Business: Pitfalls In the Planning

Industry develops, but growth does not

One joke that Muscovites tell about their economic system involves Stalin, Khrushchev and Brezhnev, who are riding a special train. When the engine breaks down, Stalin has the crew shot. Nothing happens. After a while, Khrushchev rehabilitates the engineers. Still no movement. Finally, Brezhnev pulls down the shades and sighs, "Well, let's pretend we are moving."

In recent months Soviet leaders have had a hard time pretending they were moving. After more than half a century of often spectacular progress in building heavy industry, the Soviet economy...

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