The Soviet Economy: A Book of Readings

The Soviet Economy: A Book of Readings

The Soviet Economy: A Book of Readings

The Soviet Economy: A Book of Readings

Excerpt

Leon M. Herman

The fact that the present Soviet leadership is continuing the policy of rapid economic growth through massive doses of capital investment is indicated by the Seven-Year Plan adopted early in 1959.

The following article by Leon M. Herman outlines the basic characteristics of the plan itself--which should be thought of as a policy statement of goals for the intermediate-term future rather than a planning blueprint. It envisions a somewhat smaller average annual growth rate, although the growth rate planned is still about double that of the recent performance of the American economy, even if allowances are made for the deficiencies of Soviet statistics.

The Soviet economy is rapidly driving to maturity. The older technology of coal-steel-railroads which was especially well adapted to extensive development of unused natural resources is beginning to give way to more modern techniques which emphasize intensive development based on increased productivity. The Seven-Year Plan represents a step in that direction, with its emphasis on new and more efficient fuels (petroleum and natural gas), new industrial materials (chemicals, plastics, and synthetics), and greater economic incentives. This development, if properly managed, could open up major opportunities for large-scale and rapid growth--just as it did in the United States and western Europe.

Leon M. Herman is Senior Specialist, Legislative Reference Service, Library of Congress. The article is reprinted from Problems of Communism , Vol. VIII, No. 2 (March-April, 1959), pp. 9-14. Problems of Communism is a bimonthly journal published by the United States Information Agency, a unit of the United States Government.-- The Editors .

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