Viktor Orban, Demographic Winter and Hungarian Economy


As maybe you know, this weekend has taken place the World Family Congress, in Budapest. 

In this event, whose end is the defence of natural family and unborn children right to life, it’s been afforded of the challenges to which European politicians ought to face: the demographic winter.

Now then, not all leaders sights do not set high enough to confront that deal. The social-moral conservative tandem of Visegrad, formed by Hungary and Poland, is the exception. Indeed, Hungarian Prime Minister, Viktor Orban, has participated in that event

Who executed a successful constitutional reform in order to guarantee right to life since fecundation and armours the institution of marriage against social engineering revisions, defining it as the union between a men and a women, bets to enforce his measures to encourage natality (we can consider it as an enforcement of Erzsébet Program).

Precisely, he has announced more tax credits, focusing on two-children families, in addition to those of which first marriages are benefiting, for example, since 2011. However, it also bets on enforcing the interventionist aspects in which are based the plans of his Polish homologue, the Prime Minister Beata Szydlo, such as, for example “Family 500+”.

Alongside subventions for mothers without children under 3 years old, the “free cost” of Children School, the children diet camps, and subsidies for families to buy flats, there’s the bet on allocating the 3.6 per cent of Hungarian Gross Domestic Product (GDP) to stimulate the growth of birth rate, by measures like the subsidie of 3,20 euros per family to pay mortgages.

From my point of view, the natality crisis has been a consequence of social democrat politicians that have consolidated the so-called Welfare State. In other words, statism has been the worst enemy of family, something that remains in many parts, but not only due to the fact of this, but also because it’s alienated them such educative roles, although that’s not the question. So social democrat part can be amended and consider an obstacle.

Whatsmore, we have to remember that, despite of the drastic reduction of corporate tax and tax credits mentioned above, economical policy of Orban is interventionism, something characterised by facts like the nationalisation of private pension funds assets and financial, energetic, telecommunications and retail salesand of tax raises to reduce deficit (in 2011).

Besides, according to the Index of Economic Freedom of The Heritage Foundation, which recognises the tax burden and budget balance are the ideal of a mostly free economy (reductions on personal income tax are also mentioned), public spending supposes approximately a half of Hungarian GDP (it’s considered as something of repressed economies), public debt supposes a 75.5% of GDP. Meanwhile, it also warns about the fact that labor regulations are lacking flexibility.

Once I’ve said that, somebody may allege me to put economic issues before the importance of a flourishing civil society, despite of being conscious about negative consequences of depopulation. But the same as I do not consider accepting massive fluxes of immigrants that don’t adapt to Western culture (Muslims) is a solution, I am also against “treating leukemia with leeches”, that is, exerting socialist recipes against demographic winter.

I am not only going to reaffirm to avoid probabilities to be considered as a relativist using quotes like the following, which belongs to the Catholic and paleo-libertarian American Historian Thomas Woods: “By relieving individuals of the obligation to provide for their own income, health, safety, old age, and children’s education, the range and temporal horizon of private provision is reduced, and the value of marriage, family, children, and kinship relations is lowered. Irresponsibility, shortsightedness […] and even destructionism (bads) are promoted.

I am also to make a data contrast. We are going to expose a graphic to display the correlation between economic freedom (according to the Index of Economic Freedom mentioned in the previous lines) and the fertility rate (according to CIA y indexMundi), using a sample with the following roster (2016 year): Czech Republic, Hungary, Estonia, Latvia, European Union (we suppose Heritage only calculates the Community average) and the United State. Each pair will represent “homologue” geographical units in a certain way, in basis to the geographical proximity, the geographical extension, cultural reasons and/or the number of inhabitants (approximated upwards)

As we can observe there, economical freedom matters. For instance, while Czech Republic, a country that shares a border with Hungary and overtakes it in 7.2 points regarding economic liberty, does not have a fertility rate lower than Hungary. The same happens in Estonia and Hungary. Then, the United States stands out in comparison with the European Union and are the best prove of the need to reduce interventionism.

Indeed, regarding the latest comparison, it’s important to highlight that, in relation to labor freedom, according to the same index, the USA overtakes European Union in 27.2 points. At the same time, we must keep in mind the labor and familiar conciliation is only possible in the extent laboral laws are flexible and provide the employer a wider margin of management (for example, contemplating a time flexibility) and more possibilities to increase productivity, something that’s the key for increasing wages (orders and consensus are not only an imposition; they also provoke economical damages).

Once we have made an analysis with that data, the conclusion must be the end does not validate the means. Meanwhile Orban is right when cares about a flourishing civil society, the right to life and Western Christian values, a considerable part of their economic policies are wrong. Just as Thatcher was not perfect because she was not a convinced pro-live, Orban is not being perfect in the extent he does not bet on fiscal conservatism.

He must rectify, without waiting for utilitarian impulses. He has to rectify his change the way of its economical policy, and go further to a libertarian conservatism. However, he would not be the only politician affected by Utilitarianism. Research Director of Acton Institute, Samuel Gregg, stresses in Becoming Europe the following: “[n]one of Europe’s governments seemed especially interested in using enable them to articulate a grand moral and political vision, one of freeing up the economy and society more generally from the dead hand of state“.

Moreover, he ought to be aware appealing to the principle of subsidiarity is not only avoiding a migratory policy imposed by Brussels Politbureau, but to consider, paraphrasing Pope John Paul II, that an entity of higher other must not deprive communities of higher order from their functions, but helping them to coordinate their activity with the activity of the rest of society, following the common good, which is not at odds with freedom and responsibility.

So, what’s the community of higher order? Families. Those must have the right to educate freely their children and be inspired by a culture of effort and responsibility. Then, while the best formula of solidarity, correlated to the subsidiarity principle, is private charity, in which must be committed the neighbour (principle of dedication to the rest).

Before finishing, I would to stress it would be desirable a conservative-libertarian trend in sociological and political Hungarian debate to try to counteract distortions of Orban policy against the spontaneous order, such as it’s happening in Poland.

Before finishing, I’d like to affirm it would be desirable in sociological and political debate in Hungary would appear a conservative-libertarian current that could contribute to counteract Orban’s policy distortions against spontaneous order, like happens in Poland.

Think-tanks such as the Fundacja Republika?ska, the Fundacja Wolno?ci i Przedsi?biorczo?ci, the association KoLiber and the conservatarian section of rock singer Pawel Kukiz’s party are interconnected alternatives for those Poles that without giving up in their defence of a moral conservatism that defines the sociology of the country, bets on laissez-faire.

To conclude, without forgetting civil society has to promote the importance of a growth of birth rate, we cannot apply which technically “has occasioned this problem”.