To give the courage to act

To give the courage to act

by Alberto Ferrucci 
Published in Città nuova n.14/2009

Overburdened by an enormous public debt, Italy should move itself along the edge of a razor: the Treasury sees reducing tributary revenues, and not being able to print currency because it shares the Euro with others, tries to reduce expenses, to avoid having to take on an ulterior number of government securities.

These securities would only be sold with higher taxes, because they would be less trustworthy than those of the other major European countries. And so, ulterior debts would trigger a spiral that could make us lose the protection of the Euro, the currency that saved us from financial disaster.

At the apex of the crisis, our government made out without a single expense, only guaranteeing the savings of citizens. Now it renounces revenues perhaps until next year – when one hopes that things will go better – not taxing invested profits. Meanwhile, it continues to postpone payments to businesses (about a good 80 million Euro), and so contributing to increase the productive system’s difficulties.

In reality, the government is just “waiting it out until morning”. Meanwhile, the difference grows between guaranteed and non-guaranteed, lucky and unlucky, well-to-do and above all young people who are losing work and their homes. Maybe it trusts that these will be provided for by their families, the most efficient social structure of our country.

A different, more supportive politics, in a country with an upcoming election year, is considered unrealistic, as it would affect those who are not suffering from today’s crisis. This would only be accepted by politicians who are first of all capable of drastically cutting their expenses and showing their desire to truly want to fight against tax evasion, an offense that today ought to be considered a real betrayal to the community.

A supportive state should be able to – without creating debts and without reducing the number of those to whom it gives work – ensure an adequate subsidy to all who remain unemployed. To do so, it should have the courage to make unpopular decisions, like raising the age of retirement to accompany the increased life expectancy. To find resources for schools, research and innovation, it could apply a tax on all non-renewable electric consumption, as is being proposed in the country most resistant to taxes – the USA.

In order for politicians to follow the road of solidarity, however, a support (the voice or even the cry of civil society) is needed. There is need of new commitment on the part of citizens ready to sacrifice acquired rights, in favor of a neighbor in need. One often recognizes this neighbor in his children and grandchildren, who find themselves, because of us, with always fewer social services.


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