According to Table 1, at present the most vexing problems for the community in this country are deteriorating living standards and impoverishment.

Table 1. Distribution of respondents’ answers on the most vexed problems, which the country and they have to address

Those two overshadow even such pressing issues as crime and corruption, let alone the “Western threat” (which is not really seen as a problem in Belarus).

However, whatever the situation, there is a point in believing that there is a way out, and all problems will be resolved sooner or later. However, who is going to solve them? There are different options: first, we can do it ourselves, and then somebody else can do it for us (state, government, president). Judging by the answers, most Belarusians wait for the state to solve their problems. For instance, 74.7% said rising prices are the biggest problem. However, 74.3% want the state to control them.

There is yet another way, which can provide security against the price upswing. That is the growth of wages and personal incomes. However, many respondents are unsure that they can earn more money. According to half of the respondents, their incomes depend on government policies and decisions taken on the highest level rather than on their companies activities and their labor. There is certain logic seen in those answers: if the state controls prices, it should also control wages. However, there is a tremendous difference between public sector and private sector employees’ opinions over the role of the state. The former do not suppose their active work can change anything, saying only the state determines their well-being. The latter rely mostly on themselves and their companies but assign an important role to state rules and regulations.

Secondary employment, or a possibility to earn some extra money is important for both groups. At the moment only 42.2% of respondents have a second regular permanent or temporary job, in most cases job which does not require specific knowledge.

People employed in the public sector of the economy said that their second occupation was on their plot of land in the countryside. Pay services (building, repairs, tailor-made clothes) were mentioned by a few. The secondary occupations of people, who work in the private sector, are somewhat different. They are dominated by retail trade in markets and kiosks, professional activities and services. This second group of respondents more willingly act as re-sellers and making consumer goods to order, than employees of the public sector.

Speaking of the Belarusian nation as a whole, we must admit that their plots of arable land remain the traditional means of sustaining households. The small harvest gathered from them competes with the harvest in collective farms and is an argument, with the help of which people try to withstand price hikes.