Poland after elections
Things seen from a distance look different that when you look at them closely. From a distance you see the shape and main characteristics, for example can judge whether it is a wolf or a friendly wolf-like dog. When are very close, you pay attention to details and your emotions run high, for example you can be scared to death if you face a real wolf.
I am living in Kazakhstan, where I work as a rector of the biggest economic university (52 years tradition, 140,000 graduates, among them billionaires, ministers and CEO of many biggest companies). This gives me a distance and perspective and allows to see big things, and not pay attention to details. So what are these big things:
For the first time since (long overdue) collapse of communism Poland has both: majority, single party government and a president that shares values of newly-ruling political party. Majority is in both houses of the Parliament. This gives PiS regulatory power unseen in Poland in the past 25 years.
Unlike many previous governments that came to power with a bunch of election promises, PiS has prepared itself very well to be in charge. There were many conferences and debates, consultations with experts and scientists, that did lead to formulation of a very detailed program. It means that PiS will be able to execute its plans very quickly.
Unlike previous government, which had only one real strategy, get as much money as possible from the EU and spend it, PiS program addresses many deep structural problems that Poland is facing. One of this problems is Polish dramatic demographic crisis (solution new demographic policy). Another is innovation crisis (solution: new tax regulations that support innovations). And many more.
Unlike previous PO-PSL government, that allowed Poland to become a source of cheap labor for foreign companies (and was proud about it), PiS has developed a national industrial strategy.
Unlike PO-PSL government that financed budgetary needs by taxing the poor (I showed in my book Ekonomia w matriksie, in Polish, that poor pay taxes two times higher as a percentage of income that rich), PiS is planning to tax banksters.
This analysis can be continued. PiS has one problem, it lacks brand and PR, because banksters that own media in Poland and abroad do not like being taxed and they do everything they can to associate PiS brand with bad things (which also includes the name of the party in English, as seen in flickr pictures). And it is well known that even if you have a strong plan, but you brand is negative, implementation of this plan will face many obstacles.
One way to improve the brand is a series of small, visible successes. Examples can be: passing successfully legislation that was planned, legislation that meets very high international standards (with proper regulatory impact analysis); improving business environment, not for banksters but for Polish SMEs, that contribute more than 50 percent to Polish GDP; restructuring problem industries (mining, health care, higher education); improving the birth rate; creating and implementing new, intelligent immigration policy.
Good news is that in many cases delivering success does not require a lot of money, it requires smart regulation and using possibilities offered by modern information technology. One policy – demographic – will be expensive, but it can easily be funded by dismantling private pension funds or leveraging state-owned assets. Many of these solutions have been prepared and are present in the PiS policy plan.
In few years demographic tsunami will hit Poland with a full strength. By that time Polish economy should grow at 5 percent plus rate to be able to face this tsunami. National Bank of Poland will almost surely change its mandate, in line with recent practices of all major central banks and will become an active actor in development policies. Again banksters will oppose it with a full media strength, but if done intelligently, it could become a major source of successful development of the Polish economy, without jeopardizing its key mandate: monetary and financial stability.
Next four years are crucial for the future of Poland in the XXI century. Political preferences of Poles revealed last Sunday make success and progress more possible than ever.