Governments Today

Should governments today play a greater role in the operation of their economies? In a perfect world everyone would have a job, and would have all which they need to live, however, this is not always the case. Poorer countries may not have the necessary productivity to sustain their economies, working conditions may be awful, or sometimes people may not even have the right to own and operate their own business. This situation is probably caused from too much government intervention. On the other hand, if there is too little government intervention the workers rights could be exploited in order for the industry owners to make more profit. In order for a nations economy to be successful, that nation must have high productivity, rights for all of its population, and a high standard of living. This can be achieved through some government regulation and the successful use of some points of the market economy system. Some countries that have, or had, a failing economy used centrally planned economic ideologies. The Soviet Union is a good example of a country that has used centrally planned economic ideas and that has had their economy fail. The failure of the Soviet Unions economy was the effect of no substantial change in the way the economy was run in over 60 years. In 1928, Stalin wanted to improve the countrys economy by increasing its industrialization. In order for increased industrialization, an increase of productivity was in need. The first five-year plan Stalin implemented drastically increased the USSRs production of steel, electric power, machinery, and new industries. However, peasants, who were once farmers and now worked in factories, were frustrated since they were not prepared for their new way of life. These peasants were forced to work in the factories since new machinery had replaced them on the farms were they once worked. However, the new machinery helped to increase agricultural production since they were more efficient and effective. The larger collective farms that could afford the modern machinery were urged to act against the kulaks (rich peasant farmers). The kulaks refused to sell their excess grain were forced to hand over their land to the government. Most of them burned their crops, killed their livestock, and destroyed the machinery in attempts to defy the government. The kulaks caused famine to sweep over the country during 1931 and 1932, since they had destroyed most of their crops, livestock, and machinery. This caused the USSRs economy to slow even more because it needed the agricultural produce to pay for needed industrial machinery. There was a brief recovery of the economy during 1933,1934 and 1935 because of great harvest in those years, and for the moment, the Soviet agriculture had been made more efficient. However, the Soviets economy would soon start to decay again in the 1980s. The war against Afghanistan in 1979 had depleted the nations resources and treasury; there was also increased strain on the economy due to increased military expenditures. An aging political leadership also contributed to the decay of the economy since it was unable to sole agricultural mismanagement problems and the inability of inspiring the work force. In an attempt to encourage the productivity of the workers, Yuri Andropov tried to scare the workers into increasing productivity. After Andropovs death, Chernenko failed to keep up Andropovs scare tactic. After Chernenkos death Gorbachev, the new ruler of the Soviet Union, introduce perestroika in attempts to save the USSRs economy. However Gorbachevs perestroika reforms only complicated USSRs economy, this was due to contradictory policies, as the economy was still slowly declining. After two failed reforms, of Gorbachev and Stalin, the economy of the soviet Union failed in 1991, after sever sacrifices had been made by the people of the Soviet Union. For over a span of seventy years the peasants sacrificed due to the great need for industrialization in the Soviet Union. Due to the unfair working conditions the peasants faced the economy of the Soviet Union was affected in negative ways. Since workers were unable to perform their duties, as was the case in 1917 were many workers were not educated to or trained to manage factories, this caused a decline in productivity and thus also a decline in the economy. Later when Stalin ruled, the peasants were replaced by new machinery. These peasants usually ended up working in a factory and because they were unprepared for the new living conditions, they often took their frustrations out on the machinery in the factory or working slowly. The workers in the factories were cruelly overworked and often those laborers who worked slowly or produced low quality goods were punished brutally. The workers had no incentive to work, but attempted to work out of fear of losing their jobs or being punished. Although the 1930s were a period of great industrialization, the workers faced hardship. Food had to be rationed and consumer needs were largely ignored. Kulaks also faced hardship they were deprived of their rights and many of them were sent to jail without any evidence, or were deported to unpopulated regions in Siberia, or even sent to work in camps. Even in 1978 the workers faced the same hardships as they did in 1928 people still had to stand in endless lines to receive their food rations, initiative was still low, and the economic system was still being controlled by a political elite who was not representative of the population. An aging political leadership was unable to solve agricultural mismanagement, and the demoralization of the work force. During Andropovs rule in 1982 workers feared more for their jobs, since he increased control over the economy, he tried to scare workers and managers into improving job performance, he did this by arresting loafers, drunks and poor workers and punishing them. In Britain during the Industrial Revolution, a pure capitalist economic system was in place, and there was no government control for the most part of it. The workers, during this age, were most often exploited in order for factory owners to make more profit. Since there was no government control, no one could stop the factory owners from continuing these practices. Although the productivity in Britain was very high the workers had almost no rights, and faced a very low standard of living. If no one in that family had work no one would get to eat, if that family consisted of no children and the woman was unable to work for any reason, they would starve to death in the slums of Britain. This is because the factory owners could get the children and women to work for less than the men, because they could be exploited easily, especially, if the man in the family was not able to work. The workers also had to face horrible working conditions, because factory owners did not regard the safety of their workers, many workers often died because of their jobs, or suffered great injuries that would not able them to work at all. The Soviet Unions economic collapse and the Industrial Revolution workers working conditions tell us that a mixed economic system is the best choice for todays countries. This is because with out government control in the economy workers can be exploited with out any regard for their safety or well being. However, in an economy, where there is total government control the workers may lose initiative to work and the economy may collapse. The best examples of a stable economy that protects the rights of the people are the United States and Canada. This is because their productivity increases as their population increases, and the workers do not face horrible working conditions. Also, Canada and the United States enjoy a high standard of living, and people can enjoy the freedom to operate their own private businesses. Simply government control is necessary to protect the rights of people, but some points of the capitalist economic system are necessary to take care of the consumers needs.
Social Issues