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Supply & Demand
Even in Russia, Capitalism Sometimes Works
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  • Felix Keverich

    It is true that Soviet Union imported grain, but threat of hunger was never real in the USSR, not since 1940s anyway. The truth is Soviet Union had a vast livestock industry, and domestically-produced grain was mostly used to feed the animals. This model of argiculture disintegrated with the fall of Communism, animals were slaughtered, and so Russia ended up with a huge surplus of grain virtually overnight. We no longer need to import grain, but per capita consumption of meat has yet to reach the level of 1991!

    PS: it’s unfair that “Ukraine” competes with us in grain market. This is Russian land they are using, and we will reclaim it someday.

    • Jacksonian_Libertarian

      Wow, do you even listen to yourself? Russia went from the largest importer of wheat to the largest exporter of wheat, and you are complaining about the competition that made that possible. I guarantee you that supermarket shelves are now loaded with food, and consumers can eat whatever they want, unlike the empty shelves of the communist era. Just look at the starving Venezuelans, running across the border to buy food, do you really want to go back to that?

      • Felix Keverich

        No, you didn’t read my comment. I’m looking at this issue from the perspective of a typical consumer. The truth is domestic consumption was higher back then, especially among the lower classes. The shelves may be full now , but a quarter of the country struggles to afford basic food.

        Transition to capitalism produced great economic and social dislocation, and massive inequality among other things. 25 years later its benefits are not so obvious to me. You look like a doctrinate libertarian, so I don’t know if I can explain it to you.

    • Andrew Allison It was the fall of the Soviet Union (and the end collectives) which allowed production to rise again.

      • Felix Keverich

        That’s tragic, but post-Communist depression was even more severe in Ukraine, than in Russia. In terms of GDP per capita Ukraine has yet to reach its late-Soviet level of development. I’m not aware of anything in Ukraine rising since 1991. Crimea has been Russian for 2 years, and its residents are already better off than any region of Ukraine including the capital.

        • Andrew Allison

          That’s not what the residents of Crimea are telling us, especially those on pensions.

          • Felix Keverich

            Residents of Crimea are talking to you? You understand Russian?

            These are facts:

          • Andrew Allison

            Украинский тоже идиот. You wouldn’t recognize a fact if it hit you over the head. Apologies to the rest of TAI’s readers for Troll-feeding (which stops here), but sometimes it just has to be done.

          • Felix Keverich

            Excuse me? You engaged me with boilerplate American propaganda, revealing complete lack of actual knowledge about the region. You lost the argument and your response is to label me a ‘troll’? Sad.

    • The truth is that vastly subsidized economic sectors bloat in size far beyond what is proper. Russia stopped subsidies that the USSR used for propaganda points. The result is better for everybody as market discipline pushes domestic producers to reduce costs of production. Russia decided that it was better to buy cheap EU meat subsidized by their taxpayers than to subsidize their own from a much lower tax base. I don’t think that they were wrong.

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