Economic reforms 1985-1991: stages and results
By the mid-1980s, the socio-economic andpolitical phenomena in the life of the Soviet republics. The hopeless lag of socialist society from the more developed countries of the world became obvious. In order to avoid a final collapse and improve the situation in the country, the government of the USSR conducted economic reforms in 1985-1991.
Prerequisites for reform
In the 1980s, the economy of the Soviet Unionon the verge of collapse. Throughout the country, there has been a slowdown in the pace of its development, and in some sectors of the national economy there has been a strong decline in the level of production. The ineffectiveness of socialist methods of management was most pronounced in machine building, metallurgy, the metalworking industry, and other branches. Although in 1985 the USSR produced about 150 thousand tons of steel, which was more than in the US, the country still did not have enough metal. The reason for this was the imperfect technology of its melting, in which most of the raw materials turned into shavings. The situation was aggravated by mismanagement, because of which tons of metal just rusted under the open sky.
Economic reforms of the USSR 1985-1991. were necessary not only because of problems in the sphere of heavy industry. In the early 80-ies in the Soviet Union conducted an assessment of machines and machines of domestic production. Of all the objects checked, and there were about 20,000 of them, the third part was considered technically obsolete and unusable. Poor-quality equipment was to be removed from production, but it continued to be produced.
Despite the fact that the Soviet Union special attentionpaid to the development of the defense industry, it also proved to be uncompetitive in the world market. When a microprocessor revolution took place in the whole of the Western world at the turn of the 1970s and 1980s, huge amounts of money went into the maintenance of the arms race in the USSR. Because of this, not enough funds were allocated for the development of science and technology. Soviet society increasingly began to lag behind the Western in terms of technological and industrial development.
Political and Economic Reform 1985-1991years have matured also because of a fall in the real standard of living of the population. Compared to the end of the 1960s, by 1980, the incomes of the population had decreased almost threefold. Soviet people increasingly heard the word "deficit". All spheres of life were struck by bureaucracy and corruption. There was a fall of morality and morality of the common man.
The coming to power of Gorbachev
In the spring of 1985, the Secretary General of the CPSU Central Committee became MikhailGorbachev. Realizing that the country's economy is on the verge of collapse, he proclaimed a course for its reform. The word "perestroika", new to Soviet people, was sounded on television, the purpose of which was to overcome stagnant processes, to create an effective and reliable management mechanism aimed at improving and accelerating development in the social and economic spheres of life.
Stages of economic reforms in 1985-1991
The reform of the Soviet economy can be conditionally divided into several stages.
- In 1985-1986, the Soviet government inthe head with Gorbachev tried to preserve the socialist system by forcing the pace of development of the scientific and technological revolution, the re-equipment of the machine-building industry and the activation of human resources.
- In 1987, economic reform began. Its purpose was to preserve centralized management in the transition from administrative to economic methods.
- In 1989-1990, they announced a course towards a gradual transition from a socialist model of the economy to a market one. An anti-crisis program "500 days" was developed.
- In 1991, they carried out a monetary reform. The economic recovery was undermined by the government's inconsistent actions.
The economic reforms of 1985-1991 began with thethe proclamation of a course to accelerate the development of the country. In the fall of 1985, Gorbachev called on the heads of enterprises to organize a multi-shift regime of work, to introduce socialist competitions and rationalization proposals into practice, to monitor the observance of labor discipline at work, and to improve the quality of products. These actions, according to Moscow, should have been positively reflected in the increase of labor productivity and the acceleration of the social and economic sphere of life of the entire USSR. The priority was given to the machine-building industry, whose products were planned to be used for the re-equipment of the national economy.
Declared M. Gorbachev's rate of acceleration implied a significant increase in the growth rate of the economy. Until 2000, the Soviet leadership planned to double the production potential and the national income of the state, raise labor productivity by 2.5 times.
Gorbachev began an uncompromising struggle againstdrunkenness. According to the politician and his entourage, the anti-alcohol campaign was to positively influence the strengthening of discipline and increase labor productivity. In many regions, factories for the production of wine and vodka products were closed, vineyards were ruthlessly cut down. As a result of this policy, the production of alcoholic beverages in the USSR fell by half. Due to the liquidation of wine and vodka enterprises, the country suffered millions of losses. The lack of money in the state budget led to a delay in wages. To fill the missing funds, the government decided to print new money.
Economic reforms of 1985-1991 in the USSRmanifested themselves in a ban on Soviet citizens to make profit from unearned income. For work on private hiring, unauthorized trade and other types of activity beyond the control of the state, a person could be imprisoned for up to 5 years. But it soon became clear that such measures were ineffective, and in November 1986 a law appeared that permitted individual labor activity in the USSR.
Acceleration of the development of mechanical engineering led toreduction of financing of other spheres of industry. Because of this, consumer goods began to disappear from free sale. NTR, which in the process of restructuring has been given a special role, has not been developed. Crisis phenomena further weakened the state. By the end of 1986, it became obvious that a qualitative reform of the economy could not be carried out because of an imperfect system of state planning.
Economic transformations of 1987-1989
In 1987 the post of prime minister was occupied by Nikolai Ryzhkov, who promised to stabilize the economy in a year and a half. His government launched a series of reforms aimed at creating a socialist market. From now on the enterprises were transferred to self-financing, they were granted partial self-government, the sphere of their independence expanded. Organizations got the right to cooperate with partners from foreign countries, and their leaders did not obey the market or officials. The first cooperatives associated with shadow structures began to appear. The result of such a policy for the USSR was unfavorable: the government no longer controlled the economy of the state. The transition to a socialist market has become impossible. The economic reforms of 1985-1991 did not bring the expected results.
Further attempts to restore the economy
The search for a way out of the crisis continued. In 1989, Soviet economists G. Yavlinsky and S. Shatalin developed the program "500 days". Its essence consisted in transferring to hands of private persons of the state enterprises and transition of the country to market relations. At the same time, the document did not pay attention to such problems as the reform of the political system of the state, the privatization of real estate, the denationalization of land ownership, the implementation of monetary reform. Economists promised that translating their concept into reality would not affect the material situation of the population. The program approved by the Supreme Soviet of the USSR was to enter into force in October 1990. But it had one significant drawback: it did not reflect the interests of the top-ranking elite. Because of this, Gorbachev chose at the last moment another program that could not provide a transition to market relations.
Monetary reform and the collapse of the Soviet economy
One of the last attempts to stabilizeeconomic situation was the holding in 1991 of monetary reform. Gorbachev planned to use it to replenish the treasury and stop the fall of the ruble. But the reform has led to uncontrolled price increases and a decline in the standard of living of the people. The discontent of the population has reached its limit. Strikes took place in many regions of the state. National separatism began to manifest itself everywhere.
The results of the economic reform of 1985-1991were deplorable. Instead of restoring the national economy, the government's actions have further exacerbated the situation in the country. None of the planned reforms have been completed. Having destroyed the previous management structures, the authorities could not create new ones. In these conditions, the collapse of a huge country became inevitable.