Jovanotti è un pericolo per la Calabria!

Jovanotti è un pericolo per la Calabria!

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Yes, you got it right! Jovanotti is a danger for Calabria. In reality it is obviously not Jovanotti who is per se a danger for Calabria, but rather an instrumental use of his words. For those few who still don't know, Jovanotti was in Calabria about two weeks ago, to shoot the video clip of one of his new songs. During his stay in Scilla, he published a post in which he declared his love for Calabria, a wonderful land full of potential. As was to be expected, immediately after these declarations, most of the

Calabrians and local politicians began to argue that if only one knew how to value Calabria, if only one could grow the tourism sector, Calabria could finally come out . from his state of chronic underdevelopment. This litany that we Calabrians have been repeating to ourselves since I basically remember, but I imagine even earlier, for 50, 60 years, compared to the fact that the tourist potential of our territory would be our black gold, from which we can start and promote a phase of true development of the territory, it is frankly comic. We can't take it anymore! The time has come to start a process of disillusionment with this history of tourism as a solution to all the problems of Calabria and in general of southern Italy. Anyone who thinks that tourism can make up for the gap in economic development that exists between the regions of Southern Italy and Northern Italy and the rest of Europe in general is a fool. Those who, on the other hand, have used

Jovanotti's words instrumentally to relaunch the myth of tourism and to retrace once again, for the umpteenth time, a road already trodden, which has led to little and nothing in terms of economic development and an increase in the quality of life for the Calabrians is a danger, because it shifts the spotlight of public opinion from what are the real problems of the Calabrian social and entrepreneurial fabric towards the self-absorbing fairy tale of tourism, which has now become a pretext for maintaining the status quo, not to upset the equilibrium of the local factions, deceiving the Calabrian citizens that it would be enough to build a few more hotels, to attract a greater number of tourists, to revive the fortunes of Calabria. The origins of the gap between North and South are very remote and precede the unification of Italy. The causes of this condition are essentially three: 1) the low level of literacy of the pre -unification population of the south; 2) the hydrography of the territory and 3) the autarchic tendencies of the Bourbon Kingdom, as opposed to the opening to international trade by Northern Italy. The

economic condition of the South appears to be problematic under various profiles, both in relation to the other areas of the country and in comparison with similar European realities. The characteristic of this situation is not so much linked to the width of the gaps, which is in any case very high, as to the relative stability of the gaps over time, which suggests that such an economic system has found its own form of equilibrium: an equilibrium of undersizing. To get an idea of ​​the problem, it is sufficient to refer to the individual wealth of the residents. In 2018, per capita GDP at

constant prices in Italy was on average equal to € 28,442, while in the southern regions it was equal to € 19,789c. The wealth of an individual residing in southern Italy is therefore roughly equal to two thirds of the national wealth per capita. Furthermore, if we look at the report on the regional economies of the Bank of Italy, we will notice that Calabria, unlike the other developed regions of the North, such as, for example, Lombardy, has a peculiar GDP structure. Like Lombardy, the main share of GDP is represented by services, but, unlike Lombardy, the industry sector participates to an extremely limited extent in the Calabrian GDP. From these data it can be observed that the specificity of

the Calabrian economy structure is to have a high weight in the primary sector, compared to the rest of the country. In Calabria, in fact, the weight of agriculture in the regional added value is equal to 4.67 per cent. In Italy, on the other hand, it is equal to 2.1 per cent. The backwardness of the Calabrian economy is mainly caused by the weak presence of companies operating in the manufacturing sector, which in 2019 contributed 7.9 per cent to the creation of

regional wealth. This is a share that is about 12 percentage points lower than the average value of Italy and even 19 percentage points lower than the share in the North East of Italy. In general, the regions of Southern Italy appear to have 1) a weak and fragmented production sector, made up of small and very small companies, which do not network and therefore do not reach a sufficient critical mass to become industrial districts, thus negatively affecting the aggregate demand, due to the low added value produced; 2) a strong dependence on public transfers; 3) n unemployment rate, especially among young people, higher than the national and European average; 4) a strong intellectual migration, which combined with the resulting decrease in population, structurally reduces aggregate demand and paradoxically increases the demand for undeclared work, low value-added goods and low-wage workers, triggering a spiral that is difficult to stop; 5) a large underground sector, 6) a cumbersome and inefficient bureaucracy; 7) a low education of the employed and 8) a pervasive presence of organized crime. With tourism, would it be possible to solve the problems I have just listed and thus get Calabria out of its condition of underdevelopment? No, for three reasons! The first concerns the fact that tourism, in general, is a low productivity sector and can have a negative effect on those sectors capable of expressing an intense technological development, such as, for example, the manufacturing sector, of which Calabria would absolutely have need, thus hindering economic development. Economists to indicate this phenomenon speak of Beach Disease. The second

reason is directly linked to the first and has to do with the fact that the tourism sector produces, on average, incomes uniformly lower than those of many other sectors. This is not only true for our country, but also for most countries in the world, such as France, Spain and the United States . To those who object by saying that what has been said applies to low- cost generalist tourism and that, if Calabria were invested in luxury tourism, the Calabrians would become Scrooge McDucks, I point out that luxury tourism is by definition elite and niche, so it is limited to extremely small segments of the market and could employ an extremely small percentage of the workforce. Admitted and not granted that it enriches all those who work in this sector, luxury tourism certainly would not have the propulsive capacity to raise and permanently increase the incomes of substantial percentages of employees. In luxury tourist facilities the entrepreneur or whoever puts the capital earns, if he is able, while all the others earn substantially their opportunity cost. The waiter, the cook or the kitchen boy earn more or less what they would earn elsewhere. The extra profit that the monopoly position of luxury properties generates goes almost the entire amount into the property owner's pockets. Finally, to attract luxury tourism

, suitable structures would be needed and these are not there. They could certainly be realized, but to make them it would be necessary to find, first of all, the public money to do so, which is not trivial, and to evaluate whether the tax revenues of the additional luxury tourism will be able to cover the additional costs for the structures in question. The last reason relates to the fact that the Mezzogiorno already has a revenue growth in the tourism sector higher than its potential demand. In truth, the contribution of the Mezzogiorno to

overall tourist revenues remains limited compared to the potential of the territory, there would, therefore, be room for growth, but this margin is extremely limited, given the current accommodation offer. Tourism in Calabria is, in fact, worth about 12 percent of GDP, in line with the other regions of Italy. We could, therefore, increase this figure by a few percentage points, without however deluding ourselves into being able to take it beyond 20%. The convergence of tourism's contribution to local GDP, compared to other regional contributions, should also suggest that tourism is clearly not the critical sector which, if properly developed, could initiate a process of escaping from the underdeveloped condition of Calabri and that the sectors on to whom it is useful to invest are quite others. But if investing in tourism is not an efficient development model, what should be aimed at to free Calabria from its condition of chronic underdevelopment? First of all, we should invest in research and development. In Southern Italy, expenditure on research and development is equal to

3.5 billion euros, just under 15 per cent of the national figure. In 2017 Calabria spent 174 million euros on research and development, which corresponds to 0.31 percent of total investments. Within the regional ranking, Calabria occupies the last position

in terms of expenditure on research and development. In fact, investments in this sector correspond to only 0.5 per cent of the Calabrian GDP. As improvements in technology are the main cause of economic growth and these can be achieved mainly through investment in research and development, government action would be needed to train the capacities, both in terms of technologies and human capital, needed to absorb knowledge. generated by other systems, such as the university one, and to develop knowledge of the system itself. The competitiveness of southern productions should also be increased

by reducing the cost of labor for companies operating in the South. Through a drastically selective but very strong taxation system with a long time horizon it would be possible to trigger a vigorous process of growth in employment and income driven by net exports in Calabria and, in general, in all regions of the South . thus able to initiate the relationship between labor supply and demand towards normality, without significant burdens and probably with long-term positive effects on public finances.

These tax cuts should focus on internationally traded goods in order to stimulate a sharp increase in demand for goods produced in the South, coming from other regions and countries, and a sharp decrease in the share of internal demand in the South, directed towards goods produced in other regions. regions and other countries. It should be noted that, today, the South is in competition with countries such as Poland, Romania and Croatia, where the taxation on business income is extremely low. Consider, for example, that the taxation on business income in Romania is 16 per cent, while in Italy it is even 31.4 per cent. It is therefore necessary to lower the level of taxation. If, in fact,

in Calabria the level of taxation were equal to that of Poland or that of Serbia, it is reasonable to think that foreign investments would flow in large quantities. Tax and social security benefits for workers employed in the South in international production and markets had been introduced following the decision to gradually abolish, starting from 1968, the territorial differences in wages and salaries. For several years these reductions were in some way tolerated by the European Commission, but never explicitly approved, until they were completely abolished in 1994. On the basis of Article 107, paragraph 3, of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union, aid intended to promote economic development, where the standard of living is abnormally low, or if there is a serious form of unemployment. This means that

the authorization for tax and contribution reliefs for the production of goods on international markets, located in the South, would not require any modification of the Treaties, but only a change in the particularly restrictive interpretation adopted by the European Commission. To achieve this change, the action of a ruling class would be necessary. above all local, highly competent, qualified and far-sighted, capable of carrying out a political project that goes in this direction. Another

dimension on which action should be taken is the increase in exports. In general, little is exported to Calabria. Think that in 2018 Calabria occupied the last position in the regional distribution of Italian exports. This data is extremely worrying, since in small economic systems the domestic aggregate demand is limited and therefore cannot be used as an engine of lasting development over time, as it is easily subject to saturation. In such a context, it is important to leverage the export component in order to activate virtuous circles of sustained growth. Calabria has a limit not only on how much it exports, but also on what it

exports. The productive sectors in the composition of Calabrian exports are the following: 1) agricultural, forestry and fishing products; 2) food, beverages and tobacco; 3) chemicals and substances; 4) wood and wood and cork products. Among the various causes that could explain this phenomenon, it is reasonable to think that the low level of innovativeness is one of the most relevant reasons. To get out of this cul-de-sac, in the short term, it would be necessary to enhance the existing one, focusing, for example, on the natural resources available in the region. Rather than producing undifferentiated goods, the

regional production system should produce goods whose demand does not depend on the price and should sell them to those consumers who show more interest in the quality and non-standardization of the product. For all this to be feasible, it is necessary that companies invest more in the production phases, which allow them to create differentiated and quality goods. Calabria should also fight the dwarfism of its businesses. The younger one is, the more difficult it is to compete on national and international markets, to offer hope of growth to personnel and to access credit. Calabria is the region with the highest percentage rate of micro-enterprises and within the South it is the region with the lowest presence of joint-stock companies . The legal instruments and the necessary liquidity to structure and finance the dimensional growth of companies would already be present, what is lacking in Calabria is the cultural aptitude for doing business and the strong aversion to risk. The temptation to remain

small out of fear and in order to benefit from less fiscal control should be overcome. In Calabria we should then invest in the Smart Manufactoring model. In the south there is an infrastructural gap that is difficult to fill in the short term, consequently assuming an endogenous growth that adapts the industrial structure to the European average appears decidedly utopian. Therefore, we should start a process of transformation of the industries towards the industry 4.0 model. This industry model could be applied immediately to this south and, in particular, to Calabria. In fact, these are light industries,

which do not need investments in physical superstructures, therefore they could be implemented quickly and are based on virtual exchanges of information, on the sharing and growth of the same. A model that would be well connected to a reality that possesses avant-garde human capital that must simply be put in the conditions to work, instead of being pushed to emigrate. Alongside these endogenous growth strategies, structural funds should also be used in a more qualitative way to trigger processes of exogenous growth. The usefulness of the structural funds in bridging the gap between

the regions of Northern Italy and the regions of Southern Italy is widely debated. It is certainly true that the effect and the regional policies of the European Union are merely redistributive in Italy. In fact, during the thirty years of aid experience, these policies have not changed the structural conditions that determine growth in the lagging regions, but it is equally true that these aid schemes have triggered growth processes in various European regions that are lagging behind. development. And then we ask ourselves: why are

these structural funds not having the same effect in Southern Italy and in Calabria in particular? First of all, we need to clear the field of false myths. The resources mobilized by the cohesion policy have been extremely significant: the money, therefore, has been there and has been a lot, but it has been poorly managed. In fact, colossal delays have always been observed on the management capacity of the structural funds. Spending is mostly concentrated in the last years of the various programming cycles, an element of weakness that clashes with the gradualness and processes of economic development. The Calabrian bureaucratic system has developed skills, thanks to which it is able to report down to the last cent of the structural funds, especially in the final phase of the programming cycle, without, however, directing them in a qualitative way towards the sectors that would need these aid schemes. It was noted that

the impact of these funds is, in fact, short-term and the latter have by no means improved the variability of the context in which companies operate. We should not limit ourselves to the mere achievement of spending objectives, but favor the selectivity of interventions aimed at strengthening the territorial competitiveness of regional economies. In short, from my point of view, any farsighted Calabrian who cares about the future of his region should say thanks to Jovanotti for the words he dedicated to our land, but should avoid transforming these statements into a sort of political programmatic manifesto. ,

at the center of which to place tourism. As I tried to demonstrate in this video, tourism is not the solution to Calabria's problems! We could indeed increase the contribution of the tourism sector to the Calabrian GDP, seasonally adjusting tourism, diversifying it, promoting the rural villages of our territory, improving the accommodation offer and also investing something in the luxury tourism segment, without deluding ourselves, however, that these interventions could determine an effective change in the economic and social conditions of Calabria. What needs to be done is something else and has nothing to do with tourism!

2022-05-29 01:50

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