elections, but they are not interesting, either will be chosen again the leading party even if only 30 % of the people vote, or else this will be the beginning of the end of its ruling), the year was warm, at least in Sofia, the winter ended early, in the summer, even if there were not rains the sky was often covered with clouds, i.e. there were not big heats, the prices have ceased to grow more (if one does not count the tickets, of course, yet the cards remained the same), even have maybe fallen somewhere a little, our population as if does not diminish more, I see that children are born, grow up, there are thrown more and more unbroken things on the garbage, the unemployment as if has fallen down a bit, well, everything is like on the West, if one does not take into account that the salaries are about ten times (if not more) lower than there. And even some hereditary intellectuals like your author have gone on pension (for the moment with less than three Tickets per day, but I think that it will not elapse an year and they will be whole three Tickets, every day, I will be even in position to save about ten tickets in a month). And then, when also the year is 16th -- and this is the first hypercube, 2 to the fourth degree --, and I have earned my pension for 16 years, and have till now no serious illnesses, so I think that am simply bound to live for another 16 years, am I not? So that I will prepare myself for the death somewhere in the 33rd year of the century, a suitable year for this purpose, I think.

     Oct 2016




MANIFESTO OF THE EEE

(Enigma of the Exploitative Elite)


     The history of all societies is a history of improving of the exploitation, or of changing of one form of exploitation with another one, better than the former. And "better" here means that it more exactly corresponds to the new economical, social and political conditions in the society. On the early dawn of human civilization the tribal method of exploitation in big families have been changed with the slavery, because this has been proved to be essential in the fight for survival between different states, and those of them, where there were no slaves, have fallen as easy preys in the hands of the stronger and better organized countries. Without the slavery order there would have been no Ancient Greece, i.e. it would not have been great country, having given powerful impetus in the development of all arts, sciences, and production of goods in that time, but would have been instead something like "Eskimo-land". The slaves were fed and clothed and, under a competent slave-holder, even for themselves it was preferable to be slaves in a great and prosperous country rather than free citizens in a backward tribe.
     With the evolvement of the economy, however, it became possible to change this form of exploitation with new and better one -- with the feudal form, where the people did not still carry chains and could move freely between the borders of the country, but ... if they had what to eat, only the "chow" in that times have come mainly from the earth, so that they were forced to state bound to it. Glad or not (because people are always unhappy with what they have, but due to this trait they are in position to incessantly evolve themselves) the serfs have lived happy for many centuries, where their misfortune have begun just then, when have perceived that they may live even better. But they have established this only when this has become possible!
     Afterwards has emerged the new capitalistic exploitation where only the property delimits the freedom of citizens, but this limitation is strongly needful for the existence of society, because without exploitation there is no society! And there is no society because the people must somehow be forced to do this, what is useful for all others in the country, and not only to look for their own interests. But even if somebody works for himself we can still speak about exploitation, only then about individual or self-exploitation, but it is the most difficultly to be reached.
     Linguistically looked the word "exploitation" means taking out ("ex-") of the whole (the "ploi-") of the person, i.e. to "pull out the soul" of the people. This, however, is neither good no bad, it is unavoidable, because the human is a lazy enough creature for to break his doing-nothing, if nobody forces him somehow to do this! That is why in the study there are (despised) teachers and (bored) students, not because the latter could not have studied very well alone (supposing there are good enough books), but because they wouldn't have done this. Exploitation exists in the production, in the family, in the sphere of education, in the sciences and arts, between people and between animals.
     If there is something bad in the exploitation, this is the bad exploitation, i.e. such which has already become anachronistic and does not correspond to the conditions of life! But even in this case it continues to remain on the stage for a long time, as it has become with the slavery order in one great democratic country like USA in relatively new time, when there was necessary to lead civil war and to kill about half a million people only to prove that, what has been known for a long time in the civilized world (and this is immortalized in the Constitution of the USA, where is literally written that the slavery is forbidden -- because it has been allowed). The weak and insufficient exploitation very often is worse than the stronger one, and the main reason in the social area for falling down of the communism was the insufficient exploitation after the 70-ties of the 20-th century (what now is called bad motivation), which has led to lacking of interest for better labor or producing of goods given to the population (because it didn't have fallen earlier, when the compulsion or dictatorship was stronger, but exactly when it has weakened). The advantages of the capitalism before the totalitarian society are not in the absence of exploitation, but strictly in its better correspondence with the productive and social conditions. And the dream of everyone under the capitalism (or at least of the millions unemployed all around the world) is not for him not to be exploited, but to find himself such employer, who can best of all "pull out his soul", provided he pays him good.
     Let we not deceive us, that if our "chains" can't be seen they does not exist! The main tendency in the society is for reaching of even better "remote control" of the masses, but not for rejecting of the governing. Without organization, i.e. without organized exploitation, the society would have been like a band of wolfs and this have been known at least from the times of primitive societies. But "known" does not mean well used, because all methods for selection of exploiters till now have been only opportunistic, i.e. such which can be found on the path of least resistance, but without whatever scientific ground or decision. Nowhere on the world have been reached the right view for estimation of the enigma of exploitative mastery, because this, really, is an art, which has its secrets and mysteries! Only we, from the Enigma of the Exploitative Elite (EEE), approach this problem in a right way, trying to find a scale for measuring of this art, on the basis of which the question for choosing of rulers or exploiters, what is the main problem in the democratic elections (but is useful also for the centralized government, too), can be solved. Stating openly that exploiter, this sounds great, we ask ourselves first the question:

     1. Why our democracy does not work?

     And really, why in one America, or France, or Germany, et cetera, the democracy (more or less) works, but in one Bulgaria, or Albania (or Bangladesh, in order not to feel ourselves on the last place) it does not work? But don't think that the situation by us is so bad because we are small country, for we have, both, flown away from one big country (the great and indestructible Soviet Union, which had at once crashed down), and there are also smaller countries, like Czech, Hungary, etc., which are still better than us. We are, as we like to say, as much people as there are in Switzerland, just that we are not Switzerland. Well, of course there are natural resources, social traditions, religious integrity, etc., but these are things that we are not in position to change (or we can change them, but very slow and difficult). Still, we also carry out elections, as they do in their countries, only in our country happen to be elected only bad politicians. In any case, intervention in the choice is the easiest way to better the things or to recompense some other minuses, and for that reason let us first look at the possibilities of the democratic choice. By this, however, we must stress that
     a) The existing democratic choice does not solve the problem, i.e. using it we shall still be at the end of the rang-list! This is so because the populace simply cannot know well his politicians for to make a good choice, and does not require from them any data or normative information, some document for qualification, on the base of which to do the choice. In no other area of activity people react in this way; wherever one applies for work he (or she) must show the required documents, only by the democratic elections such documents are not required. And when they are not required then the choice of the people can't be good.
     In this way, though, it does not become clear why in other countries it turns out to be good. In order to simplify the task let us speak not about choice of politicians but about a ... basket with apples! Then our original question can be paraphrased as: in what the American "basket with apples" (American Apples, ah?) happens to be better than ours? In other words, how is it possible that whenever one thrust his hand in the basket each time he catches good apples (nonetheless he can't evaluate them good beforehand)? Well, in this case it's clear that this is possible only if all apples are good! This would have been completely true also for the political "basket", if there were not other social or economical reasons, so that we are not stating that all our politicians are still "green", but the truth is that in a given democratic society all leading parties are equally able to rule the country -- what they also do, alternating according with the choice of the people. Only that for our country this is not a proper choice, and that is why EEE makes proposition for special preparatory choice of the "basket", so that to have there mainly "ripe apples" and, therefore, make the choice easier for the people. Our proposition will be given below, but let us now continue with the drawbacks of the democracy, which reflect particularly badly on countries like ours, stating that
     b) The western view on the question of democracy is not useful for the weak countries, hence, it is not useful for us! Here we are going from the thesis that the democracy, giving wider freedoms to the nations for their development, gives, in a natural way, advantage to the more powerful economies and better united nations, and, intentionally or not, violates the equality of stronger and weaker nations, because it is clear that under equal conditions in this world wins the stronger! In other words, when the West objects to the level of democratization in some country, this is mainly because of diminishing the abilities of the stronger countries to exploit the weaker ones. We do not blame the well developed countries (because their attitude is explicable and normal), we just declare the fact that exploitation exists also in dealings between states, and its character does not correspond well to the interests of weaker countries.
     The only salvation for the weaker in this situation is to unite with other weaker ones in order to become stronger (or to append or annex himself to the stronger). This, surely, is the main reason for creating the European Union (for to be in condition to compete successfully with the United States of America), and we do not reject such possible ways. But together with this we may win in the fight on the world arena also if we have better way for selection of exploitative elite, what could have made us stronger with our own strength. And in this way it is possible to affect not only the ruling elite but the masses, too, because
     c) The successful exploitation depends substantially on the exploited! Maybe the most important difference between us and the Americans (or Germans, Englishmen, etc.) in relation of the psychology of the people is their higher unity and organization. And one nation can't be well organized if it has not common views on principal questions of the country, but in a world of mass exploitation the principal view is the conviction for the necessity of it! It is possible that our non-understanding of this can be explained with our long-lasted communist influence, but the communism, in the end, comes not from the East but from the West, and in one America, for example, it was well known, though nobody there has wanted to be no wealthy people (i.e. to abolish the exploitation of the poor), but rather for themselves to become rich (what makes them to take active part in the existing mutual exploitation in the society).
     Apropos, in relation to the communists: one should not give big credence to them because they are perverse people. Not that they alone have some guilt about this, because if the capitalism a century back was what it is nowadays on the West then the communism or fascism would have remained just a theory, i.e. the communists are product of the society or of the unsuitable exploitation under it. But they are perverse because they call themselves with strange names, which a normal person would have felt ashamed of -- for the Russian "tovarishch"-comrade is derivative from "tovar", what is a burden or wares, so that this greeting has to be translated as ... load carrier or stevedore! Similar is the situation also with the western comrade (camerade /Kamerad), which comes from the camera (or cell) in jail, so that they are this time prisoners (galley-slaves, or slaves of the work). Well, the Bulgarians now also proved to be perverse because they ran away from the nice greeting "drugar", what means "the other one", which is both neutral, as well as speaks about friendship (what is very important for the successful exploitation).
     But let us leave the perversions aside and return to the unity of our people. If the population is convinced that each society relies on the exploitation in it, then the society will be good, and our country strong. And if we make the democratic choice such that to be chosen only "good" people, capable to give all hidden in their nature in the name of successful exploitation of the people on the way of democracy, then, looking on their successes, our people will listen to them and go after them as meek flock after its herdsman. And all this reduces mainly to the ability to measure their exploitative mastery, so that it is time now to go to the

     2. Evaluation of exploitative capabilities.

     Because there are not good objective criteria for estimation of the level of exploitation which each one can exercise in the society, i.e. we can't imagine organizing of exploitative exams, no their mass usage, we are forced to be contented with only fixing of the exercised by the person exploitation -- in some exploitative record books (ERB) -- and its accumulation with the years. For our goals, though, this is quite enough, where the received estimation can be used not only in the politics, but also by taking of whatever ruling position. In other words, together with the labour booklet (employment record book), each person who wishes whenever to begin to exercise active exploitative activity must maintain also a separate exploitative booklet, where each year are to be fixed some points (which we shall clear after a while), in different columns by kinds of exploitation (about what we shall speak in the next section).
     First let us discuss the scoring system. Its choice must be such that will allow maintaining of wide diapasons of values (say, from 1 to 1000 persons subordinates), so that to be measured mainly the level of hierarchy and not only the total number of persons, because no big boss governs alone his /her subordinates. Fortunately this question is solved for centuries in mathematics using the logarithmic scale, which is applied generously by "dear God" himself in our sensory organs. If we take as their base the number 2 then log2 2 is equal to 1, log2 4 = 2, log2 8 = 3, etc., where log2 1024 = 10, but loga 1 = 0 no matter what is the base a. In this way to each number N (the number of subordinates of the person), we set in correspondences its binary logarithm.
     The binary base is suitable with this, that if the working hierarchy is binary, then on the first level we shall have 1, for two subordinates, on the second level -- 2, for four people of the lowest level, etc., so that the level of hierarchy will be exactly equal to the binary logarithm of the number of his lowest executives. But this is idealized case because the number of immediate subordinates is, usually, around three, though they may reach up to 7-8, and in addition we are interested in the total number of subordinates, not only of those on the lowest level. That is why we propose to use the Neper number e, which is 2.7182..., what gives greater contraction of the diapason and for which loge 1 = 0, loge 2 ≈ 0.69, loge 3 ≈ 1.1, loge 8 ≈ 2.08, loge 10 ≈ 2.3, loge 20 ≈ 3.0, loge 50 ≈ 3.91, loge 100 ≈ 4.6, loge 150 ≈ 5.01, loge 404 ≈ 6.0, and let us set here one ceiling, as we in Bulgaria are used to do with student's marks (we use from 2 to 6, where the latter is the highest mark).
     This number now does not correspond exactly to the level, but neither the hierarchical tree is binary, nor it is needed to calculate some more complicated estimation for each person. The important thing is that this is suitable measure in the limits from 0 to 6, it is easy to calculate with ordinary professional calculator, and it corresponds approximately to the level (for example: for the tiny boss with 2-3 subordinates it is around 1, for 7-8 persons -- around 2, for 15-20 -- circa 3, etc.). In this situation is reasonable to set the condition to fix only values greater than 0.6, i.e. to begin with 2 subordinates (if they are integer numbers), and to work with precision up to the second digit after the point. As long as the logarithm, in any case, does not become integer, then there is no need to require that the number N is integer (i.e. we can measure also seasonal workers, computed proportionally to the period of time).
     Till here we have spoken only about computing of one of the columns in the ERB and also for one year. The accumulation will be performed via ordinary summation of the numbers in each column for the year, and after this for all years. Mixing the logarithmic scale with the linear one is clear that we shall get some distortions of the estimation, as for example: person who exploits three years by three workers will gather three points, or the same amount which he would have had for one year from 20 or so workers. But this is not undesirable, because we measure not just some number but exploitative abilities, which depend stronger on the time of their applying (i.e. on the gathered experience), than on their strength in one year, and in the financial assessment of the person using his salary the distortion is even greater, because it is hardly to believe that the salary of a supervisor of 20 workers will be three times higher than that of a tiny boss with only three subordinates (maybe this relation will be about two times).
     After all said till now we are ready to continue with the question of the

     3. Kinds of exploitation.

     The issuing and maintaining of exploitative booklets must be performed by a special institution with working name Bureaus for Registration of Exploiters (BRE). Each citizen of age must have rights (after corresponding judicial regulation of the matter) to receive an ERB, in which each year to be put the earned by him exploitative points, where the various columns are filled from the immediate instances, but the attestation and summation for the year is performed in the BRE, which has the rights of higher control institution. In each column can be entered only more than 0.5 points for the whole year, where is marked also the period of time, in order to recalculate the points if the year is not full. Such calculation is performed in the BRE proportionally to the time (if there's a need) for each column separately, after what in the total column the points are summed with two decimal positions (after the decimal point), but if for all columns can't be reached at least one point then nothing is entered for the year (i.e. 0 points). Each person can receive points in different columns, notwithstanding the fact that they may be related with one and the same place of work (and this is normally to be supposed by big exploiters).
     The Enigma of the Exploitative Elite proposes in the ERB to be maintained the following 5 kinds of exploitation, namely:
     a) Administrative exploitation. This is the most widely spread kind of exploitation, which we have had in view by explanation of the assessment, but not at all the single one. Here the question is about these exploitative abilities (working with masses, governing, representativeness, organization of the subordinates, etc.) which are shown when one takes some higher executive position as hired worker against payment. The assessment of these abilities is done with the number (N) of all subordinates of the person, where for the purpose must be used some scheme of hierarchy of the posts in the factory, especially if it is a big one (for small companies with maximal yearly average number of hired persons, according to the official financial documents, not higher than 10 persons is permitted not to make special scheme). The entries in the ERB are made by the organization where the person is hired, in the limits from 0.6 to 6, even if the organization is bigger than 400 people.
     More than this, inasmuch as there is difference in the abilities needed in the civil sphere and those in the military or militarized subdivisions, we propose to exist some diminishing coefficient for the latter case in the boundaries of 0.5 - 0.8, by which to be multiplied the number N before taking the logarithm of it. We find this justified because it is more difficult to rule a factory with 100 workers, than a subdivision of 500 soldiers, for example, where there are strong disciplinary punishments in cases of non-obedience. In addition to this, in various institutions where the employees work with big number of clients, in positions filled by way of elections in the democratic institutions, in the educational or health-care institutions, et cetera, is counted the number of staff subordinates, and not of the customers (what is obvious).
     b) Financial exploitation. This is one non-direct exploitation, which one performs via his capitals, keeping shares (or bond, securities) of companies, but not working immediately in them against salary. Here also is calculated first some number N, what are again workers, but employed yearly on the average in the companies, parts of which the person owns. At first sight one may think that such calculations would be difficult, but having in mind that we observe only such parts which will give more than one person, it is clear that the point isn't in owning of 4-5 shares out of tens of thousands emitted, even if in the company work several hundred employees. Each company which has emitted shares on the market surely knows what is their minimal number, which corresponds to one employed worker, and the situation is even easier with owning of parts of companies, where this can be applied to only a pair of persons. After calculating the number of workers non-immediately exploited by the person is taken its logarithm and the gathered estimation is entered in the ERB, where here also is applied the limitation from 0.6 to 6 points.
     c) Social exploitation. Here are measured the exploitative abilities of persons engaged in one or another form of social activity between the population (regardless of the fact against or not some payment), like: participating in parties, non-profit associations, religious or educational organizations, et cetera, inasmuch as each form of influencing over the minds of people is conductor of ideas, aiming at forming of such behaviour between them, which is useful for the person or organization which he represents, and, hence, leads to some exploitation. But in this case it is very difficult to measure the number of people which fall under this influence, particularly because it is very small and must be applied powerful depressing coefficients (1/100 or 1/1000, for example), and because of this we propose to use some standard scoring in the limits from 0.5 to 5.0 maximum, and by steps of 0.5. Each similar organization must offer in the end of the year list of the persons who are to be marked with more than 1 point, in order to be entered by BRE, and enter in ERB only for the persons with 0.5 and 1.0 points.
     For that purpose must be made in beforehand corresponding tables, where for some of the posts we propose the following: President, Attorney General, Supreme Judge, Chief-commanders of various armed forces -- 5 p. (for point or score); their direct assistants -- 4.5 p.; Chairman of the Parliament, Head of the official Church, President of the Academy of Sciences, Ministers of various Ministries -- 4 p.; their direct assistants, Chairmen of Commissions to the Parliament -- 3.5 p.; Members in the Parliament -- 3 p.; Municipal Councilors -- 2.5 p.; heads of political parties, religious groups and other non-profit associations (with at least 1000 members), not occupying some of the above-mentioned posts -- 2 p.; their assistants etc. -- 1.5 p.; other ruling personnel of similar organizations -- 1 p.; and ordinary members (if scoring) -- 0.5 points.
     d) Personal exploitation. As measure for self-exploitation of each one is used his /her salary, but as far as we must compare it with something symbolizing one human unit we accept for this purpose one minimal monthly salary (MMS). The allowed interval is from 0.5 to 2.5 points (i.e., after taking the logarithm, or initially from nearly 2 MMS to about 12 MMS). This column, too, is filled on the place of work and is attested in BRE.
     e) Professional bonification. Inasmuch as everything can be learned, so the exploitative abilities also can, up to a certain extent, be learned and one education of the kind must be marked somehow. For this purpose must be elaborated one list with qualified in this case types of education, where we find that these are, e.g.: management, public relations, journalism, law, and other social sciences. The scoring here is humble and in the limits from 0.5 to 1.5 p., where 0.5 is given for college (non-tertiary), 1 -- for university (tertiary), and 1.5 -- for higher than tertiary (or more than one tertiary) such education. Entering in this column is made in the BRE after showing (the first time) of the corresponding diploma.
     With this we finish the explaining of major topics of the EEE and proceed to the last

     4. Conclusive remarks.

     The Enigma of the Exploitative Elite does not plead for changing of the existing democratic elections but only for introducing and using of exploitative booklets. After some 10-15 years there will be persons with 50 points in the ERB, and maybe even with hundred points. They can be accumulated in different ways, for example: a) small owner with 5-10 workers and personal ruling of the company will gain in an year: 1.5 p. for personal exploitation, 2 p. for financial, 1-2 p. for administrative, and having a diploma for manager another 1 p. (and, probably, 0.5 as some small party functionary), what already gives more than 6 p., so that for 15 years this will reach up to hundred; b) professional businessman who takes a becoming post in, say, a bank can accumulate: 1.5 for personal, 2.5 for administrative, 0.5 for owning of shares with the time, 1.5 for professional (certified MBA), what gives again about 6 points in an year; c) important administrative director ruling over a company with 150 workers will have only in the administrative column 5 p.; d) prominent politician, member of Parliament, will have 3 p. for social, about 2 p. for personal, something for administrative, 0.5-1.0 for financial (probably), and 1 p. for education; e) high-ranking post in the army will gather about 4 p. only in administrative line; and so on.
     These booklets will be useful for all chiefs, politicians, businessmen, media staff, clergymen, ordinary citizens, etc., because they will fix and accumulate their exploitative abilities and for each sufficiently high position they will be required, if not mandatory, then at leas as a significant factor by their application for the job. With time it will show that a party, which did not ballot leaders with high points in the ERB, will just not have the confidence of the masses and will lose in the elections. We do not force the parties to use ERBs -- they alone will take this as requirement. And the more the democratic principles in our country flourish, the more appropriate will be fixed the secrets of exploitative mastery in the exploitative books, because the bad chiefs will be quickly changed and other persons will go ahead in the number of points. Only with the help of EEE will our country succeed to catch up with and overtake the economically well developed countries, in which the exploitation advances still sporadically, where by us it will be subjected to exact empirical estimation.

     The classical democracy sets on the possibilities for free choice, but does not make anything for forming of the algorithm of choice. In this situation the things go well where they have always gone well, and, respectively, bad -- where they were bad. Put it otherwise: where has leaked, there will leak again. Only our EEE gives the possibility also in our devastated economy to begin to flow rivers with ambrosia.

     Even if EEE will not better the policy, it will better the economy, but the best policy has always been the best economy, hence, EEE will better also the policy!

     If you yearn for our country, then you yearn for the exploitation in it, therefore you long for the Enigma of the Exploitative Elite.

     Perceive our Enigma in order to build our own exploitative elite!




MANIFESTO OF THE CCW*

(Corrupted Cadres Wing)


     [ * Here the letters in the original are three "k"-s and wing is krilo. ]

     The history of all societies is a history of continuous establishing of existing tendencies while reaching the required level of ripeness! It has never occurred that something was settled and legalized in the society before it has arisen as a germ and has acquired some procreation, which has enforced the setting on the agenda of the question of its accepting; but this only has never been enough if the thing in question has not corresponded well in its degree of development or ripeness to the needs of society and mostly of its government. The first part of the above statement defends the thesis that in the social development can't be seen unmotivated ideas, which have not initially arisen as non-justified, or non-lawful, or heretical thoughts, because there is no way to fix something about which nothing is known (and the new things in the beginning are considered heretical), what is obvious. The second part of the statement requires some time for comprehension or maturing of the idea, until it becomes "palatable", i.e. for its establishing as principle in the social government, where the different ideas need different level of ripening for to be taken out of the sphere of unofficial practice and accepted as rightful in the official; dually viewed we may assert that the society has to ripen for to accept some new proposal. This, naturally, is only a qualitative relationship, but it suffices for our aims, as we shall see later.
     So for example in the foundations of slave order, surely, has existed the idea for giving more freedom to the slaves in the limits of some isolated place or island, where they could be in position to move freely but can't run far away, only there was needed much time till this idea has ripen in the form of owning of serfs (i.e. of attaching to the land, without which one could have not sustained his life in those times). Similarly has come the next freeing of population via substituting of the serfdom with setting the people in dependence only upon the means for existence, i.e. on the goods produced with their labour, which they can exercise everywhere, provided someone is ready to pay them for the work. Another example give us the measures for punishing of the heretics or the persons convicted to be possessed by evil powers -- in bud there were present all possible measures, but were applied only those of them which were the most suitable, according to the taste of the rulers, and when some measure has "over-ripened" then it was rejected or substituted with another one.
     It can also be mentioned that the ideas of communism have existed in some form back in the times of Plato, but there were needed to pass many centuries until they could have ripen enough for to be applied somewhere, and, still, not everywhere, but in certain countries where they were proved to be most suitable for usage, otherwise, communes have existed long before the emergence of communism. In the same way we may observe also the appearing and legalizing of different social norms or civil rights, which are applied when this becomes possible. There exists certain analogy in the degree of ripeness of these things and the taste which have, for example, the tomatoes, or cucumbers, or melons, if you like, where nobody would have liked green tomato or overripe cucumber, and the capitalism usually is liken with the taste of the medlar because until it is overripe it's good for nothing (something in which we should have convinced ourselves from our experience in the last democratic years).
     What concerns the corruption, then it has existed from the beginning of the world, but till now its time has not come to be recognized in the governing, because it was still green, or the society was not ripe enough for to appreciate its taste. But the fact, that it is applied illegitimately and unofficially almost everywhere, says that there are many connoisseurs of its taste, as also that it successfully complements various lawful situations, where with the help of it often a right decision is reached. And, really, for that who gives a decent baksheesh to some governmental officer, for example, in order to compensate the unjustness of some law, or to "grease" some judicial institution, is just the same whether the decision is got after he has paid a tax to the state, or he has paid it to the officer; and for the latter is also one and the same whether he receives enough money from the state to defend the justice, or he defends it against an additional payment.
     As you see, if the baksheesh is in the interest of fairness it is morally acquitted, so that bad is not the corruption but the system of law and order which causes it, where it can be boldly stated that there is no law, which is always just, and even less so to be just for the mostly deprived and weak part -- at the best case it can be right for the stronger one, i.e. for the state. Be it as it may, we expose these thoughts not in order to condemn the laws or the judicial personnel, but to acquit the corruption, if it is in the interest of something more important -- be it some freedoms, be it more happiness for the people, be it more effective defending of these same laws.
     The very word "corruption", or the adjective corrupt in English, means pollution and comes from the Latin, but what is the pollution if not a certain degree of ripeness?! If we return again to the analogy with the melon then it (from the positions of the cucumber) may be taken for "corrupted" when people use it as food (as well as also the paradise apple, or the medlar, or the capitalism, according to the above remark), but this does not impede it to be tasty and nourishing. And isn't that animal called vulture, to which all look with great disgust because it feeds on decaying and decomposing food, at the same time be called also "sanitarian of the nature", because it fulfills very useful functions? And is there a country which may boast that it has succeeded to combat completely the prostitution, which is one typical instance of the decaying of the moral, but exists from the times of Babylon, and up to the current day, no matter whether legally or not, because it is needed for the society and has ever been needed (and will be, at least until the opposite tendency arises in some wide-away future)? So that the corruption should not shock us at all, but must make us to think when and where it is needed! We dare to announce that the corruption in the politics, obviously, is necessary and unavoidable (at least because it, anyway, exists), and the time has come to make it legal, because it is needful for the democracy, or the democracy requires it! So that let us begin.

1. Drawbacks of the democracy

     The real democracy has various drawbacks which could be eliminated, and here we shall stress on some of them which can be overwhelmed with the help of our Corrupted Cadres Wing (CCW). They reduce mainly to the inability for mutual help between the voters and the elected persons and are the following:
     a) The lack of direct contact of the chosen delegates with the voters and vice versa is one very important minus of all really existing democracies. If we look non-partially at the things we shall see that the anonymous choice makes the things very complicated, because no Representative of the people can know whether someone has voted for him (or her, surely) or not. More then this, he does not know what people on the average have chosen him -- young or old, with secondary or tertiary education, employees or owners, from what ethnical groups, et cetera --, and this knowledge could have been of use during his activity, in order to know whom he defends. The meetings with the "voters" are not meetings with his real voters (and that is why we set them in quotes); it is not clear whether the people who try to find him personally have really voted for him, i.e. whether they have aided him and whether have believed in him, or want now to use his position, but on this world everybody wants to know who are his people, on whom he can rely. The anonymous choice is such because till now has not been set the requirement for it not to be such (at least for some parties), i.e. till now the situation has not have ripened, and the anonymous bulletins are just an easy way for choosing. Until, however, the voters and the elected ones can not know one another at least on paper (i.e. by name, or Unique Citizenship Number, or some document, which may confirm the choice) they will not act affiliated and united; until there is no way for them to lend hands (even not directly) before the elections, they will not lend them also after the elections! If under the democracy the ruling of country is done by Representatives of the people, so the former must know what people they really represent, otherwise the representativeness is a pure formality and demagogy.
     b) The lack of mutual help between the two sides in the democratic elections sets great difficulties before the individual (independent) candidates, which may be expressed both ways: the poor politicians, for their part, have practically no chances to be elected, because the electoral campaign costs big money (and instituting of property qualification, as it is in some countries, is anti-democratic element); the wealthy individuals or legal entities, for another part, can't legally enforce their choosing, or of their representative, with some kind of bribe or reward for the voters (who would have been only glad to receive something free), and when some people from the masses want something that makes nothing to the others it is entirely democratic to give it to them. With the parties the things are otherwise because they are supported by their party members, i.e. the parties, de facto, are bribed or corrupted, and for that reason they have money for pre-electoral campaign, as also for their post-electoral functioning! This, that the regular members don't give bribes to particular persons, but to some kind of "non-personal" non-profit associations, does not mean that these alliances are not corrupted in the usual meaning of the word, because the parties perform their activities in return for the party fees collected from the members dividing the money between the ruling body, but this is pure bribe, because it is given in advance, just that it is legalized and is not called so. Such procedure, though, does not exist for the individual candidates and it is time to make this also legal.
     c) The democratic elections are not controlled openly by the capital, what could have been good if we lived, say, under the feudalism, but in one capitalistic economy the important thing is the capital (for the English speaking persons this is obvious because this word means together with a big sum of money also a major town, and the root is Latin meaning a head). The bad thing is not when the capital forms the choice of the masses, but when the masses don't want this, what the capital offers them, yet there is nothing non-democratic if the people may win from this, influencing the choice via their capitals, or the other way round -- when they may receive some capitals for their choices. It is, really, high time to come to the right understanding of this question, because the current situation is such that the capital, in any case, forms the choice of the public, but not at all in the interest of the masses! If some group of people, big enough to ballot their own Representative in the Parliament, or at least in the Municipal Council, wants to pay (something small, usually, because the persons are many) in order to have there reliable defender so this is entirely reasonable and democratic, as well as if one big company decides to pay something to the people who vote for its own individual (because if they vote for him or her then this means that such is their wish!), so this also is correct. The financial corruption in the elections is called so only because it is not fixed in the laws and legalized, so that we are for legalizing of the corruption, which in this way will vanish!

2. Proposition for changes

     a) There must not be required always secret voting and if the voter wanted to give his vote in the open, then he should be allowed to do this, where he will receive some document confirming his choice, which he may use later if needed. This does not require fundamental changes in the Election Law but some time from two to four weeks before the official date of the elections, during which those who wish to vote openly will be able to do this in the corresponding Municipal Councils, where their choice will be fixed in computerized data base and their names will be checked off in the electoral lists. In the existing law it is possible to vote by telegram but as a rare exception, if the voter isn't at the moment in the country, where we wish that this will be made a rule. In this way everybody (who wishes, of course) will be able to prove his choice, be it in order to guarantee easier access to some chosen person, be it to pretend later for some present by the person or company which stays behind him, be it to be entitled to ask for some responsibility from the chosen person, if he was, so to say, his "share holder" in his choosing -- the specific form of mutual cooperation between the voters and the chosen persons will be established in each party or coalition, which accepts the platform of the CCW. In this sense there may exist different Wings for each of the cases, with their own regulations.
     b) There must not be required obligatory entering of the names of the candidates in the electoral lists of the parties, because for the very choice is important the number of mandates for each political power participating in the elections (the seats in the Parliament or Municipality) and not the particular persons, who can be established according to the regulations of each of these powers also after the elections in a period of again two to four weeks. This will facilitate much the individual candidates -- and they are the really democratic nominees -- because they will be able to unite in some Wing, and on the basis of the received after the choice documents will become clear who exactly from them is chosen, as also with how many votes for each of the candidates. Such document could be one additional piece of the quittance given from the Municipality by the open voting (one exemplar has to be for the voter, and one for the archives of the Central Electoral Commission), in which the voter can enter the name of the actual candidate from the Wing and mail it or bring it on hand. In the central base will be kept data only for the parties participating in the elections, not for the persons, and everyone who has voted openly will have the duty to send this piece to his candidate.
     In this case the CCW will be able to jump over the threshold for participating in the elections (in Bulgaria it is 4 per cent) and each of the individual candidates having reached the needful number of voices will really enter in the corresponding instance, where these (supposedly many) of the candidates, for which there are not enough voices in the beginning, will be able to receive or give their voices to others (it doesn't matter whether we shall say "give" or "sell" because when one gives something he does this, either on account of some past, or some future, service, i.e. each favour has its price!), where only for one candidate will not be enough voices, and many will drop out, but shall win something from this via the initially received for them voices. In this way the necessity of individual candidates vanishes because they will unite in Wings and will become more powerful and able to compete with the parties, but each of the parties can also will benefit from this requirement because there is no need for some person to enter his name in 3-4 election lists (in different regions), and there is no need at all for each elections to make lists with the names of candidates because they, anyway, are from one and the same party and only its name suffices (what will make the procedure of elections much more cheaper). In addition to this the performed in this way elections for Parliament will become really national (because it is national institution) and there is no matter at all from which region the given person is elected, and if he wants to know by whom is elected then he could be able to find this by the pieces from the quittances for open voting (if the voted for him send them to him).
     c) There must be legalized the corruption between voters and chosen persons and be given publicity to all financial machinations accompanying the elections, because everybody has rights to know what person or party which financial backing and from whom has received for to conduct the elections, as well as after this, too, what receives or gives. If some firm wants to buy his representative in the Parliament giving to everybody who has voted for him by one share, then why not to make this in the open, instead of to search some "doors" in the laws or to throw unnecessary financial resources for advertisements (unnecessary because they don't enter into the pockets of the voted for its candidate)? If money drive the wold, then let us at least know how they do this! This corruption is needed for the people and, as far as it existed, is better to render it legally (because else it happens something like the existence of ethnical party in Bulgarian Parliament, which is not called so because this isn't allowed by the law, but this does not hinder it to be ethnical and to exist).
     Also, what is wrong if some region, or professional, or ethnical organization, wants to ballot its own person, who, though, is poor enough to organize alone campaign for his election, but each one of those people would have, with light hand and pure heart, donated some small sum of about, say, a pare of dollars? These people can simply become auctioneers of this person and choose him, and even collect later by, say, one more dollar, in order to give him the possibility to build himself some decent home, where to receive his voters. Instead of corruption only of the parties we want that everyone could be in position to corrupt himself, because this is an expression of democratic rights and freedoms, and the people must receive them!

3. Future evolution

     When the Corrupted Cadres Wing achieves the necessary influence between the population the elections will become one democratic share market, where wins the better politician, and from this, at the end, win the people. The politicians will begin to be bought and sold as the football stars, for example, but in what one politician is worse than a well-known football player? Does he not have an appearance, or the needed education, or does he not bring emotions to the people who, anyway, want not only bread but also circuses? The only thing that out politicians don't have is money and that is why they often are forced to harm the state (what means the people), but if they cost millions, and given voluntarily by their supporters (be it private persons or companies), then the masses will be more satisfied by their "play" (to say nothing about the very politicians). When the politicians become richer they will work even more productive for the happiness of the people (because will be legally well ensured), and this, that the capital will propel the things is not only justified, but will also include the common people in this play, because everyone will be allowed to support whoever he wishes and win by this.
     Every politician must be allowed to institute his own political company, which is to exist on the principle of joint-stock company and to sell shares to whoever wants to buy and win together with him! The shares of one politician will rise and of another one fall but they will be bought and sold, and these will be real shares, not some literal hyperbolas! Each one having given his voice for the politician will receive against payment one share, and the very politician could be allowed to buy in each elections from 10 to 50 of them (depending on the level of elections and some national rating), but later on, on a common assembly of share holders will be decided about the distribution of the dividends each year, as well as about emitting of additional shares. In each new elections, in which the politician takes part will be emitted new shares under the same regulations. The politician alone may have the highest number of shares in this firm of his own but this isn't at all mandatory; he (or she, surely) may receive some help from political parties or business organizations, but also from every common citizen who wants to do this; the political firm will make business like every other one, but will be engaged mostly with maintaining the image and marketing of the politician. But well, that is the life, that is the share market, that is the capitalism, and the talking about corruption is outdated babble of the defenders of our totalitarian past, when everything was done concealed from the people and later they were just informed about the taken decisions. With us everybody will have the real chance to win out of the elections and politicians, and this will be only beneficial for the people.
     Besides, let us not forget also the following important moment, which will be direct consequence of the activity of CCW, and this is the assertion that only proper business foundations in the politics will give good possibility for individual development of the politician and for complete manifestation of his abilities, what is namely the goal of each democratic society. The people choose the actual personality and the parties are only some linking and depersonalizing instrument and, in this sense, only via CCW could be reached real democracy, where is valued first of all the personality and singularity of the politician as representative of the public and not his devotion to some common ideas. The way to modern democracy unavoidably passes through the Corrupted Cadres Wing!

     To legalizing of political corruption in order to eliminate it from political life!

     Set the politics on business fundament for to better and elevate it!

     Ahead to real democracy with the Corrupted Cadres Wing!




DOZEN QUESTIONS FOR DELIBERATION*


     [ * I have put it as leaflet in a hundred of mailboxes, but without effect, I suppose. ]

     1. If the democracy was such a good a thing then why was there necessary to wait whole 25 centuries for it to come to Bulgaria, when we are their immediate neighbours?

     2. If the dictatorship was such a bad thing then why in the times of our "Bai Tosho" we have lived significantly better than now?

     3. If the capitalism was such a good social order then why was it necessary to invent the communism and the fascism? And if they were not realized wouldn't have the capitalism still remained in social regard on the level of before World War One?

     4. If the communist block have not turned to be more effective than the capitalist one then why the wealthy capitalist countries have changed the policy of the "stick" with that of the "carrot" (according to your proverb), i.e. instead of to continue to turn their backs to us they have decided to give us a hand (or why they have not given it earlier)?

     5. If it was necessary to renounce the utopian communism then why was it necessary to return back in time to the period of "green" capitalism, instead of to converge gradually to the existing on the West for a long time socialism (although not called so there)?

     6. If it was so necessary to sell us to the wealthy Western countries then why we sold us on the possibly lowest price (when our minimal salary has reached 10 times lower level than by the totalitarianism, and our levs have become smaller than stotinki-cents)?

     7. If in order to build ourselves new "home" was necessary to destroy the old one, then must we all this time until we build it live "in tents"? And was it at all necessary to destroy everything to the foundations without securing us at least the "bricks" for the new one?

     8. If the purpose of democratic elections is to find the best party /coalition and if only it must carry the responsibility for the successes /failures during its time, then why in the Parliament are present roughly as many representatives of the "bad" parties and in addition to this all MPs receive equal salaries? Or: does it exist any other competition where the winners and the losers receive equal prizes?

     9. If by the democratic elections each (if only he is of high opinion about himself) can set his candidacy, and by this showing no document for his proved "ability" to rule, nor even sufficient age (as reason for accumulated living experience), does this mean that to rule is an easy thing? And if it is so then why we make so many errors, when having long ago reached the "bottom" continue, still, to "dig" further deeper?

     10. If the paid education is such a good thing then why in many Western countries it is free of charge, and there, where is isn't, those who alone pay for it are really a few? Similarly for the healthcare?

     11. If by the capitalism the money goes to the more capable people, not to the wealthier ones, then wouldn't it have happened so, that the latter would have hired those more capable to multiply their (of the wealthy) money, and wouldn't this have been more profitable also for the capable ones? But if so then wouldn't the big money go to the wealthier, not to the more capable ones.

     12. If the democracy was not the newest weapon, or "Trojan horse" of developed capitalist countries, in their fight with the poorer but strong and free countries, then why have they so easily succeeded to conquer us now, while earlier them have helped neither cold, nor "hot" wars?

     And in general, if it is true that our Bulgarian nation is genetically gifted, then would it not be better if we sometimes try also to think a little? For otherwise it turns out that what we alone make to ourselves nobody can make to us, because the democracy has this basic drawback, that: According with the demos, goes the "-cracy"!

     1996 ?




HEADS UP, BULGARIANS! (Feuilleton)


     I don't understand Bulgarian people in the recent times, I'm telling you. They are not happy when necessary, but always walk with drooping head. Now, the pensioners are again discontented that the ruling will increase their pensions only with some 4-5 thousands in month. But then these are thousands, people, bons, as we also say. Has earlier some of you thought that he will see hundreds of bons in one heap, the more so each month? Neither thought, nor dreamed, and now the most daring of our dreams became reality! This is democracy in action, not like the previous demagogy of the communists, that they have always cared about the people, but the highest pension of that time was less than now one patty costs! And the people, instead of to rejoice, have drooped their heads.
     And they say: yeah, but when they take from you 60 bons for the central heating and also for the electricity and the water, then you money is already finished. Only that they forgot the most important thing in the world, forgot the freedom, which they have now in their disposition, but which they have not earlier! Because now, if you only want this, you can stop your central heating, switch it out, and earlier this was forbidden by the communists. Earlier they said to you that, when you live in a centrally heated home, you must pay your heating, too, like all the others, but now, with the coming of democracy, you have your own choice. Now you can choose everything: who is to govern you, and to have heating or not, and to eat cheese (or curds), and to buy yourself meat (or duck 'lantern', i.e. a skeleton with grease), and many other things. It even these duck lanterns earlier were not sold at all but now they are free everywhere.
     But you see that our people do not appreciate what they have, they are always discontent. The more freedoms you offer them the more discontent they become! Now, for example, you can every time pay for your medical treatment to whomever physician you want, to whom you think is the most capable, and in every hospital that you choose, whether in Bulgaria, whether even in France or in Switzerland, or where you like, while earlier you were forced to go only to those who the 'Party and Government' have chosen for you. The same also with the education -- if only you have decided to give some education to your sons or daughters and you can at once do this, because the education by us is now free! But our people are again dissatisfied, because free, you see, they say, was not entirely free, it was for money, yet this is so because they don't value the most precious thing in the world. And when it is the most precious then it must also cost more than everything else!
     Or also the workers complain that their salaries will be raised with only about 10 percents, but they simply do not know the basic arithmetics, because this is 10 percents each month, and when we multiply them by all twelve months in the year, then we get already hundred and twenty percents! And if even this is not enough for them then let them compute the increase for, say, three years. And, besides, nobody hinders them to strike, if they want to. But well, it's of no use, they say, and don't think that the point isn't in the benefits but in the freedom! Let them go for a while to the streets, let them cry a bit, let them worm themselves, and return later cheerful and happy to their work. The strike is, in a way, a democratic happening, and this does not necessarily mean that the Government has to pay attention to it, because it has all sorts of worries. When the people have elected their rulers then they must like their Government, and when they like it then they have to listen to these persons, not like it was before, when we were commanded by various elderly persons, about whom nobody has asked us do we want to listen to them or not.
     And also, if you are so much dissatisfied with something than you can always go to the President and he will listen to you very attentively and with vivid interest. Only that, because there were so many who wanted to speak to him, he received only those, who felt themselves so bad that were not able to come to see him. But what is to be done, he is not a sun to warm everybody. If the President can not worm you then you can always go to some church and worm yourself there, and earlier this was not allowed (or maybe some bandit may hit you on the head, if you have just taken your salary or pension, and you will worm yourself).
     And what is so bad with our President -- shapely, young, talented, and with charming smile, not with some hooked nose, like it was by our Bai Tosho. A real man of the people, with common blue shirt and with working hands. And, first of all, having achieved all by himself, not lowered to us from above. Earlier, in order to take some post in the Political Bureau, for example, was necessary to crouch for ten years before all party members in order to be taken in the party, then to crouch another ten years before your party bosses in order to be appointed somewhere in the ruling of some enterprise, then another more ten years to stoop before the local bosses until you come to municipal level, after another ten -- to regional, and after ten more years to national level, and when you find yourself there then you will be already senile old man. And our contemporary President, if we put our hand on our heart, is young and handsome man!
     Or, on the other hand, if you are so jealous of him then nobody hinders you also to become President, right? The method is simple and free-to-all. In the beginning you make yourself somewhere a photo to the waist, dressed in something old (some blue shirt left from your young years in the Komsomol, if you can find such, will do quite well), then you print it in 2-3 millions of copies, adding in the upper right corner our national banner, and in the upper left -- a pair of small lions, twisted like on a ring for wrestling) the more lions, the better), so that everyone could see it from afar, departing in the morning for work or returning in the evening from it. Ah, I have almost forgotten, it is necessary also to write 'This is the President' or something of the kind, so that nobody could have thought that he is 'an onion head', and this is all. When there pass, so, five-six months you will see that you will also be elected, because this is it, the real democracy, in action.
     Also I heard the other day in the tram how a woman complains to another one that her children have become very naughty where earlier they were not such. But surely they will not be such, dear woman, would I have told her, because they are from the new, democratic generation, and the new, it is for this reason new, that it is not old! And what is this 'earlier'? The communism was long ago rejected everywhere in the world so that we must simply scratch this time through, throw it out from our history, and compare with the 30es years of the century, for example, not with the time under our Bai Tosho. This is the right look at the time, not only to say ahh and ooh, how bad everything has now become! Because, have in the 30es existed television and video -- no, they haven't; were then such passenger cars like now -- no, they weren't; were then so many millionaires like now -- no, there weren't; were in that time 'Coca Cola' in Bulgaria -- no; or 'Kentucky Fried Chicken' -- again no; and other examples.
     OK, say some of us, but people now have nothing to eat. Yes, but not exactly! Because, were earlier so many pasted on the streets ads about various loss of weight diets like now, or there were not, I ask them? And why should one nation want to lose weight, if not because it has eaten too much since the coming of democracy? Under the totalitarianism our people did not feel necessity to lose weight for the simple reason that they have eaten insufficiently, while now they give their eye teeth, as is said, only to be able to lose a bit of their weight. And how not to want to lose weight when our lukanka (special flat dry sausage) has emerged earlier in shops only on the eve of May Day and Ninth of September (our day of freeing from fascism, which was then our national holiday), and now is so full with all kinds of meat specialties at any time. Hence people buy them and it is full for this reason, because under the free market this, what is not demanded, is not sold. Think properly, gentlemen, not in the totalitarian way!
     And sometimes I hear even more bizarre things on the streets. Some people say that there have emerged also new, democratic dissidents, but this is obvious demagogy! Because a dissident may exist when there is someone to sponsor him (or her), so to say, from abroad, for in his own country he is not respected. The earlier dissidents were supported by the Western democracies, and how it has become clear now, for their own good, because they have already sat on positions of responsibility and have ceased to be dissidents any more, While the new dissidents, if there are such people, who can support them now? You think, maybe, that this is Russia, or Mongolia, or Cuba, or even China? Nobody supports them, I will tell you, and this means that they just don't exists!
     But there are also people who are not satisfied with the freedom of pornography, prostitution, drug addiction, and so on, yet they are unsatisfied not with these things but with the freedom at all! Because it, either exists, or does not exist, and if it exists then it can't be to have freedom of speech, for example, and not to have freedom of, say, pornography. Who thinks that this is possible, then he still thinks in the old totalitarian way, but the new time, the new order, the new laws and democratic norms of behaviour require also new relations in the society. Who does not like this -- well, nobody blocks him the road to the other world! Because it is so, it can't be that the wolf was satiated and the lamb also remained whole, as all of us know.
     And if we so much want to speak about the old time, then where is our 'bright future', I ask you? We haven't seen it and will never see it, what means that the communists only deceived us, for to make us work for them! While now nobody forces us to work, if we want, we work, but if we do not want, then we don't work -- exactly this is the freedom, ladies and gentlemen! Freedom not only on words, but freedom in reality! Earlier we were exploited compulsory, while now nobody forces us: if we want, we work for the others, but if we want, then they work for us. Everything is a question of free choice and professional abilities. The more capable live better than the others, so that if you have still not succeeded, then either you have tried not enough hard, or you are not quite able. This is the situation, because everybody is alone 'smith' of his fortune, as we say, and not only to wait to receive everything ready from the state.
     And the last thing: earlier our people had just no purpose in life and they simply vegetated somehow, like puppets, which were pulled by strings by the loathsome communists, while now we have one very important goal, the most important goal at all -- the survival of everyone of us, as well also of the whole country! And who or what has given us this goal? Well, the democratic reforms, of course, when under the totalitarianism it was not standing before us and now it stands! This is the most cheerful consequence of democracy and we have to welcome it enthusiastically and meet with open arms! This is the greatest and worthiest goal in the world. And this is our bright ideal, a real ideal, because, to all appearances, we will not be able to come soon to it.
     So that there are no reasons for worries and alarms. We are in an enviable position and must be only grateful to those who have led us to it. Heads up, Bulgarians!

     Jan 1999




HOW TO FILL THE TREASURY (Feuilleton)


     Let us first express our gratitude, ladies and gentlemen, to the Chief Financial Officer of the Republic for his decision from 18 Dec 98 about this, that from Jan the 1st 99 already

     one minimal salary is equal to two such salaries,

in the sense of social insurance. Many people underestimate the epochal meaning of this fact, but it opens unexpected horizons before our economy and finances, because in this way any number can be equaled to any other! For this purpose suffice only two rules, namely: 1 = 1, which can be named rule of the common sense (RCS), and 1 = 2, which we will name rule of the Finance Minister (RFM). In view of the symmetry of equality, i.e. that it is true in both directions, RFM means also that 2 = 1, or 1 = 1/2 . For example, let us now prove that 5 = 9. This is done easily splitting the five in 4 + 1, and then for the first number applying the RFM, and for the second -- RCS, and the achieved results are added. In similar way can be redefined also the arithmetic with common fractions, working separately in the numerator and denominator, as well as that with decimal fractions, where we are working with their integer and fractional parts, and after this they are glued together.
     This is discovery of genius and the world will only now recognize it, but it alone is not enough to fill the state treasury, pillaged by the communists during their totalitarian ruling, and because of this it is duty of every patriotic citizen (as well also villager) to make his or her contribution for establishing of new taxes and payments for the state. The modest contribution of the author consists of ten variants, some of which have been applied in the human history and, hence, have proved their expediency, and the others can become our national contribution on this subject. So that let us begin.

     1. Toilet tax

     For each toilet (WC) in the home has to be paid tax of 1 lev per day, and for a toilet in the yard -- half of this sum*, independently of the number of persons who are using it. As far as in an average family of 3 persons the toilet is used as minimum 10 times in a day, this would have made only by 10 cents for one usage, what, after all, is at least twice (or rather 3-4 times) cheaper than the public toilets in the streets, more hygienic and convenient for the citizens, and would not burden especially the family budget, but, on the other hand, a sum of 360 lv in an year would be a good inflow in our state budget. Yet because we live in a free society everybody must have also the right to decline using of his (or her) toilet, filing a request for its sealing, where there are no problems for him to conclude an agreement with his neighbour to use his, paying him part of the amount.

     [ * As far as the material was written when we have already introduced our money Board the prices are current and 1 lev = 1/2 Euro (or one old German mark). ]

     2. Shoe tax

     Every Bulgarian citizen must pay yearly a tax in the amount of 10 lv monthly if he wears shoes on the street and other public places, during that time. The tax is paid as yearly, but if somebody wants in some months, say, in June, July, and August, to go barefooted then he must declare this in the Municipality, till the end of the month preceding his barefoot walking (in our example till the end of May), and then he will have to pay for the year only 90 levs. Must be provider, though, fines in ten-fold amount, if it will be proved that someone has filed request for exemption of the tax, but all the same was seen during that time to go on street in shoes by at least two witnesses.

     3. Sweet excise

     On all sugar products (with sugar content of more than 20%, in order that this does not affect the diabetics) must be paid excise duty in the amount of 50 cents per kg sugar, what is justified because the sweet corrupts the teeth, it is not vitally necessary like the proteins and milk products, neither is so caloric like the fats. Such excise exists in Poland, and it is simply not clear why it is not yet applied in Bulgaria, having in mind that a kilo sugar costs nearly as liter milk, and sugar is consumed at least five times less, so that the pockets of the citizens will not suffer much.

     4. Teeth tax

     It is time to resurrect again the known in the past teeth tax (during our Turkish yoke, although not officially and as excuse for begging of money by the Turkish governmental officers), yet now going out of the equality of all before the law. It has to be paid on a yearly basis in the amount of 5 lv per live tooth, where for such is counted that, which is preserved more than on the half (according to assessment of health authorities), but in this case the milk teeth are not counted. By an average teeth loading of the human of 20 teeth this will give in an year only 100 lv, approximately as much as costs a single dental prosthesis, and in this sense such law will help for reaching of some democratic equality of people with healthy teeth with those with prostheses, but not harming neither of them. At the same time it is clear that everyone will prefer to pay this tax (and fill the treasury) instead of to pull out his teeth (paying for the prostheses).

     5. Tax on life

     As far as the most precious thing in the world is the human life, then for it, naturally, must be paid tax to the state. Our proposition is the following: every Bulgarian citizen who has reached age of majority must pay a lump sum in the amount of ten minimal working salaries for the female sex, and twenty for the male one, where this tax can be paid in installments during five years with some minimal added interest, after what this interest becomes punitive. Divided to the average life span this is one ridiculously small sum yearly for such precious asset.

     6. Sexual tax

     Because people make sex predominantly for enjoyment, not for continuation of the gender, it is wholly justified to impose tax on this activity. Our proposition is to pay by one lev per intercourse, applying the following fixed base: for persons between 15 and 25 years -- by one intercourse daily, for those between 25 and 35 years -- by four intercourses weekly, from 35 to 45 -- by three times in a week, from 45 to 55 -- by two times in a week, and for the left till 65 years -- once in a week, and those older than 65 years are entirely exempted of this tax. Of course, everybody who wanted can refuse the paying of this tax under condition that he /she proves before medical authorities that is impotent /frigid, or moves in the next lower category, by notarized declaration of three witnesses confirming the reduced number of intercourses, measured during at least one month.

     7. Anti-corruption tax

     In connection with the increased corruption in our country we think that it is necessary to create an Anti-Corruption Fund (ACF), which must be filled by means of this tax in the amount of half minimal monthly salary in an year from each citizen of age. In this case every senior public officer, to whom some bribes and other benefits are offered, beyond those according to his labour contract, man apply to ACF declaring the offered sum and asking higher from the Fund, but yearly not more than the doubled amount of his official income for the previous calendar year. This is fighting of corruption on the principle 'fight fire with fire' and is expected that it will give good results on our native ground.

     8. Sun tax

     Because it is well known that the Sun not only shines but also warms us, and is main cause for the growth of animals and plants, it is right that every citizen paid also tax in accordance with the number of sunny days in the year. They must be declared in the beginning of every year for the past one, by regions of the country, and every citizen of a given region must pay tax in the amount of one percent of the minimal monthly salary for sunny day, or half percent -- for foggy one. Of course, the days with solar eclipses must be excluded from this number, in order not to burden excessively the population with unbearable taxes.

     9. Working tax

     Every citizen with permanent work, or paying his insurance as working for the given period, must pay also tax in the amount of: 5% of the salary (or that on which basis he is ensured) for the first five years on this working place, 4% -- for the next five years on the same place, and only 3% for more that ten years on one and the same place. The significance of the job for the life of everybody is obvious, what necessitates this tax.

     10. Democratic tax

     Because the democracy is the most significant achievement in the social area in the present days, for it, as also for everything good on this world, must be paid dearly. From this standpoint is justified paying from each citizen of age and to the reaching of him (her) 70 years of one common democratic tax in the amount of half minimal monthly salary in an year for his right to live in our dear homeland. Double citizenship does not give grounds for exemption from this tax, but sick days and staying in medical institutions can be later restored to the person in proportion with the time. Surely also must be allowed that people with permanent injuries, unemployed, and disabled were exempted from this tax in the name of humanity.

     With timely applying of major part of these taxes even in this year is obvious the unavoidable development and improvement of our democratic society. Only in this way the young democratic sprouts will grow up and begin to bear fruit, what in turn will express itself in an incessant enhancement of the welfare of our nation now, and in the bright democratic future. Thank you for the attention.

     July 2000




BETTER NOT TO LIVE TO PENSION AGE! (Feuilleton)

(tragicomic saga about Bulgarian pensions)


     Now, gentlemen, the situation with the pensions in Bulgaria, frankly speaking, is tragic, but as far as the tragic and the comic, according to the ancient Eastern sages, with whom I agree, often touch one another, and to laugh, after all, is better than to cry, then I am writing this material as feuilleton. To laugh is especially good when one has nice teeth, even if they are false or bogus, which one can show to everybody, or when the person, or rather the woman, has stuck in her tongue some gold or gilded push-pin, or something very like this, only with a small ruby or some other precious stone, and because of this opens so wide her mouth that is seen her insatiable (for pleasures) throat, or her tonsils, if she has still not cut them off. Well, if one has not teeth (like, say, your author), then he can smile ironically or cynically, and this, all the same, is better than to pour rivers of tears.
     Because our transition to democracy, which continues for more than 25 years now -- and it continues because we still live on the average 3-4 times worse than under the totalitarianism -- for some of us proceeds good, but for others it is quite probable to finish only to the end of 21st century. Yet let us move in succession. But have in mind that I am just now going on pension, so that I have learned something, these are pretty exact calculations, it isn't guessing on coffee grounds.
     So that we will begin with this, that in order to go on pension in Bulgaria one has to have nearly 40 years length of service (38, but this is in the moment, and they increase gradually and after a pair of years will become 40), and have at least 64 years (I round the numbers a little for easy calculations). If one has still not so much service then after a pair of years, now it is nearly 66 years, he or she can go on pension even having only 15 years service. So that, gentlemen, grin, rejoice, because it turns out that even with 15 years length of service one can, thanks to our democracy, retire at last.
     Though this is not exactly so, naturally, this is the so called half pension, for which before, id est under the bad and inhuman totalitarianism, for this were necessary only 10 years (if I am not wrong). And for normal retirement in the last century was required age of 60 years for the men and 55 for the women. So that for 25 years (to round the calculations) the pension age for men has increased with 5 years, and for women with whole 10 years. Calculate now, children, under this same rate of growth of age, on what age will retire men and women after one century (or in 2115). Well, I don't know how you calculate, but for the women this will make more than hundred. That's it. And this is normal situation, but we have had in Bulgaria even more "normal" (understand, abnormal) situation in the first years of the transition, somewhere maybe up to 1995th, when men could retire on 57 and women on 53, because, you see, our eminent UDF persons, i.e. the only real democrats, from the Union of Democratic Forces (which union nowadays cannot get even one percent of the votes), thought that the old people only hinder in vain the young ones to make career and due to this, the sooner we will get rid of them, the better.
     Further the system of calculating of the pension is relatively simple and, as is said, transparent, because is calculated the gross income for everybody for all years of his (or her) service, it is related to the average income for the country, in tables, all decent and properly, and in this way is obtained the individual coefficient (IC) for the person. Then the average salary in the moment -- mark, in the moment, the pensions are perpetually corrected, just unbelievable (or at least in the beginning are calculated correctly, I have not yet enough statistics for to state this firmly) -- is multiplied by this coefficient and is obtained the basic income for calculation of the pension. After this the last income is multiplied by the percents obtained in the following elementary (and smart) way, counting each year of service for one percent (say, 20 years and 6 months gives 20.5%), where with PLS will denote these percents of length of service. Then comes one ... mysterious coefficient, which we can denote as MC, and which now in Bulgaria is 1.1, and the obtained PLS, or as income multiplied by PLS, is multiplied by this coefficient and this gives the percentage or amount of the pension. Even -- I have grasped also this -- exists some social threshold, called minimal pension (MP), which enters in force if the calculated pension turns to be less than this threshold.
     It can be said that this is one directly brilliant system. And if it is such than it most probably is borrowed from the West. Our democratic development, in the framework of European Union, goes directly in European manner, rejoice gentlemen, as well also ladies (especially when your pension age now is equal with that of the men -- an absolute emancipation, directly emanciabsolutization, right?)
     Perfectly. I have no words. Yet it is better not to live to pension age, as you will understand now. Because .exist a pair of hooks or catches, on which are caught the democratic optimists. Most significant of them are two. The first is that the minimal pension does NOT correspond with the minimal income, not on your nelly, gentlemen! The minimal pension correlates with the average income and is a bit (about 10 percents, yet everything is individual) HIGHER then the average income, this is a social umbrella. It exists even a maximal pension which is not more an umbrella, but a hit on the head (with the handle of the umbrella, I suppose), which enters in effect when one has gained too much and something has to be taken back from him. So that if you are an average worker, with average income, with IC exactly equal to 1, then you will receive 1.1*PLS from your salary (which is equal to the average). Id est if you have worked 20 years, then you wil receive 22% from the average salary, or the minimal, what from both sums is higher.
     Well, very well, yet there's nothing well in this, as was sung in one song (Russian), because 40 years service this is not 10 and not 20, this is an awful lot of years, there are not many people who live to this, and the young ones simply don't believe that they will live to such age. Some 20 or 25 years is good, and it was so under the totalitarianism, then 20 years sufficed, and now 40 are needed. Enviable social achievement, of course. Well, some may say that it is so also on the West, as with the equal age of pensioning for men and women, too. Yeah, but this is firstly worse than it was under the (bad, don't forget) totalitarianism, and then it is with "national differences". Because if our average person has worked during this awfully long period of 40 years, then he (or she) will receive at best 44% from his salary. And 44% is far away from 70%, how it has to be on the West, and how it was (or at least it was said so) in Bulgaria earlier, under the "people's" democracy, in contrast with our current, definitely, anti-people's one. It was even spoken earlier that about 60% receive such people with big salaries, and those who have smaller, then to them is given close to 80% (for what I can not vouch).
     So, and now let us look more precisely how much will receive a person if he has worked 40 years, what, as we already said, is pretty much. Well, this will give 44% of the average salary, which in March 2016 was 730 lv, or 320 lv (1 lv = 1/2 euro, for reference). Is 320 lv much or not (it has already, after half an year, become a bit more) is another question; for living in Bulgaria this as if is not a little, when the minimal monthly salary (MMS) is 420 lv in the same time, but here we compare the average with the minimal, what is not correct. And by this incorrectness we have that 320 / 420 = 76% (what would have been good if we have compared average with average, yet by us this is not so), and in addition is given that the average pension in Bulgaria in this time is 340 lv, what means that the average number of pensioners have worked nearly 41 years, in what I, by God, just don't believe! The people, you see, die, little by little, and quite a big number of them live not to pension age, say, a priori, about 15 percents, and then in the first five years of receiving of their pension leave for the other world another 15, if not 20 percents. Only those who exceed 70 years they die gradually. This must be so, when the cards for city transport for pensioners are still pretty expensive, like those for school and university students, somewhere about the half of normal cards, but after 70 they drop at once another 2.5 times (and earlier it was more than 3 times). So that in the best case this average pension of 3/4 of minimal salary is computed for 85% of those who have paid pension contributions nearly 40 years and after 5 years they will remain 70% of all from whom money was transferred to the pension fund.
     But here also must be some catch -- there is no way without this in Bulgaria --, like for example that the average pension is calculated for those who retire by this paragraph, with service of more then 38 years, but there is a way also with less years of service (to what we will come), as well also many people -- say, about 15% -- can not at all get whatever pension (even 15 years work is not so little), and they either receive some social pensions, or receive nothing at all. So that most probably this average pension concerns roughly half of the pensioners with service more than 38 years, because somewhere is cited that 1/4 of all pensioners receive the minimal pension, and then maybe another 1/4 of them receive pension bigger than the average bur smaller than the maximal. In short, don't you think that our pensioners receive on the average about 3/4 of MMS, what is relatively decent, no, the average pensioner, if we average over all who must receive pension, then he or she will hardly gather more than half MMS, and many others will get significantly less than this (as you will see now).
     So that let us begin to decrease the years of service, because exactly then it becomes interesting (and tragic, of course -- the funniest thing in life is when the others suffer, right?). In my view the average must be about 30 years of service, what also in not a little, and such person will receive 33% from the average salary of the same 730 lv, what gives 240 lv, what is nearly twice less than the minimal salary. And if he has worked 25 years, then he (and surely also she) will have 27.5% or 200 lv, what now is definitely less than half of the MMS. But if he has 20 years of service then his 22% will give 160 lv, and exactly then comes in effect the minimal pension (and for this paragraph), which in March 2016 was 157 lv. In other words, the minimal pension is received with 20 years service, which in the totalitarian years sufficed for receiving of pension and must have given about 80% from the personal salary, but at least 60%. This is now the second important "national peculiarity" -- lessening thrice of the minimal pensions in comparison with the bad totalitarian years. Do you begin to grasp a little or still do not? Well, if you don't, then I will add that the media cite somewhere that the minimal salary in ... Africa, and more precisely in the country Gabon turns to be 2.5 times higher than in the (democratic) Bulgaria. Hurray, gentlemen!
     And let us now laugh (or, as I said, weep) over the situation of such people, like your author, who have barely scraped together 15 years of service for a half pension. Well, there everything falls down, there is another table, and because of this the threshold named minimal pension (and which correlated with the average one) is already (in March 2016) not 157 but 133 lv, what is now 18% from the average salary (of 730 lv in this time), and what can be named super-minimal pension (SMP). If we put this SMP of 133 lv in proportion even to the MMS of 420 lv, then we will get 31%. If you are interested how is it possible to live on 18% of the average income (or just a bit below one third of the minimal one), then this is another matter, I have discussed it in various places, and specially for intellectuals (like me) this is not directly impossible, because they are used to live poor, this is difficult mainly for the common people, but let us not diverge with this here. Let me better explain to you my fundamental error by calculating of my IC, or the next trick of our specialists in social welfare. So it is said that one can choose only three consecutive years from his period of work, and applying the necessary document for the received during this time money, and dividing this money to the total income for this time, from tables, he will get his IC. Well, my IC, of Bulgarian intellectual, with tertiary education (rather with two such educations and a bit more than this), research assistant, turned to be in the chosen by me period 1.28 (and on the average about 1.2), what is quite decent.
     Yet it is not so, naturally (in Bulgaria nothing is so like it has to be, I think you have already grasped this), because there were three years in the very end of the century when it was allowed to pay alone some payments for the pension fund, and when I have paid something for 2 years and 3 months, but I personally have not worked then and have not required to include them, still, our specialists think that they also have to take part in the calculation of IC. So, and now try to guess what turned my IC to be, ah? Ha, ha, ha, laugh gentlemen, this is terribly funny, because my common IC became 0.943, for the simple reason that during the time when I paid alone contributions it was ... 0.5 (even with one percent less)! So it is, dirty intellectual, it is not enough that you have studied in university twice, but in addition have not at all worked for our national democracy, so that it serves you right!
     Well, by such IC, and for 16 years service, it comes to about 18% but from already diminished average salary, what gives 123 lv, yet because our Bulgarian democracy cares also for "dirty intellectuals", then I received the minimal pension (on this table) from 133 levs (less then 70 euro, and for a month, not a day). Though it grows a little, so that while I write this material it has become already 137 lv, and it is not excluded that till the end of the year it will become 140 levs. So-o, well, when it is so then your author, as person with mathematical education, decided that it is possible to require recalculation of the pension, not for 16.25 years of service, bur exactly for 15 years (and nearly one month above this) adding only 1999th year from the self insurance, and then his, i.e. my, IC will become 1.082, what is more or less decent, yet because the length of service falls down a little then the total sum grows up to 131 lv, but is still less than 133, so that this recalculation is of purely theoretical interest. It is so, yes, but mark that for smaller length of service in Bulgaria you can get bigger pension! And now, say that we are not a country of paradoxes, ah?
     So, in short, the pensioning in Bulgaria, for those who have nearly died of working 40 years, gives minimal pension of 80 euro in month, what is 2.5 times less than in Gabon, and average pension (for those half-dead people) of 160 euro, but for those who have worked only 20 years, how it was required under the totalitarianism, the minimal pension is 67 euro, and the average (with the same length of service) is again 80 euro and again for a whole month. And in addition to this now all retire approximately 10 years later than it was under the bad totalitarianism. And the age of retirement grows incessantly and will grow until it reaches 67-68 years (even with 40 years service). And how one 67 years old grandpa or grandma will work 8 hours daily is their own business, right? The democracy gives them the right to accept or to refuse, so that how they want.
     OK, we have laughed, or have cried, depending on the people, and now let us cast a glance at this how the individually accumulated sums in the pension fund are used. So in the moment the payments only for pension (without sick leave) amount up to 20% from the working salary, roughly speaking, though there were periods when was necessary to pay 30 and more percents, and not from the minimal, but from twice increased one, what had to correspond to the average. Further the calculations are easy, and if you have also an average income, then for 40 years service, by 20%, accumulates in the pension fund as much as you can use for 20 years by 40%. Similarly 30 years by 20% you can use for 20 years by 30, alike also 20 years by 20 gives the same 20 years by 20%. So that if you receive pension for 20 years more everything is more or less justified, but the thing is that we have very low average life expectancy, it is on the average 75 years now, and if you retire on 65 (those with 40 years service retire on 64, and those with 15 on 66, what on the average gives 65), then you live twice less than it was supposed and half of your money remains in the fund or goes to the state. Well, then try to live longer, yes?
     Exactly this is the main conclusion -- the important thing is not the amount of pension but how long you will receive it. So that if you work less then you have more chances to live longer, for you have spent yourself less, like your author. Further, if you alone pay your pension insurance, then you better pay no installments at all, only try to gather somehow the minimal necessary number of years, because if you pay little, then your coefficient falls, and to pay much out of your own pocket is directly unethical and indecent. The pension, anyway, is not for the wealthy, it is for the poor, and however small it was this is better than nothing. Even this super-minimal pension, which I decided to call "zor-zaman" pension (this is Turkish dialect that means "on the off-chance", yet it is not used as adjective, here your author improvises), is better that nothing, and if you have where to live, if you are healthy et cetera, then it is substantial help in your old age.
     This what is murderous for the pensioners in Bulgaria is not the amount of pension, but the prices on communal expenses and on medicaments, this is what does not correspond with the pension. Because if the pensions by us have fallen 2-3 times in comparison with the totalitarian years, then the communal expenses, such like central heating, electricity, transport, and so on, have grown at least 10 times, also the medicaments at least 5-6 times, also the subsidized food products like bread and milk about three times, like also the entire medical care, which earlier costed nothing, yet it can't be said that was worth nothing. Even with minimal pension but healthy the remaining years can be lived better, than with average one, but with average expenses on doctors and medicaments, or also with maximal, but with maximal such expenses. Due to this it is better not to live to the pension age, because we are the most right-inclined than the wealthy countries, or when we must have the possibly left-oriented capitalism we have the possibly right-oriented, in Bulgaria, in the country of paradoxes. Yet when I have lived to this time, then I can do nothing, right? I will simply try, when I have put for 16 years money in the pension fund, to use my pension at least 16 years, what means to live till 83. Well, a bit much, but not that this is directly impossible. I will try. Not for myself, naturally, but for my readers. Ha, ha.

     Sep 2016




AFTERWORD (to the Manifestos)



  • The dictatorship is the only thing that may convince the people that there is something good in the democracy, as well as the democracy is the only thing that may convince the people that there is something good in the dictatorship! That is the reason why neither the pure dictatorship nor the pure democracy can stay for a long time.

  • The only good point in the democracy is the fact that it is bad form of government, but being such it may be perfected forever! The dictatorship, on the contrary, is, as it is well known, the best-organized form of government, and when it is applied there are two major variants, namely: it is either turned in the wrong direction and this is bad, or it is turned into the right one, what after some time makes the life dull and not exciting, because people lose their interest to make it any better, and that is bad, too!

  • With the dictatorship is possible to fight and the history is full with examples of falling of dictatorships (in the worst case with the death of the dictator, because we all are mortal and he is also a human), but with the democracy, using the means of the democracy, this, alas, is impossible (because the people are indestructible). The hopes that the democracy in some country can be changed with changing of the rulers, are based on nothing; if, with time, it still evolves, then this is because the conditions in the country are changing, but this in a greater degree applies to different dictatorships.

  • Every democratic election is, as a rule, unreasonable, and is, in a way, just procedure for approving of the unreasonableness! The assumption that there may exists something reasonable in this kind of elections will require to apply only this reasonable thing instead of the elections itself.

  • The democracy is the best known ... baby's pacifier for the populace, because it both: preserves mother's breast (the political system), and creates illusion for satiation (participation in the ruling).

  • According with the demos goes the -cracy!

  • The other name of the democracy is vulgarocracy!

  • Because it is known for a long time that the populace wants mainly bread and circuses, there exist: the dictatorship -- to give the bread and the democracy -- to provide the circuses! The bad thing is when these two things diverge in the time.

  • It is not the democracy that leads to a better way of living, but the better living standard is what makes possible the coming of democracy! It was so 25 centuries ago in Ancient Athens, it became so before about two centuries in the whole western civilized world, and it was so in our country (and other ex-coms) when we rejected the totalitarianism. But we still continue to put the cart before the horse.

  • In most everyday problems the question, usually, is not what is the answer, but what is the question! Due to the great inertness of the social systems, however, there happens something different and in most cases the problem is not in finding of new ideas (to solve the problem) but in rejecting of the old ideas!

  • There are just two ways to force someone to do something he /she does not want to do and they are: either by force, or by delusion (what is said in another way by the phrase about the "stick and carrot approaches"). But these ways have to be used, because otherwise we wouldn't have had human society, capable to connect the different individuals in the time and the space. The dictatorship, as it's well known, uses mainly the first method, and the democracy -- the second one, but neither one form, nor the other, can exist for a long time, if they don't use also the other method, because otherwise their palette would have been very poor.

  • A person can't be really great, if he (she) has no courage to laugh at himself; similarly, a democracy can't be actual, if it does not include the possibility for the people to joke with its shortcomings.

  • The knowledge is power, the simplicity -- happiness; the wisdom is in the compromise between them!

  • The knowledge disunites the people, while the simplicity is what unites them! The goal of the social government is, however, to unite the populace, and that is why it relies mainly on their simplicity.

  • The equality between people is a question that gives rise to many speculations because God or the Nature (scratch the redundant word) has made all possible to provide for differences and not for equality, but we (due to human craziness, maybe) want awfully much that the equality exists. It is a good thing, however, that our wishes do not match our abilities, because otherwise, we wouldn't have been human beings (but, say, robots).

  • The liberty is ... perfidious notion, because our world is a world of the strong ones, hence, the only salvation for the weak ones is to unite to become stronger, but doing so they diminish their liberty! This is to say that all tales about the liberty under the capitalism (or call it industrial or postindustrial society, if you want) are invented just to deceive the populace, and, in a way, even under totalitarian rule there might have been (and were) more liberties (economical ones) for the masses.

  • The main difference between the capitalism and the socialism (respectively communism) in economical area is about the question of ownership of production means. This difference, however, disappears when these means are considered from the point of view of their personal ownership by those working with them, because in the well developed countries about 95 out of hundred do not own the means with which they win their bread, hence it doesn't matter much who owns them. And for the prosperity in the society is important not whether there are very wealthy people, but whether there are not very poor ones! The last, however, depends not on the policy but on the effective economy and organization in the country. What says that the new (i.e. old) forms of governing and ownership will be of dubious help for our poor country (Bulgaria).

  • The worst thing with the bad ideas is that there exists something good therein (and that is why they grasp human brains and wishes), as much as the best thing with the good ideas is that there is something bad in them (and that is why, after some time, is possible for them to be changed with something even better)!

  • When the "mundus vult decipi" (i.e. "world wants to be deceived"), as the Romans have said, then some social structure has to be provided, which has to do this. That is how the politicians have come into being.

  • The politician is a person with: high self-esteem, mediocre intellect, and primitive emotions! The first thing is needed for him to apply for the job, the second -- to be understood by the populace, and the third -- to give good show to the electorate. Whether we find this good or bad doesn't matter -- the democratic elections enforce it!

  • The politician is like a ... piece of meat, hanged on the hook in the butcher's shop -- every fly may spit on it (him)! In this sense, the bad politician is that on whom no fly sits, and the best is, usually, the most spat at!

  • The politician is resonator of the voice of population and that is why the good politician often ... resounds hollow!





AN IDEA ABOUT NEW KIND OF BANK DEPOSITS*


     [* From "Scientific Feast (Propositions, Ideas, Realizations -- PIR)" ]

     This idea is old for me (but I am also not young), it lies by me already 20 years, I have positively sent it to a pair of banks in Bulgaria, yet without resonance. But then, why shall I take it with me to the grave, ah? Up to my knowledge there are no bank branches in the other world, right? So that I decided to publish it officially, so to say, to patent it publicly, and if some banks decide to apply it then they are not to forget about me.
     Good, then let me begin. First about

     1. The very idea. This is idea about new kind of term deposits, where together with the fixed time are added some conditions on the possibility to add or take money from the deposit, which support the wish of some clients to accumulate money, and because of this I have named this deposit accumulating. I mean not just to keep money in the bank, but to accumulate it with some purpose, say, for buying of washing machine, or for summer vacation, of for personal car, or even for an apartment. I have come to this idea when have looked at possibilities to buy in installments, but in this way the price of product was increased and this with more than 10%. And then I said to myself: now, they propose you to buy something on installment plan, but in this way you spend more, yet if you accumulate first the money then they will even pay you interest percents during this time, so that acting in the opposite direction you can save the same amount of percents, as well also if you wait some period of time the products for this time will alone become a bit cheaper, so that in this way you can buy on the average about one third cheaper!
     All this, in general, is so, the prices fall all the time (and if they do not directly fall then this is because the companies try to offer you something better for a little more money), but people usually don't like to wait, they, as some say, to live are hurrying, and to feel are rushing. But this is in accordance with the age, basically. And it, as it turns out, and also if one gives a thought to the matter, people are divided mainly in two categories, in such who want to economize, and such who want to spend; here is nothing to be done, and if this was not so then the banks would have hardly survived, for they are intermediaries between these two categories. But then in a saturated market have already begun not to increase the amount of money, the companies and banks are satisfied that people use their services, so that the one side of the process was reduced nearly to zero, and when there isn't a big inflation rate then one will not earn much on the difference in the interest, so that such deposits as if are not actual anymore.
     Yet it is so, and also isn't so, one never knows when something will become necessary, and in which time what conditions may emerge, so that the idea can again become actual. And it is good in all cases as one more alternative type of deposits, because the banks all the time try to invent something new, in order to make the clients to change the conditions of their deposits, for the reason that exactly by early change of the conditions of deposits they win most of all, in such cases are applied penal interests, almost zero. In short, the idea continues to be actual (like the majority of my ideas and conclusions expressed in my publicistics -- it is still actual twenty years later).
     So, and now let us look more precisely, let us move to

     2. The various variants of accumulating deposits. The shortest of these deposits can have the following character: it is for 4 months, but the bank pays interest like for 6-month term, i.e. a little more, and allows also for some time, let this be 2 months, the client to have free access to the money, like by current (or on demand) deposit, and all these plusses for the client are balanced by this minus then he can't take the money back before the agreement term, and if he (or she) so eagerly wants to take the money back earlier then he must pay to the bank some penalty in the amount of 10% of the money there. But he can every time add money and increase the sum till the end, not only of the main term, but also during the open for the deposit time (here till 6 months). After elapsing of the free access time, if the money is still not withdrawn, or if something was left in the account, then the deposit is transformed automatically in usual termless (or current) deposit (but for the other terms this is different). Yet here has to be set also maximal amount, in order that the client does not exploit too much the "good will" of the bank, but also that the bank was able to offer quietly the sum every time during the free access time, as well also by the psychological reason that if the client wants to accumulate more money then let him open another such deposit, but the times of free access will not coincide and in the end he will become confused in this affair and will come, either to earlier withdrawal of the money, or to not using it in the proper time. So, and as to preventing of taking of money from the account, then the banks are always interested when people leave money by them for big period of time without movement, because they can use these sums and lend them to other clients. Deposit with such term can be used for buying of some kitchen appliance, and is supposed that its amount will be about 500 euros (let us use this European currency unit), but the deposit can be opened if you enter at least 100 euros, and there can't be put more than 1000 euros.
     Similarly to this can exist also deposit for summer holidays, where the closed period is 8 month (so that if you open it in September in May it will be already at you disposal, as much as you have succeeded to accumulate there), and the open period will be 4 months, with interest like for yearly deposit, with penal interest -5, with minimal amount of 200 euros, and maximal of 2000. After elapsing of the open period it is transformed in 1-month one.
     There can be also a variant for buying of something more expensive, with term of 2,5 years, and then possibility to use it half an year, but by withdrawal of bigger sums than, say, 3000 euros the bank has to be notified the day before. This is long-term deposit, and its interest has to be like 3-yearly one, and if the bank does not maintain such deposits then, for example, in the amount of 1.2 times the interest for yearly term, but the penal interest will be 0 if the money is withdrawn earlier then one year, and else like for 6-month term. In addition to this the minimal sum can be 250 euros, and the maximal 5000. It is quite thinkable also variant for buying of car for a term of 4-5 years, and for living apartment for 12-15 years, what we will show in table form below.

Period Interest as for Open Penal interest min (euro) max (euro) Later as
4 mon. 6 mon. 2 mon. - 10 100 1,000 current
8 mon. 1 year 4 mon. - 5 200 2,000 1 mon.
2.5 years 3 years 6 mon. 0 /6m.* 250 5,000 3 mon.
4 years 5 years** 1 year** 0/1y./2y.** 500 10,000 6 mon.
12 years 15 years*** 3 years*** 1y./2y.*** 1,000 25,000 1 year

Табл.1. TYPES OF ACCUMULATING TERM DEPOSITS.

     * Penal interest is 0 if less than an year, otherwise like for 6 months.
     ** Interest for 5 years deposit can be formed like 1.35 of the yearly interest; when the deposit is open for withdrawal is necessary to notify the bank the day before; penal interest is 0 if less than an year, like yearly if more than this but less then 2 years, and like for 2 years if more than 2 years.
     *** Interest for 15 years deposit can be formed like 1.5 of the yearly interest; when the deposit is open for withdrawal is necessary to notify the bank two days before; penal interest is like yearly if less than 2 years, and else like for 2 years.

     Well, this is the whole idea in outlines, but with long-term deposits is needed caution, because one can never know what inflation rate can come, so that there has to be left some open "door" for the bank, like that are used some indexes, or that these interests are for average yearly inflation rate less than 15 percents, else the bank can change them, or something of the kind. Then these deposits are as a rule withdrawn entirely, because there is no sense to leave something, but on the off-chance are stipulated periods for prolongation if in them remained something after elapsing of the open period for the deposit; if these conditions do not satisfy the client then he is entitled to renegotiate the deposit.
     In my opinion these are very good deposits for reasonable investors, who want to fully use the opportunities that a bank can offer, but up to my knowledge something similar was applied nowhere in the world. Maybe I am wrong, I am not specialist in banking, but as if such deposits don't exist. This is explainable with this, that in normal circumstances the difference in the percents of interest can't be big and there is no sense to block his money, but, as I said in the beginning, everything depends on the person, and I, for example, under condition that want to by myself something and have stable income, would have chosen such kind of deposit and will know not to break the terms of contract, and if I will so much be forced to have money at hand, then I will keep one current deposit with sum of about one-two monthly salaries, where from I will be able to take in case of emergency. And for the banks such deposits must also be profitable because of the more tight conditions of compliance with the terms, as well also for assortment, as I said in the beginning.
     Well, let us hope that now, after my propositions, such deposits will appear in some banks, so that it remained only to proceed to my wishes about

     3. Remunerations for the author of the idea. In principle I could have said that it suits me if the bank paid me one 100,000-th or even one millionth of the sum of all such deposits in the bank (maybe recalculated in early, for standardization, i.e. if it goes about the first kind in the table then there the sum is counted twice less, than it is, and in the third kind the sum is tripled). Such variant will be sufficiently correct, but it will require that I had some access (on reading) of this, what is in the bank, and this will hardly be liked by whatever company. Because of this I require the following: for each bank branch where such kind of deposits is applied they must feel themselves bound (not that I believe much in this, yet this is what I require) to pay me initially a sum of 500 euros, and then for every whole year of applying of these deposits also by 500 euros, but not more then 5 years. On the other hand I am quite liberal in regard of the sets of branches, where in the limits of one country (and there happen considerable big countries) I require payment: for up to 5 branches only twice more, for up to 10 in tripled amount, for up to 20 branches the quadrupled sum, and if they are even more, then five times more. Only that, of course, every bank, and in every country, is obliged to pay me, whenever it decides to apply this idea. (Unless you prove to me that there exists a precedent before 2015, that somewhere some bank has used or maybe still uses similar kind of deposits.)
     Well, I take it that with this I have finished with describing of the idea, and now only wait that the money will begin to fall on me (where -- I will tell you, when you call me, for I am, after all, anonymous author).

     Dec 2014




AN IDEA ABOUT NEW ADVERTISEMENT IN SUPERMARKETS*


     [* From "Scientific Feast (Propositions, Ideas, Realizations -- PIR)" ]

     Also this idea, as the majority of my ideas, is simple as it's brilliant. But on the contrast with the main part of my ideas it is entirely real, it has nothing utopian in it, at least on the contemporary level of development of computer equipment in the big (yet also not very) shops. And this is not advertising of some products that are sold in the shop, but of the very shop. I have sent it, I suppose (unless I have thought to sent and have abandoned this later, but it was hardly so), to a pair of big supermarkets, before some 15 years, but there was no response. Well, in a barbarian country like Bulgaria it is difficult to rely on correctness, so that I don't feel offended by our shops, but the situation in regard of computers has bettered significantly, and, besides, I hope that this publicity now will defend my patent rights, when I use simultaneously several sites; this is in the sense that nobody will be able to excuse him- (or her-) self that has known about this for a long time, because I personally have not heard about such thing and think that it will seem new to everybody. And to search for official patenting of the idea means that I have to spend some money on this, which I don't have.
     Apart from this, with my reaching of 65 years I have decided not to keep my ideas to myself, but to tell them to the world, that, of course, can pay no attention to them. This also can not surprise me, it will just serve as proof that people are still quite unreasonable. Because all advertisements (at least 99% of them) are directed to adolescents, housewives, and lapsed in childhood pensioners, and are not intended to offer some useful information about the goods or services. Putting it otherwise, people in their masses (and by the democracy, mark this) are so used to be cheated from all sides, that if it is said or offered to them something reasonable they meet this with bigger mistrust -- for the simple reason that, being not in condition to see where is the catch in this, think that it is very clever masked (like by the real democracy, what I have discussed many times, but now it goes not about it). And in my proposition, really, hides no catch or trick, and it relies on reasonable customers (not on such who will search something under the cap, for example, or hope to win a moped or even a car).
     Well, maybe so much common words are enough as a preamble, and we can move in the end to the concrete idea. But it, really, is very simple and can be expressed in one sentence, like the following:

     In our shop you buy once in a quarter free!

     How you like it, ah? Once in a given period of time, I think that three months is best of all, all your purchases (or the main part of them) turn to be free, to cost nothing. The subtlety is in this that nobody, surely, does not know in advance when exactly, but when this day becomes known to the clients, based on their shopping bills, which they must keep, to them is returned the amount of their purchases, in some reasonable limits, so that they can spend these money again in this shop. That is how it is in general outline, and further I will explain in more details some moments of this process and will also point out the possible variants and generalization of the idea; to the end will mention the conditions, desirable, that I have, for rewarding of my idea.

     1. Period of conducting of this, can be said, lottery. I had in mind initially once in an year, what means that the shop will be forced to return in the worst case 1/365-th part of its revenue to the clients, but this is ridiculously small, because it will reduce to less than one per mille in result of various factors that we will mention below. And then, to preserve the bills for an year is quite boring, people will forget about this and will blame the shop that it deceives them. Next comes half an year, what is now good, the expenses of the shop are as maximum 1/180-th, what will reduce to approximately 5 per mille, so that this can be applied in the beginning, if the shops have reserved attitude to this idea. Yet I think that the optimal variant (for shops, by other variants may happen that even one month is better, but about this to the end) is for 3 months, what gives 1/91-st on the average. But on the basis of discarding of purchases outside of some value limits, to what we will turn our attention after a point, will turn that this probability will reduce approximately to 1/150-th -- every shop is in condition to check, performing statistical analysis of its bills for the previous month or quarter, what part of the purchases fall in the given borders. And then I think that it can be safely relied on this, that at least half of the people will not keep their bills, so that here in the normal case must be counted that the losses (rather the refunds, and even this is not correct expression, as you will see farther) will amount to about 1/250-th or 2.5 per mille, what in any case is nothing as expenses on advertising of the shop (I think that one big placard by the entrance of the shop with explanation of the situation, as well also adding of one sentence in the leaflets which they, usually, disperse by the homes, will not raise the expenses of the shop for implementation of my proposition). So, and for three months people will try to collect the bills and visit the shop more often, and make decent shoppings, in the necessary limits, what will increase the turnover of the shop, say, one and a half times! At least in the beginning of applying of this idea in some shop will be so, and later, I hope, can happen that this will become necessity for every shop, in order not to lose clients.

     2. Document for proving of the purchases. As I have hinted in the beginning such document must be simply the cash bill (check) of the shop. Earlier I have thought that it must be conducted more strict control, that must be appointed a person to put the seal of the shop and/or sign all valid checks, to write down the personal data of the clients, and so on, but this is not necessary. On contemporary bills of the big supermarkets is written everything: the date, the hour and minutes, the number of cash desk, the name of the cashier, the list of bought products, and also, if I am not wrong, are kept paper copies of all bills printed there, for this, exactly, purpose, that it would not be possible to print one such bill separately, outside of the whole set of them. Besides, there exist also cash printers which can be distinguished somehow, the experts and criminalists must know this. In two words, nobody will "put his head on the block", figuratively speaking, for the sake of some 50 euros, in fact (and in no way more than hundred). So that other document is just not necessary. When receiving the money, though, must be shown document for identity, and be written who has got the money, at least for the archive, but also as warning, so that nobody tried to get money and run.

     3. Limits of returning of the cost of the purchases. There have to be two limits, lower and upper, where the lower is necessary for to cut off the non-serious buyers, and to stimulate the others to buy more, at least up to this limit, but also the more the better, because -- what if this is exactly the right day, why lose the possibility? Id est, it is better to make bigger shoppings, than cautiously and by little (say, only a loaf of bread and a bite to eat for lunch), what is more profitable for the shop, by the psychological reason that when one rushes to buy many things one usually makes errors, gets things that are not much necessary for him. This low limit has to be 5 euro (when this is the European currency it is better to use it now), but in some shops it might be 10, or even more, euros. The upper limit, at least for symmetry, but also for diminishing of the risk for the shop, must be 50 euros, but is possible also 100 euros, or even a bit more. In most of the supermarkets this is enough, from 5 to 50 euros, and if one has bought more things, then he can simply say: till here on one bill, and further on another, please (and when receiving money can come two friends, this should be of no importance). But there can be shops where people do really big shopping (say, for furniture, or cars), and than is necessary to set other limits, for example so: from 50 euros and to 250 or one third of the price of the thing, but what happens to be more (i.e., if on buys a seating set for 1200 euros, he can receive back 400, but if he buys one bed for 280 euros, then he will receive "only" 250).

     4. Returning of the spent by the client money. It must be said that returned will be not the very money, but will be provided possibility to spend one more time this money. In some big chains of shops are issued their own special vouchers (and only coins will be paid directly), which one can spend in the same place, but in other shops exist clients' plastic cards in which can be loaded the sum, so that the client can spend it when he wills. If not so, then may be allowed by the purchases to pass later through special desk where the paid money will be returned and in this way will be partially cleared off the won money. I think that this is the right approach, and in one so much wants to receive the money and later never to visit this shop than let them withhold some commission, say 10%. Although, in the end, they can simply count the money to the person and hope that he (or she) will almost sure spend them in this shop. But special desk must exist, where to write down the personal data for the person, and operate with money. Nevertheless this can be the information desk, or the wardrobe for baggage, or to do this on one of the cash desks together with the purchase. This is not so difficult, and if we count that this will affect 1/250-th part of the customers, and if they are equally dispersed (what, surely, will not be so, in the beginning will be more people) within the period of receiving, than this will mean that each day will be returned the spent money to only one 250-th part of the clients for the day, what must not cause overloading of the cashes.
     It is normally to suppose that if the period of this lottery is three months, then also the returning of money can be done for one such period, but it can as well be twice longer, just in case and to avoid turmoil between the clients. Well, here has to be carried out some work on information processing of records, must be collected in one file all bills for this winning day, and that by some number, or by joined numbers, would have been possible to call on the screen the very bill with all ciphered numbers below, and with fields for entering of the names and coordinates for the person, eventually for marking of the clearing of the sum, and also for printing of this operation of returning of the money (because this is some cash operation, too, for it is also necessary to be issued cash bill). Yet for the today's computer systems this should not be related with big problems and the programmer of the shop must be able to perform once and forever this procedure (more complicated is the payment with bank cards, but it also is done and works smoothly).
     As a kind of optional variant can be proposed issuing of clients' cards for all clients, with all necessary personal data and coordinates, and say that for participation in these lotteries one must first have such card and then take part in them. This will be additional restriction of the clients, but it will be convenient for the very clients, because in this way arises possibility for automatic notification of all, that they have won such and such sum with this and this cash bill for the given day. It all depends on the decision of administration, but the simplest variant, that can be applied also in small shops, this is returning to the last cent of the amount of the whole bill when giving back the latter, and in order to have with what to compare then must be taken all the bills issued in the given day (on the computer screen, but in the worst case as paper ribbon). It remains only to explain the very procedure for choosing of the day, in order to finish with the main variant of my idea.

     5. Choosing of the winning for the clients day from the already gone period of time. Well, it is clear that any procedure for random choice of one day out of all possible is good. In theory can even be left the shop simply to declare that for the past period was chosen some day, in which case the shop can even cheat a bit choosing some working day where were less buyers. But this is not serious, and it is preferable to perform this drawing by the necessary publicity, before some special commission, as well also to show this on the central TV and keep video for the process of drawing on the site of the shop -- every big chain of shops can make some expenses on 10 minutes (and even three minutes will suffice) TV time for advertising purposes of its shops. This company can have even hundreds of shops in the given country, or at least tens in one city, but the day can be, as also must be, one for all of them (at least for the city), so that here the expenses are divided between all shops.
     Now, any random choice is suitable, but I will propose three variants which seem pretty attractive. One of them is drawing of the month and the day like for sports lottery. For simplification it is better to apply this lottery from the beginning of a given month and to the end of another one. In addition it is better to load in the sphere about 30 to 50 small balls, in order to avoid its rotating empty, and then to draw the number of one out of three months (it the period is 3 months), putting in the sphere by a dozen equal balls, and then draw the day of the month and if it does not suit the given month then repeat the drawing only for the day. It is possible, in the end, to perform choice at once of one out of all days ordered according to the calendar, and then to load 91. or how many balls is necessary, but this is not so interesting, it will not excite so much the audience.
     Another and better variant is to apply binary division and load in the sphere always by 20 equal balls of zeros and ones, where zero means "not" and one means "yes" and perform drawing of one ball with returning. Then first is asked, is the month less then the middle month or not (more or equal), and if there are 3 months and it is less then in this case the month is chosen with the first question, otherwise is continued further; For the days is acted in the same way using the powers of the two, beginning with 16, and then either 8 or 24, and so on, and ask again "less or not". The choice of the day is finished for 5 times and this provides more emotions for the spectators.
     Another method is throwing of darts, what is quite more attractive, especially if there will stand in line 5-10 known personalities, and if one can not hit the target then throws the next. Then is good to have about 5-6 sectors with sufficiently thick dividing lines, and exclude the very center (where everything is highly compressed), so that the question for the commission will be not in which sector, but has the dart landed or not in the given sector. For the months in our case will be only three sectors, and for the days will be necessary to choose first the week, for which purpose are necessary 6 sectors (at worst, and if the case is not such, then one or even two sectors will be excluded), and after this the day of the week, for what will be necessary 7 sectors (alternatively can be chosen by six-tuples of days); in this case will be necessary three kinds of disks, but the very choice will be performed much more interesting.
     With this my proposition is explained in its basic variant. Now let me say what are my pretensions for paying for this brilliant idea of mine.

     6. Commission for the author of the proposition. I might have required sums of the order of one 100,000-th or millionth of the turnover of the shop, but this means that it has up to some extent to give out to me its secrets, so that I decided that it is much easier to require in the limits of each country (as well also city, if the country is too big) for one shop payment initially once in the amount of only 200 euros, and then for each lottery cycle by 100 euros, but not more than 10 times (i.e. I will load no shop with bigger sum then 1200 euros and this for somewhere about 3 years). More than this, I am much more liberal in my requirements, and in case of big chains of shops for applying of this in up to 5 separate shops the sums only doubled, up to 10 shops they tripled, up to 20 they are quadrupled, and if the shops in the chain are more than 20 (there exist some very big chains of supermarkets) then the sums are multiplied by 5; with this only stipulation, that if it goes about some really big shops, then is necessary simply to count one such shop for 2 or even 3 "normal". But where to send the money I will tell you when somebody decides to call me on the given email address (or as commentary to this paper) because I am anonymous author. And this is all. But there are millions of shops in the whole world, right?
     Only when I publish this idea, then it is already accessible to all, and I will ask each shop where it is applied not to forget about me. Maybe after some years the things will settle, but maybe they will not, because there are thousands literary sites in the world and till the moment I have published only on some Russian ones. Besides, as I have hinted in the beginning, it may happen that soon each shop will be simply forced to apply this system. And in addition to all this comes my generalization of the idea, to which I dedicate the next point.

     7. Extending of this idea to any companies that offer some products and /or services to the customers. But, after all, all companies do only this. Yet let us take for definitiveness more typical variants.
     Firstly these are all transport means, like trains, busses, but first of all airlines! There the money are big, so that can be applied variant from 50 to 250 euros or one third of the cost of the ticket, but such lotteries can be conducted even each month. Because what is there about one percent of the turnover, when the prices there are pretty high and when this will attract many new clients? In such case is necessary only to say that when you have flied (or traveled) in the given period to the given place and for established sum, and if you have happened to choose the winning day, then you personally -- and there is watched about the exact person, there can't be transferred one's rights to other people -- are entitled to make another travel with this company during, say, half an year time, when is subtracted this what must be returned to you, yet if you don't want to travel more in this period, then you can ask the money, but with subtraction of 20% of the sum, and this also in the established period of time, not later. And you may simply not have where to travel or fly more, or have planned to do this by another way, such things. And there are very much air companies and when so some miserable 100 euros are worth nothing, then will be necessary to count, for example, 1000 flying /traveling places are equal to one shop, something of the kind.
     Further there are all big hotels, by approximately such conditions like for the airplanes, in the sense that from 50 to 250 euros, and count as one shop every thousand of rooms, and also conduct such lotteries once each month. You invent better form of advertisement than this, that a company, let us call it "Caravan-Serai Chain" offers free spending the night once in a month! And also holiday homes, cruises, et cetera. Or also companies selling cars, say from 500 to 5000 euros or a quarter of the car price, what is more. Such companies could have dropped something to Myrski based on the scheme, say, hundred sold cars make one shop.
     Or there can be also variant suitable for banks. For example so: for all deposits for at least half an year can be conducted after the end of the calendar year such lottery, in result of which are established, this time six dates, but in the limits of the whole year, where the made contracts on one of three of these dates receive additional interest in the amount of 25% of the contractual interest (according to concrete case), on one of two other dates -- additional 50% of this interest, and on one date in the amount of 100% (i.e. the interest simply doubles). Every bank can do the necessary calculations in order to see the average loss for it, but this, obviously, will cause big influx of clients. As to the payment for me, then I think that in this case each bank branch has to be counted for 2, 3, or even 4 shops, because there are big money turning there.
     As this theme develops I begin to think that, for example, every self-respecting ... prostitute can begin to work by the initiative of Myrski and if she has serious clients, who give her their names and addresses (well, at least email address), then she alone can do this lottery with darts, at least topless, but maybe also "wholeless", and show this as video on her site, and once in a quarter, or oftener, to announce that so many persons, anonymous, but she knows them, will receive from her free blowjob if they call her. Well, from such valiant workers I cant require much, but maybe they will join in groups and 4-5 ladies will be counted for one shop, or I could be satisfied with payment in kind by half price of her price-list. Only, please, I beg them, not more often than once in a month, because I am not in my first youth, and this if they will be called for some work in Bulgaria, in Sofia, for I have not big desire also the travel far abroad.
     Well, OK, so be it, in the end I began to joke a little, but the idea is all-comprising and can be applied everywhere, where is possible some control over the use of products and services for a previous time.

     Nov 2014






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