Truth be told, the Doing Business report has lost a significant part of its explanatory power, at least for countries in transition, due to political economy of reforms and disregard of the level of rule of law.
The new Slovak government was elected in the spring of 20162. Fundamental commitments regarding improvements of the business environment appeared also in Government Manifesto announced in April 2016.
Bureaucratic burden is one of the most discussed and topical issues. No wonder! Whatever we may want or not, each one of us meets bureaucracy and administrative obstacles almost every day – in our jobs, businesses, or personal lives.
Examples of senseless Slovak economic policy that combines financial and bureaucratic blows always aimed at a different sector of the economy are thick on the ground. One of the most memorable ones is the imposed levy on singular shops and chains, also known as “food tax”.
Bureaucracy Index was introduced in Slovakia in 2016 by Institute of Economic and Social Studies (INESS) to emphasize the amount of red tape a small entrepreneur has to overcome on a daily basis. It is based on a straightforward methodology, using an analysis of a model company.
In 2016, Institute of Economic and Social Studies decided to establish and commemorate the International Bureaucracy Day. We chose the date of September, marked by the birthday of Ludwig von Mises, author of the brilliant analytical book Bureaucracy.
No, this is not a story about the fear of computers. This is the story of how well-established civilization gains can be transformed to send the citizens, businesspeople, and civil servants on a terrible odyssey with entirely new bureaucratic processes.
Part of today’s general disgust with political elites is the increasing disappointment of entrepreneurs with the countless declarations and promises of members of several cabinets, which remained just on paper. The new Slovak cabinet did not yet manage to regain the trust either.
The Entrepreneurs Association of Slovakia has already submitted a document to the Minister of Economy which includes 40 bureaucratic absurdities that were previously identified by both entrepreneurs and the lay public under the patronage of the Bureaucratic Nonsense of the Year project.
I can already see the ironic grins, since I suggest creating new bureaucracy to fight bureaucracy. By applying this suggestion, however, no new administration would be created. The existing one would be reorganized so there would be a clearly assigned authority and responsibility to accomplish this important priority.