Now, in the ‘command economy’ of the
communist USSR, the heavy industry of producing military equipment, took precedence over the light industry of producing consumer goods, which was seen as an extension of decadent capitalism. This meant that state manufactured
consumer goods often were poor quality, offered little choice in range, and suffered from shortages, however, if you are wealthy enough you could buy illegally sold for foreign goods, such as, American jeans, British music, and
Japanese electronics, these products were part of a larger black market called the USSR’s second economy, which also included selling state products at marked-up prices, offering private services, and taking bribes, which altogether has been estimated to account for an incredible 60% of GDP. Some people who supposedly began their careers in the second economy are these guys, who started by selling Bibles, cars, being a private cab driver, selling theater tickets, running a private cafe, and siphoning money, and who after the collapse of communism used these entrepreneurial skills and questionable networks to become the original oligarchs of the new and wild capitalist Russia where these six people controlled a ludicrous 50% of the economy. Signing out, comrade Lo.