On the other day I happened to have lunch in Government house restaurant. Four, five young guys sat at my table and began to chat. They all graduated from schools in USA, Europe and Korea. And now serve as assistants of Parliament members. The parliamentarians used to show off their fineries wearing huge hats, wide ornamented belts and clad in relief patterned heavy silk gowns they looked like a souvenir item. They also bragged about their fine race horses. But now they, apparently, began to employ English or Japanese speaking escorts as an additional adornment. I exclaimed “With such a wonderful educational background what these young people are doing here? Hope they didn’t want to learn how to steal. Or they may have taken the job here to get life long repulsion.” I also had a meeting recently with youth from a big private company on information technology. They were highly educated and cultured youth, all have studied and graduated from various foreign  institutes. They have good knowledge and keen interest in their job I was proud in thought that these young boys and girls are our future. But one of them told me “I have good salary better than in public service, my job is interesting my colleagues are friendly. Some of my friends joined public service, in an year or two they bought  sporty jeeps, some even managed to buy a house. No matter how much I’d  try I’ll be able to get that rich after many years.” He complained that he wanted join the public service but had no influential, acquaintances. “Are you envious of a thief, I said. Then one day you’ll envy a prisoner. Could your friends who finished their training abroad together with you accumulate so much assets like those thieves? ”. I couldn’t find any other words befitting for the occasion.      

At present 150 thousand are employed in public service, 20 thousand of them, definitely, exercise the right to administer certain amount of budget spending regardless its size, whether it is  small or large. If not all of them majority are thieves, this I can say without doubt. Their salary is simply a sort of supplementary income. State budget in 1999 was over 300 billion tugrug. Now this figure has increased almost ten folds. In those days average salary was 80-90 thousand today it has increased 3 times. Exchange rate of dollar was 1200 tugrug, now it is 1400, so it didn’t fall that much.   Did this sharp increase of state budget improve wellbeing of people? Budget of Ulaanbaatar was around 10 billion now it exceeds 100 billion tugrugs. Was the city upgraded by 10 times?             

 In August 2007 when the additions to annual budget was considered state budget constituted 53 percent of GDP. Nowadays private sector produces 80 percent of  GDP.  Biggest industrial and service enterprises of our country Erdenet (Copper, molybdenum plant ), MIAT (Mongolian Civil Aviation), Power stations, Railway, Mongolrostsvetmet are state owned. These huge plants are subsidized  from tax payers money to operate. Cost of maintenance and spare parts of the biggest power station in last 20 years reached an amount that was enough to build two new power stations. Isn’t it state business?  The railway operated in 2008 with profit of over 300 million tugrug only, it is an equivalent of an average private company’s profit. Mongolian leading private companies each pay in annual tax over 60 billion tugrug. If the productivity of labor of an average worker in public sector was compared to that of private sector the gap will be strikingly far and wide. While the size of budget is swelling, wellbeing of people is not improving. What is the cause? Well,  very activity involving state apparatus or government is accompanied by huge fraud and thievery as a result the money simply disappears, this explains why there is no improvement in people’s livelihood. The state apparatus is like a child suffering from rickets, swelling number of staff makes its head increasingly big and sustaining it becomes a heavy burden. It becomes even greedier, entangled in its bureaucracy and frozen-stiff it grows even fattier just like a pig. This is a systemic disease. There is such a disease known in medical science which, they say, is incurable.                       

Who are the public servants today? Under skilled, professionally weak, those who once deprived from state care would perish as fish thrown out of the water, those whom no one would hire, poor things incapable to earn their living make the majority of public servants. Rows of parasites who do not produce a tiny bit of (national) wealth sit in offices of over 300 abandoned soums from which the inhabitants had fled to towns and cities. The reason why they did not migrate to towns is: as a reward for staying over there they are fed. In Ulaanbaatar alone 15 TV companies broadcast in Mongolian language over 40 channels. I heard the number of employees of one TV station financed from the state budget exceeds in quantities, the number of workers of all other public media in Mongolia. But no one cares to see its broadcasts, the radio, probably, airs programs  solely for their own consumption. Private TV stations, FM radios will look down and spurn their employees.     

The state allocates about 300 billion tugrug from its budget for health sector, but people take out more than that sum to seek better medical treatment abroad. Frankly speaking they are afraid of Mongolian health services. They complain lack of medical equipment, but the question is whether there are specialists to operate them?  A tomography (MRI) apparatus is enough for serving an estimated 2 million people, but 3 new apparatus are available in Ulaanbaatar. How many patients were harmed because of a dead fly on the optic lens was diagnosed as brain tumor. Private clinics will be afraid of such a doctor. Because in private clinics they work hard and are conscientious of their responsibilities, if treatment and diagnoses were wrong they are held responsible. It is desirable that work performances of teachers were evaluated by parents of the children not by the Education Ministry. The best teachers are selected and hired by private schools. Children taught by those who had been spurned (by private schools), after finishing high school a student enters the Physics faculty being unable to produce mathematic roots. That child, probably, was the best student in the class. With launching of first stage of  Oyutolgoi project 40 Mongolian engineers are required but it is hard to find them. It was a search for 40 engineers not 40 diplomas. It is the reason why everyone strives to become an economist, attorney or political scientist. It would seem that if someone, at least, can read 20 of the 35 letters of alphabet, he or she can somehow get a diploma of an economist. If we don’t see health and education sectors as a business, it will never develop. This is a theorem which has been proved. If we continue to see these sectors as the benevolence of the state, they will deteriorate further. In fact, it has already hit the bottom of inferiority and further degradation is unimaginable. It is true that the state provide the opportunities for learning to children but unless business mechanisms are introduced,  another type of society’s parasites such as soothsayers, execrators, lamas, shamans, and demonstrators will multiply further.

Public servants represent one fourth of work force doesn’t it mean that they live by exploiting the remaining three quarters who by their labor produce wealth and pay taxes? Certainly, it can be called the parasitic stratum. Most of them are even not able to fulfill their citizen’s duties to work, but do you know how arrogantly they behave. They say that public servants should use everything free of charge. They would complain that by laboring selflessly for people they’d ruined their precious health. Who asked them to exert their strength?  Thousands of people are toiling in private sector only for themselves and are feeding these parasites with the surplus they’ve produced. If you are a civil servants one of your children will be sent to institute free of charge, where else there is such a rule? Isn’t  the double-crossing too insignificant? They, now, say will build houses for civil servants, virtually, free of charges. They plead on TV on their own behalf, vilifying others for carrying out their duties. They should leave their post in civil service instead of asking  for an entreat or special treatment. One billion tugrug was allocated to every member of parliament. No, they did not pocket it themselves but it is intended for spending in their constituencies. However, at the end this huge sum of money is going to be supplementary fodder of those pigs-the civil servants, even a fraction of that money will not reach ordinary citizens engaged in their daily activities and feeding the country.

Now they are litigating, violently appealing for a two folds  increase of their salary. From whom they want to receive that money? They say from the state. But the producer of the wealth is not the state! The person who calls himself the state and holding negotiations with them is a parasite just like those who are demanding pay raise, the only difference is this person has the right to make decisions! Two sides who do not work enter into negotiations and going to rob those who do really work. The part of the society who are producing national wealth will pay that “two fold increase” from their own pockets. Why don’t  they raise the salary two times after a two fold decrease in number of civil servants who now has proliferated as the Autumn locusts. Why should they act hilariously and organize demonstration their action reminds how  sometimes children try to intimidate their parents by crying loud. If the tax payers who feed them were to demonstrate they will far greater in number than they are.

Demonstration of civil servants – artists, actors and producers amuses immensely. They want to be paid for their artistic job. Is the man decorating wooden chest on market place not an artist or artisan? Why should he be looked down? If one is truly talented why he should devote his talent to civil service? An actor and body-guard is earning his salary as a comedian. This is new work place. Performance of free-lance actors  draws full house, payment for the use of the hall feeds “public servant actors”. Creation of art work by civil servants is funny, it is disgraceful and shameful for artists work as  civil servants,  could there be anything funnier than this? With no regards to their ability they dwell in drunken discussions about Tarkovsky … they are not ashamed to say that their duty is to pull ahead the society. Instead of talking about that why don’t they to pull themselves ahead a little bit. An angry slogan declaring “We demand raise in salaries of science workers who are devoting their sweat and power to the state” wandered around the central squire for several days. The private sector producing the national wealth is in great need of scholars, scientists and skilled professionals. But it can’t find any. As for the salary for a promising geologist it is ready to offer monthly pay of 4-5 million tugrug. But if one wants to sit idly as he or she does in civil service, that salary will not be paid, such man will not be recruited.

The state is “a suffering” one has to bear with, a necessary and unavoidable burden. A state inevitably needs managers, attorneys, soldiers, diplomats, police, prison superintendents, and judges.  Without them social relations will not work. Laborers pay tax to employ them so that relations between the citizenry are correctly regulated and coordinated. We sent frontier guards to defend our boarders, we did not expect them to play in war with live ammunitions. It is said that a newly recruited road police was rather startled to receive his salary and uttered “I did not know that I’ll receive an additional pay as salary”. I heard by my own ears an administrative official of neighboring country say: “I don’t know why Mongolian Consul in our town should be always a drunkard. Four consuls in row, for almost twenty years I’ve never seen any of them to be sober at least for a day.” They say  Mongolia’s demand for lawyers, including attorneys amounts, at the most, to 3 thousand. But today 30 thousand youth are studying law. If we do indeed have such a big reserve why should we select bribers and fraudulent people for civil services? There is no need to go further on officials working in the administrative bodies, it is too nauseating. But what we can do, there is a whole army of beneficiaries of welfare programs!!!

For last a few days they were, perhaps, busy boozing-up with that very 70 thousand. There are 160 thousand fearsome students who study without mercy for their brain for the good of our people relentlessly demand for transport fees. At present, they do not participate in producing national wealth, the probability of participation of majority of them is extremely low.                          

By Baabar

April 25, 2010