Ussr Collapse Essay, Research Paper
The progress with industrialization ?five year plan? in the USSR was substantial, but they never caught up to the US. Russia had and still has the largest land and population, but they have always lacked in their Gross National Product, perpetually at least two thirds behind the U.S. USSR collapsed because it?s system lacked incentives, used production quotas and adapted poorly to change.
The workers were paid for each ?item? they produced, rather than the number of hours they worked. Piecework quotas, or workers that were paid for each piece of output they produced rather than for the numbers of hours they worked, were often set at impractical high levels, which resulted in storming. The workers worked very slowly until the last week of the month, and then sped up just in time to fill their quota, leading to poor quality products.
Like Brewster?s JBS and Citizenship, the USSR had it?s ?rewards? for incentives as well. Their rewards were ?medals? such as the Order of Lenin, which would give one the privilege of a vacation or free housing.
The last incentive method was called the wage system which was based on job performance and was used mostly in Capitalist societies . The skilled and more productive workers received higher pay, while the ?unexperienced? barely earned anything.
In a system like this one, the workers are given a set amount for what to produce, how much and for whom to produce (a quota). The incentives, as well as the quotas- failed, causing Russia to have a reputation for the poorest quality good.
A shoe factory is given a quota to make millions of pairs of shoes. Obviously the smaller sizes could be made the fastest, and more were made than the quota called for. When the quota changed to measure the production of leather, shoes with the thickest souls in the world were created.
The inadequate production of consumer goods served as another major problem for Russia. The Soviet people that had endured WWII were asked to make sacrifices for the future life of their children. They agreed, but when their children were parents, they were also asked to do the same-this generation refused. They had not suffered the war and seen what their parents had, so naturally they were reluctant and impatiently awaited their consumer goods.
The pressure of meeting quotas was increasing, and problems in planning were creating shortages, etc… making the life of the plant manager very stressful. Tolkachi were employed to fix the shortage glitches, and to trash the excess inventory. However, the ?fixers? only caused more chaos by interrupting the central planners whenever they rerouted a shipment.
Shortly after the turmoil with quotas and planning, Gorbachev established Perestrokia,?the fundamental reconstruction of the economy and govt?. ?Five year plans? (reconstruction) were also introduced, but the various means of production were to be converted to state owned enterprises, attempting to compete in a market economy. Small businesses were encouraged and plant managers were given more freedom to buy and sell in search of a profit.
Perestrokia represented a half way point between these two systems of government. A main cause of the Soviet Unions weak economy was due to the complication of centralized planning, and the economy had become too large to be handled in that way. Shortages and other problems in the market persisted, and ?those in industry?, the people who opposed Gorbachev?s rehabilitations, allowed it. Later on they used the problems as evidence that the reforms were failing.
The Political leadership and economy collapses, the tensions of ethnic diversity combined with quota problems, planning and lack of incentives were the causing factors of the Soviet Union?s downfall. Because Of Russia?s vast size all around which has never matched up with it?s income, or GNP, a strong economy is out of reach. In 1900, Russia had a population of 103,000,000, the second highest was Germany with 56,000,000. Russia’s steel production was 1.5 million tonnes, Germany, the much smaller country had 6.7 million tonnes of steel production, Germany also ruled Russia out on coal production, as did all the other European countries. These poor numbers go to show you how much Russia was and still is lacking in their production possibilities.