Soviet Union: A Capitalist Solution

A Capitalist Solution

From the Soviet viewpoint, the West is a seamy bastion of greedy capitalists and sleazy businessmen. But thanks to recent economic reforms, some of these unsavory characters are now turning up at home. Soviet Leader Mikhail Gorbachev last week announced a Western-style remedy for dealing with the profiteers: a graduated income tax on private ventures.

While Soviet citizens have always paid a tax on their wages, the new levy will apply to income earned by members of some 9,000 legalized cooperatives that run independent businesses, from bakeries and restaurants to auto-repair shops. Gorbachev charged that some cooperatives are "engaged in open...

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