World: The Importance of Sufficiency

Once upon a time, Nikita Khrushchev was wont to boast that the Soviet economy would surpass that of the U.S. by 1970. His successors have been far more realistic. A recent Kremlin report suggests that instead of being on the verge of world championship, the Soviet Union's populace barely managed to surpass Bulgaria in 1963 in per-capita purchasing power. In fact, by Moscow's own admission, four Comecon countries —East Germany, Czechoslovakia, Hungary, and Poland—enjoyed higher standards of living than Russia itself three years ago.

In other categories, the Soviet Union fared slightly better; Russia ranked third after East Germany and Czechoslovakia in...

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