Friday, August 05, 2005

Creeping markets in the USSR

...from a guy who'd been there...
When my parents wanted to fix up our first
apartment, in true communist country fashion,
they went directly to the source: a construction
worker with access to building materials slated
for a new apartment building being built across
the street. Which is to say, goverment-owned
supplies slated for a construction site. When the
socialist/communist governments don't provide,
people resort to the tried-and-true method:

Of course, in a non-capitalist country, that
means only one thing: stealing from the
government, even if not blatantly. Some black
market operations were more legal than others,
like the one near our second apartment. There was
a swap-meet there, where unlike the more
enlightened Western approach of swapping wives
and husbands during such events, people there
swapped things, things no longer available and
things no longer wanted or needed. There was
haggling and bartering there, like one big giant
garage sale.

The whole short report.