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14   THE MAJOR ITEMS OF THE BUDGET

This chapter is also more or less completely translated into Italian in Ceccarelli, pp. 134-39.

Published onApr 23, 2021
14   THE MAJOR ITEMS OF THE BUDGET

It is obvious that a necessary condition for instituting socialized services for the needs of the population is the availability of a corresponding material basis. In the previous chapter we showed that as regards the costs of capital construction the question can be considered completely resolved since, all things being equal, construction intended for socialized services for the population needs will be at least twice as economical [i.e., cost ½ as much] as the usual. As for the capability of the population to meet current costs of socialized child education, the answer lies in the accounts given below.

If we take conditions in Moscow, where we have the highest salaries and highest product costs and consequently the highest outlay for upkeep of children’s institutions, we have the following results.

Per 1,000 inhabitants of Moscow there are:

Children to age 3 years

91.2

Children from age 4 to 7

58.6

Children from age 8 to 14

86.2

Youths from age 15 to 17

52.3

Able-bodied population

667.7

Unemployable and elderly

44.0

Total

1,000.0

From these figures we find that per 100 able-bodied inhabitants of Moscow there are:

Children to age 3 years

13.7

Children from age 4 to 7

8.7

Children from age 8 to 14

12.9

Youths from age 15 to 17

7.8

Unemployable and elderly

6.4

Total

49.5

Using these figures for the Moscow population we will arrive at the following expenses for each 100 employable adults.

1. Nurseries. The maximum expense for the complete maintenance of a child in the nursery under best conditions including all overhead expenses, according to data of Narkomzdrav RSFSR, is about 60 r. per month. This norm is almost three times above the present actual outlay and is calculated for the complete maintenance of children for 24 hours a day with the largest service staff, consisting entirely of hired help (who have no other social responsibilities).

Given the average number of children in this age group as 13.7 per 100 ablebodied residents, the total expense for them will be 822 r. or 8 r. 22 k. for each one.

Part of these expenses are already covered by social security out of the monthly budget of FUBR; for the sake of simplicity we will take into account these expenses in our general conclusion.

2. Kindergartens. The cost of complete maintenance of children in kindergarten, according to data of Narkompros RSFSR, is about 50 r. per month including all types of services. This rate of expense, as with nurseries, is significantly higher than that of the present.

Per 100 able-bodied inhabitants there are 8.7 children of this age (from 4 to 7 inclusive) which give an average cost of maintenance of 435 r. per month or 4 r. 35 k. for each such adult.

3. School dormitories of first and second forms. The cost of complete maintenance of children of school age (from 8 to 14 inclusive), according to data of Narkompros is (excluding instruction) about 40 r. per month.

Per 100 able-bodied inhabitants there are 12.9 children of this age with a consequent average cost of 516 r. per month or 5 r. 16 k. for each such adult.

4. Dormitories for the third form (from 15 to 17 inclusive). With the average number of youths in this group at 7.8 and the cost of maintenance for each of about 40 r. per month, the total sum of expenses will be 312 r. or 3 r. 12 k. per one such adult.

Thus the expenses for socialized education of children and youths given according to Moscow figures per 100 able-bodied persons can be expressed in the following figures:

 

 

In Nurseries

In Kindergarten

In Dormitories

Youths (in technical schools)

Totals

1. The children per hundred able-bodied inhabitants

13.7

8.7

12.9

7.8

43.1

2. Full cost of maintenance for one child

60 r.

50 r.

40 r.

40 r.

48 r. [approx.]

3. Same for all children

822 r.

435 r.

516 r.

312 r.

2,085 r.

4. For each able-bodied person

8.22 r.

4.35 r.

5.16 r.

3.12 r.

20.85 r.

 

From this sum (20 r. 85 k.) must be subtracted expenses already covered otherwise at present:

1. Social Security expenditures. These expenses compiled for Moscow at present (1929–30) are about 5,000,000 r. per year or 50 k. per month for each taxable adult. This sum must be increased by 1½ since under socialized services the number of working adults (i.e., those insured) per 100 children will increase by 50–60%. In this way, each insured individual will pay:…….…….75 k.

2. Budget expenditures of FUBR, cooperatives, etc. (excluding expenses for construction, stipends, etc.) come in 1929–30 to about 20,000,000 r. per year or about 2 r. per month for those insured, without considering the increase in funds available due to the rise in number of workers (i.e., those insured), but taking into account the rise it would consist of 50–60%…….…….3 r.

3. Stipends to youths and profits from apprentice workshops which must at least ensure financial independence of this group of youths (from 15 to 17); this will cost each insured individual…….…….3 r. 12 k.

4. Products of training institutions of the second form out of an outlay of 10 r. per month for each child of this group, or for each insured…….…….1 r. 29 k.


Total…….…….…….…….8 r. 16 k.


Thus expenses not covered at the present time for each employable member of the adult population of Moscow, taking into account the increase resulting from the growth of the employed (i.e., insured people) will be 12 r. 69 k. which must be procured in order to cover all current expenses for complete education of all children and youths up through age 17.

Three sources must be tapped for this sum. First the fund of socialized wages must be increased by raising the rate of insurance fees by a certain percentage (through social insurance) for living needs; then normal growth of the monthly budget will systematically increase the worker’s portion of his expenses for these needs; and finally through partial payment by parents, depending on their wages and the size of their family.

It is easy to see, therefore, that practically speaking, from the financial viewpoint hardly anything remains to be done by us to create a solid material basis for socialized education of children throughout Moscow. The whole thing is only a matter of organizing our possibilities and capabilities.

In the provinces, as regards the group of insured population we have almost the same picture (the expenses of social insurance and budget are lower, but the wages, the prices of products, etc. are lower still).

Of course the village presents a different scene. There remains an enormous amount of work to be done there on the reconstruction of agricultural bases, which is the only means of creating the conditions for a corresponding transformation of mutual social aid into a solid socialization of partial income from the population that would be analogous to social insurance. The solution to this problem—the problem of socialist reconstruction of agriculture—is an essential premise for the institution of full socialization of the living needs of the village population. At the present time, in the countryside it is only possible to create a few nuclei and connecting links as a premise of the future system of a new way of life, in the form of summer nurseries, institutions for orphans, and so on. Only by means of increasing the growth of the people’s wages and productive labor on the basis of a new organization of agriculture and its mechanization, is a solution conceivable to the problem of reconstructing the village way of life. This must be recalled to comrades who think that only by organizational measures is it possible4o skip the hurdles and difficulties that stand on the road to reconstruction of a new way of life in the country.1

Cost accounting of socialized feeding, laundries, and other types of communal services for the population need not even be mentioned here since it is obvious that large-scale production will always be many times more economic than a small-scale one. The whole question reduces itself to the matter of organizational possibilities, the difficulties of which can by no means be underestimated. Therefore we recommend a certain caution and consistency without which the whole idea of the organization of the new way of life might be discredited.

In establishing an expanding net of socialized feeding and laundries at the present stage we must nevertheless envisage the possibility of individual food preparation and the possibility of individual laundries which in no way signifies a retaining of the system of construction of small family apartments. While discarding compulsion in instituting the new way of life, we should by no means preserve the old way of life. On the contrary, all our strength, all attention must be directed toward the creation of a real material basis for the new way of life.

The form of organization of the dwelling with its subsidiary accommodations is one of the most important elements in the organization of the services for the population. This circumstance must definitely be considered by both our builders and planners as well as by the Soviet public. Only by achieving an awareness of the organizational role of the habitation in the goal of reconstructing our way of life and consequently in all aspects of our life by the widest possible masses of workers of the USSR will we be able to find the most correct solution to the problem of a new settlement of humanity and the shortest and most rational way to create the material basis for building a new socialist world.

The correct posing and proper solution of the problem of industrial and residential construction in the USSR must create “such conditions for work and living for the working class, which will give us the opportunity to nurture a new generation of workers, healthy and vital, able to raise the might of our Soviet country to deserving heights and to bodily defend her against encroachment by the enemy” (J. Stalin, speech at the XVI Party Congress).

This is why the problem of organizing the battle for the new way of life must be one of the foremost of our problems.

“Party organizations must render every possible assistance to this movement and direct it ideologically. Soviets, trade unions, and cooperatives must assume practical solutions to the problems connected with this goal. It is necessary that we observe the various undertakings of workers participating in the reconstruction of the way of life with greatest attention, thoroughly studying the sprouting of the new, and in every way assist their realization in life.” (From the resolution of the TsK VKP(b) [Central Committee of the Bolshevik Communist Party] Congress of 16 May 1930).

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