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Thread: Life was much better in Soviet times people in Siberia say

  1. #1
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    Default Life was much better in Soviet times people in Siberia say

    "Everything was good back then, in Soviet days, everything was great, there was work, now there are no jobs," sighed the grey-haired 51-year-old. "Now everything is expensive, and wages are low."

    "Is it possible to live on this pittance? But I survive, I fish for that. That's what all my life is about."

    http://news.yahoo.com/s/nm/20070919/...ssia_kolyma_dc

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    Default Re: Life was much better in Soviet times people in Siberia say

    Alan Greenspan, when he was intereviewed by Charlie Rose last week, pointed to East and West Germany (in Soviet days) and said, look, same people, same culture, disparate results--which he attributed to the difference between a market economy and a central command economy--and we know which one he thinks is superior.

    What would you say to this sort of argument, Big (or anyone)?

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    Default Re: Life was much better in Soviet times people in Siberia say

    I don't think its a fair argument matclone but I am not surprised someone like Greenspan would use it. It is the same argument that is used between North and South Korea.

    Lets see, WWII was over and Soviet Union was nearly completely destroyed. America meantime came out of Depression and was prospering. It pulled countries like France and Britain its way through finances and all of them made sure to help out West Germany be "superior" as you put it to East Germany so that someone like Greenspan could make a case today.

    My point is had America given as much help to East Germany as it did to West Germany, the difference would be much smaller. Soviet Union went through a Revolution and total destruction in WWII. It could not give as much assistance to East Germany and other countries as it was trying to rebuild itself and make nuclear weapons to protect itself from Western nuclear aggression.

    A similar case with Koreas now. America slaps sanctions on the North while making deals and pacts with the South. Then it claims how much more prosperous is the South.

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    Default Re: Life was much better in Soviet times people in Siberia say

    Stalin's mistakes and WWII killed some of the most competent people by the millions. For all his faults it is clear that in the late 30s Soviet Union was the fastest modernizing country in the World. That is the main reason Hitler attacked Soviet Union. He knew Soviet Union would dominate the World if not stopped. The West was in deep Depression. All these factors led to East Germany be significantly behind West Germany after WWII

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    Default Re: Life was much better in Soviet times people in Siberia say

    Further, I know we will never know for sure but I would not be surprised if people like Bush's grandfather were interested in building up Nazi Germany in order to give Soviet Union a formidable foe since everyone knew how much Hitler hated the communists.

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    Default Re: Life was much better in Soviet times people in Siberia say

    Good arguments.

    Another thing than occurs to me is that he sets up a sort of "it's one type of economy or the other" (in opposition) when, to my knowledge, all economies are mixed to some degree. West Germany was a market economy, but it didn't operate without government support/intervention and (as you point out) perhaps assistance from other countries or entities.

    Conversely, it's not established that East Germany's economy was a failure. One can argue that it could have been better but I don't remember hearing of anyone going hungry.

    Extremes of either kind (market or command) are unlikely to work. If one argues that a market economy is good (which seems reasonable), it doesn't necessarily follow that a full or almost full absence of government intervention is necessary to reap the benefits of such an economy.

    pretty much unrelated aside: I met a man from East Germany on a flight one time (he was moving to Houston) and he told me they were taught (or knew) German, English, and Russian when he was growing up and going to school. I thought, why couldn't we do something like that here?

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    Default Re: Life was much better in Soviet times people in Siberia say

    matclone,

    The article I presented was written by Western media and they interviewed people that live in Siberia. There are millions upon millions in Russia that feel this way.

    Globalization is nothing more than the West grabbing the best professionals from poorer countries for its dirty work and draining natural resources of countries like Russia. Most countries that did well under Soviet Union have their economies in shambles. Moldova, Belarus, Ukraine and many others can't even survive without subsidies from Russia when it sells them oil.

    Czechs and Poland are letting America place missile defense systems in return for dollars.
    Last edited by Big; 09-23-2007 at 12:50 PM.

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    Default Re: Life was much better in Soviet times people in Siberia say

    Big, I generally agree with what you say and I suspect many people around the world would agree as well. Only here would you find widespread disagreement/disbelief in your characterization of globalisation.

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    Default Re: Life was much better in Soviet times people in Siberia say

    Quote Originally Posted by matclone View Post
    Big, I generally agree with what you say and I suspect many people around the world would agree as well. Only here would you find widespread disagreement/disbelief in your characterization of globalisation.
    I'm not sure that I follow you completely, Clone. When you say that "many" would agree with Big, what percentage are you talking about? A majority? "Many" can be almost any percentage.

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