Poverty in Transition and Transition in Poverty: Recent Developments in Hungary, Bulgaria, Romania, Georgia, Russia, Mongolia

By Yogesh Atal | Go to book overview

Conclusion

Today everyone agrees that poverty is not a new, post-communist phenomenon. Prior to 1911, and even after the advent of the socialist regime, poverty was very present in Mongolia. However, until 1990 we continued to pretend that we were all rich and that poverty did not exist. We used to boast that the poor resided only in America, and that poverty was a non-communist phenomenon. But with the collapse of communism, we came face to face with reality and became aware of the appalling poverty conditions in our country.

Poverty is a reality in Mongolia. There are poor communities which lack the necessities of life. Moreover, there is a prevailing mentality about poverty which is very frightening. We now realize that people living in poverty, and in a poor society, lack intellectual prowess, technical skills, and the knowledge to properly manage and develop their lives; and so they remain underdeveloped. Poverty is increased by a lack of private property and a stable income source. During the socialist regime, the government was the sole source of income for all citizens, but with the continuous decline in domestic industry, many were rendered underpaid and unemployed. In addition, the policies pursued by the government were totally counter to the welfare of the people. The banking system was inadequate and the interest rates were too high; all this discouraged the private sector from investing in industry. Most small entrepreneurs took the safer route of trade in order to make quick profits and repay their loans. This resulted in a price hike in consumption goods on the market. And so the burden fell on the pockets of poor consumers. Prices increased to such a degree that even a generally well-paid civil servant could not afford to buy a pair of shoes with his or her monthly salary. Poverty and unemployment have affected both the morale and the morality of the people. The rising incidences of theft, burglary, corruption, deception, juvenile delinquency, and prostitution are other consequences of this disturbing phenomenon.

Sadly enough, poverty is not the worst part of the unfair system. What is worst is the loss of social and ethical values. Mongolia is a nation rich with historic traditions, where "the truth triumphs." However, in recent years, it has become a society in which "money and power triumph." The new government has promised to reform and restructure all its "bad habits." This can be done only when the government, first of all, directs its policies toward the development of domestic industry. The monetary, financial, and credit systems need radical restructuring, as do investment and tariff policies. Secondly, the people should be enabled to acquire and own property. Land and housing privatization must be properly encouraged and favorable conditions

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Poverty in Transition and Transition in Poverty: Recent Developments in Hungary, Bulgaria, Romania, Georgia, Russia, Mongolia
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Contents v
  • Introduction 1
  • Bibliography 31
  • Chapter One - Recent Trends in Poverty in Hungary 32
  • Bibliography 75
  • Chapter Two - Emerging Poverty in Bulgaria 77
  • Bibliography 100
  • Chapter Three - Poverty in Romania 102
  • Conclusion 126
  • Bibliography 128
  • Chapter Four - Toward Poverty Eradication in Georgia 130
  • Appendix 172
  • Bibliography 175
  • Acknowledgment 176
  • Chapter Five - The Russian Case Social Policy Concerns 177
  • Bibliography 220
  • Chapter Six - Mongolia in the Grip of Poverty 223
  • Conclusion 253
  • Bibliography 255
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