19 Mar Railway transport was feverish, trains were running very late.
Railway transport was feverish, trains were running very late.
But this did not involve a radical reform of the command-and-control system, and was aimed only at its next modernization. Attempts to simultaneously strengthen self-financing and targeted policy planning, intensification of economic incentives while restricting the rights of enterprises could not provide the economy with serious positive results.
Gradually, a whole system of blocking the economic levers of regulation of economic proportions grew, resulting in the formation of a mechanism of socio-economic inhibition. The average annual volume of manufactured products in the country (in physical terms) for 1979 – 1982 was 40% lower than in 1978. Additional revenues from energy and raw materials for export did not allow to overcome the general imbalance in the country’s economy. Acute shortages, inability to meet the needs of the population in the most necessary goods, lack of incentives to work – all this led to social and physical degradation of society.
In November 1982, after LI Brezhnev’s death, Yu. V. Andropov became General Secretary of the CPSU Central Committee. His activities were aimed at mass replacement of ministers, secretaries of regional committees and the Central Committee of the Union Republics, and comprehensive strengthening of discipline. It seemed that by replacing some bureaucrats with others, order could be established. Violators of labor discipline were subjected to various forms of punishment: reduction of wages, deprivation of bonuses, removal from the queue for the distribution of housing.
Measures aimed at bringing order and discipline have had some economic effect. According to official data, the growth rate of the economy in 1983 was 4.2% (compared to 3.1% in 1992), national income increased by 3.1%, industrial production by 4%, agricultural production by 6%. Team methods of economic management have helped to achieve only temporary success, but have not contributed to sustainable economic development.
Negative processes continued to grow in the economy. Industrial enterprises worked in conditions of constant irregular supply of raw materials and supplies. Especially great irregularity during the year was felt in construction. Railway transport was feverish, trains were running very late.
As already noted, the agricultural sector of the Soviet Union has traditionally provided funds for the more or less stable functioning of other sectors of the directive economy. But in the 1970s, this source was exhausted because the situation in agriculture was difficult. Large allocations to agriculture did not help either, a significant part of which, by the way, due to artificially inflated prices for agricultural machinery and the construction of production facilities in the countryside, immediately returned to the treasury. The rest of the allocations went literally to the sand: to the construction of grand and inefficient livestock complexes, to ill-considered land reclamation and chemicalization of soils.
As before, a large role in providing the population with food was played by subsidiary farms, which occupied 1% of arable land. According to official data, in 1978, 61% of potatoes, 29% of vegetables, 29% of meat and milk, and 34% of eggs were grown on subsidiary farms.
In 1982, on the initiative of the Secretary of the Central Committee of the CPSU for Agriculture, Mikhail Gorbachev, another ambitious and unrealistic “Food Program” was adopted, the implementation of which was proclaimed a national affair.
The country, having the world’s largest chernozems, has become a major global importer of grain. Grain was bought in the United States, Canada, Australia, Argentina and other countries. Surprising fact: a ton of grain purchased in the United States was twice as cheap as that produced in the Soviet Union.
The inability of agriculture to feed its country’s population pointed not only to the internal shortcomings of the Soviet system, but also to general socio-economic backwardness. Thus, in the 1920s, US agriculture employed 2.53% of the working population, and in the USSR – 25%. In 1970, one Soviet agricultural worker produced 4.5 tons of grain, 320 kg of meat and 2.8 tons of milk per year, while one American worker produced 54.7 tons of grain, 457 kg of meat, 11, 8 tons of milk per year.
KV Chernenko, elected General Secretary of the Central Committee of the CPSU in February 1984, also began his work by trying to solve agricultural problems. In October 1984, a grand reclamation program was proposed: irrigation and drainage of millions of hectares of land, construction of canals, transfer of part of the source of northern and Siberian rivers, and the Danube to irrigate land in the central and southern regions of the country. This did not take into account not only the huge material costs for the implementation of these projects, but also the environmental consequences, especially the reduction of the amount of water flowing into the Arctic Ocean, and consequently the consequences that followed.
In the early 1980s, the state of the USSR’s economy continued to deteriorate. Thus, the annual growth of the country’s national product decreased from 9% in 1965 to 2.6% in 1982, and industrial production – from 7.3 to 2.8%. Labor productivity in the mid-1970s in the Soviet economy was twice as low as in the United States. The economy of the USSR, as a whole in 1979, produced no more than 60% of US production.
The Soviet economy was built in such a way that it was simply unprofitable for enterprises to increase labor productivity, because the growth of labor productivity entailed an increase in planned tasks and a decrease in the wage bill. As a result, in most enterprises of the machine-building industry the number of workers was 1.3-1.4 times higher than in similar enterprises in the West. Although the exact ratio of wages in the USSR and Western countries is difficult to determine, preliminary calculations indicate that the average wage in the USSR in 1973 was 168.14 dollars. per month, while in France – $ 361.64, and in the US – $ 606.51.
It should be emphasized that in the late 1960s and early 1970s there was some increase in the living standards of workers, including in the countryside, where collective farmers began to receive wages. Gradually, the average wage https://123helpme.me/write-my-lab-report/ of rural workers approached the national average and was 90% of this level.
But gradually, by the early 1980s, this process began to slow down. The volume of housing construction decreased. Health care expenditures accounted for 4% of national income (10-12% in developed countries). In terms of per capita consumption, the Soviet Union ranked 77th in the world.
The military budget of the Soviet Union in the period from 1965 to 1977 annually by at least 4.5% grew to about 11-13% of gross national product. In 1967, the Soviet Union had 570 intercontinental ballistic missiles, and the United States – 1054. In 1979, the United States kept this number of missiles unchanged, and the Soviet Union increased them to 1409. The number of US troops during this period decreased from 3.5 million to 2.06 million people, and the number of the Soviet Army increased from 3.68 million to 4.19 million people.
In order to maintain the constant mobilizing nature of the Soviet economy, regular anniversaries were set almost every year, which had to be met with high labor achievements, to take on increased obligations, the fulfillment of which was announced at festive meetings and rallies.
A very notable fact was the publication in May 1982 by the Pravda newspaper of an article by Academician V. Trapeznikov, in which the author rejected stereotypical views on the deteriorating economic situation in the country – unfavorable climatic conditions, limited sources of raw materials, difficulties in developing new territories, etc. For the first time, the article identifies other reasons: low efficiency of rigid centralized planning, lack of material incentives for management, etc. But neither Yu. V. Andropov nor K. Chernenko failed to carry out a radical reform of the economy, because they believed that it could lead to the liquidation of the communist system. Therefore, they continued to follow the previous course.
Economic activity of primitive man. Abstract
Geographical position as a factor in the historical development of Ukraine. Human economic activity in the primitive era
A characteristic feature of Ukraine’s geographical position is its location between Central Europe and Asia. Ukraine was connected with Europe by the Carpathian passes, by land and by rivers across the Baltic Sea. These routes had no obstacles, and this situation determined the close economic and cultural ties with Western Europe.
From the East to Ukraine there was a great trade route, which began in China, passed through Mongolia, Turkestan and “gate of the peoples” over the Caspian Sea entered Europe. From the south, it was connected by roads from India and Iran. It should be emphasized that, in contrast to the roads that connected Ukraine with Europe, the roads from the East were used not only by traders, but to a greater extent by nomadic hordes going from Asia to Europe.
The Black and Azov Seas were extremely important in the economic life of the Ukrainian lands, as all land and water routes from Ukraine converged here. The main directions of military campaigns and colonization processes, trade relations and economic interests had as their ultimate goal a life-giving sea. But this process of development of new territories by the Ukrainian community had certain difficulties and obstacles. In particular, the Black Sea for Ukraine was “inhospitable” its shores, flat and silted, did little to attract navigation, did not encourage settlement.
Only one region of the coast was important to ensure a high standard of living of the human community – Crimea. He who owned the Crimea, he ruled over the sea and land. But Crimea was weakly connected to Ukraine, almost an island under considerable pressure from external forces. And yet, it was the Black Sea and its shores that led the most important routes connecting Ukraine with the southern world: with the Caucasus, Asia Minor, the Balkans, and the entire Mediterranean.
Even more difficult for economic life was the neighborhood in the southeast with the open steppe, which has long served as an arena for the expansion of Asian peoples to the west.