February 22, 2016

American Capitalism Smacks Boris In The Face

Bernie Sanders and every college student in America should have this tattooed on their butts.
Back in 1989, card-carrying Communist and Politburo member in the Soviet Union Boris Yeltsin visited Johnson Space Center, and then took a tour of a grocery store in Clear Lake, Texas. According to a Houston Chronicle reporter, Yeltsin was far more affected by the grocery store visit than he was the space center. He apparently was stunned by the aisles and aisles of supermarket products, and told the other Russians in his entourage that if Russians saw what American grocery stores looked like, when in their homeland they had to wait in line for most everything, “there would be a revolution.”

Yeltsin chit-chatted with customers about what their groceries cost, what they were buying, and was in absolute amazement at the whole experience, saying, “Even the Politburo doesn’t have this choice. Not even Mr. Gorbachev.”

He was dazzled by the fact that grocery stores were everywhere, and that they even offered free samples. A year or so later, a biographer wrote that on the plane ride from Texas to Florida, Yeltsin couldn’t get the vision of the endless food supply out of his mind, and lamented how different things were for his own countrymen.

According to wikipedia, Leon Aron, quoting a Yeltsin associate, wrote in his biography, “Yeltsin, A Revolutionary Life” (St. Martin’s Press, 2000): “For a long time, on the plane to Miami, he sat motionless, his head in his hands. ‘What have they done to our poor people?’ he said after a long silence.” He added, “On his return to Moscow, Yeltsin would confess the pain he had felt after the Houston excursion: the ‘pain for all of us, for our country so rich, so talented and so exhausted by incessant experiments.’”
He wrote that Mr. Yeltsin added, “I think we have committed a crime against our people by making their standard of living so incomparably lower than that of the Americans.” And then, in his own autobiography, Yeltsin wrote about the experience at the grocery store himself, which reshaped his entire view on communism, ultimately leading to leaving the Communist party.
“When I saw those shelves crammed with hundreds, thousands of cans, cartons and goods of every possible sort, for the first time I felt quite frankly sick with despair for the Soviet people,” Yeltsin wrote. “That such a potentially super-rich country as ours has been brought to a state of such poverty! It is terrible to think of it."
More here.


Doom said...
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Doom said...

I met a man and his wife, they being from China. I befriended the mister through math, calculus and to a degree differential equations. What got him wasn't the food. I think he had surrendered food. He had a seeming natural body fat of about 1%. In my mind, I believe he was broken, regarding food, by the Chinese... realities. However he was a voracious reader. He would spend all the free time he had available to him reading magazines and books. I don't know, if I suspect Russia is the same, but China allows almost nothing, and certainly nothing creative, or good, or even quite often anything that might touch on real truths in some areas. He was absolutely flabbergasted by what a simple mom and pop dime store had on offer, then he found the book stores. Sad.

I had meant to get him out shooting. I am quite sure that would have changed even more of his perspective on the world. Oh, and by the way, he was so amazed at my language skills that he wanted me to edit his papers. I left school before that could have happened, illness just became too severe. Yeah, the rest of the world has it pretty rough. And, to be honest, China and Russia are slightly better off than the next tier down. Very sad. He wasn't a pushover, either. He had a ph.d. in diffy q and was earning a second one in business decision making (not sure of the actual degree, but high level logic for business decisions).

Fredd said...

Most Americans are aware of how crappy things are for the average folk in Russia, China and the Third World. Not all of the details of their misery, but a good feel of how much worse their standard of living is compared to ours.

But they have no idea of what a 2nd rate life the average European has. Germany is arguably the richest country in Europe, per capita. And the average German has no car, owns no house, and has no retirement portfolio.

The average rented German apartment has a refrigerator smaller than most dorm rooms on an average US college campus. An average German apartment is perhaps 600 square feet, tops. No garage (since only the upper crust have cars).

And the American Left wants to live like Europeans.

Doom said...

Add in, Fredd, that A lot of older English folk die each winter because of the screwed up eco-freaks in the government who have made heating too expensive. People just freeze to death, en masse, and no one says or does anything. A quiet geriatricide. I think it happens frequently in other European countries too. In the US, if you really can't afford it, there is a program to help with homeheating. Yeah... That is socialism, even on the soft-serve side. Genocide, one way or another.