A helpless giant
Middle class plays an important role in the socio-economic structure of modern Ukraine. Still, it remains an object in the political struggle of oligarchs
Ukrainian middle class and SMEs have long been the subject of Ukrainian political struggles. Political forces have increasingly declared the protection of their interests as part of their platform. They are the source of hope for the country's economic and political development. At the same time, the term “middle class” remains vague in Ukraine, and so does the definition of small and medium businesses, their size and weight in the economy, as well as their interest unknown. As a result, the middle class and SMEs, not to mention the protection of their interests by politicians, became a myth, while they turn into a passive object amidst political infighting.
In the West, there is the "old" middle class (owners of small and medium businesses that directly manage them) and the "new" one (middle income employees). In terms of income, middle class is divided into “upper” and “lower” groups. This division is mostly clear in German-speaking countries, which, unlike the English or French speaking countries, use two different terms to define middle class.
AS LONG AS UKRAINE’S SMEs ARE NOT AWARE OF THEMSELVES AS A CLASS WITH ITS OWN INTERESTS AND POTENTIAL, IT IS DOOMED TO ACT AS AN APPENDAGE TO THE OLIGARCHIC SYSTEM
"Small and medium-sized enterprises" (SMEs) have their counterpart in the Germanspeaking countries: "Kleine und mittlere Unternehmen" (KMU). However, the latter term is simply a statistical ranking of companies by the number of employees and annual turnover. It does not take into account that several, or sometimes even dozens or hundreds of such companies, may belong to the same owner or be in public or collective ownership. That is, the government, an oligarch or a billionaire can realistically be an owner of SMEs in Ukraine (and elsewhere).
All this complicates the assessment of the "old" middle class or SME owners in the social and economic life of any modern country. All available data on the role of small and medium businesses in any country, be it in Europe, in Ukraine or elsewhere in the world, are based solely on the statistical category of "SMEs," which, for the above reasons, can distort the understanding of the role of small and medium entrepreneurs, for example, in a country like Ukraine.
It is for the lack of adequate statistics that the weight of the "old" middle class in the social structure is not analyzed in the world. Instead, the focus is made on the division of the middle