Russia: On Toward the Goulash

The factory manager has always been low man on the Russian factotum pole, the prisoner of planners who have dictated everything, from what he produces and where he sells it to how much he pays his men. Over the years the planners multiplied, and so did their instructions — which only taught the manager to play it safe and aim for the minimum needed to keep Moscow happy. Last week, in a firm, 15,000-word proposal, Premier Aleksei Kosygin declared a new bill of rights for the factory manager.

Henceforth, said Kosygin, the government would sharply reduce its directives to...

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