RUSSIA: New Economic Policy

It happened in Solnechnogorsk, 35 miles from Moscow and a world away from the casuistries of capitalism. The customer liked the saucepan. The price was right and she said she'd take it.

"That'll be $2.25," said the Soviet shopkeeper, speaking in kopecks.

"But it's marked only $1.65," protested the shopper.

"Oh," said the shopkeeper, "the rest is for these beautiful gold earrings. We never sell saucepans without earrings."

...

Want the full story?

Subscribe Now

Subscribe
Subscribe

Get TIME the way you want it

  • One Week Digital Pass — $4.99
  • Monthly Pay-As-You-Go DIGITAL ACCESS$2.99
  • One Year ALL ACCESSJust $30!   Best Deal!
    Print Magazine + Digital Edition + Subscriber-only Content on TIME.com

Learn more about the benefits of being a TIME subscriber

If you are already a subscriber sign up — registration is free!