More on Japan and American 'Democracy'

michael perelman michael at
Fri Jul 17 14:05:42 PDT 1998

Jim heartfield wrote:

> the Soviet economy was even less efficient that capitalism, where there
> was at least an unconscious regulator in the market. The Soviet Union
> lacked any meachanism for the distribution of labour in society, leading
> to grotesque shortages, fragmentation of the national economy,
> astonishing levels of waste.

I cannot accept this. Soviet staffing was far from optimal, but any question of inefficiency must take account of 3 other factors.

1. The Soviets did not waste resources on a FIRE sector.

2. Some of the inefficiency was the provision of health care, child care or education by the enterprise -- as in the agricultural sector.

3. The Soviets had a larger relative military burden than the U.S.

The Soviet economy grew at a phenomonal rate after World War II, then it slowed down. The GNP did not begin to falll until after the USSR.

-- Michael Perelman Economics Department California State University Chico, CA 95929

Tel. 530-898-5321 E-Mail michael at

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