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USSR-For better or for worse?

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Post 13 Feb 2006, 13:55
Is the USSR to blame for Russian poorness today?
Sure, the USSR ensured all the Southern republics (Uzbekistan, Tajikistan, Krgyzstan etc.) were developed, when they probably wouldnt have been otherwise, but was the USSR's rather bad economy cause Russia as it is today to be pretty poor?
Post 13 Feb 2006, 15:16
I wouldn't say that's the main reason to the misery, it's more because of the unleashed capitalism and privatisation that was let loose by Jeltsin. I'm no expert in this, and I'd wait for somebody more educated on this to explain it better to you.
Post 13 Feb 2006, 17:45
Pre-Communist Russia was a backwards peasant based economy showing limited prospects for industrial development. It served as the 'breadbasket of Europe' while the slavs starved. The relationship was semi-exploitative to say the least (between Europe and Russia). Some argue that Russia would have been better off had the revolution not happened. I say only that that may be true if we factor in the Soviet collapse, which isn't fair because when not taking the collapse into account, was much better (economically at least) for the people.

As regards the USSR setting up the current Russia for poverty and massive inequality, that may be true.

-Massive industries, sometimes producing all of some good (such as candles, for example) would often be based in one complex, these different industries scattered across the republics to weave the country together. Unfortunately, pre-collapse the republics began hoarding what they had due to looming shortages, which added to economic problems and disunity between peoples. Post collapse, these big industries were sold for next to nothing to the oligarchs you see today. This resulted in all these state industries, making money for the government, now working for private interests. Apart from resources/resource extraction most of these industries have been closed due to lack of ability to compete and lack of markets (with most Russians being too poor to buy the goods made or buying superior Western goods).

In short, Russia went from a highly centralized socialist economy of massive government owned industries to a situation where a few dozen individuals own most of the productive capacity of the country with huge pieces of the leftovers of the old Soviet pie. They get rid of everything that's unprofitable (ie almost everything not resource extraction related) and send their profits to banks outside of the country (meaning there's little foreign investment into non-resource related industries).
Post 13 Feb 2006, 20:28
You forgot that pre communistic russia was fast industrializing when WW1 started. If I remember right, durign war, Russia produced more arms than Germany and Austria-Hungary combined (but I am not sure about this)!
Post 13 Feb 2006, 21:02
Russia is poor today because of the fall of the USSR, Russia lost because of this years of development, now they have to change everything into a new system. Do you realize how much time and money this process costs? So don't be surprised Russia is degraded from superpower to a country in need of money..
Post 13 Feb 2006, 21:53
Quote:
You forgot that pre communistic russia was fast industrializing when WW1 started.


Which was the reason the Russian Empire became the USSR.

"During the 1890s, Russia's industrial development led to a significant increase in the size of the urban bourgeoisie and the working class, setting the stage for a more dynamic political atmosphere and the development of radical parties."
Radical Political Parties Develop

Quote:
If I remember right, durign war, Russia produced more arms than Germany and Austria-Hungary combined (but I am not sure about this)!


It was too little too late. Also Czar Nicholas II was an inept leader, who was unable to carry out any real change (for the better) in industrialization. Russia may have produced as many arms as Germany and Austria-Hungary, but the people didn't want those arms.
Post 11 May 2006, 07:39
Quote:
You forgot that pre communistic russia was fast industrializing when WW1 started. If I remember right, durign war, Russia produced more arms than Germany and Austria-Hungary combined (but I am not sure about this)!

Uh, it produced a lot less than Germany alone, although it did produce more guns and machineguns than Austro-Hungary, on other positions Russia was lagging behind both of them. And Russia was behind Germany on everything. During the war Germany was the second most industrialized country in the world, while Russia's industry was weak.

Facts speak for themselves: during the war Germany produced 47300 war planes, while Russia - only 3500. Russia didn't have own motor industry, a Russian emigre historian general-lieutenant N.N.Golovin wrote:
N.N.Golovin wrote:
In even more pitful situation is the Russian demand for aviation motors. The aviation industry was nearly abscent in peace time, aside from a single Gnome factory in Moscow, which gave no more than 5 engines a month. Because of this, the demand had to be satisfied through buying motors from abroad. But our allies, busy with emergency boost of their own air forces, were very reluctant to give us engines.


During the war the production rose: in 1916 a total of 1398 motors were produced, but it was still not enough. The quality of Russian planes was also bad compared to German ones.

Even worse with tanks. There were no tanks serially produced in pre-revolutionary Russia at all.

It's true that Russia was not lagging behind so badly in rifles and machine guns. This table shows comparative production of Russia and it's enemy countries in WWI for 1915:
Country Rifle Machineguns Gun barrels Planes
Germany 1 155 000 8 000 4 000 4 500
Austro-Hugary 900 000 2 500 1 585 338
Russia 740 000 4 250 2 106 870

You can see that Russia is behind Germany 2 times on everything, and with planes especially... it's simply many times over, as I said before.

On such important indicators as electricity, coal mining, iron and steel production, copper production, automobile industry Russia in 1913 was only on 15th, 6th, 7th and 4th places correspondingly. It's even worse if we look at per capita production. Russia had a huge population, but weak industry. For example, in terms of general production of iron Russia was on the 5th place in the world, but per capita - only on the 8th. Same with steel. And with light industry (cotton production) Russia was also lagging terribly: it was 8,5 times less than cotton production in Germany or France, and 2 times less than Austro-Hungary.

Over 76% of Russian population were in agriculture, only 10% - in the industry.

In the GDP of Russia, 57% was agriculture.

And what's even more tragic, at the beginning of the war, 47% of Russia's capital in the industry belonged to foreign investors.

Education in pre-revolutionary Russia is also something worth pitying. In Germany, obligatory middle education was intoduced in 1897, while in Russia at the brink of Revolution a whole 70% of the population was illiterate. In 1913 only 10,000 people in Russia graduated from Universities, out of them only 1800 engineers. The statistics are pretty bad.
Post 26 Jul 2006, 21:55
Quote:
Is the USSR to blame for Russian poorness today?


Nope. After "liberalisation" the wealth got redirected away from the masses to the corpo kappi MNCs and to the local corpos as well. I'm not a big ace on Soviet economics, I've only visited there a few times, but I can kinda see that the redistribution of wealth in Russia today is very similar to what I'm seeing here in my home country.

Today we see newspaper headlines such as "8% GDP growth", some sleek pics of some multiplex malls in the big cities, etc., but the working class and the traders (outside the cities) are getting a HUGE rod up their 6'0'clock. In Hindsight, a corpo in our country when we followed the SOviet model, had about INR 33,000 cr. worth of assets. Today, the same corpos have 1,35,000 cr +. And, not too far out, you have a farmer burning himself because the State scrapped about every possible life breather out there.

In hindsight, back when we followed the Soviet model, you didn't have fancy looking buildings and swanky hi tech crap. But bus passes were free, health care was free, electricity was subsidized, phones too...and life was much more simple w/o all this complex BS we see nowadays. Although I might have not had access to a cellphone which can store 1gb of data w/ mp3, bluetooth, wifi etc., I can tell you, no farmer ever committed suicide out of economic plight.

It's jacked. And on top of all this, the corpo swine and some of their misguided followers blame the Socialist days for the current mishaps. Like "If we didn't embrace socialism, these farmers would be in better shape." Bah!! What a load of goat feces. I'm sure a parallel situation is prevailing in Russia today...and to blame the USSR for any present mishaps is just corporate propaganda.
Post 30 Jul 2006, 02:51
My parents were born in Cuba and fled in 1960. Castro inherited from Batista one of the most affluent countries in Latin America. The USSR & East Bloc and China poured in Billions over the years and the country is a total wreck. One reason the USSR collapsed was inane financial management, Billions in foreign aid and no accountability how the money was spent. I read at one point in 1967 Castro imported Snow Plows on a whim thinking he could use them to make the sand at public beaches nice and pretty.
Post 30 Jul 2006, 06:52
Could you PUHLEAAAAASE source all of this good sir?
Post 30 Jul 2006, 11:01
Quote:
The USSR & East Bloc and China poured in Billions over the years and the country is a total wreck.


Cuba is a total wreck? That's straight out false. Well here's a cross comparison between Socialist Cuba w/ some states that embraced US style capitalism. OK, as Comrade Canuck said, let's throw in some sources. I'll start w/ health first...as it's the most obvious and apparent indicator to development.

INDICATOR- Physicians per 1000.

Cuba 1960: .95
Cuba 2002: 5.9
Colombia 1960: .35
Colombia 2002: 1.35
Mexico 1960: xxx
Mexico 2002: 1.50
United States 1960: 1.40
United States 2002: 5.5

INDICATOR: Central govt. expenditure on health % GDP

Cuba 2001: 8%
Colombia 2001: 1.90%
Mexico 2001: 1.90%
United States 2001: 5.8%

INDICATOR: Births w/ skilled staff

Cuba 2001: 99.9%
Colombia 2000: 86.4%
Mexico: xxxx
USA: xxxx

INDICATOR: Undernourished people

Cuba 2001: 3.20%
Colombia 2001: 13.4%
Mexico 2001: 5.20%
USA: xxxx

INDICATOR: Infant measles immunisation

Cuba 2002: 99.9%
Colombia 2003: 92%
Mexico 2003: 96%
USA 2003: 93%

INDICATOR: Human Development Index

Cuba 2002: .81
USA 2002: .93
COlombia 2002: .78
Mexico: .80

INDICATOR: Tubercalosis cases cured (%)

Cuba 2001: 93.2%
Mexico 2001: 83%
Colombia 2001: 84.6%
USA 2001: 69.6%

INDICATOR: Under 5 mortality rate (%) The probabilty of dying between birth and exactly five years of age, expressed per 1000 live births.

Cuba 2003: 8
USA 2003: 8
Colombia 2003: 21
Mexico 2003: 28

Source: http://globalis.gvu.unu.edu/indicator_d ... rID=37#row

Good sir, please show me how Cuba is in a wreck?? Or does a country becoming a "wreck" simply mean that some people can't have 8 cars per family + a 38 bedroom villa made from Italian marbles and have 12 maid servant for untying one's shoes?
Also, if u look at the physicians / 1000 indicator, it has almost rivalled the United States today! The other indicators that accompany this also proves that the country is alot better off than many other supposedly "efficiently run" nations. So I don't see ur argument.

Ok...

ANd last but not least, here's another indicator not related to health- it's electricity consumption.

Quote:
"This indicator reflects annual consumption of commercial primary energy (coal, lignite, petroleum, natural gas and hydro, nuclear and geothermal electricity) in kilograms of oil equivalents per capita. It reflects the level of industrial development, the structure of the economy and patterns of consumption. Changes over time can reflect changes in the level and balance of various economic activities and changes in the efficiency of energy use (including increases or decreases in wasteful consumption). Data are for 2000."


INDICATOR: Electricity per capita

Colombia 2001: 483
Cuba 2001: 708
Mexico 2001: 1331
USA 2001: 7798



**- for this indicator, the geographical size of a country plays a role and so does population. Readjust the 2 yourself and redo the math and recalculate this indicator yourself to find a better comparison if you care to.

Source: http://globalis.gvu.unu.edu/indicator_d ... rID=37#row
Post 30 Jul 2006, 14:02
You are not calculating correctly. One visit to Cuba and you see infrastructure that has not been maintained since 1959. Beautiful old building which have not seen paint or even basic care in almost 50 years. Havana's sewage system is a total loss and will require an 8 billion dollar US investment to restore it. Nothing in life is free; the cost of rebuilding the country will fall on the shoulders of future generations who will pay for all these so called FREE SOCIAL PROGRAMS in one form or another. My mother as a teenager worked in a store in Havana and made $30 US dollars per month, in today's money that is about $900. I think in a nutshell you have to look at Cuba the way it was and they way it was developing and ask. What kind of country would Cuba look like today had Mr. Castro never come to power? Look at these figures and see:

http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/amex/castro/peo ... astro.html


http://www.fiu.edu/~fcf/cubaprecastro21698.html

http://www.contactomagazine.com/cubadata.htm


A Cuban DOCTOR makes $40 a month in salary + maybe $100 worth of state benefits like subsidized housing. The housing is usually a one room apt in a ramshackle apt bldg or in the servant's quarter's in a sugar plantation owner's old mansion. Look at this report on the kind of health care Cuban nationals get for FREE as opposed to what rich Spanish, Italian's get.

http://members.aol.com/enero57/page17.html

The doctor's do the best they can; they do a wonderful job with the Chernobyl kids. We have a young cousin who came here to Florida to visit 10 years ago. He got a free or low cost 5 year Dental degree in the Ukraine in the 1978-83. He was sent to work in Caracas Venezuela in 2000 in a dangerous neighorhood where 3 Cuban female doctors have been raped by members of street gangs, he defected in 2002 during the attempted Military coup against President Hugo Chavez and now lives in Costa Rica. Given the amount of money the USSR sank in to Cuba it should look like Monaco or Switzerland. A shame the USSR'S former leaders were not better administrator's of future generation's posterity and maybe Russia and the other former USSR republics would not be in the state they are in today.
Post 30 Jul 2006, 14:19
Keeping in mind that this is all being mantained and improved upon whilst under an illegal embargo. And the fact Islands tend to lack key resources.
Post 31 Jul 2006, 00:39
"One visit to Cuba and you see infrastructure that has not been maintained since 1959"

Oh Hell - you can see THAT just visiting New Jersey....
Post 31 Jul 2006, 09:02
Quote:
You are not calculating correctly. One visit to Cuba and you see infrastructure that has not been maintained since 1959. Beautiful old building which have not seen paint or even basic care in almost 50 years.


You're right on that one. But still...a system w/ a few fancy, beautiful eye popping buildings w/ lotsa dudes uttering the words "quiero comer" (I want to eat) is alot worse off than a country w/ ill maintained buildings where nobody utters those 2 dreaded words.

The words "I'm hungry" denotes utter failure of the State, no matter what. Well, I kno. "State housing" consists of just a small 200 sq.ft space for a family + the diet will consist mostly of frijoles. But still...they all have access to H2O, food, electricity and all of life's necessities.

It's the state's duty to feed its people first before embarking on grandiose maintenance projects. Seriously...what business did Batista and all his predecessor Menshaviks have in building those bloody grandeur monuments and buildings even before building a basic public infra?! How do I know there wasn't a basic infra?? Well, for one, the doctor to patient ratio before Castro took over was around .95 per 1000. U can look at the other bare infra stats before + after Castro too. Now, it rivals the USofA, so I'm sure he's doing something right.

Considering Uncle Sam's embargo combined w/ the fall of the USSR...still nobody in Cuba uttered the words "I'm hungry" and this to me is a very promising sign of a successful state.

On hindsight, please compare Bolshevik India (1947 to 1989) to Menshavik India (1991 to present). Are we better off today? Sure, I can now buy the latest cellphone the instant it lands in the international market. I can enjoy a nice afternoon drive in a Bentley. I can enjoy the latest airconditioned shopping malls w/ all the GAPs, GUCCIs and ARMANIs.

But...right outside the shopping mall, there's a young girl- 5 yrs old, wearing rags salvaged from the landfill, who hasn't eaten a meal in 10 days. And as u take a short drive, there's an old man who just collapsed on the middle of the road out of exhaustion w/ nobody to give a s#$t 'bouts him. And not to far out, 8,000+ farmers have committed suicide in 2 fiscal quarters. So...have we succeded? No. We've failed miserably + I'm glad Cuba didn't take that route.

And speaking off the lack of underground sewage in Cuba, no offense mate, but an open water drain is more than enough. We have such systems in our towns out here. As long as ppl spray the s#$t to kill of the mosquitoes at least once a week, u can manage w/ open water drains till a proper sewage facility is in place. The street I live in too has open water drainage. So...? Underwater sewage, of course, is more desirable, but u shouldn't borrow a self destructive US loan to fix that. Screw the US government aid, ppl will be better off w/o them. Believe me, I'm a living witness to this!

Whether u love Fidel C or hate him, under his regime the words "I'm hungry" was NEVER muttered and this is what I salute him for.

Fancy beautiful buildings and "luxurious" infrastructure doesn't measure success- it measures only...luxury. A working state is one where none of the stuff I mentioned above happens.

And as far as your pics go, I'm sorry to say I'm skeptical. In the 70s and 80s if u recall, we had the "Voice of America" broadcasts on how "well off" Asian countries like Philippines and Thailand were and how "poor" we in India were. It was all a big load of horse c#$p because if u are a middle class and got sick in the Philippines, the only place you'd be phoning is the morgue...or the witch doctor...at least normal pplz. here got decent enough healthcare for 0 price. Sure, the hospital floors looked messy + it wasn't exactly the Sheraton but still...people were taken care of.

Quote:
Nothing in life is free


How's about the air we breathe? Isin't that a natural right? So is food and the right to exist. Making pplz. pay exhorbitant sums for these (as is done under US sponsored systems) isin't cool, comrad.

Quote:
A Cuban DOCTOR makes $40 a month in salary + maybe $100 worth of state benefits like subsidized housing. The housing is usually a one room apt in a ramshackle apt bldg or in the servant's quarter's in a sugar plantation owner's old mansion.


So, pplz. who are qualified in a white collar field should somehow deserve to be materially well off than others? S$%t man, if our family thought like that, we'd prolly be owning a couple o' schweet pieces o'flats near Harrods. Sure, we too were Zamindars at one point. But we never lived exploitatively, this is why we're healthy + are able to sleep peacefully at night. When our country became Socialist, I'm really proud to report that even though we lost all our properties (especially land) and were made to move back to a 1 room flat in similar conditions u mentioned. But still- we endured + didn't flee to some foreign countries unlike many counterparts who regretfully did so.

Also, when the land was acquired for public works, such as state farms etc., the state personnel never had a clue on how to run a large scale coop. Our family even rendered assistance here...on the land which was seized from us. Instead of crying "outrage", I'm glad we helped get those public works underway. I guess, it's training in sense that materialism is not the only indicator as to a person's or country's well being. If u are helping your country and its people surge forward even in the slightest way, for me, it'd give me much more satisfaction than owning a couple of Ferraris.

Pplz. in my family rightfully perceived that helping the country out is more important than a hi-flying lifestyle. It's how u look at things man, don't let rampant materialism overtake u.

Right now, we're pretty well off, I must add. We worked w/ the Socialist initiatives and came right back on top. Well, maybe not as materially "rich" as how we woulda been had my family escaped like 'fugees to a foreign country when s$%t hit the ceiling, but still...it's peaceful, it's tranquile and it's more than comfortable. Plz. do think about it man.

Also, when a devastating 'quake struck Kashmir very recently (both Indian and Pakistani held territories), it was very hearening to see that the Cuban medical team was the FIRST to arrive there + they worked the longest and hardest. The so called "rich" countries were too busy bickering over what supplies to send and thru which medium of transport they should send them. These guys were hardcore committed. And can I dare say that the quality of care the Cuban field hospitals gave were far superior to at least 80% of the private clinics in both India and Pakistan...even though both countries are following a "free market" economy nowadays?

Quote:
http://members.aol.com/enero57/page17.html


Think this is bad?? Please book yourself a flight and travel to the Philippines, a "free market" economy. There's an ENTIRE COMMUNITY living in a LANDFILL...the notorious "Smokey Mountain"...or please take a quick peek behind Khao San road, Bangkok. That's as "free market" as u can get. May I dare say that the AVERAGE HUMAN BEING living in Cuba is better off than the average human being living in Philippines, Thailand, India etc...all "free market" economies??? ?? ?

Yes the US is rich and Fidel is not. But at least...Fidel never started major wars with others over oil. Plz. don't believe this "voice of America" hype man. It's bull-s#$t.

Quote:
What kind of country would Cuba look like today had Mr. Castro never come to power? Look at these figures and see:


http://images.google.com/imgres?imgurl= ... D%26sa%3DG
Post 01 Aug 2006, 11:35
Russia is not poor, the wealth is now distribuited in a different way.
All the industries and theyr relative profits are under the control and disponibility of capitalists.

Where are this capitalist form?
They are from Soviet Union

Who they are?
They are the old "nomenklatura" manager and executive committee of the USSR that during the change from comunism to capitalism ensured themself the money and the power (Putin is one of them)

The story of the Gas forniture between Russia e Ukraina is one of the evidence the war was not about the gas but about the control of the steel market.. but this is another history
Post 01 Aug 2006, 11:45
Pre Castro Cuba was nothing like The Phillippines. The one country in Latin America that was close to Cuba in terms of living standards etc was Uruguay. Not a paradise but not a hell hole like Haiti either.
Post 02 Aug 2006, 17:44
Quote:
Pre Castro Cuba was nothing like The Phillippines. The one country in Latin America that was close to Cuba in terms of living standards etc was Uruguay. Not a paradise but not a hell hole like Haiti either.


I was just using that example to highlight extreme inequality, encompassing extreme poverty coupled with extreme extravagance as with corporate capitalism versus a system with 0 flambuoyance and where everyone is taken care of sufficiently...corpo kappism is ugly, that's for sure.
Post 22 Aug 2006, 17:05
the USSR wasn't to blame,,, capitalism IS to blame....
Post 24 Aug 2006, 01:34
Dear clipper and those that agree with him, i dont want to get into a big thing about cuba, i would just like to post something that maybe a real shock for you people that think that cuba is poor and needs the u.s., clipper said: "My mother as a teenager worked in a store in Havana and made $30 US dollars per month, in today's money that is about $900". well take a bite of this today this week right now as i am typing this, a well educated women my friend and my fathers friend that has a university education and who's father was a mayor of Odessa Ukraine under the soviet Union is working in the mayor's office making and yes this figure is correct $347 a month American currency, AND THIS IS CONSIDERED A GOOD PAY IN uKRAINE AND MOST FORMER REBUBLICS. Now i will leave you with this Clipper's mother made more than double, probablly with very little education working in a store than a educated women in east Europe working for the Mayor of a city with over 1 million occupants makes also consider the time difference.
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