In the Economic policy measures , especially in the last years, it has been given a lot of emphasis to some impediments that block both the development policies and the employment . Among the referred obstacles appears: adverse international economic situation , safety , inefficient infrastructure, quality of public administration , labor flexibility , fair tax policy . Against this situation , trying to emulate the successes achieved in other Western countries , the measures put in place by some other Governments, have been focused primarily on quantitative measures, underestimating the capacity to react to these measures of the social system respect that one of other Western countries.
Basically it was said, ” in the USA, Holland, England , or in some areas of these countries , the stress of some economic variables , in a hypothetical “conventional” development econometric model, have led to results in terms of growth and has allowed to improve the competitiveness of the system … So … let’s do it ..! ”
Some Governments did it ..or tried to do it … . but the results did not come and for some countries .. even today the situation , unfortunately, is not better than that one of five years ago.
Indeed .. in front of a positive increase in the number of small businesses and thus in front of an employment in small businesses sector, for aexample.. our country Italy, suffered a decrease in employment in large companies, an increase in the social conflict and a significant decrease of the competitiveness in international rankings . A deterioration , the last, very serious in our economy as it incorporates a structural and not cyclical deterioration which will impact on the future of our country. The same situation happen in other weak countries of Eurozone … and .. imagine in other weak countries !!!
Think that the competitiveness of enterprises and social development in a country or in a particular “weak” Area , can be implemented only through the emulation of successful economic policies implemented in other countries, is not only true, but it hides oversimplified and outdated economic thinking.
The phenomena of particular European or American regions economic policy success, which certainly constitute an unequivocal reality to look at, to learn about and be inspired , we must not forget that in these places has been possible thanks to a civil confrontation among the parts, thanks to a civil social context , thanks to a ” cultural infrastructure ” of IDEAS and MENTALITY ‘ , thanks to an intense policy of developing Human Resources , thanks to a strong attention to’ Ethics in Business and in Politics.
These “qualitative ” factors that has been built in these places out from grueling political mediations, out of a systemic inattention and tolerance of lawlessness and injustice environment, like any other factor of production , have been constitute a fundamental Asset ,, let’s say a “Treasure ” of inestimable importance for regional development and local business competitiveness , especially in the long period .
Cultural Infrastructure , Ethics and Information are the new strategic factors of development
Today it’s therefore required , if you do not want to persevere in the failure of “conventional” economic policy measures , to develop and support a new model of economic development that takes into account in its simulations also new variables such as ” Cultural infrastructure” , Ethics and other qualitative factors … the weight of these “social” variable have gained a more and more importance and considerable value respect the most popular economic variables such as ” taxation “, ” wage flexibility ” and so on.
This is mainly becouse the accelleration in the last years of an incredible Worldwide sophistication of the Economic development process.
Do overshadowing these variables (ie, consider the factor ” cultural infrastructure ” and the Ethics, as only words to brush up in opportunistic speeches of circumstance or as values to try to give depth to a political party program ) and therefore not support their huge function generating mechanism of development, in a modern design statement , not only will lead to attempts to invalidate economic policy (and thus wasting resources and time ), but will lead to a further deterioration of another fundamental crucial component of development : the expectation of economic operators and the credibility of the country.
A crucial role in this game must be played by Politics, by Politicians and then by the Government, the government parties and all political parties in general, which should start to give an example. The “traditional” parties can not fail to notice the credibility gap they have created around them, both at national and international level , for reasons related to the problem of justice, of corruption that since the fall of ideologies seem to constitute a fisiological condition to get vote .. The Political Parties seems not capable any more to select ruling class especially at intermediate level becouse the need to favourite clientelism and corporative interest . The parties and therefore Politics are dependent too much from the vote system and from corporative interests that are not any more helpful to the satisfation of general interest of the countries and of the worldwide economy .
Negative expectations , doubts , and this loss of credibility and trust in the political institutional apparatuses are now a strong weight deterring factors for the development as they not only undermine the possibility of emersion of all qualitative economic components of the ” cultural infrastructure, but also cut business relations with more efficient components of the social system, with international partners , and in fact encourage the emersion and entrenchment in the social system of all the other qualitatively negative components ( dishonesty, corruption, corporatism, not professionalism, improvisation , subculture etc. .. etc. .. ) , closing the single countries in a negative vicious circle of pauperization.
These considerations, which affected public opinion and newspapers and television on and off and only during some election campaign , assume today a greater value as greater is the level of the modernization and communication of the country to which they refer becouse also the higher level of influence that (either directly or indirectly foreign investors ) lead also and above all on our productive system and enterprises.
For these reasons, the combination Ethics and Politics can no longer be considered only as an object of electoral campaingn debate , but it should be seriously considered as a “fundamental” and strategy factor to include in a model of economic development .
Basically the Politics today must be made more seriously than in the past because it is not only the political decision (ie the one that determines the address of the strategic choices made by the government in different sectors) but it is mostly the Ethics embodied by political class and by the government that make the difference to gain positive effects on the long term economic development .
Rome, April 7, 2003
ps i wrote these remarks ages ago .. but still nothing happensfrancesco totino