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postcapitalism [2016/02/20 13:43]
will [Soviet transition]
postcapitalism [2016/02/20 13:44] (current)
will [Soviet transition]
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 > The USSR did not catch up with the West in ten years. ​ But by 1977 its GDP per head was 57 per cent of the USA's -- which put it on a par with Italy. ​ From 1928 until the early 1980s, the average growth in the USSR, according to a CIA-commissioned survey, was 4.2 per cent.  'This clearly qualified as a sustained growth record,'​ concluded analysts at the RAND corporation.((pp222-3)) > The USSR did not catch up with the West in ten years. ​ But by 1977 its GDP per head was 57 per cent of the USA's -- which put it on a par with Italy. ​ From 1928 until the early 1980s, the average growth in the USSR, according to a CIA-commissioned survey, was 4.2 per cent.  'This clearly qualified as a sustained growth record,'​ concluded analysts at the RAND corporation.((pp222-3))
  
-However, ​this study((Which may not be the most unbiased view of the Soviet economy.)) concluded that only a quarter of this growth had come from productivity increases, the rest coming from increased inputs. ​ For this reason, this growth was not sustainable -- exponential growth is not typically considered possible simply by amassing ever greater quantities of capital in this way (according to mainstream economic theory).+However, ​the RAND study((Which may not be the most unbiased view of the Soviet economy.)) concluded that only a quarter of this growth had come from productivity increases, the rest coming from increased inputs. ​ For this reason, this growth was not sustainable -- exponential growth is not typically considered possible simply by amassing ever greater quantities of capital in this way (according to mainstream economic theory).
  
 At this point the book contains an incongruous attack on state planning, which is odd for two reasons. ​ First, it seems unlikely that many readers need convincing that in 2015 a new system of state planning will rescue the  global economy. ​ Second, the entire thing is a straw man, attacking laughably weak examples of state planning (namely pre-war Soviet attempts and an academic political science project run by a couple of guys in Europe), pretending that a single failed example proves all attempts impossible and studiously avoiding credible alternatives.((More obvious examples might have been (1) economists such as Galbraith who documented how the American and British economies rapidly adopted massive state planning in response to the outbreak of the Second World War, who testified that it had turned out to be fairly straightforward in practice so long as there was a large government system in place to do the work, (2) evidence of economic planning by transnational corporations in the current global economy that is of a similar scale and similar type to that of small modern national economies, or (3) the heavy involvement of political planning in the financial systems of a wide range of modern economies ranging from China to Germany via many small developing countries, and the arguably more favourable long-term success of some of these systems compared to the "​apolitical"​ or "​unplanned"​ financial systems in the US or UK that make short-term profits by annihilating long-term viable industrial enterprises.)) At this point the book contains an incongruous attack on state planning, which is odd for two reasons. ​ First, it seems unlikely that many readers need convincing that in 2015 a new system of state planning will rescue the  global economy. ​ Second, the entire thing is a straw man, attacking laughably weak examples of state planning (namely pre-war Soviet attempts and an academic political science project run by a couple of guys in Europe), pretending that a single failed example proves all attempts impossible and studiously avoiding credible alternatives.((More obvious examples might have been (1) economists such as Galbraith who documented how the American and British economies rapidly adopted massive state planning in response to the outbreak of the Second World War, who testified that it had turned out to be fairly straightforward in practice so long as there was a large government system in place to do the work, (2) evidence of economic planning by transnational corporations in the current global economy that is of a similar scale and similar type to that of small modern national economies, or (3) the heavy involvement of political planning in the financial systems of a wide range of modern economies ranging from China to Germany via many small developing countries, and the arguably more favourable long-term success of some of these systems compared to the "​apolitical"​ or "​unplanned"​ financial systems in the US or UK that make short-term profits by annihilating long-term viable industrial enterprises.))
postcapitalism.txt ยท Last modified: 2016/02/20 13:44 by will