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Old October 13th, 2012, 11:24 AM   #101
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Originally Posted by Grimald View Post
Maybe my statement in this general stance was wrong. Of course, Eastern Europe today is poorer than Western Europe in relative terms, and this difference may be bigger today than it was historically. However, I was not talking about relative, but absolute wealth - it is probably difficult to compare the standard of living of interwar Romania with today's Romania.
We should also not forget that some of the population groups of Central/ Eastern Europe who were wealthy historically are no longer there - many Jews have been deported or killed, and most Germans were deported or emigrated. This significantly changed the makeup of cities like Prague, or the cities once settled by Germans in Romania.
The Jews who suffered during the antisemite regime were privileged during the communist one. When they left many have very good (undeserved, given only on ethnic grounds) jobs, count how many were security officers from those who left. About the Germans, they went for a better (materially speaking) living. Both ethnicities showed how much they cared for Romania and what deep feelings they had for this country.
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Old October 13th, 2012, 11:27 AM   #102

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Grimaldi, limit yourself to talk about the things you know. If you tell me now that Romanians are as free and as wealthy as never before in their history, if you are not an ignorant, you can't be anything else than crazy!!!
I admit that I don't have a deep knowledge of Romania and its historical periods, and I am prepared to learn from you. However, I doubt that average people were better off during socialist times, or in the interwar period. You are free to try to convince me otherwise.

Most people are not aware in what good times we are living today. At least for Germany it would be absolutely ridiculous to claim that the average person was better off at any other time in history than nowadays. Is it different for Romania? Did Romania have a big middle class in the interwar period? Who was so wealthy at that time? The average peasant or worker? Or is it just a case of nostalgia for the past people are suffering from?

And about freedom... freedom brings about responsibility, and if people are not used to it or lack education, they don't see the opportunities they have. I know that Romania suffers heavily from corruption and has not freed itself from the old socialist elites. Maybe that is the problem?
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Old October 13th, 2012, 11:36 AM   #103

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Did Romania have a big middle class in the interwar period? Who was so wealthy at that time? The average peasant or worker? Or is it just a case of nostalgia for the past people are suffering from?
Romanian industry was only at its beggining, but the perspectives were really great. The majority of the population was, indeed, self-sustained peasants, but, for example, there were quarters of houses for the workers of Malaxa industries in Bucharest. It is almost imposible today for a worker(if he has nothing inherited to sale, and/or without parents help) to buy a flat, never speaking about a house
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Old October 13th, 2012, 11:39 AM   #104
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I admit that I don't have a deep knowledge of Romania and its historical periods, and I am prepared to learn from you. However, I doubt that average people were better off during socialist times, or in the interwar period. You are free to try to convince me otherwise.
It is not correct to comment on things you don't know. Or am I wrong?

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Most people are not aware in what good times we are living today. At least for Germany it would be absolutely ridiculous to claim that the average person was better off at any other time in history than nowadays. Is it different for Romania? Did Romania have a big middle class in the interwar period? Who was so wealthy at that time? The average peasant or worker? Or is it just a case of nostalgia for the past people are suffering from?
I don't know, what says the statistics?

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And about freedom... freedom brings about responsibility, and if people are not used to it or lack education, they don't see the opportunities they have. I know that Romania suffers heavily from corruption and has not freed itself from the old socialist elites. Maybe that is the problem?
My apologies, but how old are you?
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Old October 13th, 2012, 11:50 AM   #105
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sure there are more cars, tv-s, fridges etc now/capita than it was during the old regime but i just browsed the site of the Hungarian Central Statistical Office and we consume less food now than we did during the socialist eighties, so i have my doubts that in absolute terms we are having our "wealthiest" period ever. I wonder is it the same in the other former commie countries?

Hungarian Central Statistical Office Food consumption - tables

STADAT – 3.2. Household income and consumption (1960– )
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Old October 13th, 2012, 11:55 AM   #106

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It is not correct to comment on things you don't know. Or am I wrong?


I don't know, what says the statistics?



My apologies, but how old are you?
I was making a general statement on Eastern Europe. I already said that it may have been wrong in its general validity.

Many people have a wrong conception about the past. Even when today's historiography describes a past period in a country's history as golden, this doesn't mean that the average person at that time was well-off. It is difficult to compare historical periods with each other, since there is such a tremendous technological development.

Many people also mix up relative and absolute wealth. Psychologically, it is easier to live with a lower standard of living in an egalitarian society, than to live with a standard of living that in absolute terms is higher - but low in comparison to other people in that society.

My age is of no importance. I do have a strong belief in the freedom of the individual, and the forces it can set free. Do you think that this is childish, or what is the background of your question?
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Old October 13th, 2012, 11:56 AM   #107
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sure there are more cars, tv-s, fridges etc now/capita than it was during the old regime but i just browsed the site of the Hungarian Central Statistical Office and we consume less food now than we did during the socialist eighties, so i have my doubts that in absolute terms we are having our "wealthiest" period ever. I wonder is it the same in the other former commie countries?

Hungarian Central Statistical Office Food consumption - tables

STADAT – 3.2. Household income and consumption (1960– )
I recall now the arguments which a (really or for appearances) communist teacher preached during my school years in the times of communist regime: that the peasants have TV sets and cars, which they lacked during the "landlord-bourgeois" regime.
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Old October 13th, 2012, 11:57 AM   #108
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I have the impression (correct me if I am wrong) that you suggest that the freedom of Eastern Europe and its democratic regime is an illusion, and that in the background somebody else is taking the really important decisions without knowledge of the people. That is something I call a conspiracy theory.
That is only one for start.
And then, West influence, manipulate and control other countries without knowledge of the people in Southern America, parts of Asia, Africa. Why do you think it can not do it in Eastern Europe?

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Why shouldn't elections be able to change the political direction? The voters are free to vote for their party of choice, they are also free to found a new party if they don't feel represented by the existing ones. Or is it that many people are just disappointed because they were outvoted by the majority? That may of course happen in a democracy. Of course, it is also true that politics cannot cure over night wrong developments that lasted for decades, and that many voters see their hopes in a new government disappointed after some years.
I do not know, try asking in Prague now.
May be it have something to do with money and media. Just suggestion.

“Who controls the food supply controls the people; who controls the energy can control whole continents; who controls money can control the world.”
-Henry Kissinger
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Old October 13th, 2012, 11:59 AM   #109

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Originally Posted by Tulun View Post
sure there are more cars, tv-s, fridges etc now/capita than it was during the old regime but i just browsed the site of the Hungarian Central Statistical Office and we consume less food now than we did during the socialist eighties, so i have my doubts that in absolute terms we are having our "wealthiest" period ever. I wonder is it the same in the other former commie countries?

Hungarian Central Statistical Office Food consumption - tables

STADAT – 3.2. Household income and consumption (1960– )
I think that it is a matter of perception. The number of TVs, cars, fridges are accepted parameters of standard of living. They don't necessarily make you happy though.

They can also make you very unhappy. For example, if your stupid neighbor has a nicer car than you. Or if you become aware how affluent some Western societies are.
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Old October 13th, 2012, 12:07 PM   #110
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sure there are more cars, tv-s, fridges etc now/capita than it was during the old regime but i just browsed the site of the Hungarian Central Statistical Office and we consume less food now than we did during the socialist eighties, so i have my doubts that in absolute terms we are having our "wealthiest" period ever. I wonder is it the same in the other former commie countries?
Yes it is, consumption of food, especially meat and milk product went 1/4 - 1/3 down also here in Slovakia and Bohemia.

Consumption of meat for example:

Click the image to open in full size.
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