Well At Least He Didn’t Call It A 5 Year Plan
September 7, 2010Posted by on
Taking a page out the economic play book of the Soviet Union, President Obama has come out with a 6 year infrastructure plan to build roads, bridges and rail lines. You know the things the Stimulus plan of 2009 was supposed to have done. Remember shovel ready?
White House officials said the $50 billion in new government spending would be the first installment of a six-year transportation strategy that would include investments in high-speed rail and air traffic control. To pay for it, the administration would raise taxes on oil and gas companies.
Well so much for the pledge about not raising taxes on the middle and lower income classes, because we all know that those increased taxes will lead to rate hikse, higher heating oil costs and it will cost you more to drive to work (for those that won’t lose their jobs when the economy tanks).
Another laugher is how this President says the Republicans do not have any new ideas, then turns around and comes up with ideas to “help” the economy that are 80 years old. Also for being such a great intellectual he should also have know these 5 err 6 year plans have a very bad track record, just go ask the Soviets:
The Five-Year Plans for the National Economy of the Soviet Union (Russian: пятилетка, Pyatiletka) were a series of nation-wide centralized exercises in rapid economic development in the Soviet Union. The plans were developed by a state planning committee based on the Theory of Productive Forces that was part of the general guidelines of the Communist Party for economic development. Fulfilling the plan became the watchword of Soviet bureaucracy. (See Overview of the Soviet economic planning process) The same method of planning was also adopted by most other communist states, including the People’s Republic of China. In addition, several capitalist states have emulated the concept of central planning, though in the context of a market economy, by setting integrated economic goals for a finite period of time.
The initial five-year plans were created to serve in the rapid industrialization of the Soviet Union, and thus placed a major focus on heavy industry. Altogether, there were 13 five-year plans. The first one was accepted in 1928, for the five year period from 1929 to 1933, and completed one year early. The last, thirteenth Five-Year Plan was for the period from 1991 to 1995 and was not completed, as the Soviet Union was dissolved in 1991.
First lets look at a “successful” five year plan:
The First Plan, 1928–1933
From 1928 to 1940, the number of Soviet workers in industry, construction, and transport grew from 4.6 million to 12.6 million and factory output soared. Stalin’s first five-year plan helped make the USSR a leading industrial nation; albeit at the expense of millions of lives and a decline in the standard of living.
Remember in the progressive world millions dying is considered a success. Now lets look at an unsuccessful one:
The Second Plan, 1933–1937
Because of the success of the first plan, the government went ahead with the Second Five-Year Plan in 1932, although the official start-date for the plan was 1933. The Second Five-Year Plan gave heavy industry top priority, placing the Soviet Union not far behind Germany as one of the major steel-producing countries of the world. On top of this, communications, especially railways, became faster. As was the case with the other five-year plans, the second was not uniformly successful, failing to reach the recommended production levels in such crucial areas as coal and oil. The second plan employed incentives as well as punishments and the targets were eased as a reward for the first plan being finished ahead of schedule in only four years. Women were encouraged to participate in the plan as childcare was offered to mothers so they could go to work and not need to worry about their children.
During this time, the new Soviet system of government continued to evolve as different solutions were applied in an attempt to revive the agrarian sector of the country’s economy, but these efforts were largely unsuccessful because almost all of the farmers had already been evicted, imprisoned and systematically murdered as the political persecutions shifted into high gear, culminating in the Great Purge. The sum total of The Second Five-Year Plan was a deterioration of the standard of living because the focus of “planners’ preferences” replaced consumer preferences in the country’s economy, with an emphasis on military goods and heavy industry, so that is what the economy provided. This resulted in a much lower quality and quantity of available consumer goods.
So let me gets this straight? The first plan was a success and they had millions die and the standard of living dropped, the second plan failed and they had millions murdered and the standard of living dropped? Hmm I’m beginning to see a pattern emerge here. Never mind they had to get the kinks worked out and finally be able to feed themselves?
The Eleventh Plan, 1981–1985
During the Eleventh Five-Year Plan, the country imported some 42 million tons of grain annually, almost twice as much as during the Tenth Five-Year Plan and three times as much as during the Ninth Five-Year Plan (1971–75). The bulk of this grain was sold by the West; in 1985, for example, 94 percent of Soviet grain imports were from the nonsocialist world, with the United States selling 14.1 million tons. However, total Soviet export to the West was always almost as high as import, for example, in 1984 total export to the West was 21.3 billion rubles, while total import was 19.6 billion rubles.
Ok they didn’t things just got steadily worse, but don’t worry they had a 5 year plan to fix that!
The Thirteenth Plan 1991
This plan, which would have run until 1995, only lasted about one year due to the dissolution of the Soviet Union in 1991.
So how is that hope and change working out?