How common was the black market in the various countries?
Was it a big problem?
Now what is this…
Black market was an existing problem and according to some sources soviet citizens were struggling to survive.Take a look at this
Though,comrade,it's important to note that this article was written in 1990 when Soviet socialism had already died,and the country was in disarray.
I'm sure it wasn't that bad before Gorbachev came to power.
I remember reading that black market activity was about 3% of total GNP in 1960, and had risen to 20% by 1990 (with a sharp rise during the perestroika period,, surprise, surprise). In terms of distribution, it's logical that regions furthest from the urbanized centers experienced more black market activity due to lower quality distribution networks. The only legitimate (i.e. non-commie-bashing) analysis I can think of is one conducted by Soviet economist Tatyana Koriagina.
A convincing thesis regarding the dismantling of the USSR places great emphasis black market activity, which was initially under the radar, but was neglected on the part of the late Brezhnev government, untreated due to Andropov's untimely death before his reforms could proceed, and encouraged by Gorbachev's friendship/patronage of people who benefitted from black market activity.
"History is a set of lies agreed upon."
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