Individualism, lack of trust in the state structures as well as in any kind of administration or elite and their decisions were the cornerstone to the Polish success, and now they constitute the major obstacle for moving forward.
Ageing of the Polish society means that every year more and more people will reach the retirement age. At the same time, the number of people of working age will be decreasing. In this context, it appears that the pension system reform implemented in 1999 introduced a not very fortunate principle to the Polish pension system.
Demographic change is not a tsunami. It proceeds gradually but steadily, just as the ocean’s tide. It can be foreseen if we simply choose to open our eyes and look at facts.
I don’t think that the youth want revolution. In these unstable times they rather want stability that no longer favours the mainstream populism, not taking responsibility for the future of the state, unkept promises and embarassing U-turns (career-like as well). Stability in which the political class is not moving further away from the reformatory attitude in the state of constant self-contempt.
Last winter, the polls of trust for Polish President Bronislaw Komorowski varied between strong 60 to 80%. Almost no one could have predicted that only four months later he will lose the elections to a young, 43 years old, unknown presidential candidate of the radically right Law and Justice party. Komorowski, supported by the Civic Platform, was defeated twice. And this means that we have entered a completely new age of Polish politics.
“Nations, just like women, experience brief moments of intoxication. But those moments pass soon enough.”. Adam Michnik talks to Leszek Jażdżewski, editor-in-chief of Polish liberal quarterly magazine Liberté!, about how a brief moment of European weakness will affect Russia in the end and what can go wrong in the meantime.
The presidential project of the fiscal ordinance was supposed to improve this complex situation. The uncertainties in regulations were supposed to be interpreted in favour of the taxpayers. In other words, the responsibility for legal errors (bungles) would lie on the national state and not on physical persons.
For years, liberals have been struggling to lower and simplify Polish taxes. The results are, however, rather “moderate”, labour cost remains high, the dream of PIT flat tax – once a flagship project of the Civic Platform – is rarely even mentioned, and the recent governmental “temporarily” raised VAT rate to 23% seems to be becoming permanent. Every year, taxes and charges to the benefit of the state, not visible at first glance, are raised.
Yes, I am a liberal, and despite the fact that many Poles consider this word a slap in the face, I don't feel ashamed by making this statement (let's treat it as a sort of political “coming out”). Why am I writing about it now? Well, because after the campaign “Secular School” has been launched, I got bored with constantly explaining the differences between a liberal and a leftwinger.