SOVIET UNION: Power to the Managers

As regularly as the changing of the seasons, the Kremlin announces a far-reaching reform plan aimed at pepping up the sluggish Soviet economy by loosening bureaucratic controls over the production system and the managers who actually turn out the goods. But none of these plans ever seem to go far enough, and Soviet citizens continue to ask why their economy cannot soar like their spaceships. They have reason: last year, Soviet output of goods and services rose less than 2%, the smallest gain in a decade. That contrasts with a 1972 rise of 9.7%, or 6.5% after subtracting...

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