A new year has come, Christmas flew past us at the speed of light and 1/12 of the year 2020 is now behind us as well. And while our elected representatives chose to abandon the idea of New Year’s fireworks which I personally found beautiful and engaging, to show their ambitions for mitigating climate change on our planet, they compensated for it as usual by amending various laws and regulations which, as a rule, take simple things and make them more complicated – this includes for example changes in social and health insurance, sick leave, the electronic incapacity certificate and the usual amendments of various tax laws.
One of these changes is however more significant than the others and will once again affect the costs for all of us: further increase of the minimum wage for 2020. On the one hand, this is very good news for many of our fellow citizens, but on the other hand for us, the entrepreneurs who keep the economy going by paying wages, social and health insurance premiums, countless levies, taxes and administrative fees, this drives the already significant personnel costs even higher. This forces us to review our other expenses to maintain the expected level of profitability and eats into our budget for other activities that have a much greater social benefit than a few hundred crowns extra on the paycheck.
Incidentally, you can see the results of this generous policy everywhere you look – the ever accelerating spiral of increasing financial capacity of the masses on the one hand followed by growing prices of both essential and non-essential items on the other. The way I see it, the overall balance is quite negative. Paradoxically, I earn a bit more, but pay much more.
For me personally, this year started with the glum knowledge that I must pay an even higher proportion of the value that I produced towards maintenance of the state. And there’s no need to go into how effectively the state will spend this additional money.
Yet I remain convinced that our elected representatives mean well – why else would they do it? – and that from the top of the social pyramid, they simply see further ahead than us on the middle floors.
But I don’t want to end on a pessimistic note. I believe in the long-term potential of our society and economy. Inertia can only get us so far. If we pump in some of our reserves and state material inventory (while it lasts) in the form of environmentally unfriendly petrol or diesel, we’ll be able to once again step on it, accelerate and excel. Like we excelled many times before.
I wish for all of us to have enough fuel to fulfil all our dreams in 2020 and beyond!
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