20 June 2007

Soviet collapse

Hilzoy at Obsidian Wings points us to an American Enterprise Institute paper by Yegor Gaidar on why the Soviet Union collapsed.

Summarizing Hilzoy's summary:

  1. Soviet agricultural policy was a complete disaster
  2. As a result, the Soviets needed to import grain
  3. Luckily, “at almost exactly the time when serious problems with the import of grain emerged, rich oil fields were discovered in the Tyumen region of Western Siberia”
  4. Then it all came unglued
Attentive readers will notice the complete absence of Ronald Reagan from this account.

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