Remembering the Soviet Union

Every day, I get about a hundred letters. Among the book reviews, criticism, words of thanks and information, you, dear readers, send me your articles. Some of them deserve immediate release, other scrutiny.

Today I suggest you one of these materials. Topic covered in it, is very important. Professor Valery Antonovich Torgashev decided to recall what was the Soviet Union of his childhood.

The post-war Stalinist Soviet Union. I assure you, if you have not lived in that era, you will read a lot of new information. Prices, wages of the time, the system of incentives. Stalin's price reduction, the size of scholarships that time comparing the standard of living in the United States and the Soviet Union, and more.

Please bring a letter, which the author has made to their material.

"Dear Nikolai! I am following with interest your speeches, as in many of our positions, both in history and at present are the same.

In one of his speeches, you rightly point out that the post-war period of our history is almost not reflected in historical research. And this time was quite unique in the history of the USSR. Without exception, all the negative features of the socialist system of the Soviet Union and, in particular, appeared only after 1956, and the Soviet Union after 1960 was totally different from the country that had been previously. However, even before the war the Soviet Union also significantly different from the post-war. In the Soviet Union, which I remember well, the planned economy effectively combined with the market, and private bakeries were larger than the state of bakeries. The stores have an abundance of a variety of industrial and food products, most of which was done by the private sector, and there was no concept of scarcity. Each year from 1946 to 1953. people's lives improved significantly. The average Soviet family in 1955, fared better than the average American family in the same year and better than the modern American family of 4 with an annual income of 94,000 dollars. About Modern Russia and can not speak. I send you the material, based on my personal recollections on the stories of my friends who were older than me at the time, as well as in secret studies of family budgets, which the CSB conducted until 1959. I would be very grateful if you were able to bring this story to your wide audience, if you find it interesting. I have the impression that in addition to me about this time no one can remember. "

Regards, Valery Antonovich Torgashev, Professor.

Remembering the Soviet Union

It is believed that in Russia in the twentieth century witnessed three revolutions in February and October 1917 and in 1991. Sometimes called and 1993. As a result of the February Revolution in a few days to change the political system. As a result of the October Revolution changed both political and economic system of the country, but the process of these changes is several months. In 1991, the Soviet Union collapsed, but no changes in the political or economic system of this year did not happen. The political system was changed in 1989, when the Communist Party has lost its power as effectively and formally in connection with the cancellation of the relevant articles of the Constitution. The economic system of the Soviet Union changed in 1987, when there was a non-state sector of the economy in the form of cooperatives. Thus, the revolution did not take place in 1991, in 1987 and performed it, unlike the revolutions of 1917, the people who were then in power.

In addition to the above there was another revolution, which has not yet been written a single line. During this revolution, there have been dramatic changes in both the political and economic system of the country. These changes have led to a significant deterioration in the material conditions of virtually all segments of the population, reduce the production of agricultural and industrial goods, reducing range of products and reduce their quality, price increases. It is about 1956-1960 years of the revolution, carried Khrushchev. The political component of this revolution was the fact that after fifteen years of break, returning the power of the party apparatus at all levels, from the Party committees at enterprises and ending with the Central Committee of the CPSU. In 1959-1960 he was eliminated non-state sector (companies and trade cooperation household plots of collective farmers) ensures the production of a large part of the industrial goods (clothes, shoes, furniture, dishes, toys, etc.), food (vegetables, meat and poultry , fish products), as well as consumer services. In 1957, the Planning Commission was abolished and the sectoral ministries (except defense). Thus, instead of the effective combination of planned and market economy was neither the one nor the other. In 1965, after Khrushchev's removal from power of the State Planning Commission and the Ministry have been restored, but with significantly limited rights.

In 1956 he was completely abolished the system of material and moral incentives to improve production efficiency, introduced in 1939 in all sectors of the economy and ensured the post-war period, the growth of labor productivity and national income is much higher than in other countries, including the United States, exclusively by own financial and material resources. As a result of the elimination of this system appeared egalitarianism in wages, interest faded in the final result of work and quality of the production. The uniqueness of Khrushchev's revolution was the fact that the changes last for a few years and have been quite visible to the public.

The standard of living of the population of the USSR in the post-war period has been increasing and peaked in the year of Stalin's death in 1953. In 1956, the incomes of the people involved in the production and science are reduced as a result of the elimination of payments to encourage the efficiency of labor. In 1959, sharply reduced income farmers in connection with the cuts in home gardens and restrictions on the keeping of livestock in private ownership. Prices for products sold on the markets go up by 2-3 times. C 1960 began an era of total deficit of food and manufactured goods. It was in this year's open foreign exchange shops "Birch" and the special distribution for the item, which was not previously required. In 1962, the government raised the price of basic foodstuffs approximately 1.5 times. On the whole life of the population has fallen to levels of the late forties.

Prior to 1960 in areas such as health, education, science and innovation field of industry (nuclear, rocket science, electronics, computers, automated production) of the USSR occupied the leading position in the world. If you take the economy as a whole, the Soviet Union behind only the U.S., but far ahead of any other country. At the same time the Soviet Union until 1960 overtook the United States and actively as actively went ahead from the rest of countries. After 1960, the economic growth rate has been steadily declining, leading position in the world is lost.

Below provide the materials I will try to elaborate how ordinary people lived in the USSR in the 50s of the last century. Relying on its own memories, stories of people with whom I was pushing life, as well as some of the documents of that time, which are available online, I will try to show how far removed from the reality of modern ideas about the very recent past, a great country.

Ah, well in the soviet country to live!

Immediately after the war, the life of the Soviet population begins to dramatically improve. In 1946, a 20% increas
e wages of workers and technical workers (engineers) working in factories and construction sites in the Urals, Siberia and the Far East. In the same year, a 20% increase the salaries of people with higher and secondary special education (engineers, working in science, education and medicine). Rising importance of academic degrees and titles. Salary professors, doctors increased from 1,600 to 5,000 rubles, associate professor, Ph.D. — from 1200 to 3200 rubles, the rector of the university from 2500 to 8000 rubles. In research institutes PhD degree was added to the basic salary of 1000 rubles, and the Doctor of Science — 2500 rubles. At the same time, the Federal Minister for salary was 5,000 rubles, and member of the party — 1500 rubles. Stalin, as Chairman of the USSR Council of Ministers, had a salary of 10,000 rubles. Scientists in the Soviet Union at that time and had additional income, sometimes exceeding the salary several times. Therefore, they were the most rich and at the same time the most respected part of Soviet society.

In December 1947, an event occurs that on the emotional impact on people was comparable to the end of the war. As stated in the Council of Ministers of the USSR and the Central Committee of the CPSU (b) № 4004 of December 14, 1947"… With the December 16, 1947 is canceled rationing supplies of food and manufactured goods, canceled the high prices of commercial trade and introduces a single reduced state retail prices of food and manufactured goods …".

Card system that allowed during the war to save from starvation many people after the war caused severe psychological discomfort. Range of food products that are sold on cards was extremely poor. For example, the bakery was only 2 types of bread rye and wheat, which were sold in bulk in accordance with the standards set in the Cut card. Selection of other food products was also small. At the same time, the commercial shops had such an abundance of products that would be the envy of any modern supermarkets. But the prices in these stores were not available for the majority of the population, and the products were purchased there just for the holiday table. After the abolition of rationing all this abundance was in regular grocery stores at affordable prices. For example, the price of cakes that were previously only sold in commercial stores, decreased from 30 to 3 rubles. More than 3 times the market price fell on products. Industrial Goods to cancel the card system sold by special orders, the existence of which has not meant the availability of the goods. After the cancellation of cards for some time maintained a certain lack of manufactured goods, but as far as I remember, in 1951 in Leningrad, the deficit was gone.

March 1, 1949 — 1951's, there was a further decline in prices, on average 20% per year. Each reduction was seen as a national holiday. When the March 1, 1952 the regular price cuts did not happen, people have a feeling of disappointment. However, on 1 April of the same year decline in prices yet taken place. The latter decrease in prices occurred after the death of Stalin, April 1, 1953. In the postwar period, the prices of food and top-selling manufactured goods fell by an average of more than 2 times. Now, eight years after the war the life of the Soviet people annually noticeably improved. In recorded human history in any country similar precedent was observed.

The standard of living of the population of the USSR in the mid-50s can be estimated by studying the materials research budgets of families and office workers and farmers, held by the Central Statistical Office (CSO) of the USSR from 1935 to 1958 (these materials, which in the Soviet Union were marked "Secret" , published on the website istmat.info). Budgets have been studied in families belonging to 9 groups: farmers, state farm workers, industrial workers, engineers industry, industry officials, primary school teachers, secondary school teachers, doctors and nurses. Provided the most part of the population to which the workers of the enterprises of the defense industry, design organizations, research institutions, university professors, workers cooperatives and the military, unfortunately, does not enter the field of view of the CSO.

From the above study groups was the most revenue from doctors. For each member of their families had a monthly income of 800 rubles. Of the urban population in the lowest income has been serving the industry — 525 rubles per month accounted for each family member. In rural shower monthly income was 350 rubles. In this case, if the state farm workers the income was expressly cash, then he receives from farmers at state-set prices based on the value of their own products consumed in the home.

The consumption of foods was all population groups, including agriculture, about the same level 200-210 rubles a month per family member. Only the families of doctors cost of the food basket reached 250 rubles due to greater consumption of butter, meat products, eggs, fish and vegetables while reducing the bread and potatoes. Villagers consumed more of all bread, potatoes, eggs and milk, but much less butter, fish, sugar and confectionery products. It should be noted that the amount of 200 rubles spent on food, was not directly related to the income of the family or a limited selection of products, as determined by family traditions. In my family, consisting in 1955 of four people, including two students, the monthly income per person is 1200 rubles. Food choices in grocery stores Leningrad was much broader than in modern supermarkets. However, the cost of our family for food, including school breakfasts and lunches in canteens parents do not exceed 800 rubles a month.

Was very cheap food in canteens. Lunch in the student dining room, including a soup with meat, the second with meat and stewed fruit or tea with cakes, worth about 2 rubles. Free bread was always on the table. Therefore, in the days before the issuance of scholarships, some students living on their own, buying tea for 20 cents and load up the bread with mustard and tea. By the way, salt, pepper and mustard, and always stood on the tables. The scholarship at the institute where I studied, since 1955, was 290 rubles (at different estimates — 390 rubles). 40 rubles from nonresident students took to pay the hostel. The remaining 250 rubles (7,500 rubles today) is quite enough for a normal student life in the big city. Thus, as a rule, non-resident students do not receive any help from the house and not moonlighting in their spare time.

A few words about the grocery Leningrad at the time. The largest variety of different fish department. Several varieties of red and black caviar were put in a large bowl. Full range of white fish hot and cold smoking, red fish from the salmon to salmon, smoked and pickled lamprey eels, herring in banks and drums. Live fish from rivers and inland bodies of water delivered immediately after the catch in special tankers with the word "fish." Frozen fish was not. She appeared only in the early 60s. It was a lot of canned fish, of which I remember gobies in tomato sauce, the ubiquitous crabs by 4 rubles per can and favorite product of students living in the hostel — cod liver. Beef and mutton divided into four categories with different price depending on the part carcass. The department semis were presented splints, steaks, schnitzels and scallops. A variety of sausages was significantly wider than it is now, and the taste I remember to this day. Now only in Finland can try sausage, resembling those of the Soviet era. It should be said that the taste of cooked sausages changed in the early 60's, when Khrushchev ordered the sausage added to soy. This requirement is ignored only in the Baltic republics, where in the 70's you could buy a normal doctor's sausage. Bananas, pineapples, mangoes, pomegranates, oranges sold in large grocery stores and specialty stores throughout the year. Conven
tional fruits and vegetables our family purchased in the market, where a small increase in the price paid off higher quality and choice.

So look ordinary Soviet grocery shelves in 1953. After 1960, this was not.

The following refers to the pre-war poster pore, but banks with crabs were all Soviet stores and fifties.

In the above-mentioned materials CSB provides data on consumption in the families of the workers of food in different regions of the RSFSR. Of the two dozen types of products only for the two positions there is substantial variation (20%) of the average level of consumption. Butter, at an average level of consumption in the country in the amount of 5.5 kg per year per person in Leningrad in the amount consumed 10.8 kg in Moscow — 8.7 kg, and in the Bryansk region — 1.7 kg, in the Lipetsk — 2.2 kg. In all other regions of the RSFSR capita consumption of butter in the families of the workers was higher than 3 kg. A similar pattern and sausage. Medium — 13 kg. In Moscow — 28.7 kg, in Leningrad — 24.4 kg, in the Lipetsk region — 4.4 kg, in the Bryansk — 4.7 kg, in other areas — more than 7 kg. At the same time income working families in Moscow and Leningrad was no different from the national median income and amounted to 7000 rubles per year per family member. In 1957, I was in the Volga cities: Rybinsk, Kostroma, Yaroslavl. Range of food products was lower than in Leningrad, but also butter and sausage were on the shelves, and a variety of fish products, perhaps, was even higher than in Leningrad. Thus, the population of the USSR, at least from 1950 to 1959 were fully provided with food.

The food situation is deteriorating dramatically since 1960. However, in Leningrad, it was not very noticeable. I can only think of the disappearance from the market of imported fruit, canned corn, and that it was more important for the population of flour. When the flour across a shop lined up huge queue in one hand and sold no more than two pounds. It was the first line that I have seen in Leningrad from the late 40's. In smaller cities, the stories of my family and friends, in addition to the sale of flour have disappeared: butter, meat, sausage, fish (except for a small set of canned), eggs, cereals and pasta. Sharply reduced range of bakery products. I observed the empty shelves in grocery stores Smolensk in 1964.

The life of the rural population I can see only a few fragmentary impressions (not counting the cost of research CSB). In 1951, 1956 and 1962 I had a rest in the summer on the Black Sea coast of the Caucasus. In the first case, I went with my parents, and then — on their own. At the time, the train had long parking at stations and even small halts. In the 50's to the trains coming out the locals with a variety of products, among which were: boiled, fried and smoked chicken, boiled eggs, homemade sausage, hot cakes with various fillings, including fish, meat, liver, mushrooms. In 1962, from the food to the trains carried a hot potato with pickled cucumbers.

In the summer of 1957 I was a member of the student brigade concert, organized by the Leningrad regional committee of Komsomol. On a small wooden barge we sailed down the Volga and gave concerts in the coastal villages. Entertainment while in the villages were few, and because our shows in local clubs came almost all the inhabitants. Neither the garment, either in their expressions, they were no different from the urban population. A dinner, after which we were treated to a concert, testified that problems with food, even in small villages were not.

In the early 80s I was treated in a sanatorium, located in the Pskov region. I once went to a nearby village to village to try milk. Garrulous old lady greeted me quickly dispelled my hopes. She said that after Khrushchev's 1959 ban on the keeping of livestock and cutting back on household plots village completely destitute, and previous years recalled as a golden age. Since the meat is completely gone from the diet of the villagers, and milk sometimes issued with a collective farm farm for young children. And before there was enough meat for their own consumption and for sale at the farm market, which provides the main income of a peasant family, and not the collective-farm earnings. I note that according to statistics the CSB in 1956, each villager RSFSR bolee300 litrovmoloka consumed per year, while urban residents consume 80-90 liters. After 1959, the CSO has stopped his secret budget of the study.

Provision of the population in industrial goods in the mid-50's was quite high. For example, in working-class families per person per year purchased more than 3 pairs of shoes. The quality and variety of consumer goods exclusively domestic production (clothes, shoes, dishes, toys, furniture and other household goods) was much higher than in subsequent years. The fact is that most of these products are not produced by state enterprises, and cooperative. And artisanal products sold in the ordinary state stores. As soon as the emergence of new trends in fashion, they are instantly tracked, and after a few months of fashionable products have appeared in abundance on the shelves. For example, in the mid-50s there was a youth fashion shoes with thick rubber soles white in imitation extremely popular in those years, the performer of songs in the style of rock and roll Elvis Presley. These shoes domestic production I quietly acquired in the ordinary department store in autumn 1955 along with another famous subject — a tie with brightly colored picture. The only item that is not always possible to buy, this is a popular record. However, I have the 1955 records were purchased in stores, almost all popular at the time of American jazz musicians and singers such as Duke Ellington, Benny Goodman, Louis Armstrong, Ella Fitzgerald, Glenn Miller. Only records of Elvis Presley, illegally performed on the x-ray film (as they said, "on the bones") had to buy with it. I do not remember at the time of import of goods. And the clothes and shoes were produced in small quantities and a wide variety of different models. In addition, there was widespread production of apparel and footwear for individual orders in numerous sewing and knitting workshops, in shoe shops that are part of producers' cooperatives. There were many tailors and shoemakers who worked individually. Top seller at the time were tissue. I still remember the names of such popular at the time as a drape fabrics, Cheviot, boston, crepe de chine.

From 1956 to 1960 was the process of elimination of trade cooperation. The bulk of cooperatives became state-owned enterprises, and the rest have closed or gone underground. Individual production of Patents were also forbidden. Drastically reduced the production of virtually all consumer goods, both in volume and assortment. It was then appear imported consumer goods that are immediately becoming scarce, despite the higher price with a limited range.

Illustrate the life of the population of the USSR in 1955, I can not for the example of his family. The family consisted of 4 people. Father, 50 years old, head of the Design Institute. Mother, 45, engineer, geologist Lenmetrostroya. Son, 18 years old, a high school graduate. Son, 10 years old, a schoolboy. Family income was comprised of three parts: the base salary (2200 rubles from 1,400 rubles father and my mother), a quarterly award for impl
ementation of the plan is typically 60% of salary and a separate premium for above-plan performance. Ever received such an award Mom, I do not know, and my father got it about once a year, and in 1955 the prize was 6,000 rubles. In other years, it had about the same amount. I remember my father, having received this award, many hundred-ruble notes laid out on the dining table in the form of a card game, and then we arranged a gala dinner. The average monthly income of the family is 4800 rubles or 1,200 rubles per person.

Of this amount 550 rubles deducted for taxes, party and union dues. On the feed took 800 rubles. 150 rubles was spent on housing and utilities (water, heating, electricity, gas, telephone). 500 rubles was spent on clothes, shoes, transportation, and entertainment. Thus, the regular monthly expenses of the family of 4 persons is 2000 rubles. Unspent money left 2800 rubles a month, or 33,600 rubles (RUR million today) per year.

Revenues of our family were closer to the average than the upper. So higher incomes were the employees of the private sector (cooperatives), which accounted for more than 5% of the urban population. High wages were at the officers of the army, the Interior Ministry, Ministry of State Security. For example, a regular army lieutenant platoon commander had a monthly income of 2600-3600 rubles, depending on the location and specific services. The income of the military have not been taxed. To illustrate the income defense industry workers will give me a good example of a young family friend, who worked in the experimental design bureau of the Ministry of Aviation Industry. Male, 25 years old, a senior engineer with a salary of 1,400 rubles and a monthly income, taking into account the various bonuses and travel 2,500 rubles. His wife, 24, is a senior technician with a salary of 900 rubles and a monthly income of 1,500 rubles. In general, the monthly income of a family of two people was 4,000 rubles. In the year there were about 15 thousand rubles unspent money. I believe that much of the urban households had the opportunity to annually set aside 5 — 10 thousand rubles (150 — 300 thousand rubles today).

Of high-value goods vehicles should be allocated. Assortment of cars was small, but the problems with their purchase was not. In Leningrad, in a big department store "Apraxin yard" was Motor Show. I remember that in 1955 there were exposed to the free sale of cars: Moskvich-400 for 9000 rubles (economy class), Victory for 16,000 rubles (business class) and ZIM (later Seagull) for 40,000 rubles (executive class). Our family savings were sufficient to purchase any of the above vehicles, including ZIM. A Moskvich car at all was available for the majority of the population. Nevertheless, the real demand for cars not. At the time, cars were regarded as expensive toys that create a lot of problems for maintenance and servicing. My uncle was a Moskvich car in which he was only a few times a year go out of town. Uncle purchased this car in 1949 because in her yard in the former stables he could arrange a garage. Father at work offered to buy a decommissioned American Willis, a military SUV that time, only 1,500 rubles. The father refused the car, as there was no place to keep it.

For Soviet people WWII period was characterized by a desire to have the greatest possible supply of money. They remember that during the war money could save a life. In the most difficult period of life the siege of Leningrad functioning market where you can buy or exchange on any food items. In Leningrad the notes of my father, dated December 1941, to be kept such prices and clothing equivalents on the market: 1 kgmuki = 500 rubles = boots, 2 = kgmuki astrakhan fur coat, 3 = kgmuki gold watch. However, a similar situation with food was not only in Leningrad. In the winter of 1941-1942, a small provincial town, where there were no military industry, do not be provided with food. The population of these cities survive by sharing household products on the products with the inhabitants of the surrounding villages. My mother at that time was a teacher of elementary grades in the ancient Russian city of Belozyorsk, in their homeland. As she later told by February 1942 had died of hunger, more than half of its students. My mother and I survived only because in our house since before the Revolution were a lot of things that were valued in the village. But my mother's grandmother also died of starvation in February 1942, as left his food for her granddaughter and four great-grandchildren. My only vivid memory of that time — a Christmas gift from my mother. It was a piece of black bread, lightly dusted with sugar, which my mother called cake. Real cake I tried only in December 1947, when he suddenly became gil. In my children's piggy bank was more than 20 rubles trivia, and coins persisted after the currency reform. Only since February 1944, when, after the lifting of the blockade we returned to Leningrad, I stopped experiencing continuous hunger. By the mid-60s smoothed out the memory of the horrors of war, life has come a new generation that does not seek to set aside money in reserve, and motor vehicles, by then risen in price by 3 times, became scarce, and many other products.

I will name some of the prices in 1955: Rye bread — 1 rub. / Kg loaf — rub./0.5 1.5 kg, meat — 12.5-18 rub. / Kg, live fish (carp) — 5 rub. / Kg sturgeon caviar — 180 rub. / kg, lunch in the dining room — 2-3 rubles, dinner at a restaurant with wine for two — 25 rubles., leather shoes — 150 — 250 rubles., 3-speed bicycle Tourist — 900 rubles., motorcycle IL-49 with 350 cc engine. cm — 2500 rubles., movie ticket — 0.5-1 rubles., a ticket to the theater or a concert — 10.03 rubles.

Try to assess the standard of living of the population of the USSR in 1955 by comparing the household budget of Soviet and American families of four (two adults and two children). As an example, three American families: the average American family in 1955, according to the U.S. Census Bureau, the average American household in 2010, according to the U.S. Department of Labor and particular American family from the state of Virginia, agreed to talk about his 2011 budget.

On the Soviet side look at the budgets of rural and urban households in 1955 the average of four based on the CSB and my own family in 1966, when I led a daily record of family income and expenses.

Since the two countries and three periods of time correspond to different monetary value, when considering all budgets will use Stalin's ruble in 1947. In 1955, this purchasing power of the ruble was about equal to today's dollars, or 30 current Russian rubles. U.S. dollar in 1955 corresponded to 6 Stalin rubles (Gold Course — 4 rubles). In 1961, as a result of Khrushchev's currency reform a denomination of the ruble by 10 times. However, by 1966 the increase in state and market prices led to a decrease in purchasing power of about 1.6 times, so that Khrushchev became the ruble equivalent instead of 10 6 Stalin rubles (at the rate of 1961 gold $ 1 = 90 cents).

Some explanations to the table above. Education in the school, which is attended by children in the third of the American family (6 and 10 years old) is free. But for school lunches ($ 2.5), school bus and staying in a group day care have to pay 5000 dollars a year for each child. In this regard, it is not clear lack of spending on school statistics in American families. In the Soviet Union in 1955 the school hot breakfast was worth 1 ruble, the school was close to home and day care center was free. Higher costs for food from a wealthy American family due to the fact that some of the products bought in "green" product at a higher price. In addition, daily lunch during the
work cost the head of the family $ 2,500 per year. For entertainment this family include the traditional weekly dinner at the restaurant ($ 50 dinner itself and $ 30 payment nanny sitting at home with the kids), and children's swimming lessons in the pool under the guidance of coach (once a week — $ 90). Of household expenditures on Cleaning twice a month, and on the laundry out $ 2800, and on shoes, clothes and toys for the children — $ 4,200.

Third Soviet family in the table above should be attributed more to the poor than to the average. I was a graduate student of full-time training. My income is comprised of scholarships in 1000 Stalin rubles nominal rate and half a research assistant 525 rubles. His wife was a student and got a scholarship 290 rubles. Taxes on scholarships and salaries, at 700 rubles, were not taken. My daughter was two years old, and for kindergarten she was still small. Therefore, in the family ever lived nurse receives 250 rubles. The range of products has been acquired very diverse. More than a third of the cost of the food basket were fruit. Of budget memos can not see the desire to limit costs. For example, several times a month marked the cost of a taxi. A family of four people, including a nurse, lived in a two-bedroom cooperative apartment, purchased in 1963, when I had just got married and worked as a senior engineer at a defense plant. Then my savings for two years after graduation, it was enough to pay the down payment for an apartment in the amount of 19,000 rubles Stalin (40% of the total cost). 6 weeks in the summer we were vacationing on the Black Sea coast of Crimea, which went to the tent, mounted directly on the beach. Note that the above wealthy American family could afford a week's vacation at the beach in North Carolina, and 3,000 dollars spent on this vacation, went beyond the annual budget of the family. And poor Soviet family of three with an annual budget of 13,000 in today's terms (far below the poverty line by the current American standards), eat a variety of eco-friendly food, paid on the mortgage loan, hire a babysitter for the ongoing care of a child and spent long summer holidays on the shores of the warm the sea.

Previously been considered a typical young Soviet family mid 50's two-man (husband — 2 years after the technical college, the wife — 2 years after college) with a net monthly income after taxes 3,400 rubles, or100,000 rubles today.Net income similar to a Russian family in the rare case where the husband and wife work in the specialty, will be in Moscow or St. Petersburgno more than 40,000 rubles,
province and below even 1.5 — 2 times. Feel the difference!

Thus, the material standard of living of the population of the USSR in the mid-50s was higher than in the U.S., the richest country of the time, and higher than in contemporary America, not to mention the modern Russia. In addition, the population of the USSR provided benefits that were unthinkable for any other countries of the world:

http://nstarikov.ru/blog/23233Part One

http://nstarikov.ru/blog/23246Part Two

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