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Useful self-deception: making work a game is the only way to survive

Nobody was born to work. Most children from wealthy Russian families aged 18-24 experience a dramatic and often shocking transition from the state of “I live, I wonder, mom and dad love me” to the state of “go and pay for your life yourself.” This transformation from a butterfly into a dung beetle is especially difficult for introverts and creative people.

A relatively recent VTsIOM survey conducted in May 2019 shows that 21% of working Russians, if they had the means to live, would quit and would never work again. And 22% would change jobs.

It is interesting to understand what causes people to choose their profession. Here they are (percentages are not summarized, it was possible to give several answers):

circumstances – 34%;
own hobbies and interests – 30%;
remuneration in this area – 17%;
lack of choice – 17%;
prestige and career growth – 12%;
the demand for a profession in the labor market – 10%;
family traditions – 7%;
the opinion of relatives and friends – 6%
85% of the respondents said that in general they like their work. And, probably, there is a lot of “social self-hypnosis” in it, because we see above that only 30% of Russians reported that they chose a profession based on their hobbies and interests.

According to a study by V. Karacharovsky, an assistant professor at the Higher School of Economics, the share of the “socially non-optimized” labor product in Russia is 39–41%. We are talking about a product that is produced by people “without desire”, contrary to their preferences and attitudes.

A shot from the music video of the Hungarian group Cloud 9+ about the rebel office workers who starred “Harold Hiding the Pain” (Andras Arato)
A shot from the music video of the Hungarian group Cloud 9+ about the rebel office workers who starred “Harold Hiding the Pain” (Andras Arato)
The latest data from Rosstat about a large group of unemployed able-bodied Russians indicate that there are about 6% of these in the country (of the available human resources) or more than half a million people.

The State Statistical Office studied this particular stratum in 2017. Including, conducting a survey with a large sample (more than 15,000 people). And its results make us frown thoughtfully:

80% of people without work expressed no desire to work
5% are not looking for work
2% despaired of finding her
14% are people who “want to work,” but are not looking for work and are not ready to start it
39% of those who are able-bodied but do not work are full-time students
15% are household people
15% are pensioners, despite working age
With the joyful conclusions of 2019 from VTsIOM about how everything is good for Russians with the perception of their work, more in-depth studies are poorly combined. Sociologists usually say about the reasons for such inconsistencies:

Russians are accustomed to cunning when passing polls, and this is a “political” habit;
questions are formulated in such a way as to obtain a result convenient for the customer of the survey.
Common sense dictates: dozens of percent of working Russian citizens relate to their work in much the same way as the heroes of the clip of the already mentioned Cloud 9+ group. Look at it, if you haven’t seen it, it’s beautiful:
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Living in the arms of a violent economy and humiliating pay
In 2018-2019, a post powerfully violated in Russia, the authors of which compared food prices in budgetary retail chains in Germany and the Russian Federation. During the shopping experiment, products were purchased in the Lidl chain of stores (Trossingen, Germany) and the Pyaterochka chain (Moscow, Russia). Both there and there, the same simple food cost almost the same amount.

If you look at how the average salary in Germany and the Russian Federation differs, it turns out that German is about 6 times more.

And this is still an optimistic assessment, because we are forced to take on faith the data of Rosstat that the average salary in the country amounted, say, in the 1st quarter of 2019 to 43,944 rubles per month. The general public unambiguously reacted to this information: “they are lying godlessly.”

“Have you seen our latest newsletter with an average salary?”
“Have you seen our latest newsletter with an average salary?”
On the one hand, according to a study published in the Bulletin of the Institute of Economics of the Russian Academy of Sciences, in Russia the share of wages in GDP is quite comparable with developed countries in the West. On the other hand, the same scientific work states: half of the country’s population over a large period of “reforms” from 1991 to 2017, purchasing power only fell.

Russia has a problem with gross domestic product per capita – it is small. Hence the proportionally expressed small salaries. In terms of GDP per capita, in recent years, our country has ranked 49–56 among all countries in the world (estimates by the IMF and World Bank).

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