Commanding Heights And The Agony Of Reform
Review the above video, along with any other credible resources (please cite them), to answer each question below-minimum one paragraph per question:
What were the main strengths of the Soviet Union? What were the main weaknesses? Who exposed these weaknesses and to whom did he expose them? Was it economics or politics that led to the downfall of the USSR? Explain.
Why was there little incentive to innovate or increase production in India? What does the term “Permit Raj” imply?
In what ways did some Latin American countries implement the dependency theory of economic development? What were the consequences of this policy? Why?
Which Latin American country experienced a brief Communist government followed by a dramatic shift to free-market ideals? What were the main economic issues under Communist rule and what reforms were instituted to move toward Capitalism? What political and economic leaders led the reform? What were the economic and political pros and cons of the reform?
What commodity helped conceal the economic malaise of the Soviet Union? What policies of Gorbachev helped send a message that decentralization was coming? What did Margaret Thatcher mean when she told Gorbachev that her job was much easier than his?
What role did the city of Gdansk play in Poland’s reform? What role did the “Solidarity” moverment play? In what ways did Prime Minister Thatcher play a role in the reform?
What was the main economic issue in the Bolivian economy? What was the root of the problem? What “Shock Therapy” was instituted to deal with the issues? Why would banks all over the world want to lend to money to the crumbling economy of Bolovia and other similarly situated Latin American countries? How are Jeffrey Sacs, Poland, and Bolivia related?
How did reform in Russia differ from reform in China in the late 80s and early 90s? What differences between the coutries led to these difference? In what ways did Kleptocracy emerge in Russia and why?
(OPINION) In what ways to you believe market-based reforms benefitted transitional economics such as Poland, Russia, Chile, Bolivia, India, among others? Do you believe these economic reforms had political and social effects? Do you support these reforms or do you believe it would have been better to stay the course with the more centralized institutuions? Explain your reasoning?
(OPINION) In what ways would you consider central planning and/or the market a more “moral system”? Should morality, efficiency, output, or something else be priortized in choosing centralized or decentralized governments? Many people suggest we try a hybrid approach to everything, a kind of “best of all worlds” approach? Do you believe this is possible and if so what trade-offs would there, in reality, be?
(OPINION) Fundamentally, the debate around economic systems is one of property rights; that is, the right to possess, to the exclusion of others material and/or immaterial things. What property rights do you believe individuals should have? Which should the government have? Can central planning exist with private property rights? Can free markets exist without private property rights? Explain.
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Aug 10th, 2021